Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bicycling Business

At least once during virtually every long (35+ miles) bike ride I do, I have to pee. In a way, that's good, because it means I'm hydrating enough. In fact, if I don't have to pee at least once during a long bike ride, then it means I'm not hydrating enough.

However, it's not particularly convenient, of course. So, what are my options? I think this is an important consideration for longer bike rides. Like it or not, you're going to have to pee in the middle of a ride at some point, at least if you're doing it right.

In order of "most preferable" to "least preferable":

1) Pee in a public bathroom at a public park. When I have to pee, my first choice is to look for a public park with public bathrooms. At a public park, I can generally leave my bike parked outside for a few minutes without fear for it being swiped. Or, if not, I might even be able to take the bike into the bathroom with me. And, public park bathrooms are usually in decent shape.

The problem is, not all public parks have bathrooms, and even the ones that do don't leave them open all the time. Durham parks only seem to have their bathrooms unlocked during the summer. I've had far more success with Cary parks, which are usually open all year. (Just one reason why Cary is more bicycle-friendly than Durham!)

2) Pee in a portable toilet. Some bicycling-friendly organization put a portable toilet on a popular cycling route near Jordan Lake, purely for the purposes of cyclists who need to pee. But that's pretty rare; mostly, I'm talking about portable toilets on construction sites. I've used many of those. Construction sites are usually vacant on weekends, which is when I do most of my rides, so, no problem. Park bathrooms are better, though.

3) Pee in the woods. Now...this is what usually ends up happening, because a lot of my rides end up in rural areas, with lots of secluded areas in which to do your business undetected. I find it kind of stressful to find that place that's "just right", though.

4) Pee in a public bathroom in a grocery store / convenience store / etc. I never do this, because a) I don't like leaving my bike outside unattended at these types of places, and b) sometimes it's a long walk once you're inside to the restroom, and c) I don't like being the bicycling dork among all of the regular customers, wherever I am.

No comments: