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Peeing while cycling (again)

I know I keep blogging about this, but I sort of feel like it's a subject matter that isn't going to go away.

First I should note that I've been doing some reading and thinking about hygiene. I think long-distance women cyclists could benefit from some ideas used by backpackers - carrying along a "pee rag," for instance, which would then sit out in the sun to sterilize between uses. But where would be the best place to stash one's pee rag?

Second, after reading this interview about a woman cyclist who raced with the men, I have to wonder - what did Carmen Small do whenever she needed to pee?? What about other pro women racers?*

Also, apparently it isn't always easy for the men, either, and etiquette matters.

*This interview has a lot of interesting stuff in it about women's cycling, too


( 19 remarks — Remark )
Nov. 5th, 2015 03:25 pm (UTC)
I've read a bit about men peeing but virtually nothing about women, which suddenly makes me feel a bit bad.
Nov. 5th, 2015 04:40 pm (UTC)
Why does that make you feel bad? Just that it's something you haven't thought about before? Women's pro cycling gets so little attention in general that I just don't think it's brought up much.

I found a little bit on Ironman triathletes that suggested that people just pee on themselves, which is both funny and, ehhh...I don't know that it's ideal.
Nov. 5th, 2015 07:07 pm (UTC)
New bicycle seat every time you have a race, then? Not that I've given much thought before this to how much sweat has undoubtedly soaked into mine... ew....
Nov. 5th, 2015 08:31 pm (UTC)
I guess it depends on what your saddle's made of. Mine's nonporous, so I would just need to hose down the whole bike (methinks liquids will travel well beyond the saddle!).
Nov. 5th, 2015 10:30 pm (UTC)
Hah, yeah, I thought about those Brooks leather saddles immediately after and was like 'leather cleaner? LOTS of leather cleaner?'. If you're healthy, urine isn't so different from sweat, except in our parsing of disgust factor. But I had been assuming that the rest of the bike could be hosed off, whereas my seat is some kind of suede and nylon thing, I think, with foam-gel something in it. It gets squishy if I leave it out in the rain, so I'm pretty sure it would as happily absorb anything else that doused it.
Nov. 6th, 2015 12:29 am (UTC)
Yeah, it sounds like you'd have to contemplate some sort of waterproofing method, when to some degree it's really nice to have more breathable material adjacent to one's lady bits. Maybe women cyclists just have to figure out some more advanced ninja moves to manage to pee while riding!
Nov. 6th, 2015 05:06 am (UTC)
My lightest wool base layer for SAR is an adaptation of a snowboarding garment, and has a crotch zipper. I bet I could undo that and pee off the side on a bike whilst riding if I really didn't care about anyone seeing, but I seem to be less sensitive to seams than most serious cyclists. (I deal with my bikini underwear for anything under 25 miles, I cycle in jeans most of the time, and that's basically okay. This does not seem to be the majority experience for comfort, so I can't imagine that a zipper right down the middle would be anything but awful for most folks.)
Nov. 6th, 2015 02:37 am (UTC)
There is an entire genre of bike erotica about bike mechanics, cute girls who bring in bikes to be fixed, and this.
Nov. 6th, 2015 03:05 am (UTC)
Rule 34!
Nov. 6th, 2015 05:00 am (UTC)
Damn, apparently I'm bringing my bike to the wrong shops! [laughing] Bike mechanics mostly are not impressed by my dinky bike, hahaha. No one has ever commented on my saddle, though I admit that I joined the Cascade Bicycle Club in a fit of "fuck yoooooou I will learn to do these repairs myself" after the tune-up that I got before the duathlon made things not set up the way I liked it any more. Education through vexation!
Nov. 6th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna put 'education through vexation' on a t-shirt.
Nov. 6th, 2015 02:40 am (UTC)
But I know women who are ex-pros and we talk about riding a lot! It's just ... well, honestly I've never talked about the mechanics of that with male ex-pros either. We've certainly talked about the mechanics of spitting, nose-blowing, and vomiting whilst in a race.
Nov. 6th, 2015 03:06 am (UTC)
I can't remember if I told the story about almost getting vomited on during a brevet in June. That was a special moment, but not during a race.

I hope that you'll ask, because I'm curious!
Nov. 6th, 2015 03:15 am (UTC)
Okay, I will, next time I get to go on that particular ride. It's not actually invitation-only but it's not a show-up-just-coz thing for me either.
Nov. 5th, 2015 11:42 pm (UTC)
This leaves me feeling rather provincial in my backpacking. Where I've been I've never worried about a pee rag - greenery had generally been abundant. (Though you do need to know your greenery, and there are some funny stories.)

...I think about the pee funnels for women to be able to pee standing up, but adapting them to cycling just sounds painful.
Nov. 6th, 2015 12:27 am (UTC)
I don't have a tremendous amount of rustic backpacking experience, either. I think the pee rag starts to become more important when one is out in the wilds for 3+ days.

And yeah, I just don't think pee funnels are the answer. Most of the suggestions so far seem to consist of one more thing that has to be carted around on the bike (or on your person).
Nov. 6th, 2015 05:02 am (UTC)
Heh, same here. I've never had to use one, I just kind of, um, shake off afterwards. Optional water rinse. (This would DEFINITELY not work on a bike.) But I haven't done epic long trips either. Now I'm tempted to ask the other two BAMF Breakfast Clubbers if they have ever used such a thing.
Nov. 6th, 2015 02:27 pm (UTC)
Well, the optional water rinse wouldn't work while riding, but I stop and pee by the side of the road all the time on brevets. The pee rag approach is just a minor addition: pee, bottle rinse, use the rag (e.g. bandanna) to dry, since moisture can cause all kinds of nasty problems in the long-term.
( 19 remarks — Remark )

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