Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How-To: The Nature Break While Riding (The Trip, Day 12)

First off, let me apologize to any women who might be among the 14 people who read this blog (I have Google Analytics; I know): you may find this post to be of limited importance/use. Boys, listen up.

Triathletes are guilty of many sins against cycling. We mash gears instead of spinning them. We (although I would like to say I've never done this one) wear sleeveless jerseys (they're called vests, people, and they're supposed to be worn over other jerseys) with arm warmers. I've seen triathletes shamelessly use their aerobars in pacelines during group-rides. They cannot glue tubular tires or adjust their rear derailleurs. We cannot climb. We plaster electrical tape on our expensive carbon bicycles. We're much more likely to drop $1500 on aerodynamic wheels (bling) than we are to make sure our bikes are properly fitted.

But what really keeps the cyclists looking down their noses at us (and they do, certainly), is our inability to relieve ourselves without getting off the bike. I first saw someone do it in the flesh on a group ride in Portland, ME, several years ago, and I thought "I could do that." You can also watch a hilarious section of Hell On Wheels where you see basically the entire peloton peeing from their saddles.

Most of the roads I ride back in Vermont are, believe it or not, pretty heavily populated, so when I found myself in the middle of nowhere yesterday, riding Virginia's rural (but paved!) roads, I thought I could practice those skills I don't often get to use. So here's how you do it:

Wait until you're on a slight downhill (slight!). If you try to do this while going up, you'll fall into a puddle of your own urine.

Drift over to the right side of the road, and lock your right knee so your right leg is fully extended.

Take your right hand off the handlebar and twist your hips toward the side of the road.

Lean forward to get your center of gravity between the two wheels, and brace yourself by putting your left knee under the handlebar.

Use your right hand to navigate your bibs and to aim. If you're careful and relaxed, you won't have any problems.

Triathletes, don't try this on a TT bike. If you don't know why, go back to prowling the forums at Slowtwitch. You should also not practice this skill on rollers, but if you do, use a small-mouth spittoon and send me some pictures (or better yet, video) of you riding off said rollers into the wall, half-naked.

Tomorrow, the first of my gear reviews get going!


amanda russell said...

The guy in front of me at a race last year certainly had this skill licked...and in aero at 30 mph no-less...although perhaps that's where the issue with not aiming quite far enough to the side came in. It took me a minute to realize it wasn't lemon-lime gatorade.

I have to admit, as a woman, I'm incredibly jealous. I lost 60 seconds to squatting in the reeds. That cutout in the saddle may soon be put to better use.

Brian Burns said...

Apparently, everyone in Boulder rides... so everyone understands. The roads around here are filled with people swerving around with their dicks hanging out, and the shoulders are littered with people smart enough to dismount before going. It's perfectly-fine public behavior apparently.

Brian Burns said...

Great post, by the way. These are important things that the sports' elite can teach us!