As a cyclist you learn really quickly that it’s important to remain hydrated. This entails forcing fluids into your system at a rate that would even make a fish uncomfortable. At first I had a hard time drinking while I rode but now it’s become almost second nature. As a "byproduct" of the hydration habit that cyclists pick up I think that you’ll agree with me that you also pick up a keen sense spotting public restrooms and gauging just how often they need to be visited.
I swear in the years since I’ve gotten back into cycling I can now spot a port-o-potty in vacant construction sites from a mile away. Here is an example of these skills that have paid off on long journeys while on a bike.
This new ability got me thinking about a ride that Jenny and I took years ago. It was early on a Saturday morning and we rode from our house on the Centennial Trail over to Snohomish which is the end of the trail. At the end of the trail there is a gym with an attached snack bar which also has a restroom in it (check out my skills). Since it was early they weren’t open yet so the restroom wasn’t accessible.
Jenny and I were resting on the benches outside of the gym before we headed back to our house. While we were sitting there a lady dressed in full cycling attire with a bike on her car drove up, got out and ran toward us. Her eyes were wide open and she had a look of panic on her face. When she got to us she urgently asked if the gym had a restroom. We answered yes but they weren’t open yet. She then looked around for any other open stores but it was just too early. She ran up and down the street a little ways in hopes she would find an open restroom but no luck. Finally, she ran over to us again and said “I drank a lot of water on the way over here and now I’ve REALLY GOT TO GO!!!” She apologized and ran behind the gym to take care of her problem.
Jenny and I quickly got up and headed down the trail so we wouldn’t have to be there when she got back. This was probably good for all of us. Luckily, we were fast enough that she didn’t pass us on the trail. All in all, it made for a really good laugh on the way home.
Moral of the story, if you’re going to be a cyclist you need to keep track of restrooms and have a plan or you may end up behind a building with fellow cyclist giggling at you.