In this blog I have occasionally poked fun at Serious Triathlete. Maybe that is a defense mechanism because I would really like to be Serious Triathlete but instead I am Occasional Back of the Pack Triathlete, and proud of it. I’ve completed the Olympic distance Columbia Triathlon two of the past three years, finishing somewhere in the 80th to 90th percentile.
But this article from Active online newsletter explains why I know I will never attain membership in the exclusive club of Serious Triathlete: “Ask a Coach: Does Everyone Pee on Their Bike?”
While the article acknowledges that “not everyone pees on the bike” – I’m glad to tell readers I’m in that category – apparently many racers do.
“The act of peeing while riding is a challenge for most athletes and can take some practice,” the coach writes. Wow, I didn’t know in addition to practicing swimming, biking, running and transitions, I should also experiment with and perfect methods for relieving myself while on the bike seat!
“If you choose this option, be mindful of other racers around you,” the coach continues. I am not kidding; the coach really advises this. Hell, yes, be mindful of the other racers! Lordy Be, that’s just common courtesy! I don’t mind a spray from a hose while on the bike, but only a garden hose, not any kind of hose!
“Other options include stopping at a Port-a-Potty or stopping to pee in your tri shorts,” the coach says. A Port-a-Potty, what a concept! I vote for that. Or how about in a bush or behind a frickin’ tree, dogs do it all the time and the arbor seems to survive. The coach forgot all about those options.
Finally, the coach says, “Use water from your water bottle to wash off.” Wait a minute. Isn’t the whole point to drink your water over time to avoid dehydration, not to use it to dilute the stench in your tri shorts-cum-diaper?
Look, Serious Triathlete, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to give up two minutes here and there in a race that takes me three and a half hours to avoid relieving myself in my shorts and riding in discomfort and wretched stench. For me, that may make the difference in finishing in the 84th percentile vs. the 86th percentile. I won’t be disappointed.
Unless you have a serious chance of winning some category or scoring some cash prize or qualifying for the Hawaii Ironman or the Olympics, I suggest you do the same. Save your shorts, your bike seat and your washing machine. Don’t make your family members and friends cringe and gag from being around you at the post-race celebration; the sweat and grime from a dirty lake swim will be all they should have to tolerate. Don’t consider your pee-soaked tri shorts a badge of honor. You’ll get a finisher’s medal to hang around your neck. That should suffice.
DISCLAIMER: I apologize to any Serious Triathlete who I may have offended…as long as you apologize to me if you pee in your shorts anywhere close to me in a race!