Friday, February 24, 2012

Women, Winter, Motorcycles & Bathrooms [a tale of woe]

There is an email making the rounds that every woman can relate to....discussing in detail the horrors we, as women, have to deal with every day when using public restrooms. No toilet paper, wet seats, no liners, doors that don't lock and THE STANCE.

After reading it recently, I thought it was time to write about a lesser known side....dealing with public restrooms while riding a motorcycle in cold weather. This is written from fact...based upon my solo motorcycle trips over the last couple of years.

Now imagine a cold winter day. Your bladder has reacted in double-time to the one cup of coffee you just HAD to have at the last gas stop, also used to warm your hands as well as your insides, and the vibration of the motorcycle, all combined with the cold.

You spy a gas station, pull in and immediately have to make a decision. Do you pump gas first and then move bike out of the way or is it slow enough that you can head to the bathroom first. Sometimes the decision is made for you, you KNOW that you can't take the time to get gas first.

So you head inside, praying that this isn't one of the 10% of places that still have outside bathrooms. Depending on how cold you are and how much function is left in your fingers, you may or may not take off your helmet.

Ah, you spot the sign! It's inside and available. If you took off your helmet you now have to find a place for it, preferably not the floor. If you're real lucky you get a handicapped stall with a Koala baby seat, pull it down and start stacking up the gear. Next best case is the Koala seat outside the stall where you can at least drop the helmet and maybe your jacket.

Now remember, it's COLD. This isn't just a matter of unzipping your jeans. Oh no, that would be too easy. First you have to unzip your jacket because it's 3/4 length. Of course this is only done after taking off gloves & glove liners. Then you have to unzip the polar fleece under that. Since it's really cold you now have to negotiate the textile riding pants (zipper number 3), the zipper on your jeans, and then a layer of either polar fleece, long underwear or at a minimum tights. Finally down to the last layer, undies. And don't forget, with each layer peeled off, the stack of material above your knees grows higher,so now one last push to be sure you can clear the cloth. At least you have no purse to worry about, everything critical is in the various pockets of your riding jacket.

Now you go into the stance, having done your best to follow the "wipe or cover" the seat procedure outlined in the email message. At least you have your Kleenex handy if needed. Um, well, you do if you didn't leave your jacket outside with your helmet.

Finally.....ahhhhhh, there is no better feeling.

Done, you stand up. Now, remember that helmet you left on because you were in a hurry? Well you are quickly reminded it's there when your bent stance slams it into the back of the door (unless, again, you were lucky enough to get an oversized handicapped stall). Hoping you haven't permanently damaged it so that you have no protection in a crash, you start pulling up and re-zipping all the layers .

This is when you hope there is no line waiting for a stall, ask any woman out there about restroom lines. It takes time and a lot of it to pull everything back together. When several women are riding together, we find ourselves stumbling out of the stall with layers pulled up but unzipped, finishing that process outside so the next lady can enter and start her own trip of joy.

So the next time you head into a bathroom stall, remember, it could be winter and you could be wearing riding gear!

Touring in 2005


34 comments:

  1. Great post Donna. You are a real diehard biker chick! :)

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  2. I can so relate! This is very similar to experiences as a chick cyclist in Winter - fewer zippers, though, and more Spandex!

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  3. Wow - never even considered any of this! I'll be a little more grateful the next time I step foot into a public restroom and don't have that many layers to deal with. :) Thanks for your input on my Twitter page as well - much appreciated! :)

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  4. Huh! I never thought about that. I'll have to keep it in mind next time I'm bitching about bathrooms..

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  5. Oh wow! It sounds like you have to reeeaalllyy love riding to put up with that...but I'm sure you do and that makes it worthwhile :)

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  6. Wow! Love your perspective. We rarely (close to none) get clean toilets in Malaysia.

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  7. Yikes. What a schlepp. I'm just impressed you're out there on a motorbike! Definitely worth the bathroom hassle!

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  8. That is too funny. I dealt with some of those issues in my blog http://cathysvoicenow.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/perplexing-potty-problems/
    But you take it to another level here!!

    Cathy

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  9. LMAO! I was on the edge of my potty seat every step of the way, bursting with anticipation!

    I have always had a small bladder. Even before kids, I was a member of the frequent pee club. The following story show why I can completely relate to you!

    My husband and my best friend and her husband were on a snow mobile tour to the Continental Divide in Colorado. I had to pee. Guide stops the tour and I gracefully plummet off of my snow mobile into the crotch deep snow.

    I basically have to maneuver back on the mobile, get my layers down and hang my butt cheeks over the opposite side of the mobile. You guessed it! My pee ended up in a puddle on the running board. The bright side you ask? It froze into a puddle within 2 minutes.

    Got to spend the rest of the tour with my foot slipping on the frozen slick of my own excrement. The tour company did not even give me a discount for providing the bonus burlesque show. Thank goodness this was before camera phones or I'm sure I would be immortalized on youtube. Ellen

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  10. All the more reason not to go outside in the winter! ;)

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  11. ...removing Malaysia from my bucket list. ;-) j/k

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  12. Riding takes you away from everyday things, I love it!

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  13. Oh Ellen....that is truly hysterical. Had to read it to hubby. We were both laughing as we pictured it on youtube. [snicker] Thanks for sharing!

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  14. That's why we try to travel to warmer climes for the winter. ;-)

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  15. I have a visual of a bunch of women riders clad in their leather jackets, in various stages of undress, outside the bathroom at the gas station!
    When you gotta go, you gotta go!

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  16. Sounds like a lot of work with cold fingers.

    I'm thankful I can pee standing up every time I read that email.

    WG

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  17. I always knew that motorcycle riding was an adventure, but I had no idea that bathroom trips on motorcycle adventures would be quite so entertaining.

    Great post!

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  18. Okay, off to read your story. Thanks for stopping in, reading and commenting, Cathy.

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  19. You should have seen the 200-500 riders (90% women) on a Fl to NYC via Chicago charity ride for breast cancer. We took over ALL the bathrooms at the stops and the guys had to stand in line with us. LOL! And yes, we were all zipping up outside to help keep things moving...at least it was summer!

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  20. Glad to help, Becky. It can be a bit overwhelming at first. Thanks for stopping by!

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  21. It is different...LOL! Thanks for stopping in and commenting, Gia.

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  22. Yes I do...riding is my sanity. I didn't learn until I was 55..10 years later, still loving it!

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  23. Thanks, Katie. BTW, your blog this week in in my top seven!!

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  24. Haha - I love the visual. Thanks for posting that. I have mad respect for you!!

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  25. I loathe public restrooms, so the agony of this... I can't even imagine. Now I certainly have perspective.:)

    Fun and funny post!

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  26. Thanks, Angela. My trips now are fair weather ones for the most part. Much easier to deal with...LOL!

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  27. Public restrooms seem to have gotten worse over the years, too. Ugh!

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  28. Sounds like it's time someone invented crotchless riding pants...oh wait. Chaps! But no, that would not be great while riding a bike. ;)

    Totally felt that ahhhhhhhhhh in there. Sweet relief!

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  29. You have my respect - I could never be driving around on a motorcycle in the cold!

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  30. I got some funny visuals while reading this! Great post!

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  31. Had to snicker about the crotchless riding pants.... ;-)

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  32. Believe me, I try to avoid it as much as possible. LOL!

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  33. I had those visual implanted permanently in my brain when I wrote that....LOL!

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