Monday, March 23, 2009

How To: Take An Austin Powers Style Natural Correcto

The light at Camargo & Miami in Madiera turned red.  I zipped across anyway.  I had to take a natural.  Sorry, but the laws of nature supersede traffic law.  Right officer?  I knew this ride wasn’t going to let up for the next hour and the morning coffee was percolating.  Between here and the halfway sprint, I could foresee no other points where a pause in the action and a good pee place would intersect.  Figuring I had somewhere between 30 and 45 seconds of red light before the group would get back to business, I thought I’d be able to duck behind BioWheels bike shop, take care of business and either jump right back with the group as it passed or, if this were to be a grande natural, at the very least I’d catch ‘em on the descent.  I chased the group in full-on flat-backed heart grabbing donkey wheezing mode for the next 10 miles dangling between 50 and 300 meters.  I finally caught on in Loveland, only to get popped seconds later as the group punched a big climb at 23mph. Then I spent the next 5-7 miles chasing with a teammate who also got dropped on the climb all because I had to take a pee.  Have you seen my critical mistake?

I didn’t tell anyone I was going to take a natural.  What a doof I am.  Essentially I limited my potential bridge back on posse to the handful of people who saw me head up to the shop.  I had four teammates in the bunch, a few good friends, one of the Two John’s, and a bunch of others that know me well enough to give me the courtesy of holding up a bit for me to catch on.  Here’s what my antic’s looked like to the five people who saw me.  F*&%!  Joe just ran the red light.  He’s headed up to the bike shop.  Look like he’s probably ditching his knee warmers or something.  Oop, light’s green, let’s go.  At this point there are no thoughts of Joe, because the group of 25 or so is bombing down a hill at 30+mph, navigating a notoriously slippery set of angled railroad tracks followed by a 90 degree corner at the bottom.

Here’s what it was like from my perspective.
  Oop, can’t pee here, looks like that’s wood for the shop renovation.  How ‘bout here?  Nope that’s Mitch’s car.  Can the neighbors see?  Who cares?  Get the front of your bibs down.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.   Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Did the light turn yet?   Ahhhhh. Ahhhhhhh. Ah.  Ah.  Ah.  Fhew!  Tuck in under jersey.  Pick up bike.  Clip in.  Where’d they go?  Oh F%^*!  They’re halfway down the hill.  Tuck and hammer.  Oh Sh&* the tracks.  Jam on brakes.  Cross.  Back up to speed.  Crap they’re around the corner.  Hammer.  Just 50 more meters.  Ugh, little bastard hill.  Dammit 100 meters. 

Like the directions on a shampoo bottle, so it went for the next 10-15 miles.  Close gap, stuck at light, hammer, repeat.  I finally caught the group in the next town, unfortunately 10 seconds before the major climb of the ride.  Still trying to choke back my heart & lungs, I was waxed and off the back in 20 seconds flat.  Here I went again, but this time I had the company of another dropped rider.  We tried in vain to catch on for the next 5-7 miles, but eventually the group got out of sight, we figured we missed a turn, and gave up the gootch. 

So to save you from making the same mistake, here’s how to take a Natural Correcto:

Step 1: Tell group you’re going to go, making this point right in front of the leader or veteran riders.  Maybe say something like, “Hey I’m gonna zip up here and take a pee.” 

Step 2: Ask a teammate to hold up to help you bridge back on. Maybe say something like, “Can you Andy, Brian and Matt hold up a bit to help me bridge back on, thanks man.”

Step 3: Take natural as quick as possible as waiting friends or teammates dangle off the back of the group.

Step 4: Time trial to your waiting teammates or friends and work together to bridge the rest of the way

Step 5: Return the favor later by keeping a teammate out of the wind or offering up half a Clif bar.


gewilli said...

or just learn to pee whilst riding... not such a good idea in heavily populated/residential areas...

Anonymous said...

Believe it or don't, there are some easy ways to take a nature break without breaking the law. Check out Bob Mionske's Bicycling & the Law, page 94. Bottom line: don't be seen. If you are seen and you get caught, definitely absolutely tell the officer it was an emergency, which set a precedent in a case in Ohio!