Cycling & Modesty

Nature Break

53“Taking a nature break on the fly…One of the most interesting errr, weird things on an open circuit like this is that there’s really nowhere to really relieve yourself.” A proper TV announcer trying to explain cameras rolling while a racer pees

What works in a race may be illegal in an Aspen restaurant

Peeing on the bike has nothing to do with incontinence and more to do with the law and modesty. Public urination is against the law but not out of line with cycling ethics. It’s important to switch gears and behavior between private training routes and public venues however. Just like the same tactics of intimidation which may lead to a victory in a bike race will not work in public in real life.


On long races, male riders go to the backside of the peloton to pee. Nothing is noticeable except slight slowing and spray. A rider was disqualified for doing this mid-pack in a criterium along a course crowded with spectators in a conservative Midwestern town. Honestly, I admired his skill in executing this at speed while cornering but officials saw it differently.


Although I peed in my shorts a few times during races, it’s perhaps harder for a female to do unless the pace slows during a warm rain. The women’s pack agrees to stop en masse by roadside. I admit I’ve had my arse to the wind for an entire caravan to witness, although I don’t see the appeal of staring at a crouching backside.


What’s done in a race situation would be appalling in a shopping mall for instance. What was I thinking – scores of people just watched me urinate – doesn’t go through your mind on the way to a race-winning climb. You just do it or you can’t concentrate to race hard.


Cultural customs vary and who knows where others stand or squat on this issue? InAmericathis can offend local authorities to the point of withdrawing future event support. It may also repulse conservative local populations where modesty is particularly emphasized. In European sports halls post-race, men and women shower together so perhaps preaching public modesty is a pissing contest outsideAmerica. Wherever you stand or sit on this issue, drinking less electrolyte-laden fluids isn’t the answer. Try to pick the right spot at the right time.


Prayer for Public Modesty

“…take special care to dress up some parts of our bodies…modest about our personal parts.” 541 Corinthians 12:23


Although today’s topic retains a sense of humor, we confess we sometimes ignore local customs and the law to relieve ourselves, perhaps offending some. We pray for considerations of modesty, and for the public to look the other way.


Ponder Do I want to watch a spectator drop his/her drawers and pee in front of me? No! Affirm I hold it or pick the right place at the right time, and I don’t pee in public when not racing. Watch for private places or moments of relief.



53“Bicycle Pee Break,” Added by sportsnetwork on April 27, 2008 on

54The Bible, Contemporary English Version Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

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