Cycling Europe Day 37: A Loose Sphincter and Nice People

Today started badly. I peed in my pants. But then it got better.

I was relieved to see this sign today.

I was relieved to see this sign today.

I vividly recall the last time I peed on myself. I was 11 and we were at my friend Dietra’s house celebrating her birthday. We were playing hide-and-go-seek and Dietra and I were hiding in the downstair’s closet. For some reason I thought it was hilarious and I laughed so hard until I peed on myself. I asked Dietra to swear not to tell anyone. So what did she do? She told EVERYONE. (Love you, Dietra!) I had to wait somewhere until my mom came to pick me up. The whole thing was very embarrassing.

I wasn’t laughing today. In fact, I was very stressed. Yesterday’s multiple episodes of unkindly motorists had me very concerned for my safety on the roads of Slovenia. I had one hour to cycle before I reached the border of Austria and it couldn’t come to soon. I wanted out.

I always have to pee within an hour of having breakfast. It’s never enough to try to squeeze my bladder dry before I start my ride. This morning I needed to pee about 45 minutes into my ride. Remember how I said Slovenia was a safe haven for FPFCs (Frequently Peeing Female Cyclists)? Well it isn’t. It was just that one road from Gorizia to Ljubljana. So I’m looking for a place to pee. I’m quite modest in my requirements. But I’m having great difficulty finding any place that fulfills even my modest requirements. Then I finally spot a side road that leads up to a house far up the road. The road had a big tree on one side and high grass. If I crouched in just the right spot, most people on the main road would not be able to see me. I get off my bike, lay it on the grass, and search for that perfect spot. The second I find it, and just as I begin to reach to pull down my pants, my sphincter thinks my pants are already down and, in a reflex reaction, relaxes a second too soon. I feel warmth spread through my cycling shorts and a trickle go down my leg. I quickly pull down my pants and let the main bulk of it go where it was supposed to go. But now what?? I tried to pat my cycling shorts dry with some toilet paper. “My, that inner padding these pants have is absorbent,” I quickly observe. But I still have wet pants. Nothing that is noticeable to an outsider though, thankfully. I pull my pants up and feel very uncomfortable. “Nothing about this is to be mentioned to ANYONE!” I warn all the people in my head. “We’ll see about that!” cackled Blogger Nadia, one of my more dominant personalities in the past few years.

I got back on my bike and started cycling. I have a short 65km ride today. My pants will

The biggest swimming pool I've ever seen.

The biggest swimming pool I’ve ever seen.

dry. When I get to my camp I’ll shower and wash them. No big deal. Five minutes later I find a gas station with a toilet. I stop, take my other cycling pants that I was leaving to dry from last night’s wash on my pannier, went into the toilet, cleaned myself up as best as possible, put on mildly wet but clean cycling pants and wash peed-in cycling pants and hang them out to dry on top of my pannier while I cycle. Ahhhh. That’s better!

I soon crossed the Austrian border and the day got better.

I will reserve my general judgment of Austrian drivers for two days from now, but for today they were very good like the Italians. They made wide half circles when passing me and if the road was narrow, they gave me right of way without honking until it was possible for them to pass.

Slovenia was a gorgeous country. I was always served copious quantities of food. It was

My home for tonight: electricity to charge my electronics, internet, and a bed!

My home for tonight: electricity to charge my electronics, internet, and a bed!

light on the wallet in terms of food and accommodation. People who weren’t driving and who worked in hotels and restaurants were very nice to me. When people on the streets saw me on my bike, they looked at me as if I was a weirdo. I hadn’t felt that anywhere else. I might consider returning as a proper tourist. But I will never want to return to do bike touring in Slovenia nor would I recommend it to anyone else.

My destination today was a campsite some 9km outside of Graz, Austria. It’s beautiful. It has the largest swimming pool I’ve ever seen. It’s as big as a lake! I went swimming in it briefly but the water was icy cold and I could not stay in it for long. It was a nice change. The owner of the camp took the cost of one person and one tent and then offered That I stay in the caravan he leaves for his children to use when they are around. It would be at no extra charge. I had never stayed in a caravan before. I asked to take a look inside first. It was perfect. I took it. They have a washing machine at the camp so I washed all my clothes. The owner gave some of his laundry detergent to use. He then gave me a rack so I could hang my clothes out to dry. I needed nice people today. God gave me nice people.

One comment

  1. Holy cow!!! Is that seriously a real swimming pool? What a great treat to have such a good camp site and owner after a rough couple days. I hope the rest of Austria treats you well.


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