Nope. I'm talking about the Poop Stop.
You best stop right here and click through to The Well Mannered Cyclist Blog if you have objections to scatalogical humor, because I'm going to lay an ugly truth on you. Anyways,
One of the advantages of regular training is that you get, well, regular. If you mind your diet, work out at more or less the same time every day, do all the right things, then the Brown Salmon will try to spawn right on schedule, day in and day out.
Unfortunately for some of us, this schedule is smack dab in the middle of the daily training ride.
I noticed that this morning as I was riding into work / Hains. I've been getting my diet wired back together, and have returned to the routine of eating a big bowl of steel cut oats every morning. "Steel cut oats," of course, is Gaelic for "Intestinal Roto Rooter."
The problem I have is that right after I eat the oats, a litle man in my belly stands up feeling energized, and starts singing the chorus to "Rawhide." "Get 'em up, cut 'em out, head 'em in, move 'em out, get 'em up, move 'em out RAW-HIDE!..." About an hour later, I'm ready to stand and... er, sit and deliver. The problem is by then, I'm usually a half hour into the morning ride. So what to do?
In my case, I've found a coffee shop in Bethesda that does the trick, and I wind up stopping more often than not. The bathroom is usually open when I waddle in, and I wave as I pass the cashier. "Double please. Ceramic." I throw three wadded up bills at her and keep walking briskly, if you can call a limping, staggering fast walk that draws looks from the other patrons a walk. I keep kidding myself that they think the funny walk is the result of my bike shoes.
I limp to the back of the shop, shut the door, rip off my jersey, yank down my bibs, and make like a non-house broken ruminant beast.
Ahhh... Sweet, sweet relief.
Maybe it isn't really all that sweet, but it beats walking into work with a load of poop in my pants. The bib shorts feel enough like diapers as it is, without having an actual pile of crap in there.
The thoughts that go through my mind whilst enjoying the throne at this little Respite Filled Retreat in Bethesda are many, and creative.
First off, it's a very nice coffee shop that I'm polluting a couple times per week. I'm sure they're hoping for a better class of customer than me, and I know that I'm damn well not good enough for the REI-wearing Active Guy / Things White People Like crowd that's in there most mornings. So the shop and I are both disappointed in each other, it in me 'cuz I don't measure up, me in it because they let people like me in there. Like Groucho Marx, I'm a bit hesitant to be a member of any club that would have somebody like me.
Second, they only have this little tiny Glade Plug-in to thwart the horrendous stench that gets left there. C'mon, people! You are serving *coffee*! It's the greatest stimulant to regularity since Metamucil. You need to do better than that. You trying to get somebody suffocated in there?
Well, unless it's true what they say, and if you live in Bethesda your shit don't stink. But still you have some outliers like me, and expecting the Plug-In to kick my ass's ass, is like expecting the Sudeten to kick Germany's ass. Let's just say it's a bit of a longshot.
Third, because I'm mid-workout and in a dire, stressed out state when I shamble in there, it's only a matter of time before I have a heart attack and croak in their bathroom. Because I have to take my jersey off to get the bibs down, they'll find me face down on the floor, no shirt, shorts around my ankles, with chamois cream smeared all over my butt. The headline in the Post the next day will read, "Pervert/Cyclist Found Dead in Cafe Restroom, Police Investigating."
Fourth, it doesn't take me long to knock one out at the Poop Stop. When I finally get to the Poop Stop, I'm desperate. So desperate, in fact, that there is no waiting, and on one or two occasions, the waiting may have ended to some small extent just a little bit prior to my arrival. But I ain't confirmin' or denyin' that.
The upside to this fierce urgency is that I spend less time in there making a monument to the evanescence of plant and animal life, than the average 60 year-old male customer spends in there attempting to pee. Although it's utterly crass of me to destroy the bathroom, at least nobody has to wait while I do it.
Fifth and finally, it's a really nice bathroom and I almost regret destroying it on a regular basis. The floor is hardwood, there is usually a vase full of (suffocating) flowers, and there's a hook on the door which holds the jersey long enough for me to sit down, whereupon it drops in somebody else's pee or handwashing drippings (I'd rather not know...). Best of all, they did away with the environmentally friendly toilet they used to have in there, in favor of a (probably smuggled) 3+ gallons-per-flush model that does a great job of getting rid of waste and never clogs. (I swear I had nothing to do with their decision). The throne is a nice low one (unlike those tall girly terlets) and they keep the appliance, and the room clean. What's not to like - at least before I get in there?
So I do my business there a couple times per week, and on the way out grab my espresso, drink it standing, and then hit the road, marveling all the while that the best Poop Stop on any of my training routes only costs me $2.05 per use, and even then they throw in a decent shot of free espresso.
Yep. It's quite a scam I got going there, and they're still not onto me. Pretty frickin' sweet, if you ask me.
So, any of you folks have a preferred stop on any of your training rides in D.C. and the surrounding environs?
Artist's Impression: Rouleur's Morning Coffee Stop