Warm coffee on a cold ride

Vic passing some biere (not vin) to his chums

Now when I go for a long old ride, or even a short one for that matter, there is one thing I never really feel the need to worry about, and that’s nature’s call for relieving the bladder. I don’t race (yet to have found a racing club where a 3-speed hub and balloon tyres would not place me at a massive disadvantage), and therefore the need to pee on the run is not necessary. I can just hop off my bike, and with my red rear light flashing like a bizarre bunny’s tail just bounce into a bush and do my business.

Imagine however you are a super domestique, your livelihood rests on a successful ride in the second half of a champion’s grand plan to ride and win the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (an 8 day stage race) followed a couple of hours later by the longest day classic the Bordeaux-Paris (560km give or take). You don’t really have time to be caught short. Least of all when a trapped nerve makes peeing difficult.

It clearly only happens to the best of us, as thus did Vic Denson suffer in 1965 when helping Jacques Anquetil to his Dauphine / Bordeaux-Paris double.

Vin Denson post pee

Vic (really Vincent but the Frenchies thought it better to call him that rather than the French for wine), after supporting the somewhat pooped Jacques since the early morning start, and chasing down pretty much every break so as to wear out the opposition for his captain’s benefit, found that he needed to pee. Every time he would stop, someone would dash off on a break and force the poor chap to mount his steel steed and pursue full speed.

In the end the toughest man will break and say enough is enough. Vic called his Derny pacer  (Bordeaux – Paris was one of the few one days to use them) to pull over, dashed off to the side of the road and…and…and…nothing. There was water water everywhere but not a drop of Vin.

The poor chap had trapped a nerve and what with the pressures of the ride could not relieve a reservoir that had been building for more than half a day.

The race was getting away, and with it Vic’s role. In the end he turned to the only thing that could help – stimulants.

His support chaps turned up passed over a sponge soaked in warm coffee, which applied in the affected area aided immensely, opening a breach in the reservoir which while rapidly emptying still placed Vic at the back of the peloton, but mightily at peace.

Empty, he shook off his shoes, mounted his wheels and raced off to help his captain’s bid for glory. In the end, Vic secured sixth place for himself and fastest lap around the Parc des Princes (Paris). Even better, team mates Anquetil (who incidentally won) and Stablinksi his teammate with Ford-France handed over their winnings.

Sooo…anyway…lesson here for all cyclists: if after a long ride, make some coffee, add a little milk and then apply said coffee with sponge for instant relief.

Not the right sort of coffee sponge


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