That age old question when on tour on a bicycle, especially in Australia’s out back. Where do I go to the toilet? Due to the lack of public toilets available in out back areas, we have had to engineer a solution. It’s finally finished, and now you can Tour In Style.
Here in Western Australia we like to cycle tour in style. Due to the severe shortage of public toilets in our vast outback, Crank has managed to engineer a solution. My own solution became rather dangerous after using the method several times. My method involves locating an empty automobile, winding the drivers window down and sitting on the door ledge, thus depositing my land mines onto the driver’s seat.
This was environmentally friendly as it did not leave deposits and used toilet paper on the ground for wild animals to find and dig up. It also saved me having to carry a shovel when on tour for digging holes. However it had two downfalls. One is that unoccupied automobiles, or any automobile for that matter is sometimes hard to find in the outback as you may not see one for several days at a time. This can leave one constipated if one relies on this method.
The other disadvantage with this method, was that the last time I used it, I found an unoccupied automobile with red and blue flashing lights fitted to the roof. It had the words ‘Police’ or something to that effect written on the door. I was just about finished when what I presume was the owner walked around the corner and saw me. I was out of there really fast. I’ve never pedalled so fast from a standing start before, especially when loaded and on tour.
Luckily Crank engineered a solution so I can now tour again. It does require a BOB trailer or another sort of trailer with the same reliability and strength as a BOB trailer. As he is just about to head out on tour, he sent me some photographs of his new solution to the age old problem of where do I go to toilet when on tour?
As can be seen in the above photograph, this is the solution to the problem on tour of a lack of public toilets. In case you were wondering why the toilet seat is missing, Crank advises that he removes the toilet seat and lid when riding because at the speed that he rides at, the seat and lid can flap around in the wind. This constant banging noise can get annoying, especially if you are watching a DVD whilst riding.
The toilet seat and lid are kept in the left rear pannier which is quite large. It is set up so that it can be removed in an emergency situation and placed on the toilet as fast as possible.
With a fully loaded touring bike, the BOB trailer toilet rides quite well behind the bike and is fairly aerodynamic in a cross wind. That was another reason for removing the seat and lid when riding. The trailer sits quite well behind the bike, as can be seen in the photo below. A handy feature of the BOB trailer is it’s rail around the top. When seated, you are able to grab the rails if feeling a little queasy.
Another feature of the BOB Yak trailer is it’s flag and mounting rod. This is a handy holder for spare rolls of paper. Before using the toilet, you remove the top roll so that it is within easy reach. If the roll ever runs out, the spares are within easy reach which makes it better than the normal toilet that you find in a house. The rear mounted water bottles are also within easy reach in case you need a drink in the hot sun.
Due to the open mesh design of the bottom of the BOB Yak trailer, the trailer is well suited to this type of application. The open mesh allows liquids to exit to the ground while trapping solids that may be a hazard to the environment. After several days of constant use, the toilet may need emptying. This is quite easily achieved by removing the toilet from the trailer, and reversing the trailer into the nearest river or dam. A water catchment dam is preferred as it has less mud and less chance of damaging the rear wheel bearings. The waste just simply floats away.
After emptying, remove the trailer from the river, place the toilet back onto the trailer and you are on your way. This allows you to tour and stop anywhere when the urge arises. As for the privacy issue, that is really not a problem because you don’t see many people in the outback. In a populated area, no one would really expect you to be sitting on a toilet on a bicycle trailer in a public area, so they would think that its a joke. Wouldn’t they?