Qualifying offenses for the sex offender registry can include public urination. Though the chance may be small, the potential consequences are severe. Unfortunately, bladders are apparently designed in ignorance of these laws. A few obvious solutions, such as intentionally becoming dehydrated or only riding in urban settings, are impractical.

How can cyclists avoid becoming sex offenders when nature calls on long rides?

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    Two words: Foley catheter. Apr 16, 2013 at 18:58
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    This doesn't answer your questions about how to avoid becoming a registered sex offender, but it is related: fatcyclist.com/2006/01/23/how-to-pee-whilst-riding-your-bike
    – jlund3
    Apr 16, 2013 at 19:29
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    @DanielRHicks, thanks for the tip. :) I looked it up, and apparently it's been done, although condom catheters seem to be more popular for obvious reasons: psychling1.blogspot.com/2010/12/…
    – amcnabb
    Apr 16, 2013 at 19:32
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    I'd like to see the answers address both genders. Solving this problem for men is 10 times easier than the women have it. Apr 16, 2013 at 20:10
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    Answering the question is a whole lot harder for women for obvious biological reasons. Here is my first idea though: amazon.com/Go-Girl-Female-Urination-Lavender/dp/B003BEDUS6. I cannot say how well this or similar products work, as biology prevents me from testing them myself, but it is a start...
    – jlund3
    Apr 16, 2013 at 20:15

3 Answers 3


Plan your route accordingly. Make sure there's a couple gas stations or restaurants along the way that you could stop at if the need arises. It's probably a good idea to be somewhat close to civilization not only for urination purposes, but also in case you have some major mechanical problem with your bike, or you fall and get hurt. This doesn't mean your route has to be urban, but you should be able to plan a route such that you pass by some kind of civilization every 40-60 minutes. Alas, if you are that far out, you could always go off a side road or into the bush and relieve yourself there. If you're so far from civilization that you can't make it to a gas station, odds are that there won't be many cops around to prosecute you either.

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    Agreed, I've done 100+ mile rides on the back roads of Marin County, CA, and have always been able to find a bathroom if I need one. I can rarely hydrate more than my bladder can hold, so typically need to refill with water before I need to pee. I've biked with partners that have stopped to use a secluded tree or bush off the road when necessary.
    – Johnny
    Apr 17, 2013 at 0:57
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    No civilisation => nobody to catch you => no problem to mark that tree. I usually find it more problematic to find a toilet in city than an unattended bush in the wild.
    – trailmax
    Apr 25, 2013 at 0:21

Obviously the best solution is planning. If you know that you are going on a particularly long ride, try and figure out and plan ahead where you will take care of business. Of course this isn't always possible, since sometimes nature calls at rather inopportune times...

Assuming you aren't willing to go for the obvious catheter based solutions, there are ways you can urinate in public which do not attract much attention. This guy* outlines a few techniques include the piss cup, the newspaper tube, and others. The best is probably the piss cup, in which you discretely place a cup where it matters, making sure to cover all the relevant bits, and answer both nature's call, and a "call" on your cell phone (for distraction). The newspaper roll works similarly, except that the observant passerby may notice an odd yellow stream coming from the end of the rolled up newspaper...

If you find yourself in a more rural area, you may be able to use your local surroundings to your advantage. Perhaps there is a bush or a tree which can block the view from the road. In this rural area, you are unlikely to see a cop.

*Warning: the second half of the youtube video (about 5:27) shows a man's rump, which you (or others around you) may not want to see

  • As a longtime Foley catheter user, I'd be very careful using one on a bike ride of any distance - the leg motion and hip movement that takes place causes significant movement in the internal areas surrounding the urethra (male or female), and through the prostate and into the bladder - causing significant irritation of the urethra and other tissues in there, along with (on occasion) causing mild irritation and bleeding from the epithelial lining of the bladder wall as the catheter is moved about slightly within the bladder.
    – user13564
    Aug 27, 2014 at 16:41
  • @billytex1 - The above link appears to refer to external catheters, which have been used (by males) for decades in "active" circumstances. I can recall the Sears catalog showing them (apparently targeted to folks like carpenters) back in the 60s. Aug 27, 2014 at 17:50

I use an external catheter for on-the-road urination while riding the recumbent. For upright and other bikes you might make some changes. Here is what, how and why I do it.


I also use this device in work meetings, on long car trips or when I go to lectures or the symphony. In these situations I simply strap a very small Camelbak bladder to my calf, just under the knee. Discreet. Civilized.

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    Welcome to Bicycles SE. We prefer answers on this site to be self-contained. When providing a link, please also provide a summary of the information contained in the link.
    – jimchristie
    Apr 17, 2013 at 13:37
  • +1 for an unorthodox but presumably effective solution. I'd like to say that the only thing holding me back is the need to make changes for an upright bike, but I might be reluctant for other reasons, too. :)
    – amcnabb
    Apr 17, 2013 at 17:59
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    I hope that Camelbak doesn't get confused with the ones for your water!
    – Amos
    Aug 28, 2014 at 22:18

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