The challenge of riding 220 miles on the Erie Canal rose up in front of me. At 75 could I do it with grace? I thought, “If you never try, you will never know.” So off I went to Buffalo, New York. Bike on the back of the car, equipment in the trunk, the adventure began. Ahead of me, four days of biking along the canal on the tow path from Buffalo to Syracuse.

The third day of the ride I had an incredibly embarrassing experience. It was hot, very hot! In order to stay hydrated, I consumed a lot of water. I headed to the Porta-Potty. Walking into the shaded Porta-Potty from the bright sun, still wearing dark glasses, I was in a rush to pee. Down came the pants, just in the nick of time, squat and relief. Someone had left the toilet lid down and I could not stop the flow. I felt like Noah on a rising tide. This was truly a flood that was not expected! What to do next? There was nothing with which to bail the Porta-Potty. Stepping out into the bright sun, I looked around and thought, “Oh, my God,” and walked rapidly away, squishing in my very wet sneakers.

I was so shocked that I asked a fellow biker, “Why would anyone leave the toilet lid down in the Porta- Potty?” The answer was the story of a woman who had been on another ride. Pulling her pants up, the woman’s cell phone had slipped out of her pocket and fell into the Porta-Potty. Ugh! She had to retrieve it. Yuck! Lesson learned: Always look before you pee!

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