Last year’s “roommate rules” blog struck a chord with pro athletes, uni students, apartment dwellers, travellers and people living in close proximity all around the globe so I thought I would re-visit this topic and add a few more “tips/insights” into ways we can all get along a bit better when living in close quarters.
In recent discussions with my fellow peers, both male and female, sharing of the bathroom is a big thing. We all have our certain routines, and lengths of time it takes to get ready. I imagine Marcel Kittel probably spends a good hour or so prepping himself. I mean, that hair!
So here are a few simple rules or suggestions:
– The shower has four corners, pick one corner for your stuff, and leave it there.
– If you’ve forgotten your shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and body wash yet again, ask your roommate nicely if you can borrow their stuff. Don’t just take because you will get caught out, unless you are particularly sneaky and shower after your roommate so the shower smells of their product anyway. Seems like a small issue, but if this is done all year round and you like expensive products like Tiff Cromwell or Rach Neylan do, you’re gonna notice, and probably get pissed off.
– The last thing I want to see in the sink straight after breakfast as I’m about to brush my teeth, is someone else’s massive greenish-yellow goober staring up at me. We all get a little bit run down at times, or have a stuffy nose, but dude, clean up after yourself!
– We are all too familiar with “race belly”, where our poor insides cannot deal with another gel and things get … messy. Again, please just clean up after yourself, and maybe give your roommate a heads-up if things are particularly bad. A simple “you might want to wait 20 minutes or so” warning will do. They will thank you for it instead of walking into a nasty surprise.
In the previous blog I spoke about agreeing upon a wake up time, and doing the army roll out of the room as quiet as a mouse if you wake up before your roommate. The same thing applies to a bedtime.
We’re all on different body clocks. Some are late sleepers, late risers; others are early sleepers, early risers, and then there are those poor souls who just don’t sleep. One of my pet annoyances is the late sleeper who is punching away on their laptop at 12:30am, and phaffing about doing god knows what … like packing for the race the next day. Agree on a wake up time and a bedtime and stick to it.
Also, if your roommate is usually an early riser, and for some reason they’re still asleep when you’re already at breakfast, and the team is leaving for the race in 20 minutes –maybe go check on them. You know, give them the heads up that they missed their alarm. I’m still scarred from an experience in the tour of Britain last year when I missed my alarm, almost missed breakfast, and was so stressed and rushed, that I missed an important part of my daily routine. Pretty sure everyone in a 5 meter radius heard about that on the start line of the stage.
Dealing with a snorer
Swannies usually do a pretty good job at matching teammates up as roommates on the road. Some people you will room with all the time, and others never. On my previous team for example, there was one teammate in particular I never roomed with after a bad experience at a race in 2013. I may snore when I sleep, particularly when I’m tired or on the verge of getting sick and I’m pretty sure that after that race a black mark was put next to my name.
Recently, an unnamed individual dubbed me Snorlax. Remember Pokemon? Well, if you’re not familiar with the Snorlax, its super power is snoring. Yep, that’s me.
To be fair –and Carlee will back me up on this one (and Tayler too, she always has my back) –I only snore when I am really REALLY buckled like mid tour, or after a really hard one-day classic, or…hmmm, ok, so I guess I probably snore a bit when on the road.
So, how do we deal with the snorer? Some people are super self-conscious and sensitive about the fact that they snore. It’s not like we do it on purpose, it just happens, and yeah, we really are sorry for the inconvenience. So don’t be hating too much on the individual, even though you will want to throttle them in their sleep at some point.
My approach is this: I make my roomie aware of the fact that I can be a snorer, and advise them to 1) get to sleep before I do, 2) just take the ear plugs I’m offering you, 3) and gently nudge me if I’m snoring like crazy.
Bossing the wifi:
Wifi is clutch for 99% of us on tour. Quite often shitty beds, soggy-over cooked pasta and a weird smell in the bathroom is over looked if there is accessible, good wifi. This is where “sharing is car-ing” comes in.
This past tour Tayler said I have the “gift of wifi” as I’m a master at sneakily getting the code before everyone else, logging on and jagging a spot on the network before all the other hotel guests (read: other teams) can. I’m always straight on to it, but I do share the love around…with my teammates.
So my tips are these:
– get the access code and share it with your teammates straight away. Cohesion … synergy in the team is key. Everyone needs a little wifi loving.
– The best time to use wifi is before everyone wakes up, or after everyone goes to sleep. Not rocket science at all. The one advantage I have found in being an early riser is I get some solid internet time.
Embracing the Dutch oven
We all understand that “race guts” is part of the deal when on the road, and there is always going to be that one individual who is more “gassy” than others. So this one is for you. I’m going to call this tip, “embracing the Dutch oven”. My teammate Vluety, a Dutchie, had never actually heard of such a term before she joined us #OBEfrocks.
What a learning experience it has been for her!
If you are the farter on the team, here are some tips.
– Make sure your bed is closest to the window and that the window is always open –we don’t want to gas your teammates to death.
– I know it’s not logical to get up every five minutes and excuse yourself to the bathroom, so em-brace the Dutch oven. And by that, I mean, for the love of god keep it tightly under the sheets! Lock that smell down. And give yourself minimum 5 minutes before you even attempt to roll over or get out.
– Give your teammates plenty of warning if they need to evacuate the room.
Pictured: Rowney during the 2012 UCI Road World Championships in Valkenburg.