Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Outdoor water fountains (the lack thereof)

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Outdoor water fountains (the lack thereof)

Old 07-21-19, 01:51 PM
  #26  
UniChris
Senior Member
 
UniChris's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: NYC
Posts: 830

Bikes: 36" Unicycle

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 353 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 60 Posts
Originally Posted by road292 View Post
I do. NYC and its suburbs to the north have some of the best quality and tasting tap water in the country (one of the few positive things one can point to about the area...). Very few people have water delivered to their homes, for example, in contrast to when I lived out in the San Jose, CA area several years ago.

That's part of why the lack of drinking fountains is puzzling, as it's not as if no one would want to drink the tap water that came out of them.
Yeah, it's funny I've had far more luck finding fountains in NJ or CT than in Westchester... there's one at Kensico Dam Plaza and one at the west side of Walkway (likely to be also one at what they were building on the east side), but nothing along the South County / North County / Putnam trails.

At least many of the ones in NYC itself are now turned on.

I get the sense they take a lot of maintenance and get turned off and drained over the winter - one along a trail in CT that was dry when I stopped to try it in June looked like it was working last week, but had just done the usual move of buying a jug at a grocery store so did not stop to investigate.

I've kind of grown used to having to buy water, but hate then throwing out the jug.

Yesterday walked by a restaurant in NYC that in the heat wave had put out a cooler of tiny little water bottles with a sign inviting anyone feeling overwhelmed to take one for free. Nice idea, except for the waste plastic, saw at least one tossed at the base of a sidewalk tree.

Last edited by UniChris; 07-21-19 at 03:45 PM.
UniChris is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 02:09 PM
  #27  
colnago62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,461
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 280 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Yep, and it's particularly annoying to me. Live in a rural area and about 2 years ago a park commision was forced on us and we started being taxed for several parks in the valley. Now when I had kids in sports our fees took care of the parks. Once my kids grew up I did not use the parks at all but now have to pay for them. I did realize about two years ago that I could use them for refilling waterbottles at least on my long rides. Then last year one park removed the water fountain. This year another was had it's fountain turned off all year. So annoying in my book and I'm still angry about being taxed to subsidize others recreation.
Think about all of those who were taxed to subsidize your kids recreation.
colnago62 is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 02:29 PM
  #28  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,403
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1157 Post(s)
Liked 165 Times in 112 Posts
What about the etiquette of filling your water bottle at a store's soda machine? It's considered a faux pas by my riding group, though I see folks do it occasionally. I think a store operator once told us it was unsanitary. Maybe he had encountered cyclists who didn't take off their gloves, don't know. Do people take ice as well? Ask first? Offer to pay? I don't like plastic bottles but it also feels wrong to take something that the store has for sale. Thoughts?
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 02:32 PM
  #29  
Gyro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: lost
Posts: 321
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
Does anyone even drink tap water these days?
All day, every day. I ride through a cemetery during my last leg on the way home. Lot's of water spigots. I refill there after watering the flowers from my bottle at my parents grave. If I'm running short before that. The local golf course snack building has everything.
Gyro is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 02:57 PM
  #30  
Iride01
Senior Member
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 2,332

Bikes: '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 879 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 28 Posts
Some of the local cycling clubs and others have funded purchasing and installing fountains here. Probably works better than trying to get a bunch of elected board members in agreement for such.

Don't know if the local water utility provides the connection and water for free or if someone pays for it.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 03:00 PM
  #31  
BengalCat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: West Los Angeles
Posts: 125

Bikes: 50/34, 11-40, 11 Speed

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by road292 View Post
Has anyone else noticed that outdoor water fountains (as in the things you drink from, not the ones you throw a coin into) seem to be a dying breed these days?
It sure is true in the broad area I ride in. Then half of the time if you do find a fountain and you want refill water bottle(s) some major jerk has stuffed something into the spout of the fountain so the water sprays out or only barely comes out and you can't get enough stream to get water into the bottle.
BengalCat is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 03:18 PM
  #32  
MoAlpha
• —
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 2,640

Bikes: Occasionally

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1519 Post(s)
Liked 117 Times in 75 Posts
I have found that homeowners are generally willing to let one fill a bottle at a hose bib, especially if it’s hot and you look like you might die right there on their driveway and make them late for something.

When I was running, I made specific water access arrangements for long workouts with several kind people.

Last edited by MoAlpha; 07-21-19 at 03:21 PM.
MoAlpha is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 04:11 PM
  #33  
jamesdak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 5,489

Bikes: G.L. Maillot Juane & Ventoux,Schwinn Circuit, Prologue,PDG Paramount,Paramount,Tempo,Jake The Snake,LeMond Zurich & Tourmelet,Giordana XL Super & Antares,Puegeot U08,Bob Jackson,Fuji S12-S,Opus III,Orbea Cabestany,Bianchi Campione,Basso Gap

Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1202 Post(s)
Liked 147 Times in 85 Posts
Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
Think about all of those who were taxed to subsidize your kids recreation.
None, no park commission when my kids were in sports. Our fees covered the parks. This is new as I said in my original post. Of course a lot of the local kids leagues aren't active anymore since kids rather veg out playing worthless video games rather than get an actual workout. Hence probably why they started taxing all of us.

We paid park fee, uniform and equipment fees, and even the ref fees. I had no issue with that at all.
jamesdak is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 04:31 PM
  #34  
waters60
Senior Member
 
waters60's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 303
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
For years I would stop at a spring. It was a wonderful stop until it was labelled unsafe. The infrastructure that has led to a proliferation of lead in public school fountains is also the same vintage as many public fountains. We all have memories of our favorite fountains though and I mourn their passing. I loathe bottled water and people do not give it another thought as they open yet another.
waters60 is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 04:36 PM
  #35  
u235
Senior Member
 
u235's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 913
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 323 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 20 Posts
Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
I have found that homeowners are generally willing to let one fill a bottle at a hose bib, especially if it’s hot and you look like you might die right there on their driveway and make them late for something.

When I was running, I made specific water access arrangements for long workouts with several kind people.
Only one bottle? What's the difference. Obviously you don't want wear out your welcome but..
u235 is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 05:06 PM
  #36  
BKE
Senior Member
 
BKE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 146
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by road292 View Post
Has anyone else noticed that outdoor water fountains (as in the things you drink from, not the ones you throw a coin into) seem to be a dying breed these days? The 3 or 4 schools I ride by regularly seem to have none, nor does the local college (SUNY Purchase, just north of NYC). The schools my kids attended also have none now, even though these same schools had outdoor fountains maybe 10 years ago.

Is this an actual trend? If so, what's the rationale for removing outdoor water fountains? It sure makes it a PITA to refill water bottles.
In most cases where there is a fountain now a days I'd venture to say it doesn't work and the excuse probably is lack of funds for maintenance.
BKE is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 05:07 PM
  #37  
wipekitty
vespertine member
 
wipekitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: from sea to shining sea!
Posts: 2,116

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 573 Post(s)
Liked 75 Times in 56 Posts
Rural Wisconsin parks are great - there is almost always a working water fountain (or bubbler, for natives) in small-town parks, and quite a few even have flush toilets!

The rural Lion's Clubs have also stepped up the drinking fountain game. One of my personal challenges has been to find all the Lion Fountains - I've got around a dozen or so.

wipekitty is offline  
Likes For wipekitty:
Old 07-21-19, 05:50 PM
  #38  
MoAlpha
• —
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 2,640

Bikes: Occasionally

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1519 Post(s)
Liked 117 Times in 75 Posts
Originally Posted by u235 View Post
Only one bottle? What's the difference. Obviously you don't want wear out your welcome but..
“A” was not meant to be quantitative, but I should have been explicit and concrete, this being BF and all.
MoAlpha is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 05:52 PM
  #39  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 20,457

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1728 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 56 Posts
The state park I frequently ride through used to have an outdoor drinking fountain at the beach house, which was convenient for me. A couple years ago, it was removed. No idea why. Not a big problem, because the park office just down the road installed a bottle filling station with chilled, filtered water, so I just stopped there instead of the beach house.

Well, yesterday we had an intense "super-cell" thunderstorm go through, which took out power for thousands of people, including the state park. They had a generator running at the park office, but the bottle filling station wasn't hooked up, so no chilled, filtered water for me. But while I was there, I asked if the bathroom sink water at the beach house was potable, which I hadn't tried because I wondered if the drinking fountain had been disconnected because of contamination issues. No, the ranger told me, it was because it had been a recurrent target of vandalism and they got tired of fixing it. That's why we can't have nice things.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 05:58 PM
  #40  
Gconan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 280

Bikes: Norco search xr

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 8 Posts
My problem is low water pressure. Sometimes only a trickle comes out and my bottle will not dip low enough to fill. I wear a camelbac now. Problem solved. 100 ounces.
Gconan is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 08:14 PM
  #41  
u235
Senior Member
 
u235's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 913
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 323 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 20 Posts
Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
“A” was not meant to be quantitative, but I should have been explicit and concrete, this being BF and all.
Point taken, I somehow thought "one" was mentioned
u235 is offline  
Old 07-22-19, 03:05 AM
  #42  
Ghazmh
Senior Member
 
Ghazmh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Waltham Ma
Posts: 1,018

Bikes: 2018 Seven Redsky XX, 2017 Trek Boon 7, 2016 Soma Smoothie, 2014 Trek 520, 2006 Gary Fisher Montare

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 295 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 11 Posts
I think local businesses are against water fountains so it forces runners, cyclists, thirsty tourists into stores to buy overpriced bottled water.
Ghazmh is offline  
Old 07-22-19, 04:31 AM
  #43  
MSchott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Farmington Hills, MI
Posts: 284

Bikes: 2017 Specialized Roubaix Sport SL4

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Of course. Why wouldn't you? Unless you live in Detroit.
Not Detroit, it’s Flint which is 60 miles north of Detroit. The Detroit area drinking water is first rate.
MSchott is offline  
Old 07-22-19, 04:35 AM
  #44  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 9,271

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 162 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2848 Post(s)
Liked 187 Times in 148 Posts
Part of the availability of drinking fountains may be affected by climate, particularly where plumbing is vulnerable to freezing damage. If it's like most parks and recreational area budgets, improvements move very slowly.

We're fortunate around the Fort Worth area. There's at least tepid water available in several places along the popular Trinity Trails and adjacent cycling paths. Several private businesses, bars and churches provide water and even repair stations. Most brewpubs I hang out at have a tap for "extra-lite beer (water)" or a cooler full of water. They can move a lot quicker than gummint, and it helps earn the loyalty of cycling customers. We often schedule our casual and social group rides around stops at those businesses that welcome cyclists.

So I can usually get away with toting one bottle on city rides, or the 5 mile training circuit that's only a mile from my home. If I'm doing laps, I can always go back home for a refill after three laps. There's always either a fountain, water dispensers or a convenience store within a mile or two. I drink lukewarm tap water at home so the temperature doesn't bother me. The only time I prefer cold water is after a hard workout, but not necessarily after every ride in summer heat.

I suspect some folks who prefer the flatter, faster routes along the Trinity river don't carry water at all on certain Strava segments because they can stop at the church or Mellow Johnny's for water, the water fountains along the trail, or the Y at the end of the line in Benbrook near the lake.

And it's a reasonably cycle friendly area, with lots of folks riding in rural areas too. It's not unusual now to clomp into pretty much any convenience store, fast food joint or even homestyle food restaurant wearing clipless shoes and Lycra. Interesting changes from the Texas I grew up in.

I do pre-freeze water with electrolytes in my Polar insulated bottle, about half full of frozen slush, the other half topped off with water. I can refill it a couple of times and it'll still be cool during a ride.

For longer rural rides I usually carry two or more bottles. On seriously hot days I'll tote a stainless double insulated thermos that accepts standard water bottle tops. Pre-frozen electrolyte solution will stay frozen for up to 12 hours in summer heat. It's heavy but worth the weight on those 50+ mile summer rides.

I also have a Mylar pouch that holds about a pint. I'll freeze it too and stick it in my middle back jersey pocket. Saved my bacon a time or two on long hot rides when I misjudged the distance to the next convenience store.

So far the only time I've run out of water on a rural ride, I stopped to ask some folks at a disc golf course if there was a water fountain around. They just gave me a bottle of water. Got me to the next convenience store a few miles away. That's when I started carrying that Mylar pouch of frozen electrolyte/water as a backup.

This summer I've noticed some older folks like myself misjudging their hydration, despite years of experience. I suspect they're mostly misjudging the effects of aging. And this July isn't quite as hot as last year. Last July we had several consecutive 100+F days. This July has mostly been mid to high 90s, and pretty humid. It almost feels cool when we're moving due to the cooling effect of humid air and wind. But it can fool us into drinking less than we need. I got a little dehydrated Sunday a week ago on a 55 mile ride, and it suddenly caught up with me right at the 50 mile mark. I realized I hadn't even finished my two 24 oz bottles, although I did drink a big cup of iced coffee during a pit stop. I was pretty wiped out the next day, but was fine by Tuesday. After that I started drinking whether I felt thirsty or not. Worked great, felt fine during and after 50+ mile rides in the heat on Tuesday and Thursday club rides.

I also carry spare packets of DripDrop electrolytes in little single serving Mylar packets. Helped revive one fellow who was on the verge of heat exhaustion a couple of weeks ago, and a woman last week who fainted and vomited clear water. She'd just switched to NUUN which, in my opinion, doesn't have enough sugar to help rapidly absorb water. Hard to convince some folks who are calorie conscious, but most of us re-hydrate better after being overheated when there's a little sugar or honey in our water/electrolytes. Doesn't need to be as sweet as Gatorade or other sports drinks. But that zero calorie stuff or artificial sweeteners just doesn't work as well for many of us. DripDrop is a bit pricey, although no more so than NUUN, and handier to carry. I always tote a few extra packets in my saddle bag, jersey pocket, etc., both for myself and anyone who's suffering heat exhaustion.
canklecat is offline  
Old 07-22-19, 05:47 AM
  #45  
big chainring 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Wilmette, IL
Posts: 6,498
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 408 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 25 Times in 18 Posts
Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
Rural Wisconsin parks are great - there is almost always a working water fountain (or bubbler, for natives) in small-town parks, and quite a few even have flush toilets!

The rural Lion's Clubs have also stepped up the drinking fountain game. One of my personal challenges has been to find all the Lion Fountains - I've got around a dozen or so.

I didnt know this was a Lions Club thing. Heres one n Northbrook, Illinois.
big chainring is offline  
Likes For big chainring:
Old 07-22-19, 08:27 AM
  #46  
bikecrate
Senior Member
 
bikecrate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: LF, APMAT
Posts: 2,264
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 441 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 13 Posts
In the city where I ride there are plenty of drinking fountains. I have not seen a decrease in number. Maybe this is because it is FL and can be very important to hydrant during the summer. I have recently been riding in a forest area. There is really no infrastructure there. I've been taking three water bottles on rides.
bikecrate is offline  
Old 07-22-19, 08:35 AM
  #47  
UniChris
Senior Member
 
UniChris's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: NYC
Posts: 830

Bikes: 36" Unicycle

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 353 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 60 Posts
Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
I think local businesses are against water fountains so it forces runners, cyclists, thirsty tourists into stores to buy overpriced bottled water.
Given the plastic waste, a law that could make sense is that any place selling single serving water bottles also be required to maintain a free water fountain, either inside or out.

I know, it seems like an imposition, but churning through the bottles is too, just less visibly, and it's an example of the sort of incumbent behavior that needs to change.

I've also been impressed by things like train stations and (in the one recent experience) airports now offering bottle filling stations; dump out your bottle, go through security with it empty to fit the rules, fill it right back up again on the far side. In limited cases we're starting to figure it out.
UniChris is offline  
Old 07-22-19, 09:19 AM
  #48  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 6,393
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3043 Post(s)
Liked 200 Times in 131 Posts
Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
I think local businesses are against water fountains so it forces runners, cyclists, thirsty tourists into stores to buy overpriced bottled water.
All the local businesses in my area offer free water and ice(if you use your own bottle/cup).
noodle soup is offline  
Likes For noodle soup:
Old 07-22-19, 10:29 AM
  #49  
CyclingFever
I got a fever.
 
CyclingFever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 106
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
None, no park commission when my kids were in sports. Our fees covered the parks. This is new as I said in my original post. Of course a lot of the local kids leagues aren't active anymore since kids rather veg out playing worthless video games rather than get an actual workout. Hence probably why they started taxing all of us.

We paid park fee, uniform and equipment fees, and even the ref fees. I had no issue with that at all.
The irony in complaining about kids being inactive but also upset at paying taxes to fund outdoor recreation for all.
CyclingFever is offline  
Likes For CyclingFever:
Old 07-22-19, 10:59 AM
  #50  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 22,737
Mentioned: 167 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8826 Post(s)
Liked 510 Times in 316 Posts
Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
All the local businesses in my area offer free water and ice(if you use your own bottle/cup).
There is a much beloved c-store chain in my area called Wawa. Not only can you get free ice and water from their beverage dispensing machine, they will even give you a free cup if you need one.
indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.