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  1. #1
    Team Katana 古強者死神's Avatar
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    Commuting with no shower at work?

    Well I got my bike, and I love it. I was one to say I would never commute to work since the roads to get there are full of crazy crazy drivers but after learning all the techniques from here about taking a lane when needed and just riding around I became confident enough to make the trek a few times in the day and once at night (with my lights of course) the trip is not too bad and the traffic doesnt bother me, my major problem to fight now would be perperation. I sweat alot because I cycle at high intensity and also because its always hot and humid here in florida. I wear nice business cloths long sleeve shirts, tie, dress pants ect...

    So my thing is, I know I can pack my work cloths in my backpack and change at work but what to do with all that sweat when I get there so I dont ruin my cloths? Maybe my commute just isnt possible and I should stick with riding when I get home like I have been.

    What would you guys do? ride it out and hope you dont smell like sombody who never takes a shower at work (and have bad hair ^^) or take the professional route and ride when you get home like I have been with no worries and avoid the trouble of changing cloths ect...

  2. #2
    neptune diner bennyk's Avatar
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    I think it's annoying to have to clean up at work without a real shower. Some people are ok with it, but it's not for everyone. I find it takes me a lot of time to get comfortable, and then there's the hassle of having wet clothes with nowhere to put them. I get very mixed up with so much crap to carry around, it's too much to deal with. But my work situation is not necessarily very conducive to commuting since I don't really ever have an office.

    I bring a few washcloths and use them to wash up and let them dry in the bathroom or wherever. Then I use a towel to dry off and paper towels if necessary.

  3. #3
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    I'm lucky in that I have an office in which I can 1) Change, 2) Store my bike, 3) Dress in casual attire. There are no showers in the building I work in, but it's usually cool enough in the morning that I don't sweat so much that it causes a problem. I tend to sweat pretty heavy, so the timimg and temperature of my ride makes a huge difference.

    I have a supply of unscented baby wipes, a towel, deodorant and extra socks and underwear in my desk. I take a shower before I leave. Not only does it help wake me up, but the warm water helps get my muscles loose. It takes me about 10 minutes in my office to wipe down with the baby wipes, change clothes and be ready for work. Do I feel as "clean" as when I have a shower before I start work? No, but more than anything I feel the left over residue of the sunscreen.

    I store the damp riding clothes in plastic grocery bags sealed up fairly tight. I carpool with my wife on the way home, so the damp clothes get thrown into the wash when we arrive.

  4. #4
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you're stuck with no good options. What I do is ride to work at a slow pace to avoid getting sweaty. It doesn't completely work. In summer, I take a change of clothes, but don't shower or clean up at all. Here are a couple ideas.

    Shower before morning commute. Don't push too hard on the way to work. Change clothes completely at work and put on some deodorant. Don't worry.

    Join a "health club" near your place of work and shower there after the morning commute.
    Last edited by squeakywheel; 06-19-06 at 07:13 AM.

  5. #5
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Shower in the morning before you ride.
    Don't push too hard on the morning ride...that's what the ride home is for.
    Clean up in the bathroom sink at work, wet wipes also help.
    Keep some deodorant at work and use it.
    Hang your riding clothes on the back of your door or wherever...good wicking fabrics dry fast.
    Keep your shoes, belt and some extra clothes at work...less to carry, spares in case you have a really bad morning.
    Keep an air freshener in your office.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  6. #6
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    Shower before you ride. Don't ride at high intensity. Here in DC, where it is not as hot as Florida, short sleeve dress shirts are the norm in summer. Riding a bike should not get you any sweatier thaty walking. (of course, this may be pretty damp on a humid day in Florida).

    Paul

  7. #7
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeakywheel
    Join a "health club" near your place of work and shower there after the morning commute.
    Hey! That's a great idea, and not one I've heard before. Somehow it doesn't seem right to have to pay for a shower, but it would be better than wet wipes and a sink.

  8. #8
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    I believe some clubs will let you join for locker room privledges only at a reduced rate as well. You may want to check into that.

  9. #9
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    Use a wet paper towel.
    I shower the night before and on days I hammer it in I show up soaked in sweat. No problems with BO here.
    My coworkers assured me that they would kick me out of the office at the first sign of BO.
    Apparently, wt the most I have slight musky odor that the ladies seem to like.

  10. #10
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    How early do you go in?

    As much as I loathe class at 8am (I am NOT a morning person) it has had a nice side effect of being much cooler for my ride to school. I still sweat, but not enough to be a problem. By the 9am ride home though it's completely different, the temperature has gone up enough that I'm pretty covered in sweat by the time I get home. I live in Orlando, I can't imagine it's too different over there in Tampa.

    Wear shorts and a shortsleeve shirt in, cool off for ten minutes in the bathroom (use a washcloth if you need to), put on your work clothes. Running cool water over your wrists and wrapping a cool washcloth around your neck will help you cool off faster. Athletic sweat really doesn't smell much so long as you keep reasonably clean (even a shower every 2 days is enough for many people, even in Florida).

    Make sure you drink enough water, you can take a lot longer to cool down if you aren't hydrated.

    If possible, pick a route where you don't have to sit at lights, while you are moving the wind keeps you cool, anytime I have to stop for more than 20 seconds the sweat starts to pour out.

    I just keep my hair back in a ponytail all the time (I'm female with very long hair), so I can't help you much there.

  11. #11
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    Can you carpool to work and ride your bike home? Maybe you can enlist others to form small biker gang.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    When I didnt have a shower at work I just used the washroom to rinse myself down at the sink. It made a mess of the floor but that was something the company had to put up with since they didnt have a shower. I kept a towel and a stock of shoes, dress pants and ties at work, just carrying shirts, socks and underwear. If you time the trip to work, select a finishing point about 10 mins before you arrive, and only measure your time to that point. The rest of the trip is cooling off time.

  13. #13
    pedalphile
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    I keep a towel at work. It's pretty much a large hand towel. As soon as I get to work, I get it soaking wet in the sink, go into the spacious handicapped stall, strip and wipe down with the towel. Ring it out and wipe down again. This gets me close enough to dry to dress. I believe it is important to do this immediately upon arrival. If you sit around and have a coffee, the sweat dries and doesn't rinse off as well.

    It's not as nice as a shower, but, afterwards, I feel just as clean as I would from a shower.

  14. #14
    Senior Member twinquad's Avatar
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    -----------------------------
    2008 Salsa Casseroll (commuter)
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  15. #15
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Four years later, I still haven't joined a health club

  16. #16
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    LOL Twin - I didn't notice the dates until you posted that picture! I'm right on with our dead-raising friend Pete; towel off in the handicap stall and let the clothes dry in my cube during the day. Showering before I leave is key - good advice for those of us who are unfortunate enough to not have shower facilities at work.

  17. #17
    Senior Member SouthFLpix's Avatar
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    Once upon a time not having access to a shower was one of my biggest concerns, but I'm here to tell you that it's really a non-issue; and you're talking to someone that works exclusively with women about 99% of the time. Just cooling off for the last mile (coast your way in and let the wind cool you) and the 'sink shower' plus deodorant are enough.

    On paper it was a big concern, but it's really not an issue. Ask around and I think you'll find that it's not really a big problem for people that actually cycle to work. It's just something that people worry about before they take 'the plunge'.

  18. #18
    pedalphile
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    wow, i guess i did dig up a long dead thread. not even sure how it popped up.

  19. #19
    Needing more power Scotty riddei's Avatar
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    Yup, I shower in the morning (before riding) and in the evening. Sweat doesn't equal BO, not many people that shower twice a day smell bad. We have a shower at work, and I don't use it. This is an old thread, but good information.
    [SIGPIC]http://www.bikeforums.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=60371&dateline=1202849788[/SIGPIC]

  20. #20
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Eat a big breakfast with chili, eggs, and sauerkraut. Nobody will notice the sweat.

  21. #21
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    you can do it
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  22. #22
    Old, but not really wise CptjohnC's Avatar
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    I find that clean sweat doesn't smell; wear clean clothes everyday, use deodorant, and you should be fine unless you have major odor issues. I have had no complaints from even the co-workers who have to sit near me in morning meetings; they know I bike, and I'd like to think they'd mention it if I smelled.

    I actually cycle to the subway (in DC), so most of my heaviest sweating is reserved for the other public transit commuters (sorry, Metrorail riders). When I get to the station, I drip sweat most summer days. By the time I get to my work stop, I'm usually down to light sweat not much different from everyone else. Honestly, folks who have to walk further than I do from the subway to the office are probably sweating every bit as much.

    Like many, I have the option to dress casually at work most days, and I leave shoes and some other stuff at the office. I hang my cycling clothes on a chair in an out of the way spot (a luxury not everyone has) or in the area around/under my desk (where they don't really show). Nothing I do is much different from where people leave umbrellas when it rains.

    While I'd love a shower, what I'd really like is more clothing storage space :-)

  23. #23
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    I have showers available, but I hardly ever bother; shower before leaving, towel off, wash my face and put on fresh deodorant when I get there. I'll sweat a bit during the shift anyway, and considering the smell of some of the people that pass my desk, I can't imagine anyone having a problem with me.

  24. #24
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    As a veggie, I never have BO even after S.Fl commute, but still, Wintergreen alcohol
    is your friend. Its a dollar at the dollar store and liberally splashing it on yourself in the
    restroom before work not only cools and smells good, but kills all germage and other
    undesirable stuff the leads to odiferousness Green alcohol, fresh shirt =

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    Are you in a position to take your bike on transit or carpool in the morning? I generally bring my bike on the subway in the morning, which helps avoid the "clean up" issues and then I have a great ride home. My route is 12+ miles one-way, so I can't cover that distance, especially in summer, without breaking a sweat.

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