To wash up after riding to work I've been carrying a canister of face and hand wipes and deodorant. I use maybe two or three of them and wipe myself down, then reapply deodorant, and put on different clothes for work. That works pretty well... it's clean and quick... I've also used paper towels wet at the sink and usually need to use more towels to wipe up water that's dripped around. The draw back is the waste for those who are conscientious about that... for me it just being two or three wipes daily, I'm not giving myself much grief over it. Carrying clean reusable rags/towels would of course accomplish the same thing without the waste, though I think the sanitizer in the wipes probably helps.
Something I started to do recently. Wear your jersey and cycling pants into the shower after your rider into work. Wet them down in the shower, remove and ring out. Then let hang dry on the bike. When you ride home the mostly clean jersey and pants are a big improvement over the alternative, dried sweaty clothes.
buy a lighter, faster, and more aggressive bike than you think you will need. just about everyone who ends up addicted to commuting buys a first bike that is way below their ability. this means no suspension, no hiten/crap cromoloy, and no el cheapo components. imo, a good commuter will have a carbon fiber fork, disc brakes, 700 c tires, and weigh less than 24 lbs without pedals. if you think you are going to go car free i would splurge for a commuter that is less than 22 lbs.
and the most important upgrade is a new wheelset. going from 2200 g wheels to 1650 g wheels is like ****ing night and day on just about any bike.
Monday is always a *****.
Any advice on determining the safety of riding in certain areas past dark? Sometimes I don't go home from work right away and stay out. Generally I've avoided commuting when I expect this. I live near a trail which has been great for commuting, but it's not lit after dark and there are semi isolated areas on the trail, as well as some sharp turns where you have to slow down. In addition lately the trail has been messy after a storm earlier this week which forces slow downs, particularly underpasses.
I've seen shady characters on the trail during the day... not threatening necessarily but I do wonder what kind of elements would be out at night. I wouldn't ride it at terribly odd hours (not after people generally start going to bed). I've only ridden it once after dark. There was a vulnerable feeling but it could just be a "what if" paranoia. Riding fast seems like a good idea to avoid human based danger, but there's also the factor of decreased visibility of non human dangers like loose dirt, wet or icy areas,etc, which would necessitate riding slow and cautious.
Winter time riding this trail after dark would be unavoidable when commuting. Two months into my commuting experience I already want make it a year round thing.
I'm afraid I have no advice for this situation, I started to use a similar route, isolated and along which I felt decidedly vulnerable, coming across odd characters, so decided to stick to the roads. Perhaps I'm a wimp, but this was a towpath, and I couldn't get it out of my mind that, all it would take is a quick shove as I was passing and I would be in the drink!
Originally Posted by cycronin
Oh the luxury of a shower at work! No such luck for this commuter, a quick swill and wipe down with a towel, chang into work clothes, and I'm ready to go.
Hot in China
I disagree with this....
Originally Posted by spare_wheel
I dont mind a clunker, it keeps me more fit. I push hard enough on my 20 odd minute commute to be a ball of sweat dripping my way up the stairs in summer, and even in winter I sweat.
Agreed. It's getting to work, not a crit. Buy what you like, what you're comfortable on and what you'll ride on every day. If that means top end, weight shaved components so be it. But I get along just fine on my heavy, clunky bike. I do wish I had some better wheels, but that will come.
Originally Posted by azesty
I probably carry close to 20 lbs of gear on the rack when I've got my notebook, anyway.
I could also take a route back on streets. It'd be more lit, though not convinced it'd be any safer.
Originally Posted by keiron curtis
Found a pretty good resource on bicycle commuting today (San Mateo county production, but most stuff is generic):
English - http://www.commute.org/images/storie...%20booklet.pdf
Spanish - http://www.commute.org/images/storie...%20booklet.pdf