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  1. #1
    Dare to be weird!
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    Cooling off after riding in mid-day heat?

    Utility cycling to run my errands often has me out riding in the hottest part of the day (95-100 F and 80% humidity). I seem to stay dry as long as I'm moving, but when I go into something like a bank or office and have to deal with other people I'd prefer not to look like a horse that's been ridden hard and put away wet.

    I think the sweat issue is manageable for commuters who arrive at work after riding in a relatively cool part of the day. For commuters returning home and recreational riders, sweating doesn't matter much, I guess.

    If a person is really in great cycling condition, how long does it take to cool off after going inside?

    After a good soapy shower, how long does it take before sweat starts to noticeably stink? A good shower gets me through an evening of swing dancing just fine (4-5 hours). Dancing, you can always check to see whether the shower's worn off by looking at your partners' faces, ha. But I don't really know how well my 4-5 hour rule of thumb holds up for cycling in 100 F heat.

    So I was wondering what thoughts & observations you have about this issue.

  2. #2
    Member Randymac's Avatar
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    I have found that most people are fairly accepting when they see the helmet and realize I'm on a bike. I also carry a large handkerchief or bandana for my face and arms. Then when I'm ready to ride off, a quick dampening from my water bottle and then around my neck.
    Just a thought,
    Randy

  3. #3
    Dare to be weird!
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    Hi, Randymac. Great avatar! The big bandana's a good suggestion.

    What got me to pondering this is that today I found myself being led into a small office direct from the outside heat. It was one of those places where you buzz from outside and someone comes to get you, so there wasn't a chance to look for a restroom to freshen up. There was a big sign in the office reading FRAGRANCE FREE ZONE. That sign was food for thought, ha.

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    This is where BIKE CLOTHES are so great! You can unzip a jersey or bike jacket a fair amount, bike clothes tend to wick out moisture much better than "civiliian" clothes, and why not be a fashion trendsetter?

    At my bank I come in nicely warmed up, with messenger bag on and helmet too, since I can't be bothered to lock the thing up with the bike, and no one thinks twice. I'm waiting for some to ask if I'm a messenger so I can say I'm my company's fulltime messenger (no need to mention also "cook and bottle washer") hehe.

    That FRAGRENCE FREE thing refers to artificial fragrences, some of which seem to have some nasty chemicals in them. As far as I know, no one's allergies get set off by good old fashioned b.o. and a well trained biker doensn't have b.o. like the sedentary types who just don't bathe often...

  5. #5
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Let's just imagine me for a moment...after rding into work yesterday in 37 (with humidex) degree temps, washing and changing onto work clothes, I get on the elevator with a cyclist-courier who reeks to high heavens and is choking the four or five others sharing the elevator with him, with his outrageous B.O. And we're all coughing after he leaves, anxious for a breath of fresh air. It's, frankly, disgusting. Use deodorant and cologne folks. You simply stink otherwise.
    The slow down is accelerating

  6. #6
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Let's just imagine me for a moment...after rding into work yesterday in 37 (with humidex) degree temps, washing and changing into work clothes, I get on the elevator with a cyclist-courier who reeks to high heavens and is choking the four or five others sharing the elevator with him,his outrageous B.O.making us all cough unti he leaves, anxious for a breath of fresh air. It's, frankly, disgusting. Use deodorant and cologne folks. You simply stink otherwise.
    The slow down is accelerating

  7. #7
    H23
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    Senior Member H23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigManiac
    Let's just imagine me for a moment...after rding into work yesterday in 37 (with humidex) degree temps, washing and changing into work clothes, I get on the elevator with a cyclist-courier who reeks to high heavens and is choking the four or five others sharing the elevator with him,his outrageous B.O.making us all cough unti he leaves, anxious for a breath of fresh air. It's, frankly, disgusting. Use deodorant and cologne folks. You simply stink otherwise.

    Come on, the guy makes a living delivering packages for your lame business and you criticize him for working his ass off? Sorry, that's just cold. Anti-perspirant simply cannot (and should not) stop the sweating during heavy exertion in mid-day heat.

    Sweat, by itself, is not so bad. The funk comes from bacteria that are doing their thing in clothing that is wet with sweat for a period of time. The only way that I have found to curb the funk smell is to wear fine wool jerseys. Coolmax and other synthetics work great at wicking, but they reek after a very short time. Very good wool is slightly less effective at wicking but does not stink. I am convinced that in the old days before air-conditioning, people wore wool underwear expressly because of this property.

    What is worse than the smell of sweat, however, are jackasses that wear too much cologne. My wife once refused to consider a qualified job candidate because he showed up at his interview with so much cologne that he gave her a headache.

  8. #8
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    Have you tried to get some scented wet wipes? For the guys, there is some old spice wet wipes. You can get them in packs of about 25 for pretty cheaply. When you get inside, give yourself a moment to cool down a bit, then just aggressively wipe down as much as possible. It may not get rid of all the funk, but it should at least mask it enough of it for you to not offend others.

    Also, a good deoderant/anti-persperant. It may mean you'll have to play around a bit with different brands out there, but once you find something, stick with it. I find that Degree and Right Guard work best for me. All other deoderants do nothing at all.

    Finally, try not to hurt people's nasal passages by squeezing into small spaces with them. That elevator story is the best example. If I am in a situation where I'm riding and I have to get on a crowded elevator, I definitely wait for a more empty one or a totally empty one- and if some people see me standing there and try to hold it, I tell them that for their own sanity, I will wait. Sometimes they say they don't mind, so I'll get on, but if they don't indicate that, I'll just wait. It's inconvenient, but I don't think others should suffer because I have some hygiene issues, though it's from cycling and not a normal occurance for me.

    Koffee

  9. #9
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigManiac
    Let's just imagine me for a moment...after rding into work yesterday in 37 (with humidex) degree temps, washing and changing into work clothes, I get on the elevator with a cyclist-courier who reeks to high heavens and is choking the four or five others sharing the elevator with him,his outrageous B.O.making us all cough unti he leaves, anxious for a breath of fresh air. It's, frankly, disgusting. Use deodorant and cologne folks. You simply stink otherwise.
    I am going to print this out and give it to a friend. Everyone who has spoken to him about his odor has been met with his crazed wrath. So no one wants to say anything now. This guy repairs equipment in health clubs and does so by riding around with 60 or more lbs of gear in his courier bag. His customers have directly complained but even their words have mostly fallen on deaf ears. Unfortunately he started masking with old spice and man that would make any mammalian creature run for cover.

    On the other hand I am remarkable smell free. I only use deodorant and that can work on me for 18 hours. I have used the moist toilettes but they have a strange feel to them. My main thing is sweat. After I stop riding and the drying wind is gone, I just start to drip. In this hot, humid weather, I have been using cheap cotton rags that I buy from kmart. I carry a few in my “trunk”. They are like 4 times bigger than a regular washcloth and not very expensive so I can pitch them if they get really foul.

  10. #10
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randymac
    I have found that most people are fairly accepting when they see the helmet and realize I'm on a bike. I also carry a large handkerchief or bandana for my face and arms. Then when I'm ready to ride off, a quick dampening from my water bottle and then around my neck.

    Yes! Just like THGTTG says.... NEVER FORGET YOUR TOWEL!

  11. #11
    est'd 1966 tfahrner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H23
    Sweat, by itself, is not so bad. The funk comes from bacteria that are doing their thing in clothing that is wet with sweat for a period of time. The only way that I have found to curb the funk smell is to wear fine wool jerseys.
    I'll second this. Even cotton is more stink-resistant than synthetics and their blends, but wool is best. My best bike touring tops are literally wool underwear, long sleeve, almost fine as gauze, almost see-through. They just don't stink even after they get crusty with salt from sweat. I've worn wool on >100F days, with hills and camping loads. Yes I was miserably hot, but the wool wasn't making it worse.

    And bandanas are essential. I don't leave home without one - not just as a sweatmop; they're handy for grabbing dirty parts of the bike, such as when you need to fix a flat.

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