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  1. #1
    By-Tor...or the Snow Dog? hi565's Avatar
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    Questions for you car free guys/gals

    I want to do it. I am 15 dont have my license yet but I will in about a year. So the question is how do you do it? I mean like going places without being drenched in sweat. Thats one of my main problems. I want to get jobs in certain place that are farther than 10 miles (some not too far like 11 miles) and the thing is that there are no showers at these place. How do you do it without going through the day looking and smelling like you just went for a pretty good ride. Its annoying because I sweat alot. Any advice would really be great. Im interested.


    Thanks alot
    ----------------------------------------------------------

  2. #2
    Senior Member mpop's Avatar
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    Get some body srpay and cologne, That should mask the smell of sweet. Also carry some deoderant.
    Michael P. O'Connor
    http://www.mikeoconnor.net

  3. #3
    1. e4 Nf6 Alekhine's Avatar
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    You'll sweat on your ride to your job, then you'll wash your face (and other places, if necessary) with water and wipe off with a little towel in the lavatory before work, and hopefully that will be the end of it. If you have a strong enough deodorant and you bathe properly when you wake up, you probably won't smell. I've been car-free for 4 years now, and I've never once had a girlfriend or fellow employee comment on my hygiene. Learn to use talcum powder for the naughty bits too! Very important!

    Otherwise, how do I do it? I just do.

    Imagine cars didn't exist at all. What would you do? Horses are great, but they're even less practical to maintain for most people than a car is these days. Most of history has had to deal without cars, and people have done amazing things - built enormous structures, traveled into deep jungle and arctic nothingness, and circumnavigated the globe, all without the internal combustion engine. We've only had cars for a little over a century, and they've only been in common use for a lot less than that, but somehow we've transformed into a completely car-dependent culture to the point where people cannot even fathom how someone could actually choose to disown them.

    10 or 11 miles to work is really not very far at all. The more you do it, the less of a distance it will seem to you.

    Get racks, bungee cords, and panniers for your bicycle and you can do almost any type of shopping you wish, as well as camping, touring around the world, or visiting friends who live far away.

    Large objects are more difficult to deal with, but you can hire movers or enlist friends to help with those. Otherwise, the benefits are really great.

    Even if you don't go 100% car-free, it's worth it to use your car less, but the less you use it, the more you wonder why you even have it anymore.
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  4. #4
    okay maybe not. mmerner's Avatar
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    take a shower before leaving. ride to job. cool down for 10-15 minutes. In the bath room , take off shirt, change pants. wipe down yourself with towel and water. put on deo. put on new shirt.
    question everything.

  5. #5
    File Not Found Pampusik's Avatar
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    Bacteria that you accumulate throughout the day are what make you stink. So, if you shower before riding to your job, you shouldn't stink when you get there.

    My body likes to sweat, and I don't have a shower at work, either. When I arrive, I just head to the bathroom and wash up at a sink. Make sure to bring a towel and an extra shirt.

  6. #6
    By-Tor...or the Snow Dog? hi565's Avatar
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    Thanks, that was quick!

    I do ahve a plan to buy a pannier/bike trunk sometime soon when the money comes.

    So the procudure for goign to the job is:

    -Take shower before leaving
    -once you get to shop, cool down. Then go to bathroom
    -cleane up with paper towel and water
    -apply strong deoderant

    have I covered alot of it?

    About the carfree part of it, I should probably get some more visibility clothes, and a better light.
    ----------------------------------------------------------

  7. #7
    Senior Member TuckertonRR's Avatar
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    I commute periodically, and that's about it. It seems like a whole huge procedure at first, but it really becomes second nature really quick. If you're only 15, and don't have a drivers license, maybe you can think twice before you get one. Ask yourself, after you start biking everywhere, "do I *really* need a drivers license?" do you really need to drive anywhere? I view it (others may here, too) as picking up a bad habit that's hard to get rid of. (driving everywhere)

  8. #8
    Senior Member mpop's Avatar
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    I would say he should get the license, it has other uses besides driving. Also when he turns 25 he will be able to rent a car/truck if he ever really needs to use it. Also since he is living with is parents (I am assume here) his mother/father might ask him to take the car to do some errans and pick up some very large things.
    Michael P. O'Connor
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  9. #9
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    Here's what I do:

    - Sit outside for a few minutes to cool down.
    - Go into the bathroom/changing room
    - Wipe face and head with paper towels
    - Change
    - (optionally) Re-apply deodorant

    Yup, sounds like exactly what you said. The whole thing takes maybe 10 minutes.
    Bring the pain.

  10. #10
    Senior Member smurfy's Avatar
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    It also depends on what kind of job you have. I work in a on the shop floor in a job shop that custom-builds industrial equipment. I don't have to deal with the public and I get kind of dirty in my job, anyway, so I wear work cloths that I don't need to change and I don't really have to go through the hassle of running into the bathroom to freshen up.

    It could be my imagination, but I also believe that after eleven years and approx. 25,000 miles of bike commuting my body has adapted to it and either regulates itself or I can just pace myself so I don't arrive all sweaty and stinky.
    "You handle it like you handle a bicycle" - Jacques Rosay, Airbus A380 test pilot

  11. #11
    FixedGearQueer nolageek's Avatar
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    I only commute about 3.5 miles each way, but New Orleans' summers can be muggy and gross.. 100 degrees and 99% humidity. My usual plan of action is:

    * Shower before leaving house.
    * Put on shorts (regular shorts, not bike-shirts) and t-shirt
    * Ride to work, sweating profusely at redlights.
    * Get to work, sit in A/C for a couple minutes until I'm not sweating anymore
    * Go in restroom, wash face, dry head. Put on "real" pants. (put shorts in bag)
    * Sit in A/C at desk until my t-shirt is dry.
    * Put on "real" shirt. (Usually a polo or button-up.)
    * Sometimes, during the day I'll have to reapply deodorant. (That I keep in my desk drawer or in my bag.)

    I have no idea why I broke the above into so many bulleted items.

    Anyhoo, this works well for me.
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  12. #12
    Dare to be weird!
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    Like mpop, I think you should get your drivers license. Why not get motorcycle and maybe other special endorsements while you're at it, if your state has them. Be an excellent driver. Carfree is a choice. It doesn't mean you shouldn't know how to operate them and even work on them.

  13. #13
    contrarian lala's Avatar
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    If you dilute rubbing alcohol with water and put it in a spray bottle and 'spritz' yourself after the ride, it cools you down and kill the stink making bacteria. (You may want to avoid actual cologne. yuk! )
    Higher ground for the apocalypse!

  14. #14
    Member apple_boy_'s Avatar
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    i am 16 and commute 40 miles a day 6 days a week.

    i suggest that you only get your drivers licence if you see a real need for it, i haven't had any problems that couldn't be solved without a bike yet, so i haven't gotten my licence, i just don't see a reason.

    you can get a bob trailer if you really need some extra space, they can handle some weight and give you plenty more space than you have. they are something like $300.

  15. #15
    By-Tor...or the Snow Dog? hi565's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone.

    I most likely will get my license. Because I dont know if I will be strictly car-free but I definetly want to see how I do with it.

    Also do you guys use cycling shorts or just go with regular shorts? I personally think its hard for me to do something that is more than like 12 miles (I made a mistake the bike shop is 14+ miles away).

    Thanks everyone!
    ----------------------------------------------------------

  16. #16
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Another consideration is to wipe down in the men's room with baby wipes or wet naps.
    The small paper napkins that come sealed in a package and are wet when you open them.

  17. #17
    By-Tor...or the Snow Dog? hi565's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    Another consideration is to wipe down in the men's room with baby wipes or wet naps.
    The small paper napkins that come sealed in a package and are wet when you open them.
    that is a good idea, keep em coming. I like it!
    ----------------------------------------------------------

  18. #18
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    You can experiment by riding to get sweaty and trying different things at home to see what works best for you. If you have to ride to a job interview you may want to look and smell as good as possible at the interview. I would guess just about any place you would go would have a men’s room you could use to clean up before the interview. You might even consider cooling down and using a gas station rest room if you have to just for an interview.

  19. #19
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    First, I would recommend showering each morning with a deoderant soap, like Coast or Zest. Then apply your deoderant/anti-perspirant liberally.

    Second, I would NOT recommend using a cologne. A cologne will only make your stink smell sweet and is not nice smelling at all. So many people think they can mask their stink with cologne, but they don't realize how bad their own body odor is, so when they smell their own cologne, they don't realize the funk is still coming through strong. Please don't make the same mistake.

    Third, you will most likely have to adjust your routine- that means arriving at work 10-15 minutes early and entering the building to cool down. Once you've cooled down, you'll stop sweating, and you can use wet wipes and baby powder from there. It would be a good idea for you to find those scented wet wipes. I recommend the wet wipes that are made by Old Spice and have the cologne-type smell, or the generic wet wipes that smell like lemons, which I think are the best of the two. Wipe down with the wet wipes once you've cooled down, then use the baby powder once you've dried yourself off. The baby powder has the talc, which does a good job of masking any additional smells.

    Finally, do get your drivers license. It will make life easier for you- you can't get through life without one, since you need to have one for your bank account, your airline flights, your job applications, etc. And you never know if you may need to rent a car either. So don't take the drivers license so lightly. You never know when that license may come in handy.

    Koffee

  20. #20
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    I don't have the commuting issue because I work from home,but when I want to cool down before reaching home, from say an all day ride, what I often do is walk the bike the last 1/2 mile or so or else cycle the last 1/2 mile progressively slower so that by the last 1/4 mile I am barely moving just mostly relaxing.

  21. #21
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWTD
    I don't have the commuting issue because I work from home,but when I want to cool down before reaching home, from say an all day ride, what I often do is walk the bike the last 1/2 mile or so or else cycle the last 1/2 mile progressively slower so that by the last 1/4 mile I am barely moving just mostly relaxing.
    In this long hot summer, walking really heats you up--cycling is the way to stay cool!

  22. #22
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    Over a distance you are right but after hard cycling I find a leisurely walk or progressively reducing the pace of cycling effective at cooling down.

  23. #23
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    If you don't get a car license, you can get a State ID which looks just like a license and serves the ID purpose. I had one for years, then for years a motorcycle only license then finally car and motorcycle. But you don't need a drivers license, you just need the state-ID.

  24. #24
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    Finally, do get your drivers license. It will make life easier for you- you can't get through life without one, since you need to have one for your bank account, your airline flights, your job applications, etc. And you never know if you may need to rent a car either. So don't take the drivers license so lightly. You never know when that license may come in handy.Koffee
    I've gotten through life without a driver's license just fine. I have bank accounts, credit cards, a mortgage, etc. I've never been asked for one to board a plane or at a job interview.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by patc
    I've gotten through life without a driver's license just fine. I have bank accounts, credit cards, a mortgage, etc. I've never been asked for one to board a plane or at a job interview.

    First, you live in Canada. So maybe they do things differently.

    Here in the USA, you need two forms of ID for your job application or your passport.

    Bank accounts? Again, it's better to have the drivers license, or else you'll have to either provide your passport or 2 forms of id if you don't have your drivers license. It's a pain in the butt.

    In the age of today's terrorism, again, when you board a plane, you'll have to either take your passport (no problem if you're flying internationally), or your drivers license.

    I've been to some banks without my passport, and had to scramble for my drivers license plus an additional form of identification. They don't make me do it at my bank (ask for one form of ID rather than 2), but I still have some banks I go to where if I'm not a bank customer, they want 2 forms. How many people here really have their social security card on them? I don't even know where mine is. Last week, my sister-in-law and I went to the bank. HER bank. She had her credit card on her, and without her drivers license, they wouldn't serve us. My brother had to drop everything and run to the bank and provide his drivers license so she could complete her transaction. What a time waster, and really annoying too.

    I'm not saying you CAN'T go through life without a drivers license, which you seem to imply I'm saying. I'm saying it's definitely BETTER to have it rather than dragging your passport around all the time. For some people, they may not mind much carrying around their passport everywhere they go, but I definitely do NOT like that- I'm always paranoid of misplacing or losing my passport. And technically, we are only supposed to show our passport to prove citizenship when travelling, not treat it like a secondary drivers license alternative when the need suits us. In that case, I try to limit my use of my passport. I misplaced mine once about a week before a trip overseas and nearly lost my mind thinking I'd dropped it someplace while out. That's when I decided I'd always have my drivers license around.

    Again, he may need to rent or borrow a car one day. What's he going to use then? A passport will get you nowhere at the car rental agencies.

    I stress again- it's not that it's impossible to skim by without your drivers license, but it makes life less of a hassle.

    Koffee

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