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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 08-09-05, 07:03 AM   #1
InfamousG
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How do you keep clean?

While going totally car-free is not really an option for me (hey, it's not for everyone) I want to put more miles on my bike than my car. This will extend the life of my car, reduce my gasoline need, and also put me in better physical shape.

My problem is that where I work is 25 miles from my house and a new/closer job isn't feasible. I would love to ride my bicycle to work but the only reason I havn't done so is because of the sweating issue. My work environment is a khacki pants, button-down shirt, office. There is no place for me to shower up after a ride in and I'd rather not make my coworkers deal with the "biker stink" every day.

I know sweat wicking attire helps, but that doesn't do the job for my forearms, legs, and head.

When my girlfriend broke her ankle last summer and was bed-ridden she had stuff called "shower in a bag" to clean herself up. Basically a waterless shower. However, getting a full body clean with that took at least 30 minutes, and I'm not sure how much they cost. If they are more than a few bucks per bag, it's not worth it since part of me cycling in is to save money on gas.

I've calculated it out based on probable gas price fluxuation, excluding bike maintence:
Gas Price: $2.00/gal - $2.50/gal
Cycling 3 days per week, 45 weeks per year
Savings:
1 Month (4wk): $50.09 - $62.61
3 Months (11wk): $137.74 - $172.17
6 Months (23wk): $288.00 - $360.00
Annually (45wk): $563.48 - $704.35

That's some pretty hefty savings! Granted, most of what is saved there will go towards purchasing new gear and maintaining my bike, but I think I'd much rather spend money on something that will help me physically rather than to just be used in an engine.

I know this is long and drawn out but the simple question that's holding me back from doing this:

How can I get clean again after riding in the absence of a shower? (Note, a half-clean + cologne is not an option, office manager is allergic to fragrence so it's not allowed)
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Old 08-09-05, 07:13 AM   #2
Zee
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Is the bathroom private? I mean, a one-stall one so that you can lock the door? You could take along an extra set of clothes, towel, washcloth, soap, etc., and take a standing shower at the sink. You could even wash your hair that way. You'd need a basket or panniers for the extra stuff, but it could be done.
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Old 08-09-05, 07:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zee
Is the bathroom private? I mean, a one-stall one so that you can lock the door? ...
Yes it is, that is an option. Good thinking

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... You'd need a basket or panniers for the extra stuff, but it could be done.
I'm getting a road bike soon (within the next month), being somewhat new to the different styles of biking, how easy is it to mount and unmount panniers to a road bike as opposed to a touring bike? I plan to ride with the panniers off on weekends and for leisurely/training riding.
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Old 08-09-05, 11:44 AM   #4
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Well, I haven't used them, myself, but I've read great things about them as far as convenience, being waterproof, etc. I'm an old-school gal myself, I use wire baskets Didn't know if that would interest you, though. Check the commuting forum here, maybe do a word search, I'm sure you'll find out alot of good info
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Old 08-09-05, 12:00 PM   #5
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I have these really dorky collapsable wire baskets on my bike. I also sometimes pack up my hydration pack (it's pretty big) with a change of clothes since it makes me a little more aerodynamic. Dove (and I'm sure other companies as well) makes these little soapy smelling wipes. I buy those and just wipe down and then change.
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Old 08-09-05, 12:35 PM   #6
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if there's a gym within a few blocks or mile you could always join. of course it defeats the purpose of saving money, but after biking (cardio) it's a perfect time to do some weight work (with upper body) for 15-20 minutes a day, then shower there.

in fact if you can find a small local gym maybe you could negotiate a cheaper rate. but stay away from 14 hr fitness/ballys type place. way to big and they want tons of money up front (just my opinion).

i go to gym by my house a few times a week, $30 a month, can walk my bike in
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Old 08-09-05, 04:48 PM   #7
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I shower just before I go to work and wear cycling clothes. I just wipe down with paper towels, sit in the air conditioning to stop the sweating, then change into clean work clothes.

And everybody knows--I smell marvelous! A little like fresh-baked cookies.
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Old 08-21-05, 06:42 PM   #8
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Yeah, I'm curious about this too. I doesn't seem like rocket science: wear good wicking gear, have a clean change of clothes for work, and give yourself time to do a standing shower. But if you've got some novel mad skills that keep you squeaky clean, lay 'em on us.
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Old 08-22-05, 07:13 AM   #9
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Well, I don't really have any other ideas. I don't ride super fast, I take my time; I also shower every morning, and I use alot of baby powder with cornstarch in it before I leave. I'm hoping I smell like warm cornbread. Okay, I probably don't, but the weather's getting cooler and this is my last week there anyway
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