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  1. #1
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Cycling and being presentable afterwards

    I am car-lite. I commute to work daily, and often will take the kids places on our bikes. My problem is that every time I have an after work event, I feel like I have to drive so I don't show up as a giant sweat-ball (eeeeuuuwwww). I have tried to ride "easy" but when temps are in the mid 80s or above, I can't seem to manage it. So how do you do this without resorting to using a car? I would say baby wipes and change quick in the restroom, but that doesn't really work at most of the bars my co-workers like to schedule for our post-work management feedback meetings.

    Any tips would be appreciated. The venue is typically 2-3 miles from work, and often includes 1 or two decent hills, but nothing too taxing. Still, I end up sweating through my jersey even if I go easy gears spinning at 6 mph.

  2. #2
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    Can you carry a change of clothes?
    You could try baby powder. I usually apply some before my rides and it helps keep dry and smelling somewhat fresh afterwards. At the end of the ride, a moistened towelette to wipe the sweat and grit off my arms and face is a given.
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    They need to suck it up, you are on your own time. Wipe off when you get there. Get there super fast, relax and cool off before they get there. Then wipe down and throw on a fresh tee shirt and shorts over your bike shorts/bibs as they arrive.

    I do not mind hanging out in my kit for a bit if I throw on a fresh shirt. Maybe carry a travel size anti stink stick? Before I head out I thrown some gold bond powder or lotion down below, keeps things fresher and less swassy.

    What kind of restroom can you not wipe down? Seriously upscale or seriously skeezy? Either way do it out front or on the side of the establishment if not in the washroom.

  4. #4
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyduck View Post
    Seriously upscale
    Not "seriously" but deinately upscale. I have done it but get the stink-eye something fierce. If it were just the bar staff, no biggie, they usually are fine after they see the tab. The co-workers are more the issue since they sit right by the door and suck me into the discussion before I can clean up. Its not really my own time. Typically this is actually work-related meetings. The venue affords more flexibility when describing the given constraints around budget and timeframe, but it is still about project issue resolution. This is one of the downsides of being "exempt."

    I hadn't thought of doing the freshen-up outside before. That would probably work. I carry the clothing change already from riding to work. I'll try the powder tip too. Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
    Not "seriously" but deinately upscale. I have done it but get the stink-eye something fierce. If it were just the bar staff, no biggie, they usually are fine after they see the tab. The co-workers are more the issue since they sit right by the door and suck me into the discussion before I can clean up. Its not really my own time. Typically this is actually work-related meetings. The venue affords more flexibility when describing the given constraints around budget and timeframe, but it is still about project issue resolution. This is one of the downsides of being "exempt."

    I hadn't thought of doing the freshen-up outside before. That would probably work. I carry the clothing change already from riding to work. I'll try the powder tip too. Thanks.

    As a more upscale establishment they should be frowned upon for not allowing their patron to make themselves more presentable versus frowning on their patron using their facilities to make themselves presentable.

    As an exempt salary employee I understand and appreciate the never off work thing. Thankfully I work in a much more relaxed environment and am not usually faced with this; also I work on a fairly solitary basis. Plus I can't take my chemistry home with me, reports are another story.

    To me the issue is a sign of the greater problem at hand; the constant need to be available in the modern day working world. We are more productive with time off; this is anecdotal but likely backed up by some research I am not willing to search and cite at the moment.

    I am a proponent of work less, play more, but work harder when you work.

    I find that if I know I have no room to change and rinse off I just bring a damp/wet wash rag in a ziplock and a hand towel. Cool down, wipe down, dry off, apply deodorant, fresh shirt, slip shorts (or pants if needed) over my lycra. It is nice if there is a park nearby and you can lie in the grass to relax/cool off; hence my suggestion to ride hard there. Then relax. I find that I can pack and roll a whole change or work cloths (not including shoes) into a bundle about the size of two standard size thermos'.

    Is this establishment frequented regularly or part of a rotation of places? I would call management and ask them what they prefer you do?

  6. #6
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    I've found the best way to cool down fast and stop sweating after a ride is rubbing alcohol. I keep a bottle in my locker at work, but I don't know how you'd manage it at a bar or restaurant.
    2014 Specialized Dolce, 1987 Schwinn Tempo, 2012 Windsor Kensington 8

  7. #7
    Fixed Kitty wipekitty's Avatar
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    I second the idea of wiping down and throwing on extra clothes outside. I started doing this because I wasn't sure if my co-workers were cool with tats, and wanted to get them covered up before heading in. Some fabrics are pretty good at absorbing sweat, which is great if you're continuing to sweat for another five minutes after the ride.

    I wonder if anybody has tried rubbing alcohol in a spritzer bottle. It seems to be the main ingredient in many body deodorants - so you'd get the same thing, for cheaper, and without obnoxious scents.
    "There are no fast bikes - only fast people." - Some smart person

  8. #8
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    I've recently started doing Tai Chi at a local church. Proximity to others is greater than other destinations -- work especially. For this event I arrive early, change shirts, do a typical bird-bath/Irish shower. Then sit down for a few minutes to cool off.

    Of course I always carry a comb to deal with that awful helmet hair.

  9. #9
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    I don't even bother with the change any longer. I only have two miles between home and work. While I get a little sweaty it isn't too bad. First thing I do is stash the bike in my cube and then walk a loop around my office. They keep the humidity very low in the building and I am usually cooled/dry by the one lap. If there is something where I need to be fresh, I duck into the bathroom and wash my face/neck/arms down with water. I have used the baby powder trick down under as well, but that is a rarity.

    Oh, I also wear a patterned shirt to hide any "sweat-throughs" on my back.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
    I wonder if anybody has tried rubbing alcohol in a spritzer bottle. It seems to be the main ingredient in many body deodorants - so you'd get the same thing, for cheaper, and without obnoxious scents.
    I use a 50/50 mixture of witch hazel and rubbing alcohol in a spritzer bottle as my deodorant. I love it for the exact reason wipekitty mentioned: I don't smell like anything.

    The witch hazel is because 99% isopropyl by itself was a little harsh after a few days of regular use.

  11. #11
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggity View Post
    I don't even bother with the change any longer. I only have two miles between home and work. While I get a little sweaty it isn't too bad. First thing I do is stash the bike in my cube and then walk a loop around my office. They keep the humidity very low in the building and I am usually cooled/dry by the one lap. If there is something where I need to be fresh, I duck into the bathroom and wash my face/neck/arms down with water. I have used the baby powder trick down under as well, but that is a rarity.

    Oh, I also wear a patterned shirt to hide any "sweat-throughs" on my back.
    Commuting in your work clothes seems to be a rarity around here. Most commuter are wearing spandex jerseys and tight pants. However, I will say your approach is the most reasonable... perhaps after a while our society will give up its obsession against perspiration.

  12. #12
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Commuting in your work clothes seems to be a rarity around here. Most commuter are wearing spandex jerseys and tight pants.
    Maybe at the same time when bike commuters wearing spandex jerseys and tight pants decide that bike commuting as if in, or training for, a competition event is not required. It is not really necessary for commuters to be obsessed with speed, "training", or setting goals at reducing the time taken to bike any specific distance.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Maybe at the same time when bike commuters wearing spandex jerseys and tight pants decide that bike commuting as if in, or training for, a competition event is not required. It is not really necessary for commuters to be obsessed with speed, "training", or setting goals at reducing the time taken to bike any specific distance.
    I am a bit confused with your first sentence?

    I wear running tights and a fitted under armor shirt for my commute. I find it much more comfortable. Just like I would not (unless need dictated) run a 10 km in jeans and slippers, I won't commute in my work clothes.

    My commute is 7 miles, so I will sweat regardless. I sweat on my 1 km leisurely jaunt to the beer store.

    I ride fast on my commute because I have always been a competitive athlete and I like pushing myself. I lieu of taking time from the family I kick my butt on the commute, two birds one stone.

  14. #14
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyduck View Post
    I wear running tights and a fitted under armor shirt for my commute. I find it much more comfortable. Just like I would not (unless need dictated) run a 10 km in jeans and slippers, I won't commute in my work clothes.

    My commute is 7 miles, so I will sweat regardless. I sweat on my 1 km leisurely jaunt to the beer store.

    I ride fast on my commute because I have always been a competitive athlete and I like pushing myself. I lieu of taking time from the family I kick my butt on the commute, two birds one stone.
    I too have a 7 mile commute. In summer I mostly wear MTB shorts and a polyester t-shirt. Or sometimes I'll wear nylon "cargo" pants. Either way, it needs to be light to travel in the heat.

    In terms of material, your average Fred clothing isn't the polar opposite of roadie kit.

  15. #15
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Maybe at the same time when bike commuters wearing spandex jerseys and tight pants decide that bike commuting as if in, or training for, a competition event is not required. It is not really necessary for commuters to be obsessed with speed, "training", or setting goals at reducing the time taken to bike any specific distance.
    Well I'm glad you don't make the rules!

    I see folks bike commuting in many different ways, I assume they enjoy it for their own reasons and style.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    I too have a 7 mile commute. In summer I mostly wear MTB shorts and a polyester t-shirt. Or sometimes I'll wear nylon "cargo" pants. Either way, it needs to be light to travel in the heat.

    In terms of material, your average Fred clothing isn't the polar opposite of roadie kit.
    I never said it was opposite of a roadie. It is comfortable and roadies wear certain things for a reason.

    I tend towards longer pants and sleeve due to my pasty melanoma prone complexion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
    I am car-lite. I commute to work daily, and often will take the kids places on our bikes. My problem is that every time I have an after work event, I feel like I have to drive so I don't show up as a giant sweat-ball (eeeeuuuwwww). I have tried to ride "easy" but when temps are in the mid 80s or above, I can't seem to manage it. So how do you do this without resorting to using a car? I would say baby wipes and change quick in the restroom, but that doesn't really work at most of the bars my co-workers like to schedule for our post-work management feedback meetings.

    Any tips would be appreciated. The venue is typically 2-3 miles from work, and often includes 1 or two decent hills, but nothing too taxing. Still, I end up sweating through my jersey even if I go easy gears spinning at 6 mph.
    It sounds like a passive-aggressive technique to get you to conform to their driving norm. Why can't they have their meetings at work and make hanging out at the bar optional? Has anyone expressed concern about putting you out by expecting you to bike 3 miles extra at the end of the day when they are winding down? What if you were religious or a recovering alcoholic who didn't drink and didn't want to be around people drinking for personal reasons? Is your workplace the type of social club where people are quietly shunned for failing to live up to non-work related social expectations such as drinking alcohol or other cultural norms?

  18. #18
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Having work meetings in a bar should be against the law.

    I wonder if this practice is approved at an executive level or permitted by human resources policies. It sounds like Mad Men in the 1960s--very much not in the spirit of modern business practices. Like a bunch of frat boys who never grew up!
    Last edited by Roody; 07-24-14 at 11:31 PM.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
    I am car-lite. I commute to work daily, and often will take the kids places on our bikes. My problem is that every time I have an after work event, I feel like I have to drive so I don't show up as a giant sweat-ball (eeeeuuuwwww). I have tried to ride "easy" but when temps are in the mid 80s or above, I can't seem to manage it. So how do you do this without resorting to using a car? I would say baby wipes and change quick in the restroom, but that doesn't really work at most of the bars my co-workers like to schedule for our post-work management feedback meetings.

    Any tips would be appreciated. The venue is typically 2-3 miles from work, and often includes 1 or two decent hills, but nothing too taxing. Still, I end up sweating through my jersey even if I go easy gears spinning at 6 mph.
    E-Assist for the hills works wonders in the sweat department... Ever since I got mine I started to use my bike for transportation more and more instead of the car, not just for fun/exercise riding like before the E-Assist...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  20. #20
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    If you are sweating so much, you are doing it wrong. I commute 5 miles to work and sweat no more than my co-workers that have to walk a few blocks from the parking garage (this is in 90+ heat, which I love). Take it slow and ride in a low gear. It's not a race. If you need inspiration look up videos on dutch cycling on youtube and see the kind of cycling one should do to get places in a presentable condition. Naturally if you treat is as a sport you will sweat a lot (You mentioned a jersey so it sounds like sports riding to me).

  21. #21
    Senior Member Eric S.'s Avatar
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    I guess I'm lucky being a commuter in the desert. The dry atmosphere doesn't make me sweat much at all, until we get into the monsoon season (yes, that's what it is called) when 20% humidity feels horrible.

    I wear dark colored microfiber clothing so that sweat does not show up so bad upon arrival.

  22. #22
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
    It's not a race.
    I need to pick up a couple of t-shirts with this on it.

  23. #23
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
    The co-workers are more the issue since they sit right by the door and suck me into the discussion before I can clean up. Its not really my own time.
    .
    This line jumped out at me. If you are being engaged while hot and sweaty, that's on them.



    The following is opinion.
    While I have spilled more licker down the crack of my ass than some frat houses have ever even seen, I cant help but feel that making work decisions at a bar while consuming mind altering beverages is lacking enough in class and dignity to exempt you from being judged for riding your bike and being a little sweaty. No matter how swank the venue, a bar is a bar. Its not a boardroom where dry palms and a coiffure are expected.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    I need to pick up a couple of t-shirts with this on it.
    Sadly I work next door to Union Pacific's corporate headquarters and they have anywhere between 100 and 150 bicycle commuters(perhaps more as the bikes surround the building, outside of the Netherlands I have never seen so many bikes parked in one place). Nearly all though look like they are in the tour de france. Only a few actually wear normal cloths without safety gear.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Blue_Bulldog's Avatar
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    I do my commuting in the Southern humidity which is tantamount to riding through a steam room like your uncle Morty used to use to do business meetings.

    The whole time I've been here, I haven't yet found anywhere that thinks twice if I excuse myself to the men's room for a minute or two so I can clean up. I'm polite about it, I don't just ball out and run to the restrooms. I'll excuse myself like "Hi, good to see you... hey, I'm gonna clean up for a second, I'll be right back." When the humidity is seriously nasty, like it's about to be this month, I will carry an extra tshirt in my backpack to put under whatever it is I'm wearing. I also throw some wet wipes and a washcloth in there. It makes it so you can wash up and get back to presentable in a flash.

    I'd be hard pressed to imagine there's any workplace that would mind if you got to a meeting 5-10 min early and cleaned up real quickly.

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