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Bring toiletries everyday?

Old 07-17-15, 11:06 PM
  #1  
RFEngineer
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Bring toiletries everyday?

At my last job, I had an assigned locker that I could keep a towel and toiletries in for showering every day. I have changed jobs and the lockers are supposed to be for "daily use," as in don't lock stuff in them over night. I really don't want to carry a towel and toiletries everyday. Any ideas how I can shower and have a towel?
Alan
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Old 07-18-15, 07:38 AM
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Is there a health club nearby? Or another business or facility with a locker you might use. Even a small business with a cubby. Also check with your management team, they may rethink or make accomodations for "green" or fitness cycling (or not).
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Old 07-18-15, 08:10 AM
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Do you work in an office setting where you have a cubicle or any kind of personal space? I just keep stuff in a duffle bag under my desk. I do have a hook for a towel.
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Old 07-18-15, 12:34 PM
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Use a small backpack to carry your toiletries.
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Old 07-18-15, 02:49 PM
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I had the same problem when I changed jobs, so I bought a backpacking towel, coupled with a smaller nalgene bottle I use for shampoo, and smaller sizes of the other toiletries I use. Made the whole toiletries kit as small and light as light as possible (it was like I was bike touring every day). That was pretty convenient.

What made it even easier is I bought a small rubbermaid storage container, and asked if I could leave it on top of the lockers with my shower stuff in it. The manager of the department where the lockers are located was fine with it, but was pretty adamant he wouldn't take responsibility if my stuff got stolen. I should clarify that the lockers where my stuff is are not day-use, they're assigned. So everyone else's stuff is locked up, and then my rubbermaid sits on top.

I got a transparent one so people could see there was nothing valuable inside. I also printed out a label that says "Darcy's toiletries for when he bikes to work - please don't discard."

Not awesome, but it works.
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Old 07-18-15, 07:07 PM
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Take a shower before you ride, and carry a hand towel to dry off after you take a quick rinse at work. No need to carry a full size towel or anything else for showering.
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Old 07-18-15, 09:28 PM
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You don't have a desk or someplace else to store a small towel and toiletries?
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Old 07-18-15, 10:03 PM
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I have a desk with personal space, but it is a ways away from the showers and walking around sweaty and gross in the office area doesn't seem to be very acceptable. I'll contact the guy in charge of our facilities.Alan
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Old 07-19-15, 07:46 PM
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Just buy a 5 pack of Meguair's micro fiber car washing cloths.

Originally Posted by RFEngineer View Post
I have a desk with personal space, but it is a ways away from the showers and walking around sweaty and gross in the office area doesn't seem to be very acceptable. I'll contact the guy in charge of our facilities.Alan
Just buy a 5 pack of Meguair's micro fiber car washing cloths.

Seriously, they're better than any towel I've ever used including backpacking/hiking towels. They're super absorbent, yet they dry very quickly.
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Old 07-19-15, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cvskates View Post
I had the same problem when I changed jobs, so I bought a backpacking towel, coupled with a smaller nalgene bottle I use for shampoo, and smaller sizes of the other toiletries I use. Made the whole toiletries kit as small and light as light as possible (it was like I was bike touring every day). That was pretty convenient.

What made it even easier is I bought a small rubbermaid storage container, and asked if I could leave it on top of the lockers with my shower stuff in it. The manager of the department where the lockers are located was fine with it, but was pretty adamant he wouldn't take responsibility if my stuff got stolen. I should clarify that the lockers where my stuff is are not day-use, they're assigned. So everyone else's stuff is locked up, and then my rubbermaid sits on top.

I got a transparent one so people could see there was nothing valuable inside. I also printed out a label that says "Darcy's toiletries for when he bikes to work - please don't discard."

Not awesome, but it works.
Yeah, that's my best suggestion to. Don't leave a lock on it, label it, if someone steal it then you have to carry it in.

Unfortunately they stopped making it, but I bought a well reviewed "travel" towel that's actually worked better than my regular towels, and is smaller than the poofy towels. Cheap towels also tend to fold down smaller and actually dry better as well.
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Old 07-20-15, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by RFEngineer View Post
At my last job, I had an assigned locker that I could keep a towel and toiletries in for showering every day. I have changed jobs and the lockers are supposed to be for "daily use," as in don't lock stuff in them over night. I really don't want to carry a towel and toiletries everyday. Any ideas how I can shower and have a towel?
Alan
There's no getting around using a backpack or pannier. In fact, a large saddlebag would do you nice.
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Old 07-20-15, 08:39 AM
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I shower at work, so I haul my toiletries and towel on Monday mornings and take them home on Friday evenings. I keep my toiletries in a shaving kit that sits in my desk drawer. Nobody ever knows it's there during the week.

My towel gets stashed in a seldom used utility closet. I drape it over some folding tables. I just have to keep my ear to the ground for company events that utilize the tables and remove the towel ahead of time. Admittedly that's not that great of a solution but it's working for me at the moment. If I receive a complaint I'll use that as an opportunity to request permission to hang some towel racks in the shower room as right now there's nowhere to hang a towel even while you're in the shower. A hook outside the shower stall and a couple of towel racks would be handy for everyone.

Even if you have to haul a towel back and forth every day, it should be easy to stash your toiletries. That would at least reduce the load a bit. And I find hauling a towel a little easier than my shaving kit as the towel can be folded flat whereas my shaving kit is an odd shape.
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Old 07-20-15, 06:58 PM
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Consider the option of doing a birdbath in a restroom stall very close to your desk rather than a long walk to the showers. The restroom I was using had a sink where my head would fit under the faucet for a shampoo; and a large handicap stall for the rest of the cleanup. At the time I arrived to work, the restroom was spotless and nobody else was using it.

I like having a full-size travel towel that dries fast and folds up small. Toiletries are mostly in sample/travel-size bottles refilled at home, carried in a 1-qt ziplock bag.
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Old 07-21-15, 11:43 PM
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Don't know how far you're going, but for 2+ years I rode 75 minutes (13 miles w/ lots of climbing) one way one day a week. I just showered before I left and changed when I got there. Never an issue.

Now I've changed jobs and have a locker/locker room, so I shower when I get there.
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Old 07-22-15, 01:34 AM
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Bring toiletries everyday?

This might not be for everyone, but if you air/drip dry after a cold shower for thirty seconds, then put your clothes on, you'll be dry surprisingly quickly.
On hot days this'll even help with cooling off
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Old 07-22-15, 07:27 AM
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Can you leave your towel and toiletries in the locker without locking it? Or do they want everybody to remove everything every day?
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Old 07-22-15, 07:33 AM
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PackTowl Ultralite Towel - REI.com

I take a tiny bottle of baby shampoo and one of these on my bicycle camping trips. The medium is plenty big enough to totally dry off.
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Old 07-22-15, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Take a shower before you ride, and carry a hand towel to dry off after you take a quick rinse at work. No need to carry a full size towel or anything else for showering.
+1

This was the way I handled my commute for 6 years; no showers available. I kept deodorant, a small towel, sun screen, and wet wipes for messy morning rides in my file cabinet at my desk. I had a hook for hanging up the towel if I did get it wet, and I'd bring a fresh towel once a week.

Here's an exchange on Facebook... I posted this Bikeface:



And 'my boss' posted this: "I can verify that Hypno Toad does not stink at work. Or at least he didn't while working at my office. Even with an 11 mile, one-way, bike commute. Now that he offices at home, who knows..."

Footnote: 'My boss' sold my part of the company in January and I work at a home office now... So I no longer bother with showers.
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Old 07-22-15, 08:17 AM
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If I was in your situation, I would carry a small travel-sized container with bodywash (no need for separate shampoo) and a microfiber camping towel.

I also live in the South (NC), and the folks that tell you that showering isn't necessary or you can drip dry just don't get it. You have to live in the extreme heat and humidity of the South to understand it. You get completely drenched with sweat after only a few minutes of cycling, and you keep sweating for a while after you're done. If I didn't shower and dry after cycling, nobody in my office would want to come near me. My clothes would stay wet and damp for half of the day.

Fortunately, we have showers and lockers at my office. However, my towel and cycling clothes will not dry if I store them in a locker, so I hang them on a drying rack in my office during the day. It takes an entire work day for them to dry during summer, and my gloves never dry out.
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Old 07-22-15, 03:30 PM
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I have to admit I had never realized what a fear some folks have of being sweaty. It must be a pretty big fear though, as it comes up in close to 100% of conversations I have about bike commuting.

Maybe living in some hot and humid places and being a heavy sweater just made me numb to it, but I commute between 22 and 62 (round trip) miles depending on if I'm going hybrid or full ride that day. I do tend to ride a bit slower within the last mile or so to start to cool down, but some days, especially in the 90-100 degree weather, I arrive sweaty. And since I sweat quite profusely while doing nothing, when I say very sweaty, that means its dripping off me everywhere. I just don't see what the big deal is. I'll admit it was harder when I lived in Atlanta, where evaporation is a myth, but even then I just wiped down in the restroom and went on with my day. I do have a desk fan, that blows right on me, but I am so cold natured (as in, I sweat while doing nothing, when other people are wearing sweaters) that I would have the fan regardless, its just nice that it also dries me off. I've never brought anything to deal with sweat. Flats and other minor repair issues are much higher on my radar than sweat. The only time I worry about sweat is in the winter, when I find I've overdressed, and worry that if I get sweaty, and then have a bike failure, I might die from too much heat loss due to the sweat.

TL-DR
Sweat is not leprosy. It's probably much less of an issue to arrive a bit (or a lot) sweaty than you think it is. If you time things to have a few minutes to cool off, it will be even less of an issue than that.

Last edited by Tailor; 07-22-15 at 03:31 PM. Reason: smiley-ectomy
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Old 07-22-15, 09:16 PM
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Hmmmm... You have a shower at work - in bike-speak you are an equivalent of a 1-percenter. And you kvetch about not being able to store toiletries overnight? My head just azzploded.....
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Old 07-23-15, 07:00 AM
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Same situation here. I keep them in a drawer in my desk, but it's rarely hot enough in the morning to require a shower. Usually just a cool down and towel off.
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Old 07-23-15, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by sci_femme View Post
Hmmmm... You have a shower at work - in bike-speak you are an equivalent of a 1-percenter. And you kvetch about not being able to store toiletries overnight? My head just azzploded.....
Nice turn of phrase.
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Old 07-23-15, 01:04 PM
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My stuff stays at my desk, and I swing by there to check email before showering. (It also gives me a chance to cool off and stop sweating.) People at my work places have learned to deal with it.
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Old 07-24-15, 10:03 AM
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Same situation, carry them every day. All toiletries in travel size bottles (replenished periodically from the jumbo economy size bottle) and fit in small make-up pouch. For towel, the best ones are to buy a kids beach towel, because its the size of a regular towel (not a bath sheet, but a towel), but since it's only finished on one side (to keep the cost down), it's very compact. I buy two at a time and just change every day. One other tip if you prefer bar soap (I do) to body wash - start two bars of soap, put that day's soap in the used towel and put it on shelf when you go to office and load up the now dry bar from the prior day -- this keeps a single bar of soap from going all mushy and icky from being damp all the time.
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