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drying bike clothing in open office?

Old 05-28-16, 08:07 PM
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esther-L
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drying bike clothing in open office?

I started a new job, which has an open office arrangement - no cubicle walls. No coat closet, either.
I can't really drape the clothes under my desk with a fan pointed at them - there is no direction for the fan which will not point at some co-worker's legs, or at me.

I have not biked to work at this job yet. I am puzzling over where I will be able to hang my damp jersey and shorts during the day. I am thinking of using 2 locks on my bike - one of them will be a cable lock and I will run the cable thru the jersey and shorts, to leave them outside to dry on the bike.

Does anyone have a better suggestion for me?
Thanks!
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Old 05-28-16, 09:03 PM
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Some ultra lightweight poly fabrics will air on my body when I'm taking a break between ride segments. So they'd probably dry just hanging near your desk without a fan, if you can hang them with a little space between the garments.

The only time I need a fan to speed drying is after I've handwashed the jerseys, shorts and baselayer undershirt. The fan dries 'em within a few hours, although the elastic waistband on the shorts, and the elastic band around the jerseys' bottom hem, take longer to fully dry. The baselayer has no pockets or extra fabric around the hems or seams, so it dries quickest. A lightweight poly jersey without pockets or heavy elastic band around the lower hem to weight it down should dry quicker.
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Old 05-28-16, 11:15 PM
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I keep a mesh swimwear bag at work, and put my ride clothes there, and hang it outside on my bike to dry; but I'm not in a place where I worry much about them getting stolen. On rainy days, I either hang them in a mechanical closet; or bring a second set of ride clothes for the commute home, and just let the morning stuff get rained on.
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Old 05-28-16, 11:30 PM
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I would just bring a second jersey and bibs. They don't take up much space in a bag.
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Old 05-29-16, 06:09 AM
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If you have access to one, IT rooms with their heavy air conditioners work very well.
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Old 05-29-16, 12:33 PM
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Gotta love how the sweatshop workplace is coming back into vogue. Is there a coat rack nearby? I tend to hang my jersey on the back of my chair, and my shorts on one of the rungs under the seat so that they can air out throughout the day without being too conspicuous.

You might also get ahold of HR and find out if there's a way to get involved in your company's sustainability efforts. Words like "green" and "LEED" might help further the discussion. Good luck.
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Old 05-29-16, 12:42 PM
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I kinda like the idea of locking the clothes and using the bike as a drying rack. Also consider: a second set of dry bike clothes as mentioned above; challenging youself to get to work with minimum sweating; just wear damp clothes home - the clothes will be no wetter than they would beat the half way point on an out-and-back ride to your workplace; or hang them under your desk without a fan - 8 hours in an air conditioned office may not get them perfectly dry, but probably pretty close.
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Old 05-29-16, 12:50 PM
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Ask the janitor. They tend to have closets and know other places.
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Old 05-29-16, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Gotta love how the sweatshop workplace is coming back into vogue. Is there a coat rack nearby? I tend to hang my jersey on the back of my chair, and my shorts on one of the rungs under the seat so that they can air out throughout the day without being too conspicuous.
Open offices are hellish enough (BTDT). I wouldn't further torture my coworkers by keeping my stinky exercise clothes at my desk. I like the suggestion below of asking a janitor to find a closet or somewhere appropriate to hang them.

Maybe HR would be willing to put lockers in the bathrooms?
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Old 05-29-16, 12:54 PM
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Your best answer won't come from here, but from management where you work. Explain the situation and ask if they can find an accommodation. Also, make friends with the maintenance people, they have rooms where a drying rack could probably be set up.

Without an accommodation, drying on the bike might be OK, or carrying a change if carrying stuff anyway. I prefer fresh clothes to sweaty ones that I air dried, so having a change has an appeal. It's also nice in the event of rain, so you might want to keep a change at work in any case.

If you, like me, don't normally carry stuff, you might carry in multiple changes on Monday, and take them home on Friday. That means you're only carrying stuff on 2 legs out of 10. (yes, it calls for 10 changes which is a drawback).

Also keep in mind that if you're not carrying anything back and forth, it means you're probably changing at wotk, which by extension means wearing the same work clothes for a week. So the issue goes beyond where to dry your bike clothes.
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Old 05-29-16, 12:59 PM
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There are thousands of bike commuters in European countries who ride their bikes daily to work and office all year round in all weather conditions while wearing normal casual work clothing and they never have a problem...Here in USA cyclists are always whining and complaining about sweating too much and they just can't seem to figure out how to bike commute without wearing a special cycling costume....Just wear normal casual work clothing and ride at a slower easier pace so you don't sweat as much, bring some deodorant with you so you can freshen yourself up when you get to work.
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Old 05-29-16, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
There are thousands of bike commuters in European countries who ride their bikes daily to work and office all year round in all weather conditions while wearing normal casual work clothing and they never have a problem...Here in USA cyclists are always whining and complaining about sweating too much and they just can't seem to figure out how to bike commute without wearing a special cycling costume....Just wear normal casual work clothing and ride at a slower easier pace so you don't sweat as much, bring some deodorant with you so you can freshen yourself up when you get to work.
This.

The best way to keep from being stinky after a bicycle ride to work is to shower in the morning before you leave. The best way to dry the clothes in which you ride to work in a convenient and non-offensive manner is to wear them while you work. If you're sweating too much, reduce your pace a bit.
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Old 05-29-16, 02:24 PM
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Europeans aren't as picky about the human body having a hint of a natural smell, either. Blame the pushy American deodorant industry for that historically recent hang-up in these parts.
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Old 05-29-16, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Europeans aren't as picky about the human body having a hint of a natural smell, either.
I don't know about Europeans, but I'm pretty picky, and it's never been an issue.

Last edited by Jaywalk3r; 05-29-16 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 05-29-16, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post
I don't know about Europeans, but I'm pretty picky, and it's never been an issue.
About your own smell, you mean? My point was that Europeans tend to be more casual about each others' natural human smells. That we Americans have been steered toward shaming each other for sweating and not smelling like Axe or Chanel or Brut or Cool Water at all times is yet another deterrence from getting enough exercise.
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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People in this forum are not typical.
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Old 05-29-16, 03:12 PM
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body odor varies a lot from person to person...

guy at work doesn't do anything to break a sweat and smells like a dead goat.

my own perspiration has the scent of lilacs in bloom.
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Old 05-29-16, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
About your own smell, you mean? My point was that Europeans tend to be more casual about each others' natural human smells. That we Americans have been steered toward shaming each other for sweating and not smelling like Axe or Chanel or Brut or Cool Water at all times is yet another deterrence from getting enough exercise.
I agree, but my point was that riding into work while wearing one's work clothes won't make one smell any more "natural" than they otherwise would.
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Old 05-29-16, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Your best answer won't come from here, but from management where you work. Explain the situation and ask if they can find an accommodation. Also, make friends with the maintenance people, they have rooms where a drying rack could probably be set up.

Without an accommodation, drying on the bike might be OK, or carrying a change if carrying stuff anyway. I prefer fresh clothes to sweaty ones that I air dried, so having a change has an appeal. It's also nice in the event of rain, so you might want to keep a change at work in any case.

If you, like me, don't normally carry stuff, you might carry in multiple changes on Monday, and take them home on Friday. That means you're only carrying stuff on 2 legs out of 10. (yes, it calls for 10 changes which is a drawback).

Also keep in mind that if you're not carrying anything back and forth, it means you're probably changing at wotk, which by extension means wearing the same work clothes for a week. So the issue goes beyond where to dry your bike clothes.
Yes, those of us who commute by bike do not have answers, but middle management does.... Wait, you went on to answer it, but he won't find answers here...

Just messing with you a bit...
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Old 05-29-16, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
There are thousands of bike commuters in European countries who ride their bikes daily to work and office all year round in all weather conditions while wearing normal casual work clothing and they never have a problem...Here in USA cyclists are always whining and complaining about sweating too much and they just can't seem to figure out how to bike commute without wearing a special cycling costume....Just wear normal casual work clothing and ride at a slower easier pace so you don't sweat as much, bring some deodorant with you so you can freshen yourself up when you get to work.
This doesn't work everywhere. October through April, I can get away with wearing work clothes for my 6 mile (12 r/t) commute. But I live in the south, so May through September there is no pace at which I could ride and manage to arrive at work looking anywhere near professional.
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Old 05-29-16, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
This doesn't work everywhere. October through April, I can get away with wearing work clothes for my 6 mile (12 r/t) commute. But I live in the south, so May through September there is no pace at which I could ride and manage to arrive at work looking anywhere near professional.
It's been established that many people are able to do so is similar climates. That you choose not to is irrelevant.
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Old 05-29-16, 04:33 PM
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I'd imagine that the OP's office mates appreciate him changing, what with the open office arrangement and the fact that they are in North Carolina.
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Old 05-29-16, 04:46 PM
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One of my colleagues took a big carton box and made a string inside to hang his cycling clothers and installes computer fan in one of the walls. He managed to connect it to USB and put it under the table.
I am not sure that it is a good solution.
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Old 05-29-16, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I'd imagine that the OP's office mates appreciate him changing, what with the open office arrangement and the fact that they are in North Carolina.


Realistically, since clothes will dry faster on the person and that remaining wet is what will lead to the clothes stinking, wearing the clothes they ride in will be the least stinky solution.
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Old 05-29-16, 05:21 PM
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Granted, this is purely anecdotal, but my strategy is to shift my schedule to about 1/2 hour earlier during the summer -- big difference if I ride before the sun clears the trees -- ride slower, and cool down at work before everybody else shows up. Also, I'm fortunate that I just don't sweat a lot. And I ride home in my work clothes as well, because by that point it doesn't matter. Of course YMMV depending on the prevailing temperatures in your location.

I work in an "open office" environment, but it's pretty laid back, and we don't really spend a lot of time at our desks.
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Old 05-29-16, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
There are thousands of bike commuters in European countries who ride their bikes daily to work and office all year round in all weather conditions while wearing normal casual work clothing and they never have a problem...Here in USA cyclists are always whining and complaining about sweating too much and they just can't seem to figure out how to bike commute without wearing a special cycling costume....Just wear normal casual work clothing and ride at a slower easier pace so you don't sweat as much, bring some deodorant with you so you can freshen yourself up when you get to work.
As a european cyclist i can confirm that. But also in some european countries where cycling is not so popular it is exactly the same talks as here.

For me a good antiperspirant works well and prevents any "natural smell" even if i ride fast at hot weather.
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