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The odoriferous bike commuter

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The odoriferous bike commuter

Old 04-18-24, 10:32 AM
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The odoriferous bike commuter

I'm sure this has been covered before but where I live it hits the high 80's and 90's with high humidity. I work up a real sweat and a fragrant aroma going on a ride that deodorant and a change of clothes can't eliminate. For a regular ride it's no problem. I get back and shower at home. When I used to commute to work in Arizona it was a bit easier to deal with. Where I live now a shower upon a lengthy cool-down is an absolute must...along with a fresh set of work clothes. Yes, I have access to a shower near work but it's not convenient. Plus the extra cool-down time is not optimal either.

If any of you live in a hot and humid environment and commute to work, how do you deal with it?
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Old 04-18-24, 01:54 PM
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I keep my shower supplies (flip-flops, soap and shampoo, etc.) at my cube. When I get to work, I transfer clothes over to my gym bag, take off cycling shoes, and check my overnight emails. That usually gets me past the heavy sweating, so a cool shower gets me clean and I stay (relatively) dry afterwards. Cool days I'll go through the courtyard to the gym and shower, in another month or so I'll take the long way around via air-conditioned halls.

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Old 04-19-24, 10:03 AM
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eBike for the win.
Take 'er easy on the way in, hit it hard on the way home.
If you're averse to that idea, what they used to do in China (before eBikes took over) was just ride very slowly. Like 6 mph. It's still twice as fast as walking. It helps that they're all thin, too.

Aventon Level.2 commuter, w/Topeak MTX trunk bag w/fold-down panniers. I have a FoldyLock Forever in place of the water bottle now, and carry water in the trunk bag.
It has lights integrated into the rear fender and seat stays, as well as the headlight, but I added a PlanetBike Grateful Red to the rack as well. Suntour NCX suspension seatpost is a KILLER addition.
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Old 04-19-24, 11:54 AM
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I used to use DIY pre-dampened wash cloths, followed by toweling dry as well as possible, then get dressed after some cool down. Though I've never used them, they now sell products made expressly for washing where no shower is available, so you might try your luck.
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Old 04-19-24, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
I used to use DIY pre-dampened wash cloths, followed by toweling dry as well as possible, then get dressed after some cool down. Though I've never used them, they now sell products made expressly for washing where no shower is available, so you might try your luck.
Yep, Dude Shower wipes:

https://roadhouseoutfitters.com/prod...hypoallergenic

They would work for the pits and underparts, but maybe not the rest of the torso?
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Old 04-19-24, 12:27 PM
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There's also "Skunky" which is lower cost. This isn't self contained, needing water, but advertises a sponge bath of sorts, without needing to rinse. These and others are low cost enough to justify trying and seeing if they meet your needs.

FWIW my DIY wash cloths were dampened with a blend of witch hazel, water and bit of scent, and were essentially free. I'd pack them in a baggie, for the out and back, then hang to dry before tossing into the hamper.

Last edited by FBinNY; 04-21-24 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 04-19-24, 12:37 PM
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I don’t know how well these work, but I just ordered some of these body wipes for an upcoming camping trip. The reviews on them seem pretty good, they might be sufficient to get you cleaned up after your ride in
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Old 04-19-24, 04:38 PM
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If the cool down is an issue, leave 10 minutes earlier than usual. That's what I used to do when I commuted 11 miles one way. The wipes are great every now and then but nothing really beats a nice shower specially when you are dripping in sweat.
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Old 04-19-24, 08:26 PM
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Here's another possibility: "Paper Shower". It was invented by one of my colleagues, Jim Bahcall. A short video describing how he came up with the idea is
.
(I like watching this video every now and then, because it nicely captures his enthusiastic personality. Jim died almost three years ago, and is greatly missed by everyone who knew him.)
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Old 04-20-24, 04:37 AM
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My longest held job was within commuting distance but not a safe bike route. Summers I would bike after work, but other times I would take a long lunch and bike, then eat.

There was no shower at work, but a small room that I was able to use as a changing area. I thinned down 70% rubbing alcohol, IIRC, 1 part alc to 2 parts water. I'd use that on paper towel to wipe down, smelliest places last, then in trash, put on deodorant and fresh undies, and dress clothes back on.

When I went on an extended car trip between jobs in a small wagon, I rigged up a car shower: NEW 5 gallon cubish plastic fuel container, old electric fuel pump saved from a junked car and strapped under handle, water feed hose placed through inverted nozzle pointing down into jug and held in place with cap and feeding pump, outlet connected to sink sprayer hose and button trigger nozzle (fine spray), momentary contact switch under button to turn on pump, power source from cigarette lighter socket. Whole thing was on front passenger floor. Right door map pocket contained small pump bottle of soap, small pump bottle of shampoo, shower brush, towel. I'd pull to the edge of a rest area, and wear swim trunks if anyone was around, plug in pump, pull out sprayer on hose, spray down, soap up (never even needed to pull out bottles, they just stayed in map pocket), rinse, towel. Super easy. Doing navy shower technique, only spraying when needed, that water lasted a long time. When backpacking or biking, I just do same with a two liter bottle of water, just uses more water, the sink sprayer was much more water efficient.
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Old 04-21-24, 03:16 PM
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I like the idea of DIY washcloths! I have also discovered witch hazel as a nice mild astringent. It cools the skin and gets me to stop sweating, and it does not dry my skin.
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Old 04-21-24, 04:12 PM
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Ride with the same effort as walking. As pointed out, it is at least twice as fast as walking and the higher airspeed keeps you cool. It's a shame that since the 1950s. cycling became a sport.
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Old 04-21-24, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulH
Ride with the same effort as walking. As pointed out, it is at least twice as fast as walking and the higher airspeed keeps you cool. It's a shame that since the 1950s. cycling became a sport.
Some feel the same about sailing, that a sign of too much money in a society is planing boats.
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Old 04-22-24, 09:34 AM
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I bring a clean washcloth in a zip loc bag to avoid all the waste associated with wet wipes. If it's really hot and I have time, I go to the gym to shower but if I didn't get too sweaty, I just used the handicapped stall with a sink (estimated time of day is 7:30 am, so before it's too busy in the building) to get some handsoap on there, wash up and then place the washcloth back in the zip loc. I make sure to get as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing and haven't had issues with mold or mildew, even if I forget about it in my bag for a few days.
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