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Bike commuting and school

Old 05-14-08, 10:41 PM
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kioas
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Bike commuting and school

There are a lot of threads about bike commuting and going to work, but how about commuting to school. I have a 7 mile commute to school (1-way). I wanted to get some feedback from all the bike commuters on here who bike to school and what do you do to solve the sweat problem?
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Old 05-14-08, 10:45 PM
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wear under armor, and or other wicking clothing, then when you get to school change out of your wicker Jersey/under armor and into a reg shirt.

If you ride clipless, bring an extra pair of slip on shoes and you will be fine.

This of course with caring all you you books in a pannier or messenger bag and or back back.
My commute is about the same 7 miles each way = 14RT + around town during the day.
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Old 05-14-08, 10:49 PM
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Well, if you get in early enough you could possibly use the showers at school... personally I don't really sweat enough to walk in a mess when I get to class, but then again I'm going to college where no one really cares about anything.

Now if you're talking about high school...
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Old 05-14-08, 10:52 PM
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I usually ride early enough in the morning to avoid sweating too much but if it is too warm then I:
*Bring a fresh shirt to change into
*Get to class 10 minutes earlier than I normally would and wipe off in the bathroom
*Drink cold water
that's about it really
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Old 05-14-08, 11:15 PM
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I just sit in the back where less people can smell me.
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Old 05-15-08, 12:56 AM
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It's pretty much the same as riding to work. If you are talking about riding to summer classes, which may not begin at 8, then I would arrive an hour early and hit the showers. The hour time is obviously variable; I like to be leisurely, that's why I would get there so much earlier than the class. Although it always depends on the class, I rarely brought my textbooks to school, preferring to leave them at home. I didn't study much during the day so I didn't have any use for them outside of class either.

What exactly is your concern?
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Old 05-15-08, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by dzanot View Post
I just sit in the back where less people can smell me.
lol, solid advice

I commute 13 miles one way during the winter, and all i did is wipe myself off and change clothes in the locker room and put some deodorant. No problems at all. When i had summer classes i did the same, again without smell problems. I don't like to shower before 2 hours of sweating, so i do it after i get home.
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Old 05-15-08, 05:55 AM
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My bike was my only means of transportation in college. I don't remember sweat being a huge problem, but maybe that's why I had trouble getting dates. : ) The good thing about college (at least where I went) is that everyone dresses so casual, so I just wore light clothes that fit loosely and dried quickly. In warmer months, I always wore shorts and t-shirts. However, it seems that most colleges have locker room facilities available for students where you could shower, or you could always use baby wipes to clean off like a lot of commuters who work in places with no showers.
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Old 05-15-08, 05:59 AM
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I have SPD pedals, and with mountain bike shoes, I can wear them all day as casual shoes. They sometimes click a little if I'm on a hard surface but that's it.
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Old 05-15-08, 06:04 AM
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Does your school have a gym with showers? When I was in college and grad school, the gym was paid for by various mandatory fees so it was a great place to shower and clean up.
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Old 05-15-08, 06:34 AM
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I bike to school every day but it's not that far so the sweat problem isn't too bad. As long as I get there early enough, I just stand outside for a bit at the bike rack and drink some water before heading inside.

The showers are a good idea but some gyms are pretty far from the main campus. Check your campus's map.
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Old 05-15-08, 07:25 AM
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Def. carry a small wet wipes or other moist towelettes, and maybe a small travel size deodorant. Give it a good 10-15 mins after you stop riding till you stop sweating, otherwise you'll need to mop off all over again.

Of course, if you leave early enough, you can just ride slower, using lower (easier to spin) gears. That will cut down on your sweat.

Proper wicking Clothes, in layers you can add and remove, as mentioned above, are great for limiting sweat and chills. Try to get lightweight foldable/packable stuff; you can just pop these in and out of your bag as you go.....One good water resistant windbreaker, 4-5 good base layers and one or two mid-layer fleeces are plenty; I'd go to Nashbar or Peformance and get the cheapo house brand stuff on sale, on a student's budget. Maybe don't skimp on the windbreaker if possible, the other stuff is pretty straightforward.

If it were me, I'd def. go in early and use the gym for some quick weights, then shower.

One last thought : Campuses are notorious for bike theft. If your bike is 'nice', get a VERY good lock (ie, heavy, bombproof - spend $100 or more unless you wanna buy a new bike every few weeks), and leave it at the school; you can get a light weight flimsy cable to carry for quick stops at the store.

Your best bet is to use something safe but not bling flash for school commutes. If the bike is worth over $1000.00 I'd get something cheap on CL and save the nice bike for weekends......
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Old 05-15-08, 11:26 AM
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When my commute was 8 miles, I used an Arkel Bug to carry my stuff on the bike, and I didn't ride fast enough to get super sweaty. I rode a hybridized mountain bike, then an upright hybrid when the mtb was wrecked, both of which are not exactly go fast machines. In the Missouri summer, sweat is inevitable so I just dry toweled off my face and neck, and brought an extra t-shirt to change if it was really nasty. The best part was allowing plenty of time to get there so I could ride slowly and take a few minutes before class to sit in the air conditioned cafeteria with a cold drink.
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Old 05-15-08, 11:48 AM
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Thanks for all the replies, my main concern is just how to get changed. I go to college, so I guess i can use the gym showers or the locker room to clean up. Thanks again for all the suggestions.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:01 PM
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I say just don't worry about it. I ride to school (5mi uphill the entire way there) every day. I try to get there about 10 to 15 minutes before class starts in order to cool off and stop sweating. I don't change clothes, though I'm sure I sweat a lot. Be sure to wear a good deodorant/antiperspirant before you leave in the morning.

Also, I bring my bike in to class with me (I have yet to have a professor complain about there being a bike in the back of the class) so I don't have to worry about the bike thieves out there taking it off of the flimsy racks that are only held down by the bikes locked to it.

I ride clipless, so I have a trunk on my rack that I keep a pair of flip flops in when I'm riding, and my shoes in when I'm in class. Carbon soled shoes with Speedplay cleat = not fun to walk in.

Just my $.02
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Old 05-15-08, 01:15 PM
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I'd say try the ride on a day you don't have classes - test your route, and see how much you sweat - might not be so bad.

When I first started commuting by bike I thought I'd smell like a horse and get fired. I wouldn't have dreamed of riding to job without showers. Now I know better...

If you take it easy on the intensity of your ride and wear fast drying, wicking clothes I'll bet you;ll be completely presentable for classes. Get there 15 mins early, Clean up a bit in the bathroom and you'll be good to go.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:49 PM
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And anyway, how much does a backpack full of books weigh? Would a rear rack support all this? Would it be stable to just put a backpack on a rear rack and tie it down with bungee-cords?
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Old 05-15-08, 04:39 PM
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I ride to school most days and is a roundtrip of about 17-18 miles. I HAVE to change into uniform here in the UK and I'm 18! In fact its my last school day tomorrow! Anyway, I only have to get in 10 mins before school starts. I splash my face with water and dry all the sweat with the jersey I'm wearing (after taking it off). I put some roll-on deodorant and just get changed. In the summer I would bring spare underwear because its get quite sweaty down there!

As far as bags go, i bought a pannier/rucksack all-in-one because I have to carry my laptop, books, drink, lunch school clothes which include smart shoes, shirt, tie, trousers and jacket. Having a pannier doesn't have to be expensive and stops you sweat a lot on your back and is way more comfy.

I have a multi-tool and patches and pump just in case also. Apart from that just enjoy it and be safe, safety jacket and lights for dark/rain.

Sam
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Old 05-15-08, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bellweatherman View Post
And anyway, how much does a backpack full of books weigh? Would a rear rack support all this? Would it be stable to just put a backpack on a rear rack and tie it down with bungee-cords?
Have you ever seen a fully loaded touring bike? Of course a rack will support a backpack. I strapped mine down with bungee cords and never had any problems. I did get a little crack in my laptop screen but that was my own fault
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Old 05-16-08, 07:24 AM
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just fyi, there are rack bags out there with shoulder straps, so they are optimal for loading on the bike and for carrying off the bike.

I mention because I used to bungee my backpack down and I was always worried about it falling off. I did lose some stuff out of the bag once (pens, medication, etc. - small sized stuff, but important).
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