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Do Dutch Perspire?

Old 02-09-09, 08:43 AM
  #26  
jcm
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Of course they sweat. They just don't sweat as much - generally. That's because they ride much slower and for far less distance than AmeriCanadians. As stated before, it's both a cultural thing and a matter of having a more bike-practical infrastructure. Here's some info on the differences between Europeans and AmeriCanadians regarding their respective approaches to bike use.

Personally, my experiences in Germany and Austria bear this out completely. Over there, I found that riders who ride like we do almost always belong to a club - hitting it hard only within those parameters. Most people don't even consider themselves to be cyclists. They just happen to use a bike for everyday stuff. Hard to work up much of a sweat in that context.

http://www.bicyclinglife.com/Effecti...oadsWeHave.htm
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Old 02-09-09, 12:35 PM
  #27  
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They do so have hills. A couple of 12 year-old kids from our club went over to do a youth stage race there a few years ago. They didn't expect a top-ten finish or anything, but, coming from Bradford, Yorkshire (hilly everywhere), they were hoping to do well in the short hill-climb mini-stage.

It was a slip road up to an overpass.
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Old 02-09-09, 01:12 PM
  #28  
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yeah the more likely answer is not a genetic abnormality but maybe people are generally a little stinkier in holland?
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Old 02-09-09, 01:42 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by clancy98 View Post
yeah the more likely answer is not a genetic abnormality but maybe people are generally a little stinkier in holland?
Or perhaps we are a bit over deodorized and over perfumed in North America.
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Old 02-09-09, 09:02 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Or perhaps we are a bit over deodorized and over perfumed in North America.
Having spent six years in Berlin and spent many hours in crowded U-bahn cars, I came to appreciate the value of deodorant! But, as stated earlier, that's a cultural thing.
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Old 02-09-09, 09:29 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
In the vids I've seen, they seem to noodle along at only 10-15 km/h. Going slow seems to be it.
Noodle along at 15 km/h. At that speed I'm giddy.

Originally Posted by I_bRAD View Post
Maybe they sweat too, but don't get so worked up about it. In some places of the world, they're not afraid to be human!
Exactly.. for a society that portrays itself as hard-working, it's hard to believe the attitudes about sweat in the US. Even cyclists seem obsessed with "wicking" clothing. (Quite often all it wicks is money out of your wallet.)
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Old 02-09-09, 09:34 PM
  #32  
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Huh? Seriously guys, showing up at the office smelling like ***** is not cool, in Europe or elsewhere
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Old 02-09-09, 10:37 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by macteacher View Post
Maybe your right...maybe slow is the key...but heck, i do actually want to get somewhere
Read up on the Slow Movement: it doesn't mean always going slow, just when it's appropriate. Try Carl Honore's 'In Praise of Slow'
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Old 02-10-09, 04:34 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Waves77 View Post
Huh? Seriously guys, showing up at the office smelling like ***** is not cool, in Europe or elsewhere
Many years ago, I posted a write-up to an HPV mailing list on a make shift shower set up I put together at work to use after my 22 mile ride in--several of those miles right along the coastline (salt air). One of the readers posted it to a commuting list. I didn't believe the reaction. Several folks were emphatic that it was a stupid idea and that taking a shower in that situation was not needed. I'm sorry but even after my present short commute of five miles, I'm real glad to have a locker at the gym a couple blocks from my office.
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Old 02-10-09, 08:18 AM
  #35  
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I think the question says more about the OP than the answers say about the Dutch people.
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Old 02-10-09, 03:48 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Waves77 View Post
Dutch expat here

Let's see:
- Our cities are not as spread out as american cities, so distances are generally shorter.
- Everything is flat there, our bikes are build to last, be low maintenance and ride in any type of weather, not for speed.
- I literally know people that were on a tricycle before they could properly walk. Chances are the daily commute is not a big deal to most people that ride often enough.
- Excellent bicycle lanes. No need to "take the lane" and keep your speed up with the rest of traffic.
- If the distance is longer, we can easily take our bikes onto the train. Busses actually don't have space for bicycles. If it's short enough to ride the bus, it's short enough to ride.

Funny thing is that you'll hardly ever see anyone in cycling clothing for their commute, we just ride jeans/suit/whatever for the day, with the exception of rain clothing.
+1 on all of the above. When I grew up we didn't get our first car till I was 7... we just didn't need one. Everything is also very close together. When we go back my parents and I have joked about how our distance perspective changed quite radically once we left Holland. We used to think that it was a long ride to go from Schalkwijk (suburb of Haarlem) to down town. I've walked it in 45 mintes... on a bike it was a few minutes. Even when we had a car we would never take it shopping as the shops were anywhere from 200 yard to about 1 mile away. With a bike you pull right up to the front of the store. If you had to park a car you'd be walking a long way.

This past Summer the my parents, sister (with husband and kids) and my family (wife and daughter) all got together in Holland for a sort of reunion. It was a way for my sister and I to share a bit of our youth with the kids, and my parents to share it with the grand kids. The terrain was flat as a pancake, but the wind could be brutal. For most of the two weeks from the end of June to Early July we had daily winds of 10 to 30 MPH. No wonder they put a large wind farm in the North Sea right off the coast of Egmond Aan Zee (where we were staying). In and around town the average person rides slowly. Definitely not more than 10 mph. Along the Dune paths on a Sunday morning I saw families or older people riding nice and slow. I also saw quite a few groups (2 to 6 people) or roadies out riding in their kit and helmets. Being the "crazy" American I was having fun riding at about the same speed at the roadies. Now that made me sweat... but the ride felt GREAT. For short rides to the store you realy don't get hot and sweaty.

As far the temps go, we had mostly weather in the high 60's to mid 70's F. We had one day where my hit 78F, but that was for only one day around June 28th. I ahve a picture next to my desk of my daughter in front of Amsterdam Central station around July 6th... she is wearing a light sweater, it had been raining, and most people in the background are also wearing light coats... that's a Dutch summer for you. In the US we left with temps in the mid 80's and came back to the same. That 10 degrees makes a BIG difference in the amount of sweating.

Happy riding,
André
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Old 02-10-09, 08:29 PM
  #37  
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Andre:
That's exactly the way I saw it when I was there. You bring up the weather, too. Holland and western Germany are in the North Atlantic Temperate Zone. It is quite moderate, but can be very wet and windy as well. Usually not hot.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that my cousin in Vienna (who cycles with a club) says that many people refer to his mates as "Americans" because of their full club kits.

Last edited by jcm; 02-10-09 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 02-10-09, 08:51 PM
  #38  
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Do you guys really shower before work after your ride? If i put some old spice deodorant, no matter how sweaty i arrive i still smell nice, and the day after. Here i am typing this after 2 hours of soccer in the afternoon, and i don' stink. Old spice rocks.
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Old 02-11-09, 02:04 AM
  #39  
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Profusely.

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Old 02-11-09, 09:35 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by aMull View Post
Do you guys really shower before work after your ride? If i put some old spice deodorant, no matter how sweaty i arrive i still smell nice, and the day after. Here i am typing this after 2 hours of soccer in the afternoon, and i don' stink. Old spice rocks.
You are female. You have to be. With a strange proclivity towards the use of male branded hygiene products.

Seriously now, you must be blessed with a metabolism that is on the very far edge of the scale when it comes to sweat production. I envy you.

I shower before I leave for work. When I get there I go into the mens room and strip to the waist, wipe off with cold water using paper towels. Lots of water. I also copiously rinse my head and neck. My hair is very short, so there's no "style" issues. A cold rinse will almost instantly stop the sweating by cooling the blood that runs close to the surface at the head and neck. A change of T-shirt, and I'm ready to hop into my semi-truck for the day. Shower again in the evening. Clean trucker.
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Old 02-11-09, 09:42 AM
  #41  
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3 showers a day to drive a truck eh?
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Old 02-11-09, 09:50 AM
  #42  
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It's not driving the truck that gets you going, it's what you do with the stuff in the trailer... not for girly-men. I shower at night for my hot wife...
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Old 02-11-09, 12:33 PM
  #43  
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OMG! I just had someone close to me try that "Old Spice trick". Guess what? It just smells like cheap cologne thrown on top of funk. A simple quick wash-up or a shower is the only cure for B.O. Not drugstore cologne.

If you sweat more than a woman in the winter then cheap cologne is no substitute for soap and water.

If you happen to be the rare breed of man that rarely sweats, then God Bless you and your Old Spice. Everybody else hit the showers!

Last edited by KitN; 02-11-09 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 02-11-09, 01:01 PM
  #44  
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lol I am not saying that i don't sweat or that i don't shower, just that if you apply deodorant before an activity such cycling, you shouldn't smell bad for some hours after. Even without deodorant it takes some time for the stink to come, it doesn't come instantly or anything. Whoever you smelt was probably smelly in the first place and used deodorant to cover it up, that's not how i do it.
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Old 02-11-09, 03:15 PM
  #45  
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If everyone smells, do any of them stink?
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Old 02-12-09, 07:56 AM
  #46  
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I have a shower at work, so I normally just ride then shower.
This morning, there were pretty violent winds so I thought I'd drive. I took a shower, then changed my mind and rode anyway.
I normally stink pretty bad even to my own nose by the time I get in (mainly when I take off my inner layer, it's horrible). This morning, no significant smell at all.

I think if you shower well first, the sweat won't really stink. After all, it's the bacteria that makes it stink; perspiration actually doesn't smell by itself.
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Old 02-12-09, 09:36 AM
  #47  
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This'll gross you out:

The bacteria that lives in your skin in colonies feeds on your sweat. What goes in, must come out. Ergo, it's the poop from the bacteria that does most of the offending. That's why fresh sweat doesn't ususally smell that bad (depending on what you have eaten in the last few hours). It must take a few hours for our little microbial friends to process their meal... cool, huh? Betcha coulda gone all day without knowing that.
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Old 02-12-09, 10:39 AM
  #48  
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Anyone that has a problem with bacteria should try as hard as possible to avoid biological facts. Like this one:

There are more bacteria cells in your body than there are your own cells. WAY, WAY more. And, you'd probably die without them. Or at least, be really unhealthy.

Personally, I like mah little bio-buddies. People are too uptight about everything being clean. I am being totally serious when I say, it isn't good for you. Keeping clean is one thing, but keeping sterile is not good. Everybody needs to get good and dirty once in a while, have minor cuts, breathe outdoor air, etc.
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Old 02-12-09, 10:46 AM
  #49  
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For me wearing merino wool also makes a huge difference, but I do shower before I leave in the morning as well.

I usually get stinky feet, but I've been wearing these merino socks for 3 days in a row now without any funk
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Old 02-12-09, 11:08 AM
  #50  
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some of the new techno fabrics are getting silver particles woven into the fabric to control odor -- look for those!
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