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Recommendations on commuting without showering options

Old 04-11-12, 06:02 PM
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Recommendations on commuting without showering options

Hey everyone,
I just got a new job in Scottsdale, AZ and I'm looking to start commuting but my work doesn't offer showers and there doesn't appear to be a gym within a mile or 2 of my office. The commute is approximately 25 miles each direction, and since its AZ I figure I will need to clean off before work. Does anyone have any tips about what works aside from showering that I can use to clean off before work? I thought about baby wiping off my face and pits so I don't look or smell bad and wetting my hair so I can comb it. But before I start I thought I'd ask what works and what doesn't.
Thanks
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Old 04-11-12, 06:19 PM
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I think you're on the right track. I've also used witch hazel in combination with a cloth or paper towel to wipe down. It's cooling, smells less strongly than alcohol and doesn't dry your skin as much. It actually is supposed to condition your skin.

I keep a microfiber washcloth or two handy as well. They hold a ton of moisture and are easy to rinse out and reuse. A washcloth can almost replace a towel. Keep an extra stick of deodorant at work, and some hair product.
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Old 04-11-12, 06:33 PM
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Baby wipes, a clean towel, and fresh clothes (down to the socks). Just find a bathroom and get out of your riding clothes. Use the wipes for armpits etc. Use the towel for a general rub down and get into your work clothes. Minty fresh all day. Oh yes, a bag so you can store your riding clothes somewhere convient.
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Old 04-11-12, 06:46 PM
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If your going to bring a full change of clothes which is probably the best idea, bring a small towel or washcloth and dampen it with cool water and wipe your sweat off and your pits and other areas you typically sweat a lot. Get to work 5 mins earlier then normal to cool off and stop sweating from the ride before you change into fresh clothes otherwise they will just get sweaty if your body temp isnt cooled down.
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Old 04-11-12, 06:56 PM
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Sorry dude, that sucks. Came to this thread cause I'm trying to manage sweat in conditions MUCH cooler than yours. Good luck.
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Old 04-11-12, 07:05 PM
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First off, try to keep a change of shirts somewhere on the job along with a wash rag and towel. If you can't manage that, then you're going to have to carry an extra shirt with you everyday. Get to work 15 minutes early everday. Wash up and change shirts. Make certain that you have deodorant with you. You'll need a comb, too.

Don't do anything out of the ordinary, like hang your shirt up to dry somewhere or something. Don't do anything that can be interpreted as unusual. This is a new job and you want to appear as normal as possible...
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Old 04-11-12, 08:00 PM
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Give yourself plenty of cool-down time after arriving.

Hopefully you will have somewhere available to hang up your riding clothes to dry. Question: In the dry heat of AZ, how damp will those clothes be?
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Old 04-11-12, 08:15 PM
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Shower in the morning. Wear clean cycling clothes. Pack your work clothes. I keep shoes at work. Action Wipes are great for cleaning off road grim and sweat and don't make you smell like a baby wipe.
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Old 04-11-12, 08:20 PM
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Definitely shower before you leave for work. It gets off a lot of that bacteria that has accumulated overnight which is the cause of the offensive body odor.

But really - did you try a search for "shower"? This has been covered so many times before and there is a ton of good advice.
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Old 04-11-12, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by hubcap

But really - did you try a search for "shower"? This has been covered so many times before and there is a ton of good advice.
So essentially you're saying people shouldn't start threads on previously covered topics. OK.
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Old 04-11-12, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by daredevil
So essentially you're saying people shouldn't start threads on previously covered topics. OK.
That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm just pointing out that the OP will get much more info from a search on that particular topic than from posting a single inquiry.
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Old 04-12-12, 08:32 AM
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Agree with what has been posted. The best thing you can do is to start clean, take a shower right before leaving or last thing the night before. If you can start clean, all you re doing is getting wet, not smelly on the commute. Then its just an issue of cooling down/ drying off at work. I bring the change of clothes (I wear my work pants if it's cool, but you won't have to deal with cool in AZ) & then wash in the sink at work. I had some Old Spice Sports towels that I seud to use, but they stopped making them-they were amazing). I also use a product caled rocket shower. It works like witch hazel (its probably made from that come to think of it). Anyways, after I wash off, then I spray that on my face right away & by the time i've changed clothes & am ready to work, it has usually stopped most of the sweating & I feel good.
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Old 04-12-12, 08:38 AM
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Good Luck
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Old 04-12-12, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by BRed
But before I start I thought I'd ask what works and what doesn't.
25 mile each way commute is difficult to do on a daily basis if that's what you have in mind. Depending on how fast you normally ride, prevailing winds and traffic, that could take 2 hours each way, not counting cool-down and cleanup time. Heat during the ride home can be brutal.

I did the no-shower method for a 7 mile commute, but when it went up to 17 miles I had a shower available to me; I think there is a big difference between the two and I don't know that the baby-wipe method would really be feasible for my longer commute.
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Old 04-12-12, 11:56 AM
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I would do a "cool down" mile or so just to let the body cool down a bit as you cruise to work and maybe you can relieve some of the moisture on the biking clothes so they aren't as damp when you get to the office. Also you won't be standing in the bathroom cooling down or looking like a creeper. lol
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Old 04-12-12, 12:47 PM
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In Phoenix his cloths will be as dry as toast when he gets to work as will he be. They will both be covered in salt though. If I was doing a 25 mile ride out there I would plan on 4 bottles of water on the bike both ways in the summer.

Last time I was out there it was February 2011 and the noon temp was 102 we played golf and I put down 9 bottles of water in 18 holes and never was the least bit damp and never went to the bathroom all day. Felt very healthy and nothing like 102 on the east coast. On the other hand without the H2O I would have been sick all afternoon. Staying hydrated out there is something you really have to work at. I would suggest the cool down couple miles and then an outdoor cool down in the dry heat 10 or 15 minutes in shade before hitting the air con. Spruce up as mentioned above and he should be fine. Just get the salt off the skin it’s hard to believe you can sweat out that much water and never get damp but that’s Phoenix AZ.
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Old 04-12-12, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bud16415
In Phoenix his cloths will be as dry as toast when he gets to work as will he be. They will both be covered in salt though. If I was doing a 25 mile ride out there I would plan on 4 bottles of water on the bike both ways in the summer.

Last time I was out there it was February 2011 and the noon temp was 102 we played golf and I put down 9 bottles of water in 18 holes and never was the least bit damp and never went to the bathroom all day. Felt very healthy and nothing like 102 on the east coast. On the other hand without the H2O I would have been sick all afternoon. Staying hydrated out there is something you really have to work at. I would suggest the cool down couple miles and then an outdoor cool down in the dry heat 10 or 15 minutes in shade before hitting the air con. Spruce up as mentioned above and he should be fine. Just get the salt off the skin it’s hard to believe you can sweat out that much water and never get damp but that’s Phoenix AZ.
I used to commute in both Yuma and Phoenix with no showers...listen to this guy. ^^^
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Old 04-12-12, 01:21 PM
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First off whats up man Im down in Chandler. I have some experience with the AZ heat and here is what I used to do when I had a 11 mile commute one way. I would just take a nice easy ride in the morning and the last mile really try and tone it down. Just because it is a dry heat here does not mean you won't get wet. I sweat a lot and the dry heat does help but still its heat!

When i get to work i go straight to the bathroom and run my hands under cold water, that seems to shut off my sweating mechanisms. Then I wipe down with some non scented baby wipes, throw on some deodorant and splash cool water on my face and I'm good to go. I also would bring a clean pair of socks and underwear because those can get pretty wet too. Just get prepared the night before so you are not forgetting anything extra to bring.

Now I have a 37mile commute one way and ride my scooter but some of the same cleaning up tricks work well in the summer.

Good luck man!! I miss my bike commuting
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Old 04-12-12, 06:45 PM
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Thanks for all of the advice. I will start getting things in order and hopefully I'll be able to get going on this within a week or two. I currently am riding my motorcycle, but I was looking for an excuse to start doing a decent amount of riding again. The mileage shouldn't bother me too much, as I have a friend that can give me a ride home in the evening if I stick around till she is off (about an hour after me).

As for the not searching for "shower," not sure why it didn't occur to me; But oh well, right.
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Old 04-12-12, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BRed

As for the not searching for "shower," not sure why it didn't occur to me; But oh well, right.
Don't concern yourself with that "you should search" comment. It happens all the time.

Having the option of a ride home is really nice. Good luck.
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Old 04-12-12, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by BRed
As for the not searching for "shower," not sure why it didn't occur to me; But oh well, right.
Don't feel bad. If you had searched (provided the search function was working, which it hasn't been lately) and bumped an older thread, we would get complaints of "Zombie thread resurrection!"

Starting a new thread gives other newer members a chance to give input as well. Don't ever be intimidated about starting a new thread on an old subject.
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Old 04-12-12, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by CbadRider
Don't feel bad. If you had searched (provided the search function was working, which it hasn't been lately) and bumped an older thread, we would get complaints of "Zombie thread resurrection!"

Starting a new thread gives other newer members a chance to give input as well. Don't ever be intimidated about starting a new thread on an old subject.
+1 while some of us old timers might grouse at the same old questions sometimes, most of us tend to understand that the search functionality of the site is limited...even when it is working.
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Old 04-12-12, 08:17 PM
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Trolls will always complain, no matter what you do. If we all just used the search function, we'd never talk to each other, and that's the entire point of a forum!
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Old 04-13-12, 04:27 AM
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Cooling down on the bike is far more efficient than standing around.
You will have to figure out how far you need to cruise to cooldown but you should be pedalling at a really gentle pace, basically rolling along. Save a waterbottle for the cooldown and splash it over your head, shirt and shorts. You need time on cruise to evaporate and cool you.
You can get twin bottle holders that bolt to the seat rails.
Keep an extra set of clothing at work for the time you forget stuff.
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Old 04-13-12, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by SweetNightmare
Trolls will always complain, no matter what you do. If we all just used the search function, we'd never talk to each other, and that's the entire point of a forum!
what gives you the impression that I want to talk to you? Next you're going to want to take warm showers and sing kumbaya.

Checking the FAQ (which this joint unfortunately doesn't have) first has been a custom in online forums for as long as I can remember. The point of doing so isn't to stifle discussion, it's to help someone find the information they are looking for much faster than starting a thread, waiting for replies and having to sort through all the different responses and try to figure out which are the applicable and/or factual. It also enables a common point of reference if then the person decides to start a thread on the subject.

But considering the crippled search and lack of a FAQ we have here...yeah, it's pretty much just us grouchy old trolls that give you crap.
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