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  1. #1
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    tips for riding to work

    Hi to everyone,

    I'm sorta new to the forum but have been watching in the background for a bit. I wanted to start riding to work ( a 7 mile trip ) to help offset the gas prices and also because i enjoy riding. As i work in an office I have no easy way to clean myself up I was wondering what some of my fellow riders do. For certain I will be changing my riding cloths for the normal office setup. Any tips or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    More than a little slow
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    The hard part isn't changing clothes or cleaning yourself up, it's finding somewhere to hang your wet stinky riding clothes so that they are dry by the time you head for home. If you can find somewhere to do that, then commuting will be a breeze. As for yourself, a shower in the morning before the ride helps quite a bit, but really as long as you've got clean clothes at work you should be ok.
    Cheers, Dave

  3. #3
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    I started riding 2 weeks ago. What I have been doing is driving to work every Monday to bring 4 days worth of clean clothes. Also I have 2 bags where 1 bag is for dirty clothes, the other bag is for clean.

    I got a bottle of Bom Chicka Wah Wah(Axe Body Spray) and body wipes you can get at CVS.

    Good to go!

  4. #4
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    Talk to your employer, they may have a shower available. I will tell you that it is addictive. I have only been commuting for 2 weeks at most and there are already others at work that are doing the same thing. My employer is now providing a shower and is putting up a new bike rack. Just commit to commuting and everything else will work out.

  5. #5
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    Hey everyone, long time lurker, sometimes poster, new commuter here...

    I just started commuting a few weeks ago, about 8 miles each way. The work part was surprisingly easy for me. I shower, shave, etc. before I leave the house. Once I get to work, I cool down for about 10 minutes, then clean up with baby wipes and change into work clothes (from a backpack). The sweaty cycling clothes get hung up behind my office door to dry for the ride home.

    I have an air freshener in my office, just in case, and I also keep an extra stick of the deode in my desk for extra sweaty rides. I've heard of other people using Febreeze for their gear, but haven't had to resort to that yet.

    Works great!

  6. #6
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    I do 10 miles each way, I just pack an extra shirt in my backpack and just change when I get into the office. If I get really sweaty during the ride I'll wipe myself down with a towel and apply extra deodorant.

    In the evening I tend to push myself a lot harder and end up taking a second shower for the day when I get home.

  7. #7
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    Just started commuting 4 days ago. 24 miles round trip. I find after a 5-10 minute rest and a ton of axe I'm good to go. These body wipes AlbyAlby's talking about sound like a good idea as well.

  8. #8
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    I ride 6.5 miles to work (each way) a couple of days a week. I keep a universal pair of shoes at work (cordovan color) a reversible belt and 2 white shirts and deodorant. We don't have a shower at work, so I shave and shower before riding. I bring a wash cloth and a hand towel in my pack to cleanup with once I get to work. I have found that not putting deodorant on after the shower makes the cleanup at work a little easier.

    My pack is pretty light, just a pair of slacks, underwear, socks, wash cloth and small towel. I live in the Midwest, so we have large, empty (this time of year) coat closets to hang my riding clothes in to dry.

    I am riding a Trek 820 to work. I also ride it 3 or 4 times a week on single track trails. I just put more air in the tires when riding it on the street.

    John

  9. #9
    Sir Crashalot
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    9 miles round trip, is what it used to be. I would just iron and fold my clothes and place my shoes in a bag and stick all of it in a backpack. I'd cool down for a few minutes and clean up and change in the bathroom at work. Showering, shaving, and not applying deodorant before the ride was the way to go for me.

    I've moved across town and my office has moved, so I haven't been riding to work for a while now. I'm about to start again, and my plan is to drive Mon and Fri to bring and pick up a week's worth of clothes. That way, I don't have to carry a big backpack all the time; I can just ride with my Camelback.

  10. #10
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    I've experimented a bit, but the best advice I have used was to drive in on Monday w/ dress for 4 days. I keep two pair of shoes in the office (brown and black) and a reversible belt. On Monday morning, when I am driving, I drop my shirts at the dry cleaners and pick them up on my way home in the evening. Each day I pack in clean underware and socks, and food - lots and lots of food - riding in will make you hungry all day long. I also pack a thermos of good coffee and an insulated water bottle of fruit juice. Those little boxes of chocolate milk are great to drink as soon as you arrive too.

    Once I get in, I log onto my pc and start checking e-mail to give myself 5 or 10 minutes to stop sweating. Then I take my clothes to the bathroom and lock the door (your lucky if you have a lockable bathroom door) then I just wipe myself down w/ wet paper towels. If you shower just before you leave home, and wipe yourself down and change when you arrive, you won't stink at work. I haven't found the need for extra applications of deodorant (I use it only once/week anyway).

    Then you only need to find a place at work to hang your cycling clothes to dry that won't make your office or cube look like a locker room. A well positioned bookshelf can work for this.

    I just bring my bike into my office - my boss asked me why I don't lock it up outside and I explained to him how much these things cost these days. He was pretty understanding. I actually get some respect for biking into work, and others are now looking into it themselves. I've even had a couple of clients ask me about it after seeing the bike and tell me that they have been thinking about riding to work as well.

    Good luck. There are few things in life that are more serene than starting each day hearing not the whine of your car's starter, but only the solid click of a clipless pedal. Enjoy!

  11. #11
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    I roll up my work clothes instead of folding them before I put them in my back pack– this helps reduce creasing.

  12. #12
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    Baby wipes are the BEST THING....since sliced bread. Shower first, in the morning and the wipes will take care of any funk you have developed, from riding. If clothes smell- either bag them in plastic, or find a way to dry them during a lunch break. Febreze also works well at deodorizing too. Welcome to the bike-to-work elite!!!

  13. #13
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    My commute is pretty short, just 12+ round trip. Shower is not needed in the morning going in, the towel and deodorant are enough (at least no co-workers have complained). My ride home is almost all uphill and is pretty steep at the end. I'd like to ditch the Camelback that I use for lunch and for tools and replace with panniers (I already use a trunk rack for clothes in addition to the Camelback). I found allot of compatability issues between racks and panniers. What started out as simple got very complicated. I am ditching my Jannd trunk rack for the Topeak system where it snaps on to the seat post rack, their trunk rack includes panniers. Only problem is I can't find Topeak stuff in stock right now, ordered from REI and have to wait 3 weeks. Maybe demand is up right now? All of this was to get rid of a sweaty shirt when I get home, LOL!

  14. #14
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    One thing that I learned was to have a box of bars or some extra snacks at work. Riding 15 miles in the morning leaves me a bit hungrier throughout the day. I know my gas costs go down but my food costs go up. All worth it though.

  15. #15
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    Lower the expectations of the people you work with. First go to work with one wrinkle. Then the next day have two wrinkles. Then three wrinkles and maybe a crease in your pants. Then maybe some pit sweat. Then one day, forget your pants and wear your bike shorts all day. Then eventually, you'll be able to wear your Arrogant Bastard jersey, Save the Ta-Tas socks and your commuter clipless shoes the whole day and nobody will even notice.

    Problem solved.

    Caz
    I am a Mountain Biker therefore I am late

  16. #16
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    as i sit at a desk most all day Im not sure if any one would even notice my shorts...hmmmmmmmmmmm


    Thanks for all the great advise

  17. #17
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    I'm not reading through everything here so if I repeat something forgive me.
    I ride 6-9 miles one way depending on chosen route. I have a pack/trunk on my road bike that is just big enough to get my work clothes (office) in. I have found rolling my clothes instead of folding really cuts down on wrinkles. I leave my shoes at work. What I have read and agree with is sweat doesn't stink. It is the bacteria that builds up when sweaty clothes are left in a pile that stinks. I purchased a spring loaded shower curtain that I installed under my desk and when I change into my work attire my riding clothes get hung up to dry. They have yet to ever smell. As for myself, I wipe the excess sweat off my body with the available brown paper towels in the bathroom and wait until I am cooled down before changing into my work clothes. This minimizes any sweat soaking into my work clothes. I also keep a box of unscented wipes and a stick of antiperspirant/deodorant at work just in case. Rarely do I need them. This works and has been working for me for a year and a half and I do get real sweaty on my rides into work.
    For lunches, I drop all of it off at work on Sundays after I go grocery shopping for the week.

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