Commuting Basics: If You Arrive on Time, You’re Late

ArleighAdventures, Bike Commuting, Cycling Tips20 Comments

sweaty bike commute

Bike commuting is a passion of mine. The joy of swinging a leg over my bike to get to my next destination is freeing and can make any day feel complete. One thing I realize as more friends and readers are getting into bike commuting is that there can be a hugee lack of preparation for going by bike and the stress that involves. There are many topics on this subject, but today’s point is this.

Just because you rode your bike does not mean you should walk in sweaty and rushed.

Too many times in my experience bike commuters are running behind because they didn’t give themselves enough time. For those showing up early they are sweaty and need time to “cool off.” Selfishly, I want bike commuting to be looked at as a viable alternative to many people’s car commute. Helping give it a good image and taking a bit of time to be presentable and ready to go when your day starts will go a long way!

Suggestions for looking like you didn’t commute

  • Time can be your friend. Give yourself built in time incase of a flat tire, mechanical or to try a new route to work. I’ll often wait to drink a cup of coffee for when I get to work, that way I have time to stop sweating before I wipe off and change.
  • It’s not a race. Enjoy the ride and don’t rush it. If you want to rush off somewhere on your commute, let it be the ride home where you can be sweaty in the comfort of your own couch.
  • Wear wicking clothing and have spares. I wear a running t-shirt in the wicking material, or an Ice Breaker light weight wool t-shirt. Unless it’s under 70 I come prepared with a different shirt. The same goes for the bottom, except I bring extra unders! Working in a bike shop I’ll wear the same pair of jeans 3 or so days straight, leaving them at the shop but bringing in clean underwear every day with me.
  • Action Wipes. It’s like a shower in towel, disposable and all natural. Start from your face going down, it will leave you feeling clean and you won’t be salty the rest of the day.


20 Comments on “Commuting Basics: If You Arrive on Time, You’re Late”

  1. All good info. I wear biz suits/dresses at my job but still have no problem commuting by bike – it just takes preparation. I wear lycra while on the bike (the top tube is not conducive to a pencil skirt) – which is good b/c in the humid summers, I may not sweat on the bike, but I do once I stop, no matter how short of distance I rode.

    I pack my bag (Ultura waterproof pannier, bought in the UK) the night before w/ the biz clothes nicely folded and have no wrinkles the next morning. I don’t shower at work, but I do keep wet wipes available (love Action Wipes, btw) to clean off muck when it’s raining. For “refreshing” myself, I have a mixture of witch hazel & lavender oil. I spritz down in the changing room (aka, women’s bathroom), then re-fluff my wavy/curly hair from helmet head and put on makeup. 20 minutes total including putting on hose and heels. Biz associates/vendors are always surprised that I look as “put together” as I do when they find out I bike commute.

    The thing is, anything can be done with the right preparation (but I rarely leave time for fixing flats – such as this morning – luckily my route is right next to the light rail train path, so I am never farther than 10 minutes from a stop).

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