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How to commute by bike and arrive office fresh

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Article posted: 27/08/2013

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Whether your workplace is blessed with showering facilities or not, starting your day office fresh is a piece of cake, with a little forward planning and a few top tips. Do it right and your colleagues won’t even know you’ve made the incredible transformation from sweaty cyclist to well-groomed co-worker.

Transporting clothes

Getting your neat clothes into work in a fit state to wear is easy. A top tip is to look out for wrinkle-free variants of normal everyday clothes. Avoid anything that creases easily (linen is a big no-no). Travel/outdoor clothing suppliers are great for this kind of stuff – often these garments are also odour resistant, lightweight and with a small ‘pack-size’ – ideal for transporting by bike. The best way of avoiding creases is to roll and not fold clothing. It’s a common trick used by travellers the world over and it works a treat. Just roll your clothes up, pop them in a carrier bag and then inside a waterproof pannier and you’re set.  It’s even possible to transport a full suit by bike. Cycling garment/pannier bags (think of a garment bag – add pannier attachments and you get the idea) like Two Wheel Gear’s excellent product mean that suddenly riding to work and a sharp dress code are no longer mutually exclusive.  

Follow these top tips and no matter what your dress code is, you’ll be able to ride to work and blend naturally into the office environment, whilst enjoying that smug satisfaction that only cycle commuters feel.

Cleaning up without a shower

If you’ve got showers at work, lucky you! Just shower, dry, deoderise and go! If not, don’t let the lack of showers stop you beginning the day fresh and clean. There are a few tricks of the trade that’ll mean you’ll avoid being the one if the office with the embarrassing odour problem. The first is to shower in the morning before you set off, so you know you’re starting the day squeaky clean. The second is to dramatically reduce your effort in the last five minutes of your commute, to allow your body to begin cooling down. If this isn’t possible (you may work at the top of a hill or end your commute into a persistent headwind) give yourself at least five minutes to acclimatise before you begin to clean up and get changed. The next trick is antibacterial wipes. In the absence of a shower, these are your best bet for that fresh-as-a-daisy feel. Next dry off with a lightweight microfibre towel, apply deodorant, get into your fresh (wrinkle-free) clothes and you’re ready.

Dealing with sweaty cycling clothes

If you don’t want the stink the workplace out with sweaty cycling clothes (and you have somewhere to leave stuff to dry) you can wash modern synthetics and dry them during your working day. Pick up a small bottle of travel wash and you can rinse out a base layer or cycling jersey in the sink, rinse, wring out and hang up to dry. If your workplace is relatively warm it’ll dry out completely during the day.  Alternatively a quick spray of Febreeze or similar is good enough to ward off any nasty pongs so you feel fresh on your commute home. The main point is to avoid stuffing smelly, sweaty gear into your bag to fester in the heat of the office. You’ll win no friends that way.

Follow these top tips and no matter what your dress code is, you’ll be able to ride to work and blend naturally into the office environment, whilst enjoying that smug satisfaction that only cycle commuters feel.

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