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Commuting - managing your temperature on hot days

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Article posted: 27/08/2013

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Arriving at work a hot, sweaty mess is no way to make an entrance. Sitting next to a warm, steaming cycle commuter in the office is no laughing matter either.

Above: Two approaches to bike commuting apparel. Dress cool when you're on the bike and avoid overheating when you hit the office.

There's no getting around the fact that CYCLING IS EXERCISE, therefore, you're going to generate some heat but this doesn't mean that you need to arrive at your desk sweating like a horse. With this in mind here are our top tips for avoiding that thoroughbred look:

It's a fact that the more you commute, the fitter you get - and the fitter you become the less heat you'll generate.

1. Dress cool - Dress as if it's warmer outside that it actually is. In practical terms this means that if you start the ride feeling a little bit chilly, you've probably got the balance right. Having a number of thin layers at your disposal is a great idea, allowing you to fine tune your body temperature. Always take an extra layer in case you misjudge things or the weather changes. 

2. Take it easy - remember, commuting to work isn't a race. Slow down, find a quiet route, give yourself plenty of time and lope along like they do in Copenhagen.

3. Build a cool-down period into your commute - even on a short commute it's a great idea to starting easing back on your effort level around five minutes before you reach your destination, so that when you arrive at work your body has begun to cool down. If the final section of your commute is uphill or into a persistent headwind, however, cooldown can be tricky. One trick (weather permitting) is to spend some time outside the workplace, locking up your bike, sorting out your stuff, making that ‘I've arrived safely' call or whatever. Generally five minutes is enough to ensure that when you enter that hot, stuffy office you won't begin to sweat.

4. The more you do it the cooler you'll get - it's a fact that the more you commute, the fitter you get - and the fitter you become the less heat you'll generate. So if you've just started out and are feeling the heat, persevere, you're getting more efficient with every turn of the pedals.

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