My commute is 18 miles each way, but there is no shower in the office

This post was born out of a comment on a blog post by cyclinginheels

My commute is 18 miles each way, but there is no shower in the office!
So I had to make a decision, drive 50 minutes and hate 40 minutes of the journey or cycle for 1hr 15 minutes and love (almost) every minute of the journey (but work around the lack of shower issue).
Well, I chose to do my hobby 10 times a week and I’ve never looked back.

No shower means unfortunately the best I can do is a sink basin wash, change into work clothes and shoes, re-apply deodorant and style my hair.
I find changing clothes does a lot for my personal hygiene as cycling clothes breathe well and absorb the sweat away from my skin, sweat drying on the skin is what makes us sweaty, therefore I’m not that sweaty after a wash and a change of clothes.

Hairy arm pits retain sweat too, so if you aren’t a regular arm pit shaver then maybe try it and see if that helps too. If you are a man reading this then don’t be shy, try it you smelly coward 🙂

The wash is naturally more involved on horrid wet and dirty days, but that’s fine, I’m not wearing my work clothes, I don’t need to protect them from rain, so I don’t wear sweaty waterproofs either. My feelings on waterproofs are that they make me feel hot, sweaty and unhappy. I see others cycling slowly in waterproofs trying (but not succeeding) to not overheat. I’m in my cycling shorts and short-sleeved jersey and not really bothered by it, yes, I get to work wet, no more than had I been wearing waterproofs though. Waterproofs work for short cool weather rides in my opinion, but I avoid them at any temperature. Also breathable waterproofs are not really that breathable and rely on humidity differences, when wet on the outside you’ve got no chance, sweaty on the inside, even less chance.

Another key to arriving in comfort is to not overdress, on cooler days, start off feeling cold and you will soon warm up. At 6 degrees celsius I will still start and end my ride in shorts and t-shirt! If I started off wearing anything more I’d be stripping it off 2 miles down the road due to overheating. Arm and leg warmers can help, but I find them a bit too much of a faff.

When my cycle commute was 22 miles each way I did have use of a shower, that was nice, I do miss that, but it’s not a deal breaker.

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4 responses to “My commute is 18 miles each way, but there is no shower in the office

  1. I am a big fan of Merino as Poly clothes always honk and transfer that honk to me ….. Merino also doesnt get cold like cotton and poly stuff when wet ….

    • Thanks, that is a good point. Merino wool is well noted for its antibacterial properties which keeps the odour down.
      It is worth pointing out that I do change my kit every day, so each morning the clothes are nice and fresh and I arrive at work without smelling of yesterday’s commute.
      I do intend on upgrading my jerseys at some point soon, so if I can stretch a few extra pounds I’ll get the Merino ones.

  2. or just something like the icebreaker t shirt under a light jacket works wonders – I use them for running too.
    On a different note fancy writing on kitebikeramble – if so email me on richdirector(at)gmail.com and we can chat. 11000 readers a month but always nice to have fresh blood / brains

    • Cheers, I’ll look them up.
      I’m still new to this blogging lark and I’ve got a lot to get down on paper as it were, so when I’m done I’ll look you up. On a personal note, still got to do something more with the garden 🙂

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