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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    3

    Commuting to a dressy office

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    I commute about once to twice a week on my bike. I wish it was more, but I love wearing my high heels and dressing up at work and I haven't found a practical way to carry heels and lots of clothes in my backpack to work yet. I usually pack flats and a casual outfit for the days I ride to work. We don't have a shower so I usually just pack deodorant and a towel. Anyone work somewhere where they have to dress up everyday or prefer to dress up?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,144
    Bring your clothes for the week in on the days you drive. Buy and leave sample sized or extra toiletries and make up there. I did this for 4 years. Always have an emergency bra, black shoes, and white top and black jacket there for emergencies.
    The only thing I ever carried was my lunch and papers.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Bring your clothes for the week in on the days you drive. Buy and leave sample sized or extra toiletries and make up there. I did this for 4 years. Always have an emergency bra, black shoes, and white top and black jacket there for emergencies.
    The only thing I ever carried was my lunch and papers.
    Thanks for this Crankin, I was thinking this might be a better alternative than worrying about racks... Just trying to think about the most simple approach - and on Fridays I only work 4 hours anyway

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    How long is your commute? If it's not too far, what about just commuting in your dressy clothes?

    I work 3 miles from home and commute daily in dresses/skirts/heels, etc.
    I have a road bike that I sometimes use, but for the most part I just ride an old cruiser bike that I converted to a commuter. I have flat pedals and my heels work just fine.

    Check out this site: http://letsgorideabike.com/blog/2010...ing-in-a-suit/
    She's an attorney and bike commutes to downtown Chicago on her Dutch Oma bike daily. I'm not exactly sure how long her commute is, but I think it takes her somewhere around 40 minutes to ride each way.

    But if that isn't an option, then for sure drive your dressy clothes once a week and then ride the rest of the week. I did that for a year before I just decided to start riding- much more slowly so as to not sweat and work up a smell- in my work clothes (thanks to tips from the site above).
    Granted, now that I ride to work in my nice clothes, it takes me twice as long now to get there (20 min. as opposed to 10 on my fast bike), but I arrive sweat-free and still smelling nice. I've had to totally change my bike riding mind-set to ride to work this way tho; rememering that the fun is in the journey and to stop and smell the roses (sometimes literally).
    Good luck!!
    Last edited by Tri Girl; 03-13-2012 at 12:19 PM.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    During the first 10 years of returning cycling and cycling to and from work nearly daily spring, fall and summer, I did dress up alot more at the office. Meaning at least 3-4 work days weekly.

    I was cycling a 30 km. round trip between home and work, during my work cycling commutes, which included summer days @ 80-85 degree weather in summer.

    Most days I did cycle with my dress clothes. I had no place to lock up/store some business clothing except for a pair of dress shoes ...in a filing cabinet drawer.

    I did not shower, because there was no shower. But used wipes when I absolutely needed to which wasn't often.

    I just got used to packing carefully, changing etc. out of my cycling clothing.
    I guess I chose this "harder" method of cycling commuting to work and changing business clothing because I wanted both worlds: improved fitness but also to look fresh and have longer lasting business/dressier clothing.

    I still change into my dress pants at work, even though I have only a 15-20 min. bike commute one-way. There is no way I will cycle even in my dress pants: I paid almost $80.00 for them...after hunting down through petite wear shops.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 03-12-2012 at 06:03 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    I love hearing about how people get creative so they can bike, whether the problem is dress, distance, cargo, kids.

    I would add the suggestion of getting more cargo space, a rack & panniers or a basket, something like that.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    I should clarify that I packed my dressier business clothing in my bike panniers and cycled in my cycling wear.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    In the middle of Puget Sound
    Posts
    61

    Talking

    I normally wear suits or dresses w/heels in a "business dress" environment (as opposed to "business formal" or "business casual"). I have commuted year round at a previous job and during good weather at my current job ~17 miles away. Looking forward to a Sunny Seattle Spring (cross my fingers).

    I have a two-wheel-gear brand garment bag pannier which I've used a lot and it's held up well. It attaches easily and firmly to my back rack. twowheelgear dot com I normally put my suit/dress into a drycleaner's plastic bag and then into the pannier, which keeps the wrinkles down and protects from a downpour, as the pannier is water-resistant but not water-proof.

    My problem now is that I need to carry my laptop back and forth, so I may have to have a messenger bag in addition or switch to the jandd garment bag pannier, which is one side and a laptop sleeve on the other side of my rack.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    Don't know your cycling distance, but if short, I would tend to carry the laptop on my back like a knapsack if you are not willing to put computer in a bike rack pannier.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    I believe they make panniers designed to carry laptops. I know someone who has front panniers for that purpose. Unless I misunderstood him they are designed for laptops. (But it is entirely possible I misunderstood and they are just convenient for his laptop.)
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    In the middle of Puget Sound
    Posts
    61

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Melalvai View Post
    I believe they make panniers designed to carry laptops. I know someone who has front panniers for that purpose. Unless I misunderstood him they are designed for laptops. (But it is entirely possible I misunderstood and they are just convenient for his laptop.)
    Hmmm front pannier. I wonder if it would interfere with my headlight (on flat bar)? Do you know what brand?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    I don't know what brand it was. His headlight was on his handlebar.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Middle of good old USA
    Posts
    30
    I don't have a long commute - it's only 3.5 miles, BUT that's mostly uphill, so I don't want to wear work clothes and sweat in them. I also am not fond of riding with a back pack, as it seems to limit my rear vision when it sways back and forth as I ride. Anyway, I use smaller, front panniers, on a rear rack to carry my clothes for the day. (I pack my bags the night before.) Most days, I need to carry dress shoes, and appropriate clothing. I roll the clothing to try and avoid wrinkling. I put the shoes in the bottom of the panniers. Once you start planning ahead, it gets easier. There are definitely days when I look out the window and think - WHY am I riding my bike??!! BUT, by the time I get to work, I am always glad that I chose to ride. I start the day in a much better frame of mind. (BTW, there certainly are days when I don't ride. It's a COLD winter here, and during those days, I am in my car.)

    SR

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,648
    When I bike commuted, I could put my work clothes in an Eagle Creek packing folder. That fit inside inside a front pannier bag, along with shoes and lunch. One summer I also would go swimming before work so I also fit bathing suit, small towel, toiletries and breakfast (oatmeal in thermos, cup of yogurt, maybe an apple) in there as well. I would also keep shoes at the office with a small toiletry bag & wipes. I used a front pannier bag b/c I was commuting on a folding bike, and the rack was too low for a regular rear pannier.
    2014 Bobbin Bramble / Brooks B67
    2008 Rodriguez Rainier Mirage / Terry Butterfly Tri Gel
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    1998? GT Rebound / Serfas Gel

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    +1 for the Eagle Creek Pack-it folders. It's the easiest way that I've found to pack clothes in a pannier without them falling to the bottom and getting rumpled.

 

 

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