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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    305

    Question Need advice on commuting to work

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    Hi - I am one of the lucky ones that live within a commutable biking distance from work (about 5 miles each way)- and plan to start riding to work after some practice riding my new road bike (I am picking her up today).
    However, since I am new to cycling and this will be my first road bike - I am nervous about having to carry too much on my back while riding.

    I am also a sweater (and I don't mean the wool or cashmere kind) which makes me wonder about how gross I might be by the time I get to work. The New Jersey area gets pretty hot and humid.

    I do not consider myself a primadonna by any means, but I do like to look decent - I wear a little makeup - and I work in the Marketing Dept of a Pharmaceutical Company, so I can't wear shorts or anything.

    I would love to hear tips or regimines that you all use. My office building has a small shower downstairs in a ladies locker room, but since it (the gym and locker room) is owned by the building (and we are a tenant) we are not allowed to keep locks on the lockers overnight (to keep soap, etc).
    I also have long hair, so a quick shower and blow dry isn't always feasable.
    UGGGGHH - there's got to be a solution.
    Don't wanna be stinky!!
    cheri

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    555
    After commuting, I always shower before work. My first time commuting, I loaded up the bag with all my necessities and boy did it get heavy half way though the 16 mile commute. We have a nice locker room that we are allowed to keep locks on overnight, so I keep all my necessities there now. What about keeping everything at your desk? Do you have a drawer you can store it in? It's sort of a pain to go to your desk, then the locker room, but it's much easier than hauling the blow dryer to and from work every day.

    Also, I find I am unable to bike every day. So I load up on the days I drive with the clothes I'll need for the days I commute and keep them in my locker. Maybe if you have an empty drawer at your desk, you can do this. Your commute is pretty short though, so if you can't keep things at work, carrying it shouldn't be too bad. Try to plan the lighter clothes to wear on days of your commute, so it's lighter on your back. Also, if you can keep an extra pair of shoes under your desk, that could save some weight.

    Good luck and enjoy your commute!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,556
    On days when you are going to work by car, drop off a towel, shower items, a pair of shoes, and maybe a few sets of clothes. Then you can carry less when you ride. Hopefully you have an almost empty desk drawer to store such things in. If you need to lock your bike outside, leave the lock attached to the bike rack (or whatever you lock to) overnight and don't carry it back and forth. Or keep the bike in your office during the day if you can.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    305
    Thanks SalsaMTB- I have heard of others who keep many pairs of their "work" shoes at their desk. I guess I am concerned about getting to my desk to gather my stuff ie walking around in my bike shorts.
    I don't know what it is about those shorts that makes me so insecure
    thanks for the advice

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    305
    I thought about maybe getting a large snap top tupperware I could bring in to the office when I drive - but, I will haveto think it out or I will end up with everything I own at the office, and nothing at home.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,080
    Quote Originally Posted by cherinyc
    Thanks SalsaMTB- I have heard of others who keep many pairs of their "work" shoes at their desk. I guess I am concerned about getting to my desk to gather my stuff ie walking around in my bike shorts.
    I don't know what it is about those shorts that makes me so insecure
    thanks for the advice
    Get a little wrap skirt that you can throw on over your shorts while you walk to your desk. I've got some really small skirts that fold into the size of a wallet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,932
    Hum, I may be in the far left field, but...

    it's a 5 mile commute, right?

    You could totally take it easy. At a relaxed pace, it will be maybe 30-45 minutes, that's not very long, and can be totally sweatless if there are no big hills and you take it easy. You can always go harder when you come back home at night.

    What others said about carrying gear is great. I would avoid a backpack as much as possible, it's not very comfortable and will definitely make your back sweat. Some light panniers or just a "trunk" will probably be good enough...

    I'm happy you chose a bike commute. Enjoy!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    Posts
    529
    Cherinyc thanks for brining the topic up. Just about to do the same thing.

    I also live in a VERY hot and humid part of the world. (even during winter according to the melbourners) but at work it's ALWAYS FREEZING cause of the bloody air conditioner!!

    So my tips are
    *keep a jacket over the back of your chair at work... Or sweater or jumper. Saves you bringing one in everyday
    *Try "Iron free" stuff as much as possible
    *Keep cereal or juices at work to scoff down when you get there
    *Try and "mix n match" your wardrobe where possible. That way you can LEAVE your pants at work and bring in a fresh shirt the next day ^_^
    *If you use a laptop, Invest in a spare power cables/chargers and leave one at home and one at work. That way you can JUST take the laptop home.
    * have money at work in a jar for a taxi or bus incase it's RAINING when you leave work one day.


    As for the hair... Dry it with a towel then put it in A Ponytail whilst Apply some smothing serum as you're done. Sure your hair may still be wet but the serum stops it frizzing out during the day. ^_^
    @LIGHTSABE*R(::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Beginner Triathlete Log

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    254
    I commute 4-5 miles each way - I wear regular shorts and tshirt in summer and change clothes in my office. In fall and winter I often just wear my work clothes (I teach) I keep a bar of soap and a washcloth and anti-perspirant at desk to rinse off with and reapply. I shower before riding in - keep pace slow to kee p from getting way sweaty. In the summer - in humid midwest - I get sweaty but this seems to work. I wear wicking underwear or I would change - cotton stays too wet. I keep shoes and belt at work - or I would forget them. I have a bike for commuting that I have a rack on - I hate to carry stuff on my back - even for a short ride. THere are also baskets that might fit over handlebars if you don't want a rack.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9
    I commute 9 miles each way in the hot, humid midwest. I've done the backpack thing and, well, I've learned to take clothes to work on the days I drive and have invested in soap, deoderant, extra makeup, etc that I leave at work so I could leave the backpack at home. The money I save in gas pays for those things. I have a bag for my handlebars that I stick my lunch, wallet, phone and work keys in. As far as the bike shorts, I used to feel self conscious too until I went to my first organized ride. Don't feel self-couscious about those shorts. You're doing something good for yourself and you're staying active and healthy which I bet is a lot more than the person who would make a comment about your shorts!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    305

    Handlebar bag on road bike?

    with everyone's suggestions, I think I am starting to form a plan. One thing I can't seem to grasp, is how the handlebar bag is supposed to fit on the bike. Are they primarily made for commuter bikes only?
    Also - I like the idea of the wrap, or cover skirt to throw on over my shorts.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Shelbyville, KY
    Posts
    1,472
    I commute 2 miles to work 3 days a week (when school is in session). On the days I drive (due to second job) I pack in my clothes, shoes, etc for the next day and lock them in my classroom closet. I keep a washcloth, soap, deodorant, etc in my closet at all times. So on the days I do commute I simply have to carry my lunch and any papers I carried home with me the night before to grade. At the end of the day I simply pack my clothes, shoes, etc in my panniers for the return trip home.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9
    I have my handlebar bag from my old hybrid that I put on my road bike for commutes. It doesn't fit perfectly but it works and sure beats a backpack!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    305
    sorry makbike - I am new at this -what's a pannier?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western Kansas
    Posts
    57
    I'm not makbike, but a pannier is one of these.
    They are basically like the saddlebags on a horse fitting over your rear rack or the front wheel.

    I have a handlbar bag that I put on my road bike, a Trek "Bike 'n Hike" one that can convert to a fanny pack. It fits well enough, but I haven't used it for commuting and I don't know if it would be big enough for that purpose.

 

 

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