Author Topic: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower  (Read 8007 times)

boulder3381

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Boulder, CO
    • Enjoy Outdoors Again! EMDR for Athletes & Adventures
Hello.  I will be bike commuting 15 miles to from Boulder to Longmont starting in May for a new job. 

While I could bus with the pass I'm provided with work, I'd rather bike.  Any suggestions on how to get clean with out looking like Hiker Trash http://www.wearehikertrash.com/ using a public sink (I don't think the office has shared bathrooms in hallway with other offices.

Should I consider a gym membership (wasted money just to shower)?  Should I just not care (though I work directly with people all day in my small office)?  Maybe there is a church / religious community that has a shower in town nearby?

Other ideas welcome?   

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6724
I have an hour full effort ride to work with no shower at the end.

My plan of attack is:

- shower at home before leaving
- get to work early
- cool down 15-20mins
- go to wash room and wash arm pits, face, etc... and wipe down with a towel
- fire on some deodorant
- get dressed in work clothes
- let my bike clothes dry while I work so they are comfy to put on when I get home

This works well enough. I'd be happier with a shower and a locker at work, but that's not happening until we move buildings.

I don't ride every day so I restock clothes/towels when I ride my motorcycle to work.

-- Vik

HazelStone

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
My husband bikes to work (but 5 miles, not 15). If you wear actual cycling shirts/jerseys, etc. the sweat isn't that bad. He simply towels off and changes to regular clothes. Change back to cycling clothes, bike back home, and...he doesn't stink. :P And he starts sweating easily, so it's not like he hardly sweats.

Zx

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 447
I just asked this question and got much good advice. I bought the bike last weekend for a commute that's 18 miles one way.

What I've discovered in the 4 days since I bought it is that I am NOT in the kind of shape I need to be in to bike 18 miles one way to work! I'm sweating like a piglet just doing 6 miles on hilly roads and totally spent at the end, and when I get home I immediately throw my clothes in the wash.

If you are in shape, it's OK. If you aren't, I'd recommend riding that route to work on a day off to see if you can do it without being crippled the rest of the day as I was (12 mile ride the day I bought the bike).

I'm sure that when I'm in shape I won't be sweating nearly as profusely, but I will be taking the advice of showering good before I leave in the morning and toweling down to change clothes when I get to work.

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6724
With an 18 mile commute I find I go balls to the wall so I get 'er done fast as it's already 1hr + 1hr + 0.3mins prep time out of my day. If I were to ride at a nice low sweating relaxing pace it would just take too long from each day. That means lots of sweating.

-- Vik

jda1984

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
I use a baby wipe to clean up a bit after my ride in.  They're cheap and they seem to do well enough keeping little ones from stinking after a diaper change, so I gave it a try.  I haven't had any complaints in the year or so I've been riding multiple times per week (13 miles one way).

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13119
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My commute's 11 miles each way, and bike clothes or no I stink when I get to the office.  I don't really enjoy the ride unless pushing it hard though.  I'd look into a gym membership to use the shower.

Imustacheyouaquestion

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 251
- shower before you leave (bacteria is what smells, not sweat)
- wet wipes plus small towel at work
- rack and panniers --> keeping stuff off my back helps me sweat a lot less
- hydrate with a cold water bottle once you arrive. chugging down cold water helps my body cool down and stop sweating more quickly.

boulder3381

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Boulder, CO
    • Enjoy Outdoors Again! EMDR for Athletes & Adventures
- shower before you leave (bacteria is what smells, not sweat)
- wet wipes plus small towel at work
- rack and panniers --> keeping stuff off my back helps me sweat a lot less
- hydrate with a cold water bottle once you arrive. chugging down cold water helps my body cool down and stop sweating more quickly.


Definitely like these tips.  I'll try this process.  I have all the gear for the ride (panniers, wrinkle free life style cloths).   


The distance should be do-able within two weeks of riding just one way.  Need to shake out my winter legs and prep for summer.


Because I'll be along a busy road (massive shoulder) most of the way, I want to get better red lights.  I have great frontlight.




jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2849
  • Location: Orange County, CA
We have showers here at work but I haven't used them yet. I just started commuting (at least once or twice a week so far but eventually I'd like to every day). It's only a little over 4 miles each way for me so not bad at all, but I do work up a good sweat coming in. I need to start bringing a towel or face cloth to wipe off if I'm not gonna shower. Otherwise, I just wait a bit to cool off before putting on some deodorant. The nice thing is that there aren't a whole lot of people in the office when I get in. As far as showering, I typically shower the night before. Wiping down with a face towel (face, neck, pits, etc) is a good idea though.

ontheroaderic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 57
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Colorado
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2015, 02:45:54 PM »
I commute 9.3 miles each way (Broomfield to Lafayette and back). I shower before I leave the house in the morning and wear one set of clothes on the bike when I leave, and bring my work clothes along with me. I do work up a sweat along the way but I have that change of clothes when I get to the office, and it's no problem. I also keep a stick of deodorant at the office in case I need a second pass, or in case I get to the office and realize I forgot to put some on before I left the house.

It's usually a lot hotter in the afternoon and I sweat quite a bit, but at that time I'm headed home so I don't care.

We do have a shower at my office and I used it a bit in the beginning, but have found it's not really necessary if I shower before I leave the house.

Second the rack and panniers - you don't want stuff on your back. Ortlieb Backroller Classics on mine and I love 'em. Keeps everything dry too!

kpd905

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1707
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2015, 07:07:05 PM »
If you don't want to bike roundtrip each day, just alternate.  Bike to work, take the bus home.  Take the bus to work, bike home.

frugalnacho

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3309
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Madison Heights, Michigan
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2015, 07:13:29 PM »
I put deodorant on before I leave.  On monday I bring an extra tee shirt and sweatshirt with me.  I take off my shirt and sweatshirt once I get to work and put on my clean stuff (I don't change my pants/shorts, just wear them and let them dry).  I change back into my dirty cloths for the ride home.  I wear the same "clean" shirt and sweat shirt all week long while at work. 

alsoknownasDean

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1919
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2015, 07:15:59 PM »
I have a 30min, approximately 7-8km commute, and I tend to ride in work clothes and manage OK as is (at least no-one has commented), but I try and go at 80% rather than 100%.

I keep some deodorant at work just in case, but as the weather cools down and I get fitter, I find I need it less anyway (especially as I shower and put deodorant on before I leave).

Rmt

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2015, 11:51:41 PM »
Interesting question... not sure if anyone said this... but your diet has a lot to do with how smelly your perspiration is...

cerebus

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 509
  • Age: 41
  • Location: South Africa
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2015, 01:40:15 AM »
I use the gym shower. It also means that we only have to turn the hot water on once a day, in the evenings for about 45 minutes, to wash the kids and do dishes. So I think there's SOME amount of electricity savings there, and my gym is pretty cheap. However mainly it's convenient being downstairs from my work, and ... well.... it's a really nice gym - the flagship Virgin Active for the region. MMM talks a lot about home fitness but I'm quite loathe to give up that cushy gym, it's one of few luxuries I have, and it's heavily subsidized by health insurance. Sorry that's a detour.

Kris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3952
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2015, 06:45:57 AM »
No one has suggested this yet, so, i suggest shaving your pits.

I'm assuming you're a guy, and my guess is you will reject this idea out of hand, but... Sweat doesn't stink until it comes into contact with the air and dries.  If you have underarm hair, it collects on the hair, dries, and then stinks.  With no pit hair, you will stink much less. 

mskyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2015, 07:21:58 AM »
No one has suggested this yet, so, i suggest shaving your pits.

I'm assuming you're a guy, and my guess is you will reject this idea out of hand, but... Sweat doesn't stink until it comes into contact with the air and dries.  If you have underarm hair, it collects on the hair, dries, and then stinks.  With no pit hair, you will stink much less.

And if you're doing a wet-wipe/sponge bath kind of thing in the bathroom, it's a lot easier to clean smooth pits than hairy ones, and easier to re-deodorant-ize.

I think you should experiment - it takes different people's sweat different amounts of time to get stinky. So, like, my morning commute sweat might not start to smell really gross until it's almost time to go home. So you might be able to get away with just a towel-down after the ride.

Riding easier is also an option (and what I do most of the year) but that's harder to do on a 15 mile ride than on a shorter commute.

wealthviahealth

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 180
    • http://goo.gl/XUsFHT
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2015, 07:29:15 AM »
A small bottle of Dr. Bronners soap would be a perfect thing to keep in you bag/ office if you do go the sink shower route.

anks

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2015, 08:43:40 AM »
Just leave the house 10-15 minutes earlier. I always found myself racing to work, and this would get a good sweat going. Leaving a little earlier lets me ride at a more leisurely pace, and I don't work up a sweat like I used to. It also gives you a better chance to enjoy the ride and treat biking to work as transportation instead of exercise. If you need the exercise, race home!

+1 for panniers.  A backpack makes your back sweat, so getting that stuff off your back helps a ton.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13119
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2015, 10:13:24 AM »
No one has suggested this yet, so, i suggest shaving your pits.

I'm assuming you're a guy, and my guess is you will reject this idea out of hand, but... Sweat doesn't stink until it comes into contact with the air and dries.  If you have underarm hair, it collects on the hair, dries, and then stinks.  With no pit hair, you will stink much less.

As a hairy guy I second the recommendation, it will reduce the amount you smell quite a bit . . . but would recommend a #2 blade on your hair trimmer rather than razor.  Shaving right down to the wood leads to a really itchy week or so afterwards as it grows back.  Pits, chest hair, back hair, and 'nads.

Barbaebigode

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 154
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2015, 10:30:58 AM »
I bike commute in Brazil, so as you might have guessed is hot. This is what I do:
-try to get to work as early as possible, because the weather is way cooler.
-Shower before leaving
-different set of clothes for biking (loose dry fit t-shirt and the lightest  fabric shorts you can get)
-never carry a bag on your back. Attach it to your bike somehow
-dry yourself with a small towel when you get to work
-apply deodorant.
-don't carry unnecessary extra weight (beer belly included)
-improve overall fitness

During summer when it's 26c at 8am I try to leave even sooner so I can bike slower than usual.

boulder3381

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Boulder, CO
    • Enjoy Outdoors Again! EMDR for Athletes & Adventures
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2015, 11:28:14 AM »
I haven't used deodarant in 10 years.   I guess I'll have to decide on some kind that doesn't suck.

Barbaebigode

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 154
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2015, 12:41:05 PM »
I haven't used deodarant in 10 years.   I guess I'll have to decide on some kind that doesn't suck.

But if you never use deodorant what makes you think you're gonna need one now? If I don't use a deodorant I will smell even without exercising.

SenoritaStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2015, 11:30:39 PM »
Not sure if these tips will help but here goes nothing...

Trim your armpit hair.  The #1 (#4 for longer but still somewhat trim) attachment should work pretty good, if you are a guy.  Plus you will only have to do this probably monthly so not bad, and it will feel a little more hygienic (according to my hubby)

After you shower pat your pits dry, allow them to dry completely, then take some Virgin coconut oil and rub into your pits, allow this to completely soak in (30 mins or so).  Once the oil is completely soaked in and your pits look dry then put on deodorant.  The coconut oil helps with the odor as it is antibacterial.

If you don't like deodorant look into making your own out of coconut oil, baking soda and I think is corn stach, go to YouTube and research diy deodorant.  Many variations on how to make your own.  A lot healthier than all those chemicals in regular deodorants.  This will help with the smell, but not with the sweat since sweat is a normal thing your body does anyway, and modern deodorants keep it from doing that with the anti-perpirant built into some.

Again not sure if these tips will help but I hope they do :)

asauer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 586
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2015, 08:15:27 AM »
I bike to my second job (10 mi).  I use baby wipes, reapply deodorant and use dry shampoo if my hair looks a little icky.

boulder3381

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Boulder, CO
    • Enjoy Outdoors Again! EMDR for Athletes & Adventures
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2015, 08:55:25 AM »
Not sure if these tips will help but here goes nothing...

Trim your armpit hair.  The #1 (#4 for longer but still somewhat trim) attachment should work pretty good, if you are a guy.  Plus you will only have to do this probably monthly so not bad, and it will feel a little more hygienic (according to my hubby)

After you shower pat your pits dry, allow them to dry completely, then take some Virgin coconut oil and rub into your pits, allow this to completely soak in (30 mins or so).  Once the oil is completely soaked in and your pits look dry then put on deodorant.  The coconut oil helps with the odor as it is antibacterial.

If you don't like deodorant look into making your own out of coconut oil, baking soda and I think is corn stach, go to YouTube and research diy deodorant.  Many variations on how to make your own.  A lot healthier than all those chemicals in regular deodorants.  This will help with the smell, but not with the sweat since sweat is a normal thing your body does anyway, and modern deodorants keep it from doing that with the anti-perpirant built into some.

Again not sure if these tips will help but I hope they do :)


Thanks for these recipes.  I'll give them a try. 

trobertson79

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2015, 09:20:06 AM »
In the summer I bike in shorts and shirtless.  I air out after parking my bike if need be but usually I don't need to.  Years ago I would wear spandex shorts and do the spounge bath in the bathroom, now I don't push as hard and don't need to.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3672
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: MMM strategies for not stinking after bike commuting - no office shower
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2015, 09:45:25 AM »
Depending on the commute, a small electric motor assist might be useful for the way into work.  That's part of the reason I ride my ebike to work - I can rely a bit more on the motor going there, and then pedal more on my way home, and not have to shower when I get to work (I can do it, but there's often a bit of a wait for a shower, depending on which ones are working any given morning).

Otherwise, good vented gear is helpful, and keeping your bike in good shape (no brake drag, chain well lubricated, tires at whatever pressure you prefer instead of 20 psi low) helps reduce effort a decent amount.