Author Topic: Commuting to an office on a bike  (Read 9907 times)

Acg

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Commuting to an office on a bike
« on: April 02, 2013, 12:57:56 PM »
Hey guys,

So I started riding my bike to work which is going to save me about $100/month but I was wondering if any of you office dwellers have any tips that make it easier.  I work in a somewhat formal office with people wearing slacks and ties, but no suit jackets unless seeing a client.

Do you guys have any tips?  Do you change at work?  I feel a little silly walking into the office in biking clothes so I've been wearing biking rights under my slacks.  Do you put any product in your hair at work?  Do you leave work shoes at work?  Any tips would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

Acg

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 01:18:24 PM »
Any recommendations on a bike pump for presta valves to keep at home?  The one I had just totally fell apart this AM.  Thanks.

projekt

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 01:32:30 PM »
Do you guys have any tips?  Do you change at work?  I feel a little silly walking into the office in biking clothes so I've been wearing biking rights under my slacks.

Just compromise! http://www.podiumcycling.com/cycling-jerseys/pee-wee-herman-skinsuit

RoseRelish

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 02:17:19 PM »
I leave work shoes at work. And keep a change of clothes there just in case something splashes on me or it's an incredibly hot (sweaty) kind of day.

And who cares if you look silly? I wear big snow pants in the winter, get made fun of, but stay warm and have no issues with self-confidence - so it's all good.

Acg

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2013, 05:39:26 PM »
I bought this pump.  It's listed at $19.99 but it goes for $45 pretty much everywhere else.  I think it's a price mistake, jump on it!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RVUXMU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2013, 05:50:49 PM »
Hey guys,

So I started riding my bike to work which is going to save me about $100/month but I was wondering if any of you office dwellers have any tips that make it easier.  I work in a somewhat formal office with people wearing slacks and ties, but no suit jackets unless seeing a client.

Do you guys have any tips?  Do you change at work?  I feel a little silly walking into the office in biking clothes so I've been wearing biking rights under my slacks.  Do you put any product in your hair at work?  Do you leave work shoes at work?  Any tips would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

I bring my work clothes in panniers.  I could even leave my shoes in my desk if I wanted.  I haven't biked in during the summer though.  I couldn't give less of a shit that people see me walk in in shorts and a t-shirt (and sandals, when it gets warmer).

kendallf

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2013, 07:38:43 PM »
I'm lucky enough to have a bathroom with a shower and lockers, so I just tromp on in or out with my cleats.  You'll probably get a few strange looks at first, but I've been doing it for years and now I'm "the cyclist" and I get any and all bike or exercise related questions.

chardog

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 07:48:22 PM »
I used a shower room downstairs with a locker containing shoes and shower stuff, so it was pretty nice (especially during Texas summers)

If you don't have showers, maybe there is a gym or YMCA nearby or a storage room you can keep some clothes and clean-up stuff in before you get to the main part of your office?

If you need a mini pump to carry with you, I have had surprisingly long lasting good results with this one for ten bucks: http://www.pricepoint.com/Brand/Sette/Sette-Air-2-Mini-Pump-with-Auto-Head.axd

My expectations were low, but it's worked well and lasted forever.  I am also notoriously abusive to my equipment and have had many pumps and other stuff fail.

 

mlipps

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2013, 07:08:21 AM »
In the winter I actually bike in warm pants with my work pants over them (and cowboy boots to keep the pants out of the chain). Our office is cold so I just leave the warm pants on under. Honestly though, I feel like anymore most people are generally supportive of things they see as environmentally friendly and healthy. You'll probably get far fewer weird looks than you're imagining.

capital

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2013, 08:28:32 AM »
How long is your commute and what climate do you live in? If it's a couple miles, you should be able to take things easy and wear your normal clothes, except in the hottest of weather.

If it's 10 miles, you probably want to pack a change of clothes and find a shower or towel off in the bathroom after slowing down for the last mile or so and drinking cold water. If your office doesn't have showers, some gyms offer shower-only memberships.

Biking clothes don't have to be skintight spandex, either, if that's what's embarassing you-- golf clothes are often made of stretchy wicking material, available cheaply at Target or other stores, and are usually pretty conservatively styled.

tuyop

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2013, 08:44:10 AM »
I just keep everything possible at work (mostly in case I forget), so a spare set of soap, underwear, socks, towel, et cetera, and change into it when I get there.

If you can't shower at work, just try not to get too sweaty and bring some wet naps to the office and towel yourself off after you cool down and stop sweating. For my hair, I just rinse it out in a sink with cold water and dry it off with my towel. I always look most dashing this way anyway.

Acg

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2013, 01:21:18 PM »
It's not that I'm embarrassed, it's really that it's a more formal work environment.  For example, I've never seen someone in shorts before and can count on one hand the few times that I've seen jeans over the years.

It's also a pretty simple ride.  It's about 2.5 miles and 90% of it is through Central Park, which is great.  I was really just curious if anyone had any general tips.  I think I'm going to start leaving my shoes at work and possibily even my dress shirts.  I'll just have to find a place close to my office that does laundry.

tuyop

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2013, 01:24:36 PM »
It's not that I'm embarrassed, it's really that it's a more formal work environment.  For example, I've never seen someone in shorts before and can count on one hand the few times that I've seen jeans over the years.

It's also a pretty simple ride.  It's about 2.5 miles and 90% of it is through Central Park, which is great.  I was really just curious if anyone had any general tips.  I think I'm going to start leaving my shoes at work and possibily even my dress shirts.  I'll just have to find a place close to my office that does laundry.

Or just fold them up and take them home on Fridays?

\/\/\/\/ Merino wool, though more expensive, doesn't have that drawback and is pretty great in general.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 02:09:40 PM by tuyop »

GuitarStv

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2013, 02:03:22 PM »
One tip that I've recently discovered after my 11 mile ride in to work:

Performance/wicking fabrics work great to keep you comfy while biking, but tend to stink really really badly once they get thoroughly soaked in sweat.  If you're like me, and you have to dry them out in your cubicle . . . take them into the shower with you and rinse the sweat out for a couple seconds under the water.  Finish your shower as per usual, towel off.  Next lay your sweat wicking clothes on your towel and roll the towel up tightly.  Unroll the towel, and you have mostly dry and now (mostly) non-stinky sweat-wicking stuff that can be hung at the back of your cube without gagging the rest of the office.

clutchy

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2013, 09:20:27 PM »
we moved to a new office in the last couple of years and when they were outfitting the place I asked my boss if they'd consider a small shower in the mens room.

He laughed and said sure, but we'll have to move the sauna and locker rooms... obviously we don't have either of those.


It was a serious request but he didn't take me seriously which is why I'm now looking for another job.  I'm a professional and expect to be treated as such.  If it wasn't an option that's fine, but that type of response is dismissive and sarcastic.


I'm still somewhat bitter about it, and stopped bike commuting due to various reasons but i'm starting back up again this summer.


just an FYI I take baby wipes or equivalent with me and do a quick wipe down in the restroom.


Kriegsspiel

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2013, 05:54:32 AM »
we moved to a new office in the last couple of years and when they were outfitting the place I asked my boss if they'd consider a small shower in the mens room.

He laughed and said sure, but we'll have to move the sauna and locker rooms... obviously we don't have either of those.


It was a serious request but he didn't take me seriously which is why I'm now looking for another job.  I'm a professional and expect to be treated as such.  If it wasn't an option that's fine, but that type of response is dismissive and sarcastic.


I'm still somewhat bitter about it, and stopped bike commuting due to various reasons but i'm starting back up again this summer.

Jeez, passive-agressive much?

capital

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2013, 08:33:58 AM »
It's also a pretty simple ride.  It's about 2.5 miles and 90% of it is through Central Park, which is great.  I was really just curious if anyone had any general tips.  I think I'm going to start leaving my shoes at work and possibily even my dress shirts.  I'll just have to find a place close to my office that does laundry.
If you're only going 2.5 miles, I would just ride to work slowly in your work clothes, maybe just in your undershirt on hot days. Riding 2.5 miles at 10mph in one set of clothes is faster than riding 2.5 miles at 17mph then cleaning up and changing clothes.

Of course, if you only have a super-sporty road bike, this is a trickier plan. A city bike with an upright seating position and chainguard, like an old Raleigh or the upcoming Citi bikeshare bikes, are better suited for short-distance commuting. Basically, you want to be this dude:
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 08:40:41 AM by ehgee »

chardog

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2013, 08:38:54 AM »


Jeez, passive-agressive much?
[/quote]

Hard to say for sure.  Now I had to go and surf this site: http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/ :)

Hotstreak

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2013, 01:06:22 PM »
I don't bike commute right now, but I have in the past.  I always kept a spare change of clothes at the office (hanging clean in dry cleaning bags), and otherwise brought my clothes with me in a backpack.  Neatly folded shirts, pants, and tie never developed noticeable creases on my ride, and a fresh pair of shoes and socks sat nicely at the bottom of the pack.  I took care to ride easily enough to not sweat hard, and if I got pretty wet I would take it easy and slow for the last bit of the ride.  When arriving at the office I would be a few minutes early each day to change in the bathroom, rinse my face and stow my riding clothes.

I don't think it's uncommon for people to keep a spare shirt and tie at the office for practical reasons, but I didn't want to be the guy keeping his whole wardrobe there.  That would be a bit weird to me.  I started doing things this way after seeing some people ride motorcycles to work.  Most of them wore outerwear they stripped away and hung for the day, but many did not even do that in the summer heat.. they basically did what I described (keeping things in their backpack or saddlebag).

Mrs WW

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2013, 02:10:46 PM »
I agree with ehgee, just do what most european short commuters do - ride in your office clothes! Since you're only going 2,5 miles in a mostly flat landscape, you'll be fine. If you view the bike as first and foremost a mode of transportation and not a sport, thus adjusting the pace and route, you'll be surpriced at how easy it will be riding in your suit. I would keep a comb at work though, that is if you ride with a helmet (and have hair ;)

Happy (and stylish) riding!

tuyop

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2013, 07:03:06 PM »
Of course, if you only have a super-sporty road bike, this is a trickier plan. A city bike with an upright seating position and chainguard, like an old Raleigh or the upcoming Citi bikeshare bikes, are better suited for short-distance commuting. Basically, you want to be this dude:


God that man's not pushing nearly enough watts. What's his cadence? Like, 52rpm? Paf.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2013, 08:09:40 PM »



I think I have been to the spot where that picture was taken.

lifejoy

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2013, 09:00:58 PM »
General tip: dry shampoo! If you hair looks "greasy" from sweat or whatever, and you can't wash it at work... dry shampoo. Keep a small aersol in your desk, and a mirror. It'll make your hair look refreshed and soaks up any oil.

I like the brand Dove (if you're being thrifty) or Ojon (if you're being fancy).

It you want to smell pretty, CAKE (from Sephora) has a great one.

Good luck!

I also keep deoderant at work, just in case.

sol

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2013, 11:44:58 PM »
My solution to this office sweatiness problem has been to work at the bottom of hills and live at the top of hills.  I'm only sweaty when I get home.

Acg

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2013, 08:25:33 PM »
I was coming back to ask about my hair but it looks like a few of you beat me to it.

clutchy

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2013, 09:46:44 PM »
we moved to a new office in the last couple of years and when they were outfitting the place I asked my boss if they'd consider a small shower in the mens room.

He laughed and said sure, but we'll have to move the sauna and locker rooms... obviously we don't have either of those.


It was a serious request but he didn't take me seriously which is why I'm now looking for another job.  I'm a professional and expect to be treated as such.  If it wasn't an option that's fine, but that type of response is dismissive and sarcastic.


I'm still somewhat bitter about it, and stopped bike commuting due to various reasons but i'm starting back up again this summer.

Jeez, passive-agressive much?

I'm really not at all... but he's my boss and well.  He doesn't accept certain things.  Also fits a pattern.

ellevendollarbill

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Re: Commuting to an office on a bike
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2013, 08:44:54 AM »
In the colder months it's not an issue to ride with my office clothes on.  I have a 4 mile commute.  In the summer, I have a 80 degree threshold that I follow: if it's hotter than 80 degrees at 8am when I leave the house, i'll take public transit, otherwise I'll bike.  I still have to be careful to take my time, avoid over-exerting myself, and I put my dress shirt in my panniers, wearing only my undershirt.  This way I avoid sweating like a pig into my dress shirt, and it seems to work well enough (ie, my cubicle mate has not said anything).