Author Topic: Logistics of Biking to Work  (Read 6375 times)

hippieyuppie

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Logistics of Biking to Work
« on: June 07, 2016, 06:11:26 PM »
Hi guys,

I just started an internship for the summer and want to try to bike to work and I was hoping you could help me with the logistics of it. There is a gym in the building that has towel service so I can shower, but I don't get a permanent locker so I can't store anything. I don't want to walk into my office sweaty in shorts and a t-shirt because I am trying to get a full time offer and don't want to put forth a sweaty unprofessional guy vibe at least until I have it locked down.

So my question boils down to, What's the best luggage/mechanism to pack business casual clothes into a backpack while keeping them presentable for a professional environment?

Thanks!

geopter

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2016, 06:19:00 PM »
I have seen stiff, light plastic devices for folding dress shirts for travel. It looks like a <$10 item, and would fit in a backpack.

Another logistical note: depending on how hot it is, you may need to budget time to stop sweating before showering. I sometimes use this time to stretch, but recently have been spending it on email... I should get back to that.

meghan88

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2016, 07:23:03 PM »
More info might help.  How long is your commute, and are there hills?

Assuming you will have a long and hellishly hot commute, you might want to consider a back rack and panniers instead of a backpack.  In any case, folding shirts and pants and then rolling them causes less wrinkles than just folding them.  There are a lot of good packing tips at onebag.com.

You can probably keep a pair of shoes under your desk or in a drawer so you wouldn't have to lug those in, at least.

Consider blasting your biking-in clothes under the air dryer at the gym so that they're not completely disgusting when you go to bike home.  Or rigging up something clever under your desk to hang them on.

Syonyk

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2016, 08:34:22 AM »
Backpacks suck for any serious biking.  Get bike bags instead if you can afford them.  Worth the money.  I wore a backpack most of the time, but I also ebiked - so a bit less effort.  Which, btw, is awesome for showing up "not-sweaty."

I just rolled my shirt & jeans up and stuck them in my backpack.  It worked fine.  If you need to be a bit more professional, perhaps fold them and see how they travel?


styl1

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2016, 07:26:21 PM »
I used to sweat a lot when I biked, but then I got used to the commute and stopped sweating as much.


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Gondolin

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2016, 08:32:36 AM »
Just because you don't get a permanent locker doesn't necessarily mean you can't leave stuff there overnight. The fitness room at my work has a policy of no locks and that lockers must be cleaned out daily. The reality is that I use 2 lockers as a personal closet and there are a dozen lockers that have had locks on them for months.

There are x4 more lockers than men who use them so no one cares.

FLBiker

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2016, 08:45:42 AM »
I'm a big fan of a backpack stuck in a milkcrate on a rear rack as far as transporting stuff to work.  I like the idea of panniers, but I've never been motivated enough to spend the cash.

Re: your specific question on transporting clothes, though, I'm afraid I can't help much.  I leave my work clothes at work and change in my office.  Like other folks have said, I don't find showering necessary (I live in Florida) because my commute is relatively short (5 miles), flat, and I'm used to it.  I also don't go so fast.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2016, 08:47:21 AM »
My husband packs his work clothes into a bike bag that sits on a rack he purchased specifically for the commute. Backpacks just make you even sweatier.  He doesn't shower, just changes and towels off. It's a short ride though.

I guess I wouldn't worry about walking in and showering if the building is set up that way. As long as you are always on time to start working post-shower, I don't think anyone would count this against you in looking at full time employment. You can even joke about saving them a parking space.


And please please please wear a helmet.  Accidents in cars happen too, so I can't say bike commuting is the problem, but my husband got hit by a car who was trying to make it through a light that had already turned yellow (she was turning left, he was going straight). I am really thankful he got away with only a broken leg.


gmp029

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GuitarStv

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2016, 09:21:47 AM »
I fold my clothing into strips, then roll them up very tightly.  This seems to prevent/minimize wrinkles when packing them into a bag.  Getting the weight off your back with panniers or some kind of basket system is more comfortable (less weight on your wrists, less weight on your lower back, cooler) . . . but backpacks are more aerodynamic and mean you don't need to add the weight of a rack to your bike.

I have showers at work, and really enjoy being able to haul ass while commuting the ten miles each way.  This is not the approach to take if you don't want people to see you sweaty.

elaine amj

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2016, 09:32:39 AM »
A friend has started biking to work - in Malaysia of all places. Makes me feel like a super slacker that I haven't figured out bike commuting living in Canada. What's really holding me back is that I have a rust bucket for a bike. I just cannot push past the point of being willing to be seen at work with that pile of rust. So I have been refusing to do it until I get a more decent newer bike. (Yes I know - SO not Mustachian but I hate that old thing so much!). I have walked home from work a couple of times and would do a 1 hour walking commute quite happily. My big concern is coming home tired and not being in the mood to cook healthy meals.

Anyway, back to logistics. My friend told me the hardest part was logistics -  he spent a week figuring it out - and finally just got on his bike and did it! He's about two weeks in (posts daily) and still very happy with it. He uses a backpack and has a shower at work.

We're looking at having to sell our 2nd car soon and I'm going to push myself for making a case not to replace it. I know DH will want to replace it for convenience. But both of us have easy, close commutes. Surely we can figure a way to make it work?

TrMama

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2016, 09:48:07 AM »
The best way to stop sweating quickly is to take a cold shower. Don't even turn the hot water on. Yes, you will gasp when the water hits you, but it's amazing how quickly it cools you off.

Pack your clothes in the morning before you leave (not the night before). They won't wrinkle at all in the short trip to work. This is what I do and I've been bike commuting for years.

GuitarStv

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2016, 10:00:33 AM »
Learn how to change a tire, and watch the weather report, you don't want to bike to work in a thunderstorm.

Biking to work in a thunderstorm is not really a big deal if you have fenders and stick your work clothes in plastic baggies.  I find it kinda fun . . .

TrMama

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2016, 10:14:22 AM »
The lightening is a little unnerving though . . .

Syonyk

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2016, 10:48:49 AM »
And the respect you get from coworkers who realize you biked in that weather is worth a lot. :)

mskyle

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2016, 10:58:01 AM »
How long is your commute? If you fold your clothes neatly they really don't get that wrinkly if we're talking about less than an hour. Like, just make sure you're not sweating through your backpack onto them, and hang them up while you shower. Keep an extra shirt or two in your desk drawer for emergencies.

MrsPete

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2016, 04:46:54 PM »
I don't want to walk into my office sweaty in shorts and a t-shirt because I am trying to get a full time offer and don't want to put forth a sweaty unprofessional guy vibe at least until I have it locked down.
You're totally right to think about this.  It's one of the reasons I'm not into biking:  Even if I'm headed to a spot where I can change, I can't walk into school in front of my students in shorts or sweats. 
Just because you don't get a permanent locker doesn't necessarily mean you can't leave stuff there overnight. The fitness room at my work has a policy of no locks and that lockers must be cleaned out daily. The reality is that I use 2 lockers as a personal closet and there are a dozen lockers that have had locks on them for months.

There are x4 more lockers than men who use them so no one cares.
In most jobs there's the rule ... then there's what's done.  As a brand-new intern, it's not easy to catch on to all these nuances immediately. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2016, 06:36:26 AM »
I don't want to walk into my office sweaty in shorts and a t-shirt because I am trying to get a full time offer and don't want to put forth a sweaty unprofessional guy vibe at least until I have it locked down.
You're totally right to think about this.  It's one of the reasons I'm not into biking:  Even if I'm headed to a spot where I can change, I can't walk into school in front of my students in shorts or sweats. 

Really?  Why not?

I get the need for professionalism when you're actually teaching during school hours, but what you do on your own time before class starts shouldn't matter to anyone.  Also, as a student I saw pretty much every gym teacher we ever had in shorts or sweats at some point . . . near as I can remember nobody died of the shame of knowing that teachers are able to wear different clothing.

FLBiker

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2016, 07:30:38 AM »
I don't want to walk into my office sweaty in shorts and a t-shirt because I am trying to get a full time offer and don't want to put forth a sweaty unprofessional guy vibe at least until I have it locked down.
You're totally right to think about this.  It's one of the reasons I'm not into biking:  Even if I'm headed to a spot where I can change, I can't walk into school in front of my students in shorts or sweats. 

Really?  Why not?

I get the need for professionalism when you're actually teaching during school hours, but what you do on your own time before class starts shouldn't matter to anyone.  Also, as a student I saw pretty much every gym teacher we ever had in shorts or sweats at some point . . . near as I can remember nobody died of the shame of knowing that teachers are able to wear different clothing.

+1  I was a teacher (at a state university) and am now an administrator.  Walking through the lobby in shorts and a t-shirt (before changing in my office) has never been an issue w/ students or anyone else.  Maybe it would be different with kids, but I loved the fact that seeing my students in biking gear was always a teachable moment.

Syonyk

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2016, 07:58:12 AM »
My wife occasionally rode a motorcycle to school when she was substitute teaching. The kids thought it was cool as hell.

Just make sure you wear a helmet, and I doubt anyone would care.

darkadams00

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2016, 03:15:45 PM »
Re unexpected AM rain, I keep an extra change of clothes and my work shoes at work in a filing cabinet. A desk drawer would work as well. I use a Topeak trunk bag, and it holds lunch, emergency bike kit, and a change of clothes. The only time I ever have an issue is when a sports jacket is required (but I've been leaving a navy one at work for the past few months).

Evening rain in the summer--I keep a plastic bag in my bike stuff to slap on my trunk bag and then just get wet. No issue. Feels good, almost like a kid in puddles again. Definite "crazy bike guy" points at work (similar to my "crazy hiking in the woods" guy points). Many say "that's cool" but few actually try it.


Cyaphas

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2016, 03:37:08 PM »
Learn how to change a tire, and watch the weather report, you don't want to bike to work in a thunderstorm.

Biking to work in a thunderstorm is not really a big deal if you have fenders and stick your work clothes in plastic baggies.  I find it kinda fun . . .

You are hardcore.

I'm with Steve on this one. Thunderstorms are AWESOME!

bobechs

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2016, 03:57:16 PM »
Learn how to change a tire, and watch the weather report, you don't want to bike to work in a thunderstorm.

Biking to work in a thunderstorm is not really a big deal if you have fenders and stick your work clothes in plastic baggies.  I find it kinda fun . . .

You are hardcore.

I'm with Steve on this one. Thunderstorms are AWESOME!

Thunderstorms are AWESOME! until the lightning strikes close enough that you can feel the heat on one side of your face. 

Then they instantly transition to SCARY!

letired

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2016, 06:21:08 PM »
If you are a glasses-wearer, biking in the rain can get challenging due to visibility issues. I had to make the choice once of not being able to see because there was so much water on my glasses or not being able to see because I wasn't wearing my glasses.

GuitarStv

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2016, 06:27:17 PM »
If you are a glasses-wearer, biking in the rain can get challenging due to visibility issues. I had to make the choice once of not being able to see because there was so much water on my glasses or not being able to see because I wasn't wearing my glasses.

I'm a glasses wearer.  The solution for me is to use a cycling cap under my helmet, pulled down as low as it'll go over my glasses without totally blocking my vision.  The little tiny brim provides just enough coverage for me that my glasses never get to that hard to see point, even in pouring/driving rain.  Works well in snow also.

letired

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2016, 07:15:52 PM »
If you are a glasses-wearer, biking in the rain can get challenging due to visibility issues. I had to make the choice once of not being able to see because there was so much water on my glasses or not being able to see because I wasn't wearing my glasses.

I'm a glasses wearer.  The solution for me is to use a cycling cap under my helmet, pulled down as low as it'll go over my glasses without totally blocking my vision.  The little tiny brim provides just enough coverage for me that my glasses never get to that hard to see point, even in pouring/driving rain.  Works well in snow also.

Thanks for the suggestion! I freaking hate hats, but I am going to keep my eye out for something I can just leave in my bike bag! Not being able to see is a bit scary :(

Syonyk

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2016, 08:39:39 AM »
I've got a visor on my helmet that accomplishes the same thing.

GuitarStv

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2016, 05:34:18 PM »
I've tried a helmet with visor and while it's better than nothing, didn't find it worked as well as the cycling cap.  The cap is worn directly above your glasses, not perched a couple inches up and the proximity seems to make all the difference especially in crosswinds.  You'll see water pouring off the middle of the brim, but most of it clears your glasses handily.

meghan88

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2016, 06:04:35 PM »
I bought two golf visors on sale for 5 bucks.  They're not waterproof but at that price, who cares.  5 years and many storms later, they're still fine.  They have velcro in the back so I can wear them at whatever angle suits me.  My awesome gore-tex poncho has a hood so I wear them under that, and I wear my knapsack under the poncho since my current commute is only just over 3 miles ... not far enough to break a sweat.  On days when I know it's gonna pour, I bike in flip-flops and capris.  Man, I love biking to work, no matter what the weather.

MrsPete

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2016, 08:21:03 PM »
Really?  Why not?

I get the need for professionalism when you're actually teaching during school hours, but what you do on your own time before class starts shouldn't matter to anyone.  Also, as a student I saw pretty much every gym teacher we ever had in shorts or sweats at some point . . . near as I can remember nobody died of the shame of knowing that teachers are able to wear different clothing.
It would be career suicide.  Seriously -- kids are always watching teachers and looking for cracks in professionalism, excuses to gossip.  Gym teachers are in a different category, as are the guys who teach "trade" classes (because they're working on cars, laying bricks, etc.).  It's not something a regular high school classroom teacher can pull off.  We're even careful about how we present ourselves at Friday night football games or school plays; for example, I'll wear jeans to such events but never shorts. 





Jakejake

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2016, 09:07:05 PM »
Wow, I am a high school teacher and bike to work, and the kids see me wheeling my bike down the hall and into my classroom, then heading upstairs to the faculty restrooms to change into work clothes. I just own it.

One of the things I want to teach them is don't worry so dang much about what people think. I figure the best way to do that is to model it.

Nudelkopf

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2016, 12:13:54 AM »
Really?  Why not?

I get the need for professionalism when you're actually teaching during school hours, but what you do on your own time before class starts shouldn't matter to anyone.  Also, as a student I saw pretty much every gym teacher we ever had in shorts or sweats at some point . . . near as I can remember nobody died of the shame of knowing that teachers are able to wear different clothing.
It would be career suicide.  Seriously -- kids are always watching teachers and looking for cracks in professionalism, excuses to gossip.  Gym teachers are in a different category, as are the guys who teach "trade" classes (because they're working on cars, laying bricks, etc.).  It's not something a regular high school classroom teacher can pull off.  We're even careful about how we present ourselves at Friday night football games or school plays; for example, I'll wear jeans to such events but never shorts.
You must work at a very strict school! I live in a small yown,so that might be the difference. I exclusively wear shorts to school (knee length ones), and wear jeans like, twice a year. I'm a maths/science teacher but I guess I dress like a PE teacher. Way more comfortable. Also, dressing this way means I don't need to change once I get to school (I'm not a sweater).
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 12:15:30 AM by Nudelkopf »

jpeizie

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Re: Logistics of Biking to Work
« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2016, 04:32:59 AM »
This works very well for folding pants and a shirt or even a suit and not having it be wrinkly when you take it out: http://shop.eaglecreek.com/packit-garment-folder-medium/d/1325