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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Biking to work

   
Author Topic: Biking to work
stilesbn
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I live about 8 or 9 miles from work. I've been contemplating getting a bike and biking to work but I have a problem. I sweat a lot. Like a whole lot. It doesn't take much activity at all to get those glands working. And it's not like it will go away if I get in better shape. I'm in good shape and always have been and I still sweat a lot despite how good of shape I'm in.

There are no showers/gyms within reasonable distance of work that wouldn't require a whole lot of more sweating to get from there to my job. I don't think it would be very professional to smell all day. Even changing clothes wouldn't help.

This seems like a place to find biking proponents. What do you do or suggest? Or are you just lucky enough to not sweat.

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Graeme
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Half Solution:
If you can take a bus that has a bike rack to work, you could take the bus to work. Smell nice. Then ride home.

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Raymond Arnold
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Wish I had advice. I'd like to start biking to work, but I don't have a place to fit a bike, either at work OR at my apartment.
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SenojRetep
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I've biked to work off an on over the past nine years, sometimes from as far away as 10 miles, although currently I only live 2.5 miles away. We do have showers at work, but I haven't ever felt the need to use them. I certainly sweat to some degree, but I've never been embarassed about it or felt that I was making other people uncomfortable. Usually when I get in to work I cool down a bit, then go to the nearest bathroom and change out of my biking clothes and into my work clothes and wash my face and neck and then go to my desk.

Do you have someone at work you can trust to give an honest opinion? You might describe the situation to them as you have here and ask them to evaluate your appearance on a day when you ride your bike. That way you'd get a sense for how significant the negative impact of riding your bike is on how you are perceived.

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Tstorm
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I've been able to bike to work quite a bit, at my current job. I don't always get to, though. The Kansas weather can easily put a damper on my biking enthusiasm. Also, if I need to carry anything that won't fit in a book bag, the bike doesn't offer a lot of cargo capacity.

My apartment is about 1.3 miles from work, but it's uphill in the morning. (Depending on the route, the hills are manageable. On the way home, it's pretty much downhill (again, depending on the route). Net elevation gain is around 100 feet. Add in the stop signs and stoplight, and it takes at least 10 minutes.

Oh, and add in the fact that the bike is almost 20 years old and weighs 44 lbs.

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katdog42
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I live right on a bus route, which is fabulous! I put my bike on the bus in the morning and ride it home at night. On the rare occasions that inclement weather arises during the day, I can simply hop on the bus and head home.

Wish I could help with the sweating issue. That is also the reason that I do not bike to work. I tried leaving early enough to give myself a chance to cool down and change, but I still felt grimy all day when I did it.

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Annie
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I had big problems with this when I lived in Taiwan. I had to walk up a hill to work everyday and it was the dang tropics and no matter what I did I was soaked in sweat every single day. And I was surrounded by people who, for whatever genetic reason, don't sweat.

Once you get in and cool down, though, things seem to be OK. (At least in all respects except for hairdo. I gave up on hair altogether.) Especially if you can change clothes - I don't think your odor after changing clothes will be sufficiently offensive to worry about. If people have a problem with you smelling the slightest bit like you are an active person, well, that's their problem.

Also, people in Asia and other hot climates aren't afraid to mop off with a handkerchief or use a hand-fan, and those can be lifesavers.

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stacey
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Baby wipes (wet wipes) perhaps? Or just a facecloth you can wet in the sink? Then deodorant and a change of clothes. Make sure you drink lots of water. [Smile]
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Icarus
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I bike to and from work, but I only live a couple miles away. I get in at least an hour early and I change clothes. I'm a bit sweaty when I get in--at least in August, September, May, and June. In August and June in particular I find it helpful to wear the lightest, loosest clothing I can--a pair of really flimsy shorts and a tank top. I also try not to overdo it on the way in, just pedal at a relaxed pace. Since it's well before dawn when I'm biking in, it's far from the hottest part of the day; it's the humidity that gets me.

I don't feel as clean as I would if I drove in, but I haven't gotten the sense that anybody can still smell me once I've freshened up.

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Aros
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Just drive. It's not worth people thinking you are a stinky slob. It IS your problem, and might cost you a raise or a promotion. Don't do it unless absolutely sure that you don't smell or sweat all over your peers, bosses, or customers.
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Annie
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Just drive. It's not worth people thinking you are a stinky slob. It IS your problem, and might cost you a raise or a promotion. Don't do it unless absolutely sure that you don't smell or sweat all over your peers, bosses, or customers.

American mindset, perfectly summed up.


Honestly - if someone is going to fire you because you're healthy and responsible and bike to work that's not the kind of person I would want to work for.

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TomDavidson
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I have never worked for any person I would want to work for.
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Aros
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The reality is, perception management is key to a long-term, successful career. If you work at McDonald's or a hippie coffee shop, don't worry about it. If your wear a dress shirt, and it's crunchy and has pit stains, you better be concerned.

We can't help that other people judge us. Sometimes you don't get a raise for dirty fingernails or a haircut. I guess it just depends on your career goals.

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Annie
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My argument is that biking to work is not going to leave you in such a repulsive, disheveled state that anyone in their right mind would take offense.
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DDDaysh
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I have never worked for any person I would want to work for.

Isn't that the truth!
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Annie:
My argument is that biking to work is not going to leave you in such a repulsive, disheveled state that anyone in their right mind would take offense.

Are most bosses, in your experience, in their right mind? Grooming is a big factor in many companies. To describe proper grooming as sweating excessively and then changing clothes in the bathroom might be a stretch.
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