Other Logistics of Bike Transportation
Riding in the Rain
A Back-up Plan
So, what happens if we get one of those all-evening torrential thunderstorms, or your bike has a mechanical issue, or you don’t feel well? Here are some ideas:
Find a friend or co-worker who lives in your area. They can drive you home in a pinch, and you can drive to work the next day to pick up your bike.
Take public transit. You can put your bike on the front rack of any MetroBus (with the disgraceful exception of MetroBuses in St. Clair County, IL). Roll your bike onto any part of a Metrolink train (except the front, where the driver is). If you have to leave your bike at your office, drive in the next day to retrieve it.
Getting Cleaned Up
If your commute is more than a couple miles and you need to wear dress clothes, you won’t be wearing them on the bike. Dress clothes can be carried in a garment pannier. You can also drive one day with all your work clothes and leave them at the office for the days you commute by bike. If you’re carrying clothes in a saddle bag or backpack, rolling them will help reduce wrinkles.
If You Have a Shower at Work
In addition to keeping professional clothes at the office, keep a duplicate set of toiletries (and make-up) there as well. That way you don’t have to carry them back and forth.
Cleaning Up Without a Shower
It’s ideal if your employer provides a shower, but many don’t. Sometimes a nearby gym is useful, if you’re a member. But all you need to get cleaned up is a sink, soap, washcloth, towel and deodorant. Seabreeze and wet wipes are also useful.
Shower Before Riding
If you can’t shower at the office, you can get a head start by showering before you ride. The pre-ride shower washes off odor-causing bacteria. Depending on the heat and exertion, you may only need to cool off and change when you get to work.
Avoid Smelly Fabric
Lycra stinks. It will make your skin smell and you definitely won’t want to put it back on for the ride home. Plus, sometimes it’s better to look like an average person on a bike, rather than a club cyclist.
Get over it. For a shorter commute, wash and dry your hair before riding, then use a doorag to hold it in place. Otherwise, a low-maintenance haircut is a good solution.