Cycling to work has always had its tricky part where you might end up reaching the office completely soaked with sweat. And unfortunately, there aren’t many of us that have a shower at the office. Unless you are one of those people, who can do a one-hour cross without getting their forehead sweaty, you might consider this a pretty helpful topic.
Every individual has its own personal genetic characteristics in terms of sweating – some sweat easily; others take some hard effort to sweat. I find myself as more belonging to the first type, and hence cycling to work has been a problem for me for quite some time. Throughout my experience as an active cyclist, I managed to pick up some quite simple skills that keep me dry and fresh on the way to the office and can help any of you who have come across this issue.
There are four key points that I find very important about my daily commute to work with the bike – proper timing, precise pace, suitable gear, and decent clothing. Each and every element plays its part in keeping me drier. Following a combination of all of the steps helps me minimize the risks of stepping into the office sweaty.
Leave Home Earlier
The most simple part of all is focusing on your organizing skills before your daily commute and thus being able to leave for work earlier. Most of us are used to prepare ourselves in the last possible moments before traveling to the office. However, time management is very important about saving your sweat, as you will see in the paragraphs below, as most of them are directly connected to it. Having an early start will give you some time to travel stress-free and spare you a large amount of sweat from a fast and furious trip to work.
Control Your Pace
Your pace is another vital part of your daily commute when it comes to keeping yourself dry. Of course, it is strongly related to our first point, but keeping a constant pace, regardless being slow, medium or fast, will get you another step closer to the desired minimum amount of sweat. Although keeping a high pace at all times will drain you more than the slow one, it is far better than doing different intervals, as intensity gets higher on your muscles, making you drip. If you happen to change your pace at times, rely on slow acceleration and deceleration.
Finding your perfect pace comes from a lot of practice. I strongly recommend finding a medium pace that makes you feel perfectly comfortable and does not put much tension on your body.
Another major factor that I managed to come across is keeping a slow pace some time before reaching the office. This one is as well related to your time management. Slowing down your speed for the last 10-15 minutes of your trip will help your muscles relax from all the exercising, and your body will reduce the production of sweat. Also, if you are already sweaty, this will help you dry out by the time you get to work.
Use Bike Panniers Instead of Rucksacks
Carrying a backpack or a rucksack will increase the chances of your back getting sweaty a lot, as it forms another layer of cloth over a large part of your skin and restricts the airflow through your torso. Surely, all of us take either some food, work out clothes, or any other type of stuff to the office, so carrying a bag while riding to work is mostly inevitable. My best advice regarding this is to go on the web and get a pannier bag, and a nice bike rack to mount it on. This way, your luggage won’t be in contact with your body and will get you closer to your goal of staying dry. There are some pretty cheap decent ones on the market. However, if you are for Portland or Seattle or any city that is a bit rainier, you might want to invest a bit more in buying a waterproof one.
Choose The Right Clothing
Your clothing might be one of the most crucial parts of staying dry while riding to work. If you aren’t an advanced cyclist, you might want to do some research about lightweight cycling clothes. From your rain jacket through your cycling cap, to the cycling helmet, each element of your clothing is directly connected to your body temperature and the activity of your sweat glands. Riding with some lightweight and breathable clothes will surely take you a step towards arriving at work without being sweaty.
Unlike me, some of you guys’ jobs might require a formal dress code. If that is the case, I suggest you try changing your clothes once you get to the office. This is where your pannier bag can come in handy, and fit your pants and shirt. This way you can put on some fresh clothes and leave the sporty ones in the pannier.
Choose The Flattest Route to Work
Another thing I would advise you to do is to pick the road to your workplace to be as flat as it can be. Of course, downhills on the way to work would be a miracle. However, the thing you would want to avoid are the steep hills. Climbing steep roads will put your muscles to work and boost your core temperature.
Of course, you might figure out that there are some factors that might not allow you to go further to your goal. The summer heat, the humidity of the air, or the terrain are surely some of these things that will undoubtedly help your body burst in sweat. Moreover, some of us are just destined to get sweaty from the slightest push on the pedals. However, these pieces of advice are proven to be pretty helpful in battling the sweating on the way to the office.
I want to help 10 000 000 people around the world learn how to ride a bicycle and find the joy of cycling to work. Thank you for being a part of the Yes Cycling community.