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Bicycling hygiene tips for commuting to work/school

Person biking to work in a suit

One of your resolutions for the New Year might be to reduce your carbon footprint by biking to school or work, however, you are hesitant because your workplace doesn’t have a locker room or shower. What are your options when you don’t want to be sweaty and smelly when arriving to work? Follow these few guidelines, and you will start your day full of energy.  

1. Wear your cycling shorts, jerseys, undershirts and socks only once, then wash them

Even if your clothes are dry, they can still contain bacteria. If you can’t do a full load of laundry, just wash your cycling clothes by hand in the sink with soap, it's better than riding in dirty garments. Always plan ahead, so you can ride in clean, dry clothes.

2. Change your clothes when you arrive at work

Employee drying their cycling attire in the office

Change into a fresh pair of clothes when you arrive in to work. If you don’t have access to a locker room and shower, use the bathroom and take an Irish shower to freshen up. Wash your hands, face and forearms in the sink, and/or use some wet alcohol wipes. In addition, you can also use a touch of fresh deodorant and a light spray of perfume.

3. Ride slowly to reduce the amount of sweat

Remember to slow down and give yourself enough time to enjoy the scenery. Slowing down when the weather is warm will allow you to sweat less and look presentable immediately upon arrival.

4. Don't wear a backpack

Leaving your back free of any objects will cut down the sweating. Instead use a basket on the front or back of your bike.

5. Wear white

If you leave when the sun is up, wearing white will keep you cooler. Studies show that light colors absorb less heat than dark colors.

6. Take a cold shower

A cold shower before a bike ride will delay your body heating up. In addition, a cold shower will help to relieve sore muscles.

7. Put fenders on your bike

When it’s raining, fenders will keep you and your bike cleaner of water and mud from dirty puddles and rivulets.

8. Keep a change of clothes at work

If possible, bike to work or school four out of the five days. On

your off day, bring clothes for the week. If not, bring clothes in a backpack. Remember to also keep a few pairs of shoes in your desk.

9. Stay hydrated

When arriving in the morning, have an ice-cold drink, and stay hydrated throughout the day.