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Biking to Work - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
Biking to Work
It was a real pleasure bicycling to and from work today. Even with the rain! Yes, unfortunately it did rain on the way home. I kind of expected it though.

This morning I checked the weather, and it said 60% chance of thunderstorms for the "commute home" time. I was bummed, and almost backed out. But I've been wanting to ride for quite some time, and I "almost" rode several times. It's so easy to let "almost" turn into "never", and it's so easy to find excuses to not go.

So I went anyway. After all, rain on the ride home isn't so bad. On the way to work it would suck, because then I'd be wet and miserable all day. But if I get wet on the ride home? I just dump my clothes in the laundry and take a shower.

I'm really glad I talked myself into it! Or more accurately, since I wanted to ride, I'm glad I didn't talk myself out of it. The ride in was lovely. Plus I had my bike with me, so I went for a ride at lunch also.

Even the ride home was nice -- most of it at least. I have between an eight and nine mile commute one-way, depending on how many wrong turns I take. (I'm still working on finding/remembering the best route.) The rain started when I was two or three miles from home, and it only got serious when I had less than a mile to go. So I got wet, but not awfully so. And I was moving, so I didn't get cold.

About 20 minutes after I arrived home, I saw lightening outside my window. Excellent timing! I beat the majority of the weather.

Riding at lunchtime reminded me of why I hate riding in Detroit's Northern suburbs. They aren't like my older part of town, where everything is laid out in nice grids, so you can ride on side-roads to almost everywhere. Instead, as one of my coworkers put it, "All the bike paths feed out onto the freeways." Which is an exaggeration, but only somewhat.

Almost all of the side-roads around my office start at a main road, go in little convoluted circles, then end up on the same main road. They are "subdivisions", and you can't get to anywhere else from inside of one. I don't know who thought that was useful or pleasant, but there you have it. It's the Motor City, and you're supposed to take your car if you want to get anywhere.

It's a shame, especially because people drive like maniacs on the main roads and freeway ramps. They stop across sidewalks, they coast through red lights, they go the instant they see a tiny break in traffic, and they never look for pedestrians or bicycles. You take your life into your own hands just trying to walk across the street from my office to get a sandwich -- let alone trying to ride a bicycle anywhere.

Fortunately I already knew to ride (and walk!) very defensively. And actually the Motorcycle Safety Course which I took last week helped drill some concepts back into my head that are very useful for bicycling as well. The important thing is to ride as if you are invisible.

A very memorable thing that my MSF instructor kept repeating is: no matter how it happens, if you get hit it is your fault. Oh sure somebody else might get a ticket, but a motorcycle (/bicycle/pedestrian) will always lose against a car. Therefore it is your responsibility to be aware of everything and everyone on the road, to anticipate their actions and react accordingly. Don't ever assume they'll see you or give you a right of way.

Remembering that helped, as I was pedaling through the traffic insanity by my office. It also helped keep me from getting quite as pissed off at the numerous cars who drove directly across where I was heading. So what if I had a green light? It's my responsibility to avoid them and stay alive, and I'm invisible.

It makes sense -- this journal IS the Story Of An Invisible Girl after all. I just have to remember to apply that to riding.

But all complaints about traffic aside, I really enjoy bicycling. Even if my lunchtime ride was rather harrowing and frustrating, the rides to and from work were very nice. I did about 21 or 22 miles all told today. I'm glad I rode, and I will definitely do it again soon!


read 32 comments | talk to me!
encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: May 11th, 2006 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad you had a good ride home. The good thing about getting wet on the way home is that it is easy to get cleaned up and dry than trying to do it at the office.
duane_kc From: duane_kc Date: May 11th, 2006 03:28 am (UTC) (Link)
As a former bicyclist and current motorcyclist, I have to agree. Drive Paranoid: The life you save will be your own.
whataboutjen From: whataboutjen Date: May 11th, 2006 11:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, okay, bicyclist girl, answer me a question:

Last night Greg was driving me somewhere on a 35 mile per hour road. The bike taking up the entire lane in front of us by driving in the middle of it was not going 35 miles per hour. Worse, there was an empty parking lot AND A BIKE TRAIL nearby. How fast or slow can cyclists legally go? We were having so much trouble trying not to crash into him that we had to quickly change lanes, cutting off another car who was speeding to get around us. It was very frustrating. I don't understand the concept of sharing the rode with cyclists who cannot go the speed limit. Could you kindly clarify it for me if you have time because I respect your opinion? Thanks.
whataboutjen From: whataboutjen Date: May 11th, 2006 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)
*please ignore the typos*
johnridley From: johnridley Date: May 11th, 2006 12:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
The speed limit is a MAXIMUM, not a MINIMUM.

Bicycles are vehicles. They are allowed full use of the road, same as cars, horses and buggies, and tractors. No vehicle is REQUIRED to go the speed limit, that's a maximum that you're ALLOWED to go.

As far as "having trouble trying not to crash into him" and "quickly changing lanes" did it ever occur to you that you could, hmm, maybe slow down and wait for a clear opportunity to pass safely?

How much did he REALLY slow you down? 5 seconds? 15? What's your hurry?

Suggesting that a bicycle use a bike trail or a parking lot is just ridiculous. Try to travel 10 miles on a bike, hopping into a bike trail or parking lot every time the opportunity arises, so that you can avoid the road for 200 feet. It'll take you 5x longer, and it will be EXTREMELY UNSAFE. Almost all bicycle accidents happen when the bicycle is entering or exitting the road, like from bike trails and parking lots, and worst of all, sidewalks. Sidewalk cycling is statistically very, very dangerous, and the reason is that you're entering and exitting the road every block. THE most safe way to drive is to act exactly like a vehicle. This has been proven many, many times in a great number of studies, and there are plenty of vehicular cyclists with tens/hundreds of thousands of miles under their belts who will testify to that.

A cyclist following the suggestions that you sound like you would make would be in much more danger than what he was doing.

Most bicycle safety experts recommend that bicycles take up the lane, because it's safer. If you try to "be nice" to cars by moving to the right, they'll squeeze you into a curb and hurt you. Being nice to cars is like being nice to a hungry tiger.

Remember, the roads are a public resource, constructed for the public good. They are not the sole property of one particular kind of vehicle.
pstscrpt From: pstscrpt Date: May 11th, 2006 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
The speed limit is a MAXIMUM, not a MINIMUM.
No, not really. If you drive 20 in a 35 in a car, you'll get a ticket for impeding traffic.

I commuted by bicycle every day (unless the snow was too deep -- then I walked) for about three years, and I used alleys for most of the trip and sidewalks when there was no alley. The only trouble I ran into was having to change an inner tube every couple of weeks from all the broken glass I was riding on.
johnridley From: johnridley Date: May 11th, 2006 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
You can't (properly) be ticketed for impeding traffic if you are going at a reasonable speed for the type of vehicle you are driving. This was recently taken to the supreme court of some state, I could find the reference if I wasn't so lazy, and that was the finding. A tractor going 18 MPH in a 50 zone is fine if that's as fast as it can go.

It's also fine if you have a good reason for going that speed.

That's not to say the police won't hassle you, and they may even ticket you, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it if it's what's right, and fight the ticket.

Personally I ride like this, and I also drive 60 MPH on the 70 MPH expressways, and I don't have a problem (and my fuel economy on the expressway is up > 10%).

I also commute daily, about 4000 miles a year, and I read BikeForums, with hundreds of people posting who commute daily telling their stories. You might get away with alleys and sidewalks for many years without problem, but statistically it's a pretty dangerous way to ride. Not the worst; wrong way cyclists account for 80% of all bicycle fatalities, but it's nearly 4 times more dangerous than riding in the lane and obeying all laws.
whataboutjen From: whataboutjen Date: May 11th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dear John,

Hey, I don't think your comment to me was very kind. I hope you weren't angered by my question to renniekins. I just wanted some clarification because I was interested. As soon as I read your comment, I felt attacked and went into stress response mode: got all sweaty, my heart speed picked up and I got a headache. I would never intentially hurt anybody. To clarify, this cyclist was going about 5 miles per hour. There was no safe way to pass him. It was a green light. There were cars trying really hard not to crash into US because of us driving slow trying not to crash into HIM.

To be honest I can't even read through your comment because it kind of felt attacking. Did you mean it to be?
johnridley From: johnridley Date: May 11th, 2006 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't mean it to really be a PERSONAL attack, but more of a rant against the oft-heard attitude: "anyone who doesn't want to go as fast as I want to go should get the hell out of my way."

I'm sorry if it took you by surprise. Cyclists sometimes get wound up about this; after all, for us, it's a potential trip to the morgue because someone felt they had to get to Olive Garden 10 seconds sooner than they might otherwise have. Yeah, we take it seriously.

You don't have to read the whole thing though, I'll summarize in one non-offensive sentence:

There is no speed minimum, the posted speed is a maximum, and it's the responsibility of the overtaking driver to pass in a safe manner, when and only when it becomes safe to do so.

To continue, if you want to read further: A driver/rider who is going a reasonable speed for the vehicle he's driving and is obeying all laws and acting in a predictable fashion IS acting in a reasonable manner. If the other vehicles on the road can't deal with it, THEY need to slow down, take a breath and examine their own driving habits.

5 MPH is a bit odd; it's actually pretty hard to balance a bike at 5 MPH. That's just barely over walking speed. If the rider REALLY was going 5 MPH at maximum, then he might be a candidate for sidewalk riding (with all the risks inherent in that); but he's in a minority; even an inexperienced and out of shape rider will average AT LEAST 10 MPH, and most people can sustain a 15 MPH average without too much effort. When I'm in town, I'm usually going pretty close to the speed limit (25-30 MPH around here).

That said, I'm not sure how 5 MPH is harder to pass than 15 MPH; passing is pretty easy; you stay behind the slower vehicle until there's a clear path to pass. It's not your responsibility to worry about people behind you, it's theirs to worry about you. Your legal responsibility is to stay a safe distance behind the slower vehicle until you have a clear path to overtake. That's about as simple as it gets. Everyone does that, there's no problem. The law is predicated upon everyone following it.

Ah, here I go getting wound up again. Sorry.
whataboutjen From: whataboutjen Date: May 11th, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's true ... he was practically walking the bike and actually teetering to the side and brakeing sometimes. We were trying to realize he couldn't have been doing it on purpose. It's strange because once he crossed the intersection he rode the bicycle like a normal person ... I would have had no trouble riding behind him. I usually don't have trouble like that.

Thanks for taking the time to explain to me, I appreciate it very much.
johnridley From: johnridley Date: May 11th, 2006 10:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
OK, if he was really behaving like that, then yeah, he should get off and walk across the crosswalk. Riding a bike in busy intersections can be done safely, but it's serious business and if a rider can't do it in a safe and predictable manner, they should probably stay on less busy roads until they gain skills and confidence.

I'm sorry I originally assumed that you were just another impatient driver trying to shoo a cyclist off the road as if they were an annoying bug. That attitude comes up sometimes and as you can imagine, it's hard to listen to.

It's unusual to see this kind of thing, because people who don't have the skills to ride on a busy street are usually too terrified of them to try.
whataboutjen From: whataboutjen Date: May 11th, 2006 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Also, I find it interesting that you object for a bicycle ride to take even longer, but suggesting that I ... what was it? Slow down? Wait? ;) If he had been going, say, 20 miles an hour on a 35 mile per hour road that would have been reasonable. But he wasn't. And cars that, say, were driving perhaps like total maniacs were slamming on their brakes behind us. It was kind of scary.

After I calmed down a little bit from reading your comment at first, I decided that the rest of your comment wasn't inflammatory at all and contained quite a bit of information which was EXACTLY what I asked for. So thanks for that.
johnridley From: johnridley Date: May 11th, 2006 10:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, my main objection to "bikes should use bike trails and parking lots" is not that it's slow, but that it's incredibly dangerous. Leaving and entering the road every block or even more often would increase your chances of getting in an accident MANY fold. Imagine trying to get across town in your car while driving through parking lots or bike paths whenever possible. Think of how many times you'd be pulling into the street, and every one of those is a hightened opportunity for an accident.

But also yes, it's slow. Not just a little slow, not just a minor inconvenience of a few seconds, but an actual multiplying of the time of the trip by several times while waiting at a corner to get back on the road you just left 500 yards ago to go through the parking lot.

I think there is a difference between expecting a driver of a faster vehicle to make a few seconds allowance for a slower vehicle that they're sharing the road with, as opposed to saying that anyone slower than me should be denied access to the road and cause them to take many times as long to make the trip.

It's asking you to increase your 20 minute trip to 20.3 minutes. It would increase his 20 minute trip to an hour and will probably land him in the ER in the long run. Not much of a comparison.

The whole discussion is a bit of a sore point as well, because there are some cities (not in Michigan AFAIK) that have the horrible "mandatory side-path" law. That is, if there is a parallel bike route, bikes must use it. It's horrible for at least two reasons:

  • First, cyclists are expected to take a side trip to move over to a bike path even if it only parallels their trip for a block out of a 20 mile ride (and adds another exit/entry to the road, which is many times more dangerous than just riding that block would have been). Bike paths are fine for recreation, but they're almost always pretty useless for transportation.
  • Second, it's the beginning of a slippery slope where motorists begin to feel that cyclists should just be excluded from the roadways outright.

There are actually a fair number of cyclists who are even opposed to bike lanes on streets, and they have some good points. Bike lanes at best are only almost as good as a wide outside lane (which takes up NO more space and costs less to maintain), and at worst they're death traps.
whataboutjen From: whataboutjen Date: May 11th, 2006 10:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, John. :)
pstscrpt From: pstscrpt Date: May 12th, 2006 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I think we might be overgeneralizing a bit. Are you talking about 25MPH roads or 50MPH roads?

One of the metroparks around here has basically the opposite of the mandatory side-path laws. There's a very nice bike path all the way around, but it has a ten MPH speed limit. If you want to go faster, you have to get on the road.
johnridley From: johnridley Date: May 12th, 2006 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure which of my comments you're asking about, but in general I'm just talking about "roads". Almost all of my riding is on 50 MPH roads, and about 80% of that with no shoulder at all. There's not much difference in riding on a 25 MPH road or a 50. The higher the limit, the more you have to make sure you are visible, and the more often and farther back you need to check your mirrors.

If there is a good wide paved shoulder with no debris in it, I will ride in that, particularly on a high speed 2 lane road. My main concern is safety. If I can stay out of people's way and do it in a safe fashion, I will do so; there's no need to be a PITA unnecessarily. If staying out of their way compromises my safety, as it would if there were no shoulder or of there's a curb or debris, then they're going to have to deal with getting around me.

Just last night as I was riding on the shoulder of a 50 MPH road, a big white SUV was coming up behind me 1/2 over into the shoulder, about 100 yards back; I was going about 25 MPH. I flipped on my rear strobe light and moved left about 2 feet into the middle of his line of travel, then back onto the shoulder when he woke up and saw me and got out of the shoulder. My contingency route was into the ditch since there was oncoming traffic. Not a problem, but it it an example of where you need to be diligent. It's really no different than driving a car; you need to be aware of all vehicles around you at all times, make sure people who need to see you do, and have an escape route at all times.

Metroparks; as I said elsewhere, bike paths are fine for recreation, but they're nearly always completely useless for transportation. 100% of my riding is for transportation, not recreation (though it's fun at the same time), so bike paths are not really in my realm of experience. I did go on a metropark bike path about 4 times when I was helping my son learn to ride, a 10 MPH limit isn't a problem when you're riding with a 5 year old beginner, but they're not of much use otherwise. Even for recreation, that's pretty slow. Also from what I hear they tend to be clogged with walkers who won't move out of the way.

There are a few cities in the US that have bike path systems that are marginally useful for transportation, but even so cyclists must go on the roads at some point.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 12th, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry it took me so long to get to a functional computer and respond. Although it looks like you and John worked out most of the details on your own. ;)

Cyclists are supposed to ride responsibly, obeying the rules of the road just like a car. Riding on bike trails is great when they happen to be going where you're going -- but often they don't. Also at night they are probably unlit, which is quite dangerous. Parking lots almost never go where you're going, and John addressed the danger of moving on and off the road.

Lots of people think bikes should be on sidewalks, though you didn't mention that one. I've had plenty of people in cars yell at me, telling me that. A sidewalk belongs to kids and pedestrians, it's quite dangerous actually try to get somewhere biking on the sidewalk. It's dangerous to the kids, the pedestrians, and the bicyclist. In some places, it's even illegal to ride on the sidewalk.

Personally I don't think I've ever gone 35 mph when not going downhill. On my commuter bike, which is slower but good for carrying stuff to work, I generally average about 15mph. I don't think there is a legal minimum speed limit on most (non-expressway) roads. When possible, a bike should ride on the right-hand side of the road, allowing cars to pass.

But if there isn't room on the right, or there is danger of not being seen, a bike needs to be out in the lane where it will be seen and avoided. Sometimes that might slow down traffic. I know that's really frustrating when you're in a car, but wouldn't it be so much worse if you instead accidentally clipped a bicycle trying to keep to the right of a too-small road?

Hope that helps. Have a great weekend!
devnul From: devnul Date: May 11th, 2006 11:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Excellent! Commuting to work stories over on Bikes is how we first met ... ah, nostalgia. :)

Now, stop sending that rainy weather this direction. I don't think I'll have dry skies until Sunday or Monday!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 12th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
*smile* Hopefully next week you can get on the bike again!
devnul From: devnul Date: May 13th, 2006 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Monday and Tuesday are out, but later in the week is looking promising!

I'm in Poughkeepsie right now, which already saw the rain so we're going to take a hike today, but back home around Boston it's pouring. They're talking 3 to 6 inches of rain!
johnridley From: johnridley Date: May 11th, 2006 12:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
(this sounds a little preachy, and I'm not necessarily addressing Rennie directly, or implying that she doesn't already know this stuff; I'm just talking about navigating traffic in general)

One of the early things I had to do to get any miles on my bike is to start ignoring the weather reports. They say it's going to rain half the days, and it doesn't rain that much. Heck, if it's warm I might not even bother with the rain gear; cycling in a warm rain is actually pretty fun, and with a decent jacket, even cold rain is still totally comfortable. At this point, if the weather is bad enough that I'm not riding, then I'm not driving either (hail, tornados, 60 MPH sustained winds, etc).

As far as traffic, I think the best way I can think of to put it is to ride in the manner that makes sure that they have NO excuse to not see you, but then don't assume they saw you. For example, if you're going around an inside curve, DO NOT hug the fog line on the right. People drive over the fog line on inside curves all the time, and they won't see you until you're almost under their wheels. Get the heck out into the lane so they'll see you early and have time to slow. They can't safely pass you on the curve so DON'T LET THEM or indicate by your lane positioning that it might be OK for them to do so. Check your mirror just before you leave the straight path road, and ride in the path that makes the cars approaching from the rear see you as long as possible, so they know to approach the curve with caution. But watch the mirror until you're a good couple dozen yards from the end of the curve and have an escape plan (ditch, bunny hop the curb, whatever).

I also wear clothing that can be seen from space. ANSI yellow/green from alertshirt.com

People do not want to hit you, but there are two problems:

1) people driving cars are zombies. They look at things that they might hit, and nothing else. If it's 2 inches left or right of the path they're taking, the DO NOT SEE IT. The only defense against this is to be in their path. If you're not, they don't see you, and unlike bikes, cars do not hold their line, they drift all over the road, so they can still hit you.

2) people do not encounter cyclists enough to know what to do. Since you encounter cars every 3 seconds, YOU are the one with experience, and it's up to you to tell them what to do. Make eye contact, be confident. Alpha dog. If you come into an intersection with confidence, most drivers will not cut you off, and you can engineer a close pass and a nice hearty yell at those who do. If it continues to be a problem, google for "air zounds bike horn" - they will notice that.

Again, drivers look at your lane positioning. If you're hugging the curb, they see you as very timid and will just drive in front of you. If you're taking the lane and making eye contact, they will likely yield (Of course, you can never count on that any more than you can if driving a car). This is not being a jerk, this is being safe. People have to respect your right to be safe on the road. If not, they don't deserve your respect.

If it's not safe to pass, stay left and hand signal if necessary so they don't think they can get away with passing. When it's safe, motion them past (assuming you can see something they can't).

Above all, obey every law. Cars don't, but there's no need to descend to that level. Obeying the law is the only way to be predictable, and being predictable is essential for safety.

Confidence will take you far. I don't have people yelling/honking at me anyway, but people who live in areas of the country where there's a lot of harrassment say that the more confident they are, the less they get bothered. In a weird twist of the norm, women generally report getting harrassed less on bikes than men.
elizilla From: elizilla Date: May 11th, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
The other thing about bicycle commuting, is that if you do it regularly, you'll see the same drivers every day, and they'll get used to seeing you every day. The traffic interactions will get easier as you learn their routines, and they get used you as part of their routines.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 12th, 2006 09:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for all the advice, I definitely appreciate it. I'm still very uncomfortable riding on the bigger roads near my office (the ones with speed limits around 45 mph). Folks are insane on those roads, especially the ones with freeway ramps on them.

I have plotted out a route that involves almost entirely side streets, and just riding on/crossing each of the big roads briefly. It's a little more pleasent to ride, and I don't get scared or harrassed quite as much. (Though I have been yelled at by drivers many times, I don't know if it's more or less than men get.)

Your advice is helpful! Eventually I may get more bold on the more major roads.... but really I prefer quieter roads when possible anyway.

johnridley From: johnridley Date: May 12th, 2006 09:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Certainly the best answer to crazy streets is to just avoid them, especially if it's not terribly inconvenient.
I only really have one reasonable route to take. Any deviation from my shortest route actually puts me on more dangerous roads, so I guess I'm lucky in that regard.
I do have one alternate route that I have never had to take; it's a detour around the busiest hunk of road, about 2 miles worth near work, and I planned it only in case of really heavy snow where I would otherwise be forced into the middle of the lane and traffic would be driving in bad conditions anyway.
geekjul From: geekjul Date: May 11th, 2006 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
So here is the question I have for people that bike to work. Don't you get sweaty? I think biking to work would be awesome, but the idea of showing up all sweaty is not appealing. Not to mention the thought of biking in my office clothes (we have a dress code). How do you deal with those kinds of things?
pstscrpt From: pstscrpt Date: May 11th, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't ride too hard, and turn a fan on for the first fifteen minutes or so after you arrive.
geekjul From: geekjul Date: May 11th, 2006 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
That might work in the spring and fall but summer in Louisiana is like a sauna on the surface of the sun.
johnridley From: johnridley Date: May 11th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, even in Michigan on some days, you can get pretty sweaty just walking outside. Sometimes there's a sweet spot speed where you're generating enough breeze to evaporate the sweat just as fast as it's coming out...

But a lot of people do OK with baby wipes and a change of clothes in the bathroom, as I said.
johnridley From: johnridley Date: May 11th, 2006 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
My personal solution: showers at work.

Alternatively, many people have good luck with a quick handi-wipe (baby wipe) bath and change in the bathroom, and have made that work for them for years.

Also some city commuters have been able to buy "shower priviledges" for relatively cheap at nearby health clubs, or at the YMCA/whatever if there are no showers at work, then ride the last 1/2 mile in work clothes.

I often ride about 3/4 mile out to Subway to grab a sandwich at lunch. I just do it in office clothes (T shirt & jeans) and I do get a bit sweaty (I can't ride slow!) but nothing that taking the last 500 yard in the parking lot slow, upright, with jacket (if any) open won't dry out pretty well.
geekjul From: geekjul Date: May 11th, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
We actually do have showers here that I have access to. I guess if I carted my clothes in a tote and came in early, I could make that work for me. The folks around here already think I'm a crazy hippie for driving a hybrid, hahah.
johnridley From: johnridley Date: May 11th, 2006 06:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I bring several day's worth of clothes in at once and keep them, along with a towel and shower kit, in my desk drawers.

Actually, I typically bring in about 3 shirts and rotate them so I wear each two days. When you put on a shirt right after a shower and sit in an air conditioned room for 8 hours, then take it off again, it doesn't get too dirty. Since I'm a guy, neither I nor anyone else cares if I wear the same thing all the time or not.

You do need to plan a bit, but it's not bad. I just have to keep in mind that I don't have enough room in my bag to do a complete clothes+towel change out.

Also due to my scattered brain, I DO NOT take clothes home until I have already brought in the replacement. I've been caught without underwear/socks a few times and try not to do that anymore.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: May 12th, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
My office has a business-casual dress code, and no shower. Both are annoyances, and I'll admit they make it harder to convince myself to ride.

Riding early in the morning helps, it's cooler then. I get sweaty, but i try not to push myself too hard. I bring a clean shirt and my purse in my bicycle panniers (and when it gets hotter I'll probably start bringing a whole outfit), and I just use a bunch of paper towels in the bathroom while I change. Some damp, some dry, then I put on the fresh clothes. It's not perfect, but it works....

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