Cathy Kearns wrote:
> I often use my utility bike to run errands, do grocery shopping, ride kids to school and such. No,
> you don't need a special outfit if you are going 3 miles or so, (the 5km mentioned below) but here
> in the US, San Francisco bay area there is a bit of additional equipment needed:
> Children are required to wear helmets. Many adults feel safer wearing helmets too. I tend to wear
> a helmet if I am riding on or crossing streets busy enough to have a dotted line drawn down them.
> Once you get into helmets, you run across the helmet hair problem. Though I have no problems
> grocery shopping with helmet hair, I would have problems giving a big presentation at work with
> the vent bumps in my hair I get from bicycling. This would be easily overcome with shower
Well, the entire helmet issue has been discussed worse-than-endlessly in these groups. If you
feel safer in a helmet, you'd probably do better to get rid of that feeling. The gain in
protection is apparently slight enough that it takes only a small increase in risky behavior to
negate the benefits.
If you insist on wearing one despite the data, you might consider a hairstyle that's less sensitive
to funny hats. _Urban Bikers' Tips & Tips_ by Dave Glowacz (ISBN 0-9651728-0-5) has some
> Second is the streets here aren't always dry even in summer. Someone is always over watering or
> emptying their pool, or something. Light colored clothes would show splatters. Khakis would be
> out. Also bikes here are seldom (read never) sold with chain guards. Unless you have very wrinkle
> resistant pants, you will spend the day wandering around with wrinkles around one ankle. Either of
> the above problems can be fixed by wearing running pants/bike pants to work and changing.
Folks, I live in Northeast Ohio. Our city was ranked fourth wettest in the US, in terms of annual
hours that precipitation falls. (And the humidity isn't much different from Philadelphia.) Yet I
often ride in khakis.
First, use fenders. No serious commuting bike should be without them. That cures the spatters.
Second, use a wax-based chain lubricant. You can keep your chain very clean that way. It won't be
clean enough to lick, but it won't smear your clothes with oily grime, either. Wipe it down once a
week or so to keep it cleaner.
Third, forget the pants clips. Use a safety pin on each cuff. You can fold the cuff back to the
outside as carefully as necessary, and pin
it. It will stay out of the chain, and it won't be bunched and wrinkled when you arrive.
> Finally, the not sweating thing. In our area very little BO is accepted at work.
??? How many places in America accept BO?
Body odor is not a normal byproduct of sweat. I shower before I ride in each morning. When I
arrive, all I need to do is wipe the perspiration off my brow. I work in close contact with lots of
people. Nobody can tell when I arrive by bike or when I arrive by car. I know because they ask from
time to time.
If you have problems with body odor, it's because you've got some undesirable bacteria colonizing
your skin and/or your undershirt, etc. Speak to your doctor about it. Antibacterial soaps will
cure this, although it may be necessary to ditch your undershirts, etc. to prevent recurrence.
Even antiseptic mouthwashes can cure it, if applied to the skin daily for a few days. Don't accept
it as normal.
FWIW, I've been commuting by bike since 1977. When I started, I lived in Georgia - which certainly
has plenty of heat and humidity! Like most people, I ride to work in the morning. Even on a Georgia
summer day, 8 AM temperatures aren't bad if you take it easy.
Commuting by bike is not that hard. Most of the excuses people give - especially "omigod, I might
stink!!" - are just excuses.
Frank Krygowski [email protected]