Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to Bike Commute in the Summer and Keep Your Cool

Last week temperatures in New York reached the 90s. Undeterred, I bike commuted as usual anyway and got to work no sweatier than in other weather. Thus proving that I can make it in the peak summer hot weather, and that I don't need to waste money on a gym membership simply to shower before I go into the office. Here are my strategies for keeping cool:

* Go at a leisurely pace, even if it means your trip will be five-ish minutes longer. This is key.

* Carry your bag in a bike basket or panier rather than on your back.

* Wear as little clothing as possible, and make sure it is loose-fitting so you feel some breeze. Wear sandals instead of closed-toe shoes.

* Girls, wear your hair back. I pin my bangs back and keep my hair in a braided bun so it's not on my neck or back at all.

* I wear a bandana to absorb forehead sweat under the helmet. It works really well - sweat doesn't drip into my eyes while I'm riding and I feel noticeably less sweaty once I get to work. You could not wear a helmet, but that's not safe folks. This is what happens if you don't.

* Bring a change of clothes, hairbrush, deodorant, and washcloth

* When I get to work, I splash my face with some water and try to wipe down with a wet washcloth before changing into my office attire.

* Then wait. You may still feel gross, but that goes away in about a half hour.

* An added benefit of biking to work: While everyone else complains about subway fare hikes (to $104 monthly), I spent just $30 on subway rides during a summer month.

Do you have any other tips? Add them to the comments!