Perspiration and ways to beat (or deal) with it while biking to work

As part of Active Trans' Bike Commuter Challenge and celebration of Chicago's Bike to Work Week, June 11-17, guest-blogger and Active Trans supporter Jay Ready will be offering a series of posts on overcoming the most common barriers to bike commuting.

Jay Ready

Many people avoid biking to work because they say they sweat too much.

If you’re able to shower after the ride, who cares? Just cool down and move on. But showering isn’t an option for everyone.

For shorter rides, even sweat-hogs can dry off quickly. The key is to sit still for a bit after each ride and use the breeze to your advantage.

But here’s the key for the summer: Ride slower. Guess what? You’ll sweat less.

And once you get inside a building with air conditioning, you’ll dry off sooner than you think.

Most of the time, during April-June and September-October, you can ride in business casual without worrying about sweat. During the winter, it’s just a question of venting properly. So, it’s really only the few humid months of summer when you need to slow down and pack the occasional spare shirt.

For some other great tips on biking to work, visit the Active Trans website.


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yes get a rack!

Once you rack, you won't go back (to wearing a sweaty back pack).

Front racks or baskets can work for commuting sized loads and depending on your bike, your load and your preference may make for a more pleasant ride.

A simple and cheap rear

A simple and cheap rear bicycle rack means I can strap my backpack to that rack and not my back, saving me from all the sweat from wearing the pack while riding

I agree

Loosing the packpack/bag is key. It may look "cool" but it is a poor idea in all weather and at all times of year. I use to have to carry my laptop that way since the bags on my bike were not big enough. It was such a relief getting a new bike and getting some much better bags that could hold the ol laptop. If you have a long commute, working faster at the start and middle and then adding in a "cool" down section before you get to your destination works great. I also agree spending some time coasting between lights, and standing/sitting still at the end is wonderful.

You will sweat, but you will also sweat leaving that car and getting into the building, and leaving the building getting back into your sauna car.

It happens, be inventive!

Another effective way to

Another effective way to reduce sweating is to ditch the backpack or messenger bag and carry your things with a rack / panniers.

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