June 13, 2014

A Hot Mess

If my name wasn’t Alyson, it would be Betty. Sweaty Betty. Sweating can be a major concern for people considering biking for transportation. So let’s have a candid talk about it!

For many bike commuters, sweat won’t be a problem. Your ride will be short enough that you won’t have the time to work up much heat. Or maybe your ride is stop and go, so again, you’re not likely to get sweaty.
For some of us, this isn’t the case. I bike eight miles to work and there are several stretches where I can pick up the pace and go fast for miles at a time. I know the adage is, “bike slowly if you don’t want to sweat,” but I can’t help it. If I can go fast, I will - it’s part of the fun of biking!
Over the years I’ve been biking for transportation, I’ve gotten comfortable in my own (sweaty) skin. I’ve found that sweating doesn't make you “dirty.” I can sweat a little in the morning and still feel fresh for the day. I’ve developed non-showering methods to freshen up and choose clothing that will keep me cool.
What doesn’t feel fresh and can lead to body odor is wearing sweaty synthetic fabrics. In the winter my go-tos are wool and cashmere because they are quick-drying and never smell. Tank tops are my favorite for hot summer days because of the great ventilation. Often I’ll bike in a tank top and throw on a light cardigan at work. If it’s a particularly hot and humid day, I may even bring a fresh shirt to change into at work.

Look - you might sweat, but that doesn't mean you have to shower. Get used to a little sweat, it’s ok. Really.

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