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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Red face Hints and tips for a total novice

    Hi everyone!

    I'm about to return to school for the new term on my newly purchased Whyte Whitechapel.

    It's taken my boyfriend 3 years but I have finally relented and accepted that my commute is probably best served to a bike rather than a car... You won't hear me admit it to him but I am actually quite excited to get on the new toy and use it for my measly journey to work, but I have so many questions that are female specific relating to cycling into an office and not arriving with gross hair and tomato cheeks!

    I would really appreciate some advice on the silliest of things:
    - Hair and face; what solutions do people have for making yourself presentable when there are no work showers available?
    - Clothing; what do people find packs best into a backpack and comes out the other end crease free? I have to dress professionally so I won't be cycling in my clothes for the day!
    - Padded shorts/saddle type; is it better to try and make things comfortable, or is it a futile effort in which I just need to accept the discomfort and get used to it?!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Not an office worker so maybe others can help a little more. But heres my offerings.
    When I had long hair it had to be tied up for work anyway, and mostly it got hidden under a cap (caps were our bugbear but great for bad hair days). These days short hair is far more manageable and some recommend a dry powder shampoo where there are no showers.

    Do not over dress, you will quickly warm up on your ride, under dress and start your ride feeling chilly, avoid wearing a big heavy wind/waterproof jacket, a few thin layers and a gilet will cope with most weathers.... and easy to strip off. if you are over warm.... and help to avoid those tomato cheeks.

    Is it possible to store a few items at work, locker / desk drawer? Wet wipes and a roll on deodorant, spare perfume and few bits of make up (never tried it but i understand green based face powder counteracts red cheeks).

    Clothing; difficult.. though i have carried a uniform to and from work relatively crease-free..... personally I prefer and slightly over sized pannier so that items can be folded and placed in it without cramming them in... heavier items at the bottom.

    How far is your commute, you don't mention? There are companies that cycle wear that can double as smart work wear.... but even if i did not have to wear a uniform i would still prefer to cycle in cycling clothes and keep workwear for work....

    Padded shorts are essential.... saddles as always are a personal choice... but you can also get padded underwear that can be worn under 'normal' trousers.

    You might want to consider wet weather (and why it is a good idea to have work wear and cycle wear as separate items.... imho).I keep some spare work shoes and spare cycle socks at work.... Nothing worse than putting wet socks back on..... newspaper and / or hand towels stuffed into cycle shoes helps to dry them over the work day.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Well, I'm not surprised you're excited, commuting by bike is lovely. But that's not to say there aren't some problematic areas, particularly when you're working in an office without a shower. I sympathise, it's the same here... I can definitely offer a few tips.

    Firstly, making yourself presentable when you arrive:
    1. Buy a bottle of Muc-Off Dry Shower. It's one of those liquids which turns into a foam when you press the top, and it's antibacterial, and smells divine - it's coconutty and really nice. It'll freshen you up and cool you down if you're a bit on the sweaty side. In my desk drawer, I keep a bottle of that along with a deodorant, a bottle of BB cream to even out my skin tone when it's a bit, you know, flushed, a mascara, a Tangle Teaser and some kirby grips. It's amazing how you can make yourself look presentable without a shower with those few items!
    2. Man made fibres pack well. Lightweight dresses won't crease. Keep a pair of neutral smart shoes under your desk and either a blazer or cardigan, and all you need to throw in your bag is a pair of pants, a bra, a pair of tights, and a dress. Sorted!
    3. You can definitely make things comfortable, and don't think otherwise! Padded shorts are wonderful things. Rivelo are very good and very well priced. Excellent chamois. Have a couple of pairs in your wardrobe, because washing them daily is a must. Do not wear underwear with them! And as far as saddles go, depending on your mileage and level of discomfort, you might want to consider going for a saddle mapping session for help. This article might help: Beware of heavily padded saddles. Something quite firm can be surprisingly comfortable - it's more about width and shape. (That sounds a bit risque, doesn't it?!) - I have quite wide sit bones so use a 164mm saddle with a cut out and very flat profile. It's very good.

    Hope that helps! Enjoy!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    I hope that by now you have worked out your commute. I keep a bag under my desk with a small towel, several face flannels, shower gel, hairbrush, deodorant and few make up items. Also keep spare pants and t shirts in case I forget my clothes. We have no showers so I change in the toilets and have a quick freshen up and put on some make up. Mascara is a no-no before my ride as i end up with Panda eyes Whenever I drive in, I take the dirty items home and replace with clean.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    I am grateful to have opened this discussion. This question is quite interesting to me. Finally the answer was found
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