Commuting by bicycle in your work clothes when the weather is hot and humid can be done. Of course you can always wear shorts and a T-shirt or jersey and change when you get to the office, but I prefer to roll Cyclechic in my nice work clothes rather than change. While showers and changing rooms at work are a fabulous amenity if your workplace has them, almost nobody in Europe changes clothes to ride a bike to work.
My system to arrive at work looking presentable has several components. First I try to leave home before it heats up. I was on the road at 5:30am this morning. I knew I had to make a few stops on the way to the Bike Fed office and leaving early meant it was still in the 70s when I began my ride.
Today I wore a pair of lightweight vintage shark skin trousers and a white dress shirt. I rolled up the sleeves, unbuttoned the collar and left my tie in my pannier. If I had to wear a jacket too, I would roll it up loosely and put it in the pannier as well. I find rolling leaves fewer wrinkles than folding.
As I ride, I take it easy and coast as much as topography allows rather than pushing for speed. It is amazing how much a slow pace reduces the amount I perspire, even on humid days. The intermittent coasting works like a breeze to keep me cool. Stopping at red lights is where the internal heat kicks in. The more you can slow and roll, timing your trip to hit the greens, the better.
When I get to the office I have two final tricks. The first thing I do when I sit down is turn on my little desktop “Hawaiian Breeze” fan. This dramatically increases how fast I cool down and stop perspiring. The final trick is to wipe off with a bit of scented hand sanitizer. The alcohol base evaporates quickly, which further cools me down and eliminates the need for a towel. The sanitizer also eliminates odor causing bacteria which makes me a more popular with my co-workers.
These are just my tricks and my preferences for dressing for the heat. How has your commute been going since the summer sizzle began? Do you roll slow in regular clothes like me or do you change when you get to work? I very curious if many readers take advantage of showers and changing rooms at work. Let me know via comments.