Summer is rapidly approaching in many parts of the world, but it’s already made its appearance here in Florida. We’ve had summer-like temperatures for well over a month now, and with the recent tropical storm that passed through, humidity levels are ranging from 50% to 80%. That’s sticky!
How does a commuter combat the ravages of heat and humidity? Before I begin — know this: you cannot win against hot, humid conditions. A commuter can only hope to avoid the worst of the effects and come out only slightly withered.
First, and most importantly, hydrate. Drink plenty of water before, during and after a ride, no matter how short. Include sports drinks with electrolytes if you are a heavy sweat-producer.
Second, consider a change of clothes. Some commuters can get away with casual clothing at work, but for those of us who may need to have a more professional appearance, wearing a t-shirt or jersey and shorts and changing when getting to work is the only recourse. A pressed shirt and tie don’t look professional if there are huge sweatstains under your arms and on your back!! If you have to carry a change of clothes, consider panniers rather than a backpack or messenger bag and your back won’t get as sweaty.
Third, have your backup deodorant ready at work. Keep it in your desk and swab that stuff on liberally. Remember, your coworkers already think you’re crazy for riding; the last thing they need is to get a whiff of your sweaty, post-ride nastiness.
Fourth, try powdering “your boys” (or “girls”, as the case may be) before and possibly after your ride. Things tend to stick together less with a liberal coating of baby powder or cornstarch, if you get my drift…
Finally, give yourself some extra time to get to work — get there a few minutes early and find an out of the way place to “chill” for a few minutes before you have to get changed into your working duds.
It’s hot out there, kids — take care, try these tips and with a little luck, you’ll arrive in style. Your coworkers might never even know you rode to work!