Just Ask Jack — Arriving Sweat-free?

Rick sent me the following question:

“I am going to be carless in a few weeks. I am a good cyclist and riding to work 4 miles one way is easy. I do have to wear a shirt and tie and dress slacks. How do I get to work without a sweat??

Rick, we’ve discussed “Beating the Heat? in other articles, such as this one. While nothing you do can guarantee you arrive to work absolutely sweat-free, you can certainly minimize the effects.

As for the problem of clothing, you could either carry week’s-worth stack of pressed shirts and pants to work on Monday via pannier or get a friend, coworker or spouse to drive a supply over. I don’t recommend wearing your fancy clothes to ride…I used to try riding with a tie on; only the chilliest days let me arrive to work without being sweaty. Wear something comfortable to ride in (performance-based clothing or a t-shirt and shorts) and find a place to change into more professional duds at work.

Fitness is a good thing to have on your side if you want to arrive to work sweat-free. If a four-mile commute is easy for you, your body won’t produce as much waste heat as someone less in shape.

Finally, use time to your advantage. If you can spare some extra minutes, ride slowly to work or arrive early and use the extra time to cool down, change and get presentable before the workday starts.

Good luck out there!

Have a cycling-related question? Just Ask Jack! Click on the link in the right-hand column to send me your questions.


  1. Shek June 14, 2008 8:57 pm 

    I ride 2.2 miles one way, but come home for lunch(8.8 miles total daily commute). I have started riding since end of May. June in Jacksonville, FL can be very treacherous, especially during the lunch ride. I have 60 mins to ride home, heat and eat food, walk my dog and ride back. I have to wear a tie three days a week. I simply wear under armor t shirt under my dress shirt, take the tie off, stuff it in my under seat bag, pop a few buttons on the shirt open and ride home and back. I also use the last 0.5 mile to cool down by coasting at 8 to 10 mph. That way, I get enough air moving through my shirt and once back to work, I cool down, clean off and put the tie back on.

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    […] we’ve written extensively on dealing with the heat, especially since most of us here at Bikecommuters.com live in areas that experience brutal summer […]

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