How to Bike Commute When You Don’t Have a Shower

My office doesn’t have a shower. I often have to go to court early in the morning. And around here, summer temps are regularly in the nineties before I even leave for work. A few ideas for avoiding showering and avoiding needing to shower:
1.) Shower before you ride and leave your hair wet. Keep whatever supplies you need to do your hair in your office. This will help reduce your core temperature so you don’t sweat so much. It might also help you avoid helmet hair. I don’t really have any tips for men. Cut your hair short, I guess?
2.) Change clothes when you get to work. Ride in performance wear. If it is extremely hot out, run your shirt under cold water before putting it on. This will keep your core temperature down.
3.) Consider joining a gym near your office that you can shower at. Do not rule out local community colleges or universities, some of these have very reasonable prices for community members. Also, consider befriending somebody with office showers or an office gym. It might seem silly to pay $20-30 a month for shower privileges, but you are getting your exercise by riding to work and a gym membership makes that possible.
4.) Go to an over-air conditioned coffee shop or convenience store on your way to work and pick up something with a lot of ice in it so that you can cool down before you get to work.
5.) Ride in a lightweight dress and add a blazer when you get to work. Synthetic knit wrap dresses are great for this because they don’t show sweat and they are flow-y so they are pretty cool.
6.) Get some shower wipes and some dry shampoo. Shower wipes are surprisingly effective.
7.) Apply deodorant before going to bed at night to allow it to sink in more fully.
8.) Use a pannier bag or a front bag/basket to avoid wearing a backpack – back sweat is the worst and grossest part of bike commuting, and you can dramatically reduce your need to shower by avoiding having something heavy on your back.
9.) Ride with a wet towel around your neck to keep your core temp down. (I think I read an article about this a few years ago.)

Anyone else have any tips for commuting to work without showering? I don’t really know about wintertime. Or being a man, so if you have tips, please add them in the comments!


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