So summer is just around the corner: yep, we’ve heard it all before but when we look out the window it’s still looking like the nuclear winter has yet to pass. But the warm weather is sneaky, one minute you’re wearing fur lined gloves riding to work, still freezing, the next you’re pouring sweat at traffic lights just seconds after you have left your house.
So without trying sell you the latest lycra ( oh, by the way we have some amazing summer lycra in our shop) here are some tips to keep you dry(ish), still smelling like a lavender meadow all while looking and feeling cool on your bike to work this summer.
Top tips for staying cool on your summer commute to work
The easiest way to arrive to work looking fresh after a long commute is to shower and change into more work appropriate apparel. Lots of companies and offices have showers and lockers on site which makes this easier, but of course lots don’t. The issue with changing completely before you arrive to work is how much time it takes to prepare, and for those like me, prefer the extra crucial minutes in bed, so it’s better to have an alternative plan.
Another ‘easy’ way to stay fresh, especially if you have a short commute is to cycle casually and bring a change of shirt/blouse etc with you. If your work is more than a few kms away and you need to get there relatively fast try slowing down on the last few minutes to try and cool down. Cycling in Dublin city is generally flat if you are lucky enough to live in sacred ring (between the canals) and work in the centre. However, there are thousands like myself who must commute from the dark depths of suburbia with the dreaded hill climb leaving the city limits. Still, it’s okay to be sweaty when you arrive home…
Rain & heat
Irish summers generally mean small pockets of Tsunami style weather mixed in with gale force winds and occasional hailstones, so waterproofing along with staying cool is a difficult balance to maintain. Many good quality rain jackets offer breathability through the jacket material itself and/or have zips in the right places to allow you to keep cool. If you’re riding a long distance (say 10kms) per day in an Irish summer then a full change of clothes and shower is most likely needed. Unless of course your office is big and roomy – or you have a seat by an open window.
Keep a toiletry bag in work
A few essentials are always needed: deodorant, towel, magic wipes, plus a spare shirt left in work. Even without changing facilities this is enough to keep you fresh for the average ride.
Lycra Versus Actual Clothes
If desperately trying to get out of a lycra onesie while inside a tiny toilet cubicle at 8am in the morning sounds like a nightmare, then lycra, as amazing as it is, can be substituted to lighter wearing garments. Jeans, suit pants and skirts can be horrible warm, so stocking up on some cheap cotton shorts and tees just for the commute will save you time and money when getting changed. And are easier to jump out of if you have little space.
Finally If you’re thinking of cycling to work this summer but have no shower facilities, then arriving smelling like a wet dog to work might be the a good way to get your boss to install a shower. Do this often and see.
BTW The Bike Institute has tons of bike accessories for those who want to cycle to work this summer including mudguards, jackets, lights, lycra and summer tyres. Call in store to see what you need to make your summer commute more enjoyable!
Happy & safe cycling…