joe commuter
Bringing you tips on bike commuting from one dedicated rider in Portland.

No-sweat bike commuting

Photo Credit: Mark Blacknell

Swampy is not a desirable state for office attire. But you don’t have to sweat buckets bicycling to work in hot weather. Here are some stay-dry strategies:

Get that pack off your back. A pack or messenger bag is guaranteed to soak your shirt in sweat where it drapes over your body. Sling your gear in a pannier or basket attached to your bike.

Time it right. Try to leave earlier in the morning before the sun starts to really blaze. An hour might make a difference of ten degrees or more. And if you give yourself more time, you can pedal at a less perspiration-producing pace.

Go breathable. On rainy summer days, you don’t want to wear a sauna suit.  It’s worth investing in lightweight rain gear made with a breathable fabric that allows perspiration to escape. Look also for ventilation openings across the back and under the arms.

Tweak the bike. Narrow, road-bike tires – fully inflated – make pedaling less work than it is with fat, mountain-bike style tires that create more road friction. A bike with plenty of low gears makes hill-climbing less of an ordeal. Just-right seat and handlebar adjustments make your pedaling more efficient. If you’re on the market for a new bike, consider buying an electric assist model with a motor hidden in the rear-wheel hub that can give you a boost up hills.

Wardrobe change. If you are just too perspiration-prone to ride without sweating up what you’re wearing, you can always bring a fresh shirt or whole outfit to change into at work. In a perfect world, workplaces would all have changing rooms and showers. In this imperfect world, maybe there’s a nearby health club you can join to use the locker room.

Lastly, there is the parasol.

Photo Credit: Curtis Simmons