Where do you shower? It is the probably the most common question I get about my bicycle commute. The answer is…I don’t. Well, of course, I shower at home everyday. But nope, no shower for me when I get into work. There are a few showers available on campus, if I really, really needed them, but that would just waste time. What, 10 miles of riding your bike, and you don’t shower!?! Ewww, gross! Well, maybe that’s true, but I’ve worked it out. There are a couple of things that make it easy. I have a relatively flexible and casual job, the bike ride in is mostly downhill so I don’t get quite as sweaty as on my ride home, and I have an office where I can shut the door to prep. But perhaps more importantly, I have low standards.
So how exactly do I go about riding to work, not showering and not stinking up my department? Well, when I get into work, I first go to the sink and rinse my face. I have a large utility sink near my office so I can also stick my legs and arms in on rainy days and get the mud off. Then, I head to my office–I try to get in at least 30 minutes before I need to be presentable–and I stretch and cool down while I read my email and get settled in. Once I’m cooled off, I use wet towelettes to wipe off. Then I get dressed, put on a bit of make-up and some deodorant, brush my hair, and I’m good to go. Gross? Maybe, to the overly sanitized types, but if this is what I have to do to get in 20 miles of riding my bicycle every day while working full-time and being a mommy of two little ones, I’ll take it. You know how people like to say, “You can’t do it all!” Well, I like to think that maybe you sort of can, or at least most of it, but you won’t always look good doing it, and that is ok with me. Just don’t get too close. And truth be told, I don’t even come close to doing it all, but at least biking to work gets me a little closer.