Posted by: dean | July 9, 2008

riding, no sweat


Man is it hot? Hazy hot & humid. I’ve been biking to more & more places and its kinda tricky the past month arriving not sopped with sweat. Cycling for exercise, its fine to get sweaty and gross, cycling to the store or work or parties and people will look at you funny if your skins glistening and butts dampened. Some stuff I’ve noticed:


On short trips, anything under say 15 miles I dont bother with any real bike kit although I always try to use some microfiber polypropylene performance whatevers wherever possible, especially underwear! The microfiber stuff gets wet but does’nt get really heavy and hang off your body and it just dries so fast, cotton is no comparison. I’ve got a growing collection of performance undies. They are nice, soft, dont bunch up and most important quick drying. A big cotton t-shirt can be nice too, get some airflow moving through the sleeves and collar and out the back. Chop off the sleeves to show those awesome cyclist arms and get more airflow. Light colors if possible for safety & less heat absorbtion although I like black shorts cause they dont ever look soaked with sweat.

For my work trips I roll up my business casual pants & shirt and stick em in my messenger type bag. I fold them neatly in half then roll tightly length wise, smoothing any creases along the way.


Slow down, dont ride so hard that your cross eyed.

I find I dump sweat when I stop riding. The constant breeze while riding keeps you cool. When you stop, thats when the sweat really starts pouring. So near the end of my trip I’ll slow way down a few minutes before the end. I’ll do slow soft pedaling laps around a quiet parking lot (be real careful in parking lots!) or go up and down a flat road a few times. Really air out, pull on your shirt to get some fresh air in there, sit up and direct some airflow up your shorts, oh yeah! This helps immensely, just cool it down and get that last bit of breeze before you stop.


Tussle your hair cause it looks silly molded into the shapes of the vent holes in your helmet (if you chose to wear one). Make your way inside, you’ll likely start sweating a little around the head, I like to simply wipe my brow with my sleeve. If your at a party, say hi to your hosts and excuse yourself to the bathroom. If your at work, punch in if you need to and head straight to the bathroom. I’ll either grab some paper towels or a pilfer a small wash cloth and wet it down. Wipe up any really wet spots on your body hopefully replacing the soon to be stinky sweat with some pure cold water. Cool water to the back of the neck feels really good. At work I take the handicap stall & change into new clothes but dont bother changing out the performance undies or socks, they’ll be dry in a little bit. At a party I can usually get away with just a shirt change. Leave your wettish riding clothes somewhere to dry a bit, hanging on the bike is pretty good.

Anybody else have any helpful hints? I’ve been meaning to try a wet bandana with some ice cubes rolled up and tied around my neck, it sound really refreshing.




  1. I find I dump sweat when I stop riding. The constant breeze while riding keeps you cool. When you stop, thats when the sweat really starts pouring.

    I find the same thing happens to me. These are all really good tips. What I find useful is the shower located in the restroom. Just make sure you have a pair of flip flops for public showers.

  2. I have been feeling bad this about saying during bike to work week that a bike commuter would not get sweaty on the way to work.

  3. I guess I don’t really have tips, because I totally dress inappropriately. I’m outside all day long, and I’m trying to keep the sun off as much as possible, so I’ve been wearing jeans and trying to remember my hat and long sleeves for that reason, which is a little bit gross for the heat. I have been having a lot more sympathy for people with fancier type workplaces; my head sweats like crazy, and if I worked in one and couldn’t get the shower, I’m not sure I could pull it off.

    What’s funny is that I don’t really care that much if I am sweaty and stinky when I just show up for dinner or at a friends’ place, so I’m sure that’s really appreciated! I always wonder about old timey days, like before AC, everyone must have been a little bit stinky and they just kept on keeping on.

  4. Sierra Trading Post ( a lot of performance wear at really marked down prices – you may find a lighter weight pair of pants than jeans. (the merethought of jeans in heat makes me sweat) Tht’s where I get most of my dog walking wardrobe.
    Also I got as gift a neck wrap with beads in it that hold the cold. Store in the freezer and wear on super hot days to keep the temperature down!

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