As I mentioned in my Bike to Work post, I’ve been biking to work since 2013. Ever since then, I can no longer imagine taking the daily commute to work. I have also become an advocate of it trying to convince people to do so as well if I know they can do it anyway. But in all of that time, there’s one common question I get about biking to work: What do you do once you get to the office?
It is a fair question. As Filipinos, we are very hygienic. We take care of our bodies and take a bath every day. So there is an understandable worry when one bike to work and comes into the office all sweaty. There is that constant fear that other people will smell you. Fair. Understandable. BUT, there is a way around it. And it all depends on what is available and what you are willing to do.
Personal Bike to Work Method
I’ve had a couple of offices ever since I started biking to work and all of them offer different infrastructure. I have had to adapt my personal method depending on these instances so I’ll quickly go through each one later. First I’ll give you my most basic routine.
First of all, these are the most essential items in my backpack when I bike to work:
- My office clothes (including underwear)
- At least two face towels
- Liquid bath soap and/or face wash
- Bag rain cover (very important)
I go to the bathroom and first wash my hands at the sink. Next, I get my face and hair wet then wash my face with the soap I have. I then proceed to wipe my face and hair with one of the face towels. This finishes up my head and at the same time gets the towel wet. I get it wet a bit more and pour some liquid bath soap on it.
I then enter a bathroom stall for privacy and get my bike clothes off. I sit down for a bit to get my body temperature down. Once I know my body finished sweating, I proceed to wipe myself down with the wet face towel with soap. And I do mean wipe down each part of my body.
I then use the other face towel to dry myself and use my deodorant. I then get dressed in my office clothes and comb my hair. Done!
When going home I essentially just change back to my bike clothes.
The bag rain cover is very important as rain can come at any time in this tropical country. A rain cover is a lifesaver to keep your bag, clothes, cellphone, and wallet dry.
Different Bike to Work Experiences
As mentioned, I’ve adapted my bike to work method depending on the office and what they have to offer. It can be locker rooms, bins, parking, etc. Whatever it may be it can make my entire biking experience different so I’m going to run down some of them with you.
My first experience biking to work is was my time working in Eastwood. Today, this place is a very bike-to-work-friendly place; but back then we had little support. There was a paid bike parking in the mall multi-level parking space which we use.
The office building, however, will not allow us to go in while in shorts. So I bought a pair of jogging pants with zippers around the knees. Shorts while riding then reconnect the zippered pants once getting into the building.
Once in the building, I proceed with my normal routine.
When I was transferred to Cybergate Tower 2, my bike to work routine changed again since I now had access to big office bins. Every Monday, I’d take 5 days’ worth of office clothes with me and place them in my bin along with a big bath towel. This made the rest of my week significantly easier.
Having a big bath towel is a “game-changer” as well since it’s significantly easier to dry myself. However, I had to change this every other day since I have no place to hang it.
When I moved to an office in Makati, they gave us nice locker rooms and the bathroom had a drying area where I can hang my bike clothes and a big bath towel. I essentially only had a bag of clothes once a week to refill my locker.
Other Ideas for Bike to Work
My bike to work experience is workable, but not yet ideal. The most ideal of course is if the office has a nice and secure bike rack inside the office and they have a shower room and locker room where you can keep your clothes and take a bath every day. Bike-to-work commuters with this setup are just so lucky. I’ve never had the privilege of experiencing that.
Another bike to work setup I’ve learned about is getting a membership with a gym close to your office. In this way, you get a locker and a shower room. And since they are already members anyway, they take advantage of the gym as well thus doubling their workout. Bike to work is their cardio workout and once they get to the gym they can lift weights or focus on other exercises.
The downside here of course is the added expense and that they have to get to work earlier. When taking a “bath” in the office, you can already log in before you change. Here, they have to get extra early to change then go to the office.
The toughest I’ve heard is when the office does not have any facility that can help bike to work commuters. For me, the minimum is a working sink and a bath stall for privacy. But if one or the other is not available in the office, bike to work commuters have to make do with bathrooms of other establishments such as fast-food chains to do their bath routine.
Bike to work is possible for most instances. As mentioned earlier, it all depends on what you are willing to do and what facilities are available at your disposal. Just do proper research, plan it out, and do a trial run. Once you get comfortable, you may become like the thousands of us bike to work commuters who never looked back.
If you have questions, suggestions, or other tips and tricks, please leave a comment or contact me!