(Editor’s note: Also read Margaret’s first post in this series: Get the Right Gear.)
Once you have your bike gear all ready, you’ll have to consider what you’ll need once you get to the office.
Wrinkled clothes. Rolling my clothes up and carrying them in a messenger bag has worked fine for me, but then again I don’t have to wear a suit every day. If you have to wear a crisply ironed suit or just can’t carry the clothes on your bike, try biking three days a week and carrying an extra set or two on the other days. For women, try saving the easy-to-wear stuff for the days you ride your bike. That might mean packing a simple sheath dress or a top and skirt in a hard-to-wrinkle fabric.
By the way, Treehugger just did a roundup of messenger bags with solar panels on them, in case you want to charge your cell phone or music player. Not that you should be on the phone or listening to music when you’re riding…
A shoe drawer. The bottom drawer of my desk has…let me count them…eight different pairs of dress shoes. Shoes are heavy and it’s great not to have to carry them with you every day. Come on, how often do you need all your dress shoes on the weekend? Bring ’em in where you’ll need ’em.
Sweat. Yes, we all sweat and, depending on the time of year and length of your commute, you might need to shower. Many of us are lucky enough to work in buildings with gyms or locker rooms. If so, stash a towel, flip flops, toiletries and a hair dryer in your office or in a locker.
If your office doesn’t have shower facilities, one possibility is to join a gym or rec center near your building. If your commute is pretty short, you can get in some extra exercise and use the showers. Or, if you have to, bring in some baby wipes and take a “bird bath.” Not ideal, but neither is driving!
Pack your bags. Get a good messenger bag or panniers (saddlebags) and pack them with everything you’ll need the night before. If you keep an extra set of toiletries and a towel stashed in your bike bag at all times, packing won’t take more than five minutes.
It’s a lot easier than trying to pack when you are in a hurry and showing up at work without an important article of clothing. Not that that’s ever happened to me….
Next week: Margaret tackles planning a route to work.
(Image: Margaret checking her gear is stowed properly before a ride. Credit: Darryl Tait.)