How can I ride to work and still be presentable?

In every issue of Cycling Plus we ask the questions that beginners are dealing with and get answers from the experts... and if you're cycling back to work today this one is for you!



“Approaching your boss to establish cycling-to-work facilities at your workplace is well worth doing. There are business benefits for firms involved in cycle-to-work schemes and employers are increasingly aware of the positive impact this can have on staff and the business as a whole. First off, identify the right person to approach – HR or those tasked with overseeing the health and wellbeing of employees. Put together a list of what you require – bike racks, lockers, shower facilities etc to enable employees to cycle in all weathers and still be presentable. Also use it as an opportunity to kind of collectively bargain: are there colleagues who are runners and could benefit from facilities, too? The more people you have on board the more impact. Increasingly, new office spaces are being built with secure cycle stands incorporated. It won’t harm your cause to point out to your bosses that, aside from their cycling staff being healthier (and often more punctual than those relying on public transport for their commute) they can make savings in the long term through tax and National Insurance incentives that will benefit the organisation.”


“Cycling to work can leave you feeling energised, alert and ready to start the day but many people are put off at the thought of arriving all hot and bothered, especially during the summer months. No one enjoys sitting at work feeling sweaty, but rest assured there are a number of ways to prevent this. A little forward planning goes a long way. If you’re worried about getting sweaty, try taking it a bit easier, even just for the last five minutes of your journey to allow your body to start cooling down before you arrive. Or, alternatively, leave a little earlier in the morning and cycle at a leisurely pace for the whole journey. Wearing a vest under your work clothes is also a good option as you can remove it once you arrive, leaving your clothes clean and dry, and you ready to start the day. If you’d prefer not to cycle in work attire and your workplace has a shower, try keeping a bag with a towel, shower gel and other essentials at the office. And if you’d prefer to cycle in sportswear and change at your work place, I’d suggest packing clothes that don’t crease easily and rolling them rather than folding in your bag. On a rainy day wear breathable, lightweight waterproofs and take a change of socks and footwear. Keeping day clothes at work, using panniers rather than a backpack and dressing cooler for the commute may all help keep you ‘fresh’ too.


(Image: Russel Burton)