Bike Week 09: What a Shower!

No facilities at work? Then improvise....

by Tom Henry   June 16, 2009  

shower.jpg

They’re at it again – the people who brought you the gold Brompton bike, as featured on the site yesterday, have come up with a DiY shower for all those cyclists celebrating National Bike Week by commuting on two wheels to work.

OK, we think we’d rather sweat it out here at road.cc than use the contraption put forward by cycle insurers ilovemybike.co.uk, but we’re willing to listen. For a minute or two.

They reckon that you can improvise a portable shower using items bought from the high street. All you need is a ‘base unit’ (which looks like an upturned bucket on a chair, with a hole in it) a shower curtain, a bag for the water, a length of hose and a rail to hold the whole thing up.

Once you’ve loaded these items on to your panniers and have cycled the eight miles into central Birmingham, you’ll be ready for a reviving all-over wash. Simply assemble the items according to the picture above, stand on the upturned bucket and let it flow. Within minutes you’ll feel as fresh as a daisy, or be on your way to the nearest casualty unit.

Director at ilovemybike.co.uk, Andrew Davis said: “The lack of workplace showers is one reason why more people don’t commute by bike – employers should spend Bike Week thinking about what they can do to help.”

Fair point, Andrew. So what can be done to reduce the cycling sweats? Riding in naked is one way, but that was last weekend. Below are some handy hints…

Baby wipes

Many cyclists shower before they set off for work and then when they arrive, wipe themselves down with disposable baby wipes.

Ride slower

Cyclists in continental Europe tend to ride their bikes slower when they commute to work – it doesn’t add much to the journey time and you don’t sweat.

Use a local gym

The easiest way to get access to a shower if there are no washing facilities at your place of work is to join the local gym

Keep a supply of shirts at work

This doesn’t solve the problem of getting clean, but bringing five clean and ironed shirts to work on a Monday ensures the commuter cyclist looks smart

2 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

An option, not for everyone, not for every route, and not for every budget is an electric bicycle. And it is certainly not the only option either -- I have to make this clear, because sometimes there can be quite a bit of hostility towards electric bikes.

I have ridden some, but don’t own one because they don’t suit my situation. But undoubtedly, they do provide that “constant tailwind” effect that makes cycling much less strenuous. It could make the difference between a “wipe down” and a shower.

Otherwise:
. consider panniers/basket/rack instead of a backpack.
. take a route where you start out going uphill, and then can coast to your destination. Rather than cycling uphill when you arrive.
. unzip your vest/jacket right while coasting to your arrival.
. Investigate non-cotton wear & have lots of them around
. Have lots of backups: not just work clothes. But also towels, wipes, cycling vests, bibs, socks, older shoes as spares at your workplace, because aside from sweat, there’s also rain. Of course you need a routine to keep them available, washed and dried.

posted by ceejgmh [1 posts]
17th June 2009 - 6:57

0 Likes

I've ridden a couple of electric bikes too, and to be honest for a 'normal' commute they're pretty good. and they're getting better too. anyone seen the Gruber Assist - www.gruberassist.com - ? you genuinely wouldn't know it had a motor in it. not cheap though Smile

Barry Fry-up's picture

posted by Barry Fry-up [186 posts]
17th June 2009 - 8:22

0 Likes