Bike riding for growunups

Or, how to bike to work without ruining your “look”.

Sometimes the best way to be active is to just build it in to the things you do. That way, if you don’t make it to the gym, or yoga, or whatever, you still used your muscles that day. If you do make it to the gym, you’re superman/woman. Superbeing? Let’s keep thinking on that one, shall we?

I have a hard time making myself do this sometimes, since I have such a cute car (Hi Andy the mini cooper!). And I live in Tucson— so it’s dynamite from October through April, and then. . . Dante comes to mind. (high today: 106?? low: 75???) But, when it comes down to it, it feels good. I get there clear-headed, fresh-aired, and feeling good about myself. And sweaty.

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Depending on where I’m going, it is more or less acceptable to arrive looking like a (literal) hot mess. So here’s my list of coping strategies:

-Dress the part. Don’t laugh, but I wear my lululemon undies under my work clothes if I know I’m biking! I wear something lightweight— jeans are the worst. Skirts are good (I have a lady-bike with a chain guard, and I’ve spent a lot of time practicing the no-flash dismount!). I wear something machine-washable (sorry, silk blouses! you are pretty, but you’ll have to wait). Tank top from the children’s departmet at Target? Yes! Light-colored cotton button-up? Yes! Synthetic tee from REI? Yes! Washable ponte-knit dress? Yes!

-The hair issue. The helmet is non-negotiable, plus mine is adorable. But the hair. . . can be an issue. Until I am reborn as one of those Italian or Spanish goddesses who steps off her scooter, takes off her helmet, and shakes out an amazing head of perfect cascading waves, I will have to make do. That means managing 1)sweat, and 2)tangles. A gym headband can help, then get stashed in my bag. If I want to shake it out when I get there, a loose french braid is a good way to go. If I’m going to leave it, a low chignon or a side braid does the trick. I keep a comb in my desk, and a clip for one of those quick twisty up-dos of things aren’t going well.

-Touch-ups! This is the only time I think those little disposable face wipes are an acceptable idea (otherwise, so wasteful!). If I put on makeup before I left (really, more likely just BB cream or tinted sunscreen), I might just dab at the hairline a little. But the real key is to get the back of the neck, and if you can slip into the bathroom, the under-boob area, and maybe the butt-sweat area. You know what I’m talking about.

—If all else fails, put on lipstick when you get there and no one will notice you are all wet.

So, that’s my routine. What works for you?

What's cookin, good lookin?

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