The worst part of my bike commute today in 96 degrees and high humidity?  The pungent smell coming from trash bins as I rode down my alley and by others.  Oh, the humanity!  The smell wrapped itself around me in a most unpleasing manner.  The trash was not messing around.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to avoid breathing while bicycling.

The smelly did not stop there.  Although not nearly as bad (seriously, not anywhere close!), the gym clothes that I wore and sweated in during my morning ride were a little rank when I pulled them out of my cabinet at the end of the day.  Not fun to have to put them back on.  Darn polyester.

As for myself, I stayed fresh as a daisy with the help of my beloved office fan, a change of clothes, Burts Bees towelettes (pleasing scent), and awesome Soapwalla deodorant cream.

The forecast for Chicago tomorrow is as high as 99 degrees, with a heat index of 105 – and I know other areas are even hotter!

I will be on my bike with sunscreen, a change of clothes, a positive attitude and a travel size perfume.  :)

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20 thoughts on “Smelly

  1. Chika says:

    Ditto on the change of clothes when it was time to ride back home. It felt like they never quite dried from the ride to work. Yuck. Thankfully no smelly trash on my way..

    • Dottie says:

      You and Dutchie look so fresh and happy together.  :)  (Have you named her yet or is it Dutchie?)

      That’s the worst, when clothes are still damp from the morning.  I learned not to wear cotton because of that.  
      I don’t want to change back into icky clothes today before the MCA, so I’m choosing work clothes that should be comfortable to wear to wear on the lawn and during the ride home.  

  2. ladyfleur says:

    It’s really not that hot here in Northern California when I commute in the morning, but I have a good old fashioned coat rack in my office that I use to dry out my raincoat. I wouldn’t recommend hanging your undergarments in your office, though.

  3. Cycler says:

    Every once in a while I get stuck behind a trash truck on my ride in, and it really stinks!

    Yesterday I got stuck behind a trash bike, will post about it soon. Not that smelly interestingly.

  4. anniebikes says:

    I use baby powder when I get to work.

  5. elisam says:

    Trash days in the summer are the WORST. I dread them. 

  6. john h says:

    There are only a few vehicles you never want to get behind, trash-truck, school-bus, and in the early spring the manure spreading thingy the local farmer uses, that funk just doesn’t fade away.  LOL =)

    • Dottie says:

      Ha!  I got stuck behind a school bus yesterday, too.  Drivers in Chicago just go by them when there’re stopped picking up kids!  That must be legal, but it was so strange to see.  

  7. Lauren says:

    OH GOD the smelly sweat clothes are the worst! Is there not anywhere you can air them out for a couple of hours? I like to drape mine over a box under my desk – they stay hidden, and they don’t smell as bad at the end of the day (plus they’re not damp, eewww I hate that haha). Another option would be to switch from polyester & try some type of breathable natural fiber. I REALLY love Rayon for biking and just being hot in general – it breathes really well & dries quickly.

    Oh, and I guess this doesn’t help you now, but if you encounter another garbage smell assault, try putting some kind of minty balm (like lip balm or that Vick’s stuff) under your nose. It’ll cover the smell and you can still breathe! :)

  8. Ash L says:

    My issue with the intense heat is just stopping at intersections. The exhaust from cars and worse, big trucks, is enough to make me woozy. I had to run the light at Western and Milwaukee a few minutes ago because I was sandwiched between the exhaust of two giant trucks and felt like I was going to throw up or pass out at any moment.

  9. Alex A. says:

    I’m curious about the deodorant cream- is it as effective as regular deodorant or do you need to reapply during the day or after bike rides? Because if it is, I’ll totally get some.

  10. Karen says:

    For very hot weather I can’t recommend Patagonia highly enough.  They dry with a few  minutes and are quite stink resistant.  I am so glad to read that other women struggle with these issues as well.  Usually, I am convinced I am the only one that sweats.

  11. Sara says:

    I switched from deodorant to baking soda about a year ago.  It does a great job  absorbing perspiration plus it’s cheap and all natural.  I apply some after I shower and then after I ride to work I wipe my arm pit area with a baby wipe and apply some more baking soda.  I keep a travel size bottle of Gold Bond at my desk.  Smells great, too!

  12. I love Lauren’s minty balm tip!!  DC sewer grates are unpleasantly odorous right now and that idea will help, I think. We’ve been suffering in the Baltimore-DC region with high heat and humidity for weeks now. I have to carry a change of clothes even for the short biking portions of my multi-modal commute. I am incredibly lucky to work in a building with a fitness center and shower. Our former building lacked these amenities, so Action Wipes had to do. 

  13. Lacey says:

    I just found this site and I already love it!  A few weeks ago I started commuting by bike every day.  I also live in Chicago and I feel that riding to work in hot weather and not smelling like it all day is a fine art. I look forward to reading more 

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