Nothing is better than the freedom of dominating the city on two wheels, especially after the polar vortexes we’ve had, preventing us (sans the very brave) from hopping on our bikes.
And now that you’ve busted your bike out of storage, biking the city shouldn’t be limited to your workouts and errands. But here’s the million-dollar question: How can you get to work and networking events without arriving as a hot, sweaty mess?
Beyond the bike locks, spare tubes and house keys, keeping a few extras in your bag will help you freshen up almost as much as nice long shower. Here, the seven essentials every biker needs in their bag:
1. Baby wipes
These come in handy for a speedy refresher once you get to your destination. Ditch parabens, phthalates and other chemicals in conventional brands for more sustainable versions.
This one is so obvious, yet so easy to forgot. And when you forget, it's bad news for everyone. Easy fix, though: Buy a mini deodorant to stow in your bag and never, ever leave home without it.
3. Lip balm
Especially on windy or extra sunny days, keep your pucker smooth with a nice lip balm. I’m currently digging the Mongo Kiss brand available at Whole Foods, which is organic, GMO-free & offset with 100% renewable energy — and moderately priced! #Winning
4. Toiletry kit
Including a small kit in your bag with lotion, soap, shampoo & conditioner (if you’re lucky enough to have an on-site shower) can seriously come in handy on those humidity ridden summer days, that will soon be upon us.
5. Spare socks and shoes
Whether you wear cycling shoes or a more casual pair on your bike, don’t torture yourself with slippery shoes on your pedals. Keep your dressy shoes in your backpack or keep a spare set at the office. If your commute is longer or you’re biking on a scorching hot day, an entire change of clothes might be the way to go.
6. Mini bottle of hair product
As a spiral-curled lady myself, I get crazy helmet hair quite easily. Remembering a travel-size mousse or hairspray can quickly bring life back to your flat head of hair, getting rid of those awkward, I-really-can't-walk-into-the-office-like-this bumps.
7. Makeup and makeup remover
I’m infamous for having raccoon eyes: The unfortunate effect of my mascara running as my eyes water in 15 MPH winds. Touching up in the bathroom with a bit of makeup and makeup remover is key when it comes to avoiding awkward first impressions. And let me tell you, raccoon eyes make for seriously awkward first impressions.
What must-haves do you keep in your bike bags, Be Wellers? Let us know in the comments section below.
Julie Hancher is the clumsy but physically active author of Green Philly Blog, where she shares CSA recipes, how she's addicted to Lithe Method and other ways to live a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. When she’s not behind her computer screen, she enjoys long bike rides by the Schuylkill, skiing and traveling everywhere. Follow her tweets at @greenphillyblog or posts on Facebook.
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