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Home >> Blog >> Biking in the Heat: Non-Pro Edition

Biking in the Heat: Non-Pro Edition

Keara Mehlert
Keara Mehlert June 27, 2016 0 Comments Keara Mehlert is the Property & Development Services Program Director at Arlington Transportation Partners. She has been car-free and loving it for the past five years and has been biking 5.5 miles to work every day since October 2012.
ATP TAKEAWAY: Biking in the warmer months can be tricky, but with a few cool clothes and shower facilities at work - it's a breeze! Here's the inside scoop from 'non-pro' pro blogger, Keara Mehlert.

For all those wondering, biking in the summer > biking in the winter, hands down. Don’t get me wrong, I love biking in my Uggs, but nothing beats wearing a tank top and shorts and riding in the daylight for both the morning and the evening commutes. I’m also one of those weird people who doesn’t mind humidity – I’ll take it any day over the horrible 60 degree and rainy weather that persisted for the entire month of May. In fact, walking outside and immediately feeling like you’ve been wrapped in a blanket is my favorite weather.

For me, June has been delightful, although for those who might not have a shower at work and bike in their work clothes, they might have a different opinion. I don’t blame those folks, I would not be using active transportation in 85 degree weather if I didn’t have access to a shower.

For max comfort, I really recommend biking in lighter clothing and changing at work even if you don’t shower. And definitely consider a rear rack bag or panniers instead of a backpack to carry your stuff. Getting a rear rack after two years of biking with a back pack was life changing for me. Even if you’re riding bikeshare, squeeze your stuff in to that front basket/bungie cord thing, it’s amazing what can fit in there.

IMG_5347-181482-edited.jpgThe outfit

Tank top
Shorts
Sneakers: I’d loveeee to wear sandals but I’ve scraped the tops of my toes one too many times on pavement, so sneaks it is.
Sunglasses

Oh and I got a new pink helmet this spring thanks to my bike benefit!

The route

7:24AM – Leave my apartment. It feels fantastic out.

7:29AM – I’m following four other bike riders down Florida Avenue near DuPont Circle. This is the other great part about riding in the summer, all the other riders on the streets commuting to work. I’ve also definitely noticed more bikers recently since SafeTrack started – biking is really the fastest way around the city during rush hour and I think people are starting to pick up on it.

7:34AM – I’m flying down N Street (because of course I want to go faster than the biker behind me…) in Georgetown which is kind of bumpy and since my back fender is loose, my bike sound louder than a trash truck right now. A woman walking her dog stares at me. Hi, cute pup!

7:40AM – I’ve crossed Key Bridge and it made it up the first hill to Lee Highway and Nash Street. This is the part of the ride where my sunglasses fog up and are falling down my nose from sweating, it’s real cute. I could probably get some glasses that are made for sports activities and fit my face better, but nahhhh.

7:45AM – I arrive in our building’s garage, dead tired after the three steep hills that lead up to it. My new fitness tracker watch vibrates to let me know my heart rate is quite high – am I dying? Maybe, but air conditioning is 5 steps away.

7:47AM – Lucky me, only two of our building’s elevators are working so I get squeeze in with about 6 other people. I’m gross at this point and most definitely smell. Sorry again, DOD employees!

 

The bike to work only took 21 minutes door to door – my colleague who took the bus from Columbia Heights got here in 40 minutes, while my other colleague who lives in Shaw got to work in 30 minutes riding Metro. I also know from experience that driving home in the evening takes about 35 minutes…biking for the win!

Oh and just because...here's a Rilo snap. The Non-Pro Dog Mascot. Hey gurl

Rilo, dog,

Be sure to check out the rest of our Non-Pro series:

Tags: Bike, Benefits, Commute

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