We begin our “Excuses, Excuses” series with a common refrain, “I sweat a lot and I will smell if I ride to work.” Heard that one before?
I can understand the paranoia surrounding bromhidrosis. Personal hygiene is a multi-billion dollar industry — playing off our fears.
These fears are unfounded. If body odor is an issue, believe me, someone will let you know.
Here’s why it’s not so much a concern as you think. Two types of sweat are produced: by nerves and by exercise. Nervous sweat has a bad odor, but body sweat from exercise, not so much, if at all. However, bacteria like sweat and they’re what cause body odor.
Now I’m not one who sweats much, but most people sweat a fair amount even during mild exercise. Here’s how commuters can manage their sweat. The only ride that matters is the one to work. What to do:
1) Leave early when it’s cool, around 7 a.m.
2) Don’t ride hard. Save the hard riding for heading home.
3) Keep a washcloth and a towel at work. Clean up in the bathroom at work. It’s going to be early, so the bathroom will be empty. If you have a shower at work, that’s a convenience, although it will take longer than using a washcloth.
4) Wear a clean jersey, if you wear cycling clothes.
5) Use deodorant. I like Tom’s natural unscented. Perfume or cologne is another option.