Right behind body odor on the “Excuses Excuses!” hit parade is clothing. “My clothes will get messed up.”
The easy solution is to keep a garment bag at work. My situation is trivial because I don’t sweat much, so I wear my dress shirt on the ride to work. The garment bag stores five pair of pants. Every once in a while I’ll drive to work and take them all home to be washed. You can also take home one pair at a time, if you never drive.
When you arrive at work, change your pants in the bathroom. Done.
Note that cycling clothing, while fashionable on the bike, is well, er, a bit racy in the office. You can buy some mountain bike shorts that look like cargo pants, in place of racing shorts. Of course, if you like looking racy in the office, go for it. Rest assured, you will get comments.
You may have issues with a long commute and sweat a lot, preventing you from wearing your work shirt on the ride in. In that case, bring in a week’s supply of shirts, or longer time period, on your Monday drive in. Drive home on Friday and take your clothes with you.
What you don’t want to do is wear slacks! I tried that and it wasn’t long before I had holes in my pants. When I see a professional photo of a cyclist wearing a suit, I roll my eyes. Let’s get real here!
Women, unfortunately, may feel hemmed in by fashion. How you live your life is your choice, but many noted women cyclists, such as Jacquie Phelan, Denise Caramagno, and many others, rewrote the rules on women’s fashion and haven’t let clothing considerations get in the way of enjoying life on the bike.