Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Survival: Sweat Control!

Sweat is certainly one of the biggest concerns for the urban cyclist, especially here in the South. Trying not to overheat helps. But today, I want to focus specifically on products and tricks for preventing, reducing, and removing sweat.

It starts when you get out of the shower. I have this stuff. It's supposed to contain crystals of that deodorant rock thing? Basically, it's a spray that with salts that are supposed to prevent bacterial growth in any sweat that does occur. Sounds gross, yes, but it's an effective part of the strategy. It won't prevent sweat, though, so once the spray dries apply your favorite anti-persperant. I tend to sweat pretty easily, so the anti-persperant will minimize my sweating but not completely prevent it. If it's really hot and humid out, I may layer a little powder over the anti-persperant (and perhaps on my back and chest too). I like powders that smell like perfume or lavendar, not like babies...
Before I head out the door, I pick out an outfit that will keep me cool. Seersucker is great, as are gathered or blousy outfits that allow air to circulate. If I need to travel in super hot conditions, I'll make sure to have a tank top as my first or only layer, and may carry a dress top to put over it at my destination. If I sweat, I'll be able to wipe the sweat away before it come in contact with my clothing. Depending on conditions, a hat may help by shading your face.

Finally, I also carry a felt cloth with me for freshening up when I arrive. I get it damp and spritz a little of the crystal spray and my favorite perfume on it, and put it in a zip-top plastic bag. I can wipe off any traces of sweat from my face and body, and then rinse it every few uses. So far, so good!


  1. It was great meeting you this week! I'm going to have to try some of these suggestions. I'm beginning to seriously wonder how crazy I am to have decided to start trying to ride to work just as it starts really heating up! I hope it's not so bad that I want to stop as soon as I begin :)

  2. Great suggestions. I also sweat easily. I need to try the powder trick and also that crystal spray stuff.

  3. Great tips! Thanks for posting them! Here in Montana, temps have been in the 50s or 60s, so I'll have to file this away for now.

  4. Traci - that was fun! I would say there is a big difference between days where the high gets over 90, and days where it doesn't. Humidity and how much it cools off at night factor in too. I'm sure you'll be fine on a moderate day. And in a weird way, it can be fun to just let yourself experience the weather in all its horrible glory - at least on the way home when you can jump into a cool shower afterwards!

    Dottie - I swear by 'em.

    Bliss Chick - SO JEALOUS! I love Montana, too. Helena is one of my favorite spots in the US.