If you’re not sweating buckets when you ride your bike, you’re either on a recovery ride (if so, kudos to you) or you’re not riding fast enough. Being fast takes effort. If you do it right, a lot of effort.
Unfortunately being a cyclist, at least a fast one, makes one stink. Bad.
There are a few tricks of the trade though, and I’m here to help:
First things first is the melon protector. Sweating in the dome cover is inevitable, as Agent Smith told Morpheus. Well, maybe Smith wasn’t talking about cycling but you never know. That sweat, left to fester unchallenged will do some gnarly things to one’s smelling holes once you place that festered brain bucket in its place to ride. To combat this, while you’re in the shower, lather up your helmet, rinse it and towel it dry (and the little foam pads). Funk eliminated. Some people can get away with only washing the cranium cover once or twice a week, I wash mine after every ride.
Second. Wear deodorant. You don’t have to smell like a French whore when you go out for a ride (wait, that cuts both ways…Touché).
Third, and most important of any hygiene tips: Throw that godforsaken unsented laundry detergent in the garbage can – or save it for your street clothes. My wife, God bless her, went through a ten-year-long “unsented detergent phase”. Unfortunately that meant my cycling clothing smelled like sweaty ass and balls within a few weeks. Folks, sweaty ass is bad enough but throw in the meatballs and it gets gnarly in a hurry.
After two years of feeling self-conscious, I finally pleaded my case to my wife. I said, “Wife, oh wonderful wife. Sweet, tender friend… I’m tired of smelling like sweaty ass and balls. Wouldest thou please, for the love of God and all that is Holy, consider picking up some f@€k!n& Tide?
My soulmate, my best friend in the whole world, looked at me like I was friggin’ nuts. However, once I got down on one knee and began to weep, she knew I was serious. And…
Now of course I’m playing loose with the facts and the conversation. My cycling clothes did have a rough tinge to them though, and I was tired of it. My awesome wife has been using the Tide for about two weeks now and I couldn’t be happier.
Finally is the one thing that goes without saying… Dude, shower up after you ride. Unless you live in California. In that case, rub some dirt on it and hang with Governor Brown. Or something. Hey! Kids’s diaper wipes! We use those at hunting camp, they should work to save water. That’s how I roll folks, that’s a lot of “give-a-$#!+” right there!
Happy trails. Or, um, roads.
UPDATE: Michael Cowart dropped in with a comment that it also helps to refrain from leaving the cycling kit laying around for days on end before washing it. This is a very good point because even Tide and Febreeze have their limits.
UPDATE Number II: The Tempo Cyclist added that wet wipes are an excellent item for commuters to keep handy as well, in the event your office/job doesn’t have a shower facility.
UPDATE Number III: My buddy Titanium Henry chimed in. Dude, wash the shorts after every ride. Trust me. Go ahead and read for yourself…shenrydafrankman, scroll down.