One of the most common concerns voiced by would-be bicycle commuters is whether they'll be carrying around the "air" of a cyclist once they get to work.

So will you stink up the office? Not if you were clean when you got on the bike. It all depends on your individual body chemistry, of course, along with your exertion level and local climate. But it's a pretty straightforward thing to get cleaned up for the workday once you park the bike.

The good news is that most of the sweat from a bike commute stays in your riding clothes. Carry a change with you — or drop off fresh clothes at work if you're not cycling every day. It also pays to carry basic toiletries. A washcloth and a little soap and water are really all you need to get presentable in less than10 minutes. Just budget enough time to get your day rolling without a rush.

Some riders are fortunate enough to have shower facilities on-site or at a nearby building. It's worth looking for these. You might be able to negotiate shower privileges at a nearby gym or spa. Ask other cyclists what they're doing.

But there's no need to fear failing the sniff test. Plan ahead, carry the right gear, and enjoy healthy, human-powered transportation!

Copyright Lighter Footstep 2009

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