Bicycle Commuting For The Corporate Chick

I originally wrote this post about being a bicycle commuter for my business blog, Start Her Up, that I write for women entrepreneurs. But within minutes, a couple guys started leaving really nasty comments, so I thought I'd share my bicycle commuting insight with a bunch of women who might just get it. More importantly, might have some good tips for me. I don't want to get back in my car, but I also need to be taken seriously in business meetings!

Time for a little fluff, because my ACHING legs will not allow me to do anything of substance. I am trying my very hardest to be one of those  eco commuting biking chicks. For lots of reasons. I'm just fed up with the whole gas thing. Traffic in Seattle makes me homicidal. Parking makes me omnicidal (want to kill everything, not just people.) And, frankly, I'm vain as can be and want the hot bod that all that biking will give me.   So, here's some insight into being a successful cycling executive - specifically a CHICK.

First of all, there's the wardrobe issue. You pretty much either have to wear it or throw it in your bag to slip into it on the street. So, if you want to look cute (did I mention that I'm vain?) this is going to require some strategy.  My ideas so far:

1. The very simple slip on t-shirt style dress. Roll it up carefully and throw it in your bag. It will then slide right over some little cycling shorts and a tank top.

2. Nice yoga pants. Today's outfit involved nice yoga pants. This particular pair is a stretchy, matte finish, well tailored pair from LuLu Lemon. Just roll the cuff so they don't get caught in the chain and Voila! Nice black pants when you get where you're going. Pair with a nice knit top and you're good to go.

3. Shoes. Simple classic black sandals.  They take up no space in my bag, and turned both the dress and the yoga pants into a corporate casual look.

Now, hair and makeup.

1. You thought hat hair was bad?  Let me introduce you to helmet hair.  It's sweaty.  It is not good.  Which is why god (with a lowercase g) invented head bands. Black headband in the bag at all times. Unless your hair is long enough for a pony tail.....  But really, finished looking hair is something that gets noticed.

2. If you're a makeup wearer, this is the time to go seriously light on it. Sweat and soot will do a number on your face. I've seen it. Tread lightly, BUT, embrace the long-wearing stuff. Revlon ColorStay lipstick is my new favorite thing.

3. Deodorant. Enough said.

Gear. Now this was a rude awakening. My 15" MacBook Pro, previously the love of my life (it breathes when it sleeps!) is now the bane of my existence. Damn thing weighs a ton. I have embraced the power of the pen and paper. The bonus is that when I re-type my notes and to-dos into my computer when I get home, I get to rethink through everything and that's good. That said, if the kind people at Mac would like to send me one of those itty bitty new laptops, just let me know, I'll give you worlds of good press! (Eco friendly Computers Enable Bicycle Commuting!)

Locks. Having previously worshiped the ubiquitous Kryptonite lock, I've converted to a hardcore cable lock.  It weighs half as much, and allows you freedom to wrap yourself around anything you need to - parking meter, light pole, whatever - if there's not a proper bike rack.

Worried about cars? Yah, me too.  But ya know what, they're more scared of you than you are of them. Turns out that there's plenty of room on the roads, so I don't know what to say about those drivers that are scared to pass cyclists, it's weird. Really, there's plenty of room.

What you should worry about are people opening car doors on to you. So, PEOPLE, please look before opening your car door. I almost got slammed half a dozen times in the last 2 days.

As for the rules of the road - PLEASE OBEY THEM. Cyclists that are rude and don't play by the rules are ruining it for everyone. 

Now you have no excuses. Come on - gas prices are too high, traffic is killing our planet and our moods, and we're all getting a tad heavier than we really want to be. Hop on a bike to get to work.

So, what are your secrets to rocking the bike and making it work? 

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