The summer is officially on its way to the UK. We're not totally sure how long it's going to stay, but we're getting prepared to fight the sweat on the morning commute.
The sunny weather certainly does a lot to encourage more and more sometimes-cyclists to hop on their bikes for the commute, and we're enjoying the company - as well as the glowing feeling of arriving at work after a bright and beautiful ride.
That glowing feeling, though - it's not always completely comfortable. More hot weather means more sweat, and though it's perfectly healthy (and sweating more is actually a sign you're a well-trained athlete...) the drippy stuff is a tad inconvenient in the office.
Here are a few essentials to help keep you comfortable...
Good Ordering Handlebar Bag
Sure, we could suggest a pannier bag and rack. If you're set up and good to go with a rack, we'd certainly recommend the convince of panniers. However, if like the vast majority of commuters, you tend to use a backpack, you probably don't want to install a pannier rack for the few weeks of the year it's actually sunny.
Handlebar bags are a great alternative. Unlike a backpack, they don't sit against your skin and create a sweat patch, but a bag such as this one from Good Ordering can be attached to your handlebars with no further fittings. It's got plenty of compartments and looks pretty nifty, too.
Rapha Souplesse base layer
Contrary to popular opinion, base layers are not purely designed to be worn as an extra layer in cold weather. No, a base layer is a year round essential and even if you commute in your civvies it's a good idea to add one to your layering system.
A quality base layer wicks sweat, carrying it away from your skin so it doens't cool on you in a gross and sticky fashion. The Rapha Souplesse version is our favourite at the moment, because it's made form a light and breathable mesh so you could never blame it for making you too hot.
Muc Off Dry Shower
No shower in your office? We're calling an employment hotline on your behalf. In the mean time, we don't want you feeling sticky all day so we'd recommend a dry shower wash and this one from Muc Off is ideal.
The pink liquid kills odour by destroying its cause: bacteria. It does so without using alcohol, too - which means it won't dry your skin, and since the key ingredients come form the friendly coconut, you get a nice smell to replace your overly-natural scent.
A few pumps will give you a foamy liquid, which you just rub in before wiping off the excess with a towel. Simples.
Trevor Sorboe Styling Dry Shampoo
Long hair presents an extra question for many female cyclists likely to get sweaty on the commute. Why is it that our tresses seem to suck up so much salty hard-work-juice?!
Thankfully, there are many dry shampoos out there that can absorb sweat and grease, but this one from Trevor Sorbie perfectly treads the line between economy and quality for us. Designed not just to make your tresses appear clean, it also creates texture and volume for a bit of va-va-voom!
P20 One a Day Sun Cream
Do not forget sun screen!
Tan lines are great, we love them - but there's a difference between gently colouring your skin and baking it in the sun. Overexposure without protection can leave you open to skin cancer.
The stuff from P20 is ideal for cyclists - as it lasts all day and comes in a range of SPFs up to 50+. The spray option is best if you don't want anything too oily, and it lasts up to 10 hours whilst being waterproof as well, so you won't need to re-apply post shower (though a top up isn't a bad idea).
We'll - that's you covered! For advice on keeping up with more viperous training in the sun, check out our 'How To' on safe cycling in the sun.