Happy International All-Women's Day! I have a great post to honor this day which was created per request of Laura, of Grease Rag Ride & Wrench. They saw some social media postings that I had done about bike commuting to a professional work setting & asked me if I’d be interested in sharing my tips with others.
Would I?????!!!! I felt like a star struck teen being asked to dance onstage at a concert (you should be visualizing Courtney Cox with Bruce Springsteen right about now).
Seriously, the Grease Rag Ride & Wrench is this amazing group in St. Paul & Minneapolis who “encourage and empower women/ trans/ femme (WTF) cyclists in a collaborative and fun learning environment through rides, discussions, shop nights and educational seminars in a safer space.”
In summary, they rock.
This is how I show up to my job. I am the Spa Director for Haus Salon - a high end salon and spa.
Now, I know what you’re thinking “Oh, she has tons of hair & makeup stuff at her disposal to get ready with.”
Let me tell you, the answer is a big ‘ol giant ‘NO.’ Although I have incredibly supportive employers, I absolutely do not get to use the salon space or it’s supplies to get ready (no one wants to see my sweaty head bent over a shampoo sink when they’re paying for a $50-$150 haircut).
I wanted to include an image of my typical winter gear/supplies that I have. The day of this picture was my normal 7 mile commute in to work with a -5 degree Farenheit temperature.
I get ready in my spa room. At my last job that I bike commuted to I used a bathroom in a similar fashion. A real bonus that I have in my spa room is that while it was being built new, I asked my employers if they would build a closet in it for me; which they did!
It’s not as large as a standard size, but I’ve created a system to make it work for me. In this picture, you can see that I’ve attached clips inside the door to hang up all of my smaller items to dry (gloves, socks, face masks, etc).
These are the first things that I hang up when I arrive. I keep my work shoes & some work clothes in here, too. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m figuring it out as I go along.
Next, I hang up my outer clothes to dry while I get ready. I sweat a LOT when I work out, like, a serious amount of sweat (blame my faulty thyroid, I guess). How much? Here's a short story:
When I was dating my husband, my friend heard we were going biking for our 2nd date. She warned me about the warm weather forecasted for that evening & had concern about my infamous sweat marks having a negative impression on this blossoming relationship. I'm happy to report, my husband was unphased by my overactive sebaceous glands.
To combat my sweating issue, I use wicking materials such as the Patagonia brand (another company working towards sustainability). I love these products because they are created for high performance lifestyles and are made with quick drying fabrics. Basically that means that I can wear them, sweat, sink wash them if needed, hang them, and they'll be clean and dry in time for me to wear home at the end of my work day.
Since I shower in the evenings when I get home from work, I can quickly do a sink clean up to start my day after biking in. I wash my hair in the sink, or at a minimum, rinse it with water (due to the aforementioned sweating issue).
This is my makeshift vanity (it’s a hand mirror on top of my Wax Pots).
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall…who beat all the drivers in who are stuck waiting for the traffic not to stall?”
I use N4 (pronounced Number Four) Hair Care Products & One Love Organics Skin Care - (two high quality product lines) because they are both *vegan, organic, and sustainable in that they are very concentrated. This means less consumption which also equates to less packaging waste and transportation footprints. I love that I work for a company where I can purchase both of these product lines.
*Please note, the One Love Organics skin care line has 1 non-Vegan product: the Skin Savior Balm, as it contains Beeswax.
I do not haul my hair & makeup supplies daily. Instead, I keep this container at work that holds my brushes, hair products, hair dryer, skin care products & makeup.
I then get ready. I usually rock out to MPR news while drinking my coffee…
By the time I’m done getting ready, my clothing is dry. I throw everything in my closet & shut the door.
I realize not everyone has a closet available to them, but I’ve seen some portable closets that are very budget friendly. You can get them at stores like Target or, of course, online. These may be a possibility for some worth looking into.
I’m ready to start my day!
Catherine’s Bonus Tips:
I found some other images on the web that show how wrapping a piece of hair around your hair binder takes a yoga-pants-day ponytail to office professional ready! Also note the minimal makeup look with a pop of color on the lips. Yeah.
Here's a great image I found of a professional looking bun. Note, once again, the minimal amount of makeup. Here, it's the brows that are accented (huge thumbs up from me, as a Brow Shaping Specialist), the eyes have a small amount of eye liner/shadow and then the lips are nude. Beautiful.
Aaaaaand, man buns are all the rage right now. I adore them!
I hope that this post may have given you some ideas or tips that aids you in adopting bike commuting as a piece of your life towards living sustainable. Happy Biking!!!!