Interesting discussion on Bike Hugger yesterday about accommodations for bike commuters. I agree – facilities for all types of cyclists are needed in urban areas. It would be great if Seattle provided secure bike storage facilities similar to bikestation around the city. Wouldn’t have to be huge – the size of a couple of parking spaces would probably be enough. Heck – I’d sure ride downtown a lot more for entertainment, errands and shopping if I was sure I’d have a secure place to park my bike. Tim and I often rule out downtown as a date destination because we’re not comfortable locking our bikes on the street while we’re seeing a movie etc. (edit by tim – especially in light of horror stories about stolen bikes, racks and all)
However, I don’t really understand the need for showers in the workplace or in a bikestation type facilities. Do you really need one? I’d think if you could just take a shower at home, dress properly for the weather, slow down a bit so you don’t work up that much of a sweat, you wouldn’t need to shower once you got to work.
Do you think these people shower when they get to work?
When I lived in France as an exchange student, the one question French people always asked me is why are Americans so obsessed with cleanliness? Good question, some sort of Puritan thing I guess.
I’m not talking about folks who commute long distances – you probably get stinky and do need a shower. But for short distances, which a lot of people who live and work in urban areas could do on a bike if they wanted, a shower really isn’t necessary.
In Amsterdam and Copenhagen fashion, Tim commutes in the clothes he wears to work – business casual, no suits etc. He showers at home, gets dressed and goes. His commute is 5 miles – no need for another shower once he gets there. That’s just silly. Yesterday someone commented on the lack of showers in the office. His response was, “Do I stink”?
I’ve said this before. If we’re talking about incentives to get people out of their cars and on to bikes, I think more people should ride around in regular clothes to show that you really can use a bike as a mode of transport (errands, commuting, kid hauling etc). Then, a bike is just a way to get around, and you don’t need special clothes for that.
Maybe I’m wrong – I’d like to know. If your commute/ride is less than 10 miles, do you really need to shower upon arrival?