When we decided to move to Alaska three years ago, one of the influencing factors was the opportunity to become regular bicycle commuters. Adam & I were both excited and willing to log the miles.
So I bike all over the place these days. Fortunately, my job can be done on two wheels and employers are supportive. It helps that the business culture of Anchorage is so lax too. Today, I saw a woman biking to work in stockings and a skirt. More power to you, sister.
Unfortunately for me, I have been and always will be a smelly girl. So I can’t bike in my work clothes. I bike in athletic gear and change at work or my destination. And finally, I’ve gotten a handle on changing in bathroom stalls.
It requires balance and patience. With limited space and areas to put your stuff (bathroom floors… Ew. Always use the hook or hang over door.), you have to be very thoughtful about what you take off and where you put it. A colleague said she would have dropped something in the toilet, if she were doing what I do. Luckily, that hasn’t happened yet – but I do live in constant fear of the potential.
The real lightbulb moment for my process came last week, when I was standing in my underwear in a bathroom stall and suddenly thought of earthquakes. If the instance of immediate evacuation, what the hell was I going to do? Run out naked? Get under the sink naked? Potentially linger long enough to get dressed and increase my risk of injury?
Yea. Scary thoughts (also a little funny) and realistic scenarios for Anchorage.
So now, there’s a process. Change top, leave spandex on. Pull on dress, remove spandex. Leave shoes on as long as possible. Put clothes in bag as I take them off, limit the amount of loose “stuff”. Keep all things in pannier during the day (my stepdad recommended this – something like an “oh shit” bag, easy to grab in case of emergency).
Small things that had never crossed my mind suddenly become big (read: important) habits. And it’s just an art, not a science… I have the banged up elbows (from bumping the stall walls) to prove it!