Sexy sweat?

Is it at­trac­tive for a wo­man to cy­cle to the of­fice in a body­hug­ging ly­cra suit be­fore un­furl­ing her gor­geous locks of hair from be­neath her bike hel­met? These and other con­cerns are ad­dressed in our fi­nal ar­ti­cle on bik­ing to the LRT sta­tions.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - OUTDOORS - Sto­ries by ANDREW SIA star2@thes­tar.com.my

PEO­PLE are in­ter­ested in cy­cling to LRT sta­tions be­cause it is hard to park their cars there. But many are wor­ried about us­ing bi­cy­cles.

Last week, we talked about safety con­cerns and which bike to get. This week, in our third ar­ti­cle on this topic, we soothe anx­i­eties about sweat­ing and bike park­ing.

About 500,000 new ve­hi­cles are be­ing added to the Klang Val­ley’s roads ev­ery year. As the traf­fic jams be­come more hor­ren­dous, the ben­e­fits of be­ing able to ac­cess the LRT sta­tions eas­ily and cheaply with bi­cy­cles ( or mo­tor­bikes) will even­tu­ally out­weigh any dis­com­fort over cy­cling.

Cool morn­ing ride

Some read­ers fear they would sweat too much in our hu­mid trop­i­cal weather.

Cy­clist Chan Jer Ping pointed out, “I don’t un­der­stand why weather is cited as a prob­lem. Peo­ple who cy­cle in the ( cool) morn­ings, don’t sweat bucket loads. And when cy­cling to work, you are not in a race.”

Ar­guably, the ex­er­tion ( and per­spi­ra­tion) from five min­utes of re­laxed cy­cling over just 2km to the near­est LRT sta­tion will be min­i­mal, and much less than say walk­ing for 20 min­utes over the same dis­tance. For those who want to cy­cle

af­ter ar­riv­ing at the LRT sta­tions to their fi­nal des­ti­na­tions, we can also learn from Sin­ga­pore. Even with their fan­tas­tic pub­lic trans­port, the repub­lic is mak­ing a big push to en­cour­age cy­cling and fur­ther re­duce use of cars.

Un­der Sin­ga­pore’s new Walk­ing and Cy­cling Plan, all new build­ing projects MUST have fa­cil­i­ties for cy­clists ( and pedes­tri­ans) such as bi­cy­cle park­ing, show­ers and lock­ers – start­ing from July.

Malaysia may not have such gen­er­ous sup­port for cy­cling – yet.

But we have one cul­tural ad­van­tage: most toi­lets are fit­ted with bidets or wa­ter hoses. These can also be eas­ily used to bathe. When I do long dis­tance cy­cling trips un­der the hot sun, I will of­ten use such hoses to take quick baths.

My col­league at The Star, Pa­trick Lee, who is an avid cy­clist, shared, “There is this hose shower head ex­ten­sion which I use to screw onto the bidet for morn­ing show­ers be­fore I start work in the of­fice. It works pretty well ac­tu­ally.”

My friend El­iz­a­beth Tai added, “Ac­tu­ally, you don’t even have to use the hose, just wet a towel, and wipe.”

Sweaty or sexy?

She is also wor­ried, “Will I look pre­sentable at the end of the trip, all sweaty and di­shev­elled?”

Then again, a wo­man en­ter­ing the of­fice in body- hug­ging ly­cra and un­furl­ing her locks of hair from un­der­neath her bike hel­met be­fore head­ing for a shower and change of clothes would, I imag­ine, be very at­trac­tive in a sporty way. But if sweat is re­ally a huge is­sue, nowa­days there are many mo­torised al­ter­na­tives to get to the LRT sta­tions.

For ex­am­ple, reader Nickki Cheah sug­gested us­ing an elec­tric uni­cy­cle scooter called the In­mo­tion ( https:// www. youtube. com/ watch? v= qYG8Ll7J15g). It weighs about 13kg and can even be car­ried into the train.

Or, you could just get a cheap sec­ond- hand mo­tor­bike to park at the LRT sta­tion.

Cy­clists en­joy­ing a shower from a fire en­gine af­ter a marathon ride in pe­nang. Less dra­matic bath fa­cil­i­ties are needed to pro­mote cy­cling in malaysia. — Filepic

The writer car­ry­ing his folded bike ( with 20- inch wheels) like a suit­case into the LrT. Dur­ing peak hours, foldies must be put into bags. — sHErEEN TENG

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