Friday, August 28, 2009

Men cycling in work clothes

Well, cycling to work in work clothes is the obvious thing to do, isn't it? Not many people in Austria would bother to change clothes or demand a shower at the work place. Well, there might be the occasional guy who decides to change his T-shirt or leaves his jacket at work in the summer. But after all we're just cycling to work and not speeding in a race. No need for a complete transformation or to show off.

Note that the gardener in the upper left picture rides a company bicycle (company being the City of Vienna). This is really untypical and the first time I have seen something like that, so I tried to find out more about it -- and voilà, I found an old article (from May 1999) that mentions such efforts by the city council to try to make their employees set their cars aside. Ten years later, however, I would like to know if they are still at it and if it has made an impact on peoples' choice of transport.


Dottie said...

Nice pictures. Seeing men dressed like that on bikes is very rare in Chicago, even though lots of people cycle. Too bad.

Velouria said...

I think most Americans would tell you that even when they cycle very slowly, their level of sweating in the summer is unacceptable for wearing work clothes and arriving ready for the office. In a typical American office environment, any hint of "natural" human scent is completely unacceptable. If a person's body emits a smell other than soap, shampoo, fresh laundry detergent and perfume/cologne, they will be mocked behind their back and very possibly fired. It's hard to know how to handle summer cycling with these cultural standards.

anna said...

@ Filigree: Thanks for that insight. Well, here it would be impossible to maintain such a high hygiene standard as most buildings are not air-conditioned. I, for example, sweat more in the office itself than on my bike ride there. This is annoying when it's really hot, but on the other hand I'm glad that we don't consume so much energy for just cooling our ill-designed buildings. A siesta might be useful though ;-).

crispy said...

@ Anna: Wow, that's an eye-opener! That definitely explains a few things. I agree with what Filigree said, for the most part. I don't think anyone would be fired for coming to work sweaty, but it would definitely cause some raised eyebrows.

Where I live, it's routine for summertime highs to reach the mid-90s (degrees F) with 70-90% humidity. Traveling any distance by bicycle, or even brisk walking, almost necessitates a shower afterwards.

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