Wednesday, 23 January 2008


Tomorrow is a very important day in the bike commuting calendar - it is towel changeover day. This is not a national day celebrated by bike commuters everywhere - it is simply the day when I have remembered to take a fresh towel into work.

Towel changeover day should have happened 3 weeks ago, so as you can imagine, the current inhabitant of the locker room at work is getting a bit manky. However, it is better to have a manky towel than no towel at all - which is something that I discovered to my cost last year. I had to dry myself with a pair of socks.

The lesson from that episode is to never bring the manky towel home until you have taken a fresh towel into work. I thought I'd just bring the manky towel home, and I'd automatically remember to take a fresh one in the day after.

Um, wrong.

The moment I threw the towel into the washing basket and set foot in the back door, all thoughts of soft, fluffy towels were completely forgotten about.

I have also figured out that if I am to take a fresh towel in, I have to pre-load it into my backpack the night before. That's because my morning routine is so rigid, and I am so dopey in the morning, I will never remember to pack one at 6am. If I was able to remember to pack one at 6am, I would have had a fresh towel at work 3 weeks ago.

So I have just packed a towel.

One trick about having a towel in a shared locker room is to have an old, ragged towel that looks like it was last used for cleaning a wildebeest. There are 12 lockers in our locker room, but about 50 people seem to use the room. That means that towels are hanging everywhere, and there is a big sign in a prominent position that reminds people to not use a towel that belongs to someone else. I am not overly thrilled by the idea of a co-worker using my towel without me knowing about it, but I am not so hung up on it that if I discovered such an act, that I'd take the towel out onto the footpath and set it on fire. That said, if you really want to avoid having your towel used more than once a day, don't have a gorgeous, fluffy towel that screams "use me". Have a scratchy old thing with the fringe hanging off that says "put me out of my misery and throw me out".

The sad thing is that I have a reasonably large collection of such towels.

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