I took a couple of steps to arrive at work not a sweaty mess:
1) Wear as little as possible- skirts for women, shorts for non-cross dressing men. Today I wore a light colored all natural fibers sleeveless dress (silk liner, cotton exterior).
|I love these polka dot heels ($19 at DSW)|
2) Icewater. I don't normally bring a water bottle on my 5 mile commute, as I just don't think a normal healthy person can get dehydrated that fast. However, icewater helps cool you from the inside, and is a real help above and beyond hydration.
3) Stay away from cars , and seek shade as much as possible. I don't know if you've noticed, but cars put out a lot of heat, and being stuck in among a bunch of them in not a good thing in the heat. I chose to ride on the dirt path, which I normally avoid, but it was in the shade, and the concrete was not.
An advantage of taking the multi-use path along the charles is that I personally don't feel the need to wear a helmet there, as I do on a city street.YMMV. I keep a "vented" style helmet around for the couple of days this time of year when my bern helmet's holes are not enough airflow, and I put it on before I ride through the city, in traffic which might cause me take evasive action or wreck.
4) A handkerchief is the fastest way to make yourself presentable at your destination. If my face is dry, I feel 100% more pulled together, even if the small of my back is a bit damp. I have a bunch of vintage linen-cotton hankies with cute leaf appliques, which I treasure, but any kind of hankie works wonders.
What steps do you take to cope with the heat of riding in summer?