Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport is renowned for its demeanor and amenities. They understand that they are a hub for travelers and sometimes travelers need to tend to themselves before continuing onto their destinations. With a casino, gym, spa and hotel under their roof, they offer a respite from the drudgery of air travel.
Yotel is the name of the hotel, offering not only miniature rooms for sleeping or working, but also shower rooms that are self cleaning, stainless steel affixed, fully tiled works of modernity. They have locations in UK's Heathrow and Gatwick as well. 20 years ago they charged no more than the price of a gentleman's haircut.
Sadly, we don't seem to have many establishments offering shower options. The few readers with office gyms or showers can tell me if I'm wrong but I'm sure they'll be countable on one hand. DC does have gyms in abundance. So we contacted them in the downtown and Capitol Hill area.
All gyms open before 6am. Golds Gym opens earliest at 5am. They have a location in Rosslyn, Va & 409 3rd St SW DC that charges $40/month with a $40 initiation fee plus a year commitment and $80 fee without.
We found no gym offering a strictly shower membership option. Most of them recited their boilerplate pitches of standard membership rates and discussed their freedom to visit other locations. The most numerous gym in the downtown area was WSC (Washington Sports Clubs) . Some of their locations offered a corporate membership rate of $49 per month with a year commitment, no initiation fee. Other locations charged the fee. Some offered $59, not having a $49 rate, such as Georgetown). All gyms offer a daily visit fee from $5 (LA fitness) to $30.
Fitness First & LA Fitness both offer the lowest rate I found, $29 per month or less depending if you want to pay an initiation fee or access to other gyms.
Results Gym at 1101 Connecticut Ave NW stated that they had no major demand for the shower only membership yet, so they don't offer one. Vida Fitness also gave the same response. Both are upwards of $95/month plus fees. Mint Fitness near 16th & K St. NW, offered their corporate rate of $79/month, no initiation fee. Balance Gym near Thomas Circle offered to get back to me via email with details. Look for them in the updates. YMCA at 1711 Rhode Island Ave, NW has no special rates for commuters.
Some gyms claimed to have no way of keeping track of who uses their equipment and therefore had no way of dividing shower only members from non-shower only. As the mayor expands his Sustainable DC plan to include more biking as transport, and as more an more residences dot the cityscape, the movement of people and the services that are associated with it will have to be addressed. If you live in the city you may not break a sweat riding to work on a nice day, but for the non-local commuters, you may have to band together to get a good rate from a convenient gym address.
Gyms generally have 5 to 7 shower stalls per restroom. Understand that gyms have a 'rush hour' period in the morning and the evening, just like the streets of DC. The pricier locales have complimentary towels and toiletries. The lower cost gyms may charge for full size towels and may not have things like mouthwash or razors.
Another popular business venture are the boutique studios that charge per class and have only yoga, spinning, boxing, barre, or aerobics of some variety. They are smaller than your average gym. If they have membership, they cost more than your average gym. It is hit or miss if they have showers on site. Be sure to ask to get those details.
Since location is the name of the game for showering at work, you may have petitioned your office for facilities on site, along with secure bike parking. But for those not working in a big enough office building, the local area gyms have ears, and they may be willing to listen to the increasing cyclist population, since they are known to spend more at the places they ride to.