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Seven Benefits of Cycling in the Rain

By Angie Ng

We’ve all heard it before: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” (That quote, by the way, is from A Coast to Coast Walk by Alfred Wainwright.) As long as you have a really good, waterproof jacket, waterproof overshoes and other gear, you’ll be fine when cycling in the rain and perhaps even enjoy it. Of course, good knowledge of how to cycle in the rain is also important, too – you don’t want to be turning on wet manhole covers or anything like that.

Why cycle in the rain when you could just stay indoors or take other forms of transportation? Below, we’ll look at eight benefits of biking in the rain.

1. Improved mental health

Rain showers generate large quantities of negative ions. Negative ions increase our serotonin levels, helping us to fight stress and alleviate both chronic depression and seasonal affective disorder. Negative ions also increase the flow of oxygen to our brains, leading to more mental energy and clearer thinking.

© Oliver Dixon/Alamy Live News

2. Improved sleep quality

Negative ions in general have been shown to improve sleep quality. They help us fall asleep more easily and lengthen our slow-wave sleep, also known as deep sleep. Slow-wave sleep is important for memory consolidation and helps our brains to recover from the activities they perform while we’re awake.

3. Improved physical health

We all know of the health benefits associated with cycling as a form of exercise, but when we cycle in the rain, the benefits add up. Negative ions neutralise the positively charged free radicals in our bodies, helping us fight disease and ageing. There are actually so many other health benefits that it’d be boring to list them all here. Okay, maybe one more – negative ions also increase the activity of the cilia in our windpipe, helping to keep foreign particles out of our lungs.

© Chris Strickland/Alamy Live News

4. Fresh Air

Instead of the stale air loaded with positive ions found in buses and other confined spaces, why not bike in the rain for some fresh breeze? Negative ions are thought to clear the air of all sorts of nastiness, from cigarette smoke to airborne allergens, such as pollen and mould spores.

5. Emptier Bike Lanes

Since less people will be out on their bikes when it’s raining, the bike lanes and cycling paths will be emptier. You’ll be able to enjoy your time cycling even more than usual – it may even be somewhat meditative. Bonus: if it’s a regular work day, you’ll also have the pleasure of zipping by all the people stuck in traffic.

Not this one, we hope.

6. Saving Money

Obviously, while cycling is free, taking public transportation, ordering taxis and driving all cost money. Why not put the money away for – no, not a rainy day – some new gear you’ve been eyeing?

7. Fun

Last but not least, with the right gear, it’s fun to bike in the rain. If we thought dancing in the rain and jumping into puddles were fun when we were little, why can’t we think of cycling in the rain as fun, too? Of course, this is especially true when it’s warm and summery outside. Lucky for us, it’s almost summer!

So why do you like to cycle in the rain? Share with us in the comment section below.