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The LA Bike Coalition jokes that the moisture is good for your skin. Maybe. The spray of road muck is bad for your clothes. But either way, if you get around on your bike as serious transportation, you'll feel like a hero when you ride in the rain.

All of the obvious tips are valid. Be careful, be visible, get a lid for your coffee. But everyone has a few specific things they do to get where they're going safe and mostly dry. What about you?

I pretend I'm in a Disney parade, and wear lots of bright shiny stuff with reflectors and blinking lights. Going along with the parade theme, I usually stop traffic, or at least slow it down. If they're honking and yelling at me, I know they can see me.

I got my trusty Cat's Eye OptiCube and whatever the blinking red equivalent is, and a change of dry clothes rolled up in a plastic bag inside my waterproof panniers. I got to this morning's appointment looking like a disgruntled CalTrans worker, but after a quick change in the restroom I morphed into a confident professional.

The entire effort added about 8 minutes to my travel time.

What do you do to make the most of a rainy bike ride?

It's easy to go for a bike ride when you're bright-eyed and frisky, the weather's perfect and it's the beginning of a long weekend with no urgent chores or immediate plans.

For the rest of the time, try this.

Just ride for ten minutes. Anywhere. This will get you warmed up, and it makes it easy to get in the habit of riding your bicycle a few times a week. No matter how tired you are, or how cold it is, even if it's raining, you can handle ten minutes.

And the benefits of bike exercise, even for just ten minutes, are incredible. Research shows that a 10-minute bike ride can lift your mood. It's long enough to flood your system with endorphins that relieve pain and can give you a natural high that has been documented.


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If you happen to be really busy, you can still take a 10-minute bike break. Come on. I guarantee the rest of your day or evening will be a lot happier and more productive.

Over time this ten-minute ride can really tone you up. If you're biking to lose weight or lower your blood pressure, these baby steps will help you right away, and they'll psyche you up for longer rides. Pretty soon you'll be ready to ride you bike to work, do a long distance bike tour, or even tour southern Italy on a bike.

If you have time to read this, you've got time to go on a 10-minute bike ride. Seriously. Go for it.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and any health claims about the benefits of biking, bicycle fitness, or the amount of calories burned while biking have not been evaluated by a competent medical authority. You should consult with a physician before going on bike rides. Also be sure to obey all local traffic laws, unless you're really feeling ballsy, you're riding a fixed gear, or you work as a bike messenger. Don't drink and bike. Always wear a SNELL-approved helmet. You're probably going to die anyway, so don't sue me. I warned you.