FORUM – Looking at Amélie Gagné’s Instagram profile – she also blogs at Mostly Amélie -, you will definitely notice her sweet cycling photos (besides all those amazing yoga poses, of course!). As a Canadian living in Berlin she is used to “bad weather” commuting, so we have asked the Ethletic lover to write an expert piece for all those fair-weather cyclists out there! Enjoy.
Cycling is my daily commuter of choice, and for far more reasons than the simple health benefits associated. Of course, they’re an added bonus. Cycling improves mental clarity, helps sleep better, and allows to spend a bit of time outside, to and from work.
One (aka, me!) could say cycling is one of the most enjoyable and easiest outdoor activities there is.
Especially when it’s summertime and the sun is shining bright. You get out of your house, grab your bike, and off you go.
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I may have been infected with the bicycle virus. 🤭 And after cycling 400km between Poland and Germany with a bunch of crazy people on fancy bikes last month – being by far the least experienced one of them all and the only one with a steel frame (and after falling and getting a concussion, congrats, champ), someone real special gave me this baby. Everyone please meet Klaus 🚴🏻♀️ This is the beginning of a looooooog love story 😍⠀ ⠀ .⠀ ⠀ .⠀ ⠀ .⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #bicycles #straightfromstpauli #myridemytime #berlin #friedrichshain #bergamontbikes #bergamontbicycles #berlinblogger #bicycle #powerofbicycles #berlinstagram #berlincity #berliner #berlinstyle #bicyclelife #bicyclelove #bicyclette #bicycleride #girlswithtattoos #berlinlove #berlinlife #bike #instabike #instaberlin #veganblogger #berlingram #bicycleday #cycle #cyclinglife #cyclingshots
But here’s the catch. If you cycle as your work commute for long enough, you’ll likely come to a point where you won’t want to go back to public transport – ever! So what when the summer ends and the rainy season is around the corner? It is a different ball game when there is another element present while you’re cycling.
And although riding in the rain makes for a good Instagram story and keeps your adrenaline pumping, there are a few things to keep in mind to make your cycling commute safe and comfortable.
As an avid cyclist not wanting anyone to let go of this wonderful means of transport – even in the crappiest of weather, I want to give you tips to help make cycling in the rain a more enjoyable experience. And while cycling is likely the greenest mode of transport, finding ethical and sustainable bike gear can be a bit tricky, so here is what I found out.
1. Invest in an Excellent Raincoat
The rainy season doesn’t have to hamper your sense of style! And wearing a good rain jacket is the number one way to make cycling to work easier to palate during harsh weather. A good raincoat will also act as a windbreak for when it gets chilly, and there are many sustainable brands out there to pick from. Ecoalf’s raincoats are made with 44% recycled polyester, and the materials are light, so they are great for cycling. It’s also breathable and super stylish.
2. Stay Visible with Lights and Reflectors
The truth is, cycling in the rain can be dangerous. Rain will impair the visibility for anyone using the road, and driving can be especially tricky. When it’s pouring cats and dogs, drivers have a hard time seeing their surroundings clearly, and they may have a hard time seeing your actions when you want to make a turn and signal, too. It’s extremely important to help drivers see you when you’re cycling. Never forget to mount a bike light and wear bright reflective clothing. In this way, drivers can easily spot you on the road. Reelight is a contactless dynamo system that uses no battery and no friction, making it both sustainable and comfortable.
3. Keep Your Bum Dry with Mudguards
A rainy day essential that cyclists sometimes dismiss is the trusty mudguard. This is easy to overlook when you have got your raincoat and waterproof shoes on. But when you hit a puddle and the splashes come right back at your rear end, all your preparation will go down the drain – pun intended. In an aim to keep every body part dry, a rear mudguard is extra important. In addition, having mudguards on your bikes does not just keep you from water spray, it will also keep the muds away from your bike. Rideguard makes 100% recycled mudguards, are constantly looking for the most eco-friendly materials and work with organisations like Surfers Against Sewage and Trash Free Trails to help with the fight against plastic waste in wild places.
4. Keep Your Belongings Dry with a Waterproof Backpacks
I guess I’m not the only person who commutes with thousands of euros in laptop, mobile phone, or whatever gadgets I need for work on my back? What would happen if they all get soaked to death? Prevention is better than regret, so protect all your valuables by travelling with a waterproof backpack. With an array of backpacks available in the market, how would you choose which one is for you? I say, go for the most sustainable ones, of course. The Wayks is a recycled backpack that is designed in Berlin and ethically made. The young company strive for every one of their actions to significantly and continuously reduce the social and environmental impact of all their products. Plus, the bag is gorgeous and has a yoga mat strap. GOT BAG offers waterproof backpacks that are entirely made from recycled plastics collected from the ocean.
5. Stay Warm with Dry Feet
If there’s one feeling I absolutely hate while cycling in the rain, it’s the uncomfortable feeling of having soaked and cold feet. I keep my favourite Ethletic fair trainers dry with a pair of waterproof overshoes. They look a little silly, but at least you’ll feel dry and toasty. Pick choose an overshoe with a neoprene material because it’s light and it won’t feel like your dragging something heavy.
And that’s it! There’s no excuse!