just before leaving work yesterday the rain started. A concerned work colleague asked me if I get sick when I ride in the rain, well it was more an incredulous "don't you get sick?"

I gather they expected me to die overnight.

This was especially a concern if I had worked up a sweat and then a cold rain drenched me. I haven't found that to be the case.

Yesterday on my way to work I came across a person in a polar fleee jacket with hood snugly fit around their heads, I'm wondering what they will do if we ever get real cold weather in Sydney.

It would seem that we really have become soft, wrapped in cars with heaters or air conditioners on so the temperature is just right. People have no idea of what our bodies are capable of dealing with and how to facilitate a healthy way of living.

I was still quite wet when I got home 2 hours after leaving work, not cold and feeling fine today.

How's your health after a drenching ride?

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Apparently, the reason why there are more colds/flu during winter is because people spend more time packed in doors together sharing airborne viruses. IOW, you are probably better on your bike.

However, hard exercise can reduce your immune systems effectiveness for a few hours after exercise.

As a side anecdote and as flu season is approaching/here.... for last year or so I was getting loads of colds/flu, to the point that I went to my Dr and got a blood test. Nothing apparent. Put it down to wandering in and out of childcare all the time with my son. I noticed a pattern of I'd do a particularly fast/hard ride, run or training session with apparent ease and then a day or two later would be sick as a dog - to the point that I cut down my exercising to just 100km riding, 1 gym session and a couple of runs a week. Did not happen after every hard exercise session, but if I got classic cold/flu symptoms I had done a hard exercise session a couple of days before. My PT suggested that I might be lacking in glutamine as this has been shown to aid the immune system and the immune system drops after heavy exercise, and being vegetarian I would not get as much as a meat eater. So, hiding away my outer vegetarian-my-body-is-a-temple-I-only-eat-real-food-hippie and bringing out the inner gym-junky-sup-taker, I started taking it, along with zinc. Since doing so have fended off a cold within a day or two (without stopping exercising :)) and fended off another on Saturday after a cold and somewhat wet Park Run - only a few I am about to come down with a cold sneezes a few times that day. Yay for artificial supplements!

PLUS ONE on the zinc.

It's anecdotal of course (and am mindful of people like Doc Martin reading this blog), but ever since a friend's suggestion, I've been taking regular hits of Ethical Nutrient Zinc Fix.

I used to be plagued by bronchial infections in winter, which would often attack me a day or so after a long, cold, wet ride. Have been doing really well ever since I got on the Zs. 

I don't take any zinc, but then I do eat a small bag of almonds and walnuts everyday, sometimes cashews when the price right. We buy our nuts by the kilo.

you got a point there about people spending more time indoors and in pack like sardines.

In Holland I think they respond along the lines of:

I'm not made of sugar

I saw plenty of bike commuters in Helsinki a few months back. It was around minus 20. They deal with it.

It was around minus 20

No it wasn't it was 20. Balts and Slavs only use a modifier for positive temperatures - it might get to plus 20 in summer :).

I did get a cold last year, a 575km ride then another 575km 5 weeks later, then 5 weeks later losing my job plus the stress leading up to SM1200. Perfect storm.

Body and bike gave up on the way to Canberra on the first day.

I rode home in the rain last night as well. It was raining lightly most of the way, and then started bucketing from Crows Nest along West St all the way to Lane Cove.

I had some premonition in the morning and put on a base layer for the 1st time this year. I was wet but comfy.

Health wise DURING riding in the rain, a bit dodgy!  I nearly got really really sick in the heavy rain along the side of the freeway at Naremburn. I couldn't see a fucking thing and almost rode headlong into a fence! Then I had to scream at a Taxi driver on the Epping Road path to stop him pulling out on me. Then some dick chucked a U turn right in front of me in Lane Cove village and I skidded to a halt in front of his door - yelling again.

Health wise AFTER riding in the rain, just fine. Doors and fenders can break my bones but rain drops will never hurt me.

It is amazing how persistent Medieval notions of how people get sick are.

Every now and again:

-"You've got wet hair, be careful you might catch a cold"

-"Sandals?  In this weather?  Be careful you might catch a cold."

Seriously colds are not caught by have body parts exposed to the weather!!!!

***(Getting cold and staying cold for extended periods, especially combined with exhaustion (physical or mental) will make catching colds more likely.  Half and hour in the rain to a warm house and dry clothes. Nup.)

One thing that is a nice to have if you ride in all weather, is a Swedish Drying Cabinet (google it).

These are popular in Europe, particularly the Nordic countries. This is a form of dryer that is shaped like a fridge and has no tumbling action.

It will dry things that you cant put in a normal dryer, such as boots, jackets, coats.

Or ... Hang stuff up behind the computer(watch for drips).

Seriously, I always dry my wet cycling shoes behind the fan outlet of the computer at home (which runs 24/7 ... Always lovely and dry by the next morning. I work in the computing department and the server room is always a nice drying temperature if I'm caught out on the way in.

My shoes were soaked this morning still as last night I forgot about them when I got home. I just used the w/e newspaper to stuff them and did 2 changes of stuffing. Within 40 min they were pretty good.

The only issue, apart from the need for layers of clothes you can shed as you warm up, is the safety one. I have mudguards and lights and 35C tyres. I would not be out on wet roads with 25C tyres. Most of us commute the same route every day so we know the road hazzards pretty well. 

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