Well folks its that amazing time of year when the weather is darn near perfect, the leaves are changing and daylight is starting to evaporate. It’s sorta bitter sweet really. The fall riding season is really the best! But not without a couple of seasonal hazards.
First off, riding in the mornings or evenings can be super sketchy. That is, riding east or west. Riding east in the morning is dangerous because of the rising sun. Its hard enough for a cyclist to see and even harder for the motorist to see the cyclist, especially over hilly terrain. Likewise it is the same heading west in the evening. I’d say if you can avoid riding east and west during sunrise or sunset you should. You definitely want to consider wearing brighter clothing and using a bright flashing taillight.
A lot of these little landmines are lurking on bike paths and soft use trails this time of year. Accidentally hit one with that front wheel and you could end up on the deck in no time. Keep your eyes peeled folks, especially on the trails these are hard to see even with the leaves that have already fallen.
Squirrels Chasing Nuts
What? A hazard? I know, right? Sounds kind of funny. But haven’t you noticed the increase of kamikaze squirrels lately? They are foraging for nuts ahead of winter and this seems to have caused a total loss of the ability to make a decision while crossing the road. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth! What you don’t want to happen is for that little critter to think he can jump through your spinning front wheel. It has happened! I know someone who almost crashed as the result of a squirrel who tried to do this. Needless to say he (the squirrel) did not survive and it was not a pretty sight (think Jackson Pollock). But it wasn’t without cost. My friends frame was cracked near the head tube, not to mention the clean up was slightly unpleasant.
The rut is on! And deer are going crazy right now. Throw in hunting season and the deer are moving and moving a lot. I pretty much see them on just about every ride this time of year. The video above was filmed on Mt. Sequoyah going down Assembly. While it is unlikely that a cyclist will hit a deer it does happen. There is a story I have heard on more than one occasion of a local rider (many years ago) who hit a deer (or the deer hit him) over by Hell’s Kitchen which resulted in a very expensive bicycle replacement. Something to think about when you are bombing that descent. Also keep in mind if you see one deer crossing in front of you there are most likely several more trying to cross the road as well. Proceed with caution!
All that to say enjoy this awesome time of year and ride that bike! But be safe! If you know of any other seasonal hazards for the fall riding season please leave a comment below.
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