Tips for the Fall riding Season
The fall riding season is near! THE BEST TIME OF YEAR to ride in the Ozarks. Our stoke level is high! Check out our tips for the fall riding season.
#1 LIGHTS! Get them. Use them. Don’t forget to charge them.
Be loud with your lights. Let those cars see you! With shorter days its good to have them in general in case you get caught out. Also it is good to carry two sets of lights. I had one go out mid-ride one time. Thankfully I was with a group and made it home without the ride ending abruptly.
#2 Watch what direction you ride at dawn & dusk. The sun is at a funny angle during this time of year. The hills around here often make it difficult to see if you are riding east/west while the sun is rising/setting. Motorists will have more trouble seeing cyclists for sure. It’s best to ride north/south when the sun is setting/rising.
#3 Apparel. Bring the right apparel. I almost always carry a vest this time of year. Temps drop quick and if you need to stop to change a flat you can get pretty cold. It can make the difference between being comfortable or uncomfortable for many hours on the saddle.
A good set of lightweight gloves. DeFeet still does the trick for me. I normally take two sets. I can add a set, wearing both for added warmth or remove a set if the hands start getting a bit toasty. I like the price and I like that they are made in the USA.
My favorite piece of cool weather apparel is the Castelli Leggero vest. The fit is really close, so no baggie bits flapping in the wind. A mesh back for breathing and the front cuts the wind nicely protecting your core bits.
It also packs away nicely.
#4 Groups. When riding on the road at night try to find some other folks to ride with. The visibility for motorists is much better. For me it helps to have a group to ride with to make the cooler dark nights seem more friendly as well.
#5 High-Vis. High-visibility apparel has become fashionable again in cycling. Wearing bright apparel is an added level of security. Like I said be as loud as you can visually. There are a ton of high-vis options out there. You can get shoe covers, gloves, arm warmers, jerseys you name it.
#6 Watch out for critters and stuff on the trails/roads/Greenway. Have you noticed how crazy squirrels are this time of year. It’s like they have death wish. They can’t decide what direction to go. What you don’t want is one of them thinking they can jump through your spinning wheel. Trust me, it did not end so well.
And this squirrel food can also do some damage if you are not paying attention to the trail and hit one of these with the front wheel. Not to mention damp leaves are slick as snot!
The rut is on this time of year and deer are on the move. This was filmed on Mt. Sequoyah in the middle of the day. Keep this in mind next time your bombing a descent! Deer are everywhere this time of year.
#7 Smell the roses. I like to take the fall season to “take stock.” Go for rides without an agenda or plan. Enjoy the company of others a little more. Explore new routes and above all revisit why you spend so much time on a bike in the first place.
Ride fast & be safe!
What other tips might you have? Comment below.