It is already in the air. It is back to school. It is college football. Porch sitting, cool mornings and chasing the light. Always chasing the light. One of the very best riding seasons is upon us. The transition from summer to winter is special in most places. I would like to throw the Ozarks into the conversation of great places to ride and experience fall.
5 Tips for Riding this Fall Season
#1 Lights! Get them. Use them. Charge them. Here are a couple of my favorites.
The Serfas Thunderbolt taillight is still one of the best taillights on the market. With 35 whopping lumens, this little guy packs a punch. What do you get for $40.00? 35 lumens, 4 settings, 3 hours of light on high blink, 9 hours on low blink and it’s rechargeable. But the most reassuring thing is knowing that whoever is behind will know that you are there. I also really like the Serfas True 500 headlight. Mounts to handlebars or helmet. With these two lights you will be all set for night rides. For MTB night rides I recommend you use both a handlebar mounted light and a helmet light.
#2 Watch the direction you ride in. The hills around here often make it difficult to see if you are riding east/west while the sun is rising or setting. Motorists will have more trouble seeing cyclists for sure.
#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 chilled. 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. Hey if they are good enough for Boonen then they are good enough for me.
I am a big fan of 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. (Oops! Just realized I left off tip #4.) When riding on the road at night try to find some other folks to ride with. The visibility for motrists is much better. There are several organized night group rides in NWA.
#5 High-Vis. High-visibility apparel has become popular again in cycling. Wearing bright apparel is an added level of security when you are finishing up your ride and turning on that taillight. There are a ton of high-vis options out there for you. You can get shoe covers, gloves, arm warmers, jerseys you name it.
Now go out and enjoy this awesome time to be outside. Ride fast & be safe!
What tips to do you have to offer? Please comment below.