When you’re passionate about cycling, almost nothing can stop you from riding, not even the season. Fall may be cold and wet, but that won’t discourage avid cyclists from biking to work or enjoying a ride through scenic amber parks.
But with the dip in temperatures and frequent showers, it’s essential to guard yourself against the possible dangers of cycling during fall. Follow these tips to stay safe, warm, and dry on your bike during autumn months.
Stay Warm and Dry
As the temperature continues to dip, it’s time to put your thin and cooling bike wear at the back of your closet and wear your heat-tech clothes and waterproof jackets. When cycling, you’ll normally want to wear lightweight and unrestrictive clothing, but fall is not the time for light garments that can barely protect you from the cold.
Layer up with adaptable fall cycling gear that provides guards against freezing weather and allows full mobility. Suit up in merino base layers and waterproof shell jackets. Remember your waterproof shoes too. Also, keep your stuff dry by using a weatherproof pannier and bag.
Increase Your Visibility
Cloudy and rainy skies don’t make for prime lighting conditions. Early morning and evening will be darker than usual, so you want to increase your visibility on the road. Gear up on bright clothing, or top off your biking outfit with a dazzling yellow jacket with reflector.
Take it up a notch by installing LED lights on the front, back, body, and wheels of your bike. If that’s too much for you, there are cycling helmets and gloves that come with red LED-light signals.
Invest in High-Quality, Durable Tools
For dedicated cyclists, training tools are essential for tracking and improving riding performance. However, electronic training gadgets and rain don’t always mix. Water can damage and destroy nonresistant tools, thus wasting your money and time.
If you’re planning to ride all year long, no matter the weather or season, you may as well invest in high-quality and durable training tools, like a waterproof fitness tracker and weatherproof power meter. You can also use covers to protect your gadgets against the rain.
Watch Out for Slippery Spots and Puddles
Tread carefully when you ride on wet roads and pathways. Manhole covers, railroad tracks, and smooth pathways can be slippery after a rain shower. Avoid riding over puddles too because they may have a hole or a break on the road.
Since it’s the autumn season, many pathways will be covered under fallen leaves, which can have rocks, holes, and obstructions that can cause accidents for bicyclists. If possible, tread on clear lanes to avoid such incidents.
In case you fall victim to a slick spot, check your body for injuries. Don’t push yourself to continue riding as it may exacerbate an injury. Visit the doctor to see if everything’s all right. If you’re not seriously injured but feel some muscle pain and discomfort, try applying a therapeutic elastic tape to ease the ache and let the part recover.
Maintain Your Bike
The rain, the mud, and the cold can be punishing on your bicycle, so make sure to clean and maintain your bike regularly. Check those brakes to ensure you’ve got a tight grip if you get into a slippery situation.
Clean the mud off the wheels and other moving parts every day so your bicycle can continue to run smoothly. Don’t leave your bicycle to be rained on. Park it indoors, or use a cover to protect your bike from rust and erosion.
Install mudguards too so you don’t arrive to work with the back of your shirt covered in mud splatters.
Prioritize Your Safety and Health
Traffic accidents tend to increase during the fall. Darker early morning and nights and regular rains don’t make for a perfect condition to ride. Thus, cyclists must put their safety and health on top of their priority list. During fall, it’s essential to dress appropriately for the weather and take steps to increase your safety on the road. Follow the tips above, and ride with care all the time.