As we transition from Summer to Fall, the Colorado mountain colors explode into a vibrant mix of autumn hues. What better way to enjoy the brisk temperatures and vibrant colors of the leaves turning than from the view of mountain bike or road bike? The added bonus is maintaining fitness through the fall and even building it well into the winter months. Yet to make the transition from Summer to Fall to Winter riding safely, it’s wise to make sure that your bike is working and that you have the proper cycling apparel to keep you warm and also motivated to ride in the cooler temps.
At Peak Cycles Bicycle shop, we recommend getting a tune-up, having a set of reliable lights and wearing the right bike clothing. Frequently we’re asked what are the essential cycling apparel to have on hand. Here’s our list:
1. Wind Vest – The wind vest is one of the most used pieces of cool weather gear. It keeps your core body protected from frontal winds, but vents in the rear to keep you from overheating. The wind vest is also very versatile and can be added to different clothing combinations, using it with regular jerseys, winter jerseys, and arm warmers. It’s also easily stowed in a pack or shirt pocket.
2. Wind / Rain Jacket – It’s always a good idea to keep a water resistant jacket handy when rain is in the forecast.
3. Arm Warmers – Arm warmers are a must during the Fall season. While they don’t take up much room, they are great for temperature control.
4. Full Finger / Windproof Gloves – When riding in cooler temps, one of the first things to freeze is the fingers. Protect your hands with full fingerers and / or windproof gloves.
5. Knickers, Knee Warmers, and Pants – As the temperatures drop, it’s a good idea to cover your knees. Many cyclist prefer tights whereas others prefer leg warmers. There are also knickers which allow more airflow over the legs, and they are good for those in-between days. Consider trying out each option and experiment to dial in your preference.
6. Head Band or Skull Cap – The vents in your helmet that are such an asset during the summer months become a major liability when the temperatures begin to drop. To prevent from losing heat from your scalp, be sure to wear a thin skullcap or headband under the helmet
7. Wool Socks – Keeping your feet dry and warm can be a challenge in the cold weather, but nice wool socks are your best bet.
8. Shoe Covers – Shoe covers, also known as booties, cover the exterior of your shoes and protect from cold and wind. There are several options: some that cover just the toes and others that encompass the entire foot. Toe covers are great for Fall but as you transition to Winter riding, you may wish for a pair that covers your entire foot.
9. Lights – Within a month, the days will be much shorter! Plan ahead and get your lights ready. Get a red blinker for the rear that mounts to the bike or your pack, and a decent headlight for the front.
10. Tool kit – The bicycle tools needed to have on hand in inclement weather matter. Discover what the best bike parts for fall commuting and build a tool kit that meets your needs.
Why is all this important? Because having access to resources, tips, and a supportive environment makes it easier to enjoy all the benefits cycling has to offer. It gets you outside – on the bike and riding! Whether you are enjoying the vibrant mix of autumn hues from a scenic country road, a bike path, or a cyclocross race course, fall bike rides in Colorado are the best way to get up close and personal with the season’s colors while filling up their lungs with crisp Colorado air.