While we welcome cooler temps and colorful foliage that fall cycling offers, the shorter days and fatigue of the cycling season can beckon cyclist to cut their rides short – or skip them all together. Perhaps missing a day or two of riding doesn’t seem like much but it does.
According to the post, What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Riding, within a relatively short period of time, undesirable consequences result. As in, your metabolism stagnates. Your blood pressure rises. Your blood sugar surges. Fitness declines. And, inevitable wait gain surfaces. Not fun!
Fall is actually the best time to transition from peak cycling form to a relaxed one. Doing so doesn’t include missing rides. It means shifting your mindset to embrace fall cycling while actually boosting your cycling performance for next year. The trick is making sure you are comfortable during transitional weather. If you feel comfortable riding, then you will do it.
Ask yourself, what clothing do you need to wear in different weather conditions to remain comfortable? Do you have waterproof and wind resistant clothing? Do you have enough of the basic cycling necessities, as in leggings? Arm warmers? Knee warmers? Scull cap? What about your base layers? Do you have enough of them or do you need to add in some fleece lined clothing? Staying warm, dry, and comfortable is key to riding during the fall season.
Lucky for you, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help you with all of your cycling apparel needs. In fact, we’ve got a great end of the year sale on 2018 bikes and cycling apparel in store right now! At a minimum, these are the essential fall riding clothes you need to have on hand.
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 get cold are the fingers. Protect your hands with full fingerers and / or windproof gloves. A popular item to consider are the Endure 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. If you’re not a fan of shoe covers, opt for a warmer shoe all together! We have two favorite options. The Giant Sojourn cycling shoes have a stiff and grippy bottom which are good for walking. A great option for bike commuters. The other favorite is the Defroster cycling shoe. It’s a great option for fall and winter riding and especially on the cold days because these shoes doesn’t require shoe covers.
9. Lights – At the end of this 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.