Autumn is upon us. And while the weather is still looking similar to our old friend summer, it is bound to drop in temperature very soon.
Many cyclist grieve the loss of summer; yet, fall bike riding offers the chance to enjoy cooler temperatures, view the changing colors of the leaves, and enjoy the fitness gains achieved over the summer months.
Many cyclist commit to bike commuting through the cooler months as a new goal. Yet, when faced with shorter days and cold, unpleasant weather, they find their motivation waning. Following are our tips to riding your bike the whole winter season through.
- Have a good route. Learn how to pick a route you like. Google maps for cycling is a good option.
- Invest in a good set of lights. A set of small, modern LED lights is sufficient.
- Consider getting a specific helmet for bike commuting. A brighter color and one that is easy to place a helmet light on top is a good choice.
- A repair kit. It’s good to carry a small multi-tool, a patch kit, a small pump, and a spare tube for those inevitable roadside repairs.
- A lock. You should always carry a secure lock whenever you plan to leave your bicycle unattended. The U-locks have proven to be most effective, but like all locks they can be defeated. At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have bicycle locks, U locks, and U lock combination kits. Depending on your bike parts and components, you may opt for one lock or multiple ones.
- Make sure you have a secure and safe way to carry things. This could be as simple as a messenger bag or as elaborate as a set of touring panniers.
- Be visible. Think Bright colors and reflective materials on your person and on your bike. In fact, staying warm, dry, and comfortable is key to riding during the fall and winter season. Lucky for you, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help you with all of your cycling apparel needs.
- 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.
- Arm warmers are a must during the Fall season. While they don’t take up much room, they are great for temperature control.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Wool Socks – Keeping your feet dry and warm can be a challenge in the cold weather, but nice wool socks are your best bet.
- 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.
- Last but not least – you need to have motivation! Stay motivated and keep after it! The more you do it, the more you love it!
If you are looking for great fall and winter gear that is super durable, then stop by the shop and check out all of the Endura cycling apparel we have in stock. And remember, Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop has the ability to special order items. Come and ask if you want something! We’re here to support your riding all the way through Spring!