Learn the essentials of riding during the fall. We’ll cover pre-ride preparation, proper layering, staying warm and dry, and a hack for finding weather windows!
The leaves are turning and temperatures are dropping. Yes, Fall is certainly in the air but don’t put those bikes away just yet. The cooler temps can make for a comfortable outing and you may find it to be less crowded. At the same time, you also run the chance of being caught in a freak snow/hail/rain/sleet storm. Especially here in Colorado! But with a bit of preparation, you can prepare yourself for the elements. Bringing along the proper layers will help keep you warm, dry, and hopefully smiling on your fall bike ride.
Pre Ride Preparation
It’s best to check the weather before you head out. Using an app like MyRadar can be invaluable for seeing what the weather is doing. We’ve been able to sneak in some rides on days where calling it quits looks like the only option. If you plan things right, you might be able to find a weather window and enjoy your ride with minimal crowds. It’s also worth noting the type of riding you’ll be doing. You might need fewer layers when mountain biking, since your moving speed is typically slower. Road biking, on the other hand, can feel colder since you’re moving quickly. Know the type of riding and know your own tolerance for cold and wet conditions.
What type of person are you? Be bold, start cold? Bundle up at first then shed layers? There isn’t a right or wrong answer here but you’ll often hear that it’s best to not sweat, as this will make you colder in the long run. For that reason, it’s best to wear breathable, wicking layers that will keep you dry when you’re putting down the watts. We recommend avoiding cotton as it’s not known for quick-drying properties. Being prepared for precipitation is important too, so bringing along a packable windbreaker often does the trick. Keep in mind windbreakers won’t keep you completely dry if it really starts coming down. The plus side is, they’re often lighter weight and more compact than a full-on rain jacket. You make the call!
Staying Warm and Dry
Stay warm but avoid sweating! Good areas to layer up include your head, hands, and feet. Something as simple as a buff under your helmet or long finger gloves can make all the difference if the weather turns south. As you’re riding try to shed layers as necessary. This is where apparel like arm and leg warmers, booties, or overshoes can come in handy. They don’t take up much space and if it gets too warm, you can easily stash these in your jersey, saddlebag, or SWAT tube. Look for fabrics that dry quickly like polyester, rayon, or Lycra.
Get Out For a Ride!
Fall is a great time to ride and enjoy the cool weather. Doing a pre-ride preparation by analyzing the weather goes a long way. Bringing along the right layers that will keep you warm and dry. Remember to bring layers that are breathable and packable while keeping in mind your personal tolerance for cold weather and plan accordingly. Happy fall everyone!