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Friday, 31 October 2014

Fall Cycling

By Pico Triano
Photos: Pico Triano

When school starts in this part of the world for most people the cycling season is winding down. Personally I think they are locking the bike in the garage a little too soon... maybe a lot too soon. I have done a one week tour in the fall and it was probably one of the most scenic I have ever been on and the time of year had a great deal to do with it.

This time of year the leaves on the trees in this part of the world change colours. They go from various shades of green to bright colours ranging from deep red to bright yellow and everything in between. If you appreciate the outdoors even a little bit from the comfort of a car you are missing out. The view from your bicycle is much better. On a bicycle there is nothing blocking any part of the scenery and you can hear the rustle of the wind in the leaves. I always feel more a part of the environment when I am on my bike rather than insulated from it just passing through when I am in a car or truck.

There are some things to consider if you want to ride this time of year. Number one the temperature especially early in the morning can be a little chilly. I would recommend adding a layer of clothing. Mittens are warmer than gloves if you need something for your hands. For my face and throat I use a thin fleece hat under my helmet and a throat warmer. The throat warmer is a triangle of cloth that fastens in back. If things get really chilly I add a ski tube that can be pulled up so only my eyes will show. Whatever you use be careful if you are riding a racing configuration bike to make sure there isn't too much cloth bunched up at the back of the neck. It will make it tiring to keep your head up looking forward.

Another thing to consider is that the days get shorter this time of year in this part of the world. I commute back and forth to work and I have had to add lighting to my bike. I like the the taillights that can flash or pulse. Quality equipment is a must. Battery powered lights is better and cheaper than dynamo powered equipment. Be careful though, some batteries perform poorly when the temperature goes below freezing. This might cause your lights to dim.

Riding in the fall is well worth the extra clothes. I'm still riding and still enjoying it.

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