Fall Foliage is Coming Soon
Posted by Jason from South Dakota on Sep 12th 2016
My favorite riding season is the fall. And for those of us that live in the northern USA, this is the last chance to ride through the countryside aflame with color. Once the snow flies, it’s over until spring. For you that live more southerly, you get to ride another day! One thing is for sure for all of us, fall can be a challenging time to stay comfortable on the bike. As the days shorten and Halloween approaches, late-October daytime temperatures can swing nearly 30 degrees. As Thanksgiving approaches, swings of 40-degrees are not that uncommon. Using the same rules for summer dress and winter dress doesn't work well. So, what to do? Here are some suggestions that might make fall riding less vexing.
Suggestion 1: Stay flexible. Make sure your wardrobe includes thermal undershirts as well a short and long-sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, and lightweight jackets. The combination of layering is going to be critical.
Suggestion 2: Layering is the key. Having acquired a robust wardrobe for both fall and spring riding, dressing in layers is the key to comfort. Shed layers as the day warms. My technique, however, keeps a lightweight jacket on most of the day. With only a T-shirt as a base-layer, a lightweight jacket feels good even on 80-degree days. The important thing is what’s right for you. With experimentation, you’ll find “your” ideal mix.
Suggestion 3: Wear breathable fabrics. Your base layer wicks moisture from your skin. Try lightweight synthetic fabrics, wool, or silk. Cotton looks great but can leave you feeling chilled in the morning because it retains perspiration. As a base layer, there are better alternatives to cotton, especially on those chilly mornings.
Suggestion 4: Don’t forget your extremities. A helmet will protect your head. A scarf or neck gaiter might help with the neck area. Start the morning with heavier gloves, switching to lighter gloves or glove liners if things heat up during the day. As for socks, stay with breathable fabrics to keep them dry.
Stay warm and toasty, enjoy the fall colors, and come home safe.