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Cycling Through The Seasons - Autumn Edition

Cycling Through The Seasons - Autumn Edition

Cycling Through The Seasons

Autumn Edition

Riding amongst falling leaves and the smell of autumn air is undoubtedly my favorite time of the cycling calendar. This time also means colder weather is coming and as savvy cyclists we must be prepared for it all. The last thing that should keep you from this amazing time of year is being under or over dressed, resulting in a bad ride and no fun.

You can ride a bicycle in every weather condition imaginable, you only need have the proper clothing and gear. You wouldn't ride to work during winter in flip-flops, so why wear a burly winter jacket in 40 degrees in the fall?
The right clothing can make or break your changing season's bike ride. Here's a list of my favorite autumn weather riding necessities.

Warmers-These small, powerful and packable gems will keep you warm though the beginning of the ride and are minimal enough to be unnoticed in your jersey pocket. As you heat up and begin to sweat during the ride you may decide to dial you clothing back. That's why arm and other warmers are essential for this time of year. Mornings can start off in the 35-45 degree range and rise to the 75-85 degree range with in a couple hours. As the temps start to drop you can easily put them back on to keep you warm on your ride home. Knee warmers are a great way to save some money and turn you favorite pair of bike shorts into some high quality knickers. Knickers are amazing in the fall weather and offer a small bit of refreshment from all the heat with keeping the lower leg partially open and air rated. For that extra cold day you can always bust out the full on fleece leg warmers.
Windbreaker/ Vest- Wind will be a common foe throughout the winter months. Most of the time a quality long sleeve jersey and windbreaker is all you need. Some days I like to mix it up with a fleece long sleeve jersey and a windproof vest to get some air-flow on the arms.

Sunglasses- When the wind is blowing strong or the rain is relentless eye protection is a must. Sunglasses are the best way to protect your eyes while still looking like a rock star. Quality cycling glasses are specifically designed to combat the wind and elements. Frames with interchangeable lenses are great to have; you can dial in your tint for the specific weather ahead. The lenses them self have a small curvature to them, allowing the wind to pass over easily while adding aerodynamic advantages and over all eye protection. Fall and winter are beautiful times of the year and they are more breathtaking when you can see them clearly.

Wind Proof Gloves- Your old winter gloves may be great for making snow balls and forts but are they the best thing to hit the rail-trail in? Probably not, so when the head wind is furious and your hands are going numb reach for a wind stopper glove to keep those digits toasty. Quality winter riding gloves will incorporate a wind proof or Wind Stopper fabric into their design. The wind proof on the top of the glove assures the cold air will not penetrate the gloves upper. The palms are usually lightly padded and are more open to allow hot or sweaty hands air flow to prevent overheating.

Toe warmers/Shoe covers- Toes warmers are a great and infinitely packable piece of cold weather cycling gear. Usually made from neoprene or a fleece material with a wind front these guys will block the part of your cycling shoe that is designed to keep the toes nice and cool on the hot summer days. The toe warmers will block in all the extra heat and keep your toes nice and toasty. I prefer the full on shoe covers for the really cold and/or rainy days. Shoe covers allow you to use your regular cycling shoe and transform them into a cold weather cycling shoe.

**Fun add-ons -Below are some fun add-ons to keep your autumn riding fun and pain free. These are some little helpers that can turn a short ride into a long adventure.

Get going Cream-(embrocation)- This warming cream can help give you that jump in the morning on the cold autumn days. Embrocation's come in varying degrees of warming and can be used pre-ride to warm up cold muscles. Most formulas produce lasting warmth and a stimulating recuperative effect on your legs and lower back. Also most embrocation smells amazing and will invigorate you immediately after opening the container.

Sport Beans-(electrolyte jelly beans) - Sport Beans Energizing Jelly Beans are formulated to help fuel your body during exercise. These little guys can help with cycling performance and each bean is loaded with carbs for fuel, electrolytes to help maintain fluid balance and vitamins to keep your energy up. They are made with real fruit juices and they come in a resealable package but these beans are so good you probably won't need it.

Chamois Butt'r and Belgian Butter-(Chamois cream) - Chamois creams are non-greasy skin lubricants that were developed to improve riding comfort. Chamois creams prevent the uncomfortable rubbing and chafing that many cyclists experience while riding especially over long distances. Chamois creams wash off skin and out of shorts easily with soap and water. Over the years it has proven to be gentle on even the most delicate cycling clothing.