I can feeling it coming in the air
Fall is here!
By: Debbi Serafinchon
You can already feel that chill in the air and dusk is earlier, and earlier each time we head out for a ride it seems. With the season change, adjustments must be made to our riding. Temperatures are declining, trees are changing color and here are some tips to keep the shiny side up!
I love to drive through the back roads and see the fields ready to be harvested. The trees are slowly changing from green to yellow, orange, and red. There is a beauty to this time of year, but we must keep in mind that those leaves fall off the trees and onto the road surface can cause the road conditions to change. Caution should be exercised in shady areas, as the leaves can be wet and slippery. Dry leaves could be hiding potholes or other road hazards.
Not only should you dress for the weather changes but also to be seen. Last night I was surprised at how dark it was at 9:30 pm! Wear high-visibility and reflective gear to make yourself as visible as you can. Ensuring all your lights are in working order is a good idea as well. That includes headlights, brake lights, and turn signals.
With dusk arriving earlier comes the increase in movement of wildlife. This is the time of year that more collisions are bound to happen with deer. Stay alert when riding during dusk and dawn; for animals as this is the time of day they will likely be on the move.
While you may start off your ride during a hot afternoon, once that sun goes down, it can quickly become cold. Cold causes a rider to become fatigued and that causes a rider to lose their alertness. Layering of clothing is best at this time of year. You can take off or put on layers as needed. Carrying an extra set of warmer riding gloves in your bag is not a bad idea either. There are many solutions out there to stay warm, find what works for you and be ready to change with the temperature.
Speaking of cold, tires are rubber and in colder weather will affect them. The sportier the tire, the softer the rubber and this works well in the warmer weather to make them grip better but in the cold, they become hard, and you will lose that traction.
The last few mornings I have headed to work, I have noticed the dew on the windshield of the car. It won’t be long till that will be frost! Shady areas and bridges will be the first to experience a layer of frost so be prepared if you are riding early in the morning. Still thinking of taking that mountain trip through Banff or Jasper? Make sure you are ready for snow! Yes, I used the 's' word.
Not all of these changes will happen overnight, but it is essential that you are ready for them. Take the time now to look over your bike, make sure you have the necessary gear, and you understand the road conditions are different and you can enjoy riding well into the autumn season.