The summer has come to an end, but that doesn’t mean that your cycling has to – you just might have to adapt to suit the changing weather conditions, the climate and even the shorter evenings – but there’s no reason why you can’t keep on pedaling for another month or so before the real winter weather hits.
Here’s our six tips for making the transition from summer to autumn cycling.
1: Always have the waterproof gear handy
Might seem like an obvious one, especially since we didn’t have the best summer, but we’re still getting very unpredictable weather condtions. It’s Ireland so that’s not likely to change during the autumn season. Have the mudguards and rain jackets handy – and any other items that will help to keep you dry during wet and rainy conditions. What people often people forget though, is the waterproof BAG to keep all of your clothes etc dry as well.
2: Stay warm
Again, it’s probably one you’ve thought of yourself, but we are here to remind you that it is getting progressively colder every week, and wrapping up when you’re heading out on the bike, be it in the morning and evening cycling to and from work, or when you’re heading out for a few hours at the weekend – wearing enough layers to keep yourself warm is essential. Nobody wants a cold or to be left fighting off sickness when its preventable.
3: Make sure your bike’s in working order
Your bike’s probably been through the wars this summer through all of your long expeditions all across Ireland, racing sportifs and just general wear and tear. It’s well worth taking it in for a service now that the racing season’s almost over to just make sure that it’s in tip top shape. Keep an eye on your tyres, make sure the chain is clean and oiled and you’re golden to keep it ticking over for the winter months.
4: Keep it clean
You’ve made sure your bike’s road worthy – but now you’ve got to make sure that it’s kept clean. The roads with their grit and dirt aren’t really great for the bike. Grease can cause problems in the moving parts, which increases wear and tear on the chain. Set time aside every week to just wash your bike thoroughly – paying particular attention to the chain, while oiling it regularly ( just a small amount) will keep all your parts moving smoothly.
5: Make sure you’re visible
Not to be party poopers but we can’t write an article about autumn cycling and shorter evenings and not talk about the importance of being visible and having your reflective gear ready to go – not just in the night – at all times. A lot of cycling related road accidents have been attributed to motorists just not seeing a cyclist – so get those neons out and make sure your bike lights are in good working condition.
6: Change your tyres if you have to
Some bikes and tyres just arent as compatible with wet roads and bad weather. If you’re doing a lot of cycling or you’re in situations where you have to cycle even in poor weather (if you cycle to work or something)
The worse the weather gets, the more likely you are to get a puncture, and wet roads are dangerous and treacherous for cyclists.
You could consider fitting your bike with more autumn friendly tyres – ask for some with a deeper tread to grip the roads better – these are also more durable and offer a little bit more puncture protection.