Summer might be in the rear-view mirror, but there’s no need to go into hibernation just yet. In fact, with cooler temperatures and stunning scenery in plentiful supply, there’s arguments to be made that autumn is the ideal time to get in the saddle and cycle through the season.
Of course, there’s a lot to think about; from where you should head and when you should go to the all-important prep to help you conquer any conditions. That’s exactly what we’re about to cover, though – so read on for the need-to-knows for an awesome autumn on your bike…
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Although the majority of organised events on the road have been and gone, there’s still plenty to note for the months ahead. A handful of notable leisure rides will be happening across the country; Ardmac’s Cycle for Hope 2022, raising funds for Pieta House, takes place on October 9th, while in Cork the Lions Club’s Fort2Fort Charity Cycle will occur on October 29th.
It’s little surprise, though, that the calendar looks a whole lot busier when you turn away from the tarmac. From introductory experiences to high level competition, it’s all about BMX, MTB, cyclo-cross and gravel racing – and just about any other off-roading adventures you can think of! Cycling Ireland keeps exhaustive track of the goings-on across the country, so that wherever you are you’ll be able to find something going on in your area.
And, if it’s your first time dipping your toe into the fun and games of off-road, our beginners guide to cyclocross will help to get you started!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
It’s not just organised events that are worth planning for; whether it’s urban fun or a countryside jaunt, there’s a whole lot of reasons to pull out the map and pick the perfect spot.
For many, staying near the city will be the order of the day; it means that an untimely shower won’t leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere! If you’re in the capital, a ride towards Howth is a fabulous choice, with beautiful views, plenty of pit-stop options, and even the promise of some tasty fish and chips at the end! In Cork, meanwhile, the developing Passage Greenway means the south-east of the city is about to become cycling central; a loop taking in Blackrock Castle will not only provide wonderful scenery and an invigorating ride, but also a chance to visit the Castle’s observatory – and its award-winning eatery!
And if something a little more off the beaten track is what you fancy, then you’re spoiled for choice. From local favourites to hidden gems, you’re sure to find options ideal for solo runs, family outings and everything in between.
READY TO GO?
Before you hit the saddle, it’s worth taking a minute to acknowledge that the change in season means your preparation should change a little, too. From sunlight to surface water, the passing of time will provide a few extra questions before you hit the road, so be smart before you set off.
- Make sure you’re wearing suitable gear – whether that’s windproof, waterproof or just plain old warm clothing. And speaking of which…
- Check the weather forecast, and plan accordingly. Inclement conditions can be dangerous, so it’s important to know what you’re likely to encounter and make an educated call on whether to head out or not.
- Kit yourself and your bike out with lights and reflectors; in a month or two, daylight will be hard to come by so staying safe in the dark is paramount.
- Ensure your bike is clean and in good shape. That’s especially true for your tires, as rainy weather reduces grip on the road.
- Stay hydrated and well fuelled. This isn’t exactly unique advice, but is worth stressing during the autumn months; because you might not be sweating under the hot summer sun, you may not realise how much water you need to take on board, while navigating headwinds and powering through wet roads burns more energy than you might think.
You can swot up on more tips on how to make the most of cycling during the autumn – and then, have fun!