Just Make Sure The Leaves Are The Only Thing That Is Falling!
Yes, the sun is rising a little later now that Fall is upon us. And the weather begins to move from warm and humid to cool and clean with a morning breeze to help chase those cobwebs from your brain. But with this change comes the opportunity to experience a feeling of embracing this change and maybe get out on some trails that you put off till now because you knew the terrain is a little more taxing and you wanted to put it off until a cooler time of year.
With the anticipation of getting out this time of year you need to and want to have the necessary tools on hand in order to make sure you’re going in the right direction, especially if you're going to be taking some new trails to enjoy the autumn season.
One good tool to have with you now and really any time of year is a good cycling computer, with an accurate GPS function to plot where you are against where you want to end up being. One that fits the bill is the Garmin Edge 1030 GPS Cycling Computer . Besides having preloaded maps, targeted on where you are, it also has the newest “Rider-to-Rider” messaging and Group-Track functions to help you stay aware and communicate with your buddies as you go. Edge 1030 is compatible with Varia rearview radar and smart bike lights, and it has built-in incident detection to help create a safer riding environment.
But with this change in the weather and the surroundings around you. You also need to prepare both you and your bike for things that go hand in hand with the Fall season.
One thing that a lot of people neglect to do this time of year is to check their tire pressure. After all, tire pressure varies with the changes in the temperature and with your tires being in direct contact with that cold hard road, the temps can make a difference with the air in your tires. A good rule of thumb is “Tire pressure can change with fluctuations in temperature. One example to use when comparing tire pressure to air temperature is for every 10 degrees F, tire pressure will adjust by 1 psi. For example, if the outside air temperature increases 10 degrees, the tire pressure will increase by 1 psi”.
That’s about as easy as I can make it. But you need to be aware of the fact that you should be checking that tire pressure on a regular basis and as the fall season moves into the colder winter months it should become a regular routine for you to make sure the tire pressure corresponds to the temperature changes. After all, there are and will be plenty of nice days in December, January and even February that you can get out there and enjoy the changes in the scenery that Mother Nature provides us with!
The Fall Season also brings shorter daylight hours along with grey days and rainy weather with it. Which means you should have your lights checked as well as that tire pressure. And it’s not a bad idea to get into the habit of checking both at the same time. This way you won’t have any surprises as you flick that switch and instead of seeing a nice bright beam of light, all you get is a tired, dim projection of gloom.
You want to make sure those batteries are at full strength. With that being said, lights are very important this time of year as we just mentioned. A great name in bike lighting is Varia. And two great lights that work in tandem with the Garmin 1030 are the Varia Smart Bike Lights for “Frontal Lighting” and the Garmin Varia Rearview Radar Tail Light . They both can work independently and they seamlessly integrate with the compatible Edge® cycling computers, the model 1030 that I mentioned above.
As a rider’s speed increases, the headlight automatically projects further ahead or closer, as a rider’s speed decreases when paired with select Edge computers.
As light conditions change, the smart Varia headlights and tail lights automatically get brighter or dimmer, so they are a great pairing of products that work when you need them to.
In the summer most cyclists are rarely caught out in the dark but in fall, particularly after the time changes, it can happen more often than not. Another simple rule that most of us forget is that if you are cycling west at sundown, the sun is in everyone's eyes and it can be very hard to see. For both you and those who may be sharing the road with you!
One other thing to keep in mind, as a helpful reminder is that you should be really careful on the few days after November 1st when the clocks roll back. This usually happens in the early part of the month. But regions of the country fluctuate so know when it happens in the area in which you cycle. Studies have shown a significant increase in the number of accidents immediately after the change because people are tired and they are not used to the conditions.
According to the CBC: A study, by two researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 2007, found that daylight time has a significant impact on the number of pedestrians killed by vehicles in the immediate aftermath of the time switch in the fall. People walking during rush hour in the first few weeks after the clocks fall back in the autumn were more than three times more likely to be fatally struck by cars than before the change. And this can impact the luckless cyclist as well, so be aware of whats happening in front of you as well as alongside of you, the best that you can!
Then there is the weather to consider. Getting caught in a light rain in August can almost be pleasant, but it's no fun in November, and even worse in January or February when those temperatures really take a plunge. When cycling this time of the year, you need to be prepared, (like a Boy Scout) it’s a good idea to keep a scarf, hat and gloves, with you in a saddle pouch or knapsack (waterproof), just in case the ones you’re wearing get wet or frosted.
Another good item to have with you is a "a rain poncho and waterproof carrying bag. After all, the idea is to keep yourself dry, not have to put on slightly damp clothes from a non-waterproof bag, right?
Rainy windshields on cars, combined with earlier darkness make bicyclists and pedestrians even harder to see. Wearing lighter-colored clothing, a reflective safety vest, sash or clothing that reflects cars headlights are an important part of your fall/winter riding gear. And remember, always using lights, in proper working condition will keep you visible, to those sharing the road with you!
Another thing to keep in mind is that leaves are slippery when wet! And you don't know what's under them. It’s a good idea that you avoid them when possible, which is hard when you are sharing the road with cars, or you're on that mountain path and the leaves are the only thing your seeing on the trail. So slow down, and be really careful when navigating those turns.
But, again, the purpose of this post is to just get you out there enjoying what you like about the sport of cycling. If you’re lucky enough to live in parts of the country that constantly go through a seasonable cycle, then you know that the Fall and early Winter season can offer some great vistas for you to enjoy as you travel down those frosty paths. Enjoy, Enjoy the Great Outdoors.
From your cycling buddies here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com