The 10 Essentials for Fall Cycling

As we transition from Summer to Fall, the Lanark County colours explode into a vibrant mix of autumn hues. What better way to enjoy the brisk temperatures and vibrant colours of the leaves turning than from the view of a bike?  Yet to make the transition from Summer to Fall to Winter riding safely, it’s wise to make sure that your bike is working and that you have the proper cycling apparel to keep you warm and also motivated to ride in the cooler temps.

At Heritage Bikes, we recommend getting a tune-up, having a set of reliable lights (a new Ontario Bylaw has been passed making it mandatory all for bikes to have lights) and wearing the right bike clothing.  Here’s our list for Fall Cycling:

1. Wind Vest – The wind vest is one of the most used pieces of cool weather gear. It keeps your core body protected from frontal winds, but vents in the rear to keep you from overheating. The wind vest is also very versatile and can be added to different clothing combinations, using it with regular jerseys, winter jerseys, and arm warmers. It’s also easily stowed in a pack or shirt pocket.
2. Wind/Rain Jacket – It’s always a good idea to keep a water resistant jacket handy when rain is in the forecast.
3. Arm Warmers – Arm warmers are a must during the Fall season.  While they don’t take up much room, they are great for temperature control.
4. Full Finger Riding Gloves – When riding in cooler temps, one of the first things to freeze is the fingers. Protect your hands with full fingerers and / or windproof gloves.
5. Knee warmers, and Pants – As the temperatures drop, it’s a good idea to cover your knees. Many cyclist prefer tights whereas others prefer leg warmers.  Consider trying out each option and experiment to dial in your preference.
6. Skull Cap – The vents in your helmet that are such an asset during the summer months become a major liability when the temperatures begin to drop. To prevent from losing heat from your scalp, be sure to wear a thin skullcap or headband under the helmet
7. Wool Socks – Keeping your feet dry and warm can be a challenge in the cold weather, but nice wool socks are your best bet.
8. Shoe Covers – Shoe covers, also known as booties, cover the exterior of your shoes and protect from cold and wind.  There are several options: some that cover just the toes and others that encompass the entire foot. Toe covers are great for Fall but as you transition to Winter riding, you may wish for a pair that covers your entire foot.
9. Lights – Within a month, the days will be much shorter! Plan ahead and get your lights ready. Get a red blinker for the rear that mounts to the bike or your pack, and a decent headlight for the front.
10. Tool kit – The bicycle tools needed to have on hand in inclement weather matter.  Discover what the best bike parts for fall commuting  and build a tool kit that meets your needs.

BONUS TIP! Reflective Vests/Bands - If you are going to be riding at dusk, dawn, in fog, or at night, it's very important to be seen. Fluorescent vests with reflective strips, reflective bands on ankles and bags, along with lights are key to bike safety. 

Why is all this important?  Because having access to resources, tips, and a supportive environment makes it easier to enjoy all the benefits cycling has to offer.  It gets you outside – on the bike and riding!  Whether you are enjoying the vibrant mix of autumn hues from a scenic country road, or commuting to work/school, fall bike rides in Lanark are the best way to get up close and personal with the season’s colours while filling up their lungs with the crisp Autumn air.

Julie Brunelle

Heritage Bikes and Rentals , Gore Street East, Perth, ON,

Co-owner of new startup, Heritage Bikes and rentals. Offering Guided and unguided Tours of Perth ON and Lanark county.