With the change in weather comes the change in habits. The sun stays hidden behind the darkness of this incredibly new season filled with amazing scenery, food and warm thoughts. Everyone across the globe (at least living in the Northern Hemisphere) has started to get ready for the change in commute conditions. I know a few of my friends just changed their good old and trusty bicycle tires, purchased water repellent rain jackets and gloves and have planned weekend trips to see the beautifully and ever-changing landscape which by now has turned into this loud and earthy color pattern.
So, if you are not ready, here are some pointers:
1. Get a warm (but not too warm) water repellent jacket.
The cross-wind changes body temperature quickly. Look at it from this perspective, combustion engine vehicles have their heat dissipating radiators over the front so that when moving, air can be used to cool the water circulating throughout the fluid lines and the excess heat created by the fuel explosions. In the same way, we need to keep our body temperature at optimum levels, however, cooling down certain parts of our body to prevent over-heating and that uncomfortable sweating can be a task on its own. Lots and lots of different jacket designs are available out there and advances in material technology has pioneered some of the most ride friendly fabrics. I would personally recommend old school materials which have been proven to be washable and affordable: polyesters, merino wools, leather, teflon coated fabrics and tweed.
2. Get those gloves out of the closet.
Being a glove manufacturer myself, I always get the question: What kind of gloves should I buy? - and I always respond: - Well, it depends on how many miles you ride, what type of rider you are, where you live and what type of handlebars do you have. Why is this so important? - you may ask - and well, it's because this will determine how much you enjoy your commute. Ultimately it's about that, it's about finding that extremely proficient balance. One thing to remember though, gloves are designed to protect your hands in the event you fall down and also to regulate the temperature of your hands which are vital to actuate anywhere from brakes, shifters and personal computers. Don't expect gloves to be shock absorbers! They were not designed to do this. Anyway, get some water resistant, full finger and lined gloves. You are going to find that neoprene and polyester with a thick layer of wool are abundantly popular across sporting goods stores. Make sure you pick the best fitted for your type of commute.
3. Give your bicycle some love.
It is highly recommended to lubricate your bicycle before starting the fall season because grease may become thick and hard under those conditions and seriously limit the life of your components. You will notice that air is missing from your tires and if you use battery-powered lights, they most likely have drained out of juice. Put those fenders back on and let's have some fun people! Oh! and remember that electronics suffer from water and salt which are prevalent under these weather conditions.
4. Don't like face masks? Please reconsider!
Most people don't like wearing them or even think are necessary but remember what we said about keeping our body temperature intact? Well, our nose and mouth are key on achieving this. They don't have to be bulky or big or even look like you are a pilot flying an F-14 for that matter, you just need to find a neoprene face mask that has integrated filters and voila! you are all set.
5. Get some good fat to fuel those long rides.
I know, I know...the whole point of riding a bicycle is to exercise and not to gain weight! but think that just like an electric car needs electricity to run, our bodies need fuel too. It's a lot easier to burn fat during cold days so make sure you eat good fats like peanut butter, avocado, and get your healthy act together with a decent diet. Don't know where to start? Join Pinterest and just type 'Healthy diet to start cycling', some good ideas will appear, I promise.
Regardless if you are a summer rider or a winter cyclist, enjoy your next adventure and go out there and experience what nature has to offer. Make it fun, make it unique, be bold and keep riding amigos!