At VeloSkin HQ the leaves are turning our favourite colour (orange), but that also means the nights are drawing in quicker and the idea of an evening spin after work suddenly doesn’t look so appealing when it’s 10 degrees outside.
But autumn doesn’t have to mean the end of cycling outside, and you don’t have to shuffle off to the turbo trainer just yet. We’ve got some tips to help keep you riding comfortably and safely this season.
1. Keep on top of cleaning and maintenance
Yes it’s a pain and it’s not the most exciting thing to be doing when you’ve just come back from a long ride, but taking a few minutes after a ride to wipe down your bike and clean your chain will pay dividends. Your components will last longer, they won’t make that annoying squeak that you often hear on the group rides, and they’ll look better. Also - a clean bike is a fast bike…
2. Stay hydrated and fuelled
When the temperature drops it’s easy to feel like you don’t need as much sustenance - this is not necessarily the case. Make sure you keep drinking, maybe set a repeating alarm on your watch or cycling computer if you’re forgetful.
Equally, trying to eat with gloves on and the temperature being low isn’t the easiest of tasks, but it is still important if you want to maintain performance throughout your ride. Go for stuff that’s easy to chew and that you actually enjoy eating at this time of year.
3. Layers layers layers
To adjust to the new cooler temperatures unfortunately means figuring out how to layer. Whether it’s arm and leg or knee warmers, long fingers gloves, or a gilet, there’s no denying the season of just putting on a short sleeve jersey and some shorts is gone for this year.
In Yorkshire we usually have to prepare for the possibility of rain at any given point, so a lightweight packable rain cape is ideal for this. Something you can stash away in a pocket or bar bag, but will keep you warm and dry(ish) when you need it most.
Remember you will warm up as you ride, but equally, you don’t want to underdress and realise just how cold you are on the top of a moor.
4. Lights, camera, action
As the days are shorter and darkness is rolling in quicker, it’s easier to get caught out in the dark. It is a legal requirement to use front and rear lights on a bicycle in the dark, but it’s also a good idea to consider running them during the day as the cloud cover and rain can make it just as dark at 12 PM as it is at 5 PM.
USB rechargeable ones are best, and look for some with different modes if you want a flashing setting during the day and a beam for during the early mornings and evenings.
5. Prioritise comfort and recovery
Even in the cold you’ll still sweat, so don’t neglect your chamois cream (if you use it)! Our Chamois Cream includes anti-bacterial properties as well as smelling amazing, giving you a little boost on a cool autumn morning.
Once you get back from your ride your comfort shouldn’t stop there. Our Soothing Recovery Gel can help to revitalise your muscles if you massage it into them either in the evening or after your post-ride shower. Want to learn more? Click here.
If you’ve got your own tips for cycling in autumn, let us know! And don’t forget to tag us in your VeloSkin powered adventures on the bike using #MyVeloSkin.