Here we go! British Summertime is ending – the clocks go back at the weekend, but with the right kit there is no need to stop riding through the autumn and winter.
Get yourself the right clothing and kit and there is lots of riding to enjoy on the shorter days like getting in the long winter miles, safe commuting, exhilarating night rides or even the thrills of cyclocross racing.
The UK reverts to Greenwich Mean Time at 2am on Sunday, October 30. That means all clocks are turned back to 1am at that time.
It might be the start of the winter season, but the good news is you’ll get a whole extra hour in bed on Sunday morning.
Light up, layer up, embrace autumn and get out and ride!
The most important aspect of riding once the clocks have changed is to make sure you are visible to other road users. It’s time to invest in new lights – front and rear – with enough power to make you seen and ensure that you have brighter coloured clothing with at least some form of reflectivity and visibility.
There are a number of bike accessories that can also help with your visibility. Some mudguards have a reflective stripe, as do some commuting tyres, or adhesive reflective strips can be stuck to your bike. Lots of clothing, helmets or luggage items will have reflective patches which it’s worth looking out for when making your purchase.
STAY WARM & DRY
As the temperatures tumble it’s also obviously very important to stay warm on your rides. If you have the right clothing, that’s doing its job properly, then you are much more likely to get out in the autumn and winter weather and feel safe in the knowledge that you’re going to be warm and comfortable whatever the elements throw at you.
It’s time to think about whether your clothing selection is good enough to get you through the winter. Have you got warm base layers, enough mid-layers and is your jacket outer shell really up to the job?
Make sure that you have good quality options for all the three key layers – as you may know, layering your clothing is the trusted way to maximise your comfort and allow for adjustments. A good base layer (against your skin) manages moisture; the middle insulating layer protects you from the cold; and the outer shell layer shields you from rain and wind. As well as thermal baselayers, Roubaix clothing tops and jackets, don’t forget to think about tights, hats, gloves and socks for your extremities.
Good lights and visible clothing will both help you stay safe this winter. Make sure that you also have the other accessories that won’t leave you stranded in the cold or wet.
It’s time to stock up on inner tubes and more durable winter tyres. If you’re riding in an area you are not that familiar with then a GPS unit is handy to carry and when the weather gets really cold consider carrying a tyre sealant canister to make punctures much quicker to resolve.
Whatever you do though, don’t let the weather stop you enjoying that ride!