OK! Summer has been in full swing, but let’s think ahead to Autumn (or Fall as they like to say in America). Over several years of cycling in the Pacific North West I have learned a few things about this Autumn game.
- Carry a rain jacket, this can be a very small and light addition, but can save your bacon should a downpour occur. They also serve as a great warm up layer when earlier in the morning to take the nip off. I have 3 rain jacket options that I mainly consider depending on how the day ahead looks,
For just an inkling of a shower or changeable conditions. I take a Rapha Wind Jacket , it breaths really well and is water “resistant”, works well as a warmup jacket (http://www.rapha.cc/rd/en/shop/classic-wind-jacket/product/STJ13) ,
I also like the “emergency jacket” – Sottile by Castelli which folds very small.(https://gearjunkie.com/castelli-sottile-jacket). This is smaller than the above Rapha jacket but higher rain resistance at the expense of breathability – when riding at high tempo it leaves you a little sweaty but the weather resistance is higher than the above, so more rain in the forecast this is better choice. Also serves well as a warmup jacket and is wind resistant.
Last but not least is a fuller rain jacket, not a heavy Goretex but one which folds small for pocket size. The tailoring is form fitting and water resistance higher, I definitely have this on hand for warmer winter riding. This might be a bit too much depending on your location, it’s a good addition for the wetter Pacific North West, maybe too much for drier East coast use. Its by default wind proof and acts as a hevier warm up jacket. Made from 2.5 and 3 ply on the sleeves. This will protect you in downpours, but the rest of you might be soaked!
For heavier jacket needs, keep an eye out for my Autumn Winter write up where I will be testing some Showers Pass gear and also gear for women. To come soon.
- Blinkies are good!. The days get shorter but our minds don’t adapt at the same pace until we are caught out at dusk. To make sure you are safe always have a blinky on your bike during these transitional months for when you are rolling home from a ride and encounter dusk. My favourite is the stylish & rechargeable Knog rear light – called MOB, which comes in a few styles. Designerechargeablehargable and fits most seatpost with band options. The front version is also great.(https://usd.knog.com.au/bike/lights/be-seen-bike-lights/blinder-mob-the-face.html
- Don’t underestimate a Gilet – a gilet is a fancy vest, for chiller yet drier starts it will keep your chest and core warm, then as it gets warmer they are easy to remove and pack small into a pocket. Some are even water resistant. I like them for starts below 55 degrees F or 13 Celcius.
4. Warm your Arms – it’s a bit chillier now, so make sure your arms and knees are covered up, my rule of thumb is anytime below 60 degrees (15 degrees Celcius)
5. Start Researching Fenders! – the rain will soon be here and whatever bike you are planning to use you will need a good set of fenders to keep your motivation high and your ride more comfortable. So start your research, PDW designs (https://www.ridepdw.com/goods/fenders) or Planet bike.(http://ecom1.planetbike.com/fenders.html)