Choose life. Choose bike. Ethical. Economical. Logical. Sustainable. Whether you’re returning to a commute through the urban jungle or now deciding to take the bike for utility trips, the route ahead this autumn is best tackled on two wheels.
The nights might be fair drawing in, but the early stages of autumn are is one of our favourite times of the year – even in Scotland we get some lovely riding conditions during September and October. Cool enough in the mornings to catch sight of your breath when you stop at the lights, but not cold enough to need full winter gear. Stunning displays of foliage turning from green to golden brown. A little bit of streetlight lit riding to remind you of what’s coming, but not the full on darkness of November onwards. We can’t wait.
Here are five tips from Endura’s commuting team on easing yourself into autumn riding:
Up your visibility – bright colours and reflectives. In the perfect world, cyclists wouldn’t have to worry so much about being seen – drivers would have perfect vision, have clear windscreens and be paying full attention to the road ahead. Sadly, that’s not always the case and so think about bright colours and reflective materials – particularly on bits that move light feet and lower legs. We have a great selection to choose from and some outstanding additions will be hitting stores in the next few weeks.
Lights – see or be seen? There are a huge range of front and rear lights out there at all sorts of price points. We prefer the shock and awe method with a really bright set of lights – a big front light might seem expensive, but can always be used for some offroad night riding – one of the best things about winter riding.
Bike maintenance – get into the habit of cleaning your bike once a week and giving it a once over whilst you do it. Leaf litter is particularly manky, particularly when mixed with the grot that comes off the roads at this time of year. A good scrub up with a bucket of warm water and a squirt of car shampoo keeps your bike looking its best and once it’s clean you can check that there’s enough lube on the chain and that the tyres are free from thorns and glass and at the right pressure (well worth dropping this slightly from summer pressures for extra grip on wet roads).
Mudguards – in over 20 years of bike commuting on MTBs, road bikes, CX bikes and fixed wheels bikes nothing made as big a difference as good quality, close fitting mudguards. You and your bike are spared getting caked in crud and you’ll be more popular with your riding pals on weekend rides too.
Park wisely – the Holy Grail of bike parking is somewhere that’s both secure and dry or at least safe-ish and sheltered. This is a good time to butter up your workplace’s facilities team to find out if there is somewhere indoors and out of the way to stash your bike during working hours.