No one likes to hear it, but summer is slowly ambling its way towards closure. The slowly ambling bit is important – there is still plenty of time to get out and enjoy some sunny rides, and these late season rides are absolutely golden – they’ll be the ones sitting in your memory until March 2015.
Those who have been riding bikes for more than a year will be recognising the tell-tale signs that the tail end is near… here are some of the most prominent warnings that come as Autumn starts to arrive:
1) Arm warmers and leg warmers start to creep in. They aren’t absolutely necessary, and the stubborn riders among us will continue to leave the handy accessories in the draw, just to keep the summer alive – but if we’re honest they do help.
2) Tingly fingers in the morning. Give yourself ten minutes of warm up riding, and they’ll feel fine – but there is a distinct chill in the air on your morning rides that bites at your fingers over the first revolutions of your pedals.
3) You start to realise that it isn’t a bad idea to be taking lights with you if there is any chance you’ll either be leaving work late, or want to knock out an extra loop in the way home. Boo. Chargers and backups at the ready.
4) High Viz is becoming a more important part of your cycling wardrobe again. Not that it wasn’t important over summer, but extra visibility is even more crucial if the light might be dimming or rain is in the forecast.
5) Occasional morning dew on car windscreens. This is not a bad thing – you get to smugly ride past all the people defogging their windows as you breathe the fresh morning air. In a few months, it’ll be more like this…
6) You start checking the weather forecast more frequently before going to bed, on waking up, and a couple of hours before leaving work. Knowing what’s coming won’t change the temperature, or chance of rain – but it will help you make sure you dress right for it.
7) The ‘arriving at work cold drink’ / ‘guilty frappachino’ / other to cool you down has been replaced by a nice warming cup of tea or coffee – whichever way it comes, it all makes the ride even sweeter…
8) Most of the trees are green and leafy, but a couple of them are seriously lacking endurance, and already dropping some golden yellow petals. Never fear – it’s ok as long as the vast majority still have green adornment…
9) The names of events are shifting from ‘Summer Sizzler’ to ‘Ride of the Falling Leaves’, and event organisers are swapping tact from talking about summer sunshine to referring to your ‘last chance’ and ‘final season PB efforts’…
Like we said – never fear – there’s still a week or so until September – which, really, you could still call ‘late summer’….
Have you noticed any of these? Any we’ve missed?
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.