As the 1st week of November is wrapped up and we gear up and settle in for more Autumnal weather, a few words come to mind when I think of riding this time of year.
“COLD” is the 1st one. Gone are the days of riding with just shorts and a t-shirt. Layers are now the strategy for Autumn rides. I already miss the days of riding in just shorts and a T-shirt.
“WIND” is the 2nd word. Autumn weather can change in an instant down here in the South. Wind is never a cyclist’s friend, but combine that with the change in temp, and rides require and take on a whole new mindset. “Buckle down” and deal with the wind is a common theme of my rides this time of year. There’s no beating the wind. It’s gonna whip ya. It’s gonna slow you down. It’s gonna try and break you. Wind, especially cold wind makes you long for (and appreciate) those quiet, easy summer rides.
Rounding out the trifecta of weather related words that every rider despises is: “RAIN.” This element that seems to rear its ugly head moreso this time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I have had many great rides in the rain. Usually it’s because I was caught off guard and had to finish out the ride I was on in a summer downpour. Those types of POP-UP storms can be refreshing. Sure, it lowers the safety factor of the ride, and can make riding downright dangerous, but a summertime rainstorm to ride through is inevitable.
Rain though, in November is just RAW and NASTY. You don’t want to get caught unprepared in a November rain storm. Usually because November rain is COLD. (see 1st point.) Oh, and November rain ALWAYS brings along with it WIND…. (see 2nd point.)
November riding is challenging. If you can master it, congrats! Just wait until DECEMBER RIDING and see what Mother Nature tries to throw at ya!