Cooler weather means your body needs a little more time to adjust to riding. To get your muscles ready, do a warmup loop near your home. If you’re the one making the route, loop by your house or car early in the ride so you can shed any layers that seemed like a good idea before you started pedaling. If not, gear up with easy-to-shed layers such as light jackets or vests, arm or knee warmers.
You might also enjoy feeling faster. During the summer months, the heat can sap strength and make intervals feel a lot harder because your body is under more load and struggling to cool itself. The brisk fall weather means that you will probably see improvements in your power and even a slightly lowered heart rate and perceived exertion. This is the perfect time to keep your base strong before the winter.
The key with transition-season gear is to add pieces that are lightweight and removable to your current summer kit instead of switching out your whole summer wardrobe for winter gear. Adding accessories like arm warmers, which you can easily peel off mid-ride and stash in a pocket, means that whether the day warms up or the clouds roll in, you’re prepared. Try these must-haves:
- Arm Warmers
- Knee Covers
- Toe Covers
- Pocket Rain Jacket
Don't forget hydration!
When it’s not super hot out, it feels less crucial to reach for your water bottle. But that’s a huge mistake. Make sure you’re drinking around one bottle per hour even if you don’t feel as thirsty as you did when it was 100 degrees out, you still need to hydrate. If it’s really cold, you can even start your ride with warm or hot water.
Ride smart this Autumn, but get out and ride!