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Gloves will likely be the first change to your cycling wardrobe, and you’ll probably want cycling tights instead of shorts AUTUMN more casual. For your upper body, you seldom need do more than keep the breeze off. A lightweight windproof – either a jacket or a sleeveless gilet – is usually sufficient. Add arm-warmers for chilly starts. You don’t need expensive cycling eyewear, but check that any glasses you do use don’t impinge on your peripheral vision; the frames of some sunglasses do. Autumn Average temperatures in autumn are comparable to spring, with occasional ‘indian summers’ that feel like August hasn’t ended. But conditions are more unsettled, with stronger winds (see above) and more rain. Your windproof, waterproof jacket will once again be earning its keep.


Autumn mornings are often foggy, while daylight is suddenly diminished on the last weekend of October when the clocks go back. Check and charge the batteries in your lights. You’re required by law to have a white front light and red rear light between dusk and dawn, and dusk falls earlier and earlier. You’re not legally required to have cycle lights in fog, but it’s a good idea to use them anyway. Be careful when riding over fallen leaves. You don’t know what they might conceal – a pothole? And wet leaves are extremely slippery. Try to avoid braking or turning if you have to ride over them. Go straight on if you can, as if you were riding over ice. Traffic levels suddenly change at the start of September as children return to school after the summer holidays. School-run parents can drive and park erratically, so be on the lookout for badly communicated manoeuvres and car doors opening suddenly if you cycle anywhere near a school.

Gloves will likely be the first change to your cycling wardrobe, and you’ll probably want cycling tights instead of shorts if you ride to work in bike gear. As autumn wears on, you’ll start to need an extra layer under your jacket again – a long-sleeve jersey for Lycra commuters or a baselayer (ie a vest) or a light sweater for normalclothes commuters. Winter Cycle commuting can seem daunting when it’s dark, cold and wet. But bad weather is seldom as bad as it looks, especially if you’re dressed for it. You might find that you arrive at work warmer and drier than your colleague who hustled 200 yards from his car without a coat. Keeping warm is easy by bike because you generate body heat by riding. It’s best to be barely warm enough rather than snug when you step out of your house, so that you’ll be at the right temperature a mile down the road. The exceptions are your extremities: head (particularly ears), hands, and feet. These get very cold from windchill and from your body diverting warm blood to your torso. Wrap them up. A pair of

Cycle Commuter #17  
Cycle Commuter #17