Posted by Richard Sault on 1st Jan 1970
One of the best times of year for cycling in the UK is the Autumn; although the wind and rain have started to pick up, the air is crisp and cool with clear blue skies one minute with beautiful cloudscape scenery the next. Typical British weather!
Temperatures this Autumn will range from 10c to 21c with a handful of clear, sunny days, but most of them cloudy with a chance of rain, and wind speeds of between 13 and 35mph. Autumn months offer truly changeable riding conditions; you start your ride in a beautiful sunny morning to hit a mid day rain shower and high breathtaking winds.
Worse still, you can start a ride at the bottom of a hill, to incline up a few miles and find the cool wind blasts through your jersey, or a rain cloud spoils your fast descent.
You’re typically going to be riding in a jersey, with your trusted bib shorts with the addition of a base layer to keep you warm while wicking moisture away as the temperature drops.
Knowing what extras to take along with you is key to being comfortable riding during the Autumnal months.
Typically cycling jerseys have 3 pockets, what’s in these pockets, often define what weather conditions you can tolerate and how comfortable you’ll be, in the Autumn you may want to be taking these extras in your pockets:
Leg or Knee Warmers are not something to be under estimated as the air gets cooler while climbing. Cold joints can cause cramps.. I ended up finding this out the hard way… And when the weather warms up again they can easily fit into a Jersey Pocket.
Arm Warmers are again great at keeping the chill off and can also be taken off even while you’re on the move making them really versatile they also don’t take up much space in a Jersey Pocket.
Cycling Vest or Gilet are normally made of a windproof fabric with ventilation on the back; great for those windy days or when the air is starting to cool down. Protecting your core from the elements while still letting you breath. Also easily pack into a Jersey Pocket if the temperature changes.
A Lightweight Cycling Jacket can be combined with arm-warmers and a jersey should you get caught out in a shower and when the weather turns brighter can fit into one of your Pocket’s again.
Cycling Caps are great for keeping the rain out but also give a surprising amount of extra warmth in. Some feel the cold more than others this time of year and especially around the ears. So a headband with a windproof material can be good to keep your ears warm but still letting a bit of heat escape better than a full skullcap in these conditions.