As lovely as Autumn can be, shorter days and changeable weather are part of the inevitable march towards winter. Wind, rain and fog, combined with commuting in the dark, provide a seasonal challenge to cyclists.
Autumn is all about getting prepared. For many it’s the time to get their bike serviced before winter sets in. Checking the brakes, the grip on tyres and using a heavier lubrication are other important steps in getting ready for wetter weather. It’s also the time to dig out the bike lights and shake out the water proofs to check for size and rips.
Fog probably presents the biggest problem to cyclists in Autumn and it’s localised nature and tendency to cling to waterways makes it hard to forecast. Brighter lights and reflective clothes are a must, so now’s the time of year to make sure lights are working and that batteries are charged.
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The first blustery and stormy days of Autumn can often bring down branches, so cyclists need to be prepared for debris in the road. As leaves start to fall, they gather in the gutters of roads, blocking grids and causing surface flooding. Leaf- scattered roads in rural areas are slippery in the wet, whilst grit and stones washed from fields can cause punctures.
Although all of us regret seeing Summer slide by, Autumn days are much more likely to be fine then they are wet. And whilst there were 39 days of rain in September, October and November 2015, this is the same number as there were in the summer months of June, July and August of the same year!
Our best advice for the more changeable Autumn weather is to be prepared and keep an eye on our forecasts, which continue to become more accurate the nearer they are to the event. Stay up-to-date with hourly forecasts for the next two days and with three-hourly forecasts for up to seven days, by downloading the Met Office Weather App.
For iPhone the app is available from the App store.
For Android the app is available from the Google Play store.