Monday, October 24, 2016

The Real Signs of Autumn - A Bike Commuter's Perspective

At the beginning of Autumn, it feels much like summer, and if it wasn't for the date we couldn't exactly tell when the season changes. But by mid-October the temperature plummets and will hover in the mid 50s for highs - that's when Autumn truly begins in Vermont.

On the same note, I've noticed bicycle-related seasonal shifts, those signs that a commuter cyclist deals with when the weather takes a dive.

Sadly, I can no longer wear sandals, even with socks. I rummage in the closet and dig out my hiking footwear.

I wear a head band beneath my helmet to keep my ears warm.

I don fleece gloves, daily, and sometimes windproof mittens.

I need a windproof jacket, every day, and often on the ride home.

Shorts? Brrrr. I can't imagine wearing shorts until next May. Under Armour cold weather tights are essential.

A cold cable lock is stiff. I struggle to unwind it to wrap it around my bicycle.

I no longer need sunglasses for either direction of my commute. The sun is so low in the sky that I wear clear safety glasses for eye protection.

Lights! Gotta have 'em and prepare to keep the USB headlight charged.  And with a cloudy sky today, I used my headlight for the first time, as I pedaled home.

And lastly, with snow flurries forecast this week, I am wondering how long I can keep commuting this year...and on weekends for pleasure, hopefully at least through the coffeeneuring challenge!


  1. As I was reading through your list I realized I was a spoiled citizen of a temperate city and fair weather commuter when the subject of cable locks being hard to use in the cold....never had that issue although in my defense I use U-Locks in combo with a cable to secure my wheels.

    1. I learned how to bike commute year-round in Portland Oregon, where my husband and I lived for 10 years so I understand the rain issue - I rode in LL Bean boots to keep my feet dry!

      When I moved back here, the thought of riding in the winter, where it's pretty dang cold, was the furthest thing from my mind...until last winter's mildness and 5 mile commute had me thinking otherwise. I'm hoping for a normal winter this year though - I love to crosscountry ski - but if the conditions are just right, I'll squeeze in a few rides, just because I know I can do it. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

  2. I have been retired for a few years and the only thing I miss about work is the bike commute. But I do commute to the coffee shop every day.


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