FINALLY! The weather has broken here in southeast Louisiana! And right on schedule, too: the middle of October. On October 15 it was a miserable 85 degrees…October 16 I rode to the gym with a fleece under my perforated jacket!
It was GREAT!
But while fall is soooo pleasant after 5-1/2 months of blast-furnace heat, it brings with it problems for riders that we might overlook. For example:
- Leaves on roads. While we don’t see stunning fall foliage like in the accompanying picture, dry leaves on the roadway can camouflage potholes and other road defects. Wet leaves cause pavement surfaces to become slick. And if you’re riding on leaves, your tires are not making contact with the road!
- Shorter days. The days are already getting shorter. The glare can be distracting, even with quality sunglasses. Be certain that the bulbs in your headlights, brake lights and turn signals are all working. And if you’re riding west after work at, say 4 or 5 o’clock, the sun will be lower than it has been. A helmet with a visor helps me.
- Deer migration and mating season. Autumn is mating and migration season for deer. For that reason, the roads are likely to have more deer, making riders more likely to collide with them. Use extra caution to watch for deer, especially at dusk and nighttime.
- Cold tires. For riders with sporty tires, fall is a dangerous season to be riding. Sportier tires have much softer rubber than touring tires. In the cold weather we see in fall, these tires become hard and lose traction. Be sure to reduce your speed and ride with extra caution.
- Fewer riders out. It is a common concern for all riders that car drivers do not see them. With the seasons changing, many car drivers expect to see even less bikes on the road. Be more cautious and alert. Make yourself as conspicuous as possible and do not assume that they see you.
Let’s be careful out there. Thanks to WDJT-TV in the home of Harley-Davidson, Milwaukee, for the tips. https://rb.gy/nltiaa