29 September, 2017

Fall Riding

By Scott

At the risk of being pummeled by the Internet, I'll come out and say that Fall is the best season. I think this is a very different declaration from saying green is the best color or that silver is the best color for a handlebar. (Green as a color has a huge scope, so it can go with anything, and silver is the original and best color for bars - just for what it's worth.)

Fall here is very different from where I grew up. I lived out in the west coast for almost all of my life. We moved here about 8 years back and fall has only increased in it's magnitude while living here.

The view of the corn fields after the crop has been taken in
There's the sense of calm that comes over the Mid Atlantic when that first cold front of air comes down from Canada in September. It's a bit late this year, but still, I know that I can open up the windows and not have the sticky feeling of humidity enter into the house, but rather a cool, dry breeze that reminds me of trips to lakes up north and the cool breeze of an evening ride, trying to get home before it gets really dark.

I love the seasons here in the Mid Atlantic. There are four distinct ones here. Winter isn't that long most years and rarely very severe compared to other part of North America. Fall seems to last just long enough and I've usually got enough strength built up from riding in the summer that fall becomes easier.

The trees are in the midst of starting to drop their leaves/change their colors here. It's been dry here this summer, so that affects the timing I think.

Fall is a busy time of year. My wedding anniversary is in October, as is my wife's birthday, so lots of celebrations at the beginning and end of the month. The coffeneuring challenge starts in October and that always brings about a challenge to find new places to ride to enjoy a beverage. Throw in the Philly Bike Expo at the start of November, and all the work to get the booth created and gosh, before you know it, we're getting close to Thanksgiving.

Do you agree that Fall is the best time to ride? Or is there another season that tops it for you?


Unknown said...

I love Fall riding! Cool enough in the morning that you don't sweat after the first pedal stroke and warm by lunch(or brunch), as the case may be. The smells of the rotting leaves and the calls of geese flying South for the winter. Get out there and free wheel before the snow flies!

They used to call me Fred (really). said...

I grew up in the mid Atlantic, 1.5 hours north of Velo Orange, so I remember the seasons well. Although a bit nippier than Annapolis in the Winter, I also loved to ride in the Fall, especiallly on trails. The crisp crunch of the dry leaves gives me happy memories.

In my current area of the mid-south, I would say winter is now my favorite season. Finally cold enough to need a long sleeve jersey. I can finally break out all my old (and new) wool gear. Even into the mid-teens (F), it is so much nicer than the near deadly summer into fall heat experienced here. A bonus is that others find it too cold, leaving plenty of space on the local roads and trails. On the MUP I frequent on my commute, it also means I don’t have to listen to those dreadful riders with speakers on their bikes, my pet peeve.

I love the cold, crisp air of winter, even if it gets a little painful. Looking forward to it now.

Anonymous said...

I Couldn't agree more. Fall is the best season by far.The cool air the leafs changing colors and it goes hand in hand with my favorite holiday HALLOWEEN!!

Unknown said...

You stated "My wedding anniversary is in October, as is my wife's birthday..."
So are mine, 10/9 and a 10/14 wife birthday.

Best regards

John Hawrylak
Woodstown NJ

Anonymous said...

Winter here in the coastal regions of the Pacific NW gives us a lot of rain in the lower elevations and snow in the mountains. Off road trails are very muddy and one (if one is normal and does not race) is pretty much limited to bike commuting or road rides when there is a break in the weather.

In the spring, what feels like the near constant drizzle and rain of winter gives way to more intense off-and-on showers but with longer breaks between storm events. It’s warming up and rides are becoming longer and more frequent. The trails are still very muddy but some gravel rides begin to emerge.

Summers out west are dry and it’s gnar time again. The mountain forest roads and single tracks are ready and so am I. However, this time is not without impediments (or non-ped-iments). The pent-up demand for riding does not always get satisfied since it’s also the time for family vacations, house projects and other happenings. Weather can also be a deterrent – sometimes it’s a bit too hot and this year we had to deal with extremely poor air quality due to the very large forest fires, heat waves and stagnant air that went on for weeks on end.

Fall… The kids are resuming their school routine. The rains have not quite started yet. The house is getting buttoned-up for winter mode. The visits and activities of summer are now becoming a memory. The trails are still dry. The weather is cooler (I can now see my breath in the early morning air again). It is time to get out and ride!

Unknown said...

Indeed, Fall is a grand time of year for riding or cycle touring. We just competed a mini-tour from Princess Anne to Crisfield (round trip) for the Dock Day on the Bay Festival. Although it was windy, the leaves were turning and Fall was in the air. Thanks to our navigators, we rode an extra 12 mile on the trip back. "Bonus miles" are always fun and full of discoveries.

Anonymous said...

No question about it. In Ohio, Fall is the best time to ride due to cool temps, low precip, and low humidity. Spring is nice too a much wetter. Summer's are too hot and humid. Winter is well, winter; but, that doesn't prevent me from riding year round unless there is ice on the road.