The mornings may be darker, the weather may be colder, and the rain may be a little more regular, but there are lots of reasons to love cycling in autumn! Don’t let a little thing like a change in the season stop you riding your bike.
Getting out on your bike has obvious health benefits, and speaking from experience it can really lift your spirits too. It can be hard to get going, but once you’re out, it’s worth it.
If you’re looking for a little motivation to get out there, here are 10 reasons why riding your bike in autumn is awesome. Enjoy!
1. A blast on your bike can help keep the winter blues at bay. According to the NHS website, exercise is a great way of keeping your mind in top condition, as well as your body.
There’s convincing evidence that 30 minutes vigorous exercise three times a week is effective against depression.
Dr Andrew McCulloch, Mental Health Foundation
2. It’s a beautiful time of year to get out on your bike, and if you ride regularly you’ll get to see the leaves changing from green to gold. Some of the best places to watch the seasons changing while zooming along country roads include the Forest of Dean, Snowdonia National Park and around Cheddar in Somerset.
3. You can augment your on-bike nutrition with hedgerow blackberries and windfall apples. Just look out for the ones with holes!
4. If you suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or the milder winter blues, getting outside on your bike during the day can be doubly helpful. Lower light levels are thought to be one of the contributory factors to developing SAD, so going for a ride outside during the day will boost your exposure to daylight.
5. There’s likely to be far fewer people visiting trail centres, so you may find you have them almost all to yourself! You can ride trails at your own pace, and session skills sections without worrying about riders flying through all the time.
6. Yes, it might be rainy and chilly, but with the right gear you’ll be able to fend off the elements, and get a smug sense of satisfaction. Let’s not forget how good that hot post-ride shower feels too.
7. Try something new. Autumn means the start of cyclo-cross season; so if you fancy riding, mud and a lot of fun, check out our guide to getting started in what’s known to be one of the friendliest types of racing out there.
8. Get that healthy rosy glow, with a bite of cold air on your skin – it’s also really refreshing! Just make sure you keep the rest of your body wrapped up warm.
9. Commuting by bike at this time of year not only saves you money; you’re much less likely to get exposed to all the usual colds and coughs that are often spread through crowded train carriages and buses.
10. It’s a good excuse (not that we need one!) to start checking out the new winter kit that’s available.
These are 10 of our reasons to keep riding in the autumn, but we’re sure there are loads more. What are your top reasons for riding in the autumn, and how do you keep motivated?
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Autumn Cycling Gear for Commuters
Headline image by Spacing Magazine via Flickr