It is officially fall in Vancouver and despite the unpredictable skies and me obsessively checking the weather so I can squeeze in more epic bike rides before the end of this month, I still think it’s the best time to ride your bike. We’ve been experiencing our typical wet and gloomy Vancouver Octobers but us, Vancouverites, seem to complain too much and often forget to appreciate the little things that makes our city so wonderful— like our typical phases of sunny-splendor that we experience randomly throughout the year. Like today. And yesterday. And the day before that. It is supposed to rain this weekend but let’s soak in the rays Mr. Sun has been generously radiating down on us, shall we? I know I’ll be out for another early morning ride tomorrow morning. What about you?
Here are some reasons to cycle in the fall:
1. It’s not too hot. It’s not too cold.
I get by with my bike shorts, a long-sleeved base layer, vest and gloves. Gloves!! Keeping my fingers warm is the key (and full-fingered gloves means no tan lines on my fingers). Proper gear can make any ride enjoyable.
2. The crisp autumn air.
Cycling in the winter is tough, especially when your lungs starts to feel like a block of ice and you’re gasping for air while climbing the first big hill on the way to work (and not to mention your face mask which is partly suffocating you). And when you think about all those hot, humid summer bike rides where tan lines are being hideously burnt into your vain skin (ugh), the crisp and cool autumn air makes you appreciate fall cycling a lot more.
3. The sunshine.
Because you know it’s not summer anymore, sunshine during the fall or winter in Vancouver feels extra special. It’s so beautiful. Why would you want to spend it in the car or on a bus?
4. You can get to work and not be a disgusting, sweaty mess.
Unless your workplace is at the top of a hill like mine and for some reason, you always end up killing yourself up the hill even when you plan to ride “leisurely” — like today for example, when I was “racing” Fixie Dude and Old Mountain Bike Man. Old Mountain Bike Man ended up kicking both our asses but to justify it, I had just finished a “big ring only” 60km hilly ride the day after leg day (do not ask me why but this stupidity probably won’t ever happen again) and Fixie Dude had the most ginormous backpack ever… and he was killing it earlier trying to not let me pass him. Okay, maybe Old Mountain Bike Man was just really fucking fit. That is all.
5. You can waste your energy riding instead of worrying about tan lines.
Well, I kind of lied because I went out for a wet and gloomy 80km last weekend and I got tan lines!! It was worse than the ones I got all summer long… but at least I wasn’t worrying about it during the ride because I didn’t think such tragedy could happen on that murky day. Which maybe even worse because my assumption threw me off and I forgot to move the seams of my bike shorts around like I do in the summer (tan line prevention 101). LE SIGH.
6. Take advantage of the weather before winter settles in.
Sleeping in under my warm, snugly blanket sure is a lot more exciting than waking up and enduring the cold in the winter. It wasn’t as easy as summer time when the sun was up at 5am, but during the fall, I can still fortunately muster up plenty of motivation to get up before sun rise to squeeze a long ride in before work.