Updated: Nov 15, 2022
7 Tips to Make Fall the Best Time to Hit the Trails
Ahh, tis the season for everything pumpkin spice, leaf-peeping, and the looming threat of winter. While some of us start to hunker down and get ready for the winter months ahead, the fall boasts some of the best trail riding -- better temperatures, less busy trails, and no bugs!
Here are 7 Tips to Make Fall the Best Time to Hit the Trails
Be Careful Around Leaf Litter
While you're getting a glimpse of the beautiful colours on the trees around you, slow down and beware of the leaf piles (including pine needles) on the trail. Trapped moisture and slower drying time can make leaves and other tree debris dangerously slippery.
Unpredictable Weather & Trail Conditions
The change in season brings unpredictable weather. Rain, snow and wind storms can roll in just as quickly as they roll out. Always check the forecast before heading out, and be sure to dress for the weather - It never hurts to have a good rain jacket or shell in your pack!
Layers Will Be Your Best Friend
We've all probably all heard the joke by now, "Wear a sweater in the morning and regret it in the afternoon"? Wearing layers and adjusting as needed will be your best bet in the fall season.
Shorter Daylight - Pack a Light
If you're heading out to the trails in the latter part of the day, ensure to pack a riding light, whether you intend to night ride or not. A simple mechanical or crash could leave you stranded in the dark.
Know Your Route - Getting Lost Can be Easier
With the change in foliage and leaves on the ground, certain landmarks won't look the same or be as easily identified. Ensure you know your route in advance and have some navigational backup, such as TrailForks.
Hunting Seasons & Wearing Orange
Some trails share access with hunters depending on your area, so beware of local hunting seasons and regulations. Wear bright colours (blaze orange works best) and do whatever you can to look less animal-like on the trail, such as talking and making noise. Always obey trail closures due to hunting season for your safety.
Do a Check on Your Components
If you have been riding your bike all season, it's a great time to check your brake pads, tires, and chain to see if they need to be replaced. If you're not able to check these components yourself, it's time to take your bike to the local bike shop for some help. Keeping an eye on these components will help your bike last longer and keep you safer.
If the idea of better temperatures and fewer people and bugs doesn't sound like a good enough reason to keep riding in the fall, what's stopping you? Just make sure you're prepared before you head out!