Spring and summer, with all they offer, have come and gone for the year. Autumn rolled in right on time and is in full burst right now. Around here, which is in theĀ Sierra, the weather has gotten colder, the days shorter, the leaves on the trees have done their color dance and have drifted to the ground. What a wonderful sound, riding through them on all the back roads up here! It’s my favorite time of year.
We’ve had wind, rain, hail, and snow. The Tahoe area is gearing up for what they hope is a great ski season. The snow guns are running, and opening days at the resorts are coming up. In the meantime, there’s plenty of hiking and riding to do.
As we get deeper in to autumn it is important to pay attention to the shorter days. Hikes and rides that were easily completed in daylight just a couple of weeks ago now have to be tweaked. Running out of daylight while still out on the trails is generally a bad idea. What do you do?
Start earlier if it’s possible. If not, simply modify your trek. Pay attention to when the sunlight starts to dim. Daylight hours will progressively get shorter until the Winter Solstice, in December.
Make certain that you have headlamps or flashlights with you, with fresh batteries. Change the batteries on your bike, front and rear. Make certain that they work. If you do find yourself out there at dusk, heading to dark, you’ll need these.
The temperatures in the mountains will fluctuate, from comfortable to cold, all in the course of a day, and while you’re out riding or hiking. Wear layers so that you will be able to add or shed a layer or two as needed. If you are out in the mountains, or in the forests, leave your cotton duds at home. While cotton is a fine material, it’s not your friend out there. Your layers should be wool, a wool blend, or synthetics.
Above all, just get out there. It’s a wonderful time to be out and about. Take advantage of the autumn landscape before it turns white with snow. Snow changes everything. Get outside!
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