Today was chilly. 34 degrees when I got up, and not quite to 40 by the time I was heading out with the kids. I love it. Anyone who’s known me for any amount of time knows that this is my favorite time of year. When the air turns crisp in the morning, but we still get some nice afternoons, I’m right in my comfort zone. I’m thankful the Big Cyclist in the sky gave Oregon 4 true seasons to enjoy, but I always look forward to seasons of October through December. (Don’t even get me started on Christmas yet…)
Although the official cycling season is over (I once again missed the Harvest Century, the last ‘official ride,’ because it’s held on a Sunday,) Willamette Valley autumns are mild enough to allow for plenty of good riding days, as indicated in the photos here from my last ride. Still plenty of beautiful colors, fresh cool air, and general all around goodness to be taken in. The biggest difference is in gearing up properly, both with proper attire and gear on the bike. I’m now finding that I need a light jacket on most rides, and leg warmers to keep my old knees from cold pain. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m also gearing up with proper lighting for early morning and evening rides, and fenders for rain..which I already have on a couple of bikes.
Although I’m not quite up for it this year, I plan to cut another 20 lbs, get a proper bike and possibly give Cyclocross a try next fall. In a nutshell, Cyclocross is like a muddy, wacky, obstacle course/bike race on road bikes modified to be ridding in dirt, mud, gravel, up stairs, over barriers, through barns, etc. For some reason I think this kind of racing may be a little safer than going all out on roads, and it lets you enjoy the season for longer than just when the leaves start to turn. Here’s a recap video of the recent race just down the road in Rickreall:
And if nothing else, through the month of October, you can still cruise down to the Saturday Market here in Salem, fill up your basket with locally grown produce, baked goods, and other finds, and enjoy the ride with friends and family.