Fall Rituals

by Igor Shteynbuk

by Scott

Now that Labor Day has passed, meteorological fall has begun. The pumpkin beers and spiced lattes are in store now or awaiting pick up at your local coffee shop, and even in a year where nothing seems to be familiar, I'm hopeful that fall will be more normal than the past 6 months have been.

I've lived in the mid Atlantic for over 10 years now and one of the wonderful things is that there are truly four seasons here. Fall here is one of the great times of year, with the temps (and humidity) taking a bit of a dive, the colors of the leaves coming out and the chance to wear a sweater outside again!

I find myself having rituals related to the change of the season, especially when it comes to outdoor activities like cycling.  I've always loved the fall Coffeeneuring challenge - you can see previous posts here and here. Over the years, Mary has adapted the rules with help from the large number of riders who have taken part in the challenge. I like the rule that allows riders to use an outdoor spot for the challenge. This year, with social/physical distancing rules in place in most areas, I think a lot more folks will be doing this. We sell a lot of the Soto coffee filter holders, which work great if you're the kind of rider that wants to do coffee outside from scratch.

I also pull out my bikepacking bike this time of year. This year, I've been riding the Pass Hunter Prototype, both on road and on gravel paths of Montgomery County, but with fall's arrival, I might actually get out and camp overnight a bit. I'm not the greatest for camping in the summer here - the heat and humidity are not my friends - so the cooler weather is better for camping out along the C & O or some of the state parks in MD. I don't go to the extreme's that Igor's assessment post has folks go to, but it is a good time to double check the gear and brake cables, the tubes (yep, luddite there) and the chain are all good and ready to go. I don't really worry about tires, as mine are super chunky MTB tires, so a quick check of the side wall to make sure there are no cuts there is about all I do.

For other folks here, it means digging into the closet for that long sleeve jersey or sweater to wear on cold mornings. Igor swaps out footwear for fall riding. He goes from using sneakers or sandals with his Sabot pedals to using boots to keep his feet warm. The result of this is that he has to raise the saddles on his bikes to accommodate the thicker soles, every fall.

The final thing I think of for fall is folks putting fenders back on their bikes. I know it sounds crazy, but in some parts of the world, you can go all summer without rain! I've had a few folks mention in emails  of needing some bits to put their fenders back on their bikes. If you are in this situation, just a reminder that our small fender bits section is here for all your hardware needs.


Anyone else keen for fall's arrival and what sort of rituals surround the changing seasons and cycling in your world? 

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