Mountain biking provides a great workout, as well as the opportunity to see many beautiful picturesque scenes of nature. Autumn is one of the best seasons for mountain biking. Not only is the weather usually a nice balance between being too hot and too cold, it also offers many beautiful moments to experience fall foliage. The trees in the mountains often turn beautiful golden, red or orange colors. As you climb through the trails, you can experience the fresh, crisp air and enjoy the beautiful scenes surrounding you.
When you go mountain biking in the autumn, there are a few important safety concerns to keep in mind. First and foremost, you should keep in mind that it might be hunting season. If the mountain trails through which you cycle also share access with hunters, be sure to wear very bright colors, especially orange, so that you will not be mistaken for an animal.
You also want to be careful cycling through the leaf litter. This can cover the trail and make it difficult to know if there is something dangerous on the trail ahead, and make the climbing and cornering of the trail more difficult. Fall weather can also be more unpredictable than other seasons, so you have to be more prepared for sudden rain, temperature drops, and more.
The Best Gear for Fall
When you go mountain biking in the autumn, you want to dress in layers, so that you can shed clothing as you get warmer. You should wear a lightweight and wind-resistant shell as your outer layer. You can wear a mid-layer as well on very cold days. Once the temperature drops below 50 degrees, you should wear pants or tights instead of shorts. The colder temperature also means you need to wear a skullcap to protect your head from getting cold from the vents in the helmet.
You can also wear shoe covers and thicker socks to keep your feet warm. You will want bike gloves to keep your hands warm. If it is not cold enough for all that gear, you can just use arm and leg warmers instead. Do not forget to make sure that you have enough lighting on your bike for riding in the woods, and during shorter days. You also want a good reflector vest to be more visible to not only cars but also hunters.
What are the Best Mountain Trails in the Fall?
There are many great mountain biking trails to explore in the fall, especially in New England with its famous fall foliage. One of the best biking locations in the autumn is the Sherando Lake Loop in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. This is part of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests and features an 18.2-mile single-track trail that has more than 1,000 feet of vertical climbing.
There are brilliant colors all along the trail. Another great trail is the Leicester Hollow Trail in Vermont, which is part of the Green Mountain National Forest. It is 4.8 miles and has an elevation change of about 1,000 feet as well. The Juniper Ridge Trail near Mount St. Helens in Washington is brightly colored trail during the fall season. The trail is about 11.6 miles and has elevation ranges of 3,400 to 4,800 feet above sea level. In addition to the beautiful fall foliage, there are also meadows and ponds.
Whether you can experience these excellent mountain trails, or are sticking closer to home, the autumn is one of the best seasons for mountain biking. You just have to dress appropriately and be mindful of your safety. Just because the days are shorter and the temperature is cooler does not mean that you have to start spending your times indoors during the autumn.