a Blog About Adventure Travel for Kite-Surfing and Cycling with a Custom Built Van
Fall Cycling in Michigan
Fall Cycling in Michigan

Fall Cycling in Michigan

Fall Cycling in Michigan

After a long and beautiful summer, it is sometimes hard to get excited about the fall season and the changing weather. Due to the loss of daylight hours and returning to work (I’m a teacher), it is also harder to find enough time to get a ride in. Despite the loss of sunlight and nice warm weather, fall cycling in Michigan is some of the best cycling there is.

Fall Cycling in Michigan
  • Save

How to dress

If you are dressed right and prepared for the weather, you can have an enjoyable time riding in the fall and even into the winter

When heading out dress in a lot of layers. For morning rides it is typically cooler out and then it will warm up throughout the ride. I usually start a ride with sleeves or a light windbreaker or even both. Once I warm up, I begin to remove the layers and place them in my jersey pockets as I go.

On evening rides, it is generally the opposite. I start in shorts and a short sleeve jersey, then I gradually layer up through the ride. As the sun begins to set, the temperature also begins to drop quickly. 

Cycling Sleeves!  - Fall Cycling in Michigan
  • Save

Cycling-tip: I bring sweats and a sweat-shirt to wear before rides in the morning and after rides in the evening!

Overall, my two favorite fall cycling accessories are my sleeves and my cycling windbreaker. The sleeves on my windbreaker also zip off to turn it into a vest!

A light pair of gloves are also handy for early Saturday morning rides! Basic cotton gloves from the dollar store are perfect to keep the cold bite off.

Fall cycling in Michigan
  • Save

When to ride

Unfortunately, as the days get cooler, they also get shorter. Many people like myself often don’t get home from work until late in the evening, which makes week day riding difficult. 

If I can make it home by 4 PM, I try to get a ride in, but I don’t like to ride at dusk when it is already hard for other drivers to see.

I try to avoid riding in the Golden Hour (the first and last hours of daylight). For drivers this can be an especially tough time to see things on the road. This is also a period of time that a lot of people are in a rush to get to or from work.

Ultimately, as a cyclist I don’t want to put myself out there in front of any drivers that can’t see me and are in a hurry. There is already a number of other distractions for drivers as it is.

the Golden Hour over the lake
  • Save

Due to limited time and light, I usually only ride outdoors on weekends and days off from October through April. My favorite time to ride is Saturday morning. This usually also includes a coffee or breakfast break with friends!

What to lookout for

Along with the days getting shorter and cooler, the animals are also on the move in the fall. It is important to keep your eyes peeled for deer and other wildlife especially in the mornings and evenings!

Deer in the road fall cycling in Michigan
  • Save

The autumn is full of ripe tree nuts and fruits! If these trees are close to the road, you can be sure they will fall on your head at some point. They will definitely become obstacles for thin tires on the road and lead to potential wipeouts. Acorns, walnuts, and apples are particularly prevalent in my area! Be sure to warn your cycling group of items in the road, especially if you are riding in a pace line!

Debris in the road during fall cycling in Michigan
  • Save

Finally, as mentioned in the previous section. Drivers are going to struggle to see you when they are driving into the sun. They are also not going to expect to see you out on the road! Be aware of the direction you are riding and the time of day. It might be a better idea to try your route in reverse.

One more thing to consider when cycling in the fall is morning fog. Be sure to check the overnight temperatures and the humidity level when planning your departure time!

Foggy Mornings - Fall Cycling in Michigan
  • Save

My favorite things about fall cycling in Michigan

Michigan is a beautiful state, but it is particularly beautiful in the fall. As the trees begin to change color and the sun is shining, it is a sight to be seen. My favorite is seeing the bright colors reflected off the still and calm lakes as you ride past. 

Along with the trees changing colors, it is also harvest time. There are so many gorgeous fields of fruits and vegetables! I am always amazed at the variety of agriculture in my area. Sometimes it is very tempting to stop for a fresh snack! There are many farm stands that are a great place to purchase fresh ingredients while out riding.

Fall views over the lake
  • Save

Fun fact: Did you know that Michigan has the second largest variety of agriculture in the US? It is only second to California!

Lastly, there is nothing like crisp autumn air in your lungs as you are riding down the road. Life is truly great when you embrace its wonder.

Hope you have a some incredible fall rides this year!

Thanks for reading. ~ KiteBikeVan

  • Save

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap