Thursday, September 03, 2009


I’ve noticed an odd behavior among Anchorage cyclists. This comes a shock, I’m sure.

Each spring, everyone’s bouncing off the walls and trying to ride as soon as the outside temperature hits 40 degrees. They’ll risk gravel, flowing snowmelt and icy patches on the road just to get a cycling fix. They’ll drool over every false rumor of a dry trail. They’ll wear ear warmers, neoprene booties and three layers of clothing just to get out there on two wheels in poor conditions. I know, because I’m out there with them.

Then the first week of September arrives. The trails are firm and fast. The roads are the cleanest they’ll be all year. The temperature edges down toward 50—perfectly comfortable in tights and a light jacket—but the second the weather turns cloudy and looks like a few raindrops might fall, huge numbers of riders whither away and disappear into their houses. I know, because I suddenly have the trails mostly to myself on such weeknights.

So 50 degrees in early spring is cause for celebration, and 50 degrees in early fall is too cold?

I look at it this way: In two or three months, it'll be 50 degrees colder than it is right now.

So ride. Now.


Anonymous said...

Even in Belgium it is like that!!

Thorsten said...

That's because you can't look at the temperature in isolation. 50 degrees in September just feels different then 50 degrees in May. Just like a cold beer tastes better after a good workout on your bike than after a long day in the office.

Unknown said...
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funhog and fundogs said...

Just loaded the lights on the bike earlier this week, still riding in crisp mornings are the best....Ride On!

Joboo said...

I don't think it's just Anchorage.
Here in northern's the same thing. I don't know what it is, but you are right, fall riding has got to be the best!!


bikegirl said...

It happens to me too. Then I put on a long sleeve jersey and head out to the park where all the plants smell of fall. One of the best smells imaginable.

Of course, sometimes I think we've just worn ourselves out over the course of a busy summer and need a break.

Anonymous said...

Same thing happens here in Oz & it doesn't even get cold!!

saved by biking said...

Totally resonates with me.

It's early, but I look forward to those rides when the big yellow leafs cover the trail.

I added my front light on my bike two weeks ago ( my commute starts at 5:45 latest) and today, for the first time wanted for some ear protection.

I like having the trails to myselfish self.

Trainsharp Cycle Coaching said...

I ride a lot but having to do it in a duffel coat. Brrrrrrr!

Grill Meister said...

Sept and Oct have always been my favorite time of the year to hit the trails. You can beat the scenery, smells and temps for a comfortable ride with friends. And the fact that you hardly ever run into other riders even makes it more fun. It's almost like you own the park.

Grill Meister

Debbie said...

In defense of my absenteeism, I've been sick for 3 weeks and now pretty much wheeze going up a flight of stairs.