It's no secret that the autumn time change is a sham. Sugar-coated with promises of extra sleep (for one hour... for one night), it curses us with pre-5pm sunsets, dark, chilly commutes and it's not even here in time to extend trick-or-treating anymore. No, the whole "Fall back an hour" thing is outdated, unhelpful, and unnecessary, but it's also unavoidable. This is one of those 'L's we all have to take together, so in today's post we'll talk about what you need to be ready for that extra hour of darkness!
First, and most obviously, riding in the dark means you need more lumens to help you see and be seen in the streets. Blinking lights are good for grabbing attention and making you visible, but they're hard to see by (and make it harder for other road users to gauge your speed and direction). Consider a dual-light set-up, so you can run one blinky to catch eyes and one solid to help yours. Or, snag a light that can do both simultaneously, like the Knog Blinder.
And dark rides mean dark parking, which also means it's time to take your lock-up seriously. It sucks, but bike theft is more likely once the sun sets and, since the sun'll be saying goodnight an hour earlier, you'll want to make sure your bike's still waiting for you after breakfast. If you lock up outside overnight, consider a beefy "at-home" lock for some more permanent protection, and be sure to secure your parts and accessories so they don't wander off in the newly-extended night.
Last, but not least, layers. Cold weather rides can be tricky. As a general rule of thumb, you want to be a bit cold when you set off because your body will definitely warm up after a few minutes of pedaling. But, because that body-temp sweet spot can be hard to hit, layers make the whole thing way easier. Light jackets and windbreakers can help trap body heat without weighing you down, and a hoodie in your bag or rain coat can pop over everything on the extra frigid nights. Just add or lose layers as needed, and you'll be able to pedal through anything - even that extra hour of darkness.
And that's all there is to it! Remember to take these 'Ls', and hopefully the time change won't be so hard on you.
Ride safe, and we'll see you out there.