scenic road with leavesAs the season changes, more bicyclists are looking to get those final rides in before the weather forces us into snow boots and parkas. Bicyclists understand that the riding season is far too short, however; as the weather changes there are a few things we all need to be aware of as we venture out in colder temperatures for that crisp fall ride.

Don’t let the sunny blue-skied days that Autumn tends to tease us with fool you into not being prepared while riding in the Autumn months.

Here are the Top 10 Hazards riders should know about during Autumn:

1. Leaves on the Road

We all love those drives to see the fall leaves changing, but the reality is these same leaves are going to be on the road. What does that mean for you? Leaves could cover potholes and other road irregularities leaving the rider unbeknown to dangerous road conditions. Not only are the leaves on the road, but potentially wet, causing slippery and dangerous roads for riders.

2. Shorter Days

As winter approaches, the days start getting shorter. Being prepared to ride in the dark, there are few things you need to make sure are up to par. Making sure your reflectors are in tact, and lights are properly working.  Riders should wear highly reflective gear to make themselves as visible as obvious as possible.

3. Sunlight Glare

The sun is lower in the sky making glare times longer and more distracting. Also, as the leaves begin to fall, the sunlight beams through these barren branches create more distracting light changes.

4. Flat Tires

Always make sure you have a spare tire available for quick change. As the temperatures drops, you don’t want to get caught stuck in cold weather pushing your bike to the nearest gas station, which probably won’t have what you need anyways.

5. Cold Riders

Cold riders means cold hands. The harsh weather can sometimes surprise us in Utah.  Every rider should be prepared and always have the proper riding equipment to keep you warm while riding. Cold weather is fatiguing and is very easy to get caught up in the ride and not realize how tired or cold you are. Be sure to take frequent stops and to warm up regularly.

6. Improper Gear

Even though you may be working up a sweat as you ride, be sure you are wearing proper gear for the cold weather. Gloves and ear warmers are definitely a necessity.

7. Icy Roads

Icy roads are a common concern for cyclists. Frosty morning and dropping temperatures at night can create a thin layer of ice on the roads. Be extra cautious during those times of the day and careful when crosses bridges or into shady areas, as those tend to ice over first.

8. Fewer Riders

As riders start putting their bicycles away for the winter months, there will be fewer riders on the road.  Automobile drivers will not be expecting to see cyclists on the road as much.  As a cyclist you must make yourself as visible as possible.

No matter the season, there are always going to be hazards cyclists need to be aware of. However, knowing what to be prepared for in the fall months may help you stay safe while getting those final rides in.

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident and are seeking compensation, give Christensen and Hymas a call today for a free consultation at (801) 506-0800.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.