Guide to Fall Cycling: The Pros and Cons

guide to fall cycling

Spiced lattes from your favorite coffee shop, the taste of cinnamon and nutmeg in your mouth, cozy layers, and breathtaking shades of amber glimmering from the branches of every tree — yes, fall has finally arrived. The months of September and October showcase the magic of the outdoors, which is why we love fall biking – and you should too!

Fall Riding Pros

Perfect Weather: With the seasonal change comes a welcomed drop in temperature. Autumn is a wonderful time to take your bicycle out for a spin because the crisp, refreshing air allows for more comfortable rides. You can finally move on from the feeling of stickiness after each bike ride! (What a relief!)

The transitioning weather also offers riders the perfect opportunity to invest in new gear, ditching thin, loose clothing for a soft layer of fleece and packing your bicycle with bike bags while you enjoy cooler and longer rides. 

Fewer Riders: Fall is a great time to ride through trails. Most trails and paths tend to be emptier during the season, so you can ride at your own pace without worrying too much about other cyclists. Less crowded trails also mean it’s a great time for cyclists to experiment and try different types of biking like mountain biking, gravel biking, or even a cyclocross race!

Fun & Beneficial Incentives: The autumnal season also provides bikers with fun family-friendly activities like riding to a pumpkin patch, apple orchard, corn maze, or harvest festival! Bicycle commuting is also incredibly excellent during this time of year because cyclists can avoid catching seasonal colds from crowded buses or train cars. 

Stunning Colors: The best reason for fall bike rides is getting the opportunity to experience the yearly change in foliage. Each ride, you’ll notice the leaves transition from green to beautiful orange, yellow, and red hues, providing the perfect backdrop for cyclists. There’s nothing better than seeing the beauty of autumn while hearing the crunching sounds of leaves under your tires. The glimmering amber trees, morning fog, fall showers, and muddy paths create a magical setting for cyclists where one can truly feel immersed in the outdoors and the season. With that, whether you live in a city with changing seasons or are planning a fall trip, here are some of our favorite autumnal bike rides across the country!

guide to fall cycling

Trail Suggestions: 

  • Swamp Rabbit Trail, Greenville, SC
      • Found within the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, Swamp Rabbit Trail is a 20-mile-long ride along the Reedy River that lies between Greenville and Traveler’s Rest. This stunning bike trail attracts cyclists of all ages to take in the beautiful changing colors of the season. 
  • Kebler Pass, Crested Butte, CO
      • This mesmerizing section of the Aspens is adorned with shimmering trees that line the paths of two bike trails leading from the center of town to the mountain summit. Ride through dirt and paved roads from Kebler Pass to Lake Irwin for breathtaking views.
  • Carriage Roads, Acadia, ME
      • A series of carriage roads make up this beautiful path through Acadia. Colorful fall foliage covers the route, which winds through the center of the park and is made up of crushed rock, perfect for cycling.
  • Smuggler’s Notch Loop, VT
      • Smuggler’s Notch offers cyclists a thrilling adventure through the 65-mile loop around Mt. Mansfield. Experience the charm of Vermont as you ride along trails of glimmering golden trees and stop at nearby picturesque towns. If you have a sweet tooth, the Ben & Jerry’s factory is found on this trail!
  • Gitchi-Gami State Trail, MN
      • Enjoy panoramic views as you bike through 17 miles of coniferous forest and paved trails along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Along your Gitchi-Gami State Trail, you’ll take in majestic waterfalls, beautiful rolling hills, and an abundance of vibrant trees as you travel through Gooseberry, Silver Bay, and the Split Rock Lighthouse. 
  • Walkway Over the Hudson, NY
      • Ride high above the Hudson River on this stretch through Poughkeepsie. A favorite fall activity for many New Yorkers looking to escape the bustle of the city, this bike trail provides some remarkable views and the opportunity to bask in the glow of the season’s phenomenal hues of orange foliage. 
  • Chief Standing Bear Trail, Nebraska
      • This crushed limestone trail stretches from Beatrice, Nebraska, to the state’s border with Kansas. Along the way, you can see the mesmerizing autumnal landscape as you bike through the path that pays tribute to the Native American tribes who first inhabited the land. The trail is named after the chief leader of the Ponca tribe.
  • Kitsap Peninsula, Washington
      • With autumn in the air, head to Pudget Sound for an alluring ride along the Kitsap Peninsula. Feel the crisp air on your skin as you take in the mesmerizing sights of the amber trees reflected in the cool water. The bike route goes through a cute town full of bakeries and other fun activities to enjoy during the season.

    guide to fall cycling

    Fall Riding Cons

    However, with every good thing, there is almost always a small con, and autumn is no exception. While we can admire the gorgeous colors of the season, we must also hesitantly accept the shorter days. For many, the darkness can cause seasonal depression or the ‘winter blues.’ But this is where fall biking provides some of its most significant health benefits.  According to research from UCLA, regular biking relieves seasonal depression because of the mood-boosting endorphins your body releases when you exercise. Better yet, scheduling daily rides while the sun is out increases your exposure to the daylight and alleviates the winter blues. 

    So don’t let the shorter days stop you! Instead, take advantage of the season and enjoy Fall riding. As we mentioned, the new season and darker days are the perfect time to invest in new gear. If your bike ride or daily stroll takes you from day to night, gear up with reflective accessories to help you stay visible and safe. In addition to bike lights, reflective bags like our City Lights collection can help you adapt to the new season, no matter where your ride takes you. 

    Atria: This commuting workhorse is functional and reliable. Atria has enough pockets to keep all your belongings organized and secure. In addition, the reflective fabric and bike light attachment will keep you visible during your daily adventures.

    guide to fall ridingAster Hip Pack

    Aster: This versatile bag will hold your belongings comfortably all day and keep you visible with its reflective fabric. The adjustable strap allows you to wear Aster around your hip or over your shoulders while you roam the city.

    guide to fall cycling

    Spica: This reflective handlebar bag is perfect for folding bikes. Spica securely attaches to your handlebars and keeps everything you need within reach. Spica moves with you on and off the bike, converting into a practical crossbody bag.  

    If you’ve never experienced the joy of cycling in autumn, we hope after reading this you feel inspired to take in all that nature has to offer before winter arrives! Happy fall riding :)

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published