It’s around about now each year that people start telling you that Autumn is on its way – you need to start wearing warmer clothes and being depressed. To be honest, this message mostly starts because all the retailers have got their Autumn / Winter stock in the shops!

But it’s bullshit! Right now is actually my favourite time of year for riding. Here’s why:

  1. If the weather has been ropey all summer then typically it stabilises a bit in September meaning you can plan your rides ahead a bit more.
  2. If the weather has been good all summer then you probably have a good amount of speed in your legs so you can really go out and fly on the bike
  3. Likewise, if the weather has been good you may have accidentally slipped into a blasé attitude about it being sunny regularly. September reminds us that the Sun is very short lived in this country so we need to go out and ride as much as possible. Cherish every moment.
  4. Sale season starts! Cyclists, and indeed retailers, like to shift all that lovely gear for less at this time of year because they feel that no-one cycles past October! Fantastic for bargains
  5. The kids go back to school. We all love our kids of course, but if you have spent 6 weeks looking after the little blighters then now, all of a sudden extra time has been freed up (or you have been allowed to go back to work). This also means there is less traffic in the middle of the day so lunchtime rides become more pleasant.
  6. It is still warm enough for short sleeve jerseys! And in fact, September can often throw some real hot days at us. Crumbs I remember cycling around the Isle of Wight in October in temperatures close to 30 degrees! Long live the Indian Summer in the UK.
  7. Hill Climb season kicks in. This time of year is when all the Hill Climbs kick off. So it’s a great time to think about your climbing capabilities. Go forth and seek some hills
  8. Cyclocross season is nearly upon us. If you like road bikes, but also like mud you really should get involved with cyclocross – it is a superb sport that’s open to everyone and very exciting to watch.
  9. Sportives – there are still plenty of sportives happening all over the country. Some really good ones too. We’ll be riding 100 miles at the New Forest Sportive in October so September is key training for us :-)
  10. Tan lines – every one has maxed out their cyclist tan lines all summer – let the funny contrasting line competition commence…

September riding – I bloody love it. If you are just getting started with cycling – it isn’t “too late in the year” to pick up a pick and go riding. You have loads of time left. Get involved and spread the word that cycling is hot all year round.

picture via