The First Day of Fall

Well, not really (the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere falls on September 22 this year). But, we year-round bicycle commuters have our own way of gauging the seasons. We experience the ebb-and-flow of nature directly, in a way that can’t be discerned from behind the wheel of a car. Just this morning, I stepped out and realized it was time to put the lights back on the bike, which in my mind, signifies the first day of the fall bike commuting season.

What are some of the changes in your routines and rituals that signify a seasonal shift?

20 Responses to “The First Day of Fall”

  • Zyzzyx says:

    Not so much a change in what I’m doing, as in what the weather is doing. Should be cooling down a bit in a couple weeks, make it more bearable to get back on the bike. Just gotta get through the traditional heat of Labor Day weekend.

  • Jonathan says:

    Like you, the need for lights marks a big change for me, but so too does the need for wearing gloves during my morning ride. (I start thinking about a dynamo light again too…)

  • Alan says:


    Yeah, gloves, a cap, a few layers, my entire dressing routine changes this time of year. In the heat of summer I carry a change of clothes, but as the weather cools, I can ride in my work clothes, no problem. Since we don’t get too much rain, I actually find prepping for riding simpler in the winter.

  • Cullen says:

    Here in Wisconsin ,Autumn and Spring are very tricky seasons to commute in. The weather fluctuates so much, and you don’t know what to expect. You could cycle to work in the morning, in 40 degree weather, wearing a light spring jacket. You could then bike home at night, in 28 degree weather (and snow!), wishing you wear wearing your winter coat.

  • Perry says:

    In California fall commuting meant King Boletes on my way home, on the East Coast I find Hen of the Woods instead (both under oak trees!). Also means gloves and getting home after dark.

  • John B says:

    Fingerless gloves, light gloves, heavy gloves.

  • Julie says:

    I felt it this week, too, here in Western New York, in the form of a morning ride to work where I was actually chilly for a few minutes.

  • Stuart says:

    It never really felt like Summer here in Sac, not the Summer I’m used to. I’ve been grateful for smooth riding all year, what I’m ready for is the SMELL of autumn, the sweetness of turning leaves. I can’t wait to see a little more green and a little less gold, the signal to switch to a darker beer.

  • Jimbo says:

    spring down here – morning tang in the air, warm northerlies, cherry blossoms = drop a few layers.

  • DerrickP says:

    Tonight I was riding with my three kids. Two on the Xtracycle and one in a trailer behind. My three year old said, “Daddy, I’m cold! Can I have a jacket?” I said those exact words out loud. “It must be fall!”

  • Larry Guevara says:

    This time of the year matches the sunrise with my commute as I rode south and I can look to my left and see the Sierra crest, Sawtooth Peak in Mineral King, and Homer’s Nose, in shadow just before the bright peek of sun.

    In a few weeks the sun will be a position where it is difficult to see cars coming from the freeway offramp, so I try to adjust my riding time, or even change my route.

  • Phil Barns says:

    In England, the rain gets heavier *grin* Seriously, I know autumn is close when I have to pack my Buffalo Special 6 jacket just in case there is more than drizzle during my commute. The Buffalo is really overkill for autumn- it has kept me warm down to -15- but I’ll probably be wearing it on most rides between September and April.

  • Kate says:

    The biggest thing I notice is the wind. Here it Toronto the wind really picks up in the fall. It seems to blow in one direction: right into my face. It was very windy yesterday, I hope that doesn’t mean we will be having an early fall/winter! :(

  • HowardBollixter says:

    Need I mention the obvious? Snotrockets! ‘Tis the season, mornings, anyway. Blort.

  • Alan says:


    Thanks for that (TMI)… LOL :-)

  • David steele says:

    I love opening the door first thing in the mornig and breathing in the air. There is something magic here in Ireland about the first hints of autumnal crispness in the air. I feel truly blessed getting my dahon from the garage, putting on an extra layer and rolling down to the train station through the park. It’s a privilege to cycle to work this time of year.

  • Richard Masoner says:

    First day of fall? I’m still waiting for summer to start here in Santa Cruz!

  • Alan says:

    I’ve heard it’s been pretty dreary down there this summer! It’s supposed to heat up here next week so perhaps you’ll get a respite from the fog…

  • Christo says:

    Nothing to do with my commute (although in the North of England I’m getting to the stage of popping a rear light on in the morning, but no change in clothes yet although I’m a hardy soul…) but I’d like to know what the bar bag in the picture is – I really need to move from a rucksack to a bar or rack bag or combo of the two.

  • Alan says:


    The bag is from Freight Baggage in SanFrancisco. It’s actually designed to sit atop a porteur-style rack:


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