It’s time to adjust riding attire now that temperatures are dipping into the low 50s to high 40s in the morning. Actually, my attire doesn’t change at all. I wear what’s necessary for my destination, e.g. professor casual for work, which can include everything from jeans and a polo to a khakis, a tweed jacket and tie.
What changes is a couple of things to shrug off the chill or the rain for modest distances — up to four miles. My commute is all of 3/4 of a mile. But I still get around the urban core during the day — traveling often between campus and downtown.
Here’s the core of my system — the two things that make it work for fall riding:
Those are cheap cowhide gloves ($6 at Lowes) and a fleece ear thingy (not only do I not know how much it cost or where I got it, I have no idea what it’s even called) that fits easily under a helmet. I find that if my hands and ears are warm, I’m good to go down to about 35 degrees with nothing more than a fleece jacket over normal clothes.
I also begin carrying my day-glo windbreaker with me because it’s easy to get caught out after dark (I don’t wear it during the day because my lane position keeps me visible). It also doubles as emergency rain gear.
As for rain gear, I’m a big believer in buying what bass fishermen wear. I like the Worldwide Sportsman rain jacket and pants sold through Bass Pro Shops. A set will cost less than $100. I prefer yellow for visibility. This suit crushes down so that it easily fits into a backpack or pannier without hogging all the room.