Layering Up for the Fall

I’ve already talked about how to layer up for the coldest months, but what about when it’s just a tad chilly? Layers are vital, more important in 50 – 60 degree weather than in 30 – 40 degree. As you begin to ride, your blood starts to move and your body warms up, and so does the day. A chilly 60 degree morning can turn into a bright, sunny 70 degree afternoon. How do you prepare for the change in weather?

Base layer: As always, start with a base layer. This is where a nice athletic specific product really pays off, but you can also use a t-shirt. In an athletic specific product you’re looking for a close-fitting shirt or pant with moisture wicking fabrics to keep the sweat away from your body. If you’re shuffling through your drawer for something you already own, pick a tight fitting t-shirt, preferably not cotton. Polyester or mixed fabrics work best.

Middle layer:  There are a lot of ways you can go for a middle layer. On the athletic side, I recommend arm warmers and leg warmers. Easy to put on and take off, these are versatile adjustments to your clothing situation. A lightweight long sleeved shirt would suffice to put on over your base layer. This layer is all about insulation and keeping warm.

Top layer: A top layer in the fall weather isn’t always necessary, but if it’s windy or damp you might want a weather-resistant or wind-breaker jacket to take the edge off. For a bit of extra warmth, add a vest.

The one item to buy: Arm-warmers or leg-warmers. These tubes of Lycra keep your arms and legs warm and dry during the chilly part of the mornings, but slip off easily and pack down to fit into a pocket. Make sure you’re purchasing a pair with grippers  (rubbery, elastic bands at the top and bottom) that help keep the warmers in place, and look for zippers in the leg warmers for ease of removal.