Some riders prefer to have their motorcycle parked before the sun sets. Others are night owls, happily riding into the wee hours of the night. Really, this is a matter of preference. Are you an early bird who greets the sunrise? Or does your energy peak sometime after sunset?
If you are the latter, than you know what a special treat it can be to ride in the cool of the summer night. The sweltering heat and humidity are transformed into cool refreshingly moist air; it can almost feel as refreshing as swimming on a hot August day. Early birds experience something similar riding in the early morning, but it is not exactly the same. While both are cooler than the full heat of the day, riding into the dark is also riding into the increasing cold, especially on a clear, cloudless night.
Whatever your preference, as autumn advances and the days grow shorter, it is likely you will spend more time riding in the cool of the night. If you commute by motorcycle, night riding is even more likely after daylight savings time ends, when the sun will set an hour earlier. The challenging part of riding into the evening during the autumn is being prepared for the increasing cold. In some parts of the country autumn days can feel downright warm, yet the temperature can drop as much as 30 degrees in the night. Equipping your bike with extra warm riding gear is a wise idea. Even if winter is still weeks away, you can experience hypothermia. Another thing to keep in mind is that the autumn season is also mating season for ruminant animals such as deer, elk and moose. After sunset from twilight into dusk expect increased occurrences of animals crossing the road.
Be prepared for the changing weather. Stay alert for the furry road hazards and don't forget wet leaves. You can safely extend your rides into the cool of the night.
Till next time, ride safe!