The year isn't over yet: We round up 11 cycling-related things to do in the coming months before Christmas arrives. If you're lacking a bit of inspiration as the nights get darker, then try some of these...
1 Visit the Cycle Show
Over 300 exhibitors will be airing their wares at this weekend’s Cycle Show at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (September 23-25), making the 15th edition of the event the biggest yet. It’s a great chance to peruse a load of shiny 2017 kit before it hits the shops. Plus, there is plenty more to entertain you, including talks by top riders such as Ed Clancy and Joanna Rowsell Shand, a test track and displays. Get a 10 per cent discount of fthe proce of adult tickets using our special code when you book online: ‘cycweek’.
2 Watch the World Championships
An unusually late slot for the 2016 UCI Road World Championships means that it takes place in October, with the cream of international road cycling converging on Doha, Qatar, to settle the individual time trial, road race and team time trial titles. The flat course mean that it’ll be a race for the sprinters, and Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish is hoping to add to his 2011 road title with Lizzie Deignan (née Armitstead) out to defend her 2015 win.
3 Ride an autumn sportive
The British sportive calendar used to start tailing off as the months headed into winter, but now there are events every weekend right through to December. Our events calendar is a good place to start looking, as it allows you to choose an event by date or region. Or if you really don’t fancy riding a big event this year, then why not start planning next year’s spring sportives?
4 Watch the Revolution Track Series
It’s now easier than ever to watch the ever-popular Revolution Track Series. Nothing can quite being at the track-side in person, but this year Cycling Weekly is broadcasting live video with commentary from Ned Boulting direct from our Facebook page. There are two rounds remaining of the UK Championship: Glasgow on October 8 and Manchester on October 22. For ticket and event information visit the Revolution Series website.
5 Get your bike ready for winter
You don’t have to do anything to your bike to carry on riding it through winter, but that’s not always a good idea if you don’t want to either wreck it or have an unpleasant experience in winter weather. We’d recommend the minimum of fitting full-length mudguards and wider, puncture-resistance tyres to cope with road conditions. And it’s also a sensible idea to keep a set of lights on your bike to mark your presence to other road users, and have them in case your ride takes longer than you expected. Make sure that you have all of your spares, multi-tool and clothing sorted too.
6 Grab a late-season bargain
The shops and online retailers are busy clearing their shelves ready for the influx of 2017 bikes, clothing and products – and they are all fighting for your custom. That means one thing: bargains. Now is the time to scoop up a new pair of shoes, revamp your toolkit, gets some badly-needed new parts or even buy a new bike. We’re currently running regular articles highlighting the current bargains, like these deals on Castelli clothing and our frequently updated Deals of the Week page.
7 Go for a night ride
As the days shorten and the nights draw in there’s no reason not to still go out for an evening spin after work – or just for the sake of it. Night riding can be great fun, and with the price of super-bright front lights at an all-time low right now there’s no excuse not to see and be seen. Even familiar routes take on a whole new aspect under the beam of an LED light. And you can get back safe in the knowledge that those expended calories mean that you deserve an extra helping of pudding.
8 Try cyclocross
Cyclocross in one form or another has been around almost as long as the modern safety bicycle. Over the decades it has evolved into a winter sport, where riders compete in hour-long races usually on an off-road, lap-based course including obstacles. Cyclocross bikes are easy to get hold off, partly due to their rising popularity as commuting bikes and ‘all-rounders’.
9 Do your new longest ride
Autumn is actually a pretty good time to go for a long ride. It’s hard to beat a fine autumn day when the roads are dry, avoiding the heat of summer that can pose the threat of dehydration on a long ride. Planning is key: check the long-range weather forecast to pick a good day, and spend a bit of time planning your route. Riding somewhere new, or with others will make the experience all the more memorable.
10 Book a foreign cycle trip
Although a truly hardy cyclist will carry on riding through the winter, sometimes you just have to feel a bit of warmth on your back. Cheap winter deals on flights and accommodation can mean an inexpensive cycling trip abroad, particularly if you choose times outside school holidays. There are also several companies that now offer package training trips specifically for cyclists, with everything included. All you have to do is turn up with your bike (and your toothbrush).
11 Try an e-bike
An electric bike – that’s cheating! Well, it might be – but that doesn’t mean that they are not a lot of fun. See e-bikes as a viable alternative form of travel, along with bikes that you pedal along. The latest selection of e-bikes caters for a wide range of prices and tastes, with many regular bike shops as well as specialist e-bike retailers offering them. Of course, you don’t have to buy one – you can always just hire one out for a day or two, just to see what the fuss is about.