The weather has definitely turned. There’s a nip in the air. Where once I was popping out in shorts and eschewing the need for gloves, now I’m sporting knee warmers and full fingered coverage. The green leaves have turned a rustic brown and fall in blizzards of ochre. Under wheel conditions are now more challenging with this slippery carpet of colour. But you now what? It’s quite fantastic.
In my view, this is the very best time of year to ride. When the sun shines, it’s reminiscent of summer but with a chill metallic edge to the air. There is colour absolutely everywhere. It’s at this time of year, the mid or post ride coffee stop really comes into its own, especially when exploring the city boundaries or beyond.
In Cardiff, we’re very lucky. We have a cycling artery that flows the length of the city and provides us cyclists with our lifeblood; access to the rolling hills and country lanes beyond. If you’ve visiting us, this is where you start your autumn riding experience. Leave the hotel and head for the Taff Trail. Admire Bute Park in the Fall where the full spectrum of yellow, orange, red and brown will be represented in the myriad of tree species (the park is full of rare and significant trees). Grab a quick coffee at one of the three cafes that cater for park users (the secret garden café is my fave). Head North to Blackweir, Hailey Park, Forest farm country park and beyond. If you have the energy Castle Coch is just lovely (and if the Taff is low you may even catch a fly-fisherman in the river, who will be chasing a catch of quite a different sort). Stop only when your legs tire or you need refreshment.
Autumn is the time to really stock. Revel in the weather. Prepare ourselves for winter. Feed our eyes on the changing landscape. And Cardiff, I would argue, is one of the finest cities to do just that.