Fall is one of the best times of the year to ride in Davis and the surrounding areas, whether it’s a solo ride or cycling event. With the change in seasons, it’s a also good time to make sure you have what you need to keep cycling. Tires, helmets and lights are a good place to start.
Checking your tires for bald spots, wear, and cracks is a good idea before you set off, even for a short ride. Proper tire inflation is important; check the side of your tire to get the psi rating and use a tire pump with a gauge to get accurate inflation.
It’s a good idea to wear a helmet whenever you cycle, and it is mandatory for children under the age of 18. An added incentive to have your children wear helmets? There’s a $25 fine if they are cited for not wearing one. Check your helmet to make sure it fits properly, and that the straps and buckle are in good condition.
If you cycle after dark, you need lights. Headlights must be white and visible for at least 300 feet. A red reflector on the rear of your bike or a taillight is also required, and taillights must be visible for at least 500 feet. Pedal reflectors in white or amber (or the rider must have reflectors on their shoes or ankles), should be visible for at least 200 feet. Wheel reflectors are also required for the front and rear wheels, or reflectorized tires. The City of Davis Police begin enforcing bike light use shortly after sunset, although it is a good idea to also use lights 30 minutes before sunset and 30 minutes after sunrise. In addition, a reflective safety vest will make you even more visible to motorists at night.
Many of the new students in town don’t have a lot of cycling experience, and they probably aren’t used to driving in a town with bike paths and lots of cyclists. Using hand signals when turning, always checking over your left shoulder before you change lanes or turn, and watching for cars suddenly pulling out of side streets and driveways will help keep you safe. The City of Davis’ bicycle code is online, and now’s a good time to check it to make sure you’re up to date. https://library.qcode.us/lib/davis_ca/pub/municipal_code/item/chapter_6
Cycling options are plentiful in October. The Davis Bike Loop is 12 miles round trip, and is a great way to get your cycling in. Take some food and a book and take a break along the loop to enjoy the fall.
If you want to get more experience in longer distances, sign up for Foxy’s Fall Century. This is one of the Davis Bike Club’s most popular events and features three different ride options: a 100 mile century through Yolo, Solano and Napa counties, a metric century (100k) through Yolo and Solano counties, and the flat 50k ride to Winters and back. The event is limited to 1500 riders, and volunteers are always welcome to help run the event.
This year Foxy’s ride is Saturday, October 21, and all three routes start and finish at the Veterans Memorial Center, 203 East 14th Street, Davis. The 100 mile century and 100k metric century are $82 per rider, the flat 50k is $35 per rider; prices includes food along the way and a catered meal at the end. For more information go to davisbikeclub.org/foxys-fall-century/
Looking for less distance and some scary fun? The Davis Odd Fellows and The Bike Campaign are teaming up to bring you Zombie Bike Ride V. Starting at noon on Sunday, October 29 and continuing until 3:00 p.m. you can ride the Davis Bike Loop and try to avoid zombies. At 3:30 p.m. zombies from Skydance Skydiving will land in Community Park, and you can finish the day at Central Park for the Zombie Mash Afterparty with food, drink, and dessert from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. As always, the Zombie Ride is free, and more information can be found at zombiebikeparade.com