Abi Scott, business owner

Welcome to Doug Scott Cycles. I'm Abi Scott, cyclist, shop manager, and business owner. Here at Doug Scott Cycles we supply high quality bicycles and accessories, and deliver servicing and repairs for people in the Hull and East Yorkshire area.

It seems that every year, no matter how carefully I watch for it, autumn and the cold weather just appears as if from nowhere. The beauty of autumn is undeniable, but as a cyclist there are things to watch out for.

As the temperature drops it is important to stay warm. Hypothermia can sneak up on you even on sunny days. It's time to dig out the gloves, the thicker socks, and something to cover the ears. It's time to think about keeping a set of clothes at work to change into, and have some warmer clothes to cycle in. Shorts and a t-shirt are not good cycling attire for autumn! Autumnal weather is unpredictable. There can be swings in temperature, and a calm, sunny morning can quickly become a blustery, rainy afternoon. Many of you have smart-phones. Get a good weather app, and keep an eye on it. Some people say that there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. They might be right. Be prepared.

Autumn is a great time to ride a bike to work. Photo by Ian Sane (http://www.flickr.com/photos/31246066@N04/)

As the temperature drops over the months of autumn the dark starts to make its appearance. Dawn comes later, and dusk comes earlier. It's time to make sure you're visible on the roads. Lights should be clean and bright, and batteries should be fresh. Reflectors on the saddle-post and pedals should be visible where possible. Clothing should be light in colour, maybe a high-vis jacket or tabbard, and where this is not possible reflective strips should be used. Probably the single most used excuse by motorists for hitting cyclists is "I didn't see the cyclist." Often this is actually the case. Don't give motorists the excuse. Be seen.

Shades of Autumn. Photo by Beverley Goodwin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bevgoodwin/)

Because autumn means the end of leaves on trees, and the start of consistently damp or wet roads, it's time to consider even more carefully where you're riding on the road. Piles of leaves in the gutter can look like fun to ride through, but they cover up all sorts of dangers. There can be potholes, drains, gravel, general road junk - heck, even the odd hedgehog! Stay away from leaves. Not only do they reduce traction, but killing a hedgehog or swerving to miss a hedgehog and ending up in front of a bus can really ruin your day. Be careful.

Making sure you are ready for autumn is not the only thing to think about. Your bike must be ready too. It's time for a service. New pads for the brakes, proper lubrication and adjustment on the gears and bearings, making sure the tyres are safe and grippy - you can be prepared for autumn, but if your bike is unsafe then you're wasting your time.

It's also important to make sure your riding position is correct. We've a small article about it on our articles page, but if you want us to set up your bike for you simply give us a ring, ask if it's convenient, and pop in. For only £5.00 we'll set up your ideal riding position for you.

Give us a ring today. We can service your bike, we can supply protective clothing and help you see and be seen, and can help with security products so that the dark evenings don't make it easier for thieves who want to deprive you of your pride and joy.

We carry out servicing on all types of bikes, and our Cytech trained mechanics will make sure your bike is running smoothly. A full service for your bike can cost as little as £25.00 (plus any necessary parts), so there's no excuse to not service your bike. A well-maintained bike is a safe bike. I'm sure you'll agree, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Autumn is a beautiful time of the year. If you're ready for it, and your bike is too, then there is no better way to enjoy autumn than by riding your bike through it.

Follow us on Twitter, at @DougScottCycles Why not follow us on Twitter too? News, views, updates, advice - we aim to bring the warmth back to social media!

Richard Smith, Our fully-qualified cycle-mechanic

At Doug Scotts we carry out our own servicing and repairs. Richard is our fully-qualified Cytech cycle-mechanic, and has many years of hands-on experience. He assembles, repairs and builds our bicycles.