Great autumn cycling advice from the November issue of Cyclometer:
The summer is over, but that does not mean that bikes need to be put away in storage. Cycling in the fall can be fun and rewarding, but you should take a few extra precautions to make sure that you stay safe.
Leaves piled up near the curb can be dangerous for cyclists because they make the road narrower and because wet leaves are extremely slippery. When on your bike, make sure to avoid riding over leaf piles, and be extremely cautious if you need to ride over wet leaves: do not lean or brake sharply. When taking care of your front yard and driveway, make sure that you do not put leaves on the road: compost them, use them as mulch, or put them in yard waste bags for pick-up.
If you ride a bike regularly in fall and winter, be prepared to spend some of your riding time in the dark when visibility for all road users is reduced. Make sure other road users see you by wearing bright and/or reflective clothing and check that your front white light(s) and back red light(s) have fresh batteries. Communicate clearly with drivers and other cyclists by signalling all of your turns and stops. Check over your shoulder regularly to stay aware of all other road users around you.
When riding on wet pavement, be ready for reduced traction. Do not lean sharply into the turns and try to avoid especially slippery surfaces (such as metal plates and grates, road paint and wet leaves). Braking performance may be reduced, so slow down and be prepared for a greater stopping distance. Do not ride over puddles – you do not know what hazards they might be hiding.