Fall mountain biking could hands down be the most gorgeous season to ride bikes. The cooler weather and scenery fall brings to our mountains can make a pleasant ride for all riders. However, it’s not all peaches and cream riding bikes in the fall. If you’re riding somewhere new, leaves covered trail can be your worst enemy. Especially if you cannot follow the trail line or unknown to you there are big rocks, nasty roots, etc., underneath the leaves that could make you endo. (Paying your flesh tax by going over the handlebars) If you’re riding in a new place where park rangers or local bike club has blown the leaves off the trail, be sure to thank them. A lot of experience riders can follow or read the trails very well. My biggest difficulty when riding in the fall at a place I’m familiar with is maintaining control of my bike. Riding on leaves is almost the same as riding on ice! Countless of times I nearly lost control so bad that I could have broken my shoulder, cracked a rib, another concussion, broken arm, or worse, damage my bike! I have pedals where my feet are “clipped” into the pedals to prevent me from losing cadence from bouncing off roots, rocks, etc. Most people that see my pedals says it a “death trap” but really it’s fairly easy to “unclip” otherwise I would have suffered all of the injuries above. I actually came down a hill at a moderate speed and made a sharp turn and barely tapped my brakes on a leave covered trail, then the bike just slid out from under me and I unclipped in a nanosecond. As I put my foot down, I nearly twisted my ankle in the process. Fall mountain biking definitely keeps you on your toes. Not only you have difficulty maintaining control of the bike on sharp turns, but climbing can be a chore. I’ve lost traction countless of times on steep climbs due to the leaves providing virtually no traction. Either that or I just don’t weight enough to keep the bike glue to the trails, or both!