Beware: The leaves finally have begun to morph.
To the poets of the Springs, they hang from branches like copper teacups filled with pumpkin spice. It is the best time of year to ride. There is nothing more satisfying than slashing the gilded trails on 6 inches of squish, the golden crackle of crisp leaves under a knobby, rubber tire.
But the sun is setting quickly now, and the low temperatures soon will filter the trail traffic to include only the wild men and women among us. Those branches will hang naked with the weary loneliness of an old man who realizes there will be no visitors today.
For some of us, a drop in temperature means a day without the bike. It takes only one ill-prepared ride through freezing winds to make us second-guess our invincibility. I once sat huddled blue-skinned in the corner of my garage while my wife thawed me out with a hair dryer.
Bicycles are savage machines that come alive in cold weather. They excite me in strange ways.
Don't hang up the bike.
I used to be among the weak, letting the air in my tires slowly leak out during the cold months. Now I cheer for the Nordic winds to prevail and I lay down tracks. I pretend to understand what an Albuquerque Low is, and I speak excitedly of its arrival.
Cold-weather riding starts with a proper pair of gloves and socks - wind-resistant and thermal. My friends scoff at my earmuffs, but they can't hear my laughter through their frozen ear canals. Hypothermia is said to begin in the fingers and toes, but it's the ears that fall off first.
We are Coloradans, after all. We stomp around with ice in our beards and eyelashes and scoff at blank thermometers. The cold and snow will only serve to make us stronger.
And we have Fat Bikes in our town now.
Pico is the former president/publisher of Peak Region Cyclist. Read his columns on the second Thursday of each month in Out There.