Coronavirus: A Cyclists Guide
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the world, with the highly-infectious respiratory disease spreading rapidly through the world and leading to a terrible death toll.
Like so many countries, the UK has imposed a number of restrictions to try to mitigate the spread of the disease, also known as COVID-19. These revolve around self-isolation and social distancing.
For now, we are lucky enough to still be able to ride outside.
Read on for a few key points to consider to maintain health, keep riding, and keep disciplined through this strange and awful time.
The onus here is on washing your hands regularly and effectively.
Your hands are the main way that you can become infected with coronavirus. The hands form a transport mechanism for germs to move from whatever you have touched up to your face – which you touch thousands of times a day.
You should wash your hands regularly and thoroughly (20 seconds is the recommended duration). Try to make it a ritual whenever you come home from a ride or any trip outside to wash your hands, and do so repeatedly throughout the day.
Can I ride, and how much?
The good news is that – as the saying goes – outside is free. We’re still free to go outside to ride, which is a blessing! However, this is restricted to one ride per day, in groups of no more than two, ensuring you maintain social distancing.
While we are free to ride at this time, and it’s a great source of stress-relief and an escape from all the bad news, be mindful of how you ride and how much.
With the health system under a huge strain at the moment, the onus is on not crashing and hurting yourself – not just for your sake, but for everyone’s. We suggest you keep your outdoor rides on the short and sweet side of things. No five-hour mountain marathons – try to stick to around two hours maximum, and take it easy when you do so. Now is not the time to hunt for KoMs! Instead, just enjoy the air.
"With the health system under a huge strain at the moment, the onus is on not crashing and hurting yourself – not just for your sake, but for everyone’s."
You can go out for a ride with a buddy, providing you with live with them, but you cannot meet with anyone outside your household and in groups of no more than two. It's also vital to stay over two meters away from others – this is the recommended distance for ensuring you stay clear of infection if you were unknowingly carrying COVID-19. Remember – you can be infected with coronavirus and not know it – that’s what makes the disease so hard to contain. For that reason, make sure you go well stocked with food and drink, as you don’t want to have to stop at a shop unless you really need to.
Remember – being able to ride outside is a privilege – in some countries, such as Spain, you can’t even do that. So ride responsibly and carefully, or that privilege will be taken away. And then it’s turbo time for a long time!
Motivation, training, and routine
Although your summer cycling challenges and races have most likely cancelled and you’ve found yourself stuck in your house 24/7, make sure you keep a regular routine and continue to keep focussed on your health and fitness goals.
To keep you focussed on the bike, why not book into some late-season races so that you have something to keep you on track, and use Zwift as a tool to keep your competitive edge satiated.
"why not book into some late-season races so that you have something to keep you on track, and use Zwift"
Consider having a goal for every month – whether that be to race on Zwift at least one time, to have completed a month of a new training plan you’ve signed up to, or just to have ridden twice per week all month. Any goal that keeps your mind focussed is good!
The days may all start to blend into one as you work from home and aren’t able to get out to socialise. But make sure you maintain a routine – don’t sit in your pyjamas eating ice cream all day! Get out of bed at the same times, eat your normal meals, and train at the same times as you did before.
"don’t sit in your pyjamas eating ice cream all day!"
Why not organise a group ride on Zwift to replace your normal weekend club run? And replicate your Friday night out with a video call with your buddies on apps such as ‘House Party.’ Keeping your typical weekly routine will keep your life feeling ‘normal’ and will help you maintain focus on your training and diet goals.
And when life gets back to normal….
Make sure you show your support for all the small cafes and cycling shops that may have shut down during the recent lockdowns. While many shops offering mechanical work have been able to stay open, so many of your favourite independent coffee shops, emergency inner tube outlets, and bonk-saving bakeries have not. So when the lockdowns are lifted, go pay them all a visit!
While our factory in Italy has unfortunately had to close temporarily, the good news is that we still have plenty of stock, so you can still ride with the comfiest, most stylish socks in the peloton.
Stay safe, and stay well!