With the current ongoing coronavirus outbreak, freedom is a luxury many of us are missing. With the restrictions of lockdown in full swing, it can be hard to muster the motivation to exercise indoors, whether on the turbo trainer or online workout. But, there is a solution - current government advice allows for everyone to leave the house once per day for solo exercise, making it the perfect opportunity to get out and explore your local area by riding a bike.
Being asked to stay at home is tough for anyone, with the social distancing measures making it impossible to see friends and family. Physical activity is crucial during times like these, allowing you to keep on top of both your physical and mental health in the long term. There is no denying that the current situation is stressful, but focusing on exercise is one way to stay on top of the anxiety.
The Rules on Cycling During Coronavirus
The current guidance from Boris Johnson and Public Health England is that whilst you can still exercise outside once per day, as long as you maintain social distancing of two metres from other people. Although there is no maximum time limit for the exercise, shorter, local rides are recommended.
What You Can Do:
- - Exercise once per day outdoors (including cycling)
- - Ride to work if you are an essential worker
- - Cycle to pick up essentials or take care of a vulnerable person
- - Ride roads, bridleways, and some designated trails
What You Can't Do
- - Group rides, only solo or with members of your household
- - Ride more than once a day
- - Cycle at any closed location (trail centres, outdoor tracks etc.)
A Note on Staying Safe
We all know maintaining good health and fitness is key, but it is equally important that you ride within your ability at this time. The emergency services are under enough pressure without you being involved in an unnecessary crash. Reign it in, ride with caution and follow Singletrack's guidelines, �No car, no gnar, not far�.
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We'd like to appeal to all riders to ride responsibly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here in the UK there are specific restrictions on leaving your home. Wherever you are in the world, it will represent the mountain bike community well if you are seen to be doing all you can to help prevent the spread of the virus between locations, and to minimise the risk of being an additional burden on your health service through injury. Ride from home, ride with restraint, and don't go far: No car, no gnar, not far. Thank you. #rideresponsibly #coronavirus #mtb
How to Make the Most of Your Local Cycling
Although exercising during coronavirus has its limitations, it is important to not forget how great it can be to get out and spin your legs around a local circuit. Whether road, MTB, hybrid or electric bike, everyone's local riding scene will have something to offer. We caught up with #TeamRutland member Chris Teagles late last year to ask him about his local scene, the benefits of riding from your house and more:
You can't beat local riding, wheeling the bike straight out the shed, cruising through the traffic and cutting off the beaten track and straight onto the trails - there's nothing better. I hate the faff of loading the car up, sitting in traffic and paying for parking before you've even swung your leg over the bike. Granted we don't all live in Wales or the Peak District, but it shouldn't matter. If you look hard enough there is some fun to be had, not far from your doorstep� - Chris Teagles
We think this is now more relevant than ever, with your local cycling being as challenging as your want to make it. Why not find your local hills and push yourself on the climbs, improve your pedalling technique, or challenge your trials skills on an obstacle course in the garden? The possibilities are endless, even if you are limited to one ride per day!
You can even use your bike to help out those in need, see the full British Cycling article on how to help here.
Strava & Training Apps - Challenge Your Friends
For those used to riding in a group, solitary rides can seem a little dull, and it's certainly harder to build the enthusiasm to push yourself without the drive of chasing someone up the hill. But, here is where Strava comes in. Strava is a fantastic app that tracks your rides using GPS, allowing you to see key stats such as distance, speed and elevation with ease.
Logging your miles is a great way to keep track of your progress, and whether your target is mileage, pace or elevation Strava will help to keep you motivated. Want to join our Strava club? Find us here!
Although you cannot ride with your friends, trying to beat their times on your local hill is the next best thing. By using GPS data Strava automatically adds both your times and the times of other Strava users to local leaderboards, pitching you against other riders' times. This is an excellent way to push yourself and to build fitness, highlighting your progress as you get closer to the top times. Pushing yourself on a climb is a great way to get fit without riding long distances.
Strava's segment explorer tool is great for finding local climbs and timed segments, so what are you waiting for! Always ride within your ability and stay safe.