Please be advised that the suggestions below may differ depending on where you live and the advisories of your local authorities. No matter where you are, please follow the advice of medical professionals and local rules and advice in your country or region.
We’re incredibly lucky to share a sport that can be enjoyed in spite of the current pandemic sweeping across the World. In fact, many countries have encouraged cycling as a means to maintain your physical and mental health during lockdowns and quarantine periods.
Exercise supports many aspects of your health and wellbeing, including your immune system, so while many of us are being instructed to practice social distancing it is important to include exercise as part of your daily routine.
“During this difficult time, it’s important to continue looking after your physical and mental health,” advises Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO). “This will not only help you in the long-term, it will also help you fight COVID-19 if you get it.”
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet to help boost your immune system
- Limit alcohol and sugary drinks
- Don’t smoke. It can exacerbate COVID-19 symptoms and increase your risk of getting seriously sick
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day for adults and an hour a day for kids
- If you’re allowed to go outside, go for a walk, run or bike ride while keeping a safe distance from others
- If you can’t leave the house, dance, do some yoga or walk up and down the stairs
- People working from home shouldn’t sit too long in the same position
- Take a 3 minute break every 30 minutes
- Get your mind off of the crisis. Listen to music, read a book or play a game
“It’s normal to feel stressed, confused and scared during a crisis.Talking to people you know and trust can help,” Tedros said. “And try not to read or watch too much news if it makes you anxious. Get your information from reliable sources once or twice a day.”
Solo outdoor riding has been encouraged in many countries such as Australia and the UK, and a home trailer or stationary bike provides an excellent alternative for those in self-isolation or otherwise unable to leave the house.
If you still need to commute to work (as many essential service employees may be required to), consider the bike as an alternative to public transport, which poses significant challenges to social distancing recommendations. Not to mention, will have you arriving at work warmed up for the day!
Beyond the obvious risks of infection posed by the Coronavirus, a side effect of the unfolding crisis is stress, which itself can place pressure on your immune system.
As more and more of us find ourselves confined to home over the coming weeks and months, setting up a quarantine routine is probably one of the most important ways you can maintain some structure and normalcy in your day.
Getting out of the house for solo exercise and riding is a great way to clear your head, maintain a positive outlook and cure cabin fever. Luckily in many parts of the world cycling is still encouraged outside, provided it is on your own.
This means no park-ups before or after, and riding with a clear 1.5 meter margin between you and any other solo riders you may encounter or pass out on the roads. As there are many different jurisdictions and guidelines around the world, we suggest taking heed to the rules from your local governing bodies, and taking extra safety precautions before you do go for a ride.
It’s sensible to wash or use disinfectant wipes on your bike and equipment before and after riding. This includes your bike (especially the handlebars and hoods), your helmet, shoes and any water bottles.
If you are lucky enough to be in a country where riding solo is permitted, we’ve put a few do’s and don’ts together to ensure you’re keeping yourself and your community safe.
Do’s and Dont’s
- Ride with anyone. (You may ride with one other person you live with, but you should be side-by-side with at least 1.5 meters between you, or behind each other with a 2 metre gap)
- Share equipment such as pumps/tools
- Share bikes
- Park up at coffee shops/ interact with other cyclists before, during or after the ride
- Spit or expel droplets of any kind while riding
- Ride with headphones in
- Take any unnecessary risks, the health care system is under great strain
- Ride on your own
- Wear reflective or highly visible apparel
- Ride with lights
- Follow all road rules
- Enjoy your ride!
Riding safely is more important now than ever. Right now anyone riding outdoors should take extra safety precautions so they aren’t in any danger of putting more strain on our health care systems, which are already at or at threat of reaching capacity soon.
Make sure you’re not tackling any remote or overly adventurous routes on your own in the coming months. Ensure you always have your phone with you, and that someone who you live with knows where you’re going and what time to expect you home.
Since sharing pumps and other equipment is not advised, make sure your saddle bag is fully stocked with everything you need. You can find our range of Attaquer Bags here to help you carry the essentials.
Ensuring your equipment is reflective/ bright is a great way to be seen on the road. All Attaquer bib shorts feature reflective logos, as do our saddle bags and warmers. Opt for brighter colours when reaching for your jersey.
Whether you’re riding early or during daylight, make sure you ride with lights, preferably front and back, and while it may go without saying, make sure they’re fully charged before each ride.
Need to stay indoors?
If you are in an area experiencing more significant lockdown conditions or cannot ride solo outdoors, home trainers or stationary bikes provide a fantastic alternative.
While these do require extra equipment, the proliferation of platforms such as Zwift have transformed the experience of riding indoors, providing both motivation and a sense of community. You can expect the cycling community as a whole to embrace platforms such as these, so they’re a great way to stay in touch with your riding mates (or make some new ones!)
Keep in touch with friends, and use the digital tools at your disposal to help your mates stay motivated and riding.
Attaquer itself has a Strava club, where we’ll be posting events and challenges in the coming weeks so join in and let’s ride this out together!