As we navigate our way through ever changing lockdown tiers, it is important to know what we can and cannot do as cyclists.
Although the latest guidance focuses on only riding with one other at a social distance, exercising once a day and “staying local”, there’s still much more you can do. For a more detailed look at the cycling rules during lockdown make sure to check out the guidelines on the British Cycling site.
But how can you make the most out of cycling if you have to stay close to home? Here are some tips for keeping your motivation up and staying bike fit in lockdown.
The first and most obvious way of getting the most out of lockdown is by riding indoors. This is arguably the most rewarding strategy as there are no limits, local boundaries or social distancing measures you have to follow in your own home.
For motivation and training, using a smart trainer paired with a program such as Zwift, with its in-built training plans, will help you stay race ready. For everything you need to know about training indoors, check out 9 Tips To Maximise Your Indoor Cycling This Winter.
Create a local route
At the time of writing, the rule to “stay local” is a bit ambiguous as there are no set boundaries in place. The guidance is to stay within your town or village but what does that mean if you live in a city? If you’re unable to train indoors due to lack of space and equipment but still want to exercise within the lockdown guidelines, think about creating a local criterium style loop.
If you have a local hill or quiet undulating piece of road that can be easily connected into a loop, doing reps of this circuit will be very beneficial. Take a leaf out of Pedalsure ambassador Chris Hall’s book who recently rode 451.5km worth of ascents and descents of Box Hill in aid of Movember. Explore the roads local to your home – you never quite know what you might stumble upon.
Learn how to mend your bike
Now would be a great time to learn more about the inner workings of your bike and how to keep it road ready. A clean, healthy bike is a happy bike and will perform to the best of its ability. Regular maintenance checks also prolong the life of its integral parts, which avoids you having to take it into the local bike shop too often. There are thousands of self-help bike maintenance videos on YouTube that will keep you busy for hours. To start with the basics, make sure to read 8 Maintenance Tips Every Cyclist Should Know.
Pick up a different bike
Perhaps you are a road rider who lives near the woods or a MTBer in the city. Make the most of your surroundings by riding the bike that best suits the terrain of your local area. The skills you learn and adapt from different disciplines, like bike handling and power output, can then be transferred to your road riding. Just look at multi-disciplined riders like Mathieu van der Poel, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Tom Pidcock. For more on different ways to enjoy the sport, check out How To Get Started In Mountain Biking and How To Get Started Riding On Gravel.
Exercise off the bike
Taking time off the bike to focus on other exercises is also a good thing to do in lockdown. Regular yoga and stretching sessions will help you massively when it comes to riding on your bike. A running loop may also be far more manageable and easier to create in keeping with the “staying local” guidelines. Trying out new things and different exercises will complement and improve your cycling.
Set goals for 2021 and beyond
To keep your motivation up during lockdown it may be worth setting some goals for 2021 and 2022. Anything from planning a trip to a cycling hotspot overseas, to a big goal like riding a certain distance in a year. Planning future trips, getaways, sportives and challenges will help keep your motivation up during lockdown, whether you’re training inside or out.
Most importantly, stay safe. Focus on having fun on the bike and enjoy your limited exercise outdoors, and remember – it won’t be like this forever. Look after yourself and those around you and we’ll be back out racing and riding with our friends in no time.
One thing that the national lockdowns have going for them is that they are shared experiences. Literally every single cyclist up and down the country is going through this time of restrictive training together. If you’re in a rut, seek out your fellow rider, training partner, friend, etc. on social media and learn what they are doing to get through the lockdown.
Now you may have more time to think about these things, it’s also worth looking at our cycle insurance policies. Pedalsure can insure all of your bikes and accessories and cover them even in your home. The fact is, you won’t find many of the things we cover in your typical home insurance policies.
Taking out a policy with us means that your bike is protected in cases of bike theft and damage. Pedalsure can also protect you, your bike and your accessories in mass participation events and races, in cases of personal injury, personal liability and when you are travelling abroad. Getting yourself set up with a Pedalsure policy is something you only have to do once a year, but you benefit from on every ride.