8 Things To Do During The COVID-19 Pandemic
The threat of Coronavirus is very real these days and we’re doing our best now to stay away from others in order to slow the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. The name of the game is physical distancing, and as humans we’re unfortunately a very social species. As cyclists we’re also a very active bunch, and for the most part don’t do well being confined to our homes, especially considering this is the time of year that we usually start group rides with Ride Club etc. For the immediate future we’re going to have to hang tight and forego ‘normal life’ for the sake of everyone around us, but there are things you can be doing to make it a little easier – whether you’re stuck inside at home, or still able to go out. Here are some ideas.
Trainer season is typically through the worst part of winter – they’re a great tool for keeping your fitness level up over the cold months when the weather is too miserable for riding to be fun or too icy to be safe. It turns out trainer season is going to be a bit longer this year, as they’re also a great way to keep yourself fit whilst in quarantine. It’s not quite as fun as riding a bike outside, but with apps such as Zwift, Sufferfest and Trainerroad and features that simulate road surfaces etc. indoor trainers are more fun and engaging than ever. Check out our article on trainers here or browse our collection of trainers – available online or in-store.
If you’re lucky enough to be in a place where you’re still allowed outside and able to ride your bike (as BC is at the time of writing) then that’s great. If you’re the kind of person that tends to ride in big groups, high-fiving the other riders or drafting on the road, it’s unfortunately time to change your riding habits. To slow the spread of COVID-19 we need to give space to everyone around us – approximately 6ft or 2m (this means tha for road cyclists that there is no safe distance to draft). You shouldn’t be riding with anybody outside of your immediate household but obviously riding alone is best. Riding solo can be fun and I actually quite enjoy it, just be sure to tell somebody where you’re going, and keep a phone on you in case of emergency. Check out these guidelines from NSMBA if you’re not sure what is and isn’t acceptable right now. Right now is not the time for taking risks, so if you’re mountain biking, maybe take your riding down a notch, stick to easier trails that you’re familiar with and don’t hit any features that are outside your comfort zone – it’s important to make sure not to add any extra burden to our healthcare system right now.
Try Road/Gravel Riding
If your main sport is mountain biking, maybe give road or gravel riding a go. If what we need to do right now is minimise risk, road and gravel riding can be significantly less risky than your typical mountain bike ride on the North Shore. Maybe dust off the road bike that hasn’t been out in a while and get it out for a spin – the roads are quieter now than ever, and as a result safer. You could even put fatter tires on your road bike if there’s clearance to do so and give gravel riding a try. A hardtail mountain bike can also make a great gravel bike – put some more air in the tires or throw on some skinnier ones and get out there! Check out our article on gravel riding here if you need some tips.
Practice Some Yoga
Yoga might not be the first thing that you think of to do with your time, but it’s great for us cyclists. We typically can be fairly stationary on the bike and as a group we tend to all have really tight hamstrings and back problems. Yoga is great for things like this and you can target different parts of the body depending what you’re having problems with. Start practicing some yoga now and you’ll feel great when you can get on the bike more regularly again! Check out the video below for a start, or check out Yoga With Abi on Pinkbike here.
Bike Movies and Media
Right now, many of the cycle-based media outlets are working overtime producing content because a lot of them are confined to their homes/offices, so there’s actually a lot of really engaging content out there, which is great if you’re confined to your home! Take the time to do some reading, learn some more about the sport you love, spend some time researching your next purchase, or reminisce over those iconic bikes from yesteryear. There are also a bunch of cycling movies out there that are free to watch – check out this list of free feature-length bike movies, Red Bull TV also has a bunch of free sports movie and clips, or watch Steve Peat’s Won’t Back Down below – a personal favourite of mine. Just try not to get too pumped to get out there…
Learn How Your Bike Works
If you have a few weeks off work there’s no better time to learn to wrench on your bike than now. Get out your set of allen keys, maybe get hold of a couple of other specialist bike tools depending how deep you want to go and get to work! If you’re just learning remember to take it slow, and if there’s something you’re not sure of, google it or look on youtube first – chances are there’s a tutorial for what you’re trying to do. Start with some basic maintenance such as cleaning, lubing your drivetrain and indexing your gears and work your way up from there. You can do most things on a bike with some allen keys, a rag, some grease and some chain lube.
For some bike maintenance tips, check out our other blog posts at the bottom of this page or check out this blog post on brake pads!
Park Tool have some great tutorials on their website for most common bike repairs, and Sheldon Brown is a font of knowledge for some of the older/more eclectic stuff. If you want to learn about wheels, I recommend getting hold of a copy of The Art of Wheel Building by Gerd Schraner and The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt – both are available online via Amazon etc. and are interesting reads.
Do Some Shopping
Now is a great time to plan your bike setup for the summer season – make sure you have all the right clothing, maybe replace some things that have worn out or been lost. You can go over your bike and decide on any parts that didn’t work for you last season and figure out what you want to change. BC isn’t fully closed down and we’re still open (right now), so there’s no reason you can’t get hold of the parts/bikes/clothing that you were hoping to. If you’re not fully comfortable coming into the store, our web-store has most items online, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for you’re always welcome to call or email us! We’re happy to arrange in-store pickup or delivery depending on what is most convenient for you. If you do want to come in store, we’ve taken measures to ensure that physical distancing is possible and that all customers and staff are as safe as they can be. We will be keeping our social media up to date with our opening hours and changes to store policies as the situation changes – check out our post here to see what we’re doing in-store to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Organise Your Kit Room
I’m a big fan of Seth’s Bike Hacks, and his recent video on organising his bike room has given me a ton of ideas for what I’d like to do to mine. If you’re anything like me though, you’ll never get around to it because there’s always riding to be done! Right now though if you’re self-isolating, there’s no better time to get started on it! There’s a lot can be done with a small amount of space if you just apply a bit of creativity. Hopefully this video inspires you into having a little more organisation in your life!