5 Fun Things For Cyclists To Do While Social Distancing
We've entered into a strange, new era. As the world bands together to curtail the global COVID-19 pandemic, individuals and communities around the world are adjusting to new ways of life. Among these are the necessary practice of social distancing and a reprioritization of one's daily activities. For cyclists and triathletes, this means having to adjust your training schedule, treasure your available riding time, and balance your goals with everything else in your life. Always adhere to the recommendations from your local health officials. But make sure you're also taking care of your physical and mental health, as well as those loved ones. With that in mind, here's a list of five fun things that you, as a dedicated athlete, can do to spend your time during this global period of social distancing.
#1—Ride Your Bike
Always adhere to the recommendations of your local health officials. If they've given your community the go-ahead for bike riding, then do it! Yes, we'll all miss group rides for the time being, but today's serious situation demands solo rides. And, hey, nothing beats the tranquility and self-reflection that a solo ride can offer. Don't forget to perform all of the necessary pre-ride bike checks.
Have your bike make friends with an indoor trainer, then pedal to your heart’s content. Riding indoors has a lot of benefits over riding outdoors. These include being able to more easily structure your workout; not having to layer up your clothing to ward off foul weather; being able to watch your favorite movie or television show while riding; and even making a game out of your ride through services like Zwift. This is what like multi-time world champion Chloe Dygert and the TWENTY20 Pro cycling team do. Be sure to follow the TWENTY20 Pro Cycling team, who are the leading proponents of virtual bike racing and cutting-edge training techniques for those wishing to ride indoors. (Photo: Brian Hodes / @VeloImages)
#3—Work Out In Other Ways
To be a strong cyclist, you need to ride your bike. But to be among the strongest and fastest riders, you should also be working out in other ways. Running, stretching, weight lifting, aerobics, and core strength training are all great activities. They’ll not only make you more efficient on the bike, but they’ll also make your body healthier overall. No matter what, just keep moving. This is especially important in times like these where you may not have as many opportunities to ride. For more inspiration on workouts and fitness, be sure to follow pro triathlete Judith Corachan (aka Koraxan)!
#4—Clean Your Bike
Have you been neglecting your bike lately? One of the most important ways of maintaining your bike is to wash it on a regular basis. A quick cleaning after each ride is ideal, with a more thorough cleaning once a week. But if it’s been a while since you’ve washed off all of the dirt and grime from your bike, now’s the time to give it some love. Use cleaners and soaps specifically formulated for bicycle frames and components, and prepare to give the process some “elbow grease” to make sure all of your bike’s parts and pieces are shiny and free of dirt and debris. Don’t forget to degrease the chain and drivetrain components and add some fresh chain lube. For more info on how the pros maintain the fastest race bikes in the world, be sure to follow the Rally Cycling pro team.
#5—Upgrade Your Bike
Is your bike in need of a new chain? How about braking or shifting cables? Or maybe you’ve been wanting to try out a new saddle? Now’s the time to upgrade your bike with some new parts, whether it’s a necessary replacement or a high-performance hop-up. Always adhere to the recommendations of your local health officials, and you should be practicing social distancing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t support your local bike shop. Visit their website or give them a call to see what’s available and to arrange a mail order. Plus, the virtual human interaction will do everyone good—together but separate, we all need to maintain our communal connections, support one another, and be compassionate. Ride on.