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Tips for getting out on your bike during “Lockdown”

This is an easy one. Don’t. Don’t get out on your bike. That’s the tip writes Ruth O’Connor

Unless you’re commuting to work, cycling to get supplies or there is another extremely important reason for using your bicycle as transport, just leave it in the shed for a few weeks. It’ll be there when this is over, as will the mountains and trails you want to cycle.

If you want to take a spin with your kids within 2km of your home and it’s safe to do so, go for it. But for most cyclists looking to go on training spins, being restricted to a 2km radius just isn’t a fun time, so why not just park it temporarily?

So, what to do instead?

  • If you have a turbo-trainer already, why not dust it off and set up a dedicated training station at home? There are great videos on YouTube that are completely free and will add significantly to your fitness during this strange time. Check out Global Cycling Network’s channel, they have a huge range of sessions available.

Zwift is a subscription service for virtual training and allows you to track your progress and compete with other riders. I’ve never used it but have heard it’s a great way to stay motivated as you sweat it out on the trainer!

  • If you don’t have a turbo and aren’t up for cycling in circles around your house for the next few weeks, why not go for a run instead? If your body is up for it, running can be a fantastic addition to your cycling training. It can benefit bone density, it will keep your cardiovascular fitness up and it will train muscles that might be otherwise neglected while cycling.

If running is completely new to you, why not try the Couch to 5K plan and use the next few weeks to build up your distance and speed (staying within your 2km radius, of course).

  • If you’re keen to keep your fitness up, why not switch the focus to injury prevention by working on your strength and conditioning instead. With the closure of gyms and PT services, every trainer out there is offering videos and plans online (plenty for free!) that you can do with minimal or no equipment.

It’s also worth noting that you could just take some time off and chill out. We are in unprecedented times – it’s stressful and worrying. Give yourself a break if you don’t feel like doing anything except going for a walk and enjoying the fresh air.

And please don’t try to find loopholes in the rules or sneak out at the crack of dawn for your training spin. It doesn’t make you clever. It makes you selfish.

Take care and stay safe.

Ruth O’Connor
30th March 2020

Author: Ruth O'Connor

Ruth is a horticulturist turned baker who loves nothing more than heading out on two wheels when she can. It began with necessity - cycling to work. But this was a revelation as Ruth discovered the freedom and joy that can come from going for a spin. As well as actively getting out on her bike, Ruth is a member of WEXBUG, an advocacy group for everyday cycling in Wexford. Her particular area of interest is encouraging more women to hop on their bikes. She is also a co-founder of Stokers Bike Collective - a bike-packing adventure group based in Wexford. You can find Ruth on Twitter at @ruthoconnorwex 

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