Stay home as much as possible. Stay safe. Get outside for fresh air and exercise. The government recommendations are important to flattening the curve of COVID-19, but finding the balance between them can be confusing as an individual.
Some countries, like France, have imposed strict limitations on personal movement. Canada has left us with the responsibility to decide for ourselves how we get fresh air and what the limits are on exercise. Canadians cyclists looking to get outside after a long winter on the trainer must now figure out what is healthy and responsible.
This five part COVID-19 ride guide will attempt to give you all the information currently available so you can make an informed decision on the riding during the pandemic.
Canada is a big country, and regulations differ from province to province. This is also a rapidly changing situation. All the information presented is current as of publishing date.
Part 1) Seriously, stop group riding
Part 2) Opinion: For now, I’m happier riding indoors
Part 3) Be Kind: Community and respect in a rapidly changing environment
Part 4) Opinion: Riding outside is all right, within reason
Part 5) The complete guide to cycling during COVID-19
Part 6) Riding safely during re-opening
Should I ride outside?
Cycling Canada says, “If you have the equipment, consider training inside.” The organization, and many others, suggest that riding inside is the responsible decision during the current epidemic. Some people also note that riding outside means risking a crash, which could put unnecessary strain on a taxed healthcare system.
That being said, not everyone has access to an indoor trainer. Many argue for the mental health benefits of cycling, especially when movement is restricted and the list of safe activities is small. If you do choose to ride outside, there’s a safe way to do it.
Should I ride in a group?
No you shouldn’t. Here’s why.
If you’re missing your friends, there are options for riding together while staying physically apart.
How should I modify my training?
Everyone’s training plan is personal, and the global pandemic has changed the day-to-day schedules of almost every Canadian. It’s important to consider what you can handle right now, not just physically but mentally as well.
If you were planning on racing this summer, coach Peter Glassford suggests focusing on base training while the season is still up in the air. You probably shouldn’t jump into a hard training block, especially because you might risk compromising your immune system. Remember, no matter how strong of an athlete you are, you’re still susceptible to illness.
If you’re a mountain biker, you might not have a trainer to waste away your indoor hours. It’s a great time to do some at-home strength training. While your at it, do some of those core exercises you might be neglecting, or learn some new bike skills.
–The guide to training during COVID-19
–Should you train harder or cut down on workouts to strengthen your immune system?
–This cyclist who suffered from COVID-19 is urging athletes to take the virus seriously
–At-home strength training for mountain bikers
–Core strength: At-home training for mountain bikers
–Seven skills and tricks you can learn at home
What should I do about all the new cyclists on the bike paths?
Give them space and be respectful. They have just as much right to be there as you do. Try and take routes you know will be less busy and avoid adding to the crowds.
–Be Kind: Community and respect in a rapidly changing environment