What to do when freedom goes out the window – How to survive Coronavirus as a cyclist. As Coronavirus continues to leak further into our society it does so much damage. Whether that’s physical through its symptoms or mental through its impact to our daily routine and ritual. Being in isolation makes you appreciate your bike’s ability to give you freedom and independence.
A sense of freedom and independence was the bait that got me hooked on cycling but at the moment it can be easy to lose perspective and forget the joy that riding a bike gives you.
At Breakaway things have gone quiet. All our photography shoots have been put on hold and our calendar is as empty as the dried pasta shelf in your local supermarket. To combat social isolation we have come up with a number of top tips for surviving Coronavirus if two wheeled adventure normally keeps your physical and mental health in check.
Don’t get on your turbo. I know what you’re thinking, ‘What if you are in ‘total lockdown’ and riding a bike outside is forbidden?’ Well then obviously riding your indoor trainer is the name of the game. What I am talking about is sympathy lockdown. You read the news stories about how going outside for a bike ride in Spain or Italy isn’t allowed and subconsciously wheel out your turbo, get a towel ready and cover over your headset with cling film to stop the inevitable salt crust from forming.
Don’t do this, instead think really carefully about how you riding your bike might impact others who are more vulnerable. If there is absolutely no issue then keep riding, keep riding until a policeman pulls you off your bike, keep riding until you are locked down on your turbo. Because in a couple of months time you’ll be glad you kept your days as a slave of the flywheel to a minimum.
(Top Breakaway tip: if you have a garden, balcony or rooftop then get an extension lead and at least turbo in the fresh air. Your family or housemates will love you as you minimise noise and importantly reduce the smell of sweat in your shared confinement)
Build a mountain bike trail in your garden. Ok again not something for everyone, but a backyard trail doesn’t have to feature long flowy berms, a full blown rock garden or big jumps. Keep things simple and you might be surprised what you can make.
So how to go about it? First scope out a potential line. Then clear out any easy to move obstacles. Get stuck in with a rake and shovel and see what comes of it. You might only end up with 10 seconds of trials type hopping and weaving but it will keep you amused for a while as you try to nail the perfect line or cut down your run times. If 12 weeks isolation is on the cards then think big and maybe make a panic trip to your local timber yard for some jump building materials, and pasta of course.
Once you’ve built your trail and jump then don’t forget to turn the camera on. You will more than likely take the odd tumble as you session your trail so make sure you’ve got it on camera. Laughter is important to keep morale high and can also make for a killer meme which, if nothing else, might go viral…
(Top Breakaway tip: if you’re struggling for space then make your trail as technical as possible, this will make it last longer and improve your bike handling skills for when the time comes to venture outside)
Stockpile coffee beans. At Breakaway we are mad about coffee. In fact at times probably more obsessive over a sumptuous v60 than we are about riding our bikes. If like us coffee is in your blood then make sure you’ve got beans to last for months!
If your local cafe or bean supplier closes for business then why not subscribe to a weekly or fortnightly bean subscription which should (fingers crossed) remain open for trading. There are a number of UK based bean subscriptions that all offer a range of beans and roasts that will keep you stocked up with the good stuff.
Our friends over at Craft House Coffee have a great subscription service. You fill in what type of bean you want, how much coffee you drink and how regularly you’d like to receive it and they do the rest. Roasting and shipping on the same day means you are sure to have an exquisite selection of beans drop through your door whenever you want. Perfect for self isolation.
(Top Breakaway tip: when ordering your subscription try ordering the smallest, usually 250 gram, bag possible and then order from more than one company, that way you will have more variety of beans and never feel like your working hard to finish off that 1 kg bag you panic bought a month ago)
Save in isolation to spend on visiting another nation. If like us you’ve had foreign travel disrupted by Coronavirus then use the opportunity to save up while you work from home for the trip of a lifetime. We all have places we dream of visiting but for a number of reasons have never been.
If money has been a prohibiting factor, providing you are able to work from home then make the most of your monk-like existence of not going out, shopping for clothes or buying bike upgrades and instead put that money towards a well earned trip away when this has finally blown over.
It doesn’t have to be a full on round the world trip, but could instead be a lesson in something you’ve always wanted to try or improve at. I’ve got my eyes on a surfing lesson to try and raise my game beyond the big yellow foam board, and to me that is working as an incentive to keep the purse strings closed until a later date.
(Top Breakaway tip: if you’re saving up to go somewhere or try a new experience then why not get a friend involved. Share your ideas and see if you can get a group together. I imagine in a few months time the idea of socialising will be, for many, a giant relief and so why not get excited for the times to come and organise something to do now)
So there we have it. A few ways to keep entertained, amused and sane over the next few months of potential isolation. These suggestions are of course lighthearted and for entertainment purposes only. We fully encourage frenetic hand washing and please avoid touching your face when out and about but even so I hope our tips bring a smile to your face in an otherwise sad time.