Guidance For Cyclists During The Pandemic

Guidance For Cyclists During The Pandemic

If you’re used to getting a lot of fresh air and exercise, no doubt you’re finding lockdown and self-isolation rather difficult to deal with – but while we’re still allowed out once a day for one form of exercise or other, there’s no reason for you not to get on your bike and put the pedal to the floor.

It might be worth bookmarking Cycling UK’s Coronavirus Q&A page, which is updated regularly to reflect any changes in government advice that may take place over the coming weeks.

It is still advisable for people to cycle for their overall health, fitness and wellbeing, but in line with guidance that states you should only be doing this by yourself or with members of your own household, unless any of them need to self-isolate. Group activities with anyone outside your household should be avoided at all costs.

The charity has spoken to a range of different health experts to seek tips and help cyclists of all abilities, so if you have any questions it’s highly likely you’ll find the answers you’re looking for there.

Anyone over the age of 70 who wants to bike is being advised to proceed with caution, for example. The latest advice for this age group is to stay at home for the next 12 weeks to protect yourself against infection but if you need to go out for a walk or a bike ride, choose a route where you’re unlikely to meet anyone else, or go at a quieter time to reduce exposure risks.

We’d love to hear how you’re all coping with lockdown and self-isolation so get in touch to let us know. And don’t forget to come and see us for mountain bike coaching in Wales once the restrictions have been lifted.

Stay Safe On A Bike

Stay Safe On A Bike

Everyone in the UK has had their lives turned upside down in the last week, with the government’s lockdown procedure meaning nearly all of us are no longer allowed out of the house.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated there are a few reasons where it is acceptable to leave the house, including getting a form of daily exercise outside.

This means that while outdoor gyms, playgrounds and kiosks are now all closed, people are still allowed to go for a run, walk or bike ride.

A spokesperson for the government stated: “Every citizen must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. The police already have an array of powers available to them to maintain public order, and will be granted additional powers to enforce social distancing and protect the public.”

According to social distancing guidelines, as long as you stay more than two metres away from other people who are not from your household, you are allowed to exercise outdoors.

Therefore, if you are getting cabin fever, this could be the perfect opportunity to use the skills you learnt from your mountain bike course in the UK and dust your wheels off.

This would help you get out in the fresh air, which means the activity will not only be good for your physical health, but your mental wellbeing too.

According to mental health charity Mind: “Bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress or anger, and make you feel more relaxed.”

HSBC UK 2020 National Cross-country Championships taking place in Plymouth.

HSBC UK 2020 National Cross-country Championships taking place in Plymouth.

Plymouth has been chosen to host the 2020 National Cross-Country Championships. British Cycling announced the HSBC UK championships would take place at Plympton’s Newnham Park, which is said to have a long history of hosting mountain bike racing and even staged a world cup round in 1984.

The event is taking place over the weekend of 18 and 19 July, along with the four-day off-road cycling event, Exposure Lights TwentyFour12 Festival, ultimately creating a week-long celebration of mountain biking. Newham Park has long been a classic mountain bike race venues and has hosted the Exposure Lights TwentyFour12 event for the last 15 years.

Event organiser, Matt Williams, said: “We are hugely excited to bring the HSBC UK National Cross-country Championships back to Newnham Park in Plymouth, particularly as 2020 will already be a significant year for the city, as it commemorates 400 years since the sailing of the Mayflower.

The HSBC UK National Cross-country Championships and the Exposure Lights TwentyFour12 Festival will complement a summer of cultural and community Mayflower 400 events and exhibitions in Plymouth, which mark the 400th year of the sailing of the iconic ship from the city to its city in Massachusetts, USA.

“This year, that event falls the weekend after the national championships, and with mountain biking continuing to grow in popularity in the south-west, we are looking forward to hosting a fantastic week of mountain biking and other activities for people to enjoy,” continued Matt Williams.

Full details of the HSBC Cross-Country Series and Championships can be found on the British Cycling website.

If you’re interested in taking up a new activity in 2020 and looking for beginners mountain bike coaching, then get in touch today.

Protect Your Mountain Bike From Theft

Protect Your Mountain Bike From Theft

Whether your bike is your pride and joy, or just a cheap commuter to get you to work and back, it will always be a disaster if it gets stolen. Bikes are seen as easy money to thieves, with over 400,000 bikes stolen every year, or stripped of their components.

There is no such thing as a completely unbreakable lock, the good news is that there are many products available that will go a long way to deter thieves, and make your bike near theft proof. Here are some tips from mountain bike coaching experts.

Of course the obvious place to start is with buying a proper bike lock. There are so many different locks available, so it’s important to know that not all bikes locks are created equal. The price can be a good indicator of the quality of a bike lock. There are bargains to be found, but increased cost will bring increased security. Buy the best lock you can afford.

U-locks, or D-locks, made out of hardened steel are great options for reliable primary locks. There are innovations in smart locks now, that feature such technology as key-less Bluetooth locking mechanisms, alarms, motion detectors, and GPS tracking.

It’s important to consider where and how to lock your bike. Locking your bike to a solid object, such as a dedicated bike rack or immovable street furniture like a sturdy bench or railing is generally going to be the safest option.

In addition to making your bike more secure, the more time and effort seemingly required to steal your bicycle will often prevent theft. Combining a secure U-lock to secure the frame with a sturdy chain or reinforced cable lock for the wheels is a popular option and enough to deter opportunistic thieves, leaving them searching for an easier target.

Don’t forget to enjoy your bike, and get out and have fun. If you’re thinking about wanting to use it more, and looking for mountain bike coaching in the UK, then get in touch.

Concerned about bike security? Insure your mountain bike through our partner BIKMO and get 10% off

12 Top Winter Mountain Biking Tips

12 Top Winter Mountain Biking Tips

While we’re finally nearing the end of January, there are still a fair few weeks left of winter – which means you still need to make sure that your mountain bike is in fine fettle and will keep you in your seat until the weather starts to warm up a little.

There’s no reason to lock your bike up in the shed, hibernating for the winter, and there’s some amazing and exhilarating riding to be had at this time of year, but just bear in mind that the conditions can take their toll on your bike so you may want to give it a bit more love and attention than you might do otherwise.

Prevention is always better than cure so after you’ve been out and about, make sure you give yourself enough time to wash your bike down. If you’re exhausted and really can’t manage it, do your best to get as much dirt and water as you can from the frame and wheels before storing it away.

Before you set out on a ride, make sure the tyres on your bike have open tread patterns, check that you’ve weather-sealed your cables and that the drive chain is as clean as possible.

It’s not just your bike you have to think about and you should always remember in the back of your mind somewhere that it’s more hazardous biking at this time of year than it is during spring and summer.

So make sure you have your wits about you and that you’re concentrating at all times, with your eyes focused on the path ahead. Take care when going around corners and try not to make jerking movements, as this will mean you’re more likely to spread.

Also make sure you’ve dressed appropriately for the weather. Starting off with a warm base layer is wise, as this will help keep your core warm. You can then easily add and shed layers as you get warmer while riding.

Your hands and feet will usually get cold first because your body will be trying to keep your core warm, so make sure you’ve got a good pair of winter cycling gloves to keep them nice and snug.

If it’s really cold outside, what about using air-activated heat packs that can keep your gloves and shoes toasty. Taking some spares in a sealable plastic bag, along with some socks, could prove to be a godsend on a winter mountain bike ride.

And, of course, make sure that you’re visible. You don’t have as much daylight to play with as you will during summer, so prepare properly if you know you’re going to be out after dark and make sure you have bike lights and high vis clothing.

if you’re looking for a beginners mountain bike course, then get in touch with the Beyond The Mud team today!