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Cycling in Lockdown

Cycling in Lockdown

Latest News | Featured

The biking stories and advice for lockdown during Covid-19

Hey Everybody,

 

First off, we wish that you and your family are safe and well. It is such a difficult time for everyone at the moment with Covid-19 affecting so many and lockdowns in the majority of the world. It’s important at this time to look to your friends, family and support in your local community to get through this together, better.

In times like this, great people shine and we’ve seen some incredible people within the Reid community since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown. From key workers in bike shops, repairing bikes for free and staying open to provide safe, solo methods of transportation and exercise for their community, to a Dad conducting a cycling P.E class so his kids stay active. We’re so proud to have these people as a part of our community, doing great things to help our physical and mental wellbeing.

With all of this in mind, we thought we’d share our insight on Covid-19 and cycling, helping you make the most of your time in isolation. So take a look below and find out more about current rules and laws, the physical and mental health benefits to riding bikes during isolation and a few special stories from our riders around the world.

Rules and Laws

So, the first questions many people will be finding themselves asking at the moment: Am I allowed to cycle during lockdown? Is cycling still legal? Can I cycle because of Covid-19? The answers to these questions currently differ around the world and sometimes within a country, however this is what we’ve found so far:

World Health Organisation (WHO)

As of writing WHO has encouraged the use of cycling, to maintain global exercise guidelines and as a safe solo method of transport:

“While cities around the world are introducing a broad range of measures to limit physical contacts to prevent and slow down the COVID-19 pandemic, many people might still have a need to move around cities to reach their workplaces when possible, meet essential daily needs or provide assistance to vulnerable people. Whenever feasible, consider riding bicycles or walking: this provides physical distancing while helping to meet the minimum requirement for daily physical activity, which may be more difficult due to increased teleworking, and limited access to sport and other recreational activities’’.

 

UK

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on March 23rd that no-one is allowed to leave their house with a very small number of exceptions, one of which is cycling. Mr Johnson said: “People will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes: shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible; one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household; any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.”

In addition to this, bike shops are deemed necessary to stay open to help support the local communities in buying new and repairing old bikes. So if you are questioning whether you can cycle in the UK, you can, but please abide by social distancing rules and limit yourself to essential travel or 1 hour of exercise per day.

Australia

iI Australia, the rules aren’t as strict as the UK, so you are allowed to continue to cycle for exercise within reason (no specific time limit) and you are allowed to ride with one other. Cycling is infact encouraged to help boost your immune system, getting you outdoors and keeping you sane! Bike shops are again open and are very busy, many are doing extra deliveries for online shopping or contactless pick up, so please contact your local store. The Reid Australia website and Reid shops in Australia are still open and are serving their local community at this time, so if you’re in need of a bike get in contact.

Mainland Europe

This varies across the whole of Mainland Europe, however in the majority of countries cycling is still allowed, with notable exceptions of Spain and Italy where only cycling for essential travel is allowed. Many countries are in fact encouraging riding bikes during this time, seeing it as a solution to solo urban travel and exercise. The most positive case of this is in Germany, where they have started to turn roads previously shared for all transport, solely into bike lanes to help people keep their distance during the coronavirus lockdown. Many towns in Germany are now redesigning their urban infrastructure to help with the increased uptake in cycling and limit the spread of Covid-19. We advise looking at the latest update from your specific country as rules and laws are changing very quickly in this dynamic situation.

USA

The US government has declared bicycles as an essential transportation item, so cycling is still allowed for both travel and the WHO guidelines for exercise. As they have been declared essential, many bike shops are still open, however have modified how they operate, with contactless pick up, no more test rides and social distancing rules in place. All group rides and events are banned and postponed. Please check with your individual state guidelines before riding and maintain WHO guidelines.

Canada

The Government of Canada has not banned outdoor cycling and have in fact encouraged it. Vancouver’s Stanley Park is now only for walkers and cyclists, in Winnipeg, four key streets are now walking and cycling only from 8am-8pm daily, and in Calgary some traffic lanes have been changed to cycling only. If you are wanting to go out for a cycle, please check with your local government as they may have stricter rules in place.

Physical and Mental Health Benefits

 

As you’re probably aware there are many physical and mental health benefits to riding a bike both indoors and out. This can be as simple as getting Vitamin D from the sun, to the primal satisfaction of being outdoors in an open space. Whatever your situation during Coronavirus lockdown, it’s important to look after your body and mind and a short ride on a bike each day can do wonders.

If you’d like to learn in more detail about both the physical and mental health benefits to cycling, we have written dedicated to blog posts to each which you can accessing by clicking there image below.

Reid Riders Cycling in Lockdown

As we said at the start of this blog, there have been some amazing stories from our riders and retailers in the Reid community that we thought need to be shared. So read on for some great personal stories of peoples experiences of bikes during lockdown. DM us @reidbikes or #reidbikes on Instagram to share your stories of cycling in isolation.

 

Danielle @dannipaulus – Perth, Australia.

Why have you enjoyed cycling during Isolation?

Purchasing a Reid vintage bike has been the best idea, and best money I have spent during Covid-19.
Being a dance teacher, and an extremely active person, this time has been super hard. So to have another outlet of exercise and getting out of the house has been so amazing!

What’s the biggest difference cycling/outside now than before Covid-19?

I think the biggest difference is I am really realising how lucky we are, to live in such a beautiful place. I took simple things for granted, and if anything good is going to come from this time, it’s that I am coming out a much more grateful human being! Nothing beats riding down the Perth coast line, pure bliss!

What are you looking forward to doing after Isolation?

Getting back to work and seeing my students face to face and not through a computer screen! As well as hugging my family and loved ones of course!

Drew @drew.jay.and.wyatt – Adelaide, Australia.

Why have you enjoyed cycling during Isolation?

Cycling has become our escape. While we have been able to do a lot around home – getting out on our bikes is like school recess! It’s full of fun, laughter and burns endless amounts of energy. It’s something to look forward to on a daily basis!

What’s the biggest difference cycling/outside now than before Covid-19?

We have found so many more people are now into cycling due to Covid-19. The bike tracks are full of families exploring our local area. We often see friends out and about during our travels too.

What are you looking forward to doing after Isolation?

Covid-19 hasn’t been all bad for us. We have fallen in love with cycling and it’s another way we connect as a family. So for us – we can’t wait to go for longer rides, and to visit new areas. There’s tracks all around our beautiful city, and you see so much more of it when you’re traveling by bike.

We are new to Reid Bikes and my youngest recently purchased a Monster 20″ “Fat Bike”. It’s amazing how much more confidence it’s given him. He was a tentative rider previously, but with all the compliments he receives for his new wheels – he loves to show it off!

Camila @camilaalcantarad – São Paulo, Brazil. 

Why have you enjoyed cycling during Isolation?

Cycling during the isolation has been my favourite exercise and safe entertainment during this difficult time. I used to use my bike to commute between my work and college, but now, that I have more time, I’m really enjoying to ride and appreciate the streets, parks and never visited places since I moved to Sydney. Riding, I feel that I distress and I help the planet and my body. During this isolation time, I can feel free, I can almost fly!

What’s the biggest difference cycling/outside now than before Covid-19?

The biggest difference of cycling now is that the streets are emptier, so, I have more space and tranquillity to commute during “rush times”. Another thing that feels different for me now, is that I’m really giving more value for my bike. I feel that nothing can stop me while I ride. I’m safe, I don’t need to have contact with people, I don’t need petrol stations, and I can go everywhere without contact with other people.

What are you looking forward to doing after Isolation?

After the isolation, I would like to still keep cycling a lot and getting a lot more active. I looking forward to going out to meet friends, going to bars and celebrating my life with more freedom.

Cerene @cerenes_adventures – Coolangatta, Australia.

Since isolation has started I wake up at dawn everyday to ride down to beach to watch the sunrise. I feel like by doing that I start the day right and it gets the blood flowing. I still have a super busy schedule since I am studying osteopathy full-time at University and know how important exercise is to mental health especially in times of change and stress.

Why have you enjoyed cycling during Covid-19?

I enjoy that I get to see more places that I wouldn’t normally explore on my Bike. Such as going down new streets and looking at the different architecture of each house, finding new park or a hidden spot with a beautiful view. It has improved my mental health exponentially and I feel my body getting stronger each day.

What’s the biggest difference cycling/outside now than before Covid-19?

The biggest difference cycling outside since Covid is that you appreciate everything so much more. You really take in the world around and it so nice to breathe fresh air.

What are you looking forward to doing after Isolation?

After isolation I look forward to riding to university and to work. They are within 3km of my house and for some reason I always used to drive. That is now a thing of the past!

 

Quentin @qvoss – Sydney, Australia.

Why have you enjoyed cycling during Isolation?

The need to push yourself to try other things, find other ways to exercise. I’m a swimmer, daily, obsessed and in love with the sport. My brother and his entire family swim, bike and run so my link to them created a natural gravitation to this sport along with childhood memories of being on a bike. You get to escape this new Covid reality. The enjoyment for me can be defined as follows: 1. Freedom to get out and feel physical. 2. Trying something out of my comfort zone. (A bonus when we are feeling somewhat restricted under Covid) 3. I can ride with my partner or a buddy but during the journey I’m on my own in terms of headspace, getting physical and clearing my head (not dissimilar to swimming). Until coffee and chat time.

What’s the biggest difference cycling/outside now than before Covid-19?

Pools are closed. For me cycling is new and I have the bug! My partners bike is now out of storage and together we are embracing life outside of lockdown, whilst enjoying the physicality of being on a bike. So instead of watching cyclists ride and enjoy a coffee. I’m doing it, I’m part of the culture – social distancing respected of course! Before Covid I didn’t own a bike, I researched and combined my needs/desires with what’s on the market. Reid ticked the boxes and I couldn’t be happier.

What are you looking forward to doing after Isolation?

Continuing the love of cycling and combining the ride with my swimming addiction. It uses different muscles, it creates new challenges both physically and mentally and broadens my network. Improving on my ride experience and enjoying it with my brother and family in the new world. This is the beginning and so I say bring it on! The wind in my ears, the burn when tackling a hill and the landscape when going off road to escape the traffic.

We are all challenged under Covid, the laws, restrictions and new lifestyle. Life will continue to deliver challenges and sometimes the underlying message is go back to basics, recalibrate – go back to your childhood. I think Covid by default is making us all do this. I grew up riding bikes until the sun went down, I have rediscovered the joy, the balance and the need to get back on a bike.

Jasmine @jasmineheaney – Port Melbourne, Australia.

Why have you enjoyed cycling during Isolation?

Cycling gives you a sense of freedom, the kind of feeling you get as a kid when every day is a new adventure. It creates a positive mindset when you can regain some control, going for long walks means you end up getting too close to others without an option to escape quickly.

What’s the biggest difference cycling/outside now than before Covid-19?

Cycling before Covid for me was to always get from point A to B. During Covid I’ve found myself using it as a way of being outside and cycling/skating with family members that live close by whilst maintaining a safe distance.

What are you looking forward to doing after Isolation?

As I’m returning to work next week I look forward incorporating cycling into my everyday living and having the confidence to ride to and from work. Something I had been hesitant to do before Covid.

 

Jon @bournemouth_cyclist – Bournemouth, England.

Why have you enjoyed cycling during isolation?

Now this may sound odd, but i’ve enjoyed some time alone on the bike! We have a family of four of us and we are obviously all at home together at the moment. My wife is working from home so I am looking after our kids full time! That time after the kids go to bed or the early morning weekend rides have been a great way to relax, clear my head, and boost my endorphins!

What’s the biggest difference cycling outside now than before Covid 19?

The biggest difference is the reduction in the number of vehicles on the road, I think this says so much about the number of unnecessary journeys that are carried out on a day to day basis. The roads feel so much safer. This in turn has lead to a large increase in the number of cyclists! In the UK the social restrictions allow us to exercise daily and for a lot of people on furlough that’s a luxury they wouldn’t normally have. Me being one! Despite being a keen cyclist, time is not always on my side. It’s lovely to see families cycling together, and people in general digging out that old bike they haven’t ridden for years.

What are you looking forward to after isolation?

Well, first and foremost it’s seeing family and friends again. Not being able to hug your relatives, sit down for dinner with them, or just go for a walk is hard to deal with. I’m lucky to have my close family around me, I can’t imagine how difficult solo isolation must be. That will be a huge release for lots of people. Next it has to be group rides. I’ve been getting into riding with more people recently with changes in work schedule, only for it to be stopped by Covid-19! We have some fantastic areas to ride round here as groups, both on and off road. I’m really looking forward to this.

There are a few things I would like to share to all cycling during the Covis-19 outbreak. Depending on the restrictions in your country only ride with people from your household, no group rides, no meeting up with mates. Ride in a safe, known environment and within your capabilities. Make sure your bike is in fine fettle and reliable enough to complete your journey. Carry a spare tube or puncture repair kit and a pump. When you go out make sure you have a back up plan to get home just in case the spares you are carrying don’t get you home. Finally watch out for motorists, the roads are quieter and complacency will inevitably set in. Drivers will be expecting less traffic and be paying less attention, likewise don’t always expect the roads or junctions to be clear! Have fun and ride safe.

 

 

That’s it for today’s blog, but we’ll leave you with this:

Stay safe, look at local laws, stay healthy in body and mind and if you can, ride your bike! If you don’t have a bike and are looking for a new way to solo exercise and travel, then take a look at our range, they’re all great value affordable options and the majority of our retailers are open to support their local communities at this time. Happy riding!

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