While the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread and Coloradans are charged with stay at home orders, cyclists are left wondering how to ride during the coronavirus. Given this is a rapidly developing situation, it’s important to stay attuned to the most current and updated information by checking resources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) regularly. Yet, the following are suggestions for riding safely during this unprecedented time.
If you are going to ride outside:
Perform bike inspections before you go out. It’s important to ride responsibly right now and that means ensuring that your road bike or mountain bike is in proper working order. Check your bike parts, your frame, air up your tires, lube your chain and give your bike a good look over before heading out. First responders and health care workers are needed elsewhere and the option of calling a friend to pick you up is not an option. So, make sure your bike is good to go before heading out on your ride.
You may be tempted to ride with a friend but don’t. Ride alone and maintain the suggested distance of at least six feet from others that you pass. Carry your essential items with you so you don’t have to touch anyone else’s bike and they don’t have to touch yours. Here are the cycling accessories that you need:
At least one spare tube
A glueless patch kit
A mini-tool with fittings for the most crucial bolts on your bike (most common are 2mm to 6mm hex keys, T25 Torx head, Phillips-head screwdriver)
A chain tool
Spare chain link or connector pin
Two tire levers
A pump and/or CO2 inflator (with two cartridges)
A tire boot (old Tyvek envelopes work great)
A spare derailleur hanger, especially for mountain bikers
Bonus: zip-ties and a short section of duct tape, wrapped around one tire lever
Finally – bring your mask.
CDC guidelines have recently been updated to recommend “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) to help reduce the spread of the virus from spreading between people interacting in close proximity.” Many have asked if they need to wear a mask while cycling. The bottom line is this, “It’s a good idea to keep a mask or neck gaiter on hand when heading out for a ride, but the situation determines the importance of when to wear it.” We suggest being responsible and prepared.
If you opt to ride indoors:
The trainer can be a love/hate relationship. As a training aid, cyclists love it because it offers training options during poor weather and winter months and especially in times like this. Yet, on the flip side, trainer rides can be boring, lead to muscle-specific fatigue, and basically, offer uninspired riding. So mix it up and make the best of the situation. Start by getting the equipment you need. It makes all the difference! The right equipment and bike parts can make your indoor workouts less boring and more effective. When we’re talking about equipment, sure, we mean having your road bike on the trainer, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a trainer tire, a riser block, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, indoor riding clothes, a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor. You might not think all of these cycling accessories add up to a great trainer workout, but it makes all the difference in the world because you have biofeedback available to you to keep you motivated.
Speaking of motivation, there are a handful of apps available to keep your head in the game while riding indoors. These apps make your time on the trainer more productive and entertaining and they also record your workout so you can analyze your effort and get your best bang for the buck workout wise. The post, Indoor cycling apps compared: which is best for you? offers a list of apps and a description of how they function to help you decide which is best for you. Some of our favorites from the list include Zwift, CycleOps Virtual Training, and TrainerRoad.
If you find yourself struggling with the challenges that the stay at home orders are presenting or the uncertainties of our current circumstance, shift your focus to relieving that stress and anxiety on your rides. Whether riding indoors or out, exercise boosts your immune system, elevates stress stored in the body, and invites a healthy, mindful perspective. So get on your bike and ride!
Also, as a reminder – We Are Open! Visit us at our Peak Cycles bike shop in Golden, Colorado for bike repairs and sales. Due to COVID-19, we are not allowing any customers into the shop at this time. However, we have a table and bike stands in front of the shop so we can bring products and/or bikes to you outside for purchase. Our service department is also performing pick-up and drop-off of repair bikes outside. If you’re unsure of what your bike needs, estimates are always free. You can check out our full list of services and pricing and schedule ahead for any potential bike parts you may need in addition to the service.
If you prefer to shop from home, you can visit us online at BikeParts.com. Fortunately, our shipments are running at normal capacity so you won’t have to wait long for your bike parts! Finally, for local online customers, you can pick up your will-call orders at Peak Cycles. Call ahead for curbside pickup or come to the front door and we will grab your order for you.
Be well friends! Ride on and ride responsibly!