Corona, or COVID-19, is dominating the news and is likely to dominate our lives for at least the months to come. Many of us live in a country with a so-called lockdown. There’s different versions of it but essentially people are obliged to stay at home. Shops, restaurants, bars...all closed. I strongly support the strong measures my country, Belgium, is taking to fight COVID-19. We have to limit the spread of the virus to a minimum so we can limit impact on our healthcare systems and put the least number of lives at risk. This way we can also buy ourselves times for some of the brilliant minds on this planet to come up with a cure or vaccin. Belgium still allows people to go for a walk or a ride however. Ideally on your own but you can be joined by 1 family member of friend, respecting the social distancing rules.
So no social rides, no coffee rides but....you’re still allowed to ride a bike!
Why wouldn’t this be a great opportunity to spend the time on your bike you always wanted? It will help you (and those living with you) to get through this lockdown period with higher morale, a higher fitness level and just a better piece-of-mind. It made me think of the festive-500. Amazing how this turned into a movement, keeping people fit and on the bike during the festive season.
I decided to start my own #Lockdown500. Depending on the length of the lockdown (now set for another 2 weeks at least, on top of the first 3) this may turn into a #lockdown750, 1000 or more. Roughly 150k per week is my target. My job allows me to work from home, all my social activities are cancelled, we’re entering spring...there’s not a single excuse not to jump on my great new Ridley Kanzo Adventure pretty much every day!
We're now over 2 weeks into the lockdown and riding my bike has become the greatest pleasure of all times. It's always been great but there's very little 'pleasure competition' right now. My wife and I take turns looking after the kids, making work calls and going out for a ride (or a walk in her case).
I'm probably doing between 150 and 200k now every week and I must say I've never done more than this. The combination of lockdown and great weather is what I needed to totally fall in love with cycling again. Only downside is that I start feeling the little pains that come with riding your bike a lot more often than you are used to. But that's not holding me back. Part of it is your body re-adjusting to pretty intense training. The other part can be fixed by talking to a bike mechanic like Vince (Vincent Van Parys, co-founder of Peloton de Paris) about the millions of different saddles and stuff out there. Which means that my technical understanding of a bike also improves by the day. Although he still loses me after 20 seconds when things turn technical :-)
I hope to see some of you out there in the coming days...but please remember to practice social distancing at all times, even when riding our bikes. That way we can all get through this together!