Cycling Weekly - - FIT­NESS -

Snot-rock­ets have be­come the new half-wheel­ing – the most an­noy­ing, risky faux-pas you can com­mit on a club ride. Long­drawn-out so­cia­ble cof­fee stops are out, in favour of down­ing an es­presso in an empty car park. Jersey pock­ets are stuffed full of hand sani­tiser and masks. Wel­come to Cy­cling 2020: Covid-19 edi­tion.

While rid­ing be­came in­cred­i­bly pop­u­lar dur­ing lock­down, with thou­sands of new re­cruits dis­cov­er­ing the joy of life on two wheels, for the old-timers, this win­ter’s train­ing may not feel quite so joy­ful. The cur­rent ad­vice is, you may have up to 30 in a coached ses­sion, but out­side of for­mal train­ing ses­sions, you must fol­low the rule of six. Be­cause you are out­side and not fac­ing each other while rid­ing, the risks are not high, but the so­cial catch-ups be­fore and af­ter, as well as the cof­fee stops, re­quire dis­tanc­ing.

Con­tin­u­ally wash­ing hands, avoid­ing phys­i­cal con­tact, be­ing es­pe­cially care­ful on pub­lic trans­port while get­ting to rides, lim­it­ing group sizes – we need to be con­stantly alert to the risks of trans­mis­sion. This is tir­ing. With the threat of a sec­ond lock­down lurk­ing, what do we – as cy­clists – need to know and do to act re­spon­si­bly and keep our­selves and oth­ers safe?

Re­becca Robin­son is a sports and ex­er­cise medicine con­sul­tant at the English In­sti­tute of Sport, and works with Olympic and Par­a­lympic ath­letes. She is clear that the ben­e­fits of be­ing on our bikes out­weigh the risks. “We know that ex­er­cise boosts the im­mune sys­tem, as well as be­ing re­ally im­por­tant for our health.” In­door train­ing is a great al­ter­na­tive, but if it in­volves other peo­ple, the risks are higher, so greater

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