In these uncertain times, it’s easy to only see the doom and gloom so, we’ve put our heads together, and come up with a few cycling positives.
We realise to many of our regulars that the idea of a solo ride without any group banter and with no cake and coffee stop scheduled sounds like an abomination but there are some upsides to solo cycling.
You get to set the start time, the pace, the route and, if you do decide to cut it short or add on a bit extra, there’ll be no voices of dissent.
With just you, as long as your bike is well maintained, the odds of a puncture or a mechanical are massively reduced.
You’ll have plenty of time to think, chill and just have some quiet time. Riding solo, with just the sounds of nature and your own thoughts can be a really meditative and mentally reinvigorating activity.
Finally, you can’t get dropped!
If you’re now working from home, you might well find you’ve clawed back some time when you would have been travelling to work, have access to your bike during the day and maybe your hours are a bit more flexible.
How about squeezing in some strength work when you would have been commuting, a lunchtime session on the turbo and some yoga to finish the day?
Many cyclists who do the same rides week in and week out tend to be a bit one paced. If this sounds like you, use this time to focus on some high intensity turbo sessions and maybe even dip your toe into the water of Zwift racing. By developing your neglected top-end fitness, you’ll find, when you do get back to longer rides outside, you’ll be able to close gaps easier, climb more strongly and even contest village sign sprints. More importantly though you’ll also be pleasantly surprised that, with a bigger engine, your cruising speed will improve too. Including some high intensity work in your riding is especially important for riders in their 40’s and older.
All cyclists could probably benefit from doing some off the bike training and, whether it’s some mobility work, yoga, Pilates or bodyweight strength training, now’s a great time to add it into your training. A quick search on YouTube will throw up loads of instructional videos to follow but here are a few to get you started.
If you really want to invest some time into assessing and developing your mobility and strength for cycling this book by Phil Burt, former physio with GBCT and Team Sky, and Martin Evans, former strength and conditioning coach with GBCT, is well worth a read: Strength and Conditioning for Cyclists
We’re in the process of setting up HotChillee meet-ups on Zwift and, if you haven’t tried the platform, you might be surprised how social and motivating it can be. Okay, it might not be quite the same as a ride out in the Surrey Hills with a coffee at Giro, but it does mean you can “ride” with Chillees from all over the world. You can message and even chat to other riders and we’ll be rolling out rides soon.
If you’re new to indoor cycling, check out our guide here.