At the end of March, when we should have been making final plans for our Girona trip and stepping up training for the HotChillee Alpine Challenge and LONDON-PARIS, lockdown happened. We put out a post with tips for making the most of riding indoors and launched our “VirtChillee” rides accessible through the new HotChillee CC Community Platform.
These rides will continue, as part of our on-going virtual event calendar, however as restrictions in England are gradually lifted and we can tentatively dream of group rides again, we’re aware that many of you are starting to ride outdoors again. So, as virtual kilometres become real life kilometres, here are some tips as you emerge bleary eyed from your pain caves.
Can I ride with friends?
In England, according to Cycling UK’s interpretation of the Government’s guidance, as of the 1st June, you can cycle with members of your household, or up to 5 other people. However, as 2m distancing still needs to be maintained, British Cycling recommend that sticking to pairs is probably still wise.
Chillees in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales can check here for their country’s current guidance.
Our friends abroad should check their own National and Regional advice.
Check your bike
If you’ve been using your bike on the turbo, you should give it a bit of a health check before heading out onto the road.
Top things to check are signs of sweat corrosion on the bars and stem and, if you’ve been using a direct drive trainer, chain stretch and whether any drivetrain components need replacing or gears indexing.
Even if you haven’t been using your summer bike on the turbo but it has been gathering dust, maybe since the end of last summer, you should give it a bit of love before heading out.
Fortunately on Wednesday 10th at 1900, top mechanic Glen Whittington will be taking you through a virtual Getting your Bike Road Ready tutorial on the HotChillee CC Community Platform. These sessions are free for HotChillee CC members, but this week we’re inviting non-members to join us. Contact [email protected] for the Zoom link.
Don’t forget to steer and brake!
Seriously! We’ve heard several stories of riders coming off Zwift, zoning out on a descent, forgetting that in the real world you need to steer and brake and having a bit of a moment.
Also don’t forget about other road users, junctions, pot-holes etc. Riding in the real world is great but stay switched on.
Not too technical
If you’re of the gravel or mountain bike persuasion, keep the technical nature of your first few rides low. Your skills are bound to be a bit rusty so give yourself some time to build up your confidence by riding some easier and familiar trails.
Ease back in gently
Anecdotally we’ve heard from many riders that they’ve come out of a solid block of lockdown indoor riding and found themselves riding stronger than ever. However, although your legs, heart and lungs might be stronger; riding outdoors does place slightly different demands on your body.
Your upper body and stabilising muscles will all have to work harder and so we’d suggest a few easier rides to get back into the groove.
If you’re riding a different bike and the position isn’t quite the same as your indoor set-up, this will need some adjusting to also.
Keep up the good habits
If you’ve got into some good habits during lockdown, such as taking part in Adele Smyth’s live Pilates Class on the HotChillee CC Community Platform or doing some high quality VirtChillee sessions like the Gain Train, keep them up!
We’re sure you’ve seen the benefits of these new additions to your routine and there’s no reason why you can’t keep them going in conjunction with riding outdoors again.