The Moment of the Cyclist

A new world is emerging this year; unexpectedly to all. Although Coronavirus has now affected over one million people worldwide, for the most part it seems that humanity remains strong, united and patient. It’s been a few very odd weeks since the lockdown was initiated in the UK, but slowly most of us are adapting to the changes our lifestyles need to take in order to stop the spread of the virus, stay motivated and support those who need it.

Confined to the house to protect each other, one form of exercise per day, per person has been allowed and people really do seem to be making the most of it. Suddenly something that we didn’t even think twice about before; stepping outside of our own front doors, seems like such a privilege. We reached out to our Bamboo Clothing community to find out more.

Ben Wood, an endurance cyclist, three-time World record holder spoke to us recently about the good that has come from people being limited to the time they can spend outside. Including how cyclists can take this opportunity to benefit for much quieter roads.

“One of the things I have personally been doing is sticking to smaller local back roads and keeping away from the main roads.”

Ben believes that 2020 is going to be the year for people who don’t usually have the time to maintain an exercise regime, to be able to start. Long term he thinks that we may see more people become motivated to cycle and possibly people who have moved away from the sport will find their love for bikes once again.

“If there’s a positive for me from all this, it’s that I’m finally getting back to my best riding weight and I’m enjoying the roads being quiet. People in general are enjoying being home and enjoying the local area where we live.”

Luke Taylor, a UK based cyclist has also told us that this year has been a tough one for cyclists like himself. From a very wet start and being unable to get out to the current hard-hitting situation, riding has been a tad more difficult than usual. With cancellations of cycling events such as the Fred Whitton Challenge, the Calpe training camp in Spain and this year’s TT and CRIT seasons, frustration from cyclists worldwide is a hard hitter.

Luke also added that throughout this time despite frustrations, people need to stick together and follow the rules and the current situation – believe it or not; also brings a good side!

“Training has never become more focused, rides out have become power sessions pushing sprinting and hard climbs as fast as possible.”

Dave Cooks, another UK based cyclist and owner of The Shed has mentioned to us that cycling does appear to be thriving as more and more people are taking to their bikes in their allotted outdoor time. However, he adds that eventually as people go back to work and have less time, most will slip back into the ‘usual habits’ because whilst cycling is brilliant on the empty roads we have at the moment, he’s not sure some people will be confident enough to continue riding their bike once the volume of traffic starts to increase.

“Me personally, it’s great seeing so many people outside; be it on bikes, walking or enjoying being outside. On the whole people seem a lot more friendly. I do miss the social side of cycling though, so I’m looking forward to club rides once the partial lockdown is lifted!!”

Although, there are definitely more cyclists out and about at the moment, it’s interesting to find out how this sport can be done at home too – especially for those who are more vulnerable. 2020 has also become the year of indoor training. Online platforms such as Zwift & The Sufferfest are playing a major part for maintaining training goals, practice and even communicating with others.

“I really enjoyed watching the pros on Sunday’s race for the Flanders challenge; a 32km loop around the last part of what is normally the tour of Flanders race. This was aired on Eurosport live and was a first. I think in these ever-changing times, things like this are great to keep us all going.” Ben Wood

For those who are using their time outside to cycle, it’s been stated by the government that rides must be taken alone or with somebody that you live with. However, no guidelines have been given as to how long or how far the ride could be, although with cafes and shops shut, it would suggest rides are to be kept short and close to home; something that city dwellers seem to be taking to with ease. A quiet city road means a very content and stress-free cyclist. Come on; don’t tell us that you’re not happy freewheeling through your city centre, completely unbothered by traffic!