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How to Maintain Your Cycling Regime During Stage 4 Lockdowns

With the coronavirus pandemic seemingly far from over, it’s looking more like we’ll have to learn to live with a few restrictions effecting our lifestyles.  Victoria in particular remain under stage 4 lockdown without any signs showing of easing up any time soon.   By now Victorian residents are likely starting to lose it as being stripped of their freedoms and ability to undergo adequate exercise begins to take its toll.   Cyclists are among the many fitness sectors eager to see restrictions wound back to finally partake in their beloved hobby as normal again.   Let’s take a look at the current rules and a few ways to get the most out of your cycling during these difficult times.      

The Latest Restrictions   Here’s what we can and can’t do:  
 o   All forms of exercising is limited to one hour per day
 o   You are required to keep within a 5km radius of your home

 o   You’re only able to ride with one other person – maintaining 1.5m distance at all times.
 o   Curfew prohibits you from riding from 8pm – 5am
 o   You need to where a mask while riding – intense exercise activity is the exemption here however you must at least carry a mask with you.    

 Take full advantage of the 5km radius rule  

Contrary to what you might think, a 5-kilometre radius is a fair amount of bitumen to cover regardless of the sort of environment you live in.   There are a few websites and apps available that’ll draw you a map of the area and you’ll probably be surprised at what it displays.

If you consider yourself an urban or city dweller, then your 5kms will obviously include shorter runs with loop-type cycleways. Regional residents will be able to take on the likes of longer stretches and could be even lucky enough to soak up the scenery along a highway.  
A great place to start is 2km from Home. It’s a website calculating your radius from a pinpointed location of your choice.    
Utilise this time to explore  

If you really give it some thought, when else would you likely be able to produce this kind of time and flexibility to jump on the bike for some exploration? Once lockdown restrictions ease it’ll be back to business as usual and your regular, time-poor everyday life comes racing back to bite you.   This time can be used wisely and efficiently rather than viewing it as a burden. Even if you don’t feel like getting suited up in full kit during this time, it’s still a fantastic opportunity to get out and explore new routes without the traffic and crowds dampening your ride.  

Attempt a ‘burbing’    
If you’re unfamiliar with burbing, its basically mapping out and cycling every street in your local suburb. With most city areas being too extensive to tackle in one run, it’s fun just to select one part or a few blocks to conquer.   You can continue the pattern over days or weeks until you’ve conveniently explored every nook and cranny of the extended neighbourhood. It’s a diverse form of exercise as you’re really not sure what you’re up against until you’re on top of it – which is half the fun anyway, right?   Burbing is also a great way to have a sticky beak and trek through parts of your city you’ve always wanted to check out.    

Lap it up  

Although it might not be your usual style, setting out a looping route has it’s benefits. Ideal for timing yourself and attempting to beat personal bests, riding laps can train you to maintain focus on run times and helps you enhance your skills through repetitive technique.   Try to find an enjoyable route with a variety of climbs, twists, downhill spots and other challenging aspects to get the most out of the loop with each lap. Also, it’s a good idea to map it out in an anti-clockwise direction so you won’t have to cross traffic or pull up excessively.  

Do a climbing-based run  

It won’t do you much good as a rider to cycle the same old routes completing them more easily with every attempt. They say change is as good as a holiday, and right now we guarantee that’s something you’re holding out for.   Switching up your cycling and route styles and setting yourself new goals is the next best thing. Ever tried to see how many climbs you can do in one hour? Personal challenges like this will help you become a better rider in no time!    
Try a distance challenge  

Much like climbing challenges, distance riding is primarily about improving your stamina and endurance levels over longer time periods. Similar to climbing-based runs, why not find out how much distance you can cover within an hour?   Take this chance to build upon those long-haul riding skills so when you’re finally able to hit the road with your buddies again you’ll be a force to be reckoned with on the highway.    

Set up an indoor ride    

Perhaps your circumstances are so complex to the point where it’s simply too difficult to juggle the restrictions and navigate a curfew. There’s always indoor cycling you can try for something a little different and it doesn’t take much effort to set up.   There are virtual exercise options that can be enjoyed right from your living room. If you think this is something you might be into then Zwift is a great place to start.   You could even spend a bit of time while you’re stuck at home cleaning, maintaining or upgrading your bike. This way you’ll be even more excited the first time you get to test out your new ride.      

While things won’t be normalised for quite some time, there are generally ways we can alter our riding routines to abide by whatever new restrictions or curfews are introduced.  

Integrating these tips with your regime will provide you with at least some sense of regularity however it also wouldn’t hurt to experience some different types of riding like burbing and setting specific endurance-orientated goals for yourself.  

Keep on perfecting your passion, improving those skills and as usual, happy cycling!