Mountain bikers in quarantine….the words send shivers down your spine don’t they? I mean, we are hard wired to be outside! There’s no doubt about it, these are unprecedented times. The last great pandemic was the Spanish Flu in 1918 and I doubt there are many people alive that remember that – I can say for certain that there are no mountain bikers alive that remember that! With that in mind let’s go ahead and say it….this sucks. I mean it really sucks, we’re never going to score….oh wait, wrong rant. Anyway, I’m sure you’re with me on this, it’s just not fun being one of the many mountain bikers in quarantine stuck at home even if we understand why we have to.
There are some ways that we can use this time to benefit ourselves though. Consider it an extended off season, time to unwind from the rat race. I bet Tahnee Seagrave can’t believe her luck!
If you are anything like me, you spend all summer shredding every trail you can in between working every shift you can just to make sure you can afford to shred every trail you can! That is hard on your body, on your mind, your wallet and your bike.
Use this time to take a break, chill at home for a while, work less shifts if you can. Try meditation, massage (with someone from your household) or Yoga. Anything that lets you disconnect, decompress and reset.
Once you are rested and your mind is in a good place it’s time to start training for next season. Even if you aren’t a racer you will benefit from being fitter and stronger. Join a virtual gym class (please donate), lift weights at home, do T25 or follow the training program that the Yeti team have used. Whatever you do, remember that consistency is the key. Another option is to spend time on the indoor trainer. My personal preference is Trainerroad, they are a local company and I find it less distracting than Zwift.
Ride your local trails if your State Laws currently allow it. Do remember that travelling to another area is not a good idea just now, especially small towns that have limited medical capacity. I recommend riding mellow trails and within your limits. You do not want to be anywhere near a hospital just now or cause yourself an injury that puts additional strain on the hospital system.
Remember that once this is over we can all shred together again.
If you are carrying extra weight its going to have an effect on your riding ability. Uphill and downhill performance both suffer when your belly is too big! Bike body separation becomes more difficult, not to mention climbing! Use the off season to really focus on your nutrition. Be mindful of what you are eating and drinking. Don’t fall for the everything in moderation trap either. You need gazelle like focus and consistency. Remember that nutrition is more important than exercise for body composition. Try not to fall into the classic pitfall of many mountain bikers in quarantine; beer, chips & video games!
Use this time to pick up a new hobby or sport. If you want to learn trombone, calligraphy or knitting I’m not here to judge you! Find something you like and roll with it. Remember, when this is over and you are back to work and complaining that life moves so fast…..use this time to be present, be with your family.
Here’s one last little Easter Egg for you. The guys over at IFHT made this hilarious video about mountain bikers in quarantine. See if you recognize yourself in this one!