You Know What

According to my blog stats I have under 50 more articles to go till I reach an all-time number of 1000. I thought that this would take me at least this whole season, but with ‘confinement’ as the new normal we could be up to 2000 before it all ends. I have a lot of time on my hands.

March 19, 2020 Update: As many of you know, Europe is the center of this shit-storm at the moment and France is not far behind Italy and Spain in both numbers and societal restrictions. Right now we need this to leave home:

Capture d’écran 2020-03-17 à 11.54.23

We are allowed to go outside for the following 5 reasons:

  1. Work, if this cannot be done at home.
  2. Shopping for ‘essentials’, including cigarettes.
  3. Doctor / pharmacy
  4. Family, but only to look after kids or ‘vulnerable’ people.
  5. Solo exercise close to home.

Obviously #5 has been on my mind a lot. This order dropped only a couple of days ago and it was sufficiently vague to make people think (including me) that they could go out for a run or a ride. Immediately two camps of cyclists popped up:

  1. Those who decided to simply ride inside.
  2. Those who decided to ride outdoors till further notice.

The No. 1 group has several reasons for their decision, as far as I can tell:

  • They feel that they cannot normally get a good ride in ‘close to home’.
  • Any outdoor activity could mean contact with other people.
  • An accident could theoretically put you in the hospital and take up resources that are needed for Covid19 cases.

The No. 2 group feels something like this:

  • ‘Close to home’ is relative. Is it determined in kilometers or time? Anyway, cycling can be done close to home with some creativity (I can do hill repeats 200m up the road if I want).
  • Runners and walkers will have far more contact with other people. Once a cyclist is on the road, you are never near anyone else.
  • Exercise is good both physically and mentally and we could be cooped up a long time.
  • Cycling has a lower injury rate than running (stats unavailable), for example, which doesn’t have the same stigma attached to it (yet). The chance of you taking up a hospital bed because of a ride on empty roads is nearly zero, in my opinion.

You can tell which group I belong to, but I’ve decided to not ride outside for now at least. Why? I am feeling a little guilty despite what I believe and I’m guessing there will be more and more social pressure to stay inside going forward. We’ll see. Also, the French Federation of Cycling just put out this communiqué, strongly advising us all to stay inside, despite the ambiguity of the government’s rule. The comments on their Twitter page are interesting and have both above camps well represented.


Therefore, I give you my last ride photo for a while I suppose, on a totally deserted climb back home yesterday. I know that most of you will already be ‘self confined’, while the rest of you are hoping you don’t go full-on Euro. The good news is that we have indoor trainers, plenty of old cycling races to watch online, and the internet to keep us sane (or the opposite as the case may be). We’ll ride this one out in due time. In the meantime, get ready for a Vicious Cycle of blog posts…


18 thoughts on “You Know What

  1. There was a good article a couple days ago about an Italian pro. He was almost knocked off his bike by a disgruntled driver who felt he shouldn’t be cycling due to the crisis there. (Not sure why the driver was driving). The pro made a good point that it is actually his job. However another person in the article pointed out that in the rare chance of an accident you may be taking up a bed. I would prefer being out in this great weather we are having but….
    Keep the blog going though. Always a good read.

    • That’s an interesting point. John was out yesterday, too, and got honked at. I asked him if it was a ‘friendly honk’ or and ‘angry honk’. It was the latter. This is one reason I’m not too keen on riding now. We don’t need the animosity. Has Switzerland gone as hard as France on restrictions yet? I have friends who have been saying on Strava that this could be their last ride outside…

      • We are at present encouraged to minimise outdoor movement but I have heard that they are considering putting in measures like France. Most people are working from home. Restricting movement as in France is in my opinion is the best thing to do. It’s a bit frustrating when the weather is great but ultimately I want the world to get back on track so I can see my favourite sport again. Had all my money on Froome. 😎🚴‍♀️

      • Long story, brother… I’m working from home for a few days… everyone else is still working in the office, though. We’ve got a small crew in the actual office, though – seven of us. We’re hearing rumblings that the whole state is about to shut down for two weeks.

        • CA just shut down, I read. I can’t imagine they will be the only one. We will soon all have lots of time to interact virtually. Hope you get a few more rides in before it drops.

        • I’ve ridden a lot, including yesterday, but the weather’s going to keep us inside today and tomorrow. Maybe a ride Sunday if they don’t put us on lockdown. Either way, I’m good. I’ve got a library of about 300 movies and I love all but six… I’ll have enough to keep me occupied for as long as is needed and a few more days on the trainer won’t hurt me if it helps us get past this.

  2. I have had no ‘honking’ as I continue to ride but we haven’t got the same restrictions as you yet and on the whole, the government wants us old people to keep healthy by taking exercise. I hadn’t thought about falling off and taking up a hospital bed and I wish that you hadn’t mentioned it as it will prey on my mind a bit now. Good health to you, Gerry, enjoy your indoor rides and don’t trip over as you get on the trainer..

    • The ‘hospital bed’ thing is all the rage now, TP. It’s a non-issue in my mind. You could just as easily fall in the house or stub your toe on the rake! Get out while you can 😉

  3. Still going out solo, reasonably close to home. I’ve been doing this for 2 moths now for other reasons. I feel if I cannot maintain a fit lifestyle as an older, ‘at risk’, person then I’m maybe more of a possibility for hospitalisation? (no’s scientific proof here either)

    • It’s a tough one (and sorry to hear about that ‘other reason’ by the way) for sure. I suppose that we can still ride inside, assuming we have a trainer, so there’s our physical health taken care of. Mental is another story. I would guess that your decision will shortly be made for you, if the UK goes the way of us.

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