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:
We are allowed to go outside for the following 5 reasons:
- Work, if this cannot be done at home.
- Shopping for ‘essentials’, including cigarettes.
- Doctor / pharmacy
- Family, but only to look after kids or ‘vulnerable’ people.
- 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:
- Those who decided to simply ride inside.
- 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…