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Cycling Dos and Don’ts During the Current Coronavirus Outbreak

By Adam Marsal

Since Covid-19 started to spread across the world, social life has changed, and the same goes for cycling. How does the new coronavirus affect our favourite sport? What should you do and what should you better avoid? What impact may the pandemic have on your training routine?

To ride or not to ride?

A strong immune system is crucial when it comes to fighting the coronavirus. Cycling, in general, improves your health and helps your body fight various infections. However, you should avoid not only cycling in groups, but also on bike paths where more cyclists might gather, as the coronavirus seems to be highly contagious. Training out of town where you’ll less likely come in contact with other people is a better option. Cycling at home on a trainer is probably the best option. Even online, you can ride with your friends or challenge yourself to help Italy. Moreover, many countries have imposed a ban on public gatherings to limit the spreading of the disease. So remember to always respect your government’s regulations.

How hard should you train?

Another question is how hard your training routine should be. Several studies have proven that the illness risk is increased during periods of intensified physical exercises, competitions, and races. The reason is that with higher training load the human body uses up its glycogen reserves. These are not only needed in the muscles, but are also involved in numerous processes, including the immune system’s response to infections. During pandemics, like the one we’re experiencing right now, you’ll be better off without arduous and exhausting workouts.

Can I keep on commuting?

Well, during an epidemic, cycling seems to be a lot more responsible way to get to work than using the public transport system, which poses a risk of getting infected from other passengers. Wear a mask just like pedestrians do to avoid catching or spreading the disease. Wash your hands after each ride, the same goes for your gloves.

A woman cycles across a quiet Westminster Bridge © Luke Dray/LNP / Shutterstock Editorial / Profimedia

What to avoid

There are several things that may be regarded as annoying even in better times, such as spitting or blowing your nose while riding. Some people tend to clean their insides excessively during the ride, which may lead to spreading infection in the face of the pandemic.

Using a bike-sharing service seems to be a risky business too, as the new coronavirus has been proven to stick on surfaces and stay dangerously contagious for people who touch them even after days (depending on the material in question). It’s advisable to only ride your own bike or to clean and disinfect the handlebars, grips, saddle and other points of contact if you need to share.