As mountain bikers, we are usually very active, so being on lockdown has certainly changed this for me.. Netflix has been completed, books have been read, and I even made some pasties the other day for myself and my flatmates to give them a taste of my home, Plymouth. One thing’s for sure right now, is that the world has changed. The silver lining to this, for me, is that I have seen a lot more people out on bikes.
Having done some gentle rides to keep active, and not lose my mind, whilst doing so I am seeing families and individuals finding a new love for riding and at Bikeaholic we know this can only be a positive thing. It's one of the first big life achievements as a kid - getting the stabilizers taken off our bike, gaining a sense of independence from our parents as we begin to explore the world around us on two wheels.
My only hope is that when lockdown and Covid-19 is behind us, this new found love of being on a bike continues. And why not? We live in a beautiful part of the world, there is so much to see and explore on our doorstep. The mental and health benefits to being out on a bike truly speak for themselves in a time like this, so why not any time?
Biking has always been a big part of my life, and having time off has also allowed me to try and become a bit fitter by pedaling (don’t worry, I’ve been staying within the rules of the lockdown).
No longer can I just do bike park laps to get my fix, so I have joined Strava, not to start racing others, but to watch my fitness improve and to feel that sense of achievement and progression I’ve been missing recently. It’s been a good way to ride mellow trails, even some road riding I have to admit (don’t worry it’s on a cyclo-cross bike, it has knobby tires, so it still counts), and be able to look up and take in the landscapes around me, as opposed to when I’m smashing laps at Skyline - full disclosure, smashing laps normally involves equal amounts of coffee and chatting to actual riding time.
Now, let’s all agree on something...Tiger King and Ozark are the best things on Netflix right now. After trolling through many more sub-average shows I flicked on Doomsday Preppers - potentially showing my state of mind at the time - before quickly realising this would send me down a rabbit hole, I turned the TV off and made another cup of tea.
Feet hitting the coffee table as I plonked myself down on the sofa, I decided to read the countless publications of Spoke magazine gathering dust on my coffee table. Once these were all dusted off, I went to dig out a book I got for Christmas a couple of years ago (thanks Mum) - ‘Dirt: 25 years of World Cup downhill’. The book documents the development of the sport we all love and it reminded me that the industry is always changing.
Bikes definitely are so much better now than even a few years ago, let alone the bikes from back in the day. It also focused my mind on the new challenges to be overcome in the industry in these difficult times. However, I like to think that any obstacle can be overcome given a bit of time, some deep thought and a cup of tea.
One more benefit of being at home and having some bike knowledge is that I’ve been able to spend some time working on my own bike, as well as help my housemates learn some basics on how to maintain their bikes and impart knowledge. Why not take the time to teach your kids or housemates the basics? How to change an inner tube, how to do a bolt check, or even watching some of the Youtube clips that we will be posting in the coming weeks for some ‘how to’ information.
All of us at Bikeaholic are throwing ourselves into some work within our bubbles, thinking positively towards the future and figuring out some new ways of working is helping to keep us busy, get the grey matter working and make us even better as your local bike shop. Once again I wish you all well, stay safe and enjoy this opportunity to progress yourself.
I can't wait to turn the key in Bikeaholic and get back to chatting with you GC's