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We're back.....almost

The Covid times

It's all gone very weird and we’re all stuck at home. I’ve not seen my children for 76 days and counting, and it’s even longer since I’ve seen my mum. But you know what? We’re all in the same boat and my experience of the pandemic is certainly not unique, and better than many many others by far.

Even before lockdown here in the Peakcyclinguk office we took the decision to suspend our activities for the early part of the season, with the expectation that day rides will be doable by late summer. But longer trips away, or anything involving a hotel would have to wait until next year (our Hebridean Highland Adventure, as featured in Cool of the Wild, is now planned for June 2021). But we never say never so well see what comes. One day at a time and all that.

With all that sorted what to do next? Pauls alter ”working” ego was busy working from home and I was, well, just at home……and I HATE gardening and I’m useless at DIY.

In the middle of May I was meant to be riding the Great North Trail. I’ve been training for quite a few months and so decided to keep going with it to keep a focus. Sure we cancelled the trip but never say never. It might still happen this year Great North Trail.

Now as part of this training I was meant to be doing some long rides …………….obviously not going to happen during lockdown.

I have a turbo but I never do a session longer than 90 minutes and generally prefer less than an hour or I lose the will to live. So I altered it a bit. I did short sessions on the turbo 3 – 4 days and rode outside for 3 – 4 days in various combinations as long as I did 6 days in the week with one day off. It was all focused intervals with no junk mileage. I also did hip mobility exercises most days.

But what about long rides? My rule was that I couldn’t go far from home and I couldn’t be out long. Fortunately living in the heart of the peak district my local area is blessed with hills, all within a short distance of home. I worked out various hills that I could do as “intervals”, so I have a 2 minute hill, a 5 minute hill and so on. 30 minute climbs were more of a problem as would have had to go too far so they became 15 minute hills done more times…ooh me legs. It’s amazing how far you ride when doing the same 5 minute climb 10 times. With a bit of a warm up before and a cool down after I was riding 50 to 60 KM all within 5 km of my house.

Actually my biggest problem was finding flat bits of road to recover on. Check this out for a long ride on one hill Le Col Everesting

Now lockdown is easing off long rides are back on the menu and I’m happy about that. I’m sick of that bloody 5 minute hill! I’m pretty sure that group rides will be allowed soon so, as long as we can ensure social distancing, Peakcyclinguk day rides will definitely be on the cards. I’m looking forward to that.

British Cycling have also informed us that 1:1 skills sessions are now allowed. This is great news. So why not give us a shout and book in for a skills session so you can dazzle your mates with your technique when group rides come back. Now that is something to look forward to. Email us at to book. We won’t put set dates on the website so it really is to suit you.

I’ve learnt a few things during this process. Exercise is brilliant for your mental health, you can improve your flexibility, you can get really fit without going that far, and a day or two for rest is essential if you are doing more exercise than normal. A consistent regime is the key. Lockdown is tiresome for sure but we can save each other by sticking with It. And that’s easier if you have something to look forward to. One day at a time. Keep safe.

Look out for a newsletter about day rides in the Peak District on our website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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