News

Corona crisis: Ride responsibly and look after your community

How and where can I ride my bike? Why should I avoid binging on Netflix? What’s the best way to keep my immune system working efficiently? What’s going to be the fate of bricks-and-mortar shops? How can the bike industry help each other? We sum up the situation from our HQ in Stuttgart, Germany.

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Some countries have banned cycling. And here in Germany, ironically the core bike scene has been crying to adopt a no-cycling policy as well. But in the opinion of health experts, the government and some bike brands such a ban will be counter-productive, coming at the cost of health, wellbeing and the resilience of our immune systems. People still need to move – whether it’s to and from work or getting necessities from the shops.

Important: Ride and act in accordance with the government guidelines stipulated in your country or region

Anyone that rides a bike knows that it does us good. But now’s not the time to take risks. No bike parks, nothing gnarly, no sprints for city limit signs. Ride carefully and always keep a distance from others. Fresh air and movement will reward your soul as much as it does your immune system.

Unnecessary risks – whether on the road or on the trail – should be avoided at the moment!

The reason to cut-back on hair-raising antics is out of solidarity with those who may genuinely need hospital beds, and out of respect for those on the front line working in hospitals. For the athletes out there: intensive training is also unwise right now. After a tough training session, your immune system is compromised, working overtime to help your body recover and therefore putting you in a window of high risk. Tip: lower the intensity, find joy in the act of moving.

We’re in an increasingly serious situation and cannot abuse the position of being at home with the assumption that it means a local bike holiday. Instead of using your car or public transport where the risk of infection is higher, now’s the time to go by bike.

To grasp the severity of the times, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speech from the 18th March sums it up well. She’s not someone to mince her words. “It is serious. Take it seriously,” Merkel said. “Since German reunification, actually, since World War Two, there has never been a challenge for our country in which acting in solidarity was so very crucial.”

To everyone who’s now at home: do your immune system a favour. Eat well, enjoy a balanced diet, and incorporate small bits of exercise into your day. Somewhat weirdly, the empty shelves in supermarkets don’t match what helps our bodies – toilet paper, rice and pasta. Living on tinned ravioli, ready-made lasagne, and frozen pizzas doesn’t constitute healthy eating. Many of us now have more time than ever to cook and bake, and so far, there’s no shortage of fresh fruit and vegetables. Plus, wild garlic is just coming into season. Use it! A combination of less sport, less sunlight and poor nutrition leads to weaker immune systems. By living in isolation, we might be putting the brakes on the spread of the infection, but we’re putting ourselves in a more vulnerable position to fight it. So we have to do more than just stay at home and Netflix. We’re all enthusiastic about sports, let’s workout at home!

Our American friend of the magazine, Dee Tidwell has put together a do-at-home workout for us:

We have tested 7 smart trainers for Zwift and Co – here you will find the right option for you if you plan to get on your bike at home.

Our fitness app recommendations

Keeping your mental game is a vital part of a healthy body too. Right now, there’s a whole lot of uncertainty in life, and many people are struggling with stress and anxiety. This forced period of staying at home might have some benefits–see it as a time to start a yoga or meditation habit. Our beliefs: Yoga over Netflix, Zen meditation over sedatives. We sat down with Zen Master Hinnerk Polenski a while ago to discuss how sport and stress and positive perspectives affect our lives – even when it rains’

Zen-Doping, Ride-Life Balance und Flow – Interview mit Zen-Meister Hinnerk Polenski

Asana Rebel – Yoga, strength and movement Apple App Store, Google Play
Insight Timer – Smartphone app and online meditation. Guided meditation, speeches by leading experts, and music: insighttimer.com

Help your nearest and dearest – do what you can, creatively and pragmatically.

Given the absence of any upcoming bike fairs and events, lots of bike brands are sitting on an essentially redundant fleet of test bikes. Still, not all of them are letting them grow dust– FOCUS Bikes from Stuttgart have decided to lend their bikes to the greater good of the region by distributing e-bikes to small business, pharmacies and restaurants to make deliveries. A fantastic move in our eyes, and one that should set an example. For small businesses, this ability could be what keeps them afloat in the tough times. And it’s never a bad thing to get more people on bikes. Find out all the info here.

As large chunks of retail close their doors, the situation for bike shops is still unclear–shops are shutting, but repairs can still go ahead in some cases. Bike shops face the risk of collapse at this time. Here’s where we need to act; retailers are fundamental to mobility. Many of us might be dragging our bikes out of hibernation ready for the spring, which means it makes sense to draft in a professional service. Some bikes might not even be road-worthy any longer, let alone suitable for their new role as a commuter. What about buying locally, but getting advice from a distance? Those in the fortunate situation of owning a second bike could deposit your first bike for a service now.

As already mentioned, we’re going to concentrate on delivering helpful articles relating to the sport that we all love. We’ll open up our platforms to support crowdfunding projects and funding activities to encourage and support the entire community through these unsettling times. In the next few weeks, we’ll keep our ears to the ground and determine how we can support the businesses in need of help most.

The direct effects of the coronavirus are already apparent in Germany. As the situation continues to develop, we’ll try our utmost to support the businesses that are hit worst by the crisis. Robin Schmitt, founder.

Do you have any ideas of how to support small business in this period? Write to us at hello@granfondo-cycling.com