"Can I still go out for a spin?" - We answer your questions
If there is one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has brought it’s uncertainty. What are we allowed to do, when can we leave the house and the most pressing of all, how does it affect mountain biking?
We’ve compiled a list of questions to help ensure riders know what they can and can’t do and how to get the most out of mountain biking in this tough time.
It is important to remember however that you should only be heading out for essentials and exercise. If in doubt, stay home.
Can you still go out for a spin?
Exercise is encouraged. Many are using the bike to stay sane and also for the practical reasons of a trip to the shop for essentials such as food and (dare we mention it) toilet paper. The advice from specialists is this - don't overdo it! While exercise can help strengthen the immune system, extended strenuous workouts can have the opposite effect, particularly for the 24 or so hours after. And remember to follow common sense hygiene guidelines including washing your hands after the ride.
What about trails?
This will vary depending on what state you are in. Tasmania has shut down the majority of MTB trails including Wild Mersey, Maydena, Blue Derby and Penguin MTB Park. NSW has moved to shut down some areas of their Forests and National Parks so whether or not trails and MTB Parks remain open will vary.
Fire trails are generally a safe bet at the moment and as long as you exercise safe social distancing, going out for a spin on these is allowed.
The situation is constantly changing however so be sure to check in with your Club or State’s National Parks website before venturing out for a ride.
Can I ride in a group?
No. Gatherings of more than two people are not allowed. Ensure any ride you go on is by yourself.
What about bike shops, are they still open?
Yes they are and business is booming so ensure you phone ahead to book and appointment. Most shops will be enforcing social distancing so booking in a time is your safest bet. Remember that you should only go in if you need to. If you can get your bike or gear delivered then opt for that.
What if I need my bike serviced now?
We have been told of numerous workshops being absolutely inundated with work. Many people are opting to use the bike to get outside, breathe some fresh air and much-needed exercise. Some workshops are booked out for weeks so phone or message in advance to make an appointment.
Again you should only get your bike serviced if it's essential for exercise. Why not invest in some tools and find some online tutorials like we have at MBA?
How is Mountain Biking Australia weathering the crisis?
Times are tough for the MTB industry so we encourage you to support it! MBA is currently going to print with our May/June/July issue and it’s jam-packed with reviews, advice and stories to keep you occupied.
One of the best ways to support us is to subscribe! You’ll get your four copies a year delivered as well as digital access. There’s never been a better time to join our MTB-mad community!