Mountain Biking and COVID-19: What’s affected and how to protect yourself

Coronavirus or COVID-19 … it’s a global health crisis that appears set to get a lot more serious before getting any better. 

Not yet classified a pandemic but with numerous new outbreaks around the world daily, how will COVID-19 affect mountain biking and how can you best protect yourself from respiratory infection? 

The bike industry has already experienced a level of disruption with some suppliers reporting delays in the arrival of products due to factory shutdowns in China. 

Some kit companies have reported delays in fulfilling apparel orders, Mountain Biking Australia have had word of some accessory companies facing significant delays in sourcing products. Bafang, the world’s leading manufacturer of e-MTB motors and electronics, have announced delays stemming from the enforced Chinese government shutdown. 


A Word From UCI 

As of yet there have been no UCI MTB events however our road brethren have already had the UAE Tour cancelled. 

"We will gather information on the movements and the training locations of riders and staff members in the three weeks leading up to the competition,” they said. 

“Precise information will be given on health measures taken to protect riders and technical staff from risk of contamination. The UCI will be following the evolution of the epidemic and the potential consequences for the organisation of international competitions on a daily basis.” 

There are also fears for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which start on Friday 24 July. A senior International Olympic Committee member said in a worse case scenario the Games could be cancelled. Dick Pound made the comments, saying a final decision would be announced in May.


Image: UCI

Keep Riding + How To Protect Yourself  

So what does this mean for riders? First up, keep riding, stay fit and remain healthy. A healthy body and strong immune system is one of the best defences against sickness. Eat well, get enough sleep, ensure you’re maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, and keep the vitamins, minerals and supplements up.  

Guidelines From The W.H.O 

The World Health Organisation has issued basic guidelines on how best to protect yourself against Covid-19. The bottom line is commonsense, with recommendations including -  

Wash Hands Frequently 

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. 

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands. 

Maintain Social Distance 

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. 

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease. 

Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose and Mouth 

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick. 


Practice Respiratory Hygiene 

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. 

Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19. 

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early 

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.  

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections

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