Thinking about riding your bike may be the last thing on your mind. I don't need to tell you all the other things you're probably grappling with - it's the wild west out there right now.
But in the midst of so much uncertainty (and a dose of stress), it's a good time to turn to our favourite hobby.
Here's why -
- Mental health. There's nothing like scraping your bar end on a gumtree to bring you back to the present moment. In this time of uncertainty and worry, some singletrack therapy is probably just what you need. MTB is a great activity to make sure you're really 'in the moment' and not in your head - you simply have to stay focused on the trail ahead!
- Social. Even in a group, MTB has a decent amount of 'social distancing' going on (there's usually at least a bike between you and your mate!). However it does give you the opportunity to get out and catch up with friends. Whether you're talking macroeconomics, futures markets, conspiracy theories or perhaps even getting down into some real feelings - just swap the fist bumps for elbows and you're on!
- Lift your mood. Hopefully you've experienced the buzz during and after a great ride. Well, there's science behind that! Exercise reduces the amount of stress hormones in your system (such as adrenaline and cortisol), while encouraging your body to produce endorphins (the chemicals in your brain that are both natural painkillers and mood elevators). So get out there, leave nothing on the trail and release those happy hormones!
- Strong Body. There's no reason to be putting off keeping ourselves in decent health and fitness - in fact, regular exercise is proven to contribute to not only overall good health, but to a boost in circulation and therefore your immune system function. Get out on the bike and push yourself a bit, with an aim to getting your heartrate up and working your cardio and muscles. However maybe save the Strava descent challenges for another time as now probably isn't the time for a hospital trip.
- Quarantine prep. Let's hope it doesn't come to this for you, but a period of time quarantined at home is definitely on the cards for some people. Two weeks couped without a skid wouldn't make me much fun to be around, so seize the moment and get out on the bike while you can!
To sum up: our advice for staying safe, sane and active? Go ride your bike!