Cycling during social/physical isolation

#stayhomestaysafe

We hope you can use the information on this page to help you to stay or to start cycling within current guidelines. We are unable at this time to meet you or see your bike in person and we are not loaning out bikes or equipment. We are able to speak to you over the phone or by video call to offer advice and guidance. Our contact details are here.

This could be to help you to choose a suitable route, to help you to identify if your bike is in a safe condition to ride, how to clean your bikes after riding and how to do simple maintenance on your own bike.

Below are some videos that you might find useful. You will find very useful information on Youtube or cycling websites. It is sometimes best to watch more than one video on the subject you are searching for, to find the method that best suits you, or the part of a bike that looks like yours! All to often videos demonstrate with brand new bikes and ours are often well used or worn.

Current advice

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to clear guidelines from the Government that relate to cycling activity. Leaving your home once a day to cycle for exercise and well being is reasonable and allowed. It should be either a solo ride or with members of your household. You should not ride with anybody else. Feel free to share photos of your solo rides with our Anti Social Cycling Club.

It is currently advised to ride for a period up to an hour and to stay close to home. You shouldn’t be driving somewhere to cycle. If you are only confident in cycling off road this could be the perfect time to build road confidence and we would be happy to give advice on this.

Some people are limiting the distance they are cycling as they recognise the relative greater risk of having an accident and burdening NHS services. 30 minutes cycling can easily cover 5 miles.

It has been suggested cyclists should observe greater than 2 metres distance from pedestrians, given the speed at which we travel. Some of our our volunteers are avoiding shared cycle paths for this reason where there is no run off space, like from the allotments at Netherstowe all the way to Dam Street in the city centre that is often shared with pedestrians.

Some practical advice from Cycling UK:

“You should carry tissues to use when cycling, disposing of them safely in a bin as soon as possible. Upon returning home, you must wash your hands. It’s also advisable to wash your cycling gloves, too. Remember to avoid touching your face if your hands are not clean.”

Riding with confidence

Though there are less cars on the road it is a fact that we need to be as aware as ever as some drivers are driving without the care and attention we would like.

We have also seen an increase in people riding on the pavement and this isn’t something that we would endorse. Assertive cycling on the road is always the safest for you and your family group. This diagram below gives some information for car drivers to make them aware we are often taking an assertive line for the protection of people on the pavement.

Advice on family cycling can be found on the Islabike and Cycling UK websites. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. The Active Lichfield (formerly Cycle Rides For All) cycle rides due to take place this summer have been cancelled, but there will be some of the routes posted soon on their website soon.

Checking your bike before a ride

This video is from Sustrans, the national cycling charity and it is a good brief guide on how to check your bike before you use it. With experience this can be achieved in just a few seconds. We recommend enabling your children to do this for their own bikes.

If you have a problem with your bike

If your bike has a problem that requires mechanical work that you cannot achieve, we are happy to try and give you advice over the phone or by video call. Freedom Cycles are still open by appointment and you could try to ring them to see if they have any availability to fix your bike. The Cycling 2000 shop in Lichfield is closed but they are still offering a service, though it may be restricted to prioritise key workers.

Bike maintenance

Sometimes issues build up with bikes due to poor maintenance or lack of cleaning. Below is a video on how to clean your bike. Some useful items you might need to do this are: rags, degreaser, car shampoo, an old toothbrush, a bucket and some 3 in 1 or chain oil. A pressure washer is not recommended as this can drive dirt into bearings or drive needed grease out.

Another reliable source of videos is Park Tool and there are many videos on their Youtube channel here.

Buying a second hand bike

If you are looking to acquire a bike during this time there is a neat guide to second hand bikes here. Unfortunately we are not able to loan any bikes at the moment as we have no premises and our tools and stock are in storage, as well as many of our volunteers requiring to shield themselves or currently self isolating.

Details of how to get in touch with us to discuss any of the above are here on our Contact page. Happy and safe riding.

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