The world as we know it….
Holy Hecka.. What a couple of months. I’m going to keep this brief.
This time of the year is always compact with business , tax schedules, schools, holidays, Holden closing its doors, and Cycling when we can fit it in.
February was an amazing month for Bike Manawatu with the running of the Cheltenham Cup, three Palmfeild motors flat track twilight race meetings and the BM Road race championships.
At the BM Road race Champs 63 riders fronted up to the Colyton-Hiwinui circuit raced in age group classifications. Great numbers across all grades and results for all races can be seen on the Website..click here.
March came around and signs of what was happening around the world started to raise eye brows. We have 7 events planned on the calendar with the emphasis on ITT’s and WCNI road racing building up to the Age Group Nationals run by CHB Cycling in Waipukurau.
Wedged in there also was the 47th running of the Novice tour.
All three Road race content events have now been postponed.
Our young elite Road race riders have had their contracts put on hold..Borders are closed….None of this is new news.
Bike Manawatu is committed to the Health of our sport and our riders. The guidelines are changing daily and we are all hoping for normality to return in the shortest possible time.
Wednesday 25th will see the Twilight ITT planned to continue at Kairanga. Register Here
Sunday 29th the BM ITT Championships are planned to take place at Rongotea. Register Here
The criteria for this is as follows. Entries will be online only, we will not accept late on the day entries. BM will publish a start sheet with a start time before 2pm Wednesday and by lunch on Saturday 28th.
What this will allow you to do is turn up to registration, pay your entry, get your number and go straight to the start line knowing your order.
This will avoid crowding and increase social distancing. Because of this system multiple briefings will be at the start line so every rider will hear the briefing, probably twice.
After the finish of the ITT your numbers and timing chips will be collected and we encourage the riders to disperse and not to congregate in groups.
All riders are to follow MOH guidelines below, to carry their own handkerchiefs , totally avoid clearing your throat and nose into the open air, and why not carry a small sanitiser with you.
Sunday Recreational Rides
Formal Sunday rides from Memorial Park are suspended until further notice.
There will be no Bike Barn lucky draw.
What we know is that riders will still turn up to Memorial park and do group rides as Responsible, Informed Adults.
The groups will be no more than 10 riders per group. Any rider needed to sneeze, cough, clear their nose or throat is to hold their arm up, roll to the back of the bunch and “sort themselves out”.
We are all versed in calling Car back, Puncture, Mechanical, Keep it tight etc, so lets not treat the call “Medical” as a threat if a rider need to practice good Hygiene.
Once again, I encourage riders to carry a handkerchief and if possible a small hand sanitiser with them for after the ride at the coffee stop if you still choose to do this.
This is a different world than we are used to. Let’s not forget that at this stage the only positive tests have come from people coming from overseas.
Let’s all act as Responsible, informed adults, enjoy the sport that Cycling gives to us all. Look after ourselves and our friends.
Let’s not throw the Baby out with the Bathwater
When it comes to disease transmission, being outside is much safer than congregating inside. However, the caveat here is that riders are encouraged to ride solo or stick to small groups. The WHO has reported that it is unknown how long COVID-19 can live on clothing, so to minimise any potential health risks, utilising common sense is the best course of action. It’s also worth noting that the CDC (American Centre for Disease Control) has reported that coronaviruses do not survive very long on objects outside as a result of exposure to sunlight (UV light).
Additionally, while cyclists are being advised to be alert and aware of their physical condition, it’s worth remembering that as we deplete our glycogen stores on long rides, or through intense training, the immune system does not function at its optimum level.
We’re all well aware of the benefits that cycling can have to both our physical and mental health, however, there are some easily actionable common sense safeguards we can put in place during this pivotal time;
· Do not venture outside if you’re feeling unwell – If you’re feeling under the weather, or presenting with cold and flu symptoms, please, do not attempt to soldier on. We all have a responsibility to one another to reduce the spread of this or any illness.
· Small Bunches, or Solo Rides – Due to the large number of unknowns about the virus and contagious nature of COVID-19, it’s best to limit bunch rides to a smaller amount of cyclists, or head out solo if you can. If you choose to go it alone, it’s imperative, as always, to let a friend, family member or loved one know where you’re likely to be riding and when you’re likely to return.
· Wash Your Hands, Look After your Hygiene – Before jumping on the bike, while stopped for a mid-ride espresso, or when jumping off the bike at the end of a ride, wash your hands. It’s also a good idea to pack some hand sanitizer and take it with you, not only on a ride but keep it on your person throughout the day. Planning to use a share bike? Great! Just be sure to wipe down the grips and saddle with your sanitizer as mentioned above and enjoy the freedom that a bike affords you!
· Ride Inside – If you’re feeling a little under the weather, aren’t confident in riding alone or want to tick the legs over, why not invest in a smart trainer and jump on Zwift! With WorldTour teams such as Mitchelton-Scott diving headfirst into the interactive world, providing punters with the chance to ride alongside their Professional heroes. Want to get involved? Check out the Where The World Rides Series for details on when the rides are happening and how you can get involved.