Planning your next mountain bike adventure during a pandemic

This virus can postpone our holiday bookings, but it cannot stop our mountain bike travel dreams and plans.

With the pandemic far from over, now may not be the right time for going on a mountain bike holiday. But that doesn’t mean trip planning is cancelled too. There’s some good news for mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts:

According to researchers, looking ahead to your next adventure could benefit your mental health. Even if you’re not sure when that adventure will be.

But I guess we knew that already.

A friend in Portugal called me yesterday - she was excited about her trip to the Azores. The trip was cancelled, but she was given a voucher. She has until the end of 2021 to go to the Azores or somewhere else for the same price. We spent at least half an hour talking about the amazing spots to look for in São Miguel island. I have been there twice and would happily go again – amazing place to mountain bike!

This virus can stop our holiday bookings, but it cannot stop our travel dreams and travel plans.

Planning and anticipating a mountain bike trip can be as enjoyable as going on the trip itself. Just the anticipation can increase our happiness - much more so than the anticipation of buying goods. Although I am not sure if this applies to buying bikes. But anyway, I guess you know the feeling.

Mountain biking is all about experiences and having stories to tell

We live social-distancing times, but researcher Amit Kumar, suggests replacing the phrase “social distancing” with “physical distancing,” which better describes what we’re now doing; after all, we still socialize a lot, mostly through videocalls. Quarantine measures are designed to protect our physical well-being, socializing is essential for our mental health.

Talking about a planned trip with friends on a video call is good for your mental health.

I may not have a reference from an academic study about this specific situation, but I have experienced it – and it was good. You may end up talking about past adventures and navigate through time and space – we are natural storytellers we need stories in our lives.

If you are a newcomer to the sport, just bought a new bike or resuscitated your old bike from the garage you may also want to start searching for places to go. Safe roads, scenic trails but keeping it local for now.

Planning during a pandemic

The post-pandemic future of travel is still unmapped. But you can start by planning a vague trip, (where to go, what to do)—without getting attached to taking the trip at any specific time.

1. Stay informedWe are Cycling UK website provides excellent advice for new comers to cycling and has up to date information about cycling in times of COVID. British Cycling is the national governing body for cycling in Great Britain and has excellent information about all cycling activities and sports. Sustrans are committed to expand walkable and cycling friendly places.

2. Stay inspired - There are many online mountain bike websites and blogs. If you prefer the feel of paper Cranked magazine has stunning graphics. There are also guide books: Trailblazer guide books or Cicerone Press

3. Ask an expert - check your local mountain bike guide providers, they know the place like the back of their hand, and they can also advise you on bike skills or even guide you on how to plan your next adventure.

4. Know your bike– if you just bought a bike, or got your old bike out of the garage, make sure you learn the basics (brake, gears, tyre pressure, saddle height etc). We will be posting tips for beginners on a regular basis on our social media and blog.

5. Stay fit, stay healthy – exercise regularly, and eat healthy. High Intensity Training can be an option for busy people, and don’t forget to stretch, Pilates and yoga are excellent for both stretching and balancing.

We would love to hear from you: where are you planning to go on a mountain bike trip? Have you bough a bike recently? Share your adventures with us.

If you would like to learn more about guided mountain bike rides get in tough

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