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Get on Ur Bike

With the warm Spring weather and Government directive including cycling as one of the recommended forms of exercise during ‘lockdown’, we thought it would be helpful to share some ideas on how to stay safe and get the most out of your rides.

Why get on Ur bike?

Cycling is not only a great way of getting you and your family active, it is a great way to get some fresh air and also see your immediate environment from a different perspective.

Cycling for exercise will not only help develop and maintain a healthy cardio-respiratory system, it can be used for specific strength work and balance, it’s less stressful on your joints and also supports a healthy immune system.    

Safety first - keeping you and your family safe on your ride!

Plan your route – whilst Government guidelines include cycling indoors and outdoors as an appropriate form of exercise it is important to plan a route that is appropriate to your cycling ability and current fitness. Aim to stay relatively local within a 10km radius from your home on quieter roads/tracks and that aren’t too demanding nor technical.

Be progressive – if you haven’t ridden a bike for a while, use the first couple of rides just to get used to riding again, get a feel of being balanced on your bike and practice taking one hand off to signal before heading out on to the roads (to remain balanced and riding straight gently lift your hand off the handlebars and look straight ahead).

Build up from a 20min easy ride to 45mins. If you are a more experienced rider, ride for up to a maximum of 1hr (during the government restrictions & up to 2hrs once the lockdown is over) in your aerobic zones or an hour if you are riding harder intervals (exercising for longer periods or at high intensity is more likely to suppress your immune system).

Personal safety

  • Wear a helmet – wearing a bike helmet will protect you from serious head injuries
  • Make yourself visible – wear bright clothing, make sure you have lights, reflectors and high viz in poor light conditions
  • Check your bike – if you ride regularly, complete a simple ABC Q check before each ride. A = Air, check your tyres are inflated correctly B = Brakes, make sure that you have two working brakes C = Chain, check that your chain and gears are running smooth Q = Quick release, make sure your quick release are closed and tightened into the frame. If you’re taking your bike out for the first time in a long time then check it over thoroughly as tyres may have perished and brake/gear cables may have seized up, or visit your local bike shop and get it serviced.    
  • Exercise within your ability – ride within both your physical and skill abilities, these will soon develop and progress
  • Stay hydrated – it’s really important that you remain well hydrated when exercising

Riding safely with your family – if you are taking your children out for a ride, make sure your route is appropriate and safe for their ability. Try and ride one adult with one child, and if riding on the road ride behind and slightly out in the road to protect them. If you are riding as a family, have one adult at the front leading and one adult at the back offering some protection.

Inside or Outside?

Riding indoors requires either a stationary exercise or Watt Bike or a turbo trainer or rollers. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune on equipment, a basic turbo trainer will allow you to perform a safe and effective workout indoors or if you can’t get out on the roads or trails.

Lots of people are signing up to online SMART indoor trainer programmes such as Zwift or TrainerRoad but these can be costly and aren’t necessary – you can have fun making up your own indoor sessions and ride along to a great playlist (see examples below).

Riding outdoors and with other family members is a great way to safely exercise, keep active and break the monotony of staying at home but please respect others whilst out and ride within the ‘safe riding’ and social distancing guidelines above.

Use the natural changes in terrain to make riding easier or harder and/or learn to use your gears, if you have them, to change the intensity or focus of exercise e.g. change into a harder gear to increase your effort or to focus more on leg strength.

Rides and Challenges 

What is the U Perform – Get on Ur Bike 20km Challenge?

Our 20km Bike Challenge has been specially designed for beginners by Triathlon Performance Coach and Sport Scientist, Richard Smith (MSc), and will help you progressively work towards riding 20km continuously in just 8 weeks. Download your free 20km challenge HERE.

Family skills challenge - in your garden or an appropriate small area, play a game of last man standing i.e. riding at a slow speed in a confined area, avoiding each other and without putting your feet down or going out of the area. Last person to keep within the rules wins. Gradually reduce the size of the riding area.

Endurance ride inside or out (Level 1-3 Intensity)

(focus is on building your basic aerobic endurance allowing you to ride for longer and more consistently)

10mins gradual warm-up in small/easier gears

30-45mins at a controlled L2 intensity

5mins easy spin warm down L1

Strength ride inside or out (Level 3-4 Intensity)

10-15mins gradual warm-up working through gears and building cadence / leg speed

4 x 3-5mins seated climb with 2-3mins easy recovery spin (either find a moderate gradient hill to climb on the road or on a turbo trainer increase the gearing and resistance to push the work into your legs)

10-15mins easy aerobic recovery ride

HIIT ride inside or out (Level 4-5 Intensity)

10-15mins gradual warm-up working through gears and building cadence/leg speed

5 x 30sec in small chain ring/easy gear and resistance high cadence/leg speed i.e. 90rpm+ with 60sec easy spin recovery

15sec hard fast effort / 45sec easy spin recovery

30sec hard fast effort / 30sec easy spin recovery

45sec hard fast effort / 15sec easy spin recovery

1min hard fast effort / 1min easy spin recovery

45sec hard fast effort / 15sec easy spin recovery

30sec hard fast effort / 30sec easy spin recovery

15sec hard fast effort / 45sec easy spin recovery

(5mins easy recovery ride and repeat or into easy recovery warm down)

10-15mins easy aerobic recovery ride

Download your FREE 20km Challenge now

So get ‘on Ur bike’, stay safe and keep healthy!

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