I found myself thinking long and hard before riding over the last week or so. During last spring’s lockdown lots of people thought cyclists were selfish for ‘putting pressure on the NHS’. This was nonsense. The act of riding a bike is not dangerous, and more people riding bikes would, in the long term, save the NHS billions.
The ‘one hour of exercise’ was never a thing either. It was said by Michael Gove when asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about what ‘reasonable exercise’ was. There never was a time limit on exercise in the regulations.
However, January is a bit different. Cold, wet weather can catch an unfit rider out if they overdo it, road conditions can be poor, with standing water making it worse, and the risk of ice is ever present early in the morning. The light can be poor, and when the sun is out, it’s low in the sky.
The best way to stay safe is to ride in a group, and we can’t currently do that.
I’m desperate to get out for a ride soon, but when there’s good weather – and I’ll apply common sense to the order to ‘stay local’. Cycling remains a safe activity, but please follow the guidelines over the next few weeks and maybe exercise a little more caution than usual. Spring isn’t far away!
Cycling Weekly magazine editor
My highlights this week
- Time trialling aiming for equality
- Did you make it into the CW5000 finishers’ club?
- Dr Hutch has never been wrong with a prediction
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Follow on Twitter: @richwindy
Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.
An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).
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