The new world of Covid-19 is with us. We have no tourists, no cruise ships, no flying machines, no sitting at cafes and no sport to watch. I wont go on. Here is the good stuff
- Cycling and active exercise has exploded everywhere. You can’t walk around a corner without an eight year riding a bike around the block.
- Car use is down a lot.
- Walking tracks and cycle tracks in the popular places are very busy
Unfortunately – Many of us now have 5km boundaries to thwart our new found cycling heaven
So What Does Garry Recommend ?
I like looking for new challenges and the best I can come up with is go exploring. For example I knew that there were no cyclepaths in Paddington so I never really looked there even though it was only 3 km from my house. Then I poured over the maps and went for a few practise runs, tried the lanes, the park paths, ran into many dead ends and finally came up with streets that I liked riding. Now I regularly go through Paddington, especially because there are no cars around. See Sydney Map here and look for Paddington and Rushcutters Bay. Why keep going back you say ? – maybe these photos will convince you
Change your bike every now and again
Sure you can do 50km inside a 5km radius but if you head out on your ultra fast racer, you will limit the roads you can travel on and you will get to the other side very fast. Grab a MTB and 5km will seem like 10 km. Or hit the hills if you have any and even your racer will test you out.
Ride the lanes and more
I love dragging my wonderful Brompton folding bike out and riding the lanes. One lap of Centennial using the lanes and I can chew up an hour and only see a lot of cyclists in the distance. I am not a fan of cycling in the crowds at the moment. I usually tack on a little extra and come back to my Centennial lanes. To assist in lane exploring, become good at voice navigation.
Universities and Cemeteries
Because everyone at uni is studying online, the universities are terrific places to explore as they are empty. Sydney University is my pick but you will only get one uni in your bubble if you are lucky. If you are upto it, many cemeteries are also terrific to explore. Imagine living near Rookwood, the biggest cemetery in the Southern Hemisphere. If you are in for a challenge, maybe design a jigsaw in your circle.
What are the Melbourne Riders Upto ?
I asked the FaceBook group Melbourne Bike Paths what inspires them in their bubbles. They are much more used to 5km bubbles than the rum drinking Sydney convicts. They suggested
- Strava art or burbing. Have a look at wanderer.earth or go to this extreme in Strava at 100km
- Explore everything, chuck your phone in your pocket
- Do everything in reverse to get twice the rides
- Hill repeats
- A strange orienteering called Rogaining was mentioned, I found the NSW version
- Ride the least busy paths and pickup a treat for those you left at home
- Or this simple quote “I love riding within my 5km, finding different streets and tracks that I have never been down”
Its Dark Now
Grab some great lights at the local bike shop and ride in the dark. That me done, see if you can find something new to ride in the Sydney Bike Trail Map >>
Tried blurbing in an area that I haven’t ridden before, Bellevue Hill. Lots of interesting house and occasional vistas from the the steep hill. Unfortunately the nature of Sydneys lockdown in suburbs with low levels of infection meant there were a lot of cars around. Won’t try that again till I see the car numbers drop. I made the ride design with Komoot on a PC. It worked well except at some stage I missed a turn and it threw me into a later stage of the ride.