As Britain enters a lockdown, it's now only possible to get outside for one fix of exercise a day. In our opinion (totally unbiased, obviously), we reckon that the humble mountain bike is the perfect way to get that hit, all while abiding by both the spirit and letter of the Government's rules - with plenty of additional benefits too.
While we think a mountain bike is the ideal way to enjoy your exercise ration, we'll caveat all this by saying that now is definitely not the time to be pushing your body to the limit or sending that big huck/tech section. The NHS really doesn't need any more pressure on it so be sensible, be considerate and be careful when you're having your fun.
1. Mountain biking keeps both your mind and body healthy
Exercise is obviously good for your body, but studies have shown it's also extremely good for your mood and mental health. There's also evidence that being in nature is also good for your wellbeing, so think of getting into the woods for a ride on your mountain bike as a triple whammy of uplifting goodness.
Getting out riding should help keep you healthy and happy, which is really important to prevent cabin fever and also keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
2. It's the perfect way to self-isolate without feeling alone
Not being able to physically visit or see friends can be a bit of a tough one, but escaping everyone and going for a good ride to stretch your legs and empty your mind is often a big part of the appeal of riding. Even if you live with people but you need a bit of me-time, then what better way to do that without appearing anti-social than a nice ride. Even if you're craving contact and don't live with anyone then it'll still be easy to keep at least 2m apart from anyone you do see out and about.
3. Now is the time to practise some skills training
Trying to put skills coaching into practice can often be rather difficult on a regular ride. Thinking carefully about body positioning, weighting and myriad other things usually requires you to slow down and ride more methodically. That's not usually very fun in a group ride, but as you're very likely to be on your own, it's the perfect time to carry out some skills drills, whether in the garden (if you can) or on a familiar corner or section.
Coming out of this riding faster and more confidently - and maybe with a few new stunts and tricks mastered - will be very satisfying indeed.
There's a load of resources on YouTube to get your started - and if you get really inspired to get better, show some support to one of the many skills coaches and see if you can book yourself a voucher or lesson to be redeemed later - it'll really help them keep going during this tough period.
4. There's always something to fettle on an MTB
This would normally be a drawback, but if you're running out of things to do then a mountain bike is the ultimate solution as there's always some little job that needs doing, whether it's bleeding brakes, giving it a bloody good clean, servicing suspension or going the whole hog and doing a big task like changing your pivot bearings. The list is almost endless - again, usually a drawback, now a benefit!
We'll have some guides on jobs you can do with minimal tools and experience up on the site soon, so you might come out of this with some fresh skills, as well as a bike that works perfectly!
5. It's fun
Bit of a no brainer this one - if there's one thing that's guaranteed to get a smile on your face then whipping along through the woods while the sun is out and the ground is drier than it's been for a very long time...
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