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Ythan Cycle Club stay active despite lockdown

By Kirsty Brown

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Ythan Cycle Club 's members have been getting creative to avoid the Bide At Hame blues.

Following guidance all club activities ceased, including Sunday social rides, Quines And Loons sessions and time trials, and there is no doubt that adapting to the changes have been tricky for such an active group.

Governing bodies like British Cycling and Cycling have also cancelled all of their group activities until at least the end of June.

The Ythan cyclists aren't alone in their struggles, with research suggesting 78 percent of cyclists are worried that their mental health will deteriorate as a result of having to limit their time outside, however the group's members are finding ways to work around the limitations.

Some of those who are still working are opting to use their commute as the perfect opportunity to get on their bike, and of course everyone can go cycling as their one piece of government permitted exercise each day as long as they follow the guidelines regarding group size, distancing and location.

Most members are opting to get their riding fix inside their homes, however, and just because they're isolating does not mean that they have to cycle alone.

Members, like those of many other groups, have taken to the internet to keep isolation blues at bay.

While using their indoor training equipment members are able to connect with each other using a variety of software, with Zwift and Discord proving to be the most popular.

This means that training can continue, and members can enjoy the social benefits of the group during their virtual bike rides too.

Ythan Cycle Club's Donald Stewart at an event promoting sustainable travel which took place in Ellon just weeks before lockdown. PIcture: Phil Harman
Ythan Cycle Club's Donald Stewart at an event promoting sustainable travel which took place in Ellon just weeks before lockdown. PIcture: Phil Harman

Ythan Cycle Club's chairman Donald Stewart said: "As with any group who generally enjoys being outdoors, Ythan CC’s members aren’t finding the current restrictions easy however our members have not given up and are managing to keep themselves active.

"We’re having some success in maintaining contact and keeping active.

"This isn’t the ideal time for anyone to dig a dusty bike out of the shed and get into cycling, as there’s little that any cycling club could do to support a new rider with the current restrictions in place, however, now is the ideal time to get that dusty old bike out of the shed and give it some TLC.

"Give it a clean, oil the chain, make sure the gears and brakes work properly and generally make sure it’s in good shape for when we’re all allowed out to play again.

"A few basic tools will suffice for simple adjustments and there are loads of online resources to help even the most amateur mechanic.

"For those less mechanically confident, some bike shops and mobile bike maintenance specialists are still operating and most would probably be glad of the business.

"Get them to tune up that old bike and make sure it’s road worthy."

TOP TIP: If you're going to cycle for your essentials shopping - which is a great idea! - remember to use either a rack and panniers or a rucksack to carry your shopping home.

Dangling plastic bags from the handlebars is a great way to ensure you crash!

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