It’s crazy how the world can change so much in one month. This time last month I was out training with Grace on the picturesque Valencian roads, whilst the rest of the team were tackling stage 3 of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. Now many of the competitors from that race are on complete lockdown in their own countries, whilst us in the UK are still getting to enjoy riding outside solo once a day to temporarily escape these crazy times.
In terms of training, no one knows when the next race will be, so I’ve worked with my coach, Dean Downing, to strip down my sessions to unstructured endurance rides. It’s nice to have the privilege of riding outdoors still, so I’m making the most of it before a potential complete lockdown where we aren’t allowed to go outside at all. Of course, no one knows if this will happen. It is a period of unpredictable times! For the moment, in the UK we are allowed to exercise outside once a day and it’s advised to exercise on your own or with the people you live with. We have to be careful if we want to carry on being allowed to ride outside and abide by the rules the government has set out.
Working at a doctor’s surgery, I’ve been super busy off the bike, and covering different shifts for those in quarantine. It is crazy at the moment but it keeps my mind busy and, as I can’t work from home, I get to see colleagues everyday.
The team has been very supportive. We had our 2020 team Tifosi bikes delivered, so that’s a boost of morale to be able to ride them every day! And the riders have our daily WhatsApp group chats, keeping each other entertained, and letting each other know how we’re doing. It’s so important to have people to talk to and have fun with, even if it isn’t in person!
Despite it being a challenging time for everyone, I’ve managed to come up with some positives! Firstly, it’s given me time to focus on hobbies outside of cycling – such as art. I haven’t had time to do any art since finishing school and I’ve really enjoyed getting creative with the paintbrush again. So, if you have a hobby you haven’t been able to do as much as you’d like for a while, it’s a perfect opportunity to pick it back up, or even find a new one! Secondly, it’s a chance for us all to take a step back and focus on what really matters in our lives. Whether that’s family and friends, getting outside and enjoying fresh air and nature and focusing on your own individual health – both physical and mental.
I wish you all good health, stay positive and remember to talk to friends and family to help you get through the next few months ahead.
Thanks for reading,