It’s been quite a year hasn’t it? Australia has been one of the strictest countries when it comes to the pandemic and our lockdown rules have been particularly stringent. All for a good cause of course and we have some of the lowest COVID-19 numbers in the world.
The last couple of months have seen us return to a relatively ‘normal’ way of life, in that we are no longer in full lockdown. Although we can’t travel internationally, we are incredibly lucky to have some of the best mountain biking areas right in our backyard. The Snowy Mountains, QLD State Forests, Victorian High Country and more, means that we have access to some of the most epic MTB trails in the world.
Not so fast! This doesn’t mean you should just up and out your back door with your bike and that’s that. It’s important that while you get to enjoy the outdoors, you remember that we’re in the middle of a pandemic and as such, there are a few things that you need to be aware of.
Here are our top tips for mountain biking in Australia during a pandemic to keep you and others around you safe:
Go Solo or With Family
We know that’s been a while since you’ve hung out with your mates and it could be super tempting to get a big group together and hit the trails. Keep in mind, however, that it’s essential that we keep our contact with those from other households at a minimum right now.
If you’re an experienced rider, then going solo is the best choice. This means minimum contact with others and besides, who doesn’t like the breath of fresh air from a good solo adventure? If you’re not comfortable going alone or you want to take the little rippers with, then ensure you keep your group small and from people within your household.
Maintain Social Distancing
Just because you’re out and about that doesn’t mean you should let go of all that social distancing work we’ve been doing. COVID-19 is easily spread through droplets from the mouth and nose and so it’s important that you try and keep your distance from other riders. Around two metres is the ideal distance if possible.
One of the best ways to ensure that you don’t come into contact with a whole heap of other riders is to go in off-peak hours. Figure out what times are the busiest in the area you want to go and either delay or bring forward your excursion by 30 to 60 minutes. Fewer riders doesn’t just mean less risk, it also means a more enjoyable riding experience on a whole. So that’s a win-win in our eyes.
Take Your Own Hydration Packs
Gone are the days where you could just sip on another rider’s hydration pack if you forgot yours or finished it. It’s important that you ensure that you have hydration packs and bottles for both you and your family packed. Avoid sharing hydration packs and bottles to stop the spread of infection.
Sanitise, Sanitise, Sanitise
We know that your hands are probably looking like prunes at the moment, but at least you know we’re all in the same boat. Ensure that everyone’s hands are given a good wash before you leave the house and take sanitizer with you for the car and after the ride.
Most importantly, if you are borrowing MTB gear from a friend or hiring gear from a company—you need to give the equipment a thorough wipe down before and after use.
At the end of the day, getting outside into nature is extremely good for your immune system, as is a good bout of daily exercise. Right now, getting out onto those tracks is the best thing for you. So, grab your bikes and hit the trails, safely of course.