Create Your Own COVID-Crusher Cycling Event

Hopefully the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic will soon be behind us. But for now, we're in the miserable middle of it all. We're experiencing everything so close up in such detail that it's easy to lose sight of the big picture.

Let’s find ways to get through this crisis. Be a helper for those that need it. Hold the long term purpose in mind: keeping as many people healthy until we've deployed a vaccine.

This doesn’t need to cancel your season

Kick COVID-19 to the curb and rescue your cycling season. No, my idea isn’t about chasing Strava segments. And sorry, it won’t be about the social interaction of a typical fundraiser ride.

But it will be YOUR ride. One person – you. And one moment in time – a day this year, about 8 to 12 weeks away. Transform the messed-up scheduling from pandemic restrictions into a focused goal. It will be a goal to get you through this year.

Prepare yourself to ride something, somewhere – probably nearby but something afar will work too. Turn this year into a legacy of what you can achieve when you alone set your mind and energy to it.

Enjoy the self-satisfaction of ticking off your training rides as your season progresses. Each completed ride is a small win. Be proud you’re staying active!

Add your own social commitment dimension. Post your Big Grand Ride plan to Instagram or Facebook. Then share updates (and setbacks) along your journey.

You can accomplish your fitness development with a schedule of almost daily riding.

If you want to nail it though, look at the course you choose. Analyze what its primary need is. For example, something hilly will need a better power-to-weight ratio to “enjoy” it. So, you’ve got two gaps there to work on – lift your sustainable power and drop some weight.

Or consider mastering some monster miles – a cycling monument of your own making. Make it more than say 230kms of riding in one day! For that you’ll need ultra-endurance and a well-trained on-bike gut to digest all the fuel you'll need. Build long riding volume during the weeks leading up to your ride. Experiment with on-bike eating and drinking strategies. You'll need to energize without gut distress.

Consider recruiting anyone you live with – so you can respect physical distancing with little hassle – as your sag wagon support for the day. Let them snap pictures to document the ups and downs you go through. That flat tire you need to change – maybe with much grumbling? The sweat dripping from the tip of your nose. Capture those moments.

With their in-ride support, you won’t need to rely on sketchy gas stations for ride food and drinks. They may not even be open when you need them.

Use your imagination! Take inspiration from any gran fondo you’ve done or would like to do. What about a one-way, point-to-point ride? Because your support vehicle can drive you home.

Or take inspiration from a charity ride, like the MS-100. In fact, you could even add the charity angle to your one-day event. Name it in honour of a charity you hold dear or someone special in your life. Talk about it on social media. Encourage your connections to make donations too.

Really, you can do this! Your own event on this small scale. It’s large-scale events that need organizing committees and teams of volunteers and sponsors.

Give yourself permission to do new things even though they’re uncomfortable. Even though you might fail. Go ahead and do it anyway.

Do it this season! Just as one voice, singing from the balcony of life, can inspire hope in lives of others … use your bike to make a difference this year!

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