Don’t let the pandemic stop you from cycling to maintain a healthy lifestyle

Peterborough Moves is providing online lessons, how-to's, and news on local cycling shops and services

Commuting by bike is a sustainable and efficient way to travel. You can still cycle during the COVID-19 pandemic, as long as you take precautions such as maintaining two metres distance from others and not cycling with people from outside your household. (Photo: GreenUP)
Commuting by bike is a sustainable and efficient way to travel. You can still cycle during the COVID-19 pandemic, as long as you take precautions such as maintaining two metres distance from others and not cycling with people from outside your household. (Photo: GreenUP)

Many of us at GreenUP are year-round bike commuters, and yet springtime is still the time of year when our office begins to buzz with talk of bikes. Milder weather and greener landscapes spark a desire to spend more time outdoors in the fresh air, and for us that means rolling down the pavement with the wind blowing through our helmets.

Walking and biking are activities that we can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The World Health Organization has recently suggested that we incorporate walking and biking for essential trips can help us meet daily physical activity requirements, especially when many of us are spending more time at home and have limited access to our regular sport and recreational activities.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has also given the green light to getting outside for a run, bike, or walk.

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Of course, we must all mind the caveats not to do these activities if you fall into one of the categories of people who are required to isolate. And always practice physical distancing of at least two metres. This might mean going out at a quieter time of day, or to a place where you expect less congestion. It means that you may have to step off the trail or sidewalk to give someone else a safe two metres of space.

These restrictions also mean that you should not be gathering or group riding with people from outside your household. Currently the City of Peterborough continues to keep the trails open for walk and bicycle access only, reminding people to not linger or congregate in these spaces.

These considerations and restrictions are updated regularly, so please visit peterboroughpublichealth.ca or peterborough.ca/covid19 for the most up to date information.

A young rider practices some skills. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Peterborough Moves is offering online resources to help riders develop skills. (Photo: GreenUP)
A young rider practices some skills. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Peterborough Moves is offering online resources to help riders develop skills. (Photo: GreenUP)

Usually at this time of year, our Transportation and Urban Design team is busy working alongside local partners to bring the Peterborough community programs like Shifting Gears, Car Free Wednesdays, and Pedal Power.

Since we can’t meet with you these days, we’ve begun moving our help online. Visit peterboroughmoves.com to find links to the latest COVID-related active transportation information, as well as online lessons, how-to’s, and news on local shops and services.

Spending time together outside as a family, whether on bike or on foot, is a great way to make shared memories together and stay healthy.  (Photo: GreenUP)
Spending time together outside as a family, whether on bike or on foot, is a great way to make shared memories together and stay healthy. (Photo: GreenUP)

Active School Travel PTBO and our Pedal Power instructors are sharing some of their favourite online resources to help bike riders of all ages learn more about riding around town, improving your bike skills, and having a little fun on your bike. Yes, there are even some bike games! All you need is a bike, a helmet, and some space to practice.

Are you learning to ride? Maybe you have a two-year-old who is trying out a runner bike, a child aiming to remove training wheels, or you are an adult learning to ride. Whatever your situation, our instructors have collected a series of videos to get you rolling along more confidently. The Sikana English video series teaches you how to ride a bike in just four easy steps!

Maybe you already ride a bike but want to learn some new skills or sharpen the skills you have. There are an abundance of online cycling skill-building activities.

For example, we really like Emily Groves, a cycling coach from the UK, who posts daily skills for the young or new cycling enthusiasts that are sure to keep you busy, active, and entertained. Not much space is needed to learn and practice cycling skills. Following physical distancing requirements is easy because you can often plan out space for skill-building on your driveway, yard, or sidewalk.

One lesson that is recommended for riders of all ages is the 2-V-1 Helmet Check. This check helps all ages learn how to properly wear a helmet in three short steps. It’s a great activity for the whole household to try, and one small but important way to get children engaged in their own safety.

The 2-V-1 helmet check helps cyclists of all ages learn how to properly wear a helmet in three short steps. It's a great activity for the whole household to try, and one small but important way to get children engaged in their own safety. (Photos: GreenUP)
The 2-V-1 helmet check helps cyclists of all ages learn how to properly wear a helmet in three short steps. It’s a great activity for the whole household to try, and one small but important way to get children engaged in their own safety. (Photos: GreenUP)

Maybe you have all the skills, but need some help getting your bike fixed up for spring. Now is a great time to learn how to pump up a tire, change a flat, and become familiar with the ABC Quick Check. This is a simple bike safety check that all riders can master. We have curated a short-list of videos about repair and maintenance, if you would like to try a little bike DIY.

If you lack the time or interest for the do-it-yourself model, or have a repair that requires a professional, you’ll be happy to know that bike repair, alongside other vehicle repair, is considered an essential service. Many local businesses are open with new physical distancing protocols:

  • B!KE: The Peterborough Community Bike Shop (293 George St. N., Peterborough, 705-775-7227) usually teaches bicycle maintenance and repair out of a downtown community workshop. Unfortunately, doing their part to flatten the curve means keeping their workshop closed until further notice. Instead, they will soon have a small selection of tools on loan through a new library program, and they are accepting orders for pumps and chain lube to be delivered to your door. They are also excited to offer online consultations with bike commuters working in essential services through Shifting Gears this year.
  • Fontaine Source for Sports (384 Queen St., Peterborough, 705-742-0511) has adapted to help our community by offering curb-side pick-up and by appointment sales and services. They are facing high demand and reduced staff, but are working hard to meet community demand during this challenging time.
  • Wild Rock Outfitters (169 Charlotte St., Peterborough, 705-745-9133) is also offering safe curbside drop-offs for service by appointment, and now have a mobile service for small jobs. They are focused on staying connected to their community in new and evolving ways.

More information on other shops will be posted at peterboroughmoves.com.

While we would prefer to be with you in-person to learn, share, and celebrate cycling, our main focus is to keep everyone safe so we can ride together again soon.

Until then, keep informed and keep active with resources found at Peterborough Moves. Enjoy and stay safe.