(A little note from the team....We originally wrote this post just ahead of lockdown 2 - to share ideas on bike routes around Bristol, and bike related challenges you could try to stay fit and well, occupied differently whilst we couldn't go out and about much. Life is less restricted now, thankfully, but it's still good to make the most of what Bristol and Bath have to offer in terms of cycling paths and parks; and to challenge yourself to improve your bike expertise).
Cycling helped keep us sane and exercising during Lockdown 1. This time (we were referring to Lockdown 2...) won’t be any different. Being able to exercise outdoors with one other person from a different household can make such difference to our wellbeing. And especially when it comes to getting on our bikes when the weather turns colder and autumnal, someone else to help motivate you on a cold soggy day can work wonders.
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We’ve put together a few Bristol themed bike paths and challenges to help keep you motivated to get back on your bike. Work your way through these 7 cycling challenges, whatever the weather, or simply use them as a bike route planner and inspiration. (Tip: For he very wet and soggy days, there is at least 1 challenge that doesn't require you to go outdoors...)
1 Cycle up Park Street ⛰
With an average gradient of 30%, getting up Park Street is no small effort, but the feeling when you get to the top will be fantastic. The big benefit of doing it during a lockdown is there will be a lot less traffic to contend with whilst you tackle the challenge.
2 Cycle in the rain ☔️
The last lockdown had some amazing weather, this time around you will need to embrace the elements. So time to get on a waterproof and embrace the weather. If it is a bit much you could plan a ride through Leigh Woods or Ashton Hill Plantation for a bit of cover. Nothing beats that feeling of stepping into a hot shower after a wet winter ride.
3 Ride a century 💯
Traditionally this means cycle 100 miles. Yours doesn’t have to be as big as cycling that far. You could pick your own unit of measurement for your century. It could be cycling for 100 minutes or passing 100 lamposts or cycling around the harbour 100 times. Maybe not, that’s a lot of circuits.
4 Ride the length of the Bristol to Bath Cycle Path 🚂
...and back again because public transport won’t really be a return option during lockdown. But this path is relatively flat and picturesque. It’s also completely traffic-free and peppered with relics from its previous life as an old railway line. The station at Mangotsfield is a great place for a quick sandwich stop or looking over the River Avon at Saltford.
5 Sign up to Strava 📲
There are plenty of virtual challenges on Strava. As long as you log your ride it will automatically add it to any challenges you’ve signed up for. You could do the November Cycling Challenge. Don’t worry about hitting the 600km, just see what you can do and then try to beat your record in the December challenge!
6 Learn how to fix something on your bike 🛠
If you don’t fancy braving the elements you could still get cosy with your bike. Knowing how to fix a puncture or adjust your brake pads will give you more confidence when you do go out. We really like the videos from Bath-based GCN and their Maintenance Mondays.
7 Encourage someone else to go for a bike ride 💜
This time you can exercise as a pair with someone from another household. Why not use this as an opportunity to get someone else into cycling! There will be less traffic on the roads which makes conditions perfect for a new cyclist to explore. The Downs are a great place to take someone less confident with the quiet roads around the outskirts and lovely views to enjoy.
Let us know how you are getting on with our 7 Bristol Cycling Challenges! You can share your progress with us on Facebook ; and find a lot more about our bike community tips and freebie giveaway on Instagram. We'd love to hear how you get on with any of those and what bike and cycling related tips and ideas you can share too.
One last thing.......Before you head out the door don’t forget to give your bike a quick check over and register it on Found. That way if your bike does get stolen, we can help you locate it and recover it faster than you can say Tour de Bristol!