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Cycling in the time of Corona - Kelton & Bianca

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, cyclists around the world are certain of one thing: bikes still aren’t canceled. We talked to a few of our friends on how they are navigating riding during this time—adapting to new regulations and restrictions, coming up with novel ways to ride at home and stay creatively and socially stimulated, and keeping race legs primed for the days when we can ride (and race) together again.


Are you still riding outside?
Kelton: As of April 1, 2020 in Los Angeles County, outside exercise is still recommended by the state and local governments. So long as the governor permits outside riding, we'll be riding outside. It is, after all, spring in Southern California! We also live in Topanga Canyon, which is in the Santa Monica Mountains, so the roads are beautiful and noticeably emptier now. Bianca and I have been in quarantine together for several weeks, and it's such a relief to have a dear friend and riding partner with me through this. 

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What do those rides now look like for you? Have your reasons and intentions for riding a bicycle changed during this time? 
Kelton: I was down a deep rabbit hole of trail running before the county closed all trails, so being able to turn back to road riding has been a godsend. My intention behind riding remains the same as before: get out of breath the fun way. It's just taken on a slightly new meaning. 

Bianca: I, too, was enjoying the cooler temperatures for trail running and riding, but with the trails closed, I am riding my road bike locally. My intention behind riding has shifted a bit, as before I was focused on trying to get in as many miles as possible in a week, and now I am doing much shorter rides as an excuse to get fresh air and keep myself healthy, mentally and physically.

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How’re you staying motivated? Any tools you’re using to help you?
Bianca: I’m staying motivated through my fiance and Kelton. With my day to day schedule completely changing from working in an office to working from home, it's easy to just wake up and start working straight into dinner time. By scheduling rides with the two of them, it holds me accountable and forces me to wake up early or step away from my computer.

Kelton: My biggest motivation is, and always has been, my health. Knowing that exercise reduces anxiety, relieves stress and supports a healthy immune system makes it incredibly easy to get on a bike. (Can you tell I have health anxiety?) Plus, I'm still hoping SBT GRVL happens with Bianca and our friends, and I would really like to not be absolutely destroyed when it does.

 

Lastly, do you think how you approach riding will change after this? What do you miss most?
Kelton: Not only are all trails closed but all fire roads as well. I'm happiest on dirt, and I plan to spend time on the trail every single day that I can when this is over. I also took for granted the kismet in the community here—we just ran into each other. It was easy. I'm looking forward to those moments again.

Bianca: Definitely riding dirt is something I miss and can't wait for the trails to open again. Beyond Kelton, I miss all my friends I ride with on a weekly basis. It's going to be invigorating to get a group of friends together again to go on a long ride.

 

Read more of our pandemic cycling stories from Julia Fouquet in Paris and Angelo Calilap in NYC. Or take a peek at the empty NYC streets in our photo essay.

Far Ride Talks: Matt Ben Stone
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