In the UK, the government guidelines are thankfully (for now) still allowing us to partake in one piece of exercise a day outside as long as it is on your own or with members of your household. Hands up, who's heading out on their bike!

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist, a complete newcomer or rekindling your lost youth; there seems to be a lot of love for getting out on two wheels at the moment.

Now it needs to be said that cycling has its risks, and if you decide to get out there and ride then please take extreme caution. Our fantastic NHS workers are already under extreme pressure and we don’t want to be adding to this with cycling injuries. So let’s knock a bit of speed off on the descents, take a bit more caution in the corners and always stay alert.

But let’s also remember, this exercise is here to enhance our isolated worlds at this time,  and we need to enjoy!! So, here’s are our Top Tips to get the most out of riding solo:

1. Pre Ride Prep

Before kitting up to head out on the bike you need to think about your energy levels. Ideally you’d consume a meal made up of around 50% carbohydrates approximately 3 hours before you set off. Something like a bowl of porridge or a small pasta dish is a great idea.  This means you are topping up your energy stores and then giving your food enough time to settle before you hit the road or trails.

However if you have less time before heading out, don’t neglect the idea of food but instead reduce it to a smaller snack that won’t sit so heavy in your stomach. Something like jam on toast or an OTE Duo Bar work really well.

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2. Stay Hydrated

We would always suggest taking some fluid with you whenever you head out to exercise, and luckily on a bike this is very easy. Did you know that dehydration can negatively affect your sporting performance but also your concentration.

We would advise adding an OTE Hydro Tab to your bottle. These low calorie electrolyte tabs actually promote rehydration better than just drinking water alone. They help to replace the salts lost through sweating which can help you avoid cramping. Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you won’t sweat. Your many layers of kit can create a microclimate near you skin than is just as sweaty as a summers day!

Try to drink 500ml per hour, and by doing this you’ll feel better on the bike whilst also reducing the risk of having an accident.

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3. Fuel Your Engine

More often than not, people tend to under fuel when they head out on their bikes. Just because you get through your rides without actually eating anything doesn’t make it right. Can you remember how you felt? Maybe a bit sluggish or it felt a bit of a struggle?

Well think of your body like a car, it needs fuel in its engine to go. And the intensity of the exercise affects how quickly we use our fuel stores up. If you ride at a high intensity or on hilly terrain the need to take fuel with you is greater. And now with all our beloved cafes shut, you can’t get your usual coffee and cake mid ride.

So next time you head out on the bike and it’s going to be over 90 minutes, try taking some food in your pocket to eat on the hour, every hour. We recommend an OTE Anytime Bar or Duo Bar, both packed with the energy to fuel your ride. Lets face it, when we feel better, everything is a lot more enjoyable!

4. Don't Forget

If you find you’re always forgetting to eat or drink, set yourself a time to focus on to remind you. Every 10 minutes take a sip of fluid, every 1 hour have something to eat! You can even set a lap timer so your watch, phone or GPS tracker beeps as a reminder.

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5. Recovery Is Key

Once you get back from a ride it’s very easy to reward yourself by raiding the cupboards. However, making the right food choices on your return can not only help you recover quicker, but also help your body adapt and improve.

Try consume something that contains both protein and carbohydrates. The protein will help with muscle soreness and the carbohydrates will reload your energy stores ready to go again the next day. The most convenient way to put a tick in both these boxes is something like a Recovery Protein Shake, and OTE actually do a whey and a soya one (that is gluten and lactose free). Try to consume this as soon after your ride as possible, as this is the best time to kick start your recovery process.

If you’ve got time to make a recovery meal or snack then try something like two large eggs on toast, a tuna sandwich or a glass of milk and banana.


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6. Look After Your Health

One final thing to remember when riding more frequently is that the more you push your body, the more of an affect that will have on your immune system. If we’re tired and run down from back to back days of exercise our immune response will be compromised. Right now, looking after yourself needs to be very high up on your priority list.

So remember to take the odd day to rest, get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy balanced diet and if you need an immune boost try something like our Health and Immune Capsules. 

Once you’ve finished your ride, get home, stay there and help beat this!

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