Behavioural change / COVID-19 / Cycling / winter cycling / Winter Cycling Congress

Guest Blog: Mask on - Start pedalling

As a board member of the Winter Cycling Federation, and one of the program directors of the upcoming e-Global Winter Cycling Congress 2021, I collaborated with Dr. Wim Ectors from UHasselt to mentor Truc Ngoc Thi Vo in an internship on the topic of winter cycling. Truc wrote a first guest blog last fall. Here is her 2nd guest blog in which she shares her winter cycling experiences during the 2nd lockdown in Belgium as well as positive vibes of winter cycling that can be found on social media.

Hi. This is Truc again, and I am here to share with you my winter cycling experiences during the second lockdown in Belgium. Belgium went into the second lockdown on 2 November to tackle the serious spike of COVID-19 infections across the country. This has meant my life routine has been affected a bit, namely that most of my daily activities now have to be done from home. The weather is also getting colder and colder outside, and the motivation to go outside is decreasing. But I know that is not how to keep healthy to be able to overcome the pandemic. So, I have decide to keep moving around the city by bike, but sometimes negative thoughts enter my mind to try and prevent me from cycling outside:

“I think it’s too cold to cycle today.”

“It looks dark outside, perhaps too dark to cycle?”

“It’s windy today, looks like hard work.”

Thankfully, then some positive solutions come after these negative thoughts to help motivate me to pedal, even in the winter.

“I think it’s too cold to cycle today.”: But we will be warm and possibly even sweating in 5 minutes, and after that our core body temperature will feel warm for hours. We will warm up quicker cycling than we will be taking the car, and we’d have to scrape the ice off the windscreen and that takes ages.

“It looks dark outside, perhaps too dark to cycle?”: Cycle lights have never been so bright, some might say too bright! For under 50 euro you can get an amazing set of lights, good enough to see and be seen on even the unlit back roads and off-road cycle tracks. That’s 50 euro towards our safety and our enjoyment, this is not an excuse anymore, get on your bike!

“It’s windy today, looks like hard work.”: Are they gale-force winds? Is it dangerous? No? Then it’ll be a good work out, long grinding miles of seated effort. It’ll feel like an alpine climb (only without the stunning view). Get out there quick, the beautiful park has come to us!

A ride after a long day in the house always helps me to reset myself and strengthen my immune system by clearing my airways getting the blood supply pumping. Not to mention, some fresh, cold air during the bike ride it also helps for the mental health well-being.

And nothing can motivate me more than when I saw a lot of cycling lovers around the world sharing their posts with a positive vibe about their winter cycling experiences.

“A beautiful bike ride in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan” – Dima Kalinyuk

“Worthy bike ride in cloggy land”- Edd Rongen

“Keep calm and go by bike everywhere guys.”-Martin Tigermaan

How beautiful to see all the posts from cyclists around the world to motivate people to cycle through the winter. Yes! It is winter, it is cold, but cycle to warm you up and give your health a kick to overcome this hard time.

“The sun may shine less, but the warmth is still there in every rotation of your bike wheels!”

This Thursday and Friday, 11-12 February, join me, Melissa Bruntlett, and the larger Winter Cycling Federation board and community for this year’s E-Global Winter cycling Congress. Hosted from the Mobycon Academy studio, there is plenty fo winter cycling inspiration to find from experts and enthusiasts all around the world.

Angela van der Kloof

‘Planning, promotion and education for cycling are great tools that contribute to making places thrive, people participate and be healthy, as well as to the quality of the living environment.’

Strategic Advisor