Are you an under hygienic cyclist? How safe and hygenic is your bike? Is it a health hazard?
The one great thing COVID-19 will do for everyone is improve the level of hygiene and with it health and safety. Everyone is washing hands, sanitising and keep good manners and behaviours.
General hygiene and health has long been an area where cyclists can improve. For all of the healthy eating, training routines, massage, showers and similar activities cyclists undertake to improve health and fitness nearly all fail when it comes to their cycling equipment.
The number of cyclists, particularly those training for specific events that come down with illness is quite high and in the majority of cases they come down with URTI’s (upper respiratory tract infections). While overtraining is certainly a component, under hygiene is a bigger problem.
Overtraining leaves an athlete more vulnerable to infection and with less capacity to fight it quickly. Under hygiene simply exposes you to far more nasties than you should be and is how you get sick.
There is a relationship between health and fitness, however it is a relationship that is non linear and has diminishing returns. Health would be described as an absence of disease or illness, while fitness is your capacity to perform physical work. Its possible to be unhealthy (quite sick) and still have a higher fitness (capacity) than the average person.
If you are a highly trained athlete living on the edge of health in order for maximum fitness, you are also a high risk population when it comes to the impact of infections.
Change your idea of a service
A service is about your health and safety. It’s not just about your gears and brakes working, its about the health or health risk of your bike. Its not how clean it is to look at, its also how clean and safe it is to pick up.
It astonishes me how reluctant riders are to change their bar tape when they come in for service. You look at the bike, covered in sweat, leaked out sports drink, dirt, snot etc and it just wreaks. It is a germ breeding paradise and that ickyness is all over your bike and invisible or not considered by most.
You mention the idea of changing the bar tape and get the usual reply “There is nothing wrong with it! Or its not even a year old.’’ Imagine not washing your hands or your socks for a year – even if you only used them once a month. Eek!
If I asked them if they wash their socks and undies daily they agree they do. If I asked them to smell or lick their bar tape they wouldn’t yet they will put their hands all over it and then pick up something to eat. Same, same – pretty dirty!
Book your service or clean your bike even if you are taking a break.
If you have been the unhygienic cyclist in the group, breeding germs for the bunch, you are now more aware than ever of the need for not only better but best hygiene practices.
We are not going to stop riding forever and the COVID-19 challenge will get under control. Your bike will also never clean itself so a service and clean will ensure it is safe and ready to go when you resume training with the group.
Riding indoors on the trainer is a great idea, it will reduce your contact with others, it won't stop you growing bacteria and nasties on your bike - get your bike cleaned up so you only need to surface clean it.
Book a premium bike service this month, change your bar tape and we will give you a new water dishwasher safe bottle with Purist liner.