Seeing as we don’t want to be responsible for spreading foot and mouth and keeping trails closed for even longer we’d best keep ourselves amused far away from the farmers. Here are some suggestions how.
Traffic light drag strip
Although the Queen might take a dim view of racing on her highways, it’s better than killing all the deer on her estates. Again all you need is yourself and a sprint adversary – preferably a pizza delivery boy – then just let rip as soon as the lights go green. You’ll soon find your sprinting and trackstanding getting a whole lot better, but check your chain and freehub are in stout working order before you impale yourself on your stem in the middle of a crowded street.
NCP Grand Prix
What you need for this is a deserted multi story car park and a bunch of competitive idiots. Simply start at the bottom and the winner is the first to touch the far parapet at the top. Spilt oil, dusty concrete, rabid riders and concrete posts should take care of the excitement and it’s a superb workout if you repeat it as many times as you can.
Steps – chance would be a fine thing, hur hur
Concrete steps are regular and generally pretty grippy, plus your town centre will have a huge range of gradients, size of steps and lengths of flights. Learn to master the concrete copies and you’ll have no trouble coping with the more natural rockereies when you get back onto the trails.
Scour the town map
Although you might never look inside the city limits for rights of way, now’s the perfect time to look for legal routes between the houses. Most towns have a whole network of routes that can be strung together to keep you amused, and some trails might be good enough to become regular rides.
Hang on while we explain the logic. If you have to ride on roads away from farms anyway why not kill two birds with one stone and commute for the rest of the week. You’ll get enough riding in to be ready for a rest at the weekend and hammering down the hard shoulder will have a useful purpose. Just remember, deodorant is no subsitute for a proper wash.
Sort your bike
You’ve probably been meaning to strip your bike down properly for ages anyway. Now’s your chance to pull it apart without having to worry about getting it back together by Sunday morning. Clean and lube all the transmission and cables. Check brakes for wear and mal-adjustment. Strip, clean and regrease suspension (remember to note down the previous settings). Grease all the bits that slide or rub together. Check wheels for spoke tension and rim damage. Check frame and bars, stem, seatpost etc. for cracks or stress signs. And finally, clean your water bottles or Camelbak.
Sort out your workshop
You’ll have probabaly found while servicing your bike that your tool box is in an advanced state of confusion, often with vital tools missing or mislaid. use the petrol money you might have spent this weekend to get down to the bike sop and buy that missing allen key or a proper chain tool, and you won’t spend so much time messing around when you could be out riding later.
Get someone else to sort your bike
If all that sounds like too much trouble then get your bike booked in at the local shop for some professional TLC.
Sort out your training
Take this enforced time out from the trails to take stock of your current fitness and any aims or events you might have scheduled for this year. Work out how long you’ve got to get to your goals and what they are, and then set about planning how to get there. Remember the golden rule; always work hardest on your weaknesses, your strength’s will look after themselves.
Write a review
Once you’ve exhausted all the entertainment your bike and urban trails can provide why not put your thoughts and experiences into print on BIKEmagic’s new product review system, or just plan your next dream bike – or at least bits of it – by checking what other people have recommended or rejected.
Well there’s your starter for ten but in the great tradition of “Why don’t you ?” send us in your plans for making the most of the trail closures and we’ll print the best ones here, and roll around laughing in the office at the worst ones.