Has lockdown 2.0 been getting you down? We hear ya.
COVID-19 keeps lingering around like a bout of flatulence after an especially spicy curry. And it’s affecting all aspects of our lives–including our exercise regime.
But the good news, my fellow Melbournian cycle fanatics, is the current restrictions don’t have to inhibit you from enjoying a jolly good two-wheel workout. With the help of modern technology and a touch of creative innovation, you can still embark on a scenic ride around the city without breaking the rules.
Here’s how it works.
Staying within 5km from home
As you’re no doubt aware, the law mandates you may only exercise for a maximum of one-hour within a 5km radius of your home. Getting back within an hour should be easy enough, but how do you work out what lies within 5km of the couch?
Forget about breaking out the measuring tape on a paperback map of the city, because the process is super straightforward via the nifty website kmfromhome. Just click the blue link, let it access your location, set the radius to 5km, and you’re now ready to ride.
If you’re wondering whether the tool is morally acceptable and legally above board, then rest assured everything is kosher. After all, the Victorian State Government released something similar of their own.
You might be surprised at how many cool places lie within that radius. If you were to circumnavigate the entire circle, then you’d be looking at a 30-35 km route. Good luck pulling that off in one hour!
Mapping Your Route
Now that you’ve defined your legal riding zone, it’s time to work out the optimal route within your permitted area. You don’t have to scour through a map and memorize a convoluted route because there’s another handy online tool that’ll do the hard yards for you.
Introducing RideWithGPS, a cycling mega-app that lets you plot any inner-city route you like, turn by turn. The ultra-useful site integrates with popular navigating services so you can pop on your headphones and have a soothing voice tell you exactly where to go. And you don’t have to be some kind of IT superstar as its drag-and-drop interface is incredibly easy to use.
Keep in mind, of course, that suburban streets and shared cycle paths will take significantly longer to tear through than your usual route. We recommend shortening your regular ride by about 5km to ensure you’re back home before the one hour limit is up.
Cycling With A Buddy (From Another Household)
Here’s where we start to geek out.
What if you want to embark on an hour-long cycle session with your bike buddy?
How could you manage such complex logistics while staying entirely within the confines of the law?
Load up kmfromhome and drop a second pin on your BFF’s house. Now, you’ve got a handy little high-tech Venn diagram that tells you precisely where the two radiuses overlap. Simply mark out both your routes on RideWithGPS to ensure they intertwine and enjoy some totally legal riding time with your favourite bike brother/sister.
Technically, you could push the process a step further and add a third person to the mix–but we wouldn’t want to encourage undue mingling in the height of a deadly pandemic. And seriously, folks, if you do ride with a member of a different household, you need to maintain max social distancing and don’t you dare dally to chat.
Getting in a decent ride while following the rules and keeping COVID-safe is entirely possible during these trying times. May your next legal cycle session help you beat the lockdown blues.