Day 34 of Self-Isolation in Switzerland – A Daily Bike Ride

By | 18 April 2020

When the Pandemic was just starting I thought that this would be perfect for a daily bike ride and I was tempted to go to the mountains and to do other things. I didn’t though, because emergency services said “Don’t monopolise our resources getting injured because we may be required to help with the COVID-19 situation. Within three or four weeks they changed their statement to “if you need help we’re still here, our emergency services are still working as normal.

Last year I broke my arm on a day of Canicule and I spent at least four hours waiting to be seen. The wait was so long that I started to lose patience. When finally I was seen, and the break was confirmed the doctor was smiling, almost laughing. “Normally when people break their arm they can’t rotate their wrist”. It shows that despite my interior monologue being impatient during the wait my exterior monologue was polite and courteous to the point where a doctor was relaxed and good-humoured.

I didn’t want to repeat this experience during a pandemic. My other concern, and reason for not cycling was that if the chain broke I would have to walk home, get the car, and then return and get the bike. To call for help would be to break self-isolation for myself and someone else and I was unwilling to do this. That’s why I walked everywhere within range of home.

During the bike ride I saw a lot of cyclists but what was really interesting is that there were more bikes than cars on the roads, at least on the roads I rode along. It was also interesting to see how I was cycling past some people so quickly. It seems that walking every day for so many months has a beneficial effect. It’s also because I am not fatigued.

If you view “Flybys” you will see that plenty of people are active.

As people can’t go to the shops, can’t go to the mountains, have walked enough, and more we find that plenty of people are actively cycling. Usually when I look at flyby information I see four or five bikes at a time. Today the map lit up in a way I have never seen before. Twenty people cycling simultaneously in twos or threes.

I overheard someone ask “so do we go down or do we go straight across”. They were new to cycling in the region. As I was doing the cycling equivalent of HYOH (Hike your own Hike), Bike your own bike ride, BYOB, not to be confused with the beer/beverage version, I just continued exploring.

Today’s route was different than usual because I had three variables. The first variable was that I wasn’t allowed to leave the Canton De Vaud. The second variable was that I couldn’t go into France so my usual ride segments were out of the question. The third variable was to ensure that the ride was not too short. I accomplished all three of these goals.

I got five personal records during this ride, which isn’t bad and for one segment I was in the top 5.4 percent. it won’t change my life. I got that time on a segment I love to race cars down. It’s a straight road and the bike lane is downhill so it’s easy to go fast. What was unusual is that I was giving so much power, but without burning out. When I stopped pushing it was to coast, rather than because I flamed out.

Blocksite is a Chrome plugin to block specific websites.

I downloaded a Chrome extension to block Twitter and Facebook. Neither of these sites provides me with what I need during this pandemic so rather than delete my accounts, as I almost did this morning, I blocked them. If websites don’t bring joy block them. Good mental health, during a pandemic, especially when self-isolating alone is essential.

As I write this blog post we’re getting the first rain in over a month. Finally the rivers will be able to get their fill. Imagine if I had been caught in the rain during my bike ride. I love the sound of rain on the veluxes.

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