303Endurance and Covid-19, Some Thoughts and Tie a Fly Rod to Your Bike!

By Bill Plock

The pandemic we find ourselves in has collapsed time. Days seem like hours and hours seem like minutes. The news is old the second it becomes communicated.

Late yesterday I received a notice that the Karen Hornbostel Time Trial series was going to go on as planned starting this week. I was pleasantly surprised and thought that if there is a cycling event that can adhere to social distancing, it is this one. You could show up at your designated time, race, and go home. Simple. I had prepared a post announcing that this event was on despite most all other events being cancelled. But I hesitated as the news about everything seems to change so fast. I woke this morning (Sunday) to an email stating:

“The COBRAS received word from USAC late Saturday night March 14th that all event permits have been suspended by USAC from March 15th through April 5th. We are hoping that our permit will be reinstated on April 5th and that we can resume the series on April 8th.”

Clearly the virus is not only causing widespread pandemonium, but it keeps many people in many walks of life working and communicating at all hours. That said, it is nearly impossible for us as news source to keep up with all the latest announcements, but we will pass along what we can.

But part of the reason we aren’t going to be glued to our phones and computers is because we hope to be on our bikes, or on the trails or maybe skin up some slopes and enjoy the great outdoors or cast a fly into the water.

On a chilly ride yesterday I noticed more people out than I would’ve expected. They weren’t just riding bikes or walking. I saw roller bladers, people fishing and even some panning for gold. There were more people out than I had seen in a long time and it wasn’t that warm.

I think the future is bright for endurance sports during these unknown times. I think it will change though–especially in the short term. Obviously many events will be moved or cancelled and there is no way to predict what this summer will look like.

It might be that more people will be on their bikes or running the trails but alone or in small groups. Maybe there will be less competitions but more miles moving? Maybe there will be “pop up” rides and multisport events?

I used to work in the fishing industry, and when the economy was tight, fishing sales would increase. I am guessing fishing will rise like a trout going for a spring caddis. What better way to relax in our own space but be near enough to others to talk and to share the outdoors. Years ago I used to ride my mountain bike up Waterton Canyon with a my fly rod. Once you get beyond the normal distance people walk, you can find some great open water and plenty of fish to catch. Give it a try!

From my perspective, this is a time to think differently about the endurance sports we love and rather than focus on what may or may not happen, focus on how much fun you can still have doing what you love. Remember our “why” for getting on the bike or trails, the means to the end and enjoy the journey…..


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