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Covid-19 has impacted cycling in several ways, but there are still opportunities to cycle during the lockdown. At the time of writing, both Ireland and Britain are not enforcing lockdown measures to the extent as they are in France. As such, consider the following times when you can cycle legally in both countries.

  • Exercise – Currently, you are permitted an hour’s exercise a day. Where you can use this for cycling. Remember to maintain social distancing to avoid contracting the coronavirus.
    Important! At the time of writing, if you’re in Eire, you cannot cycle more than 2kms from your house. This obviously impacts training heavily. If you are tempted to cycle more than 2 kms away from your home, bear in mind that there have been reports about Irish police using Strava to track and fine cyclists. As such, if you can’t change your route to stay within the 2kms, you may find it difficult to cycle train.
  • Essential Shopping – Consider cycling to the shops to get your essential shopping. It may not be proper road cycling, but at least you are on two wheels.
  • Travelling to Essential Work – If you’re not working from home, try cycling for your commute. This can be quite an effective way to train especially as roads tend to be quieter due to the outbreak. Still, you need to take a safety-first approach to both traffic and social distancing.
  • Providing Care - If you are providing care for somebody vulnerable, this is deemed essential travel. Why not use this opportunity to travel by bike?
  • Indoor Cycling – Cycling on turbo trainers and indeed doing cycling related activities is also an option, and you can do this at any time you have a spare moment.

cycling-covid-19-lockdown-conronavirusAlthough lockdown is in force in Britain and Ireland there are still opportunities to cycle train.

Keep up to Date on Developments

It is important that you keep up to date on developments. Today, there is no need for a permit to travel type system in place. Tomorrow there could be. Given the fines in mainland Europe, that is likely to be reproduced in both countries should you need paperwork to travel from A to B.

Safety First

It is important to observe both social distancing and traffic laws. The more we adhere to the safety measures in our daily lives, the sooner we can beat this virus and get back to normality.
Bear in mind that the roads are quiet, not closed. Apply the same level of vigilance as you would normally.

Keep your Spirits

Most of all, keep your spirits high and cycle when you can. We shall get through this and ride in glorious pelotons once more.

More Information

Source: Stickybottle

Submitted: 30/3/2020

Dear Friends of SportActive,

Everyone at SportActive hopes you and your loved ones are well.

As you are no doubt aware, Spain is in lockdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This has affected our Mallorca Cycling holidays in the spring season. Affected customers have been contacted about their holiday, and we have discussed available options.

The SportActive Team is virus-free and returned home from Mallorca on 16th March. Hopefully, we'll see you all from mid-April in Mallorca, for the French cycling holidays and challenges starting end of May, and of course, Mallorca Cycling in September and October.

SportActive-covid-19-coronavirusThe SportActive Team hopes you and your family are well

Difficult Times but Remain Upbeat

With difficult times ahead, it is important to keep our spirits up until the lockdown is over and the disruption is a distant memory. Remember, even if your country is on lockdown, you should still be able to get a permit and get some time on two wheels.

If you can’t, however, now is an excellent time to break out the indoor trainer and introduce some exercise techniques into your day. Keep focused on better things and keep cycling focused. This situation will not last forever.

With this in mind, try the following:

It is also a good time to brush up on your nutritional knowledge. What we eat is connected to how well we cycle. The following posts will help you get in the groove. Check out:

You can find all our training tips and blogs here.

We hope that you can maintain your spirts at this time. Don’t forget, we update our social media accounts daily, and we will publish updates to bring a smile to your lips as well as our usual cycling tips and holidays.

Look out for your Turbo Training Help Program!

We are also preparing a free Turbo Training Help Program. Not only will this help you maintain condition, it will help you make your indoor training fun and pleasant. Look out for it in our blog post or subscribe to our newsletter to receive the information!

Stay strong, and we'll soon be riding in Mallorca and French pelotons again.

Keep smiling,

The SportActive Team.

Submitted: 20/03/2020

Close to ‘The Beast of Provence’, Mont Ventoux is the magnificent canyon of Gorges de la Nesque. Many see this as the second most important canyon in Province after the Gorges de Verdon, but others will tell you it is just as impressive. And they are right.

gorges-de-la-nesque-sportactive-cycling Experience the fantastic cycling and sweeping views of Les Gorges de la Nesque! Provence!

There are several cycling routes you can take to experience les Gorges de la Nesque, some longer and more challenging than others. All take you through the low tunnels carved through the mountains, which is an impressive sight in of itself. The French balcony roads afford magnificent views and are amazing to cycle. The low height of the tunnels makes roads heavy vehicle-free, which is great when on two wheels.

As you ride from Sault, you will be greeted by blue fields interwoven with the gold of spelt. This is quite common in Provence and spend a little time here, and this is what you will see. You come across the Nesque River about ten kms into the ride. This disappears underground somewhat unexpectedly. It resurfaces around the Fontaine de Vacluse which is about 30 kms downstream.

The ride takes you to Monieux, which is a quaint medieval town, with cobbled streets. The Romanesque church and watchtower remains are popular tourist draws. When you pass Monieux, you will soon find you’re riding on the edge of a canyon. Well done, you’ve reached the Gorges de la Nesque.

gorges-de-la-nesque-provence-france-mont-ventouxYou will marvel at the amazing rock formations and changing landscape of Provence

Embracing Les Gorges de la Nesque

The land tumbles from lavender fields into white oaks, cliffs, and crags, and this is where you embrace Les Gorges de la Nesque. The canyon greets you giving you magnificent views of rock formations. Along the way, there are observational places where you can take in the views and get a sense of scale. The valley is beautiful, and this is contrasted by the rocks that tower into the sky.

There are three prominent viewing places along the route, offering you a unique take on the Gorges de la Nesque. Arguably the best of these is the Castellaras belvedere. It is a few kilometres from Monieux and looks out on to Rocher du Cire. An 872-metre high rock formation. It is magnificent.

As the road unfolds, you’ll notice that it is narrower in some parts and hedges sometimes form the border between the road and the canyon.

Cycling in Provence

Provence is a truly beautiful and spectacular region of France. It is winemaking country, and many of the routes take you through the vineyards that boasts some of the best wine in the world. The landscape can change quite dramatically from beautiful fields of lavender and yellow flowers giving way to rock formations shaped over millennia by natural forces.

Scattered throughout the region are beautiful villages and towns that have that unique, unmistakable French stamp. You can almost taste the cheese and smell the baguettes as you ride through them. This is France as you imagined it.

gorges-de-la-nesque-road-cycling-franceEmbrace Mont Ventoux and Provence and have one of the best road cycling experiences!

Riding the Gorges de la Nesque with SportActive

SportActive’s Mont Ventoux Tour will show you this amazing part of Provence. The 65 kms route lets you experience the canyon and provides a great riding challenge. Best of all you get to climb Mont Ventoux, one of the most difficult mountains to ride in the world. What could be better? Discover SportActive’s Mont Ventoux tour now.

Date submitted: 3/3/2020

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an increasingly popular form of training. Here, you give it everything you’ve got on the bike for around two minutes. Ten out of ten effort. After a two minute rest, you do it again. Due to its nature, you can do it on an indoor bike or turbo trainer or your commute to work.

HIIT is not confined to the world of cycling. Other types of athletes incorporate it into their training plans. So, let’s explore HIIT in more detail.

High-intensity-interval-training-road-cyclingIncreasingly, HIIT is becoming part of cycling training programmes

Why do Hit Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?

There are several reasons why HIIT could be an excellent addition to your cycle training routine. Consider:

  • HIIT is convenient. You could work in a HIIT ride on your way to work, for example. If you do implement HIIT on your commute, ensure you use quiet, safe roads only. 
  • HIIT burns fat. You increase your metabolic rate after a session which raises fitness levels and makes you leaner and meaner on the bike. After a HIIT session, you will burn fat throughout the day. This makes it ideal for morning sessions.
  • If we want to get technical, it is believed that it boosts your VO2 Max – this is how much oxygen your body can use. The higher your VO2 Max, the better. Professional Norwegian cyclist Oskar Svendsen holds the record for highest VO2 Max.
  • If we want to get technical again, HIIT increases your mitochondria function. That is to say, your cells change fuel into energy faster. Perfect for better cycling.

It provides benefits no matter what level of cyclist you are. Whether you ride casually or race, HIIT will improve your fitness and cycling.

What Benefits Does HIIT Bring?

In essence, professional cyclists and athletes see real term improvements to their cardiovascular, metabolic, and musculoskeletal adaptations. Even endurance athletes see benefits from incorporating HIIT into their training programmes.
It should be noted that HIIT is not a substitute to base mile endurance training. It does, however, complement it well.

Approaching your First HIIT

These steps should help you ride your first HIIT. If you have health issues, you may want to speak to your doctor before incorporating HIIT into your training sessions. If you’re good to go, let’s do it. Follow these steps:

  • Never approach HIIT on an empty stomach. Make sure you are fuelled and have ideally eaten about 90 minutes before you start your session.
  • If riding outside, try and find a hill. This is not essential, but it fits with the nature of high intensity interval training, and as you’re increasing effort, you may as well do this up a hill. If you don’t have a suitable hill then on the flat is fine too.
  • If riding outside, pick your route with care. You want a road with few, ideally no junctions between the start and finish of your session. Make sure your visibility is good with few blind bends. Take a safety-first approach as stopping when you’re riding flat out is no fun and dangerous.
  • Warm-up with an easy ten-minute ride. Try and increase effort a little bit before the end of your warm-up, so your body gets an idea that you are going for maximum effort soon.
  • Go for it! Try riding flat out for around two minutes. That said, if you can’t do two minutes, that is fine. Ride like the wind for what is comfortable and suitable for you. Rest for two minutes and then repeat. Aim for around ten to twenty minute of effort, and try and increase your HIIT reps time as you improve. So work up to two-minute blasts of intense cycling rather than one. With HIIT quality trumps quantity. For example, three 1 minute quality reps are better than five 1 minute poorer quality reps.
  • Warm down with a ten to twenty-minute ride. Any longer than this and you may lose some of the benefits from your training session.
  • Ensure you refuel after your ride as you’ll need the carbs.

You will need to fully recover from your last HIIT session before embarking on your next one to get the full benefits from your high intensity interval training ride. Maybe start with once a week and add an extra one if you feel able to do so.

HIIT-benefits-high-intensity-interval-trainingTry working HIIT into your cycle training

Final Thoughts on HIIT

  • HIIT is incompatible with fasting. Never try HIIT on an empty stomach as you can easily burnout.
  • HIIT is arguably best in the morning as you can reap the fat-burning benefits.
  • Nobody is quite sure as to why HIIT brings benefits, but one theory is that it improves neuromuscular signalling.

If you can do it, try and incorporate this type of training into your cycling.

Sources:
Cyclopedia
GCN

Submitted: 9/2/2020

 

 

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About SportActive

We've made it our mission to make your experience of cycling in Mallorca one of the most incredible of your life

Every member of the cycle training team at SportActive is a passionate and accomplished cyclist in their own right, not to mention an expert in cycle training. Indeed, it was after taking part in numerous races across Europe, America and Australia that Flora and I eventually decided to set up SportActive in order to offer a new approach to training for cyclists. Having experienced the very best that cycling clubs had to offer, we wanted to make these experiences accessible to everybody, which eventually led us to found SportActive - a unique cycling break company, committed to help cyclists at all levels improve their skills and have fun doing so.

 

Contact SportActive

28 Gelvin Gardens, Trench Road, L/Derry, BT472DQ, N Ireland
Tel office : 0044/ (0)287136 5997

Martin Birney - 0044/ (0)75 997 191 79 or 00353/ (0)86 196 6006

Flora Mittermair
Landline : 0033/ (0)4 78 59 18 90 (leave voice message only on mobile number) or Mobile : 0033 / (0)6 99 79 12 54