Today is the first day of the rest of my cycling year

With the COVID19 infection rate in the US still not under control, I bit the bullet and backed out of “AMBBR-Take 2” in September after the original date was postponed. I simply don’t feel that I can participate in a way that will keep my exposure to COVID19 to as close to 0% as possible.

When AMBBR was rescheduled from June to this September, group training for all Team-in-Training chapters were suspended indefinitely, and that’s now been extended through to the event. This is for good reason, of course, and I appreciate that there’s a bit of a dynamic situation that organizers are trying to manage. Team-in-Training has been very accommodating around my cancelling and have rolled over this year’s funds that I raised to next year’s event. Yet, while most events have relented to the pandemic and cancelled, the AMBBR event is one of the few that hasn’t dropped and many of these are publishing statements around taking necessary precautions for COVID. Still I wonder how many will still get cancelled, because:

Total Coronavirus Cases in the United States, July 2, 2020. From:

The forecasts of the rates towards September aren’t showing much better.

As I’ve backed out of AMBBR, I also won’t be coaching for Team-in-Training, and lo, I have no cycling events left on my calendar. What to do?

Now, there are some other events that are still on for later in the Fall, but I’m not confident that participating in any kind of group activity while COVID infections keep increasing is as safe as not participating, nor that things will improve in time when people are clearly not heeding the public health measures and we’re seeing massive surges in infection rates. If not wanting COVID is the consideration, it doesn’t make sense to potentially expose myself to a carrier so I can cycle, and then bring that virus home to infect my loved ones.

There are also virtual events. I’ve jumped on the virtual event bandwagon a couple of times during the pandemic and the one I did for Climate Ride in which I live streamed myself on a trainer for four hours was a fun experience that I’m not sure my butt wants me to do again. I won’t rule out doing another one, but with a crashed economy and without the satisfaction of crossing a real finish line, I’m not sure how palatable it is to ask people for donations to support an imaginary event for charity.

I could also do independent rides outside for charity. With the right route and support (i.e. some member of my family following me in a car) and perhaps a charity partner, this could be a way to keep up with cycling for charity. It’s an idea I’m kicking around.

Finally, there is the option of doing no events and waiting it out, continuing to train in my garage and doing a solo ride outdoors once in a while. That’s been my tact so far and I don’t mind it — except for the social media feeds sending me flashbacks from events I did last year to remind me that I’m not accomplishing anything now. So, with a blank canvas ahead of me, I feel compelled to do something.

While I’m figuring this out, I am accomplishing keeping me and my family safe, and I won’t mind that memory showing up on my feeds next year. If the worst is that nothing happened, then I’ll consider that a success.

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