Our world has changed immeasurably in just a matter of weeks as the coronavirus pandemic has unfolded. Things we once took for granted – global travel, going for a bike ride, even hugging a family member – have been cast into doubt or, quite simply, stopped altogether.
However, it’s important for us to let you know, our BikeRadar readers and viewers, that we are here for you – to entertain, inform and distract you through the days, weeks and months ahead.
Like almost every line of work, the bike industry is being hit hard – supply and distribution chains have been affected, product launches delayed and R&D efforts undoubtedly stalled – though bike shops remain open in the UK and we’d encourage you to support your chosen retailer, if possible. We’re also more grateful than ever for your ongoing support of BikeRadar.
Anecdotally, we’re thrilled to see many people – new riders and experienced cyclists – using cycling as their chosen form of exercise during a time when significant curbs have been placed on everyday life.
We’re lucky at BikeRadar that we can continue to work when others are forced to shut up shop. We’ve been working from home for a couple of weeks now and, as a website, it’s relatively easy for us to do so.
However, some of what we publish may look a little different to usual, not least as a result of the local, national and global situation evolving on an hourly basis. Our product testing and review coverage will inevitably be affected – we cannot, practically or responsibly, test product as normal, though we have plenty of existing reviews in the pipeline. One way or another, we’ll keep the stories, podcasts and videos coming.
The BikeRadar team has also had to quickly adapt to the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in – setting up ad-hoc photo studios in our living rooms, recording podcasts and videos remotely, and quickly shifting the focus of our content plans.
We will endeavour to bring you the same quality coverage you have come to expect from BikeRadar. Our job through all of this is to give you the opportunity to escape – the very reason why so many of us choose to ride in the first place – and to indulge your passion when you otherwise may not be able to.
We will continue to bring you breaking tech news as it happens, buying advice from our team of experts, exclusive stories and regular features, as well as the latest how-to advice, whether you’re turning to indoor training through the pandemic or are a new cyclist who wants to know how to get started on two wheels.
What we won’t bring you is an endless stream of coronavirus stories – we will continue to update our coronavirus round-up with the latest advice for cyclists and bring you relevant stories when appropriate, but other news outlets beyond the cycling world are better placed to offer accurate, minute-by-minute news on the pandemic, if you want it.
We know some of you will be experiencing real financial hardship at the moment, and those on the frontlines of the pandemic are putting themselves in danger to keep the rest of us safe. To all those who work for the NHS here in the UK and other health services around the world, we are truly grateful for your labours and your courage.
Cycling may not feel very important to some of you right now and that’s completely understandable. To us, however, with the freedom cycling usually offers under threat, it feels more important than ever.
If you’re somewhere where you can’t currently get on the bike, we want you to join us on the ride in the meantime. If riding is still an option, we’d encourage you to get out there, but to be mindful of others, observe social distancing measures and not to take unnecessary risks.
Cycling is a great way to relieve some of the stress of an inherently stressful situation but hurting yourself by falling off isn’t going to help anyone.
More than anything, please do as your local and national governments ask and try your absolute hardest not to make a bad situation worse. We must all play our part to slow the spread of coronavirus and ease the burden on our health services.
There is more to life than cycling, of course, but we value your continued support now more than ever.
We’re also well aware that, among the ever-present murmur of 24-hour news and social media updates, life online can present its own unique challenges. If you want to get your cycling fix away from a screen, remember you can subscribe to our best-selling magazines, Cycling Plus and Mountain Biking UK.
For the next three months, we’ll deliver your copy of Cycling Plus or MBUK direct to your door, saving 15 per cent on the usual shop price and with no delivery charge (UK only). This offer requires a one-off payment and you can cancel at any time to receive a full refund on any outstanding issues.
Above all else, look after yourselves, your family, friends and the people around you, and let’s all go for a ride when this is over.
George and the BikeRadar team.