Following the introduction of new restrictions in England and Scotland on Monday, British Cycling has today shared its three top tips for riding through the lockdown: stay local, keep riding, and come back smiling.

While winter is often a trickier time to stay active due to the cold weather and short days, it’s a vital tool for safeguarding our physical and mental wellbeing during what is set to be another challenging few weeks ahead. Although the restrictions have been tightened, riders are still very much encouraged to get out and enjoy some fresh air – whether that’s for daily exercise or essential journeys – so here’s our three-point plan for getting through the lockdown.

1. Keep local: Under the new guidance it’s important to stay local, but that doesn’t mean that rides need to be boring. See it as a time to explore new roads, parks and trails right on your doorstep, and if you’re riding as a family you can take the opportunity to discover more about your community along the way. Head to the HSBC UK Let’s Ride Local site for more games and activities, and read their full guidance on where to ride here.

2. Keep riding: It may be cold, wet and windy, but whatever the weather you’ll always return from your ride with a clearer head, a smile and renewed motivation to keep going. Getting out of the door is always the hardest part, so take a look at British Cycling’s guides for riding in the dark, keeping warm and being seen. If you’re new to cycling, that’s great! Their cycling basics will get you on your way.

3. Come back smiling: During the first lockdown last spring it was amazing to see the cycling community come together to support each other in an hour of need. After almost a year of restrictions that spirit is going to be even more important this time around. That means checking in with your friends, getting together virtually or buddying up with a less experienced rider to help them to keep the wheels turning. They’ll appreciate the support!

British Cycling’s Cycling Delivery Director, Dani Every, said: “At the beginning of a new year entering another period of lockdown is deflating and worrying for all of us, particularly those who must now return to shielding, are facing the challenges of home-schooling or are working on the frontline in our NHS.

“Throughout last year we were enormously proud of the part which cycling played in the national effort against Covid-19, whether by helping key workers to safely get around or providing some mental respite through daily exercise, and we know that it will have just as important of a role to play over the coming weeks and months. While it will be challenging, it also presents opportunities too, to explore more of your local area, get the family riding together and kickstart a lifelong love of cycling.

“Based on what we know at this stage, a return to riding with friends, getting back to racing and challenging yourselves in a sportive lies just around the corner, but in the meantime it’s important that we all keep local, keep riding and come back smiling as we begin one last push to the line.”

Quick resources

· Family riding inspiration: HSBC UK Let’s Ride Local
· Preparing for your first commute: Commute Smart
· Tips and guides: Insight Zone
· Teaching your kids to ride: HSBC UK Ready Set Ride