As I write, a nearly-overwhelming amount of information is coming in about the approaching COVID-19 pandemic and what measures the government may impose to help slow the spread and lessen strain on our hospitals.

I’ll leave that stuff to the experts, but I will be updating this blog over the next few weeks to give what useful information I can on how you can keep riding if it all starts feeling a bit like a zombie apocalypse. We know that cycling’s good for your health in general, but for many people it’s also closely linked to good mental health; a bike ride can be a much-needed antidote to the anxieties caused by current news.

First I want to say that we’ll stay open as long as legally and humanly possible. We’ve seen plenty of people visit us for the first time in the last few days because they’re starting to ride their bikes instead of use public transport – long may that continue! – but we’re aware that shops may be shut down very soon.

We’ll keep our normal opening hours, 7am-7pm weekdays, for as long as we can; we’ll stay open on Saturdays from 9-5 and we’ll try and fit every service in as soon as possible. We generally try and fix punctures and do small tweaks and adjustments on the spot, while you wait, and we’ll continue that although we might ask you to wait outside the front of the shop just in case (under the awning, if it’s raining!).

I’ve got a separate blog to write about the pleasure and sanity-restoring solitude of riding on your own, and how to stay safe, but we’ve got stock of saddlebags, multi-tools, pumps, tubes, and all the other stuff you’ll need to take with you, in the shop.

And for those who are already self-isolating or quarantining, there’s another blog on its way about how to set up your turbo trainer if you need or choose house-bound cycling; we have turbo trainer tyres (yes, they’re a thing) and those bike protector things that are generally known as “bike bras”.

We’ll also be offering a turbo trainer setup service. Like servicing your bike, it’s not rocket science but if you’d prefer it done quickly and properly by someone with a bit of experience, we can help out. Give us a shout for more details, or watch this space.

And in the meantime, take care of yourselves. And each other.

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