Mamils face backlash as they stretch bike rides to 200 miles

Mamils face backlash as they stretch bike rides to 200 miles: 30,000 cyclists sign up to ride-sharing app Strava amid concerns they are flouting lockdown rules

  • Some 30,000 British cyclists join long-distance challenge organised by Strava
  • Almost 100 cyclists averaging 50 miles per day nine days into April challenge
  • One competitor rode for 11 hours and 40 minutes on 211-mile round trip in March
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

Cyclists are embarking on rides of up to 200 miles as they take part in long-distance challenges amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

Around 30,000 British fitness fanatics have joined a month-long challenge organised by social-fitness app Strava, which tracks cycling and running exercises.

The distance challenge, which takes place from April 1 to April 30, asks participants across the globe to cycle a total of 777 miles. 

Almost 100 cyclists were averaging around 50 miles per day just nine days into the challenge, the Sunday Times reported.

Cyclists in Hyde Park, London ahead of the Easter weekend amid the country’s nationwide coronavirus lockdown

Others, including a cyclist from Nottingham, had beaten the target by April 12, with 1,267 miles logged to their account according to Strava data.

It is likely many of these cyclists have been riding alone, as per the government’s lockdown measures, with others competing on exercise bikes before logging their miles on the app. 

However, some are reportedly still riding in large groups.

Last Saturday, dozens of ‘Middle-Aged Men in Lycra’ (MAMILs) ignored the Government’s Covid-19 lockdown rules to ride their bicycles together in Regent’s Park, London. 

In Paddington, keep fit fans were also photographed training in a recreation ground – again appearing to ignore social distancing rules.  

Pictured: Cyclists and joggers in Regent’s Park, London on April 4 as the UK continued in lockdown

Around 30,000 British fitness fanatics have joined a month-long challenge organised by social-fitness app Strava, which tracks cycling and running exercises (Pictured: cyclists in Hyde Park today)

Duncan Dollmore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said: ‘This isn’t the time for people to be attempting challenges or seeing how many miles they can rack up.’

Others have criticised cyclists for allegedly flouting coronavirus lockdown rules.

One man said on Facebook: ‘I go out very early to avoid these idiots! Not only putting themselves at risk but all those they come into contact with. 

‘This virus doesn’t take prisoners it is deadly! You are putting many NHS staff at risk by your selfishness. 

‘Boris, make laws to stop these foolish people, heavy fines for the worst offenders and on the spot tickets!’ 

North Yorkshire Police said today government measures ‘make it clear cyclists need to practice social distancing and should only ride alone or with people from the same house hold,’ Stray FM reported. 

‘Please remember that, as our officers are out on patrol ensuring people follow these rules.’ 

A cyclist on Clapham Common in south London the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

According to Strava data, one cyclist, who is based in Swinton, rode for seven hours and 40 minutes on a 121-mile round trip to Much Wenlock, Shropshire on Wednesday – despite official advice to ‘stay local’.

He later embarked on another 115-mile trip on Saturday, amid glorious sunshine and temperatures of 79F (26C) over the Easter Weekend.

On March 26, three days into the lockdown, the same cyclist rode for 11 hours and 40 minutes on a 211-mile round trip. 

Britain will enter its fourth week of coronavirus lockdown on Easter Monday, with strict measures banning Britons from leaving the house unless buying essentials, heading to work as a ‘key worker’, or for ‘any medical need.’ 

People are also permitted to take part in ‘one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.’

Though there are no specific rules for how long a person should exercise per day, Michael Gove told Andrew Marr last month: ‘I would have thought that for most people a walk of up to an hour or a run of 30 minutes or a cycle ride, depending on their level of fitness is appropriate.’

The Strava website says: ‘Your safety and health, and that of the people around you, are of paramount importance – that’s always been our point of view and remains so now. 

‘If local government and health officials are asking you to change your way of being active, please follow their instructions to the letter, both for your well-being and your community’s. 

‘If you feel that taking a break from being active would benefit you or those you love, please do. We’ll see you on the other side of that break when you’re ready.’

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