6 Apr 2020

Combating COVID-19: Izzy Flint and the Freedom of Riding while Social Distancing

Words from MERIDA Australia athlete, Izzy Flint:


Coronavirus/ COVID-19 is something none of us had ever heard of a couple months ago yet today it’s the first thing in everyone minds.

We could choose to look at this as a negative situation but we need to realise the positives. There is always a silver lining… even in times like this!

In order to notice the positives, I’ve had to concentrate on looking for them.  Here are some of the things I’ve been doing and taking notice of in this strange time.

In Tassie, where I live, the trails are closed but luckily for me and everyone else in Australia we can still ride our bikes outside in the fresh air with the sun shining and do the things that we love (although Tassie has seen its fair share of rain of the past couple of days).  Take the opportunity to go and explore new roads you’ve always wanted to, find some gravel to tear up or build some backyard jumps/ obstacle courses. Not only is it good for our souls but also for our physical and mental health!

Although all of our race seasons and riding plans have been upended recently, something that many of us now get to experience is more time with our loved ones. Whether they are near or far, having this time means we can connect with the people who matter to us the most because we never know what tomorrow will bring!

What if we start to believe that life is always working out for us?  What if this is a chance for the world to reset and for us to remember what is actually important - for us to appreciate what and who we have in our lives and to be incredibly grateful for the life that we have? Our air is cleaner as the factories have shut down and the environment is seeing the benefits. What if this is the change the world needed? Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t make the situation go away, but it’s a fresh, positive perspective.

Perspective is everything in situations like this. We need to cherish the fact we can ride our bike, yes, we can’t race but we still can ride for the simple pleasure of loving it. It fills our souls and keeps us sane! The healing power of bikes is incredible.

Coronavirus and the impact it’s having on our day to day lives is something that most of us will never experience again in our lifetimes. So, for the time being, let’s stay safe, stay healthy and stay home!  To help stay connected with each other let’s use social media to share our time in isolation.

Post your favourite ever memory on a bike to your socials and tag @meridabikeaus and me, @izflint. Let’s share the love and fill each other’s minds and feeds with happy memories. Challenge yourself to learn a new skill… and then challenge your mates to learn it as well.  I’m learning to juggle and am enjoying seeing my mates trying to show me up. Check in on someone you know who might be struggling through this time. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

Enjoy riding your bike, I look forward to seeing everyone on the other side.

Stay safe and follow your local guidelines!