The COVID19 tsunami

So…it’s Friday the 13th as I write this, and the big news centers all around the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus and its associated disease, COVID19, which the World Health Organization has just called a pandemic. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that this phenomenon has been pretty hard to ignore. Cities and entire countries have gone on lockdown because of it, all in a bid to slow down the contagion’s spread.

The effects have been massive in sporting circles. The NBA has pretty much cancelled the 2020 season after one of its players tested positive for SARS-CoV2. Within the traveling circus of Formula 1, McLaren pulled out of the Australian Grand Prix, typically held in late March as the season opener, when one of its team members tested positive…which devolved into the entire race getting cancelled.

Cycling has not been spared either. Many industry expos and trade shows have either been cancelled or postponed (Sea Otter Classic, North American Handmade Bicycle Show). In light of the Italy lockdown, a huge number of one-day races there are either gone (Strade Bianche, Tour of Sicily) or postponed (Milan-SanRemo, Tirreno-Adriatico) now too. Most high profile though was likely the UAE Tour, which was cancelled midway due to riders and support crew getting quarantined for the virus.

Closer to home…I was preparing for a long-overdue comeback to randonneuring. I had planned on doing the 200 km Subic-Masinloc-Subic audax after five years’ worth of frustration and false starts. While the folks of Audax Randonneurs Philippines are genuinely as tough as nails, even they decided to concede to COVID19 and issued their first-ever ride cancellation notice.

And just when we had recovered from Taal Volcano’s ash-spewing phreatic eruption…

While mass-start cycling events like randonnees and races aren’t kosher right now, riding solo is still a pretty good way of training and/or keeping fitness. As a way of kicking boredom from the Metro Manila lockdown to the curb, a long, hot, solo ride might just do wonders.

Keep hydrated and stay safe out there, guys.

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