Filed under:Features, Interviews, Interviews, Magazine, Alpkit, Sonder, Steve Bate
As we all continue to live with restrictions on our outdoor activities, we talk to some of the world’s best mountaineers and mountain athletes about what they are doing to stay fit and focused during the Covid crisis. Next up is Steve Bate – climber, Paralympic Cyclist and Alpkit and Sonder ambassador…
Where are you, and with whom, during lockdown?
I live in Hebden Bridge with my wife Caroline and dog Murphy.
Are you able to get out into the hills/mountains/outdoors, or are you restricted to your home and immediate vicinity?
I’m pretty lucky where I live; we have woodland, rivers and some fantastic riding on the doorstep, however, I have chosen to stay inside during the lockdown, sticking to riding the turbo trainer. I haven’t ridden outside in six weeks! But I’m out with Murphy at least once a day for some fresh air, walking him in the woods.
Are you training/exercising at home, and if so, how?
My job is racing and although that has been binned off this year, I still have to stay fit. So I’m doing loads of miles on the turbo which has included a virtual LEJOG, 1000 miles in 10 days on the turbo. I then teamed up with the legend Mark Beaumont to help him launch the ’World in a Day’ charity rides, raising money for the NHS Charities Together fund. These days consist of riding 240 miles on your turbo, starting at 4am. So it’s a big old day in the saddle, but we’ve managed to raise £250,000 so far which is incredible. Mark and I set a target of £25,000 when we started, so it’s really blown us away to see the amount of nutters out there who want to ride a 240 mile day on their turbo trainer!
What are you looking forward to most when restrictions are lifted?
I think seeing the people who have struggled during this time get back to what makes them happy. For me personally, I’ve been okay with the whole lockdown process, but I know lot of people have found it really difficult, so I just want to see my friends happy again, and be able to share stories about ‘what happened when the world stopped turning during covid-19’…
Name a book and/or film you’d recommend to help keep our readers motivated/entertained during lockdown?
I don’t think I’ve read anything profound, or watched anything that’s note-worthy to be honest. But I would encourage people to find a way to learn or better themselves while they have this time, if of course you have time. Finding a purpose, a motivator, or planning some cool adventure to do once the lockdown is over. I’ve spent a bit of time, highlighting routes on OS maps, trying to link up paths and gravel riding around me to explore once the lockdown is lifted.
How do you anticipate the Covid-19 situation affecting your future plans and activities, and what – if any – changes do you think you’ll need to make?
Well I was six months away from the Paralympic Games in Tokyo which, as we all know, is no longer happening this year. My whole training plan has pretty much gone out the window. It’s a case of wanting and seeing what happens in the coming months as lockdown is lifted and race organisers can get things up and running again. So I think for me it’s a ‘wait and see’ game, and hopefully by the end of the year, we will start to have some structure in place and a time line of what’s happening up to the Games in August. I might be able to get some bike packing trips later in this year, but that will depend on what the government’s plans are.
Can you supply a photo of either a) you keeping busy at home during the lockdown or b) in the mountains during happier times, and describe the image in a few words?
Here’s one of my favourite past times. Exploring the world around me on my Sonder fat bike. Looking forwards to getting this monster out again and exploring some of those highlighted paths I’m searching out.
More about Steve at www.alpkit.com