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Does riding a motorcycle count as exercise in lockdown?

With the UK initiating lockdown measures to continue for another three weeks, we ask whether motorcycling counts as a form of exercise

It’s been almost a month since the United Kingdom enforced strict measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which includes limiting your outdoor activity to getting exercise once a day – but does heading out on your motorcycle fall under this remit?

On 23 March 2020, the government announced new rules that limited movement to shopping for essential goods, completing essential journeys – such as work if it cannot be completed at home – and for exercise once a day, identifying this as running, cycling or walking.

However, we have come across a number of questions from you asking whether motorcycling is considered a form of exercise, thus allowing it to occur under the lawful reasons for venturing out.

It’s true motorcycling does provide a low impact form of exercise, with a good afternoon on the motorcycle burning off around 175 to 600 calories an hour. Moreover, there is the argument it is worthwhile for your mental health, something many of us can relate to under this strict Stay At Home measures.

However, after police released updated guidelines to specify what it considers to be a ‘reasonable excuse to leave the home’, motorcycling as exercise that does not fall under that umbrella.

Visordown contacted the MCIA for its view and while it sympathised with the mental health argument, it says “MCIA doesn’t believe that an argument can be made that motorcycling can be identified as a valid form of exercise”.

Why can’t I ride my motorcycle during lockdown?

You are permitted to ride your motorcycle for the essential journeys that were stipulated in the original measures, those being:
-    Making essential journeys, such as to work (if it cannot be completed at home), to the shops for necessary supplies and providing assistance to those in need (such as, delivering medical supplies)

Moreover, the solo form riding a motorcycle – when you consider the form of protective kit of leathers and a helmet – means it is potentially a more practical solution than driving a car for those essential duties mentioned above.

The argument for not riding a motorcycle as exercise is centred around when things could potentially go wrong. For the first instance, if you come off your motorcycle or are involved in an accident, it places a stress on the NHS currently working around the clock to contain coronavirus.

While it has been pointed out this applies to cyclists too, the concern all round is that emergency responders may not be able to attend as easily as they would normally. There is also the possibility that ending up in hospital increases your risk of catching – or spreading – coronavirus.

Also, if you were to break down on the road, though services such as the AA are still operating to assist you they are taking additional precautions and say to expect a longer wait than normal to be attended to as a result.

The police have the powers to stop and ask why you are out on your motorcycle and it is unlikely they will accept a justification of exercise. With this in mind, you could be subjected to a fine.

For more information how to stay safe during the pandemic, head to: gov.uk/coronavirus

To read the governments advice on travel during the pandemic, head to: gov.uk/government
 

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