Coronavirus and bikes - a letter from our Editor

MCN Editor Richard Newland
MCN Editor Richard Newland

Dear readers,

As the world continues to get increasingly unrecognisable day by day, I’ve realised just how much I rely on motorbikes for my daily happiness and dose of soul food. But, for now, my two-wheeled contact is confined to garage time and essential travel only. I’ll continue to use my bike as my primary source of transport – but as the government’s restrictions on movement have inevitably increased, halting leisure rides is the right thing to do.

For those essential journeys, though, I’ll always pick the bike in preference to a car. I’m faster from A to B, have a ready-made self-isolation suit on, can keep my gloves on when refuelling, can park more easily at sometimes crowded shops and where I would need to pay for parking in a car (meaning handling coins or car park touchpads) I can just park-and-go.

The greater public often tarnishes bikers with a decades-old stereotype of being lawless, anti-social or ignorant – but we have a great opportunity during the current health crisis to show that we are the best people in our communities, not a scourge. I’ve received a mailbox of letters from bikers over the last couple of days who, like me, have been disappointed to see so many fellow riders having mass meet-ups over the weekend at regular biking haunts – often despite the venue being closed because of Covid-19. The mentality of those treating the emptier roads like a free trackday is even more exasperating. We are living in extraordinary times and we need to respect the safety of the communities we ride into, as well as our families, friends and the overburdened emergency services.

We don’t need to pause our love of bikes: Tinker in the garage, work on a project, subscribe to MCN, watch bike films and documentaries – but please ride only if you have to.

We have been making MCN for 65 years and don’t intend to stop now. The MCN team are working from safe bunkers, perching laptops wherever they won’t wobble and doing all we can to bring you MCN each week in print and daily online. Launches may have been postponed and we have chosen to suspend all testing until it’s safe to restart – but MCN will continue to be packed with reviews, news, features, analysis, offers and inspiration every week.

The best way to make sure you get your copy is to subscribe, meaning the print edition is delivered direct to your door each week – and right now we’ve got a fantastic offer that gifts you an Oxford XA14 disc lock (worth £74.99), too. If you’d rather get MCN delivered to your device as a digital edition, that’s easy, too. Or if you’re really fighting the boredom and need a serious hit of biking hedonism, why not subscribe via Bikes Unlimited (via the Apple App Store or Google Play) and get MCN and all our sister titles (Bike, Ride, Practical Sportsbikes, Classic Bike and Built) in one handy package at a bargain price?

Whatever you’re doing to keep your biking addiction alive during this difficult time, be safe – and above all, please look after each other.

All the best,


Richard Newland – Editor, MCN

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Richard Newland

By Richard Newland