How does that work? Well, instead of going out for drinks, going to parties, playing group sports, or going to the gym, just go ride your bike! It’s probably one of the safest options we have for exercise and even in-person social interaction, if we do it carefully.
This is not written out of fear or panic, but we have a moral obligation to do what’s in our power to stop the spread of Covid-19. As cyclists, many (not all) of us fall in the low-risk category for this disease, but those of us who show limited, or no symptoms, may be more likely to spread it. The actions we take can have serious effects on the lives of both loved ones and strangers, and on our mess of a healthcare system.
Here are some tips for riding while limiting the risk for spreading disease.
A lot of of us have been planning spring trips to ride in the desert, the southeast, or elsewhere. This is a bummer, but it’s worth considering cancelling those plans. The less we travel, the less the disease travels. This is a great opportunity to stay home and give your local trails some love.
Bike to the trails if you can
I’m typically all in favor of packing as many people and bikes as possible into a truck for a ride. Now might not be the time. If you can bike out your front door, you’ll avoid being in a small enclosed box with your friends. Also you avoid gas stations!
Bike in smaller groups. Split your 15 person group rides into groups of three or four.
Avoid extremely congested trails and bike paths. Maybe this means exploring back roads instead of riding the popular singletrack, or maybe it means picking a different time to ride. Just because daylight savings happened doesn’t mean night riding season is over.
Think about what you touch
Your gloves, your helmet, your handlebars, your bike tool, and especially your phone are all potential vectors. Clean these often and wash your hands after you touch them. Don’t swap bikes with your friends. Avoid high-fives after sweet descents.
Take it easy
As the number of cases likely grows, the burden on our healthcare system will too. Hospitals do not need you showing up with a broken collarbone, so maybe put off testing your hucking skills for a while. Paramedics definitely don’t need to spend their time hauling you off the trail.
If you’re just a little congested then don’t worry, but be extra considerate of washing your hands and giving others space. Realize you have something more than just allergies. But if you have a fever, or you’re hacking your lungs up, it’s not healthy for you to be out on your bike, so don’t be.