Due to the constantly changing dimensions of the COVID-19 crisis, we encourage you to follow all current CDC guidelines as well as local travel advisories and recommendations. Take care of yourselves and loved ones. We’re all in this together.
Despite the many new rules and regulations dictating our daily lives, bike riding — safely — isn’t canceled. A lot of Americans are getting on their bikes right now, many of them new to cycling or getting back in the saddle for the first time in years. Whether it’s a healthy break, both physical and mental, from being isolated or as an alternative form of transportation to get around town, bikes are providing welcome relief from our new socially distanced lifestyle.
Whether you’re finding yourself on a bike for the first time in a while or just wondering how you can change your usual cycling routine to comply with the quarantine, we’ve collected a short list of tips on how to stay safe on your bike.
Follow New Rules
We already said this above, but it’s worth reiterating. Before you head out, make sure you’re up to date on all national CDC recommendations as well as local travel advisories. These laws vary state-by-state, and even county-by-county, so be sure to know how, when and where you can legally and safely ride in your area.
By now we’re sure you’re well-acquainted with 2020’s most important new phrase, and yes, it even applies to riding your bike. Maintain at least six feet of space between you and other riders and pedestrians, especially when stopped at intersections or when passing on the road or trail. Avoiding popular/crowded paths and trail networks is also key.
Ride Solo, Stay Connected
While most of us love group rides, they’re going to have to wait for now. Even with social distancing measures, it’s still best to fly solo for the time being. Share your plans with friends or family before going on your ride. Let them know your route and when you plan on being back. We recommend Ride Spot, but any GPS-based location tracking app can be very helpful.
Make sure your tires are inflated and your bike is running smooth before heading out the door. While bike shops are considered “essential businesses” in most states, not all shops have stayed open. Some have limited hours. Plan ahead. Make sure your toolkit is properly stocked to handle any roadside repair that might come up, and bring plenty of water and snacks.
Tone Down the Intensity
With hospitals and healthcare professionals overworked and overwhelmed as it is, now isn’t the time to pursue personal records or tackle that extra-technical section of trail. Take this time to keep your mind fresh and body healthy and active without going overboard.
Know Your Route and Stick Close to Home
Before embarking on your ride, use Ride Spot to find a safe route or map your own. Consider sticking around home and exploring your own neighborhood. Cruise local roads you don’t travel often — you might even discover a new coffee shop, bar or restaurant to visit once the crisis clears.
We’re all going through a lot right now. A friendly smile or wave to fellow riders or pedestrians will be appreciated. Remember, we’re all in this together.
Originally published on People for Bikes and posted here with their permission. To learn more, visit peopleforbikes.org