The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting everyone’s daily lives – it is just a fact. People are home, gyms are closed, and the weather is getting nicer by the day. Some are dusting off that old bike in the garage and others are deciding to purchase a new bike in hopes to get some exercise and mental sanity during this difficult time. We would agree that bicycling is valuable for your physical and mental health and can reduce stress levels in times of uncertainty like our current moment. However, we want you to be smart about being out and riding, so we decided to do our research and share some best practices to keep you and your loved ones safe.
*As a disclaimer, we are not medical professionals at Shore Brake Cyclery. The content below was compiled from research from the following sites: CDC.gov, New Jersey’s COVID-19 Information Hub, NJ Department of Health, and USA Cycling.
“Bicyclists riding outdoors are very unlikely to contract COVID-19, especially not while riding by themselves,” according to medical expert, Dr. Michael Roshon, MD. Dr. Roshon is a pro cycling team doctor and has worked with teams like UHC Pro Cycling and Cannondale-Garmin. Dr. Roshon is the Chief of Medical Staff for the Penrose Hospital system in Colorado Springs, and is on their COVID-19 task force, where he’s the Medical Specialist on their incident response team. He has his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology.
Best Practices for Bicycling During COVID-19
- If you THINK you have been exposed, self-quarantine. That includes being outdoors. Let’s not be dumb and don’t ride outdoors.
- When out for a ride – maintain six feet of distance. When passing someone else on the road or trail, leave as much space as you can to ensure you are adhering to social distancing best practices.
- NO GROUP RIDES with anyone living outside your household. We mean it – only ride with the people you are already at home with.
- Do not spit or snot-rocket on rides or around other people walking or biking. Carrying a kerchief or bandanna in your pocket is a good alternative that will mitigate the risk of any spread. If you don’t have one, check out this article from Bicycling Magazine which dives much deeper into this topic.
- Try to ride from your place of residence rather than putting your bike on your car and leaving your community for a ride.
- Wear a mask or a buff while riding to protect yourself and others.
- Practice good hand hygiene ALL THE TIME.
- This should go without saying, but if your community or state is operating under a Shelter-in-Place Order that prohibits you from riding your bike, it’s important to heed those rules and stay home.
- Don’t Ride Risky. This is an especially bad time to be in a bike crash. You don’t want to go to the hospital right now, and doctors don’t want to see you unless they need to, so taking reasonable precautions (like wearing a helmet for example…) while riding is especially important right now.
If you keep these guidelines in mind, you are unlikely to contract COVID-19 while out riding your bike. And, more importantly, you’re staying physically and mentally healthy.