Cycling and COVID-19
Should I cycle during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak?
I’m often asked whether cycling should be permitted as a form of exercise during these unprecedented times. Well, I guess my answer is, it depends. Cycling is an excellent form of exercise and if done while observing social distancing guidelines then you should be ok.
However, there are risks, both to you and to others around you. Risks include:
- Having an accident
- No-one likes to think about having an accident but it is a risk we all accept when out on the road. If you do, you will not only put yourself in hospital and at risk of contracting the virus or other illness, but also divert healthcare resources at a time when they are at an absolute premium.
- Causing frustration to road users
- People on the road should be there on essential business only, often for the public good. Delaying ambulances, delivery vehicles, utility and other key services is to be avoided at this time.
So, my advice is: yes, go for a ride, but:
- Be considerate – other people, drivers, dog-walkers, cyclists, runners etc. are anxious and under stress so they may not be as accommodating as normal.
- Wherever possible, ride off road, on cycle tracks or trails (see image of me on my CX on a bridleway in the lake district.)
- Stay local and keep a form of communication with you at all times
- Keep the length of your ride within govt. guidelines. Yes, I know we all want to be Strava heroes but no-one, other than you, will be impressed that you broke all the rules – I’m not a rule-follower by nature but at this time we must all do our bit!
- Wear a helmet and carry a basic first aid kit.
- If possible – why not use an indoor bike (zwift, wattbike or Peloton?). It’s not the same as being outdoors but it does have the advantage of keeping you and everyone else safe and sound
Be smart – ride safe – stay healthy!
[…] up and down the beautiful Northumberland coastline near my house (sticking to my own advice on cycling during the Covid-19 breakout) I had to pass a cyclist on the road (this is an unusual occurrence for me – normally […]
I read your article on “how many bikes?” and when I came to your list I was looking forward to seeing Gravel bikes but it wasn’t there. Yes they are closely related to Cyclocross but still different. They are more in between a Cyclocross and Mountain bike
Fair comment and my apologies – I’ll amend the post and do some research on gravel bikes – they sound like fun!
Oops, forgive my omission – I’ve just done a little more research and I now know exactly what you mean – and it gives me another classification as justification to go out and get another bike! Hope to see you on the roads and trails around Tyneside after the lockdown is over!)