Safe Cycling During COVID-19
Cycling is one of the safest forms of exercise and leisure that we can engage in during the pandemic. But with the number of infections reaching as high as 15,310 a day, it’s best to stay indoors for now. Several hospitals declared that they have reached full capacity for COVID-19 cases.
By staying at home, we are preventing further transmission of the virus and reducing cycling related accidents. But if you really must get on the saddle, here are some tips to help minimize the risk on your rides.
Follow basic health and safety protocols
Staying outdoors poses considerably lesser risk than indoors because of good air flow or ventilation. Even if you already ride outdoors, it’s still better to wear a mask for greater protection against COVID-19 and to avoid infecting others in case you have it. Remember, people can still be asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
Another important thing to note is that face shields are not required when cycling. Face shields obscure the view of anyone on a bike which can lead to crashes and injuries. Keep a safe distance of at least 1 meter from the next person. Sanitize your hands frequently.
Ride by yourself or with a small trusted group
Solo rides are the most ideal. Group rides aren’t prohibited but keep in mind that the more people there are, the greater the risk of infection. No matter how “safe” it may seem, keep your mask on and maintain distance from each other. It’s tempting to let your guard down, but we must remain vigilant.
Avoid crowded areas
If your usual route is full of people, try changing it up or cycling at a different time. Stay away from narrow, enclosed spaces. When possible, keep your indoor visits short. Avoid eating in air conditioned places because then you’ll have to take off your mask and risk exposure to potentially contaminated indoor air. We know that post-ride meals are a staple but skip it for the time being, especially if you’re with a group. Small changes like these can help safeguard your health.
Bring all your essentials along
Phone, cash, keys, sanitizer, and toolkit? Make sure you have all that you need before heading out. You shouldn’t rely on others to have spare parts when you run into some bike trouble. Being prepared will lessen the need for contact. Pandemic or not, all cyclists ought to do this anyway.
Inform at least one person about your whereabouts
This tip is even more important when riding alone. Let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. In case anything happens, a friend or relative will be looking for you. It’s also helpful to carry identification and an emergency card with you. Carrying an ID and emergency card will make it easier for another person to call for help quickly. Bonus tip: you can also bring your health card along for seamless transactions at hospitals, clinics, and healthcare centers.