The impact of COVID-19 on the Australian cycling scene is not all bad. There have been reports of more people out riding and some bike shops seeing an uptake in business as people look to an alternative to public transport. You can see more and more old clunkers being dragged out from under the house with the view to turning the wheels in anger once again.
Cycling, it seems, could be a perfect panacea during this global pandemic.
Can I still ride my bike outdoors?
An important question some may say the most important, is it safe or not to ride a bike outdoors.
The short answer to this questions is yes … but! with some rules.
At this point we hasten to the add the situation is changing regularly, it’s easy to be confused, and the government and states are changing advice at a rapid and evolving pace. This is a guide only, always refer to your relevant government guidelines.
People are now being told to stay at home to stop the spread and ‘flatten the curve’. This includes stricter guidelines regarding gatherings of more than two people. However, governments are still recommending that people continue to be active, with some strict guidelines regarding the gatherings of more than two people.
We know the benefits and lets face it we would rather be riding than working in the home office.
Source of sunshine -ride your bike. Stay 1.5m from others - ride your bike. Fresh air & less isolation - ride your bike. Alternative to public transport - ride your bike. Can’t go to the gym or spin class - ride your bike. Mental health in these troubling times -ride your bike. Working from home & need a brain boost -ride your bike. Maintain & strengthen your immune system - ride your bike.
What is it according to WHO The World Health Organisation;
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).
How long can COVID-19 live on clothing?
Experts don’t yet know the risk of transmitting the virus from surfaces like clothing, but the World Health Organisation reports that coronaviruses can remain on surfaces for a few hours up to several days. If your clothing gets hit by spit, (important to note #nosnotrockets) avoid touching the area, and change your clothing as soon as possible, washing your hands afterward. To disinfect clothing, wash it in hot water and use the dryer’s high setting.
Should I avoid touching things outside?
The latest data with the novel coronavirus is that unlight creates an inhospitable environment for the coronavirus, so it’s less likely to thrive in an outdoor environment. In general, objects outside should have little virus on them. However, there could be a problem if someone coughs into his or her hand immediately before touching something like a traffic button, and then you touch the traffic button after them. If you must touch something, do not touch your face after. Even better? Use a glove (then avoid touching your face), sleeve, or elbow.
Advice for riding your bike outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic
In the current environment, bike riding is one of the best ways to still get the exercise you need each day. Of course, we need to make sure we’re maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres, self isolating when required and practicing good hygiene.
This advice assumes that you are not sick or self-isolating. Guidelines can also vary from state to state.
- You can go for a ride by yourself, with one other person, or with people that you live with. You should adhere to physical distancing guidelines and stay 1.5 metres apart if riding with someone you don’t live with.
- Can I ride in a bunch? No. Bunch riding is obviously a group activity. It is irresponsible to be riding with any more than 1 other person at this time.
- In some states it is now an offence to ride in groups and you can be fined by police, as per prohibited gathering rules or stay at home guidelines.
- Riding a bike to the supermarket or work is ok and a good thing to do. We should be limiting our trips away from home, so consider going for a longer ride and finishing at the shops or work so you get the exercise you need.
- If you’re working from home and going for a ride to get your daily exercise you should avoid stopping and be mindful of where you place your helmet, glasses, gloves. Keep them with your bike or on you rather than putting them down.
- When you return from a ride, wash your hands thoroughly and wipe down your bike, helmet and any gear.
- Keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres from any other person you see while out on your bike.
These guidelines have been taken from current government documents or websites. Please always refer to your relevant state health department website if unsure should this change. Relevant government websites: ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA
Need a service?
Most bike shops are still open for business; they are closely following the governments advice and restricting store access inline with social distancing measures, as well as implementing strict hygiene policies for staff and customers.
Many bike shop staff we’ve spoken to over the past few days have reported steady business. Now more than ever we need to support the local bike stores!
Stores are limiting the number of customers inside at any one time, typically with a maximum of two customers.
If you need to book your bike in for a tune our recommendation is to call ahead. Most shops are still very keen to sort out your bike and are more than happy to take bookings.
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