We are living during an unprecedented time when the global pandemic Covid 19 is causing us to adopt new public health best practices. By this time, I’m confident that we all have heard, read and hopefully been practicing: social distancing with 6 feet of separation, frequently washing our hands, wearing masks in public places and when ill, staying home when ill, and avoiding assembling with 10 or more people.
What about bicycle riding during Covid 19? All the same, best practices apply. However, there is a distinct difference to be aware of and take appropriate actions to help prevent the spread of this virus.
That difference is that we can sweat from physical exertion. Beads of perspiration can appear on our forehead, face, back of neck, arms, hands, etc. Commonly, many of us wear bicycling gloves for comfort and control, and use the glove’s backhand to wipe the sweat off our face. Some of us may also wear bandanas, scarves, masks, and presumingly helmets. Given that we can produce beads of perspiration and possible droplets from coughing or sneezing, what preventive measures should we consider when bicycle riding during Covid 19? Here are a few best practices for your consideration:
• Periodically wash (soap and water) your cycling gloves or use disposable gloves
• Wash the inner liner of your helmet
• Sanitize the handle bar grips
• Avoid touching some else’s bicycle or using bike share
• Avoid spitting in public places or on the trail
• Keep your physical distance when riding (12 to 20 feet)
• And, pay particular attention during high perspiration to avoid entering public places like restaurants or markets.
On another note, during this Covid 19 period, bicycle use has increased nationally with many bike shops reporting delays in delivering purchased bikes and/or being sold out of certain models. Bicycle riding during Covid 19 can be a healthful activity and produce many positive benefits like:
• Improving cardiovascular capacity
• Toning muscles
• Oxygenating the blood to improve mental focus and concentration
• Increasing physiological and biological functioning
• Stimulating a positive attitude and creativity
• Getting vitamin D from sunlight
• Rejuvenating the spirit by being outdoors
• Positively recreating with others to counter isolation and improve mental health
• And there may be additional benefits that you are experiencing.
Bicycle riding during Covid 19 can be an enjoyable activity to improve your health, connect with others and nature, and contribute to your overall wellbeing while we move through this period of viral contagion.