We’re about eight months into living with COVID-19 restrictions and some of the messages cyclists are getting are still confusing. Outdoors is generally considered a safer space to exercise, dine and socialize (to a point), but there are still parts of a bike ride during which we should all be conscious about our behaviour. Here are a few reminders to keep your rides safer for yourself and your community. As always, check your provincial and local COVID-19 restrictions, as they are different throughout the country.
1. Always bring a mask and hand sanitizer
Regardless of where you are in Canada, you never know what kind of situation you’ll end up in during a bike ride. Whether it’s a post-ride beer with friends or an emergency Uber for an un-fixable mechanical issue, having a back-pocket mask ready to go is the best way to respect those around you. Beyond touching doors and objects, you’ll also be thankful for hand sanitizer if there is a lack of public washrooms along your ride.
2. Be respectful of the protocols cafes or convenience stores have put in place
Some cafes have a limit of two customers at a time, some have specific distancing protocols and others aren’t opening their washrooms to customers.
The cafe stop won’t look how it always has, but it’s important to be patient and factor in some additional waiting time into your ride plans. Keep in mind that these workers are dealing with human interactions all day and the safety measures, although slightly inconvenient, are in place for their wellbeing.
3. Ride in a small group
Many provincial cycling organizations have allowed small group rides. Just like with normal socializing, if you do ride with others it’s recommended to keep your group small. If the Saturday ride sounds a bit too large, suggest setting two start times—one for early risers and one for those who like a little more sleep. Try to ride with the same people to minimize the number of different people you’re interacting with.
4. Don’t snot rocket around others
It’s the fall and noses get drippy from the cold, but snot rockets are literally aerosolizing your nasal fluid into a cloud around you. If you really need to empty your snout pull off and behind those you are riding with and make sure there are no unsuspecting pedestrians around.
5. Minimize stops
If you know a cafe is popular and busy on weekends, consider looking for an alternative. If you can, bring extra nutrition and liquid to minimize the number of stops required.