Trail Ramblings: Is Biking Outside The Healthiest Thing You Can Do Now?

Apparently it depends where you go. In New York City the mayor was encouraging people to bicycle commute in order to keep out of buses and subways, but didn’t open more bike lanes to contain the crowded overflow. In Spain, pro cyclists were turned back home when they tried to train on the open roads. The reason given was that if they crashed, they would be taking a hospital bed from a sick person, or if they crashed two days from now, there may not even be a bed available. There is also a $200 fine now for leaving your house unnecessarily there.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lohmeier. The Mid South last weekend made the cancellation cut-off just in time.

As far as cycling events go, most races and rides are cancelled probably at least through April. It’s thought cases here might not peak until June or July. So what about going out on a ride? It’s one of the safer things you can do. answers many of the questions you may have. Are group rides safe? (Solo rides are better) How long and how hard should you ride? (30-60 minutes of moderate to brisk activity is good, but if you’re used to long, moderate rides, go for it I’d say) How does riding affect your immune system? (Right after a hard workout or ride when your glycogen stores are depleted your immune system is slightly lower, but in general it improves it) What about riding in cold weather? (There is no evidence it contributes to illness) What about touching things outside? (The corona virus doesn’t live long in sunlight because UV light kills it, that’s why bike shares aren’t so dangerous, but avoid touching shared handlebars or traffic buttons with your bare skin.)

The following is from Bike LNK: Due to the recent actions being taken to slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community, we wanted to update you on what we are doing and measures you can take to stay healthy. To help keep our riders healthy we will be enacting the following protocols:
🚲Our Technicians staff will be disinfecting all user contact surfaces, including but not limited to: station touchscreens, dock buttons & RFID fob readers, bike handlebars, brake levers, seat & seatpost adjustment clamps, on a routine & scheduled basis.
🚲 Our Management staff will intensely monitor our various Customer Service networks, to respond in real time, to any issues or concerns of our users.
There are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself when riding bike share:
🚲Wipe down the bike with disinfectant, just like you would any public surface
🚲Wear gloves or mittens while riding as a precaution
🚲Wash hands thoroughly after riding and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands.

Photo credit: Rafael LLorens

Gyms around the city are closing, so you’re going to have to get that workout at home or on the open trails and roads. Being sedentary is a risk. The following is from
… I am reminded of the great story of Joseph Pilates vs. Influenza. The story sticks in my mind, as I see Flu Shot advertisements everywhere! Stories tell of Joseph Pilates on the Isle of Mann as a prisoner of war. This is during world war 1, he and his brother were part of a Greek statue act in a traveling Circus. The circus happened to be in England during World War 1, because of his German citizenship, he and the rest of the group were sent to the Isle of Mann as POW’s. Once there, Joseph Pilates was put in charge of the injured soldiers. He also had a group of soldiers that did his exercises religiously. When this influenza pandemic came to the Isle of Mann, Joseph Pilates’ group of exercising soldiers were the only ones who did not come down with this horrible Influenza….
So stay active, wash your hands, and stay healthy.