Trail Ramblings: The National Bike Challenge Is Almost Here, Are You Signed Up?

The kick-off to the National Bike Challenge is this Friday! It’s lower key this year with no party, no gatherings, and no in-person help for sign-up, but cycling is one thing that hasn’t been cancelled. Check out bicyclincoln’s post from last Wednesday about how to sign up. As usual, there are changes about how it’s being run this year, so make sure your profile shows a Lincoln, NE address, and that you join the Bicyclincoln team for your points to count locally.

I know some of you have been checking out less used trails lately, and others have been riding the currently low-trafficked side streets. This is great, but what about when you have to take a busier trail to get to where you’re going? Well, you need to be wearing a mask. I know with warmer weather this may get more uncomfortable, and damp masks aren’t as effective as dry ones. Hopefully your mask can stay dry at least until you’ve ridden to a less busy place.

We can’t all stay this remote.

Masks that hold their shape away from your face and that have a valve for exhalation are going to work better when you’re riding and breathing harder. My valveless masks get soggy sooner, fog my lenses, and stick to my mouth when inhaling while riding, which is a deal-breaker for me. I haven’t found one that works as well keeping it’s shape, staying away from my mouth, and not fogging as my old N95 I brought back from China. I kind of wish I would have brought back my extra stock instead of giving them away there, though I’m sure they got used. I want to experiment with some different designs to find a better one I can make. Maybe a duckbill? The fact it projects away from the mouth makes it look promising. If you can’t decide whether riding outside is too risky or not, I’m including a link that presents the science and weighs the risk factors.

I have not tried this style yet, but it might solve my problem. There are also no-sew versions.

If you need more information to decide whether to ride outside or not, there’s also this:
and this:
So get signed up for the challenge and find some lesser-used streets and trails. But if you still need to ride around other people -find a mask that works for you and wear it. There are probably 100 You-Tube videos on making masks, and others available for purchase on-line, so there isn’t really any excuse not to wear one. We will all be a little safer out on the trails if we all mask up.