Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: jinx on May 01, 2020, 10:12:34 am

 
Title: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: jinx on May 01, 2020, 10:12:34 am
Hi everyone.

On crowded MUPs/Bike Trails what are you doing to protect yourself while cycling? With everyone home, my regular/favorite bike trail has become extremely crowded especially near residential areas. And not eveyone is following the COVIC safety guidlines. It's gotten so bad that I don't care to use the trail.

I really can't enjoy cycling on the roads/streets with motor vehicle traffic buzzing around me. I have/use a COVID mask but find it unconfortable to wear all the time. My wife made me a quick on/off mask but then I'm continually putting it on/off. I need and want to ride my bike but haven't figured out a happy way to do it.

I suppose I could keep riding around my boring block but that's a poor substitute for my 14 mile daily bike trail ride I really enjoyed. I could pack up my bike and head to a remote distant trail but that's more effort and expense than riding from my driveway to my nearby trail everyday.

If you're like me, what are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?

Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: John Nettles on May 01, 2020, 10:57:35 am
I just ride on county roads and when on the trails, I definitely do not get close enough to draft even if more than 6'.  If the winds blow across the trail versus along the trail, you should be fine, so long as you keep your distance.

Tailwinds (unless riding in a group),  John
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: Pat Lamb on May 01, 2020, 11:17:30 am
Same as John, find lightly traveled streets and roads to ride.  If there's a lot of cars at the MUP trailhead, I'll ride the roads.

Since this forum has a preponderance of bicycle tourists, most of us have learned to ride comfortably with (light) traffic.  As I've posted elsewhere, it's a matter of getting accustomed to it.  Ride around your neighborhood, or nearby neighborhood streets, where there's little traffic.  Once you're used to that, try riding suburban streets with a little more traffic.  When that's comfortable for you, find some rural roads with next to no traffic -- get used to taking the lane, most country drivers are used to changing lanes to pass slow moving traffic like bicycles (or tractors).  Next, find three or four lane roads that only have two lanes' worth of traffic when you're riding them, and get used to that.  Pretty soon you're OK on all but the most crowded, high speed roads none of us want to ride on a bike.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: John Nelson on May 01, 2020, 10:33:19 pm
I avoid MUP like the plague. Cars are safer than people.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: hikerjer on May 02, 2020, 12:58:49 am
Pretty much what John and Pat said. Frankly, I haven't changed my riding habits that much. Our trails and roads are not so crowded that's it's a real issue. Advantage of living in the sticks, I guess.  If I do pass other riders/walkers, I do so quickly and with as much distance as possible.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: jinx on May 04, 2020, 12:59:03 am
Thanks everyone.

Mid-afternoon for a ride on the trail works best for me. Mid-morning is more crowded. Early morning, late evening or night rides are out of the question. I'll check the trail periodically for congestion now that things might be easing.

In the meantime I'll ride my subdivision's boring low-traffic streets. Call me a wimp, but I really don't like and can't enjoy riding with vehicular traffic. Over the years I've gotten use to the comfort, safety and convenience of my MUP's. On roads I find myself constantly looking in my mirror and over my shoulder waiting to get clobbered.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: canalligators on May 04, 2020, 11:40:58 pm
... On roads I find myself constantly looking in my mirror and over my shoulder waiting to get clobbered.

I watch EVERY vehicle pass me in my mirror.  BTW Are you practicing good lane placement?  Cowering on the side line is an invitation to get crowded.  Moving out a bit, maybe a quarter lane, is like magic, it makes them move over.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: jinx on May 06, 2020, 07:56:19 am
Canalligators, it's more than just lane placement.

I wasn't going to mention this, but I'm old and I can't go very long without relieving myself. Along my 14 mile bike trail ride I have easy access to several porta-pottie's and restrooms and that's not counting most of the trail is wooded.

Riding streets and roads, it's not quite so convenient.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: canalligators on May 06, 2020, 05:38:49 pm
My apologies for speaking before I understood!
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: jinx on May 07, 2020, 01:07:54 am
No problem Canalligators. I'm sure many share my situation and concerns.
 
You're right. When forced onto streets/roads I'm usually hugging the right edge. I'll cautiously try to move more towards the center. Many streets/roads are not that wide with poor or no shoulder. With oncoming traffic, some driver get impatient. Around here, drivers are supposed to pass with a minimum of 3 feet clearence but many don't.

I'm just an old casual cyclist but I've often wondered, how during the Tour de France, Giro de Italia, Vuelta a Espana, the riders drink plenty of fluids yet go hours without stopping?
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: jamawani on May 07, 2020, 09:10:24 am
Move to Wyoming?
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: Pat Lamb on May 07, 2020, 11:38:17 am
Move to Wyoming?

I don't know.  The smallest population of any state, yet the situation there is so bad Wyoming rates one of only 13 federal crisis teams?

:)
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: John Nettles on May 07, 2020, 11:47:22 am
I'm just an old casual cyclist but I've often wondered, how during the Tour de France, Giro de Italia, Vuelta a Espana, the riders drink plenty of fluids yet go hours without stopping?

They actually stop a few times per race.  They just literally stop beside the road and pee.   When you here the commentators mention "nature break", that just means they are stopping to pee.  Sometimes it is a group consensus and the unwritten rule is to not attack if the leader(s) are stopping for a nature break.

I have no idea what the women do or if someone needs to go #2.   

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: jamawani on May 07, 2020, 01:56:52 pm
I don't know.  The smallest population of any state, yet the situation there is so bad Wyoming rates one of only 13 federal crisis teams?

Huh? Whatcha ya talkin' about?

At last count -
Alabama has 8699 cases;  347 deaths.
Wyoming has 631 cases; 7 deaths.

Not only does Wyoming have a lower rate per 100,000 people,
But Wyoming has fewer people spread out over amuch larger area, too.

Plenty of empty roads and trails to ride.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: Pat Lamb on May 07, 2020, 03:00:06 pm
John, you must have missed this article:

https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/health/team-from-cdc-sent-to-wyoming-to-help-slow-spread-of-coronavirus/article_ba6576c3-6f77-5340-a0bc-1f0e770cc654.html
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: jamawani on May 07, 2020, 03:26:37 pm
Article is 3 weeks old.

Meanwhile Wyoming has one of the lowest incidence & death rates in the country.
Wyoming has a death rate of 1 per 100,000. (7 total deaths)
Alabama's is 7 (349 deaths), Miss'sippi's is 13 (396 deaths), and Joja's is 12 (1317 deaths)!
Lawsy!

I'd rather be riding in Wyoming.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: jinx on June 18, 2020, 12:43:02 am
Well, I got tired of riding around the block so I'm now back on my favorite rail-trail again but not everyday like I used to be. The crowds have subsided a little as people return to work and businesses partially open. The trail still has more than the former pre-Covid-19 amount of people traffic during the afternoons when I'm usually there. I'm still avoiding the more densely populated areas doing 10-1/2 miles instead of 14. I don't wear a mask while I'm riding be I do have a strategy.

On-coming people or cyclists are typically not a problem. I get over to the right as far as I can go, they to the left, then I hold my breath and look to the side as I go by. People walking in my lane are more troublesome. They're usually walking side by side instead of 6 feet apart inline as I approach. I give the 'on your left' alert well behind them and wait for them to move right. Some do, some don't. I give the alert again if I need to and wait. If they still won't move to the right I'll hold my breath and pass as far to the left as I can, sometimes on the grass.

Cyclists traveling fast are also not a problem. When I spot one approaching in my mirror I again hold my breath and turn away as they quickly pass. When they're 50-75 feet ahead I resume breathing. But slower multiple cyclists passing by are more problematic. They pass slowly taking longer than I can hold my breath. When I spot them coming I slow down to a crawl and hold my breath as long as I can while they're passing. When they're 50-75 feet ahead or more I resume my speed. Not wanting to breath in someone's slipstream is what I most want to avoid.

But the good part is I'm back out riding and enjoying myself with some new method to my madness. I keep telling myself, 'get used to it', it's the new norm. There are too many people in the world today interacting in too many different ways. Today it's Corona, tomorrow it'll be some other virus or something. We're just a too big of a food source to go untapped.

Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: UncaBuddha on June 18, 2020, 01:40:29 pm
Glad you are back at it Jinx. Remember that the virus is being expelled in a plume behind the walkers and riders. The riders plume is longer. I have read that by 30' most of the virus has settled to the ground. And infection seems related to exposure amount PLUS time. If you are getting just a few virus particles and then none you are probably ok. That having been said, I do NOT want to get sick. I go to work with a mask!
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: John Nettles on June 18, 2020, 03:44:10 pm
I'd rather be riding in Wyoming.
What do the locals Wyomians/Wyomites/folk think of outsiders?
John
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: jinx on June 18, 2020, 07:19:38 pm
"That having been said, I do NOT want to get sick."

I'm with you UncaBuddha. At 72 with a quadruple bypass, if the Coronies get me, I'm out of here. Not good dying having fun or trying to be healthy. Seems a little counter-productive.

I'm trying to be safe. I've also picked-up a pair of tight fitting curved sunglasses for the occasion. I usually wear a small-rimmed cloth hat mainly as a sweat band and sun shade. But if I drop my hatted head, air tends to mushroom around me a little better avoiding my face. And I'm not opposed to riding a little wet, or when it's hot or when it's cold, for uncomfortable weather reduces the crowds.

But I'm not doing weekends or holidays anymore when people do gather more often. And if I'm out and about and I starting feeling uncomfortable or creeped-out with my surroundings, I'll turn it around or head in another direction.

Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: froze on June 20, 2020, 10:21:26 am
I live in a city of 300,000 or so people, I ride the paths, I wear NO protection whatsoever, I'm not that paranoid about it.  In fact the only time I wear protection out in public is if my wife is with me who insists that we wear masks, or if the store I go into says we have to wear one, otherwise I don't wear the masks.

I have friends and a daughter who are nurses, they've had a few C19 patients, and yet they haven't even tested positive.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: canalligators on June 21, 2020, 08:51:43 am
Yeah, what do all those doctors and scientists know anyway?
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: froze on June 21, 2020, 01:01:26 pm
I don't care what the doctors know!  I will not let fear run my life.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: John Nettles on June 21, 2020, 01:19:18 pm
I don't care what the doctors know!  I will not let fear run my life.
Seriously?!?  Without trying to sound rude, then you are being foolish.  We have lost 2 friends to the virus.  My wife is a Hospitalist (doc who works only in a hospital) and she treats covid patients on a daily basis.  Without going into all the numbers and details, you REALLY should wear a mask when in ALL public enclosed areas and yes that means no dine-in restaurants.  She has treated patients aged 21 to 85.  Typically, the older you are the more likely you are to die.  If you don't die, most have severe lingering effects (hard to breathe, very lethargic, etc.) that are very slow to recover and some have not yet who had it in late February.  Some are asymptomatic (usually the younger). Those with underlying conditions (diabetes, overweight, etc.) have a much greater chance of dying.

Taking precautions is not fear.  You cross the street at crosswalks with a green light so as not to get killed by a car hopefully.  That is a reasonable precaution.  The green light does not guarantee you will not be killed but it greatly reduces the chance.  However, walking on across the intersection when you get to the intersection because you won't let a light decide when you should walk is pure foolishness. 

It really is not that big of a deal to wear a mask.  Yes, it totally sucks. Yes, I really do not like them or being told I should wear one.  But would you rather wear a mask when in an enclosed public area and most likely not get sick or would you rather continue to be free and potentially get sick and possibly get your wife (and/or others) sick because of your choice?  This is not some theoretical question.  This is potentially a true life and death question and you should seriously consider the pros and cons.

BTW, have your nurse friends actually been tested?  The vast majority of healthcare workers are not been tested so they could have it and not know.  To me, not testing healthcare workers is also foolish but that is another issue.

Regardless of your choice, I hope you stay healthy.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: froze on June 21, 2020, 11:39:44 pm
I'm not worried, I know I will stay healthy.

In case you haven't read, people who run or ride bikes have far less chances of contacting C19 then the typical couch potato, so I know you'll stay healthy as well.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: canalligators on June 22, 2020, 08:34:48 am
John, we should just save our breath and time.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: John Nettles on June 22, 2020, 09:57:48 am
I'm not worried, I know I will stay healthy.
You remind me of the religious parents who refuse to seek modern medical help because they "know" God will save their child from the severe infection, cancer, etc. their child currently has".  Note that I am a very strong Christian believer so am not an anti-God zealot.  God let Luke hang with Him and Luke was a physician so I figure God doesn't have a problem with medicine.

In our part of the country, when we meet someone like you we just say, "Well Bless his heart."  I will leave it like that and hope you stay healthy so you do not get others sick.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: adventure124 on August 07, 2020, 11:23:20 am
I would also recommend riding your bike early in the day.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: Hiking with Shawn on August 11, 2020, 09:42:07 am
Being in such a rural area - it is easy for me to physically distance away from others. I pack my mask with me just in case and carry hand sanitizer.

When it first happened, everyone quit cycling, I did not.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: staehpj1 on August 11, 2020, 11:17:57 am
I'm not worried, I know I will stay healthy.
You remind me of the religious parents who refuse to seek modern medical help because they "know" God will save their child from the severe infection, cancer, etc. their child currently has".  Note that I am a very strong Christian believer so am not an anti-God zealot.  God let Luke hang with Him and Luke was a physician so I figure God doesn't have a problem with medicine.

In our part of the country, when we meet someone like you we just say, "Well Bless his heart."  I will leave it like that and hope you stay healthy so you do not get others sick.
Yeah, I agree.

That said...  Being fit does give folks some additional resistance to infection when it comes to colds and the flu so maybe very fit folks might be a less likely to contract covid 19.  On the other hand some very fit professional and college athletes have contracted the virus.  Whether they have better outcomes may be likely, but long term problems that may crop up later are an unknown and their infection of others is a problem even if they are completely asymptomatic.

On the other hand, I sometimes push a little too hard riding long miles day after day on tour and may actually be at higher risk at some point due to getting run down somewhere along the way on a multi month tour.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: jinx on August 14, 2020, 09:43:13 am
Do you wear a mask while riding?

I don't particularly like wearing a mask while riding. I haven't been wearing a mask but I think I'll start wearing one. I see more and more cyclists on and off the trail wearing masks.

I'm unhappy with the homemade ones and the 'paper-ish' ones don't last. I don't like the restriction yet I want a mask that fits tightly. If you wear a mask and it was commercially purchased what brand or make was your mask? Are you satisfied with your mask? If you've tried wearing multiple styles and makes of masks which ones do you recommend and which ones are to be avoided and why?

Thanks for any input.
Title: Re: What are you doing for COVID cycling and safety?
Post by: wildtoad on August 28, 2020, 07:09:02 pm
I really like the cloth mask made by Maloja, a European cycling wear company.  I believe it was recently featured in Adventure Cyclist magazine.  By far the nicest, most comfortable mask I've worn. It apparently has some anti-viral/microbial treatment in the cloth, not to prevent COVID or anything like that, but to minimize how often you should wash it. 

It has a good retention system...better than most, so it's easy to slide off your nose/mouth if you don't need and and then pull it up when necessary.  I have it with me at all times while on the bike, including on remote dirt trails in the Sierras as often there is insufficient space for the 6' rule unless you want to go over a cliff or something.

Shipped from Germany.