COVID19 is seriously impacting our society and everyone’s daily life. Respecting social distance and staying home as much as possible is – quite literally – vital. But among all these measures and restriction, is there still a place for bicycle? Could it even contribute to implement these measures? Could it create opportunities and offers solutions?
Respect essential measures
From nationwide curfews to school shutdowns, European authorities are creating a patchwork of measures to stop or slow down the spread of Coronavirus. Whatever the stage of measure, it translates in all cases into a recommendation to minimize all type of trips, to respect social distancing and avoid all unnecessary contacts. These measures impact our entire way of life and alternatives solutions are being found to allow each of us to provide to our essential needs, to go to work when necessary, and to still perform some physical activity, while taking some fresh air.
Cycle for your own sake
From a country to another, the authorized trips vary. From leaving your homes to only provide to your food and medical needs, to join our workplace, perform some physical activities and take some fresh air…, in all cases the question of transportation appears and is essential. In the UK, a group of sixteen leading academics has called for the government, in an open letter, to “enable safe walking and cycling during the Covid-19 pandemic.” As you can read it in The Forbes magazine.
Cycle to respect social distancing – We appreciate that public transport is an essential part of our everyday life, everyone who can, should get out on their bicycles for short trips and for commuting. Cycling allows us to respect social distancing by avoiding overcrowded public transport, lowering our risk of getting the virus, and/or of spreading it. This means, avoiding crowded bike-lane and cycling alone or with someone living under the same roof, to respect social distance. This means as well, cycling safely with extra cautious not to risk any accident in these times of overloaded hospitals.
Cycle for your physical health – It is well known that physical activity greatly contributes to maintaining a strong immune system. Jumping on a bike, getting your heartbeat going and breathing deeply clear our throat and lungs of bacteria, wards off chronic illness and boosts white blood cells numbers. Cycling also gets you out in the fresh air, as the Bicycle network. reminds us.
Cycle for your mental health – The current situation we are getting used to, can be source of anxiety and depression for many. Cycling contributes to improving mental health and reducing stress. Multiple studies show that those who commute by bicycle are happier and less prone to depression than those who use any other form of transport.
Cycle safely & wisely
Let’s cycle against the COVID19, not towards it. Thus, take care of yourself and of your bicycle by respecting strict hygiene rules, before and after going on a ride. Speaking of which, what about bike sharing? Shared bicycles will always be a great alternatives and option for people without a bicycle of their own. However, in these uncertain times, it is important to respect strict hygiene rules, where bike sharing is still in use and service. Remember to wash or sanitise your hands and after using a shared bicycle; don’t touch your face on the way; check your itinerary beforehand.
More than ever, we asked to reduce our trips and whenever we do, to be strategic. How do you keep it short and keep social distancing, while providing to your food, medical, physical and mental needs at the same time? Grab your bike and be safe!