Support your physical and mental health during a pandemic: go for a bike ride!
It’s an upsetting and disorienting moment we are living in. Riding a bicycle can help, giving us opportunities for exercise, fresh air, and social interaction from afar.
Social distancing measures are key to slowing the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and keeping our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. But some of us still need to get to work, and all of us have essential errands to run—to the grocery store, or to drop off food for a sick friend, for instance. Bicycling offers a safe and healthy way to get where we need to go, as well as a way to get exercise and fresh air. According to a spokesperson for San Francisco Mayor London Breed, quoted in SFGate, it’s fine to ride your bike for exercise, as long as you maintain a distance of at least six feet from anyone you aren’t already self-quaratining with.
Enjoy the open air, get your heart pumping, and do your part to keep the social distance
Bicycling allows you to abide by social distancing measures while also getting outside, having fun, getting exercise, and having social interactions, all of which are good for mental health and immunity.
When you ride a bike, you can easily stay six feet away from pedestrians and other cyclists. You get fresh air and stimulation, and have social interactions as you pass people on the street or wave to fellow bicyclists. Biking gives you the exercise you need to keep your immune system humming, and the peace of mind that you are not contributing to the spread of the virus.
For those of us who may be taking a financial hit during this slow-down, bicycling is also the most affordable transportation mode.
And while it’s an anxious and challenging time, with event cancellations, closed schools, people working from home, and shelter-in-place directives, a silver lining is that there is less car traffic on the streets, making it more fun to bike.
Keep on riding, Governor. The joy of a simple bike ride will help to keep us all sane in these crazy times. Stay positive, and stay negative! https://t.co/r2MCQnhBfO
— California Bicycle Coalition (@CalBike) March 16, 2020
Bicycling in the time of coronavirus
Here are a few tips to keep extra safe from coronavirus while moving about your city on a bike:
- Smile and say hello! Social interaction boosts immunity.
- Carry sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to sanitize your hands, your handlebars, and your lock (after it contacts a bike rack), especially if you use a shared bike.
- Mindfulness practice while bicycling can help with getting better at avoiding touching our faces—a challenging task that requires heightened awareness.
- Wear gloves—fingered bicycling gloves work fine!—when you’re out in public.
- Steer clear of people, keeping six feet of distance from them as you pass.
- When you get home, wash your hands, and throw your gloves in the laundry