The solitude and separation from the masses are what most of us love about riding. We are naturally social distancing pros. During the pandemic, some extra precautions are needed while riding. Current times are stressful and getting outside to enjoy the solitude is a welcome relief. The closure of gyms, movie theatres, parks and social gathering spots has new trail users out in droves though. Remember, we are all in this together. Let’s try to treat others with respect. Proper mountain bike etiquette with a twist is really important as we interact with more frequent trail users now.
These tips, for the most part, should be followed all of the time but are especially important now.
Tips for Riding with Coronavirus: Being Responsible and Respectful
- Be respectful of other trail users. This is a difficult time for many. Being respectful to other trail users is usually reciprocated. Slow down, smile and say hi.
- Don’t take unnecessary risks, now is not the time to take chances. Hospitals are already overloaded enough – we do not want to take away any resources (PPE, blood or healthcare worker’s time and energy right now.)
- Give people more room than normal to pass. The CDC recommends at least 6 ft!
- The popular trailheads are ones to avoid during peak times and on the weekends. If you want your normal solitude, try going at off-peak hours. During the last couple of hours of light I’ve been shocked how few people are out.
- This isn’t the time for group rides – even group rides with others that don’t live in your household is irresponsible. You don’t know how careful they are being or how careful the people they live with are. You may not know if you are infected without symptoms and are passing it to them.
- This isn’t the time for that mountain bike trip. Even IF trails are still open in certain communities now is NOT the time to take that road trip. Some of the most popular mountain bike destination towns are completely closed to visitors.
- Check the areas before you drive to them IF you must drive to them. Many state trail systems have closed and a growing number of trails/camping and parking areas as well.
- Ride from home, even if that means more asphalt. Chances are your governor’s stay at home order had this in mind for all of us. With fewer people working and mostly staying at home, the roads are more pleasant to ride, and safer too.
How will I stay sane while not riding with friends?
- Backyard pump track – I’ve been planning this for 3 years :). Maybe this is the time it gets built?!
- Zwift – virtual training with Zwift on a smart trainer is normally my go-to when the weather is shitty but it might be harder when its sunny and 75. I’ll be organizing some “Meetups” with Killer Coach so I can virtually ride and socialize with others. If you’d like to join in on a ride with me give me “Chad Davis [Crankjoy]” a follow on Zwift Companion.
- Skills – Work on those limiters. Wheelies, manuals, balance drills, pumping, cornering, etc. There are tons of videos out there to help or work with a skills coach like Ryan Leech Connection – I highly recommend his Free 30-Day Wheelie Challenge.
- Yoga – Time to get limber and help minimize the chance of injury when things are back to normal.
Simply put, be kind to others you see out on the trail! We’re all in this together. Stay safe, we’ll soon be back to the normal days in the woods!