How Safe Is Cycling?

The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected millions of people worldwide, and as we’re seemingly getting over the worst of it, more and more questions are being posed about just how we are going to adapt to the changes that are going to be needed to get things ‘back to normal’.

Sports in general are a hot topic right now; especially considering fitness activities that can be enjoyed by those in an everyday setting, like cycling. Research shows that air particles can travel much faster and spread easier when someone is traveling at a higher speed – although there are a few other considerations that you should keep in mind too, when thinking of going out for a nice bike ride.

Is 6 feet enough distance?

Dispersed air particles from cyclists might be able to travel a greater distance and have a higher chance of infecting those in the immediate area, with 10 meters being ideal for slow cruising and as much as 20 meters when traveling faster. This can vary depending on many factors though, such as:

• How fast and strong the wind is blowing (and in what direction)
• How close riders are to other cyclists/pedestrians
• How large the paths are that are being used

While the exact distance for cyclists can be complicated to determine, it’s suggested that you should aim to keep at least 6 feet away from others and opt for quieter paths when riding.

How safe is cycling?

While it’s widely known that there are a number of advantages that can come with this activity, both mentally and physically, the current circumstances of the world may make people second-guess going out with their bikes. Getting out can be even more beneficial after spending so much time indoors, although it’s important to consider the potential risks.

There’s also the possibility of infecting others to keep in mind, too. If everyone is cautious and respects the safety and space of others; we’ll have a much better chance of returning to normality. This is why you should always aim to avoid crowded areas when possible, when both cycling and walking.

Overall, riding alone is a safe option. Even though it can be easier to pick up particles while going at a higher speed, if you’re away from other people and cyclists you shouldn’t have an issue. By being careful and considerate, you can reduce the risks even further.

Is it worth going out for a bike ride?

With all the concerns and uncertainties, staying safe and at home can often seem like the best idea. It is worth noting that the risks can greatly be reduced, practically to zero, if you’re wise about what you do. Pick a relatively empty area, ride alone, wear a mask, and always remember to keep your distance when you come across pedestrians or other cyclists. Good hygiene practices can be beneficial too, like washing your hands when you get home, regularly washing/changing your face mask, and laundering your clothes.

Simon Huckabee
Simon Huckabee

Riding to work, to the shops or exploring national parks with my family on weekends I am a dedicated cyclist and environmentalist.

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