Be Prepared for Your COVID-Era Bike Commute
Biking is faster than walking, greener than driving, more conducive to social distancing than catching the bus or the train.
Whether you’re newly bike commute curious or gearing up to resume a pre-existing to/from-work ride, consider the following to-dos:
- Plan—or Adapt—Your Route: As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we change our routines. And with those changes, trail- and road-traffic patterns shift. So even seasoned bike commuters likely need to reassess their best route options as communities start to reopen and more of us return to out-of-home work. Consider directness and the presence/absence of bike lanes/sharrows, sure, but also weigh the likelihood of being able to practice social distancing on your two-wheeled way.
- Consider Alternatives: Have contingency plans in case you find bike, pedestrian, or car traffic prohibitively heavy on your first-choice route. If your work permits, consider shifting the timing of your commute to avoid the morning and/or evening rush.
- Bring a Mask: Masks may not be *required* for solo trips outdoors, but as we recognize the threat even asymptomatic people can pose to others—and as ready-made masks and DIY mask instructions become available—more people are donning them voluntarily. Check current best practices before heading out and at least pack a face covering. Even if you expect to be able to steer clear of your fellow travelers’ airspace, be ready to cover your nose and mouth should you spot congestion ahead. We love the washable cotton masks from Custom Ink.
- Carry Sanitizer: In the same just-in-case vein, pop some hand sanitizer or a squeezable dropper bottle of rubbing alcohol into a bag or pocket on your way out the door. Until hand-washing stations start cropping up on street corners, alcohol-based products are your best bet for any disinfecting needs en route. They’re also handy for cleanup should you change a flat or fiddle with a chain.
- Chill Out: Bike commuting is bound to be more stressful in the COVID-19 era, so try to summon as serene a mindset as possible before saddling up. Don’t get impatient with other trail/road users during the inevitable jockeying for socially distant positioning. Be prepared to ease your usual pace if you opt to wear a mask while riding. Take extra care to avoid accident and injury; you don’t want to be a burden on an already taxed healthcare system. And even if you take pride in bike commuting every day without fail, know when NOT to go in. If you’re feeling sick or a local stay-at-home order is in effect, hang up the helmet.
- Use a SAF Lock: Worry less—about bike theft, anyway—when you secure your trusty commuter with Altor’s SAF Lock. The only bike lock on the market designed to foil attack by angle grinder, the SAF also protects against hand tools such as hacksaws, crowbars, and bolt cutters.
For your safety and that of your community amidst the evolving public health crisis, follow both current CDC guidelines and any local travel advisories and recommendations.
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