It is a difficult one isn’t it, the decision on whether to ride or not whilst we are under lockdown for Coronavirus or Covid-19. We are allowed to take daily exercise, and the roads are emptier than they would ever be under normal circumstances. But, and here is the big but, the cars that are about don’t seem to be paying attention to the other road users or the speed limits. Sadly far too often they are making the most of the lack of congestion to drive around like idiots. In addition to that, nobody wants to end up in an ambulance or in hospital right now, we don’t normally of course, but right now we know that these places are the centre of infection as well as being stretched past their limits.
Nobody ever wants to get injured, but we also have a social responsibility not to add to the situation. In the same way as the hills will always be there (we hope), then our bikes will always be there when this is over. They won’t go off, they don’t have feelings and they don’t mind not be used. We mind not using them.
If cycling is your main or preferred form of transport, and you have to go out, then it makes as much sense to keep cycling it as it does to get into a car or (god forbid) on a bus. Even if cycling isn’t your normal transport, combining an essential run for food stuffs with your daily exercise is more than just sensible, it’s posivitiely desirable. It might even encourage you to do it more often, which would benefit you, the planet, and your bank balance.
If you are using your bike to get to work, and your work is necessary and essential then I take my hat off to you. You are one of the true heroes of this pandemic.
But, what about those of us who are trying to avoid supermarkets, in fact all interactions with other people, those with health conditions that place them in a higher risk category even it only a minor condition? On that I don’t know. My partner is working from home, or trying his best too, although he doesn’t have all the software he needs as yet, but he’s in a slightly higher risk category. I’m not, but I wouldn’t want to infect him.
Whilst I’m not working at the moment, due in part to Covid-19, I am lending my brain to friends. It is one way I can help people I know that need, if nothing else, someone to chat with on the phone (or via Skype/Messenger/WhatApp or whatever).
At the moment, that is what this all comes down to isn’t it. What can we do to help other people? For many of us that simply means staying at home. Non-essential travel should stop, but not because of draconian measures by Government, but because we have a social consciousness that tells us to. If you need to ask the question as to whether you should go out, the answer is no you shouldn’t. You will know when you absolutely have to. The more of us that do this, the quicker this thing could be made manageable and the situation improved. Then we can all go out and ride our bikes to our hearts content.
Will I get itchy feet by the end of the week of nice weather? Yes, I probably will. I am lucky though I do have a garden. Will I desperately want to ride my bike? Quite probably. Will I do it? I honestly do know to be honest, because I don’t have the answer. It is the question I posed at the very start. I get the feeling most other people don’t either. If I do go out I will keep it very local, places I know well and can walk home from. I will go slowly, I will wear my hideous hi-vis and my helmet. I will pay attention to others and stop and wait if I need to.
It will be a privilege to go out if I do. I may yet decide I don’t want to take the risk. I honestly don’t know and by then the Government may not give me a choice anyway. Easter Weekend is coming up, the forecast is good, and if people aren’t responsible now then we may well have all the options taken away from us.
If you do go out be careful and be kind. That goes for car drivers, walkers, cyclists, people with dogs, essential workers and non-essential folk that just can’t sit still. We are really in this together and this virus doesn’t discriminate. Nature rarely does.