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Social distancing on a bike: 6' isn't nearly enough

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Social distancing on a bike: 6' isn't nearly enough

Old 04-08-20, 09:43 PM
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MinnMan
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Social distancing on a bike: 6' isn't nearly enough

This conclusion is pretty obvious, IMHO, but here backed up by some real fluid dynamics

https://medium.com/@jurgenthoelen/be...r-a5df19c77d08

The third link at the bottom of the above-linked blog post has a summary of the original scientific study, in English. Apparently the full study is not yet available, AFAIK

Last edited by MinnMan; 04-08-20 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 04-09-20, 07:33 AM
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Pretty sobering stuff. Its safer to stay inside on your rollers.
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Old 04-09-20, 08:53 AM
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The latest on the coronavirus pandemic.

The rule is now familiar, if not utterly routine, for anyone who has ventured outdoors in the middle of the pandemic: Whether walking the dog, buying groceries, or taking out the trash, you should stay more than six feet apart to contain the novel coronavirus.

But anyone who goes outside to exercise may need to keep an even greater distance from other runners and joggers, a new European study says, in order to properly practice social distancing.

Researchers at KU Leuven in Belgium and the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands found that someone infected with the virus could pass on respiratory droplets to people more than six feet behind them through a kind of vacuum they form as they cut through the air.

“When you are moving — running, cycling, walking — you are actually creating an area behind you that is often called a slipstream,” Bert Blocken, who coordinated the study, told the Brussels Times.

Athletes often use these slipstreams to run or bike at a higher speed, Blocken said

According to a series of simulations run by his team, a jogger moving at about 2.5 miles per hour was likely to come into contact with the slipstream, and thus, the droplets, of someone exercising as much as 50 feet ahead.

The study suggests that runners and cyclists may want to avoid moving directly behind another person and falling into their slipstream, Blocken said, by moving side by side or by in a staggered formation.

When such a formation is unavoidable on narrow paths or sidewalks, those seeking an outdoor workout should stay at least 15 feet apart when walking, 33 feet when running or cycling slowly and 65 feet apart for more vigorous exercise, he told the Globe and Mail.
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Old 04-09-20, 09:18 AM
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Implication is obvious--no group riding. Staying in close proximity with someone else over periods of time is the riskiest behavior not involving direct contact. I would guess that slight breezes would affect the shape of that cloud in different unpredictable ways, so spacing so that no one is in the slipstream is probably not a good solution. Plus, riding is a dynamic process, so maintaining the "proper" spacing constantly is going to be very difficult if not impossible.
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Old 04-09-20, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Implication is obvious--no group riding. Staying in close proximity with someone else over periods of time is the riskiest behavior not involving direct contact. I would guess that slight breezes would affect the shape of that cloud in different unpredictable ways, so spacing so that no one is in the slipstream is probably not a good solution. Plus, riding is a dynamic process, so maintaining the "proper" spacing constantly is going to be very difficult if not impossible.
Agreed. But also, stay away from MUPS, areas proximal to pedestrians and especially joggers, and give other cyclists a wide berth when you are passing them on the road. [Of course, they never pass you - you only pass them. ;-)]
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Old 04-09-20, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Agreed. But also, stay away from MUPS, areas proximal to pedestrians and especially joggers, and give other cyclists a wide berth when you are passing them on the road. [Of course, they never pass you - you only pass them. ;-)]

I'm still riding my favorite MUP, but it's so sparsely populated right now, maintaining distance isn't a problem. I don't pass on the road until I can fully take the lane right now.

I know this is going to sound like BS, but I started back to riding about a month ago after taking the winter off, and I don't think I've been passed once. I'm a fast fish in a slow pond.
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Old 04-09-20, 10:45 AM
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This is a wake up call for me. As the weather starts to get warmer, I think I will be staying off MUPs in crowded areas and sticking to the road.
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Old 04-09-20, 11:18 AM
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On fireroads lately when I have passed people much more than six feet away, I can smell their cheap nasty perfume, and realize if they are exhaling any encapsidated mRNAs, I'm doomed.
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Old 04-09-20, 11:20 AM
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One of our on road bikeways, goes right past a Covid drive-thru testing location. That is now a route to be avoided.
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Old 04-09-20, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
On fireroads lately when I have passed people much more than six feet away, I can smell their cheap nasty perfume, and realize if they are exhaling any encapsidated mRNAs, I'm doomed.
people wear perfume on fireroads? Wow, there must be more of a social scene there than I would have realized.

Or is "perfume" a euphemism? As in, "he stinks of (tobacco/weed/onion/whisky/body odor) perfume"?
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Old 04-09-20, 11:26 AM
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OK, whatever oderiferous substance they apply to themselves. Also, it is Santa Crud.
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Old 04-09-20, 11:33 AM
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Wow, had never heard about this. Thanks for the sobering post, definitely good to know.
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Old 04-09-20, 01:02 PM
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Definitely a good idea to stick to the road instead of paths now that there are hardly any cars around.
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Old 04-09-20, 01:17 PM
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This deflated my mood.

This virus is very good at spreading. If you didn't read the link, it applies to walking and running too.

Please watch this 45 second video.


It's probably a good idea to wear long sleeves outside.
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Old 04-09-20, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
On fireroads lately when I have passed people much more than six feet away, I can smell their cheap nasty perfume, and realize if they are exhaling any encapsidated mRNAs, I'm doomed.
I've had the same experience with people on the MUP. On one of my routine rides I have a great cat 2 climb with a nice wide, lightly used MUP right next to the road. I generally ride the path going up since I'm just poking along but always go over to the road when I encounter people. Since COVID-19 I get over to the far oncoming traffic lane (very few cars on this road) and have on more that one occasion smelled perfume or cologne even though I'm probably at least 15-25' away. And I have had the same thoughts, if they are shedding the virus I'm probably inhaling it in copious quantities since I'm huffing and puffing going up the hill. Holding my breath for 30 seconds while I pass them isn't an option

Coming back down on Sunday there was another rider who headed down before I did. He warned me I would probably catch him since he liked to keep it under 35 mph I normally just bomb down without hitting the brakes. Even thought I though I gave him enough of a head start I ended up catching up to him by the lower portion of the hill so I just slowed down and let him get a few hundred feet ahead since I kind of figured you need a lot more distance when following somebody on a bike going 35 mph.
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Old 04-09-20, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
This deflated my mood.

This virus is very good at spreading. If you didn't read the link, it applies to walking and running too.

https://youtu.be/WZSKoNGTR6Q
Here's an article talking about the research, which was jointly from Aalto University, the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), the state-owned technical and innovation centre VTT, and Helsinki University: -- Coronavirus particles could stay in air for ‘several minutes’ indoors, researchers warn @ Fox News. The imaging was done using 3D modeling on a supercomputer, apparently not from controlled real-world experimentation. (Hopefully, the modeling is accurate enough. Even if not, it shouldn't really be surprising how widely airborne particles can move over several minutes, what particles can land on in those minutes.)

ESPOO, Finland — Coronavirus particles could stay in the air for “several minutes,” according to a new study, adding to the importance of avoiding heavily populated indoor places.

“Preliminary results indicate that aerosol particles carrying the virus can remain in the air longer than was originally thought, so it is important to avoid busy public indoor spaces,” the researchers explained in a statement. “This also reduces the risk of droplet infection, which remains the main path of transmission for coronavirus.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently recommended wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. This is particularly important “in areas of significant community-based transmission,” the CDC said.

The research was undertaken by experts from Finland’s Aalto University, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Finland.

Experts studied how small airborne aerosol particles are transported ...

Sure makes a person think about elevators, hallways, restrooms and small shops, though.
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Old 04-09-20, 02:03 PM
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I'm taking lunch outside in the sun. There's enough pollen in the air that I keep having to wipe my phone screen. It's amazing how that stuff hangs in the air and travels. And the virus is about a million times smaller.
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Old 04-09-20, 02:39 PM
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The Viral ‘Study’ About Runners Spreading Coronavirus Is Not Actually a Study

[William Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard's Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics] said studies like this are "not really useful. Not to epidemiologists anyway. The amount of transmission from this route even if it is possible will be dwarfed by that from others."

-mr. bill

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Old 04-09-20, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
The Viral ‘Study’ About Runners Spreading Coronavirus Is Not Actually a Study

[William Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard's Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics] said studies like this are "not really useful. Not to epidemiologists anyway. The amount of transmission from this route even if it is possible will be dwarfed by that from others."

-mr. bill

OK, based on that, I'm betting this so-called study is a complete crock. I'm still not group riding, but I don't really do that anyway.
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Old 04-09-20, 03:34 PM
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I'm pretty sure whatever these ppl are spewing is fair game to float into my lungs





these ppl, waiting behind me, at this light, may be safe from my exhaled microbes


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Old 04-09-20, 04:11 PM
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The more I am seeing about how easy it spreads outside, the more I am thinking the Chinese were right, people should stay inside until this is all over.
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Old 04-09-20, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
Pretty sobering stuff. Its safer to stay inside on your rollers.
Wat.

Its been nice enough for me to do 3 outdoor rides in the last week. I was never closer than about 40' to anyone outside(inside a car doesn't count) and those were a few walkers/joggers on a mup that runs alongside the road i happened to be on. Almost all of each ride(90%) was me riding and nobody around for probably miles.

ride your rollers if you want, no harm in that. I zwifted tonight.
but declaring its safer to just sit inside is nuts because it completely ignores circumstances. I drove to the start if one of my rides- I only passed/was passed by half a dozen cars and i did not a single individual for over 2 hours.
circumstances- they matter.
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Old 04-09-20, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
The more I am seeing about how easy it spreads outside, the more I am thinking the Chinese were right, people should stay inside until this is all over.
What have you seen about how easy it spreads outside? I just finished a 2 1/2 hr ride, saw lots of people out walking or exercising but the amount of time I spent in anyone's vicinity was negligible. Solo riding ourdoors seems very safe. I think it's useful to have some perspective when we're out and about. Before Covid days we happily accepted risks when driving to work or flying. It's not possible to reduce all risks to zero.
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Old 04-10-20, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
.. Solo riding ourdoors seems very safe. I think it's useful to have some perspective when we're out and about. Before Covid days we happily accepted risks when driving to work or flying. It's not possible to reduce all risks to zero.
Great point. And, it's the long-term point of it all. We must get back to some sort of normal, customary, daily routine again. This, too, shall pass. There's simply no way human societies and economies can survive if they permanently stay turned "off." They'll get going again. And we'll need to tolerate whatever the ultimate death rate turns out to be. As we do with influenza, cold/pneumonia, malaria and the rest. There's simply no other way, than to lie down and give up, forcibly disallowing all human activity out of fear of this thing.

Of course, "normal" will have to be redefined a little. Like the production of sufficient disposable/washable masks for every human on Earth, at least those who are going to get into continued close contact with others and who want some means of filtering out the "bugs" in the air. Like vastly improve sanitation and availability of clean water, globally. Like redesign of shops/markets to streamline single-line queues of folks as they transit from entry to exit (whereas most shops, now, end up with people balled-up in zones all over the place). In the end, we either do these types of things, or we tolerate a (what is it, now, globally?) ~3% death rate for those who get infected. Tolerance is easy. Changing all those other things are toweringly difficult, and haven't occurred yet despite decades of attempting some of them.

Hard to maintain some distance from others in a sit-down restaurant or a bar, if that place packs 'em in like sardines. Hard to keep from inhaling everyone else's air unless airflow and air-removal systems get markedly better to eliminate vastly greater percentages of "bug"-laden air before it gets to others and lands on surfaces. Hard to avoid touching someone else's "bugs" on surfaces, when surfaces themselves are so prone to catching, holding and allowing for the longer-term survival of such "bugs." (Anti-microbial surfaces and treatments do exist, but application of them everywhere would be expensive.)

Of course, in the end, antibodies will get produced and people's immune systems will get to wherever they get. And we'll need to accept that. (Like every other disease, and every other risk.) The rest, it can come along in due course, as funding and effort allows.

As you point out, life's a risk. Daily. And we deal with it and accept it, or not. If not, then we're not living.

It'll be nice once we're out of the "novel" phase and this thing has run its initial course through the globe's population. That'll be the new "normal," like it or not. That new "normal" can't be worse than now, with such a serious percentage of the world's population impacted and economies shut down. Can't be allowed ... not if we want harvested crops, clean water produced, electricity/energy produced, travel possible, and the goods/services that allow so many to live.
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Old 04-10-20, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
The more I am seeing about how easy it spreads outside, the more I am thinking the Chinese were right, people should stay inside until this is all over.
Except they're not indoors anymore.

Around 52,000 people departed from Wuhan via train, air, or bus on Wednesday, according to local authorities, heading off to cities across China.
Another month, and the kids should be back in school, if nothing tragic happens in the near future on the mainland, the virus is no longer a major issue.

I have NO idea WTF is going on outside of China, hopefully its not as bad as it appears.

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