Go Back  Bike Forums > The Lounge > Coronavirus/COVID-19
Reload this Page >

Solo Cycling and COVID

Notices
Coronavirus/COVID-19 Discussion of the novel coronavirus

Solo Cycling and COVID

 
Old 04-06-20, 11:05 PM
  #1  
Robert A
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 737

Bikes: 2019 CAAD12, 2015 Specialized Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 548 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 60 Times in 42 Posts
Solo Cycling and COVID

Guys, what are your thoughts about COVID risk when cycling alone? I typically ride at least 50-60 feet away from cyclists ahead of me. Sometimes, I'll overtake someone at close range, or pass someone going the opposite direction. In both cases, the time at close proximity is very brief. But there are always breezes and winds to swirl things around, so there's no real way to know if I'm catching a virus from someone in the vicinity.

My theory is the type of setting I'm describing is likely safe, simply because the concentration of the virus in the open air is likely to be very low. For example, if the guy 60' in front of me has it, the surrounding breezes would have likely disbursed the molecules to the point where infection risk is low.

What do you all think?
Robert A is offline  
Old 04-07-20, 12:39 AM
  #2  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 22,122
Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15189 Post(s)
Liked 6,354 Times in 3,600 Posts
I think riding on quiet roads is one of the safer things you can do outside your house. It sounds like MUPs are overrun with people and the dog walkers with retractable leashes are making it harder to ride there and stay away from everyone else. I've also heard that some drivers are speeding because they can get away with it. So those and obviously proximity to other people are the things I'd watch out for.

Oh, and cross lights as traffic, don't take crosswalks. I've seen people hitting the button with bare hands. Luckily as cyclist you don't need to touch any surfaces that aren't part of your bike. Obviously bring all the food and water you'll need.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 04-07-20, 12:59 AM
  #3  
markjenn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,160
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 154 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 10 Posts
Just my $0.02, but I think the pendulum of worrying about getting CV has swung from way too optimistic (you only get it if someone directly sneezes or coughs on you) to way too pessimistic (you can get it just by breathing the same air even if the infected person is 50' away). It's probably somewhere inbetween. Most of the experts still say that the overwhelming majority of infections occur when you're in fairly close proximity to someone infected or touch contaminated surfaces and then touch your face, nose, eyes, etc. The risk of being infected by a random person you pass briefly on a bike path or the street, while not absolutely zero, is probably vanishingly low, and if you work at keeping good distancing, it is probably effectively zero.

- Mark

Last edited by markjenn; 04-07-20 at 01:03 AM.
markjenn is offline  
Likes For markjenn:
Old 04-07-20, 01:32 AM
  #4  
Robert A
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 737

Bikes: 2019 CAAD12, 2015 Specialized Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 548 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 60 Times in 42 Posts
Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
Just my $0.02, but I think the pendulum of worrying about getting CV has swung from way too optimistic (you only get it if someone directly sneezes or coughs on you) to way too pessimistic (you can get it just by breathing the same air even if the infected person is 50' away). It's probably somewhere inbetween. Most of the experts still say that the overwhelming majority of infections occur when you're in fairly close proximity to someone infected or touch contaminated surfaces and then touch your face, nose, eyes, etc. The risk of being infected by a random person you pass briefly on a bike path or the street, while not absolutely zero, is probably vanishingly low, and if you work at keeping good distancing, it is probably effectively zero.

- Mark
I'd like to know that you're right. I think the question is more a matter or aerosol distribution as opposed to droplets. Increasingly, the data seems to point towards both, though the aerosol issue seems to be confined to indoors. It's hard to imagine contracting CV from just the breeze, but so many people are getting the disease now that the question needs to be raised.
Robert A is offline  
Old 04-07-20, 11:04 AM
  #5  
markjenn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,160
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 154 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
I'd like to know that you're right. I think the question is more a matter or aerosol distribution as opposed to droplets. Increasingly, the data seems to point towards both, though the aerosol issue seems to be confined to indoors. It's hard to imagine contracting CV from just the breeze, but so many people are getting the disease now that the question needs to be raised.
Yes, itís impossible to know exactly until we get better data, but if the virus does propagate so easily that simply passing by a person 6í away outdoors is all it takes, then the math says the pandemic would be much worse. A country of 1.5 billion people has essentially eliminated the virus in three months.... I donít think this would be remotely possible if such casual transmission were common.

- Mark
markjenn is offline  
Old 04-07-20, 11:09 AM
  #6  
Robert A
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 737

Bikes: 2019 CAAD12, 2015 Specialized Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 548 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 60 Times in 42 Posts
Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
Yes, itís impossible to know exactly until we get better data, but if the virus does propagate so easily that simply passing by a person 6í away outdoors is all it takes, then the math says the pandemic would be much worse. A country of 1.5 billion people has essentially eliminated the virus in three months.... I donít think this would be remotely possible if such casual transmission were common.

- Mark
What's worrisome is the rising domestic stats given all the safer-at-home rules in place. If so many are staying at home, why are the stats rising as they are? It suggests that even people who are following all the recommended guidelines are still getting the disease.

What I find ironic are those wearing face masks just for simply walking the dog on a quiet residential street.
Robert A is offline  
Old 04-07-20, 12:16 PM
  #7  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 22,122
Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15189 Post(s)
Liked 6,354 Times in 3,600 Posts
Washington State was early and aggressive with distancing. I think we were the second state to institute "mandatory" lockdown, we closed our schools almost immediately, most businesses, parks, national forests, playgrounds, etc.

We're just beyond the peak of this thing. We're giving 400 ventilators back because we won't need them.

Distancing is effective.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 04-07-20, 12:37 PM
  #8  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,202
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1185 Post(s)
Liked 286 Times in 174 Posts
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
What's worrisome is the rising domestic stats given all the safer-at-home rules in place. If so many are staying at home, why are the stats rising as they are? It suggests that even people who are following all the recommended guidelines are still getting the disease.

What I find ironic are those wearing face masks just for simply walking the dog on a quiet residential street.
I think most, if not all, jurisdictions that implemented stay-at-home mandates are fairing well including Italy. The number of new cases/day may continue to rise for a while but the active cases (new-recovered) is trending down. California and Canada seem to be tracking about the same and both are seeing daily increases of under 10% which is a significant improvement from a week or two ago. Even New York is seeing a drop in growth of new cases.
gregf83 is offline  
Old 04-07-20, 12:48 PM
  #9  
nesdog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
Posts: 2,669

Bikes: Domane SLR7 Disc

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 33 Posts
Was out today for a solo jaunt. If I have someone pop up in front of me, I'll change the route or slow down a bit. But wow, I still see groups of 4 or more, side and side with some separation front to back.
__________________
[insert clever quote here]
nesdog is offline  
Old 04-07-20, 01:35 PM
  #10  
AlmostTrick
Tortoise Wins by a Hare!
 
AlmostTrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Looney Tunes, IL
Posts: 7,397

Bikes: Wabi Special FG, Raleigh Roper, Nashbar AL-1, Miyata One Hundred, '70 Schwinn Lemonator and More!!

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1546 Post(s)
Liked 919 Times in 496 Posts
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
Guys, what are your thoughts about COVID risk when cycling alone? I typically ride at least 50-60 feet away from cyclists ahead of me. Sometimes, I'll overtake someone at close range, or pass someone going the opposite direction. In both cases, the time at close proximity is very brief. But there are always breezes and winds to swirl things around, so there's no real way to know if I'm catching a virus from someone in the vicinity.
Biking, walking, working, or shopping, I do the same: Attempt to keep as much space as possible between myself and others for everyone's protection. During those moments of "close proximity" that are very brief, I just hold my breath for a moment.
AlmostTrick is offline  
Old 04-07-20, 01:41 PM
  #11  
mprince
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 132

Bikes: Steelman Stage Race, Dura-Ace 9s

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 29 Posts
I've been solo riding for a few weeks here as the weather is turning nicer. Rarely if ever see another cyclist on the roads I've been riding on, but if I did come up on someone (or vice versa) I'd give them a wide berth so that the pass can be made as quickly as possible at reasonably safe distances. I feel much safer out on my bike than I do going to the grocery store lately (pretty much the only reasons I am leaving the house currently).

Once I get home from a ride, straight to the shower and the riding clothes go directly the washing machine.
mprince is online now  
Old 04-07-20, 09:43 PM
  #12  
jimincalif
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Lake Forest, CA
Posts: 2,309

Bikes: '96 Trek 850, '08 Specialized Roubaix Comp, '18 Niner RLT RDO

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 564 Post(s)
Liked 108 Times in 70 Posts
Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
The risk of being infected by a random person you pass briefly on a bike path or the street, while not absolutely zero, is probably vanishingly low, and if you work at keeping good distancing, it is probably effectively zero.

- Mark
Agreed that it is for all intents and purposes zero. Nothing in life is risk free, we all willingly accept a significant non-zero risk of crashing when we ride, because we judge the benefits to be worth the risk. Iíve personally known two people who had fatal bike crashes, and a fair number of others whoíve had moderate to serious injuries. Yet I still ride. This isnít being cavalier about CV, in three weeks Iíve driven my car exactly one time, otherwise Iíve left my house only on foot or bike. I ride on the road as the MUP trails have been quite busy with all manner of folks during the lockdown. And Iíve ridden with a friend or two at times. No handshakes or fist bumps, and we donít draft closely. Good enough I think.
jimincalif is offline  
Old 04-14-20, 10:29 AM
  #13  
dstrong 
Senior Member
 
dstrong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Awesome, Austin, TX
Posts: 4,204

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix, Interloc Impala, ParkPre Image C6

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 244 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 39 Posts
I stopped riding any MUPs a few weeks ago when they became too crowded. I can get 20-30 miles in pretty easily in my extended neighborhood without being complete bored out of my mind. I ride with a rearview mirror on my glasses and know what's behind me, so I'm finding myself just taking the lane despite there being a bike lane. I've taken the lane on several streets recently that I would typically avoid completely on a "normal" day.
__________________

2014 Specialized Roubaix2003 Interloc Impala2007 ParkPre Image C6 (RIP)

dstrong is offline  
Old 04-14-20, 01:22 PM
  #14  
livedarklions
Racerboyz' b'crat
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 9,790

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5066 Post(s)
Liked 4,355 Times in 2,451 Posts
Anybody else feel weird riding through deserted streets that usually are crowded? Have to keep myself from doing wolf howls sometimes.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 04-14-20, 02:08 PM
  #15  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 22,122
Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15189 Post(s)
Liked 6,354 Times in 3,600 Posts
I've been starting rides 15 minutes after sunset. Very few runners, walkers, and gardeners. On a clear evening, the afterglow of the sunset is lovely.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 04-14-20, 02:32 PM
  #16  
cthenn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Posts: 2,567

Bikes: 2015 Trek Emonda SLR, 2002 Litespeed Classic, 2005 Bianchi Pista, 2016 Devinci Hatchet, Some BikesDirect MTB I never ride.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 602 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 59 Posts
I actually am riding more roads I usually detest or fear. There are thankfully so fewer cars on the roads, I am taking advantage of riding some roads that I normally avoid. I am absolutely staying off the MUP. The strange thing is that many people have embraced "mask culture" but it seems like all the MUP users are the morons still not taking this seriously. Joggers, walkers, families with strollers all just dawdling along the paved trail, all passing well within 6' of each other while kids play and pick up stuff off the ground like it's playtime around the house. Sadly, I still see too many groups riding as well, albeit usually no more than 3 or 4. When I pass someone I look behind me into the non-existent traffic and swing out way wide. Just have to avoid the guys who don't look behind them before blowing all the snot out of their nose or hawk a big loogie. I've had one close call with a guy spitting right as I was passing, but I was pretty wide by that point. I certainly would not grab anyone's wheel or even ride within 50' of someone if I could help it. Cycling is the perfect solo activity, there's no reason to chance it.
cthenn is offline  
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.