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When COVID-19 hit the United States, the economy shutdown. Since many people are no longer commuting to work and government officials have been urging citizens to stay home, the number of cars on the road decreased significantly. This spring gyms closed, sports programs for children and adults were cancelled, and competitions were postponed. As a result, many Americans turned to bicycling as an activity to boost their emotional and physical health. The Los Angeles Times reported a 21 percent increase in U.S. urban-area ridership from the spring of 2019 to the same time-frame in 2020. According to Outside Magazine, kid’s bike sales were up 56 percent this year while adult leisure bike sales were up 121 percent in comparison with 2019. If you are thinking of joining the biking boom that has occurred since COVID-19 first broke out, here are some tips for how to do so safely.
Do not let the reduced traffic lull you into a false sense of security that you can take over the road on your bike. While there are fewer cars on the road, some people are using the emptier streets as an excuse to speed while driving. You still need to pay attention to your surroundings and signal your intentions to other road users.
If you use a bike from one of the local bike share programs, make sure to either bring hand sanitizer for the handlebars or to wear full gloves. The exposure risk is similar to touching a grocery shopping cart. The associates at Bay Wheels bike share are wearing gloves when moving bikes and they are cleaning high contact areas on the bikes each time they arrive at the depot.
For the most part, social distancing is easy on a bike. However, you may find yourself on a bike path that is crowded with other riders or stopped at an intersection with others. It is still important to abide by the mask regulations. Some riders prefer having a mask made from athletic fabric, some use neck gaiters that they can pull up and down, and others have chosen to tie a scarf or bandana around their neck as a form of mask covering. Experiment with what option works for you and allows you to get enough oxygen while riding.
There is no better time to try out bike riding if you have not already fallen in love with the activity. The roads are quieter and more cyclists are on the roads, which makes drivers more aware that they need to share the road. However, if you do encounter an aggressive or careless driver who hits you and leaves you injured, you will need legal help. The San Jose bicycle accident attorneys at the Solution Now Law Firm can assist you with filing a personal injury claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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