Cycling during these troubled timesThu 7th May 2020
The government has outlined rules that state you can go outdoors for essentials or one form of exercise.
It has advised that we go out within our limits and not too far from home. Many have said it is meant to be one hour, but this is not stated in government guidelines so if you do go for longer than hour, make sure you are not too far from home and within your physical limits. The last thing the NHS needs is any extra work at the moment.
Take extra precautions, for example, instead of taking one inner tube with you, take two along with you. Choose routes where you cover distance but where you are never too far from home, so zig zag around rather than go point to point.
Although many people will take advantage of the nice weather and quiet roads, there a few things I will point out for your safety. Don’t do too much as a body that is under strain and fatigue it will have a temporary weakened immune system. Generally speaking, fit and healthy individuals have a stronger immune system anyway; I personally haven’t taken a day off work in over 10 years due to illness and I cycle pretty much everyday, but even fit people can catch viruses and colds.
As I mentioned earlier, the roads are a lot quieter than they normally are which is great, but some motorists still seem to be in a rush and can’t wait to overtake a cyclist. I have had a few close calls because I have been taking a wide birth so that I am 2 meters (or more) away from pedestrians on paths next to the road.
A motorist should give a cyclist 1.5 m according to the highway code, so if a cyclist is giving a pedestrian 2m space that means the car driver has to wait behind or drive on the other side of the road effectively. My recommendation is to pre-empt this manoeuvre and signal to the car driver you are pulling out well before you get to the pedestrian as the driver may not be that forward thinking.
Hopefully this situation won’t last too long and we can go back to normal, but I think it is great to see so many people taking up cycling in the past few weeks.