As of early June, Philadelphia has entered Code Yellow for COVID-19. TLC’s team members have been developing some guidelines to help us think through what this means for cycling. As we have since the beginning of the pandemic, we’re paying attention to public health guidance and everything is subject to change.
- Decisions to ride are individual and should be carefully considered based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to personal health, employment, mitigation of risk, family/living situation, and geographic location.
- Be thoughtful about the decisions you are making, and don’t rush to judgement on another person’s decisions. Remember #1.
- Philadelphia’s Code Yellow guidance from Parks & Recreation includes a prohibition on group sports.
- Bike rides vary, but many of them could certainly be considered a group sport.
- While CDC & public health guidance suggests aerosolized virus disperses quickly outdoors, precautions are still important.
- Getting hurt and needing medical care is also still a risky proposition. How are you mitigating risk in your riding?
- Riding in places where you may encounter other people in close range heightens the guidance that wearing a mask/face covering is important. Even if you are not sick, you may be carrying the virus. Wearing a mask helps protect others from you.
- Riding with members of your household limits your exposure.
- If you choose to expand to ride with people outside of your household, think seriously about the addition of other contacts. Be transparent about any other contacts you have with people outside your household (again, Remember #1), and disclose this to the people you ride with.
- Keep track of people you are in contact with. Since the government isn’t doing contact tracing, how are you keeping track and informing people if you get sick? Do you trust they will inform you if they do?
- Based on #9 and #10, if you do choose to expand riding with people other than your household, a lower risk option would be to combine with one other household in a monogamous households social relationship.
- Another alternative is to ride to outdoor meeting places separately, then enjoy time in each other’s company at a safer distance apart. For example, you could agree to meet up at the Belmont Plateau for coffee, sit at least six feet apart, bring your own supplies, not share items, and disperse separately when you leave. Again, be mindful of #9 and #10.
- Think carefully about the impact you have based on the route you choose to ride. Think about the people you might be impacting – such as employees at businesses – and consider packing your own snacks instead. Minimize your need to enter into buildings, wear a mask if you do, and wash your hands. If that’s not possible, reconsider your route and the supplies you bring with you. Pack hand sanitizer.
- This should go without saying, but if you’re sick, you should not be out riding. And if you’re sick and live with someone else who isn’t, they are still likely carriers and may infect others.
As individuals and as a team, we’ll continue to monitor, assess, and check in on each other. Over the course of the last few months, we’ve developed routines for virtual workouts and hangouts, vital means of staying connected and emotionally nourished. That part, we can safely say, is not subject to change.