Bicycle NSW, like many organisations, is making changes to protect the health of our staff, Members and the wider community.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) now prohibits non-essential gatherings of groups of 500 people or more, requires 14 day self isolation for anyone arriving from overseas, and recommends reconsidering non-essential overseas travel. This has led to the cancellation of many festivals, music, arts, sport and community events over the weekend, including the 2020 Bobbin Head Cycle Classic.
Bicycle NSW understands the importance of slowing infection rates, reducing the chances of people at higher risk of severe illness being exposed to COVID-19. This includes older people, some disabilities and along with those with existing immune and health conditions such as heart conditions, lung disease, diabetes.
Australia’s health system risks becoming overwhelmed if this infection spreads rapidly, which is why we are being asked to change our behaviour. It also gives time for researchers and physicians to identify effective treatments and develop a vaccine.
Bicycle NSW's Response To COVID-19
Bicycle NSW is responding in a number of ways.
1) We are suspending our recommendation to #RideTheBush as it goes against ‘social distancing’ advice. Furthermore, with rural and regional hospitals having fewer resources than their urban counterparts, we do not want to burden their already strained resources.
If you would like to continue supporting our regional communities, you can purchase our #RideTheBush merchandise. 15% of the sale is donated to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal who are helping to rebuild regional communities.
2) Many people may switch to commuting by bike to avoid crowds on public transport, so we are drawing together our resources to help anyone making the switch safely.
3) We recommend BUGs and other riding groups to reconsider group rides, as it is difficult to practice social distancing properly. We encourage everyone who has any flu symptoms to remain in their home. Remember you may be healthy, but most of us know someone in a high risk group who we want to protect from serious illness.
4) Avoid riding with other people if you are unwell or have any cold and flu symptoms.
5) While bike riding can be an important social activity to many, it can also be done alone. We encourage you to join us on Strava https://www.strava.com/clubs/bicycle-nsw-51960 and challenge and support each other whether riding on the road, in the park or spinning at home.
Bike Riders Helping The Community Through COVID-19
We know bike riders look out for each other, and now it’s especially important to take care of your mates. You could do this by:
- Sharing your route to work with colleagues and encourage them to ride.
- Suggest your workplace to set aside a safe bike parking area and a place to change. Not everyone will be able to work from home!
Across NSW grocery deliveries have been suspended in many areas or take days, and not many pharmacies deliver. We’ve already heard of riders with panniers and backpacks collecting items for neighbours, family or friends who are in need.
“Bicycle riding is a great form of exercise we can do in isolation and it enables independent non-polluting travel,” said Bicycle NSW CEO, Alistair Ferguson.
“We encourage people to reconsider group rides, especially larger groups, to protect community health,” commented Alistair.
Why not drop us a line if you have a question, and if you’d like to reach out to help people we’ve started the #BikeThroughCorona hashtag.