This Easter the Prime Minister requires we stay at home, so how can bike riding help your ‘staycation’?
More people are riding as a form of exercise or transport which enables better physical distancing than public transport and there are more bike deliveries.
Riding with your family to exercise or collect groceries is allowed, and without school or childcare, shopping with children may be the only option.
You don’t have to wear special clothes to ride a bike, choose what’s comfortable. But Bicycle NSW recommends avoiding footwear that may come off or clothes that might snag on the chain or restrict movement. Sunscreen and sunglasses are also recommended during most days.
Yesterday the government released modelling by the Doherty Institute that has informed Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The controls put in place have been designed to slow infection to ensure that Australian hospitals have enough staff, beds and resources to treat everyone.
This has been called ‘flattening the curve’. It refers to a graph modelling infection rates with no controls, compared with projected rates with effective physical distancing measures, and it measures both graph ‘curves’ against a line showing Australian hospital capacity.
Infection control - Your Questions Answered
Should I wear a mask?
Current Australian advice says no, and that wearing a mask incorrectly could increase infection risk for the wearer.
Can I do my shopping on a bike?
Yes you can still go shopping with your bike. It might even prove to be more convenient than public transport or a car when trying to avoid crowds or parking near the shops entrance.
If you’re used to shopping alone and now need to bring your children, you need luggage that is comfortable and works with passengers. Backpacks may not work with a passenger, so you may need to switch to panniers. Bike shops can help, but if they are unaffordable or dimensions don’t work, you can make your own and modify designs to fit your bike.
Bicycle NSW has riding resources for beginners or to brush up on skills like signalling. We also recommend locking bikes to street bike racks or solid posts. Sturdy locks are available from bike shops, and chain and padlocks from hardware stores. Using more than one lock can help deter theft.
Does my bike need to be cleaned after I go to the shops?
Hand washing is advised after being in contact with or near other people. If you feel more comfortable giving your bike a quick wipe down before riding home, please do so.
We do encourage regularly cleaning of your bike throughout the year anyway. During this time you may want to clean it a little more than usual if it has been in contact with other people.
We have a video for thorough cleans, but simply cleaning surfaces you touch like the seat, frame and handlebars with warm water and dishwashing liquid, rinsing, drying and greasing the chain should be enough.
This is a good thing to teach children, and challenges to make it fun include a race to finish first. Place a chalk mark somewhere on the bike whilst your child isn’t looking and check to see it’s gone to ensure they’ve cleaned the bike well.
When is the best time to go shopping on a bike?
Many shops are overcrowded at some hours of the day, but free at others. We recommend switching times and routes, if you can, to a less busier time. The exact hours of overcrowding will depend on the store's location.
“This Easter bike riding can help improve your ‘staycation’ when holidays and trips aren’t allowed,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“We encourage everyone to share our resources and get in touch if you have questions,” said Bastien.