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All across the Great Western territory => Active travel: Cyclists and walkers, including how the railways deal with them => Topic started by: CyclingSid on March 18, 2020, 10:10:00 am



Title: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: CyclingSid on March 18, 2020, 10:10:00 am
An article by Carlton Reid https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2020/03/17/do-not-ban-bicycling-in-covid-19-measures-industry-urges-uk-government/#616870164db4 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2020/03/17/do-not-ban-bicycling-in-covid-19-measures-industry-urges-uk-government/#616870164db4) presses the case for cycling to be allowed as a form of transport during any lock down period in UK. Cycle shops should also be exempted from any closures. Academics support the case on the grounds of exercise for health, but allowing social isolation.


Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: froome on March 18, 2020, 03:13:49 pm
An article by Carlton Reid https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2020/03/17/do-not-ban-bicycling-in-covid-19-measures-industry-urges-uk-government/#616870164db4 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2020/03/17/do-not-ban-bicycling-in-covid-19-measures-industry-urges-uk-government/#616870164db4) presses the case for cycling to be allowed as a form of transport during any lock down period in UK. Cycle shops should also be exempted from any closures. Academics support the case on the grounds of exercise for health, but allowing social isolation.

Completely agree, and let's hope this is understood by those who influence decisions. However, certainly in some of those countries that have gone into complete lockdown, going cycling has been specifically banned, so we need to be on our guard.


Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: Bmblbzzz on March 18, 2020, 03:27:29 pm
Recreational cycling has been banned in Italy and Spain, I think. Cycling to make essential purchases (food, basically) has not.


Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: Marlburian on March 18, 2020, 03:59:45 pm
Several professional cyclists out training have had verbal abuse - though they have certificates to show they're doing their job - not that the abusers would know that and not that there's any racing at the moment. But they need to keep fit.

Must be a bit awkward for commuter-cyclists who dress as if they're out trainigg (indeed, some used their commute as training).


Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: mjones on March 18, 2020, 06:35:45 pm
Nothing wrong with people going out for recreational cycling anyway. There are few opportunities for contact with other people or shared surfaces.  The virus doesn't survive long outside. Some people seem to want to ban things just so it looks like something is being done, even if it is irrelevant to reducing risk.


Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: eightonedee on March 18, 2020, 06:45:55 pm
I think you are right MJ. I am fortunate in living next to open country. It would be absolutely ridiculous if I was prevented form getting out and having a walk on my own in the spring fresh air just to give the impression that "something is being done".


Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: Marlburian on March 18, 2020, 10:22:19 pm
Seems to be the case in several European countries - banning walking. My "self-isolation" will be alleviated by long walks. I can get to open countryside within 15-20 minutes on foot, and on Sunday mornings on my extended walk of 90 minutes to get a newspaper I might meet half-a-dozen people. Or I can drive out a distance and walk for hours without seeing a soul. Great for my health and well-being, and it will stop my becoming stir-crazy.



Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: eXPassenger on March 19, 2020, 12:27:07 pm
The National Trust is currently encouraging people to visit parks and countryside for walking and cycling exercise although they have closed their properties.


Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: CyclingSid on March 20, 2020, 10:08:18 am
More reasons to get on your bike https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2020/mar/20/why-not-encourage-cycling-during-the-coronavirus-lockdown (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2020/mar/20/why-not-encourage-cycling-during-the-coronavirus-lockdown)


Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: Marlburian on March 20, 2020, 12:07:40 pm
I'll be getting out and about on solitary walks, giving anyone I encounter a wide berth. I'm having to spend enough time interpreting policies and advice in the UK without bothering with other countries', but I'm puzzled why cycling isn't being allowed in several European states. Seems harmless enough on one's own, but in a group there's a risk, given some cyclists' "need" to clear their noses and throats as they ride along. In my racing days, I got deposits of other people's  phlegm.

And cycling to work seems far preferable to using such public transport as remains available.


Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: mjones on March 20, 2020, 06:57:37 pm
We fairly urgently need some evidence based guidance on the risks of transmission between people outdoors. The WHO seems to be advising a minimum distance of 1 metre between people,  but I think that applies indoors. So given the much more effective dispersion outside,  together with the effects of solar UV, there is likely to be minimal risk even with groups.  But without some specific evidence it is going to be hard to get sensible policy decisions. 


Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: Marlburian on March 20, 2020, 07:40:56 pm
... I'm puzzled why cycling isn't being allowed in several European states...

To answer my own question:

"Spain, Andorra and France have banned [cycle] training outdoors on public roads and Italian professionals have also stopped training outdoors after initially having a special permission because it was deemed to be part of their job.

In contrast, riders in Belgium, the Netherlands, Britain, the USA and elsewhere are currently allowed to train outdoors ... Riding outdoors is widely seen as setting a bad example, with illness or injury possibly taking up medical resources that could be used to treat coronavirus cases now or in the future."

All my environmental groups have cancelled their tasks programme. Just a few days ago, I hinted to one group that we perhaps could work informally, but since then the situation has worsened and restrictions imposed on all sorts of activities.


Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: CyclingSid on March 22, 2020, 08:15:25 am
Following from the Deputy CMO
Quote
Speaking at today's UK government press conference on the latest social distancing measures to combat the coronavirus Dr Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer for England, had this to say on the subject of exercise and cycling specfically.   

Doctor Harries's comments on cycling were made in response to a question on letting children play together outside. Her response though was given within the context of general principles that the government clearly thinks should apply to all of us.

On that basis

    group riding where there are more than two riders is out,
    if there are two of you then sorry no wheel sucking you need to keep at least 2m apart.
    only ride your bike and use your own equipment
    coughs and sneezes need to be caught with a tissue
    if you're driving somewhere to ride - don't fill the car with people

"The basic strand running through all of these measures is social distancing and reducing the totality of our social interactions. That applies to children just as it does to the rest of us but also there is a balance there between maintaining physical and mental wellbeing when we are going through what will be for all of us quite a stressful period.

"So for children who are at home, a family or a household group usually has the same sort of exposure risk, so put nicely that just means that it's okay for them to play together usually in their own home environment, kick a ball around in the garden if they have one.

"We're not saying don't go outside but we are saying that if you go outside go in a way which reduces your social contact... we don't want to suggest that every child should go for a solitary walk across the park - that would not be a helpful public health measure but certainly with appropriate supervision, buddying children for example, keeping two metres apart, off for a bike ride or something, that is absolutely fine and in many ways we would encourage that.

"But there are some simple principles again around that: make sure you hang on to your own bike, your own equipment or whatever, wash your hands regularly, if you have coughs and sneezes use a tissue... all the things we have been encouraging people to do.

"The weather is getting better, we want children to be exercising but to do so not in groups. When it comes to team games, I would not encourage those - the most important bit is the social element around it. If everyone piles up in shared cars, that's not a good thing to do

"So exercising: fine, but cut right down on the social interactions."

Should make the situation pretty clear.

"No wheel sucking", now is the Deputy CMO a bit of a cyclist, or is it just the person who wrote the brief?


Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 22, 2020, 08:47:40 am
On my cycle yesterday I saw three or four times the number of cyclists I might typically see.


Title: Re: Cycling and Covid-19
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 22, 2020, 09:01:04 am
Solo cycling would seem to be fine, but whilst this situation persist, let's hope a sense of responsibility prevails and we aren't assailed by the 3 abreast suburban pelotons which are a common sight these days, particularly at weekends - that certainly isn't social distancing.



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