COVID-19 Biking Guidelines

Daily life has dramatically changed for all of us as we follow Shelter in Place (SIP) ordinances to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, there is disruption to public transit to adhere to social distancing guidelines from (50 people on a bus to only 8) and carpooling feels unsafe for many, leaving fewer transportation options overall. One of the original social distance vehicles, the bicycle, offers a solution for many.

Biking is an excellent outdoor activity to break the tedium and the sedentary stay-at-home routine. Cycling is a good cardiovascular workout that strengthens your immune system and is compliant with social distancing. The risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19 while biking is minimal (here’s an article on this topic) if you stay at least 6 feet from others on the road.

SIP Biking Guidelines:

  • Ride locally. Stay on local paths, streets, and trails. The farther your venture from home, the greater the risk that you’ll need someone’s help to get home if something goes wrong.
  • Ride solo or with members of your household. Stay six feet or more from any other riders or people you encounter.
  • Ride within your limits. Daily moderate exercise is best for your health and immune system. It also reduces the likelihood of crashing.
  • Ride safely by being predictable, visible, alert, and aware of other road users.
  • Bike for your health. If you are an essential worker or you work at an office or another allowable worksite, try biking your commute. You can also travel by bicycle for essential trips like the grocery store, the pharmacy, picking up prepared food, or even dining out at your favorite local eatery.
  • Bike on paths, on low-traffic streets, and on streets with bike lanes. The Santa Cruz County Bike Map identifies biking routes. Traffic is still lighter than usual, but it’s beginning to pick up.
  • Check your bike if you haven’t ridden in a while to make sure it’s in working order by getting an inspection and a tune-up at a local bike shop. Bike shops are essential businesses, and local shops are following health safety guidelines to keep their employees and customers safe. Bike shops are extremely busy, so call to make a check-up appointment right away.

Local Biking Resources:

Ecology Action

Bike Santa Cruz County

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz

Community Traffic Safety Coalition

UCSC Transportation and Parking Services