Transport is one of the biggest concerns with the outbreak of Coronavirus - and as part of social distancing measures, it’s become very difficult getting from one place to another - avoiding human contact wherever possible.
These concerns however, are alleviated somewhat when the type of journeys we take in the UK are considered. Over a third of all trips carried out in the UK are under a couple of miles - and over 60% of journeys are sub five miles.
It makes total sense to take these journeys by bicycle. Short distances can be covered relatively quickly on all kinds of bikes - and cycling allows us not only get where we need to be, but get where we need to be in relative isolation.
Another reason to jump on your bike during this pandemic, is the physical and mental health benefits of getting out and exercising - as the gym is not the ideal place to be right now. Although the roads may seem congested with cyclists in some city centres - even at the point at which you are closest to other people and cyclists - waiting at red lights, you can usually distance yourself by a couple of metres quite easily.
This month, the CEO of British Cycling has written to Matt Hancock, the health secretary to recommend that cycling is put on the UK’s list of recommended activities during the outbreak. Furthermore, over 50 academics and experts have also written to the government, to urge them not to ban cycling if and when a lockdown comes into play.
This represents an excellent opportunity for the government and councils to extend the network of cycle friendly roads and lanes, even temporarily. Some cities, such as Bogota have already put these measures in place. In other cities, such as New York - there has been a drastic increase in the number of people cycling and commuting to work, all in a bid to avoid using cramped public transport - a small way to increase social distancing, which is paying dividends in stopping the spread of the virus.
At Westbrook Cycles, although we are not medical experts - we understand fully the massive health benefits - both mentally and physically that cycling can bring, and the fact that cycling, especially mountain biking can be done alone - is perfect for the time being.