With the unique situation our world is in right now, there are a lot of questions surrounding biking and what is acceptable or available during this time of social distancing. Springtime is usually the time of year that bike enthusiasts take their gear out of hibernation and hit the roads, trails, and greenways, but where can we go, and what are best practices? For those who are just taking up biking as a new activity, what are the rules? What safety precautions should we take?
There are many resources available to help answer all your questions, and we compiled a short list below to give you answers and get you back out on the road or trail safely!
PeopleForBikes is an organization that works to make bicycling better, to make it easier to access, and to ensure safer places to ride. Part of this mission includes providing information for cyclists during the pandemic on what the rules are in each state regarding outdoor recreation and essential businesses. They have created an interactive map which allows you to click on your state to see what guidance or restrictions are in place and what that means for biking. You can find the map on this page of their site: State Actions During COVID-19
Note: The requirements of each state are changing frequently, and PeopleForBikes is updating their information as quickly as possible. They also provide links to each state’s coronavirus page, so you can double check that day’s information. Also note, some regional and local governments may have stricter policies. It is always best to check your local city or county sites, as well.
READY TO RIDE?
Now that you have found out when you can ride, where can you go? Many cities have closed some roads to vehicles to allow for walking and biking on these neighborhood streets during the sheltering in place period. If you are looking for more of a mountain adventure or just a larger paved trail, you can find a very comprehensive list of trails by state at TrailLink. Scroll down this page to find the link to your state, where you will find descriptions of each trail and reviews. Also available is a map where you can click to see which trails are nearest to you or you can browse by city.
Note: Some of these trails are in national parks, which may not be open to the public during COVID-19. The National Park Service has provided a state-by-state listing of their parks here, and most parks are linked with any closings or alerts listed. For local trails and roads, please visit your city or county website to see what is available for public use.
FOR NEW BICYCLISTS
Riding a bike is a great way to get exercise and fresh air during a time when your options are limited. Plus, you may just find your new passion! Make sure to get off on the right foot (or should I say, pedal) by learning the rules and safety measures you should follow when riding.
If you plan to ride on paved surfaces, Road Bike Rider has a great beginner’s guide to Road Bike Riding that can help with everything from bike and gear selection to maintenance basics. If you are thinking off-road trails are more your speed, it’s great to know what trails are good for new riders and the different rules that apply. As mentioned before, TrailLink has a great list of paved and unpaved trails, but you can also visit The International Mountain Bicycling Association to find mountain trails by difficulty level (under Rides) and Rules of the Trail. The US Forest Service also gives great general rules for riding in forests or heavily wooded areas.
Bicycling Magazine is also a great resource for beginner tips on everything biking.
We are all looking forward to being able to ride freely in our favorite areas with friends who share our passion for biking and we hope that day will come soon. Until then, ride safe and stay healthy.
StoreYourBoard provides racks and accessories for bikes to keep your equipment safely stored and ready to ride when you are.