Biking in a Time of Coronavirus–Bike Newport
April 2, 2020
If you take a look at recommendations for managing this unusual time, safely and by the rules, you’ll see that biking is there. It’s not only safe, it’s recommended for your mental and physical health.
Have you noticed the number of people biking? More every day. The gyms are closed, transit is limited, and cabin fever is real. Biking is a great way to get where we’re going, to stay active and healthy, to maintain social distance, and to find precious time to be alone, clear our heads, elevate our moods, and feel refreshed. Also, the activity of riding improves your immune system. No kidding. And, of course, it’s fun. But you knew all that…
We have a few words of advice and encouragement:
- Ride your bike. Plain and simple. Enjoy the exertion, the solitude, the fresh air.
- Ride responsibly. Wear a helmet and take it easy. Don’t risk using precious medical staff for avoidable injuries.
- Keep your distance. It should be easy to maintain your distance of six feet or more from other people. If it’s too crowded to do so, leave. You have lots of choices of where to ride. See “routes and maps” below.
- Take care of your bike. Check your bike before you ride and keep it well-maintained. Get air and tools at one of our five Fix-It stations around Newport: outside Bike Newport 62 Broadway, behind Thompson Middle School, at the Visitor Center, at Ashmart and at the Florence Gray Center. More repair resources are listed below.
- Ride to the market. If you haven’t done that before, you’re in for a delight. Take your bike for short runs to replenish your milk, eggs, and veggies.
- Meet a friend on the way. You can have both companionship and distance.
At Bike Newport, we’re finding ways to ensure that anyone who wants to ride can do it:
These past two weeks, we distributed lots of bikes with contact-free safe-distance pick-up, and we hope to have more ready soon. If you need a bike, let us know and we’ll see if we can match you with some wheels, or add you to the waiting list. Write to email@example.com and tell us what kind of bike you’re looking for, and how you plan to use it. (We’re prioritizing those who need a bike for transportation.) When we have a bike for you, we’ll set you up with outdoor safe-distance service. We got a couple of love letters from some happy recipients:
“I have to walk a ways to my aunt’s house to use her wifi for distance learning. Now I can get there by bike when my mom is at work with her car. Thank you so much!” – Jamarya
“This is amazing. I really appreciate what you are doing for the families of our community. I can’t thank you enough!!!!!!!!” – Stephanie
Recommended Routes and Maps
For ideas of where to ride, visit the Maps & Rides page of our website. You’ll find suggested routes of varying lengths which you can download or follow on your phone. We never get tired of the Ocean Loop, but there are lots of other choices – Middletown beaches, Conanicut Island, Tiverton and Sakonnet. Change it up a bit and enjoy our beautiful environs. Keep an eye on the current restrictions for parks and bike paths. And tune to @bikenewportri on social media for the latest on recommended riding.
Be sure your bike’s in good working order. You can do most of it yourself, and there’s still help if you need it:
Before riding, do the ABC Quick Check: Air, Brakes, Chain/Cogs/Crank, Quick Releases
Something a bit off? Check our Resources Page for videos on basic bike maintenance and repair. If you need some extra help, we may be able to assist you over the phone with a video call. Get in touch and we’ll connect you with one of our educators.
Need the experts? Local bike shops still have drop-off/pick-up no-contact methods for repairing bikes. Be sure to call ahead.
Resources for Kids
Bring a little bike love to your family activities. Check out printable coloring books and instructional videos under our Ideas for Kids section.
Ride and Share
And let us know: How else can we be helpful to you at this time?
Now get out there and ride.