Looking for a Safe Outdoor Activity Amid the Coronavirus? Go for a (Solo) Bike Ride

bike ride
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Are you tired of coronavirus isolation yet? Sure, staying home and working from your couch all day is great—until the snacks run out, and that balmy spring weather makes you ache to be outside.

Good news: Getting some fresh air and exercise is still possible, even beneficial, amid the voluntary social distancing and isolation applied to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. And as many bike shop owners and even a few city governments will tell you, one of the best ways to do it is going for a bike ride. Whether you need to get to the store or just get some exercise, hopping on your bike is a great idea, and lots of local bike shops are ready to help.

Across the country, bike stores are staying open even as most other businesses shut down. At first glance, you might think that biking isn’t exactly a high priority during a pandemic. But as one Los Angeles local bike shop recently pointed out on Instagram, bikes are much more than just a tool for fun and recreation. Many people rely on them to get around, and are now using bikes as a germ-free alternative to public transportation. On top of that, lots of people ride as part of their jobs—just think of the person on a delivery bike who brings your takeout lunch order.

“We’re trying to stay open to serve the community,” Peter Vermeren, the owner of Los Angeles-based Coco’s Variety Shop, said in the video above. “We think that cycling is important, especially at times like this.”

The Path Bike Shop in Orange County, Calif., pointed out that riding is an ideal way to get fresh air and exercise without passing germs between people: “Riding a bike outside is one of the best ways to practice social distancing.”

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In the interest of keeping our customers, employees, our families and our community healthy and safe, we are postponing our annual Spring Sale event that is on the calendar for this Sunday, March 22. Once we are in the clear and things get back to normal, we will find a new date to throw one heck of a party and celebrate together. Thank you for your understanding and continued support through all of this. In return, we are here for you. Both Path locations remain open for regular business hours. For everyone’s safety, we continue to disinfect surfaces in our shops. We also ask that customers and staff keep their distance and refrain from handshaking, fist bumping, etc. Please let us know if you’d rather meet in our parking lot to discuss a particular bike or other product, and we will accommodate. We are happily offering curbside pick up of anything you need to be able to get out and ride, and contact-free drop off and pick up of bikes that need service work. We can also bring new product or your freshly repaired bike right to your door, or take your broken one to either of our locations to get you rolling again ASAP. Please call or text either of our locations with any questions or needs you may have. We are here to support and help you, and keep you riding through all of this — because riding a bike outside is one of the best ways to practice social distancing. And once our trails dry out, we are going to have some amazing dirt to ride! . . . #covid_19 #localbusiness #socialdistancing #bikeservice #pickupanddelivery #curbsideservice #thepathbikeshop #thepathbikeshopliveoak #lovethebikeyouride #localbikeshop

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From New York to Wisconsin and beyond, shops are going to great lengths—including sanitizing bikes and separating employees from customers—to keep people pedaling. Government and health officials are starting to get on board, too. Cities like Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Berlin have declared that bike shops are an essential service. That means they’re allowed to remain open even as strict social-distancing measures are put in place.

Biking has always been a great form of exercise and outdoor exploration, and Covid-19 hasn’t changed that. Of course, make sure to check with your local health authority for the latest guidance before heading out. As a general rule, remember to keep your distance from others, and take a tip from Arnold Schwarzenegger, who posted this helpful PSA while out for a ride earlier this week:

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