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Pedaling through the Pandemic

07/14/2020

By Sultan White, Elemental Excelerator Mobility Intern

Disclaimer: Please check Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) regularly for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

are we allowed to ride and is it safe?

While we must all do our part to slow the spread of coronavirus by social distancing and staying at home as much as possible, research shows that it may come at the cost of our mental health and well-being. I know I’m not the only one who’s felt a little stir crazy staying home all day. Thankfully, biking (my favorite outdoor activity) is considered a low-risk activity and it is not currently a restricted activity in the State of Hawaiʻi! Biki riders can rest assured that we are taking extra precautions to ensure our kiosks, bikes, and stations are regularly and thoroughly disinfected for your safety. 

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What equipment should I wear?

Hawaii's mask mandate, requires everyone on O‘ahu to wear face coverings over their noses and mouths at indoor public spaces as well as outdoor areas. However, there are a few circumstances exempt from the Order, such as when individuals are engaging in physical activity. 

 

While you are NOT required to wear a mask on a Biki bike, it's good to have one in your back pocket in case you need to stop somewhere. It's not recommended to breathe through a damp or sweaty mask, but if you choose to wear a face covering while riding, consider this full-face visor attached to a bicycle helmet! If you are a first responder and use your bike to help during the pandemic, they will even donate one to you.

 

Recent research has found it’s likely that 90 percent or more of the virus when found on a surface will be inactivated after being exposed to midday sunlight for between 11 and 34 minutes.  However, you should continue to do everything you can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Bring some hand sanitizer or wipes with you to use before and after your ride, or wash your hands with soap as soon as possible. And, remember not to touch your face! The virus can enter the body through the nose, mouth or eyes. I know we all get that urge to wipe the sweat away, but for now you’ll have to let it drip!

 

Using bikeshare is no riskier than interacting with other shared surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails and benches, so the same prevention tips apply. 

Boost your immune system!

As long as you are not already sick or showing symptoms, exercising and cycling could actually boost your immune system. Cycling not only keeps you physically strong, but also positively affects your mood and emotions. The mind-body connection is so powerful that being happy can lead to a healthier and longer life

 

Absolutely DO NOT exercise if you are already sick, have symptoms such as a fever and cough, or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. “Sweating it out” is a myth and can prolong your illness AND you can put others at risk of catching your illness. Other than exercise, plenty of sleep and a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables are highly recommended.

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Is it safe to ride in groups?

Biking remains one of the best activities to stay socially distant while still enjoying the company of your family and friends! This is one of the reasons the popular Kalakaua Open Street Sundays events have been extended through the end of July. The safest option is to exercise outside alone, rather than in gyms with big groups of people. It's a good idea to maintain 6ft of physical distance when riding and while at Biki Stops. 

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