So the mayor of New York City is strongly recommending bike riding instead of taking the subway as a way to reduce the possibility of spreading coronovirus (although he hasn’t yet increased safe access for bike riders in conjunction with that recommendation — see Die-ins in New York City and Your City). And this gets me thinking about how bike riding is such a natural fit for this current global disaster.
Those of us Traveling at the Speed of Bike already do the nod, the wave, and the ding ding ding of our bells to greet people without touching them. We also have rubber-hits-the-road experience of how bike riding reduces stress and improves health, while having positive impacts on the environment, local businesses, and more.
Want to ensure even more social distancing? BikeNoodle, folks. I’m not kidding here. In my three years of using it, it almost completely eliminated close passing and driver aggression (both of which serve as barriers to more people riding bikes in our cities while we wait for NACTO*-recommended infrastructure to catch up with demand). The average distance by which I’m passed while using BikeNoodle is six feet. See for yourself:
If you haven’t ridden a bike in a while, it may not hurt to secure access to a bike (no bike share yet in Dunwoody, Georgia, but the mayor told me she is working on it this spring) and brush up on some skills. As a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor, I created a proprietary two-hour class from the full nine-hour Smart Cycling curriculum, which I gave to women throughout metro Atlanta for free for the past few years. I have since boiled that down to this FREE 30-minute online class. You may find something in here helpful:
Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any additional assistance (although I’m scheduled to be in the USA for just 10 more weeks before I leave for Peace Corps Uganda — here’s my Peace Corps and coronavirus update). You may also find my book, Food for My Daughters particularly timely. And Bucket List is a fast, fun, two-hour read if you’re quarantined and tired of TV, and I dropped that price to rock bottom for your convenience. See more free resources here and here.
* Note: If your city is still using American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standards for street design, you are operating back in the dinosaur age, according to Janette Sadik-Khan (the former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation; an advisor on transportation and urban issues; and the author of the informative book, Street Fight). See here for the best little chart since the Mesozoic Era.