Cycling in the time of Corona

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  • Genuine question... lots of people on here seem to be het up about more or less than an hour. Can anyone point me in the direction of government advice, or official public health source that states this?

  • How come you missed that cyclists mental health is top priority for UK government during a pandemic?

  • it's clear that the harm caused by allowing people to exercise is far less than the harm of preventing it.

    [citation needed]

  • Can anyone point me in the direction of government advice, or official public health source that states this?

    No. Because there isn't any.

  • Strawman much?

  • Huh? Sorry perhaps you meant to reply to someone else? I made no claim that the government should make cyclists’ mental health a top priority. I asked a question in good faith.

    People in this thread have made the claim that people’s once daily exercise activity should be limited to one hour, and my interpretation is that some people think that this advice is official government advice.

    I went for a 2 hour run today following social distancing guidelines and I don’t want to be doing the wrong thing or putting anybody at risk. So, I’m just trying to ascertain whether this 1hour exercise limit is something that has been advised by public health professionals (in which case I’m happy to trust them but I’d like to see that advice myself). Or whether this limit is simply what some people on the internet think other people should do.

    If it’s the latter, that’s fine. My personal opinion is that the government reaction has been slow and insufficient throughout this crisis, so I’ve no inherent reason to doubt that these particular guidelines are similarly deficient. However, I’m still going to ask to see the evidence behind these claims if for no other reason than be because I’m interested and want to be informed to the best of my ability.

    If there is no advice and there is no evidence then shrug I’m sure we can happily move along.

  • Here is exactly what Boris said:

    That is why people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes: Shopping for basic necessities as infrequently as possible; one form of exercise a day, for example, a run, walk, or cycle alone or with members of your household; any medical need to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and traveling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home. That’s all. These are the only reasons you should leave your home. You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say no. You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home. You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine, and you should do this as little as you can and use food delivery services where you can.

    Clearly there is room for interpretation, but if you interpret that to mean anything other than do the minimum you can to stay healthy then you're misinterpreting it.

  • ... and all of this debate is still ridiculous in the face of people packing into a tube like before because so many businesses declare themselves to be 'key', or in the face of all the stories emerging about companies not giving a single fuck about 'social distancing' internally.

  • That's why all of this debate will be futile by the end of the week, when the rules will have tightened again because of few people not giving a fuck. To which I say, go out now if you can, for what will be your last ride in a while, if you are really desperate.

  • Do not question the wisdom of the audax ancients!!

    (seriously they're saying they don't know because there's no evidence so get full non-expert points)

  • No it's not ridiculous.
    You're comparing two different things. You're comparing awful companies forcing people to work and people on here arguing about what is right, practical, and ultimately morally in line with the situation around exercise. If you wanted a comparison, this is comparable to people picking up 3 extra tins of beans because they can rather than they need them.

    /Histrionic over the top comparison

    (Im ill and my kids woke up at 6 banging and shouting and tbh why can't they just be fucking silent?)

  • Yes, I'm comparing two different things, that's how comparisons usually work. Makes it absolutely no less valid though. Fact is, you are very very unlikely to either get or spread the virus on your cycle around Richmond Park or wherever, yes, even if you do 8 laps. And any discussion about how likely it is is completely moot in the face of how the situation looks even just in the average supermarket.

    (Also woke up shortly after 6, though without kids. If I'm getting more and more aggressive on this forum, it's because this whole 'lockdown' thing is getting to me and I haven't even had to stop going for my runs yet.)

  • Fucking cats woke me up. Every. Single. Day.

  • because of few people not giving a fuck

    Because whoever is in charge doing this whole thing is looking at completely the wrong thing, more like. It's fucking inconceivable to me how anyone could consider stopping people from going outside for some exercise, a super low-risk activity, before even devising a proper procedure to minimise infection risks in supermarkets, or public transport for that matter. Fucking hell, some people really are foaming at the mouth to go full authoritarian on this without looking at any options or alternatives.

    South Korea still hasn't had an actual lockdown btw.

  • Because one is simple to do - stop going out - and the other is really hard - rebuilding a critical food supply chain.

  • Sorry, the reply was to your comment but highly sarcastic in response at some previous comments made by others...
    Stay safe!

  • rebuilding a critical food supply chain.

    You don't have to completely 'rebuild' things though.

    1) Limit the number of people who can go into a supermarket at the same time, based on the square footage of the publicly accessible areas. Once you're at the limit, it's one in, one out.

    2) Make people more aware of, and try to enforce the distance rules inside the supermarket - way easier when there's not tons of people piling up anyway.

    3) Disinfect stuff like trolley handles etc. regularly, ideally every single time it's returned to the queue at the front.

    Instead, if you're in a supermarket, apart from emptier shelves and the occasional person with a mask, most of the time you might as well think things were completely normal. Do they really want to tell me that people going on a walk or run in the sunshine is 'taking the piss' and a big risk for the spread of the infection in the general population, but piling into a supermarket as normal is just what we do?

    Similarly, with public transport, for heaven's sake don't reduce the service. Leave it exactly as it is unless it is actually completely empty. Don't force the people still taking public transport into a tighter space.

    Also, one could think about staggering opening hours of all those 'essential businesses' out there, so that the people who still have to get to work don't have to take the same rush hour train / tube / bus. Flattening the curve, anyone?

    All of that are measures one could think about, which limit people in specific, but comparatively small ways, but could definitely have a noticeable impact vs just continuing as before. But no, let's jump straight to putting everyone under house arrest instead...

  • The government isn't there to triage every application of "common sense" in this situation. As I noted before there are loads of people who would use their "common sense" to do stupid shit that clearly leads to the increased spread of this virus. The government's role is giving general advice about going out as little as you can and exercising social distancing when you do. The very clear message is that this is not a time for business as usual. As such they are not trying to limit cycling while ignoring the situation in supermarkets, they are giving general guidance which is not always easy to enact.

    The fact that the advice is difficult to follow and has not yet been enforced in supermarkets or on public transport is not an excuse to contravene the clear spirit of the guidance and risk making things worse. "They're not doing it, so I don't have to!" is not a good argument. It's a bit like speed limits: they are the absolute upper bound for speed, you don't get to exceed them just because your common sense says that you can do so safely (people doing this is what leads to all manner of wankerish driving); however, you can drive at a lower speed than the speed limit if you feel that the conditions require it. At this point the aim is to stick to the suggested actions or be even more stringent if you can, not to look for ways to get round the clear spirit of the guidance.

  • As such they are not trying to limit cycling while ignoring the situation in supermarkets

    ... that's exactly what it works out to be though.

    "They're not doing it, so I don't have to!" is not a good argument.

    That is absolutely not my argument at all.

    My argument is that it is absolutely fucking ridiculous how people are arguing whether they should go for a cycle that is longer or shorter than one hour or whatever, when any change in that by nature low-risk behaviour is rendered entirely, completely ineffective by the actually large risks of infections that still exist out there, unchanged.

    The government isn't there to triage every application of "common sense" in this situation.

    I'm not sure I understand what this means. Triaging ideas of how to contain the spread is exactly what they should be doing. Any limitation of people's freedoms in general is something that needs to be done as a result of a balance of things. I very much expect a non-authoritarian government to start with measures that have the largest mitigating impact on the spread, but the smallest impact on people's lives. Such as telling people to work from home wherever possible: it has a certain impact, but sure, it makes a lot of sense and takes a good number of people out of high-risk zones like tubes and buses.

    Ffs I sound like a fucking libertarian saying this, and I usually despise them: but no, I'm not prepared to willingly throw all of my 'civil liberties' out of the window immediately, and I think people in general should be a bit more wary about calling for the army to impose a total curfew, as I have read multiple people do in the last few days (not so much on this forum luckily, to be fair).

    And from that standpoint, I would very much expect police to be used to enforce rules in heavily frequented places like supermarkets and public transport and parks where people are having a picnic in a large group, before they start telling people they can't go for a bloody cycle.

    Of course this is not the time to go for that audax you've always wanted to do. Of course this is not the time to try a new mtb trail that might see you go to hospital. Of course this is not the time to descend like Cancellara to go break some personal record. Very possibly it's not even the time to get back into cycling if you haven't done it in a while and don't feel very confident on a bike. Nowhere have I said people should just go do whatever, of course we want to mitigate risks. But this discussion about whether you can continue to do the same low-risk activities you've been doing forever, be it a walk, or a cycle, or a run, is still just ridiculous. And not only is it just something people like to do in general, it has proven benefits for both your physical and mental health, which will only be all the more important as one spends the rest of the time cooped up in the on average not exactly generous UK flat or house. (And no, we don't all have a balcony or a garden, or even a tiny front patio)

  • Drivers in the UK will be permitted to drive without renewing their MOT for a period of up to six months during the coronavirus special measures.

    BUT CYCLISTS!!!!

  • "They're not doing it, so I don't have to!" is not a good argument.

    That is absolutely not my argument at all.

    My argument is that it is absolutely fucking ridiculous how people are arguing whether they should go for a cycle that is longer or shorter than one hour or whatever, when any change in that by nature low-risk behaviour is rendered entirely, completely ineffective by the actually large risks of infections that still exist out there, unchanged.

    Then that is pretty much your argument. You are saying "risk isn't being minimised elsewhere, so why should I minimise risk myself?" The problem is that there is a positive feedback loop here. If people see us all lycra-ed up they will think, "well that blokes carrying on as usual, why shouldn't I do my usual thing of heading round to my mate's for a beer and chat." I think appearances are important now, as all the small additional risks add up over a country of 60 million people.

    I agree that people should still be able to go out and exercise. I'm just drawing attention to the fact that what a lot of people here consider to be a normal amount of exercise does not appear normal to others right now, and is probably far more than the minimum required to just keep things ticking over for a couple of months.

    Triaging ideas of how to contain the spread is exactly what they should be doing. Any limitation of people's freedoms in general is something that needs to be done as a result of a balance of things.

    Indeed, but the government does not have the resources to go through every activity and say "person X your common-sense idea of what you can do while minimising impact on others is fine but [person Y] your idea is not." The best they can do is offer guidance and ask us to do what we can.

    TBH, I'm not that bothered about people cycling right now, it's a shitload better than other forms of exercise. I'm just irritated that people think "my risk assessment is fine, but we can't trust other people's".

  • Agree with your overall point. Perhaps another way to look at the

    large risks of infections that still exist out there, unchanged.

    Is that we have changed a huge amount of behaviours in society in this recent short period and they should surely have an impact on the data when it catches up. To focus on the existing points of spread is also to ignore the good we have done by and large in this short time... I know that wasn't the main intention of your comment.

  • It's a central tenet of all of our public health policy. Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
    And PHE and the government have decided that preventing exercise(with social distancing) would be deleterious to the mental and physical health of citizens to an extent that outweighs the risk of people staying at home 24/7.

    It's even the crux of the helmet debate isn't it? It's better for public health to have people out on their bikes exercising at the risk of a few extra head injuries than have fewer people out exercising at all.

  • Also. Our fucking neighbour decided to have some of what we think was her family around for a fucking BBQ yesterday - kids running around in the back garden and loads of fucking randoms stopping by.

    Called 101. They were useless. Met Police better by DM on Twitter. Local cops given a report but no cops showed up for a quiet word / bollocking.

    Go ride your bike.

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Cycling in the time of Corona

Posted by Avatar for skydancer @skydancer

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