Before you say anything, yes this is another article about COVID-19 (coronavirus). However, we’re currently getting a lot of questions about whether or not it’s safe to ride a bike outdoors so we think it’s an important one.
The short answer to can I still ride my bike outdoors? is yes ... but with some qualifications.
With the situation changing regularly, it’s easy to be confused.
People across the country are now being told to stay at home to stop the spread and 'flatten the curve'. This includes stricter guidelines regarding gatherings of more than two people.
However, governments are still recommending that people continue to be active (with some strict guidelines regarding the gatherings of more than two people.)
In fact, it’s never been more important to look after your physical and mental health.
In the current environment, bike riding is one of the best ways to still get the 30 minutes of exercise you need each day. Of course, we need to make sure we're maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres, self isolating when required and practicing good hygiene.
Advice for riding your bike outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic
Bicycle Network has the following advice for bike riding. This advice was last updated on Wednesday 1 April 2020 and assumes that you are not sick or self-isolating. Guidelines can also vary from state to state.
- You can go for a ride by yourself, with one other person, or with people that you live with. You should adhere to physical distancing guidelines and stay 1.5 metres apart if riding with someone you don't live with.
- Do not go on any group, organised training or bunch rides.
- In some states it is now an offence to ride in groups and you can be fined by police, as per prohibited gatherings rules or stay at home guidelines.
- Riding a bike to the supermarket, chemist or work is ok and a good thing to do. We should be limiting our trips away from home, so consider going for a longer ride and finishing at the shops or work so you get the 30 minutes of exercise adults need each day (for children and young people it's 60 minutes of activity).
- If you’re working from home and going for a ride to get your daily exercise you should avoid stopping and be mindful of where you place your helmet, glasses, gloves etc. Keep them with your bike or on your person rather than placing them down somewhere.
- When you return from a ride, wash your hands thoroughly and wipe down your bike, helmet and any gear.
- Keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres from any other person you see while out on your bike.
If you’re self-isolating and feeling well, set up a stationary bike with an indoor trainer if you’ve got one.
This advice has been pulled together from relevant health, government and sporting bodies. If this changes, we will update it as necessary. Advice for people in Victoria comes from the leaving premises for exercise clause in the Stay at Home Directions given on 30 March 2020.
Please keep checking this page.
Need a service?
We've done a quick call around of the major bike stores and mechanics, and it seems many bike shops are still open for business — but closely following the governments advice and restricting store access inline with social distancing measures, as well as implementing strict hygiene policies for staff and customers.
If you need to book your bike in for a fix-up, it is highly recommended to call ahead, as some shops are only taking online bookings or opening by appointment only.
State guidelines (updated 31 March 2020)
These guidelines have been taken from current government documents or websites. Please always refer to your relevant state health department website if unsure should this change.
Relevant government websites:
Section 9, page 4. - "Note: The effect of clause 11 is that a person can only exercise with people that live at the same premises; or alternatively with one other person with whom they do not ordinarily reside."
As per the NSW Health website - Coronavirus FAQs
"While practising social distancing, people can leave to seek medical care, buy food and supplies, exercise or go to work or education (if you can’t do so from home). For those activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities and childcare - social distancing includes:
"only being in public spaces with members of your household or one other person (two-person rule)."