Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Sweep
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby Sweep » 26 Mar 2020, 10:41am

nirakaro wrote:Out for a ride in inner-city Leeds today, at what would normally be the tail-end of the rush hour, the main roads mostly had the rather eerie quiet that you get on Christmas day. What's it like elsewhere in the country?

Planning to be riding in london later, will try to report back.
Sweep

Tangled Metal
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby Tangled Metal » 26 Mar 2020, 10:43am

Are bike shops allowed to be open? What about for servicing? Must be quite a few getting their unused bikes out and needing someone to fettle them before they're used for the hourly constitutional exercise.

Halfords was forced to close but garages are allowed to be open. Many use Halfords for bike maintenance.

davewakey
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby davewakey » 26 Mar 2020, 10:49am

CYCLING ON CANAL TOWPATHS: I note that the Canal & River Trust have closed several of their towpaths near me (Wakefield) even when they are bridlepaths. They say it is to keep people away from boats moored nearby. Is this happening all over the country? Again forcing people to ride on roads.

ossie
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby ossie » 26 Mar 2020, 10:55am

Tangled Metal wrote:Are bike shops allowed to be open? What about for servicing? Must be quite a few getting their unused bikes out and needing someone to fettle them before they're used for the hourly constitutional exercise.

Halfords was forced to close but garages are allowed to be open. Many use Halfords for bike maintenance.


I believe so.

roubaixtuesday
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby roubaixtuesday » 26 Mar 2020, 10:56am

Tangled Metal wrote:Are bike shops allowed to be open? What about for servicing? Must be quite a few getting their unused bikes out and needing someone to fettle them before they're used for the hourly constitutional exercise.

Halfords was forced to close but garages are allowed to be open. Many use Halfords for bike maintenance.


Bike shops are exempt.

They may be shut for other reasons eg self isolating, or desire to reduce their own risk. Our LBS is open but only if you phone ahead, no walk in customers.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby Tangled Metal » 26 Mar 2020, 10:56am

They better not close our towpath! Barriers might work better in the canal!!!

gloomyandy
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby gloomyandy » 26 Mar 2020, 11:10am

The Canal and River Trust messaging seems a little mixed (seems to be a common theme). They say:

"Whilst our towpaths remain open, use of them should now be limited.

If our canals and rivers are local to you, and you use the towpath for your daily exercise or journey to undertake essential work, please now avoid any stretches with boats moored against the towpath, and strictly observe social distancing at all times, following the latest advice from Government."

So in theory the paths should be open, but there may be signs asking you not to use them (because you will have to pass close to moored boats). I guess that many of them will be even worse than NCN paths in that it will be hard to maintain the 2m distance if you meet anyone coming the other way. We've pretty much given up on using the local "greenways" here as they are so busy with families and folks walking dogs etc. They seem to be more dangerous than the (now much quieter) roads.
Last edited by gloomyandy on 26 Mar 2020, 11:24am, edited 1 time in total.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby Tangled Metal » 26 Mar 2020, 11:17am

If cycling/walking past moored posts is an issue then near us they should open up the opposite bank. It used to be a marina and boat hire place. That went bust years ago and the wooden jetties taken down. Despite that there's certainly enough mooring space for any boats on that stretch. It's a turning space on the canal hence the large water space available.

I very much doubt it will be closed. It's part of national cycle network and a major resource locally. People commute on it as well as use it for leisure. People walk to shops along it too. Simply, it's part of the local highways in all but name and legality.

MartinFox
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby MartinFox » 26 Mar 2020, 11:51am

Reading through this forum I have been surprised by the rudeness with which some members are treating each other. Please, we are all like minded members of a cycling club and should be able to recognise that not all opinions will agree with ours. We should be able to respect differing views.

For what it’s worth, I have thought long and hard about whether I should continue to cycle during this crisis. My views changed on an almost daily basis and I have been out for a couple of rides in the last week. I have finally decided to stop. Four years ago I hit a pothole, crashed and broke my hip. No cars were involved and I guess it was my fault for not seeing the pothole, but the reality is that it is not always possible to see every danger. Roads get slippery, tires puncture and accidents happen.

I have taken the decision that the NHS has enough problems without me breaking bones. I would find it hard to live with myself if I ended up in a hospital bed at this time. Like most of you, I think, I am concerned about the fitness I will lose, but it will be fun getting it back. This is a personal decision and I continue to respect any members who think differently and continue to cycle.

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mjr
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby mjr » 26 Mar 2020, 11:55am

kwackers wrote:
mjr wrote:Sounds awfully like deep denial.

It's clearly not "no danger" but it is low risk. It's an unnecessary and unwelcome risk. Travel to your nearest park, not a remote forest.

I would argue the denial is going the other way.
Of course it's not "no danger" because you could be unlucky and someone coughing half a mile away could by some freak of nature produce a pocket of virus that didn't disperse and get you whilst sat in your back garden.
'Vanishingly unlikely' is a good phrase though.

Would you agree that idiots who don't follow the advice touching park gates that are then touched by local residents carries a higher risk than your "vanishingly unlikely" example?

mjr wrote:In the meantime I can get a train or a bus and you're concerned some folk are infringing on a bit of underpopulated countryside??

You can get a train or bus but, out here, very very few people are doing that any more.

"Underpopulated". Careful: your anti-ruralism is showing!

The National Trust have closed some of the big parks and stately homes near me (obviously the homes should close but some of them are in huge grounds). Moore nature reserve (a place I often run around) is closed and further afield some of the gated parks have been closed (obviously smaller than the main parks but still...)

Current National Trust policy is to keep their big parks open as a resource for local residents, but close the car parks to discourage unnecessary travel from further away. Only gated parks and grounds are closed, which I'd hope you agree is logical after the sort of crowding seen around entrance gates last weekend.

Nature reserves are not under a single management, so there is some variation. I don't know Moore NR but https://mbasic.facebook.com/moorenr/ makes me wonder if they've misinterpreted the government instructions.

Forestry England seem to have a similar line to the National Trust, closing the car parks and staying partly open, but they're managing it rather differently. The published national advice is to stay away totally, but some forests have announced on local media and noticeboards that they're open except for areas being farmed and asking people to keep to the forest roads.
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby mjr » 26 Mar 2020, 12:05pm

MartinFox wrote:I have taken the decision that the NHS has enough problems without me breaking bones. I would find it hard to live with myself if I ended up in a hospital bed at this time. Like most of you, I think, I am concerned about the fitness I will lose, but it will be fun getting it back. This is a personal decision and I continue to respect any members who think differently and continue to cycle.

Yes, I think I'd be comfortable with that attitude. Thanks for the soothing message.

Personally, I've taken the decision that the NHS has enough problems without my blood chemistry deteriorating and probably putting me in hospital (if I'm lucky!), so I am continuing to cycle on the cycleways and emptying roads, taking extra care at junctions and other hazard points. I would find it hard to live with myself if I ended up in a hospital bed at this time - assuming I survived my time there with this virus about. I'm also mostly riding my upright roadsters which are extremely stable (I've ridden them in winds so gusty and strong that it's ripped parts off the bike!) and give excellent views of the streetscape, rather than my twitchier road bike or folding bike. After all, what's the point in the folding bike when bus and train use is discouraged?

I feel that the vast majority of the population would be better off riding, rather than being inactive or walking in crowded housing estates and the remaining parks that haven't yet been built on, but I won't blame anyone who feels that they personally are at too much risk of injury for not riding for now.

I'll only get annoyed with anyone who pretends that all cyclists have too much risk. ;)
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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thelawnet
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby thelawnet » 26 Mar 2020, 12:11pm

MartinFox wrote:Reading through this forum I have been surprised by the rudeness with which some members are treating each other. Please, we are all like minded members of a cycling club and should be able to recognise that not all opinions will agree with ours. We should be able to respect differing views.


Just to clarify and without wanting to be disagreeable for the sake of it, there is no membership of any cycling club required or implied by posting on this forum....

carpetcleaner
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby carpetcleaner » 26 Mar 2020, 12:13pm

MartinFox wrote:Reading through this forum I have been surprised by the rudeness with which some members are treating each other. Please, we are all like minded members of a cycling club and should be able to recognise that not all opinions will agree with ours. We should be able to respect differing views.

For what it’s worth, I have thought long and hard about whether I should continue to cycle during this crisis. My views changed on an almost daily basis and I have been out for a couple of rides in the last week. I have finally decided to stop. Four years ago I hit a pothole, crashed and broke my hip. No cars were involved and I guess it was my fault for not seeing the pothole, but the reality is that it is not always possible to see every danger. Roads get slippery, tires puncture and accidents happen.

I have taken the decision that the NHS has enough problems without me breaking bones. I would find it hard to live with myself if I ended up in a hospital bed at this time. Like most of you, I think, I am concerned about the fitness I will lose, but it will be fun getting it back. This is a personal decision and I continue to respect any members who think differently and continue to cycle.


We need to stay healthy and that's why the government's strict rules do allow us to go out cycling.

kwackers
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby kwackers » 26 Mar 2020, 12:56pm

mjr wrote:Would you agree that idiots who don't follow the advice touching park gates that are then touched by local residents carries a higher risk than your "vanishingly unlikely" example?

Actually I'd say that if you're out walking and touching gates/latches etc without the means to clean your hands afterwards then local or not you're definitely putting yourself at risk.
I avoid touching such things but mainly because I've no idea whose mitts were all over them previously.

mjr wrote:"Underpopulated". Careful: your anti-ruralism is showing!

Anti-rural? Lol.
Not at all. I am anti-rural-ownership though.
I do get a distinct impression that those folk who live out in the sticks think it's theirs and get mightily offended when townies start intruding on their clean space. ;)

mjr wrote:Current National Trust policy is to keep their big parks open as a resource for local residents, but close the car parks to discourage unnecessary travel from further away. Only gated parks and grounds are closed, which I'd hope you agree is logical after the sort of crowding seen around entrance gates last weekend.

Nature reserves are not under a single management, so there is some variation. I don't know Moore NR but https://mbasic.facebook.com/moorenr/ makes me wonder if they've misinterpreted the government instructions.

Forestry England seem to have a similar line to the National Trust, closing the car parks and staying partly open, but they're managing it rather differently. The published national advice is to stay away totally, but some forests have announced on local media and noticeboards that they're open except for areas being farmed and asking people to keep to the forest roads.

Interesting.
I've deleted the mail now I got from the NT but it distinctly said that due to visitor numbers they'd decided to shut their properties and specifically mentioned not just the car parks and properties but also the grounds.
Similarly I noted that Delamere forest also claimed to be "closed" - something I read twice because tbh I did wonder how they could close it given you can access it from almost anywhere without obstruction.
Perhaps by saying it was "closed" they simply hoped it would prevent too many folk visiting.
But again it's a huge area, so why not leave the car parks open and encourage folk to use it? Gotta be better than folk crowding into the small green spaces.

<edit> A quick look on Tatton Parks website (NT property) suggest it's closed so the mail I got wasn't obviously a complete fabrication.

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mjr
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Re: Cycling as an activity during the Covid 19 outbreak

Postby mjr » 26 Mar 2020, 1:45pm

kwackers wrote:
mjr wrote:Would you agree that idiots who don't follow the advice touching park gates that are then touched by local residents carries a higher risk than your "vanishingly unlikely" example?

Actually I'd say that if you're out walking and touching gates/latches etc without the means to clean your hands afterwards then local or not you're definitely putting yourself at risk.
I avoid touching such things but mainly because I've no idea whose mitts were all over them previously.

Yes, but we don't have a country of 100% advice-following or good sense, so...

mjr wrote:"Underpopulated". Careful: your anti-ruralism is showing!

Anti-rural? Lol.
Not at all. I am anti-rural-ownership though.
I do get a distinct impression that those folk who live out in the sticks think it's theirs and get mightily offended when townies start intruding on their clean space. ;)

Oh I've lived in cities, towns and villages. They're just different. It goes both ways, like how many townies treat a villager who forgets themselves and says "hello" to someone they don't know on their way into town... you'd think we were all carrying axes to harvest some townies for fresh meat!

Perhaps by saying it was "closed" they simply hoped it would prevent too many folk visiting.
But again it's a huge area, so why not leave the car parks open and encourage folk to use it? Gotta be better than folk crowding into the small green spaces.

Has it got to be better? The car parks are not being left open because, sadly, some motorists appear to be idiots and despite all the advice formed crowds in the small car parks and huddled around the exit gates instead of queuing 2m apart. At least any crowds in the small green spaces are all from the same local area, rather than transferring the virus between areas.

<edit> A quick look on Tatton Parks website (NT property) suggest it's closed so the mail I got wasn't obviously a complete fabrication.

Interesting, as you say. I looked at a few NT place websites and almost all of them claim to be closed, including one that I'm sure is still open and others that I'm almost sure cannot physically be closed (the sites - the car parks are easily closed). I suspect there's an element of public relations in the websites lying in order to discourage travel and avoid a repeat of last weekend. The definitive would be to go look at the entrances but I'm not travelling far to do that just now!

It's been some years since I last visited Tatton Park, but that's all fenced and gated, isn't it? So I suspect that one will be closed.
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