Covid 19 cycling safe distance

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Johnocyprus
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Joined: 13 Jan 2008, 4:12am

Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby Johnocyprus » 28 Mar 2020, 5:17am

I watched a programme on CH 4 and was shocked how easily the virus is transmitted by droplets from the mouth. I cycled around Richmond Park yesterday ( roughly a circular route around 7 miles ) alone however being on my single speed I was overtaken frequently by cyclists many of whom who passed me at less than a metre distance. I’ve been trying to assess the risks of transmission bearing in mind the wind, speed and being outside and I’m not sure if this is safe or not.
Any opinions please?

thatsnotmyname
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Joined: 23 Jan 2020, 10:23am

Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby thatsnotmyname » 28 Mar 2020, 8:40am

Richmond Park is shut now anyway, partly for those reasons. Find quieter routes.

tatanab
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Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby tatanab » 28 Mar 2020, 8:49am

Shut - see article https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/late ... own-452757

Just a wicked thought - can we expect a wider pass from open top cars so that passengers maintain social distancing?

rmurphy195
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Location: South Birmingham

Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby rmurphy195 » 28 Mar 2020, 9:16am

Doing all mine on local roads, and yesterday was pleased to find (for a change) that overt king cyclists went wide around me!

Likewise, I've been moving out when passing pedestrians on the same side of the road as me (where there are footpaths they are very narrow) and, if there are pedestrains going in both directions ahead of me I slow down so I can pass both i.e. not go wide around one at the expense of the other. And avoid as far as possible working hard enough to be panting for breath!

With the narrow pavements I expect peds to step out inot the road to avoid one another (I do this when walking)

And yup, I will be doing the same in my open top car as always with peds/bikes/horses - wide and slow!
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

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Cugel
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Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby Cugel » 28 Mar 2020, 9:53am

Applying basic A-level physics, if you like - perhaps also a bit of O-level biology - it becomes obvious that the 2 metre distancing rule is a very crude tool for prevention of airborne virus transmission between proximate humans. The ability of an airborne virus to pass from one human emitter to another human receptacle will depend on ambient conditions.

Two metres might work in situations where there isn't any significant local air movement; or if a sneezer has a weak sneeze. But in most situations there will be significant air movement, especially outdoors and within the various canalisations of air flows caused by roads or pathways lined with air-confining and directing buildings or hedgebanks.

On another cycling website somewhere is a graphic showing someone's safe calculated separation distances to the next cyclist up the road, which separation distances go up with speed - an obvious consideration, as anyone who has followed a perfumed poser on a bike will know, as the waft of his after-shave lingers even if you are 50 metres behind him.

But static people or those just walking about are subject to air movements caused by winds of various strengths. It might be safe to get as near as 0.5 metres of an infected person if you are upwind; but a risk if you are many metres downwind. It would depend on how long the airborne "miasma" containing the virus can keep that virus viable as it air-travels.

********

Now, all this might sound like the sort of panicky stuff I rail agin' elsewhere. But I mention it to underline the fact that the advice given to us all is very crude, really; and that there are a thousand variations of local conditions that will make that advice of little real use.

But it begs the question: what then to do in my local conditions to avoid virus transmission? I have no easy answer other than to maximise social distancing. This doesn't necessarily mean not going out (although it might for many living in very crowded places) only to attempt making as wide a berth of others as practical in the circumstances.

But in practice it seems unlikely that even more careful social distancing will stop the virus. Slowing it has always been the strategy anyway, to spread the burden on health services. But it's now endemic and, until and unless an effective immunisation programme is available, will stay with us to some degree. If it's like flu in it's ability to survive and it's resistance to immunisation attempts, that may be "for the foreseeable future".

If so, the issue then becomes: what permanent social changes are we prepared to contemplate as a consequence. WIll we all end up becoming anti-social lockdowners, go back to "normal" or something in between?

Cugel

Oldjohnw
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Location: Northumberland

Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby Oldjohnw » 28 Mar 2020, 10:00am

I understand your view, Cugel. And I agree that we will need to wait until their is a vaccine/cure. I fear that we might well need some measure of restriction for a long time.

Whilst direct social intercourse is no longer available, here are some heartening instances of different ways of doing community.
John

Psamathe
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Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby Psamathe » 28 Mar 2020, 10:15am

Oldjohnw wrote:I understand your view, Cugel. And I agree that we will need to wait until their is a vaccine/cure. I fear that we might well need some measure of restriction for a long time.

Whilst direct social intercourse is no longer available, here are some heartening instances of different ways of doing community.

Chatting to my neighbours, apparently there is increased activity on the village online chat room/forum thing (which I never joined, think it's nextdoor.co.uk some free service run by some US corp where privacy seems uncertain ...).

Probably a good job I'm not a member as I'd probably be making myself unpopular; some of the views apparently expressed I'd be "letting rip" against.

Ian

kwackers
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Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby kwackers » 28 Mar 2020, 10:34am

Psamathe wrote:Probably a good job I'm not a member as I'd probably be making myself unpopular; some of the views apparently expressed I'd be "letting rip" against.

Ian

I read the local FB page for my area as well as Nextdoor.
I think of them as the human equivalent of observing the pond life in ones garden.

(They can be fairly depressing though, although occasionally a beacon of light does briefly shine on there.)

Oldjohnw
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Location: Northumberland

Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby Oldjohnw » 28 Mar 2020, 10:45am

kwackers wrote:
Psamathe wrote:Probably a good job I'm not a member as I'd probably be making myself unpopular; some of the views apparently expressed I'd be "letting rip" against.

Ian

I read the local FB page for my area as well as Nextdoor.
I think of them as the human equivalent of observing the pond life in ones garden.

(They can be fairly depressing though, although occasionally a beacon of light does briefly shine on there.)


I'm not talking of Facebook in general but closed local chats or zoom or something.

I have coffee with my neighbor: a fence and several metres away.
John

kwackers
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Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby kwackers » 28 Mar 2020, 11:02am

Oldjohnw wrote:I'm not talking of Facebook in general but closed local chats or zoom or something.

I have coffee with my neighbor: a fence and several metres away.

No doubt you get on with your neighbour.

It's interesting, when we talk face to face we have a measure of someone, we respond to visual clues as well as what they say and how we feel about it.
We can very quickly do a "yes" or "no" decision on whether we want to be their friends or simply enjoy the occasional chat over a coffee.

Social media changes all that, you can't really get away from folk you disagree with.
You end up reading their posts, sometimes with incredulity that someone can hold such views. And of course you can completely misunderstand what they meant when they wrote their post (not helped IMO by the very poor standard of vocabulary some have).

In some ways in the "old days" when we made friends and hung out with them we were very much in our own bubbles. For all of the talk of bubbles, these days you're very much more aware of all the other bubbles.

Oldjohnw
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Location: Northumberland

Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby Oldjohnw » 28 Mar 2020, 11:05am

kwackers wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:I'm not talking of Facebook in general but closed local chats or zoom or something.

I have coffee with my neighbor: a fence and several metres away.

No doubt you get on with your neighbour.

It's interesting, when we talk face to face we have a measure of someone, we respond to visual clues as well as what they say and how we feel about it.
We can very quickly do a "yes" or "no" decision on whether we want to be their friends or simply enjoy the occasional chat over a coffee.

Social media changes all that, you can't really get away from folk you disagree with.
You end up reading their posts, sometimes with incredulity that someone can hold such views. And of course you can completely misunderstand what they meant when they wrote their post (not helped IMO by the very poor standard of vocabulary some have).

In some ways in the "old days" when we made friends and hung out with them we were very much in our own bubbles. For all of the talk of bubbles, these days you're very much more aware of all the other bubbles.


Quite. I left Facebook about 3 years ago. It seemed that increasing people were either just trolling, making outrageous statements which they would never make in person, or misinterpreting or expressing badly.
John

pwa
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Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby pwa » 28 Mar 2020, 11:08am

This crisis has brought out the best in people in our village, with the younger and fitter offering to run errands for the older and frailer. People are still talking to each other, just at a good distance and laughing about the measures they have to take to stay away from each other. I don't think they are taking it too lightly or taking risks, they are just trying to find something to smile about and keep cheery.

We are out for a walk later. My slight chest complaint from yesterday has faded and with the lack of a fever or constant cough I am declaring it "not a big concern", whilst keeping up the distancing. So we will be walking on lanes and public footpaths across fields, carefully avoiding the few local paths where distancing is difficult due to hedges on either side. Paths across fields allow us to go as wide as necessary if we meet others, though we may have to wait if we get to stiles at the same time as others. And if we touch any surfaces the hand sanitiser will be out.

I find most people are on the ball with the distancing thing but the occasional person needs reminding. I tend to do that by telling them what I am doing to keep the distance. Something like "I am going to walk on this side to give you enough distance....", which tends to get the desired result of the other person keeping well to the opposite side of the lane.

eileithyia
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Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby eileithyia » 28 Mar 2020, 2:01pm

Back to safe distances.

I have been making some very conscious efforts to pass fellow cyclists and pedestrians as wide as possible when out and about recently.

Moving out to the centre of the road to avoid give distance. Just wish some of my fellow travellers would do the same.

Yesterday decided to use a tiny local lane that I've not used all winter, tends to have water, gravel, mud etc on it at best of times but as it's been dry recently decided to risk it for a change. 11 pedestrians with a variety of dogs also had the same idea, made up of 5 x 2 and 1 solo...
Sod's law meant that I twice met 2x2 at the point where they were also passing each other meaning there was no space. I decided the best bet was to just stop and wait until they had passed each other then I could pass each group at a distance....

Around our local town I have also been doing distance dancing..... even waiting at a side road junction where pavements are narrow so that others approaching can pass before I can carry on only to find a pedestrian behind walk on oblivious and pass the others at less than 2m.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

geocycle
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Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby geocycle » 28 Mar 2020, 3:58pm

+1 eleithyia, I’ve been riding away from paths and pavement as much as possible. My main concern are joggers who are shedding all sorts of vapours. I’ve also been covering my mouth and nose with a buff when in the vicinity of others on the road, will not directly stop viruseses of course, but might prevent accidental transmission from spitting, it also sends a message to others we are looking out for one another.

Pete Owens
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Re: Covid 19 cycling safe distance

Postby Pete Owens » 28 Mar 2020, 4:41pm

For maximum distancing keep to the roads - and ride well away from the pavement.

There are really very few paths that are wide enough for two users to pass each other and keep 2m apart (try to imagine a path wide enough for a car to be parked in the middle of while you walk/ride either side of it)