Note: due to an overabundance of caution, YGR will forego promoting all local cycling events in the immediate future. Most, if not all, upcoming races and events have been canceled or postponed, with the exception of the Four Season of Horsetooth Challenge which is self-timed.
All local group rides have transitioned to a show-and-go format or have been suspended.
Please keep an eye out for more virtual and self-timed events in the style of the Four Season of Horsetooth Challenge to be announced very soon.
Group Ride Updates:
WOR-show and go
SOR-show and go
Update from Alan, Kelby and Zack:
One of the great things about cycling is that when you're out riding on your own, you have virtually no chance of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, unlike many other sports that require direct contact or take place indoors. I checked in with Alan Schenkel (Ph.D. Department of Microbiology, and Immunology & Pathology at CSU, studied human and monkey immunodeficiency viruses for his Ph.D.), Dr Kelby Bethards-MD (Medical Director, RALLY Pro Cycling) and Zack Allision (professional cyclist, professional cycling coach, event promoter- bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science) to see how we should handle riding in small groups and large groups/races and training. In addition to being experts in their respective fields, they're all active local cyclists.
Nothing particularly surprising here but it reaffirms much of what we already know.
Alan: Kelby and I chatted about this earlier today. It’s possibly safe to ride in groups*, just minimize contact with others. Spread out a bit more. But, there is a lot of unknown risk. We don’t know how well this virus is transmitted by aerosols, even in people without symptoms. Even the flu has been found coming from the air of people just breathing, not just coughing. It’s possible this virus can do the same. Breathing hard might generate more droplets, so maybe spread out more on hard climbs. Bring a bottle of hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes with you, and don’t show up if you are feeling ill at all.
Our lack of experience with this virus is the biggest problem. Conservatively, I would avoid groups as much as possible for the next few months. Yes, months.
The virus can be detected in patients, on average, for about 20 days. Some had a detectable virus for 37 days after admittance to the hospital which could mean 40 days. Worse, many people may be infectious before we know, and may not ever show symptoms. But it can still spread and be devastating to others. It literally wrecks lung tissue in the worst cases.
If you choose to ride with a group, I’m recommending people monitor themselves each day for fever and any symptoms, and that they err on the side of caution by bailing out if they feel even the slightest bit ill. Snot rockets and coughing should be done off the back of the group at all times, but especially now. If there are any other risk factors (either your own medical issues or people you care for), then not joining the group rides for now is best.
IMPORTANT: If you ride with someone who is infected, and subsequently become infected, please, please! let me know. We do not have any information on this, and I would like to follow up on it.
I’m hopeful we can get antiviral drugs and a vaccine in production. Antivirals are still our main weapon against HIV. Tamiflu will not work, it is specific to influenza viruses. But others may work, and there is one candidate already in testing. The vaccine will need to be safety tested so will take time. The caveat is if we need to develop new antivirals specific to this virus, they may be not optimal for a few years.
Another thing I’d add is that if you are in a high-risk group or care for someone who is, be sure to clean things you get from the store. They might carry virus too. Use lysol, peroxide (but not on leather goods) rubbing alcohol, or wipes for most surfaces. Use dilute bleach for produce like lettuce & grapes (https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_452.pdf). Pre-packaged stuff is easiest, so all you have to do is wipe down the outer surface of the packaging. You might use your debit card more too - less contact with others - but touch screens might be contaminated as well. Use a wipe on it first.
Kelby: As many people may have seen on cyclingnews.com, the team physicians from many teams across the globe, called upon the ASO, RCS and UCI to make a plan for COVID-19 or cancel races until we know more. This was NOT because the riders would spread illness in the peloton. Cycling as a professional sport, is a traveling circus, with riders, staff, media, etc all staying in hotels together, sitting in the dining rooms together. It’s also one of the few sports where fans are mingling around outside our busses, waiting to see the riders. This time of year, every team has a rider or 2 get sick. So, do they have COVID? We thought it best, to not have cycling teams and as a sport, be the vector of COVID-19. It is unlikely that it would cause much harm to healthy people, but for the reasons Alan and I chatted about, it could have been a bad thing for the sport of cycling. We, RALLY, have suspended racing in April (possibly longer), but our riders are still going on rides. Training. Group rides, etc. As Alan astutely wrote, if you don’t feel good, don’t go on the group rides. It’s not a very likely scenario for transmission, but don’t take the risk.
For now, expect to see A LOT of races getting canceled and postponed. Even talking to the RALLY admin, I don’t know what to tell them, in terms of what the season will look like, because, we just don’t know. Most of you know me, if you have questions.
Zack: From a coaching perspective, based on the latest COVID - 19 data and heat maps, we are going to shift nearly all-athlete calendars. More than half of my athletes peak events are postponed or canceled. While we aren’t 100% sure of a timeline, looking at the numbers from mainland China and making some broad assumptions, the virus is not going to last years but months. If we’re looking at an athlete that had an A race event in March or April that is now canceled, anything from Belgian Waffle Ride, Dirty Kanza, Redlands classic, etc, we are now going to push their A, or peak time of year to look for events between August and October. This timeline is very similar to that of a rider with a peak event in May and building periodization from November. We’re now back in November planning your peak event for 5 months from now. The bright side is we get to do our build phases through spring and summer when the weather is nice, we have access to more group rides, safely please, and it's a really fun time of year to gain fitness without fighting winter. Yes there’s always Zwift but similar to flu season, be cautious of modes of transmission for the virus, but remember cycling isn’t canceled, outside isn’t canceled, and utilize your coach to make sure when the races are cleared for takeoff, don’t be on the back foot fitness-wise.
USA Cycling Statement:
Due to the latest data on COVID-19’s spread and the healthcare system’s ability to manage this crisis, USA Cycling is recommending cancellation of all sanctioned events immediately and calling on all race and event directors, clubs, coaches, athletes, and members to postpone or cancel all scheduled races and events immediately. This includes any gatherings such as group rides, in-person group meetings, etc.
We are suspending permits on all events through April 5th.
USA Cycling will continue to monitor and meet with partners to assess the state of this national emergency and its impact on the cycling community.
We are taking measures within our control and asking everyone involved in this sport to protect our community so we can get back to riding and racing with everyone in good health as soon as possible.
Video update from USA Cycling: