UPDATE 03/26/2020 11:47AM
Bike shops are officially cleared to remain open by the state of Colorado per section 11 of today's updated Public Health Order.
11. Critical Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Critical Operations of Residences or Other Critical Businesses, Including:
Amended Public Health Order 20-24
● Automotive and bicycle repair
● Snow removal
UPDATE 03/26/2020 10:27AM
According to Bike Fort Collins, who was on the phone with Larimer County Health and Environment this morning, bike shops are indeed considered critical businesses and can remain open. I'm working to get official documentation on this.
UPDATE 03/25/2020 9:39PM
On Wednesday, Governor Polis issued Executive Order D2020-017 ordering Coloradans to stay at home due to the presence of COVID-19. Colorado. The order will take effect Thursday, March 26 at 6:00 a.m. and is set to last through Saturday, April 11, 2020.
According to the FAQ released by the Governor's office and posted to the Denver Post, bike riding during the Stay at Home Order is still permissible. As of 9:30 pm, 03/25/2020 bike shops have NOT been deemed as a "Critical Business" and must temporarily close until Executive Order D2020-017 has been lifted.
From the FAQ with regards to bike rides:
"Does the Stay order mean I can’t take my kids to the park?"
State parks will be open. Families will still be able to go outside, including to local parks and outdoor spaces that remain open, and take a walk, run, or bike ride but should continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people. Municipalities are encouraged to extend hours of parks to encourage spacing, and to close parks in which visitors are seen to be routinely violating spacing guidelines. Playgrounds are closed because they pose a high risk of increasing transmission.
From the Executive Order with regards to bike shops.:
I direct all businesses other than those qualified as “Critical Businesses” (YGR-bike shops were not listed) under Public Health Order 20-24 or any Public Health Order issued pursuant to this Executive Order, to close temporarily, except as necessary to engage in minimum basic operations needed to protect assets and maintain personnel functions, as of the effective date of this Executive Order.
All Larime/ County residents have been ordered to stay at home from 5 p.m. Thursday, March 26, through Friday, April 17, in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Full text on the order and further information can be found here.
With regards to cycling:
II. DEFINITIONS AND EXEMPTIONS
A. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence only to perform
any of the following “Essential Activities.” But people at high risk of severe illness
from COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to stay in their residence to the
extent possible except as necessary to seek medical care.
c. To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, biking or running.
F. For the purposes of this Order, “Essential Businesses” means:
g. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, bicycle supply and repair and related facilities, and businesses and operations necessary for maintaining the highways and roads, and public transportation;
Note: due to a normalabundance 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. YGR is not recommending group rides of any type. Ride solo, ride safe.
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:
TTH-show-and-go (suspended for all practical purposes)
WOR-show and go (suspended for all practical purposes)
SOR-show and go (suspended for all practical purposes)
Worlds-show-and-go.(suspended for all practical purposes)
Oval- show-and-go. (suspended for all practical purposes)
COVID-19 Updated Recommendations for Cyclists
Local cyclists, Dr Alan Schenkel, and Zack Allison have updated their recommendations for cycling during the COVI-19 outbreak. Dr Kelby Bethards is busy working his tail off on the frontlines and wasn't able to contribute this time around.
Previous article: Covid-19 and NoCo Cycling
Alan: It’s important to get the word out that we think group rides are no longer feasible. The evidence is that the virus is transmissible by aerosolized droplets from breathing. Physical distancing (not Social! We need to remain social) of more than 6 feet on group road bike rides does not seem to be achievable without strict adherence.
My original recommendation was to spread out, and this is not happening. Just this weekend, Neal Rogers (editor and author at VeloNews.com and now at CyclingTips.com) witnessed tight packs of road cyclists in Boulder. The maximum efficiency of road cycling means tight packs and close drafting. This is fundamentally incompatible with what we need to do to limit transmission. So I cannot recommend any group rides at this time.
Are solo rides OK? Yes, just use your head when planning a ride. Some folks are worried that injury during outdoor physical activity that results in a hospital visit is too much risk since you might end up at an emergency room and be exposed. I would counter that you might fall in your own home and do the same. Don’t ride on bad roads, stick to safer roads/bike paths and think clearly to avoid accidents. Also, don’t depend on gas station/coffee stops for water or food unless you can clean your hands and the stuff you buy. Bring some hand sanitizer at the very least.
Are mountain bike rides or gravel rides OK? Yes, if you can stay apart. It’s easier on mountain bike rides to spread out since it requires a range of skill and strength. On gravel, sometimes that is true as well, but I really want everyone to spread out. Seriously. This is the one time where being dropped is OK. Again, don’t depend on gas station/coffee stops for water or food unless you can clean your hands and the stuff you buy. Bring some hand sanitizer at the very least.
And I wrote before, if you are buying stuff, please take time to clean the outside of the packages with soap/hot water or disinfectant. Very important if you are shopping for elderly or immunocompromised folks. If buying produce, a 2% bleach soak for 5 minutes and rinse in water. Clean your shopping bags with soap and hot water if you use reusable bags. Mail is probably worth a spray with disinfectant, just beware that some can ruin the mail or at least make it soggy. It’s a pain in the ass. But do it please.
Have a plan in case a family member is sick. Can you identify a place in your home where they can sleep, get food, watch TV/use the internet, and have a bathroom to shower and stay warm? Can you help them and clean everything they might touch? It’s not easy. Quarantine is very difficult and can fail. It’s hard to clean everything all the time. But try. Do your best.
And most importantly, try to find a good place to relax and recharge. This will suck. I know some people will be out of work. Economic and family stress is really hard. Be kind when you can, and help others who need help understanding. Stay strong, we love you and want you and your family to make it through this OK.
It’s pretty horrible to have to make such harsh recommendations. It seems like over-reacting. BUT if it works right, these measures will keep us safe and nothing bad happens. That’s the goal here. You do not want to see or read about what happens when people get the worst infections. It’s literally giving my wife nightmares. Over-react, and survive until we have antivirals, and hopefully a vaccine.
Get fresh air and exercise. Eat well (oranges, bananas, cucumbers, and packaged frozen veggies are easy to clean!). Keep a schedule when working at home that includes regular exercise. Help others. We can beat this but it will take time. Stay strong.
TLDR: Ride your bike safely but solo for the next month or so. Clean stuff you buy with soap/water or disinfectant (see the previous article). Stay strong, we love you all.
Zack: Following CDC and State guidelines is the name of the game. Luckily these organizations seem to understand how important it is to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. As a coach I’m recommending no group rides, at all. Group rides are a great way to spread the disease and goes against nearly every regulation we’ve had put out for prevention. If you have a friend that is trying to get a group together, try to educate them. Group rides in cycling are really interesting from a social standpoint. Not many sports have a pick up game style of participating like group rides. I know we all miss riding together and riding with people we know and at many times don’t know. Even if you hear about group rides on internet groups, try to educate someone on the dangers of promoting group riding.
There’s still no timeline on racing or when this will be over enough we can do races or group riding. The olympics being pushed to 2021 is the latest marker that even July events are pushed or canceled. Remember how much fun riding is, and riding alone or with your household is still fun! And riding outside is not canceled. It’s a good thing cycling has invented gravel riding now more than ever as setting up solo, but safe, adventure routes, utilizing the weather, hitting up routes you’ve never done before alone are great ways to get outside, stay healthy, keep fitness and not propagate the disease.