This is probably the last BikeLife post for a while. I’ve decided NOT to ride on the road until the virus is over. Today alone I’ve had three Amber Alerts on my phone, from the state of New Mexico, saying “Please stay at home.” I actually felt bad being on the road. Had one guy really lay on the horn and I could tell it was because I was, in essence, breaking the rules. I did see four other bikes and one runner.
Also, a report this morning from our cycling God friends in Dutchlandia. According to the report, which makes complete and total sense, we need to be A LOT further apart when running or riding. A lot further apart. Even if we have wind. Now, a lot of industry folks are trying to downplay this report, which I also understand, asking people to take a deep breath because this report hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet. I don’t know about you but I can’t imagine the peer review process working under normal timelines let along during an international pandemic. I also remember Gertrude Bell being told a woman would never be capable of writing a “white paper.” So, times change.
The reason I think this report makes total sense is easy. Gum. Arctic Blast Grape to be exact. The kind where the flavor dies about eight seconds after you begin chewing. About a month ago I was doing yoga on a patio with one other person who was twenty feet away. They were chewing said gum. And the smell was so strong in my nose from twenty feet away I had to move my mat. Just a slight breeze. Ever since the virus hit I’ve been thinking about this exact moment. Six feet when someone is coughing does not seem like a smart distance. But hey, what do I know? A team of experts releasing a report yet to be peer-reviewed is still going to get my attention.
My long-term goal in life. Get more butts on bikes. Here in the United States. This will be a completely thankless task. I know because I’ve been working on it for a while now. There are tiny glimmers of hope but the long-term projection isn’t good at all. But guess what? I’m gonna do it anyway. Buckle up.