Bicycles have suddenly become the It accessory to own.
In countries such as China and India, sales of bicycles have gone up at a rate faster than the coronavirus' infection rate. This unprecedented rise also takes place in Indonesia, where even the CEO of extravagant foldable bike Brompton was said to be amazed at the number of orders received from the country. Meanwhile, cool cities ranging from Milan and New York City to Mexico City have expanded their cycle lanes to encourage cycling.
How, then, did this humble mode of transportation evolved into everyone's must-have plaything?
The main driving force behind it is the pandemic. With people requiring a type of outdoor exercise that enables social distancing during lockdown and public transportation essentially a hotbed for coronavirus transmission, the most sensible solution is indeed the bicycle.
In Jakarta, cycling has increased by 500 per cent, which is no surprise given the city's infamous traffic congestions and even more so since Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) have been relaxed – albeit inconsistently – for the last couple of months.
With the COVID-19 outbreak still at large, however, there is still a cause for concern for cyclists despite being their chosen ride being a much safer option compared to hitching a ride on a crowded bus. Furthermore, the risk becomes even higher when they travel in groups and treat it as a recreational platform to socialise rather than just a mode of transportation or a get-fit method.
Precautionary steps need to be taken to protect one's self from the coronavirus while on the road on a two-wheeler. With that in mind, cyclists, please take note of the following ways for a safe jaunt on your prized bike:
Ride solo or in a small group
The saying "the more, the merrier" does not apply here. Biking in a large group increases the chance of more droplets getting onto objects that people will touch. Go out on your own or with a select group of trusted people.
Take roads less travelled
Again, to avoid crowds. However, with just about everybody now riding their bikes around town, it will be difficult to pinpoint routes that are less crowded than others… but not impossible.
Wear a face covering
It could be a face mask, a buff, or a face shield, as long as you are still able to comfortably breathe in it.
Yes, you still need to physically distance yourself from others while atop your fancy Brompton. So, stop showing off and stay six feet away.
Keep your hands clean and away from your face
You should all know the drill by now.
Photo: Patrick Hendry