Clark Lewis

Interview: Dr. Clark Lewis on COVID-19 and Mountain Biking

Words Cam McRae
Date Mar 26, 2020

There are elements to this interview that veer from our mountain biking mandate towards politics. Normally we don't wade too deeply into that mire, but it seems like the time for propriety is long past. This is not a normal time, so we're not applying normal rules.

Dr. Clark Lewis is an emergency room doctor in Whistler, and an accomplished rider who has tested gear for us in the past. He's also the inspiration behind Chromag's Doctahawk hardtail frame; it was Clark who pushed for the extreme numbers that put the bike in a category of its own. He's also a man with opinions that he's not afraid to share. We talked about mountain biking in the time of Corona, what may happen here in Canada if we don't buckle up properly, and the situation south of the border where things are veering towards the unkown. Some of this might make you a little uncomfortable, but other points make it clear that Clark is a mountain biker at heart. It's not all roses, but it's candid and real, and we couldn't ask for anything more.

UPDATE (03/26/20 - 17:30): We received an official statement from BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) and have updated this article accordingly.


Clark slabbing on the Doctahawk. Photo - Ian Ritz

Cam McRae: Thanks for taking some time during this crazy situation, Clark. It's nice to be able to speak to someone from our community who is on the front lines.

Clark Lewis: Thanks Cam. I'm happy to be able to do it.

Based on your earlier comments, it's clear you have some big concerns about the way mountain bikers are carrying themselves in relation to COVID-19. What are your feelings about what you've seen so far and what you would like to see?

I think that I would argue that shuttling is not helpful. First of all, you're not isolating. Secondly, you are likely throwing yourselves into bigger terrain, which may be more risky. That's arguable since most mountain bike injuries that we see are from flow trails. By far. That's the vast majority in Whistler. I don't know what it's like for sure on the North Shore, but in Whistler, the vast majority of the injuries we see are from flow trails in the bike park, usually from jumpy trails, but not always. Any flow trail where you're going fast. Basically speed creates injury. That's pretty obvious. And I think because Cypress and Seymour are closed,* you know, we're seeing record, this is anecdotal, but it's pretty obvious like having witnessed it the other day, record numbers are shuttlers in Squamish and Pemberton as well.

And part of those are city riders and part of them are Whistler riders, but it doesn't matter where you're from. And I think it's too bad because there's a little bit of this weird localism going on now as well. Like, 'don't come to Pemberton, we don't want you up here'. It's more about just behaving yourself. Like if people were distancing, riding solo, taking it easy wouldn't be an issue. So I don't think people should stop riding completely because we also have to balance mental health and I think that's a good way to blow off steam.

But there's no search and rescue right now.* That has not been widely advertised. I don't know if you should publish that, but we're trying to get them to make that more well known that they probably are not going to respond to most calls because they're not trained to use the proper personal protective equipment.

*Statement from North Shore Search and Rescue (updated as of March 26 at 17:30 -Ed): NSR is still operating. We are however going to be reducing our field teams and size on calls to reduce exposure on calls. We do also have Personal Protective Equipment available to us. Pretty much all mountain bike accidents are now done by NVFD. They are fully kitted out as well.

Official statement from the BC Search and Rescue Association follows (emphasis is ours):

Points to consider BEFORE you go outdoors:

  • The current situation is complex and constantly changing given some parks and high use areas being closed and others remaining open.
  • The volume and type of GSAR responses is also changing, some areas may see reductions while others will see increases depending on access, user numbers, and levels of experience.
  • Responsible organizations may close additional areas if outdoor users continue to ignore physical distancing or if the number of responses for injured or lost persons does not decrease.
  • While it is recognized that physical activity is essential for mental wellbeing in these trying times, the need for physical distance during any activity is more important.
  • GSAR volunteers are emergency workers, when they respond to save lives they are at the same level of risk as are other front line emergency workers.
  • Currently all responders are at an increased risk and are at the same time hampered by a shortage of personal protection equipment required to limit exposures.
  • In GSAR we operate within the safety maxim - Self, Team, Bystanders and then Subject, meaning individual members and teams will step back from a response if it puts them at undue risk. They also need to return to their families.
  • Should risk of exposure to the responders exceed an acceptable level a response will be delayed until additional steps can be taken to reduce the risk.

On behalf of the ground search and rescue community we are asking everyone that is planning to go outside, even on short hikes, to reduce your risks to as close to zero as possible. If you are outdoors and get injured or lost call 911, we will try to respond but understand there could be delays while extra precautions to protect responders are taken. Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family if going into the outdoors, look to for more information but remember extra caution is needed during this time. If you are not fully prepared then stick to walks in an urban area close to home while maintaining physical distancing and following the Provincial Health Officer’s directions.

And from a medical perspective, we are now up to the point where we're assuming that everyone is infected. Everyone that we meet until proven otherwise. So for emergency surgeries, if you have just a clavicle or wrist or something that would normally get surgery, that's not getting fixed right now and it's possible, you know, if things go totally haywire, with more strict isolation mandates from the government, it's possible you wouldn't even get in the door and in the hospital. If it's total pandemonium. That's unlikely. But it's just better right now for us if you don't get hurt.

Cam McRae: That makes complete sense. I'm curious about your critique of localism because doesn't it make sense that people from North Van - where there's a higher rate of infection - shouldn't go to places like Pemberton or Whistler right now where there is a lower rate of infection?

Clark Lewis: Well, yes, but no one should be going anywhere right now. And the problem is that we haven't had a very strict government mandate saying that. The measures have been sort of halfway so far: self isolate, social distancing, but they're not saying 'stay in your home'. They're saying 'don't travel if you don't have to', but there's no consequence for going. You can drive to Squamish if you want. Go shuttling, there's no cost, there's no consequence for doing that. Other than social consequences.

That's true. So do you think there should be? Do you think the government is a step behind here?

I've thought that for... since January. Yeah. I've been a bit pessimistic about this for longer than most people and who knows if it'll turn into a big deal or not here. Why not do what they did in countries where they successfully smashed it down like South Korea and Singapore and Thailand and Taiwan where they overreacted at the start and didn't let it turn into a problem. And they did that by doing strict isolation measures right away.

Well, South Korea is interesting because they've done so much testing and we're doing very little testing.

Yeah, we're doing very little testing because we simply don't have the capacity for it. And it doesn't matter whether that's right or wrong, it's just not an option. So people need to wrap their brain around isolating if you're sick and you know, there, it would be nice if we could do proper testing, but it's just not possible.

So the South Korean model isn't going to be workable here and as a result we need to take isolation very seriously.

Yes. That's, that's my perspective. That's kind of consensus among most physicians. And I don't think the why, the explanation has been communicated well by government. So people are still asking, why are we not testing? Why are we not testing? And it's because they can't. So if they would just say what I said... Whether that's right or wrong is open for debate and that's fine. I think, you know, the government is doing its best with the tools that it has and so that's kind of a separate argument for why, why can't they test? They just can't. So right now we're focusing, trying to focus on using isolation to minimize the spread and hopefully when the weather turns we can get through to the summer and hopefully we get a bit of a break this summer. So we'll see.

Are you seeing other action sports athletes behaving badly? Is mountain biking particularly bad? Maybe because of the weather* or are other sports acting similarly?

*after a very nasty winter in southern B.C., the weather has been spectacular for much of the month of March.

I don't know the answer to that. I know that professional athletes are going to train however they can, because that's their job and they have to do that. For people who are just keen, like keen mountain bikers, people who just like doing it, I think they can keep doing it. They just need to not be yahoos. Just try and colour within the lines right now, take it easy, stay off fast trails. I mean flow trails. There's not a lot in North Van, but there are some, there's a bunch in Squamish, you could argue all of Pemberton is like a flow trail and super fast riding. And so just just take it easy. But then also if you take it too easy you're more likely to crash so there's that school of thought as well.

Some people feel, some of my colleagues, think no one should be mountain biking at all. Period. And that's what I'm doing myself, because that's the only way I can guarantee that I don't get hurt, but I don't think that's absolutely necessary. The mountain biker part of me doesn't want people to totally stop, but you should consider stopping. I think everyone needs to make their own choice. If you can't rein it in, if you know yourself and you only like to ride flow trails and you're not a very good rider or you like taking chances and you can't ride a different way, then maybe you need to have the conversation with yourself about that. But I know lots of people who, I mean, knock on wood, there's lots of people who don't get hurt because they don't ride like that. But maybe you should go trail running instead, I don't know.

Yeah. So you could bust your ankle...

You could. Sure. Hahaha! And that's more of a philosophical perspective on risk management in life and balancing risk and reward and all that stuff that non bikers are very, very, very well familiar with. Even if they haven't thought about it on a day to day basis. It's one of those sports where you know it's dangerous but you accept that risk because that's part of the fun, that risk. We're just in this really weird moment in history now that may have some consequences that you don't like. I don't know. It's tricky.

So your main takeaways are, flow trails might seem easier, but the accident rate is higher, shuttling is stupid right now, because it makes social distancing imossible. And when you ride, keep your social distance, ride within your abilities, and stay healthy.

Yeah, I think that's reasonable for now. It's possible there will be a stricter mandate coming. I suspect there will be, if we start to get more cases then government will probably be more strict about having people stop. Stop doing more stuff basically. But for now, I think that's pretty reasonable. Some of my colleagues will disagree with that. But I would say that's probably a fair balance as a physician and a participant. From my perspective.

Do you think it's realistic for people to say, ride with a friend and maintain social distance, or do you think that should be off the table?

I think it is reasonable and possible to do. And you know, the idea was when you're outside, dilution is your friend, So you're breathing into the air, as long as you're not having a hacking cough, even if you are a carrier, if you stay away from someone and don't touch them and don't cough on them, that's how it's spread. You touch someone, you cough on them. Or you touch something and they touch it. You don't get it just from breathing the air near them outside. I think it can be done safely. Yes.

That's good to know. So one more question about, about COVID-19 itself. At this point we're doing very little testing. We're not even testing people who probably have it, but are well enough to stay home. From your perspective, obviously the problem is much larger than the numbers indicate now because of the amount of testing we're doing. Is your perspective that we're losing control of it now or do you think some of the measures we're enacting are bearing some fruit?

I think that our leadership is trying really hard and doing the best they can with the resources that we have. That's my official answer.

For people who are just keen, like keen mountain bikers, people who just like doing it, I think they can keep doing it. They just need to not be yahoos. Just try and colour within the lines right now, take it easy, stay off fast trails.

Haha! Now about the problem. Do you think the problem is worse than even informed people think it is?

There is a minority school of thought that thinks that this is a historical human-changing events. You know, one of the biggest things to ever happen in evolution that we just can't see it because we're in it. I'm not that extreme about it, but I do think that this is a much bigger deal than most people think. Economically. And sociologically as well.


I think it's a big deal, but not everyone does think it's that bad. So I don't know. I think we're doing okay overall. It's just better to stay ahead of the curve and be over cautious right now. Why not?

It makes total sense. And not telling people we’ll be up and running again by Easter, like Trump is?

Yeah, that's not happening. I think most people know that.

As New York doubles every three days.

Yeah. That's that logarithmic scale. But if you don't understand what a logarithmic scale looks like, the cases double based on the infectivity rates with some other variables. But it's kind of predictable and so it looks crazy, but it's just an exponential thing, so if you're doubling every five days, then it's kind of predictable. You know there's going to be a million cases really soon. But it seems quite sudden when it happens if you don't understand that.

Because we think in linear terms?

Yeah. So it's just the way this works. Yeah. The States is fucked. They're going to be, in my opinion, the hardest hit by far by a multitude, than every other country in the world.

Why do you say that?

Because they have no leadership. In fact, they have a harmful leadership, but not that they're unhelpful, that they're actually harmful. What they're doing? Man, I'm worried about civil unrest and rioting.


I think down there things are going to get super dark in some parts. And then Trump and his cohort are keen to minimize the economic damage, but the way they're doing it is they're going to kill a whole bunch of people first and then there's still going to be economic damage along with that. You can't have a million people die, which is what they're on track for now, without causing economic carnage and 20% unemployment and on and on.

So it's better to shut things down now, for a shorter period of time, get on top of it, you know? Take it in the nuts now economically, so you have some control over it. That's what I think. And that's, there's a pretty reasonably large school of thought around that. Some macro economists are thinking like that as well. And, but then there's other guys who don't appreciate how big the problem could be. They don't think like that. They think the cure is worse than the disease. To shut everything down is just going to ruin their economy worse than a bunch of deaths would. But I don't think they really appreciate what they're saying.

That is a lot to digest. Thank you very much, Clark. I appreciate your time. And thanks for your hard work now and in the days to come.

Thanks Cam.

You've heard the rules, from someone with experience as a doctor for mountain bikers, and as a mountain biker patient. If you must keep riding, go for it, but stay the fuck out of hospital. That is job one if you are out on the trails. This isn't foolproof even when approached cautiously, but it's the responsibility of each of us to make sure we don't take up valuable space in the hospital.

Clark would be the first to tell you that his suggestions are not gospel, simply observations made based on his experience. The same goes for his speculation about where things are headed with the COVID-19 crisis in various jurisdictions. This is uncharted territory, but his feelings are based on his knowledge of infectious diseases, what the statistics say now, and what those numbers look like when projected forward.

Stay safe out there. This is life and death we are talking about now.

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+2 Merwinn thaaad
kekoa  - March 26, 2020, 12:42 a.m. talking to friends and from what I see on IG, people are loading magazines and waiting for chaos. Not looking forward to this.

+1 thaaad
Cam McRae  - March 26, 2020, 10:30 a.m.

Jesus. Really? At least they are your friends. Scary stuff.


+2 Andrew Major Allen Lloyd Morgan Heater Pete Roggeman Merwinn thaaad
Timer  - March 26, 2020, 3:10 a.m.

I think whoever is talking about "historical human-changing event" needs some historical perspective. Compared to what humanity went through in terms of diseases, this right now is barely in the bottom third of the badness-scale. If this had happened 200-300 years ago it might not even show up in the history books because far worse stuff was just a fact of everyday life (cholera, smallpox, plague, typhus, TB, polio, malaria, measles, i could go on..). 

What gives me hope for the US is that their decentralized structure with relatively independent states means they are less reliant on a functional central government than other nations. Sensible actions by state governors might be able to make up for a lot of the mess at the federal level.


+3 Timer Cam McRae Pete Roggeman
DanL  - March 26, 2020, 8:10 a.m.

This was the result of war-gaming pandemic simulation run in 2019. It also assumed that there was also a centralized office that could co-ordinate the response :

‘ That a biomedical powerhouse like the U.S. should so thoroughly fail to create a very simple diagnostic test was, quite literally, unimaginable. “I’m not aware of any simulations that I or others have run where we [considered] a failure of testing,” says Alexandra Phelan of Georgetown University, who works on legal and policy issues related to infectious diseases. ‘

Texas is already talking about letting people sacrifice themselves in order to let others live. And most of the thrust of this is to get the economy back on track not to save lives. There is a seductive idea that the 'healthy' can go back to work next week


+1 DanL
Timer  - March 26, 2020, 8:58 a.m.

Interesting. Similar scenarios have been considered/exercised/run by lots of countries and institutions, usually modelled on SARS or Influenza.

The results in this case are not fully applicable to COVID-19 because some important aspects of the pathogen are vastly different. Most notable the assumed (age-independent) hospitalisation rate of 50%. That would have far worse effects on the economy than Covid and force governments to prioritize the provision of infrastructure and supplies over preventing deaths.

The current crisis is fairly unique in so far as one of the typical problems in times of epidemics, shortage of essential personnel due to illness and death, would not be a huge issue.


markisfat  - March 27, 2020, 12:56 p.m.

Respectfully disagree. This is a public health crisis, so the solutions are inherently reliant on public health systems. The US, and their dominant capitalist psychology, are poorly equipped to respond to this precisely because these kinds of health solutions have to be lead by a centralized government. More socialist countries, with socialist leaning population psychologies, economies and governments will be better able to respond. To wit: tell a Canadian to stay inside "for the good of your neighbor", and most Canadians will oblige. The "kind Canuck" that is the target of parody is the type of person who will take the importance of #socialdistancing to heart. Tell an American the same, and they'll firmly tell you "@#$% off, don't trample my individual rights!" Naturally, these are stereotypes, and one paragraph can't capture the social psychologies of two nations, but multiple well informed observers are noting the same: America will be more profoundly affected, in part, because capitalist psychology is great at advancing individual wealth and opportunity, but not effective at advancing population health and security. CV19 is a population issue. My fear is that we are all in this together, as a global population. What my neighbor does, both locally and globally, will have an effect on my wellbeing, and vise versa. So it is sad and scary to see Americans lag behind in their response, as it will, absolutely, affect us here in Canada, on many levels, medically, socially, and economically. Good luck to us all. #stopshuttling. #ridesolo


+4 Mammal Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Sandy James Oates
Rob Gretchen  - March 26, 2020, 6:26 a.m.

Thx for the perspective Clark and Cam... I mean its hard to argue with any of this.   Extraordinary times call for extraordinary efforts from every single person.    Can we do this?


+2 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman
Matthias Wasmer  - March 26, 2020, 6:29 a.m.

Living close to Italy and reading a lot of newspapers, internet articles, IG stuff and interviews with virologists I think this disease is going to be a really big problem. And right now, nobody is going to stop this. The numbers of tests in canada or the us are so small right now that the real problem is not even known.

Perhaps you should just translate some articles from italy by google translate:

Or if possible (subtitles?) listen to the interviews with the virologist C. Drosten (he developed the test for Covid-19 before that virus was even known, probably one of the persons worldwide with the biggest knowledge about this virus).

There is one interview every day (

I think it is going to be worse than we can imagine today. If possible stay home (biggest part of europe has a form of lockdown).


+2 Merwinn Pete Roggeman
Timer  - March 26, 2020, 6:46 a.m.

The Drosten interviews are great! Especially because he is not panicmongering like a lot of the press. That guy knows what he is talking about and is calm, collected, scientific and keeps things in perspective.


+1 Pete Roggeman
Matthias Wasmer  - March 26, 2020, 7:01 a.m.

Absolutely. Probably the best source for Covid19 worldwide.

But he says that this virus is going to be a really big problem and we are going to see problems in Africa (for example) that we never saw before.


+1 Pete Roggeman
Tehllama42  - March 26, 2020, 8:49 a.m.

Entirely correct - we're seeing what havoc it can cause with first world (what passes for it) mass medical care capability, once it starts arriving at less traveled and less wealthy parts of the world, it's going to be really bad.  Iran is probably not the overall low point.


+1 Cam McRae
Timer  - March 26, 2020, 9:10 a.m.

True, but there are positive factors as well. Regions like sub-saharan Africa or Latin America have worse healthcare but also much younger and less vulnerable populations.


+4 Cam McRae Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Tremeer023
Todd Hellinga  - March 26, 2020, 7:13 a.m.

stay safe, Clark


+3 Pete Roggeman ReductiMat DMVancouver
Easton Smith  - March 26, 2020, 9 a.m.

Thank you for this interview. I appreciate Dr. Lewis's very informed opinions and humility.

I am not sure about BC's testing capacity point though. It seems like we may have exceeded South Korea's per capita testing rate in BC now. It may have came late, but we are doing well now. According to Ian Young, a Vancouver journalist, we are now at double the South Koreas daily test rate:

> That equates to 690 tests per million people, daily. By comparison, South Korea’s peak daily testing rate amounted to about 392 tests per million. BC has a population of 5.1 million, while South Korea has 51 million people.

+1 Pete Roggeman
Cam McRae  - March 26, 2020, 11:34 a.m.

Perhaps per capita, but South Korea certainly wasn't telling people to stay home if they have symptoms without testing them. They tested and then did contact tracing to identify others who came in contact with anyone testing positive. We aren't doing anything like this at all. A friend of mine who is seemingly infected has a relation in the Lynn Valley care home where the local outbreak was centred. He was simply told to stay home. No test, no contact tracing at all.


+2 Andrew Major ReductiMat
UFO  - March 26, 2020, 3:26 p.m.

Contact tracing does occur here, though I am not sure of the criteria involved to kick start this process. I will say that over the years our public health capacity and budget has been eroded to the point that I know they are doing everything within their power to manage this effectively.  Now that COVID is more widespread, known and acknowledged to be transmitted within the community (which is only a very recent revelation surprisingly), contact tracing has a much more limited capacity to help.

In our over burdened medical system, public health is always the first to feel the pinch because any benefits of health promotion are not seen realistically until decades down the road, well past the expiry of any politician in power, and hey we don't know what we need until we need it ultimately.


-1 thaaad Merwinn ReductiMat
dorkweed  - March 26, 2020, 9:09 a.m.

He glosses over the testing as if there's no one at fault. I realize it's not our doctors' fault, but the countries that have managed this well HAVE tested masses of people. Why can't we ramp up our testing resources? Why didn't we? It seems like an error worth examining, even if not by Dr. Clark. Our government should be held to account for this ongoing failure.

+4 Mammal Todd Hellinga Merwinn ReductiMat
Cam McRae  - March 26, 2020, 9:21 a.m.

Clark’s not in a position to make that critique. His point is that we don’t have that capacity and won’t any time soon. This is the reality and this isn’t the time to deal with what could have been. That will come later, but for now, in the absence of widespread testing and follow ups, as seen in other nations, social distancing and safe personal practices are essential to prevent a healthcare implosion.


Brodie  - March 30, 2020, 1:29 p.m.

Re: safe personal practices, there are signs that this very contagious virus is even more transmissable than early assumptions, beyond touching persons/items, beyond being sneezed or coughed upon. Look up the new outbreak in U.S. in Skagit, Washington. Chorale members disinfected their hands, etc. etc, but spent an evening singing together, with claims they kept distance, no hugs, no-one was coughing or felt unwell. Admittedly this was indoors. But health authorities are shocked at how many of the attendees were infected (within 3 days) and positing now that the aerosol effect is not limited to coughing & sneezing. 

The good doctor/rider in above interview laudably advises to err on the safe side through all this. 

But using current knowledge, he said,  “You don't get it just from breathing the air near them (outside).”  Keep in mind that as we learn more, this statement may end up being optimistic, whether outside, inside, whatever? 

I think most get that shuttling/carpooling is dumb for reasons of contact between persons. Seems more fraught now, just with breathing in proximity to others.


Matthias Wasmer  - March 26, 2020, 1:51 p.m.

Your testing facilities have a limited capacity. Just depends on how high they are. South Korea has a really high capacity, Germany also. Other countries way smaller capacities. 

It's just not possible to do more tests.


+2 ReductiMat Cam McRae
UFO  - March 26, 2020, 3:19 p.m.

I think its important to make the distinction that the countries that did manage 'well' thus far, testing is a part of that, but government intervention and lock down measures were also taken much more aggressively (and seriously). The population also heard this message much more loudly with recent experience related to SARS for example. To Clark's credit, and to mine and a lot of my fellow health care providers' opinions, we could see things escalating to this point weeks ago. The daily messages we receive from the Provincial Health Minister, and even our own employing health authorities locally, is probably lagging behind by a couple weeks. Clark wanted to see more aggressive action in January, I felt like 'we' were about 3-4 weeks late in implementing whatever measure we have done.


+3 Mammal Cam McRae Pete Roggeman
OwenFoster  - March 26, 2020, 10:18 a.m.

Thanks for this guys.  Play safe

+4 Pete Roggeman Mammal thaaad goose8
Cam McRae  - March 26, 2020, 11:26 a.m.

I thought I should post this statement from North Shore Search and Rescue here:  NSR is still operating. We are however going to be reducing our field teams and size on calls to reduce exposure on calls. We do also have Personal Protective Equipment available to us. Pretty much all mountain bike accidents are now done by NVFD. They are fully kitted out as well.


+5 Cam McRae thaaad Tremeer023 Pete Roggeman Brodie
Sven Luebke  - March 26, 2020, 1:47 p.m.

Down here in New Zealand, we were given 48 hours notice in Rotorua to close all non-essential business and travel.  Three Air-bnb’s declined us accommodations, the car rental place closed with one day notice and our 400 km bikepacking ride back to the airport was in grave jeopardy due to convenience stores and restaurants closed within a day. 

We made to an airport hotel and are now hunkered down with 5 days of groceries and beer and tonnes of time in our room to pack up our bikes     The flight home is Sunday, I think the last one to Vancouver.  We havent left the room in three days, although theres a bike path out front next to an empty freeway.

NZ in the whole country has 283 cases, whereas BC alone has 659 and growing exponentially  

Please, listen to Clarkes message, but step it up.  Isolate yourselves, stop riding, stop the spread.

+1 thaaad
Cam McRae  - March 26, 2020, 5:16 p.m.

Yikes! Glad you are on the verge of making it home but that sucks about your trip.

B.C. is thankfully not growing exponentially right now. At least according to the official numbers. With the lack of testing, it's hard to know what's going on, but we added 66 cases today according to Adrian Dix so our social isolation efforts seem to be working. Fingers crossed and of course, we'll have to remain vigilant for months to come. Quebec, on the other hand, is going haywire. As is NY, Florida, and Louisiana. 


+2 Pete Roggeman Brodie
Sven Luebke  - March 26, 2020, 8:13 p.m.

Wait two weeks. The 10’s per day in the first half of March became the 50’s in the second half. The Easter bunny will bring the hundreds per day.



+2 Timer Pete Roggeman
UFO  - March 26, 2020, 8:50 p.m.

It's really important to take the raw data with a grain of salt. The ones who aren't tested, but infected-stay at home-recover, will not show up in any numbers. At this point, testing is primarily offered to those who are sick enough to require hospital admission and healthcare workers. It's safe to assume there will be a significant number in the communities who will not be captured, both in the present and especially in the future.


+4 Pete Roggeman goose8 Cam McRae Cr4w
Velocipedestrian  - March 26, 2020, 11:26 p.m.

283 cases today, it was under a hundred a couple of days ago... This lockdown is intense - I've seen advice that says 'go for a ride, exercise and mental health are important' and the same day 'no mountain biking, stay out of hospital'.

The point about flow trails causing hospital visits is sobering, I've been considering to ride or not, and the local tracks are flow all the way. I don't crash often, but my worst ones have been on easy terrain (knockout concussion on a footpath was my last visit to A&E). 

I haven't ridden in 3 weeks, and autumn is so good...


+1 Pete Roggeman
Timer  - March 27, 2020, 1:35 a.m.

I kind of thought it was common knowledge that fast (flow) trails are much more dangerous than slow tech.

The physics are very straightforward: Energy involved when crashing goes up quadratically with velocity.


+1 Pete Roggeman
Mammal  - March 27, 2020, 8:10 a.m.

I found that believable, but not consistent with my own experience. 

Flow trails, whether slower or faster, have usually only resulted in scrapes and bruises for me, while pretty much all my previous more serious injuries resulted from tech terrain. Maybe that's just me and my unique experiences, but I assumed a lot of the statistical flow trail evidence resulted from newer or less skilled riders being more likely to ride flow trials while easily getting out of their comfort zone wrt speed and cornering.

+1 Niels
Pete Roggeman  - March 27, 2020, 10:45 a.m.

Trends are useful starting points, but responsible behaviour always has an element of personal assessment and accountability and it sounds like, for you, it's a bit different than the norm.

Keep in mind that Dr Lewis' statement is from an ER doc based in Whistler, so 'flow' trails he's including are A-Line, B-Line, Dirt Merchant, and other trails with jumps on them. However, after years and years of riding in and out of bike parks, there's no question that, for me, velocity greatly increases the chances of a crash turning into an injury. I don't jump as high, far, or as well as I once did, so that does eliminate one factor considerably if I just keep it on the ground. I wouldn't stay away from Expresso or Bobsled per se, but I would ride them at 70% speed, focusing on technique and body position rather than hitting corners hard and trying to go fast.


Timer  - March 28, 2020, 9:30 a.m.

I'm not convinced by the "beginners on flow trails hurting themselves a lot" argument.

I see beginners crash a lot but they ride more slowly and don't get seriously hurt most of the time.

The good riders and especially the pros crash rarely but when they do it means a trip to the ER and some more titanium in the body.


+3 DanL Sven Luebke Cr4w
thaaad  - March 26, 2020, 5:14 p.m.



+1 thaaad
Sven Luebke  - March 26, 2020, 8:22 p.m.

You would think you live near Seattle...


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