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EDITORIAL

To Ride or not to Ride During a Global Pandemic?

Words Cam McRae
Date Mar 19, 2020
Reading time

In Italy this question has been answered already. Riding a bike is proibito, whether on the trail or on the road, with a few exceptions. The general public can ride to get medical supplies or food, as long as they aren't dressed like Marco Pantani. There is also an exemption for pro roadies. They must ride with their professional license with them and they are apparently forbidden by law from telling others they are allowed to ride because it is their profession, prompting many dirty looks. There is a fine of €3000 for violating these rules. The justification is that hospitals already overrun with COVID-19 patients have no space for busted cyclists who come limping in. And since that ban was enacted, Italians have been asked to stay at home entirely except to visit the doctor, pharmacy or supermarket. I don't know anyone who would have predicted this would happen in my lifetime.

Front page image - Gonzalo Quevedo shot by Nacho Trueba / Red Bull Content Pool

Spain, which is also enforcing a €3000 fine, and Andorra, home to many road pros, has completely banned cycling outdoors while France hasn't yet placed any restrictions. In the UK there is a lobby afoot to ensure cycling does not get banned, citing health benefits and the safety of cycling as transportation in terms virus containment. Germany has already adopted this approach, with the health minister actively encouraging cycling as a safe alternative to cars and public transportation.

There are 9 million people in California, mainly in the bay area, under a "shelter in place" order, meaning they too will have to forego cycling or any other outdoor activity. New York may not be far behind, with Mayor Bill De Blasio warning a similar order could be coming after New York cases took a dramatic jump.

Here in B.C. we aren't yet in full lockdown mode. Bars have recently been ordered closed and the government is suggesting that all events for more than 50 people should be cancelled. Some continue to go to work and restaurants, but things are clearly slowing down. Cases in British Columbia had a huge surge in the last two days from 103 to 231.* If this rate of spread continues it would result in cases tripling every two days, resulting in over 8,000 cases ten days from now and 300,000 in three weeks. It gets scary when you look beyond that. A Provincial health emergency and a Provincial state of emergency have been declared as a result.

*It has been suggested that the large jump in cases is the result of a backlog of test results from the previous weekend, but we'll have to wait and see. There is also a spread between verified cases and actual cases because of the long incubation period of COVID-19 and health officials are now suggesting people who feel they have COVID-19 stay home to recover rather than get tested, so actual cases are likely much higher.

Any doctor in northern Italy will tell you that vigilance is essential, not so much because of the danger to individual patients, but because health care resources will quickly be overwhelmed if the rate of spread is not slowed. Italian doctors, faced with far more patients than they can handle, are being forced to decide who lives and who dies. Flattening the curve of the virus' spread may not reduce the number of cases in the long run, and many of us will likely get COVID-19, but the strain on beds and ventilators and staff may remain somewhat manageable if social distancing is successful. If the system gets overwhelmed, the death rate from COVID-19 will go up,* and patients with other health concerns like asthma or heart disease will also suffer from the lack of resources, decreasing their chances of survival. The same can be said for trauma, like the kind virtually all mountain bikers are familiar with.

*The death rate in Italy is the highest anywhere, approaching 8% despite excellent health care facilities.

Lions Gate Hospital, which serves the North Shore, has been directed to move to "Outbreak Response Phase 3." All non-essential surgeries have been cancelled in anticipation of an increase in serious cases of COVID-19. It seems that patient ramp up hasn't happened yet but is likely imminent based on the rate of spread.

The question is, can we justify riding mountain bikes in the shadow of this global pandemic? On the one hand, it's an activity that will preserve health and sanity and one that can be practiced without serious risk of virus spread, assuming we don't head to the pub afterward for beers with herds of infectious humans. Social distancing is much more compatible with mountain biking than going to the gym or yoga studio or spin class. Out on singletrack, social distancing is impossible to avoid, except when you stop, but some vigilance makes this easy as well. High 5s may need to be replaced by air 5s, but otherwise not much needs to change, except perhaps our approach to risk.

It seems obvious that riding the trails that challenge you most isn't the ideal strategy during a health care emergency, but can we lower the exposure enough to make it acceptable? Perhaps to the level of hiking on trails of moderate difficulty? This seems possible for experienced riders, even here on the North Shore where the easiest trails are relatively challenging, but is it worth the gamble? Risk is inherent in mountain biking, just as it is with riding in a car or being a pedestrian. Obviously the rate of injury in the Whistler Bike Park is vastly greater per person than the Sea to Sky highway, but the risk for a competent rider on mellow trails certainly closes much of that gap.

For now, at least outside of Italy, Spain, and Andorra, and the bay area, this is a personal decision. There will be some riders who shred as hard as usual and others who will exercise an abundance of caution and forego riding on trails entirely, or even leaving the house. You may disagree, but I plan to ramp down my exposure to risk and continue to ride trails for the time being. Lately I have been dosing heavily on some of the more challenging local trails, but I've already scaled that back. I pause more often to make sure adrenaline doesn't take over, because my default, like most mountain bikers, is to go downhill as fast as I can. It's not an easy habit to break but I'm having some success, and at this stage in this crisis I think it's a palatable compromise. I may change my mind entirely in a few days, but this is where I stand for now.

Please let us know what your current approach to riding is based on the status in your area.

And please stay safe everyone!

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Comments

cerealkilla_
0
jdt  - March 18, 2020, 11:22 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

flowrider
+4 Pete Roggeman Todd Hellinga bastian steinecker ZigaK
flowrider  - March 18, 2020, 11:56 p.m.

To stay closer to home I've been riding the road and some gravel. I just got a 2020 Brodie Romax Carbon so I'm doing some solo miles around Langley/Fort Langley area where there aren't as many cars. Road is good as I don't need to stop at the top of trailheads where everyone congregates and just keep going. Sucks not being able to get a coffee part way through though (by choice to minimize exposure).

Reply

cxfahrer
+4 Pete Roggeman bastian steinecker Cam McRae ZigaK
cxfahrer  - March 19, 2020, 12:03 a.m.

I decided for myself to go on with MTBiking as long as there is no curfew, but to cancel any rides (or whatever else) where I would need to drive to by car to start the ride.

The potential of unnecessary contact with others rises the farther one is away from home - having to stop for gas, or for food, whatever, and so spreading the virus. 

I am quite lucky living in a town where I can head to (easy boring) trails just out the backdoor of my house. 

There sure will come some day in the next weeks where the dirty looks from neighbours alone will keep me from riding....

Reply

NaOH
-17 Tremeer023 cxfahrer Mammal LWK PembyRocks Jerry Willows Rob Gretchen Coda Hale Truleofthumb Alex D Todd Hellinga twk bastian steinecker Absolut-M goose8 flowrider ZigaK
Stephen Gaucher  - March 19, 2020, 12:37 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

hongeorge
+11 Cam McRae Merwinn thaaad Mammal LWK Rob Gretchen Coda Hale Admoore Alex D Todd Hellinga Absolut-M twk Stephen Gaucher
hongeorge  - March 19, 2020, 4:05 a.m.

Can I ask - is it because you don't understand the issue that you haven't changed your behaviour, or is it because you understand, but just don't care?

Reply

NaOH
-2 cxfahrer PembyRocks
Stephen Gaucher  - March 19, 2020, 8:32 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

Captain-Snappy
+1 Cam McRae
Merwinn  - March 19, 2020, 1:55 p.m.

My bet is on basic comprehension. Forseight is not everyone's strentgh, or even capability.

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fartymarty
+2 Jonas Dodd Pete Roggeman
fartymarty  - March 19, 2020, 2:16 a.m.

We were riding the last two nights (Surrey, UK) and will continue to do so until the government advised not to.  After that I guess we play it by ear.

Reply

jdw103
+1 Pete Roggeman
Jason West  - March 19, 2020, 3:24 a.m.

Ride like the wind!

Reply

allride.now
+6 Timer Cam McRae Pete Roggeman twk Agleck7 Mammal
bastian steinecker  - March 19, 2020, 4:02 a.m.

Thank you for so much calm and well rounded thoughts these days. Over here in germany, pieces like that tend to be much more biased towards anxiety. For sure 'ride within your limits' should be the name of game these days, but it should be nearly all the time. Just because there is a risk of hurting yourself while riding, doesn't mean, it's socially irresponsible to ride at all. After all, chances for mental hygine seem to be even more important, given the current state.

Reply

benC
+7 Pete Roggeman Cam McRae Andy Eunson Niels Todd Hellinga Vincent66 hongeorge
benC  - March 19, 2020, 4:29 a.m.

On Tuesday I went out for one last, easy spin before planning to change over to the road bike (or running) until the pressure on the healthcare system had reduced. I'm a pretty competent rider, but had an inexplicable crash on a dead easy part of trail and put myself straight into a tree. Snapped my collarbone clean in half, after 5 straight years of nil injury. I spent a night in hospital being incredibly well treated, but nonetheless I think there's a lesson here for all of us.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+10 Tremeer023 Greg Bly DMVancouver awesterner Shoreboy Jonas Dodd Cam McRae Andrew Major Mammal Rob Gretchen
Pete Roggeman  - March 19, 2020, 12:47 p.m.

Sound reasoning and we've all got our own thoughts about risk and management. In recent years I've found myself considering whether road riding is not more dangerous than MTB, based on two things: one, that trees and rocks don't move, but cars do (often unpredictably, and it's the drivers that are really dangerous), and two, that road crashes almost always result in injury (in my experience) whereas I have an extremely low crash:injury ratio on the mountain bike. I have much more faith in my ability to manage risk on the trails than I do in other drivers being able to concentrate on what they're doing, see me, and not hit me.

Good time for everyone to engage in that kind of thinking and seek what makes sense for them based on logic and reason, and act responsibly.

Reply

Poz
+2 Tremeer023 Greg Bly
Poz  - March 19, 2020, 10:35 p.m.

I’ve been of this similar thought process lately. It seems like a biweekly occurrence that I see a local news piece on a cyclist being struck by a car. Mountain bike injuries are still certainly a risk but I would rather have the ability to manage that risk than give that risk over to a texting driver. For the offseason on the MTB I think a gravel or cx ride makes more sense these days.

Reply

4Runner1
0
4Runner1  - March 21, 2020, 6:51 p.m.

My buddy wiped out on the road two months ago. Worst of his life. Go easy.

Reply

Tim_Clayton
+2 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman
Tim_Clayton  - March 19, 2020, 4:30 a.m.

Great to read this as it’s something I’ve been thinking through and discussing with my riding buddies. I’m on the other side of the world from you (Adelaide, Australia). We’re early days here on the curve and low numbers, but I’ve made the decision to stop riding mtb. My other half is in health care and absorbing a lot of pressure at the moment at work (with more to come), so the last thing she needs, or my kids or the health system needs, is me hurting myself on the bike however unlikely it might be. So for the meantime I’m keeping things simple and using the home gym. I’m very much at peace with not riding in these circumstances.

Reply

Vikb
+8 Luix goose8 Jonas Dodd Pete Roggeman Cam McRae cxfahrer Mammal Andrew Major
Vik Banerjee  - March 19, 2020, 6:06 a.m.

I'm still riding, but I am toning things down and not pushing my limits in terms of tech or tiredness. Last thing I want to do is end up at the ER and add to a nurse's or doctor's workload. If and when we get fully locked down I'll switch to maintenance mode and strip/rebuild my bikes one by one to kill time and be productive.

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Vincent66
+2 Pete Roggeman Cam McRae
Vincent66  - March 19, 2020, 6:10 a.m.

Same here.

This winter, the most non-spectacular ski crash ever took me twice to ER.

They don’t need to see me again now .

Spending a lot more time in front of my computer to work from home drives me crazy. 

So jogging or riding on easy trail is the best moment of my day.

Reply

GladePlayboy
+3 Cam McRae Andrew Major Pete Roggeman
Rob Gretchen  - March 19, 2020, 6:27 a.m.

Good article Cam... this is certainly a tough time for all.... I feel the benefits of riding at the moment slightly outweigh the risk.    I need to ride if possible as its the best time for me to think and process information... but I agree with scaling back the difficulty.   I am riding mellow stuff at the moment and will stick to this for now.    I also live in a very rural location where I have almost zero social contact with my neighbours unless I choose to do so... I can ride to a quiet trail from my house and avoid all contacts.

Reply

alexdi
+5 Greg Bly Pete Roggeman twk Cam McRae Andrew Major
Alex D  - March 19, 2020, 6:31 a.m.

I'm still at it. It's a calculated risk to keep me sane. The news is miserable. This is one of the few bright lights, and if I stay within my limits, the risk of injury is low.

When the hospitals are more clearly overwhelmed, I'll switch from the mountain bike to the road bike. Until then, while I'm well, I'm taking every opportunity to experience something that (god forbid) I may never get to do again if my number comes up with COVID.

Reply

awesterner
+4 dave_f Cam McRae Mike-E Pete Roggeman
awesterner  - March 19, 2020, 11:05 a.m.

Just keep in mind that our hospitals pretty much run at capacity at the best of times with no pandemic. Make smart choices. Lions gate hospital in North Van has  cases at this time and if you tear your shoulder apart or blow your clavicle to pieces don’t expect to get surgery anytime soon. All elective surgery is cancelled indefinitely and well the back of the line will be way back at this point.

Reply

Timer
+4 Greg Bly Jonas Dodd Pete Roggeman Cam McRae
Timer  - March 19, 2020, 6:37 a.m.

I'm not living near the North Shore anymore, so my response might be different if my trails were as challenging as yours.

But i continue to ride, mostly solo. If i'm riding alone i don't do risky stunts or high-consequence moves. Hurting myself alone in the woods would be a bad idea at the best of times. And i have been riding for 12 years without ever ending up in hospital. The likelihood of this pattern changing over the next 2 months is so small that it wouldn't make a difference to my overall risk profile.

Riding has physical and mental health benefits which might very well outweigh the risk of crashing on moderate rides. Mental health (and consequently suicides) will become a huge issue in society when social isolation (=loneliness) goes on for months.

Reply

jt
+3 Pete Roggeman Cam McRae Mammal
JT  - March 19, 2020, 7:35 a.m.

Commuting, road, back roads, and some local dirt, but not pinning it partially because the trails have been jammed with people walking/hiking/fishing. Bars and restaurants were shut down two days ago, but there had been a substantial increase in the number of people wandering around in the woods prior to that event.

Reply

mammal
+4 Jonas Dodd Pete Roggeman Cam McRae JT
Mammal  - March 19, 2020, 8:54 a.m.

I stopped by Seymour for a ride after work yesterday. Parking lot was jammed at peak Saturday-noon capacity. Chose to park elsewhere, and of course, have a really nice ride.

Reply

jt
+4 Luix Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Mammal
JT  - March 19, 2020, 9:30 a.m.

Seems about right. We've a lotta folks that suddenly have a lotta time on their hands trying to maintain a sense of normalcy, and then you have a lotta other folks who are trying to create a new one.

Reply

wishiwereriding
+2 Pete Roggeman Agleck7
John Keiffer  - March 19, 2020, 8:10 a.m.

"There are 9 million people in California, mainly in the bay area, under a "shelter in place" order, meaning they too will have to forego cycling or any other outdoor activity."

This is not the info I have and I live here. I have been doing short road rides from home, and will continue to do so. Hiking trails also remain open, though I have not done that yet, I intend to. (short drive)

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+1 Cam McRae
Pete Roggeman  - March 19, 2020, 12:51 p.m.

I also heard - originally - that the Bay Area was ordered inside, and then that it had been clarified to let people out to exercise. In any case, it's certainly happening in some places and may be on the horizon for other regions.

Reply

Pnwpedal
+3 bumVSmtn Cam McRae Pete Roggeman
Pnwpedal  - March 19, 2020, 8:20 a.m.

Ride gravel, ride fire roads, ride smooth singletrack. Or go cruise around town and hop curbs. But definitely stay moving and keep some semblance of normal life, as being stuck at home can get depressing. Just keep the risk to a minimum and avoid any steep or jumpy trails.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+2 Merwinn Pete Roggeman
Cam McRae  - March 19, 2020, 9:40 a.m.

Interesting that this info isn’t getting to you considering where you live.  Here’s one local source.  Perhaps it doesn’t apply to your county?  

https://www.sfchronicle.com/local-politics/amp/Bay-Area-must-shelter-in-place-Only-15135014.php

Reply

mammal
+5 Jonas Dodd Pete Roggeman twk Cam McRae Andrew Major
Mammal  - March 19, 2020, 8:32 a.m.

I'm most certainly continuing to mountain bike, just taking the difficulty level down about 20%. Mountain biking is tailor made for social distancing protocols. Mountain biking has been my anchor in challenging times for the last 20 years, and one of the only ways to truly center myself. 

Of course injury is possible, and anything can technically happen at any speed or difficulty level... But my own vague personal injury data suggests that toning it down 20% results in at least a 300% decrease in the likelihood of serious injury. 

My job in the manufacturing industry is still happening, with an operation of around 35 people. That makes me nervous, and I'd feel better if we shut down. Mountain biking is the opposite of that, I'm not spreading or contracting anything on my solo rides in the woods, just giving myself a much needed outlet to normality.

Reply

LoamtoHome
+4 AlanB Merwinn Pete Roggeman Greg Bly
Jerry Willows  - March 19, 2020, 8:35 a.m.

My group is still shuttling which blows my mind....  good time to fix up trails.

Reply

DaveSmith
+1 Pete Roggeman
Dave Smith  - March 19, 2020, 9:20 a.m.

You have influence over some of those young-uns. The old-uns can pedal too.

Reply

mammal
+4 AlanB Cam McRae Merwinn Pete Roggeman
Mammal  - March 19, 2020, 12:15 p.m.

I rode up Mt.Seymour road yesterday, to access Corkscrew and lower trails. Dozens of shuttle vehicles streaming up and down. Not a lot of distancing going on with a 5-person shuttle pickup.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - March 19, 2020, 12:54 p.m.

Come back to the DarkSide*, Jerry!

*pedaling up Fromme

Reply

LoamtoHome
0
Jerry Willows  - March 19, 2020, 5:42 p.m.

Fromme is a long road trip which I should do soon.

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andy-eunson
+3 Jonas Dodd Pete Roggeman Cam McRae
Andy Eunson  - March 19, 2020, 8:46 a.m.

With skiing shut down including Nordic, I’ve started driving to Squamish to ride. Just Ray Peters so far which is pretty safe. I may ride up the Legacy Climb today but being 62 I’ve been riding within my comfort zone for years. Still, I will walk certain things and not push that envelope at all until we are in a better position vis a vis the outbreak.

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DemonMike
+3 Jonas Dodd Pete Roggeman Cam McRae
mike  - March 19, 2020, 9 a.m.

Still will ride , I was out yesterday doing some digging. That will not change. I can ride to a couple spots if I want.

Reply

DarioD
+7 Luix AlanB Jonas Dodd Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Mammal Timer
DarioD  - March 19, 2020, 9:17 a.m.

For what it's worth, I'm in one of the shelter-in-place cities in California (San Luis Obispo), and the Sheriff's official position is this:

"It's important to know about a shelter-in-place directive that you are allowed to leave your house. You can still leave to get food or medicine or keep doctor's appointments. You can leave your house to take your dog on a walk. You can leave your house if you want to go for a hike. Just remember the rules regarding the six-foot social distancing rule and to avoid gathering in large groups."

Seems our trails remain an option, which is great news considering how much rain we've gotten!

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+2 Luix Merwinn
Cam McRae  - March 19, 2020, 9:42 a.m.

Good to know the rules aren’t as tough as in Italy or Spain. At least not yet.

Reply

rigidjunkie
+2 Pete Roggeman Cam McRae
Allen Lloyd  - March 19, 2020, 9:18 a.m.

Thanks for a good article, the risk isn't from the virus infecting a single person. The risk is from the hospital not being open to trauma patients because of the virus infecting too many people.  Anything we can do to limit the need for hospital care right now makes a difference.

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bmv88
+11 Tremeer023 Greg Bly AlanB Andy Eunson Jonas Dodd Cam McRae Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Timer asf Mammal
bmv88  - March 19, 2020, 9:54 a.m.

A few comments here about switching to road biking in order to reduce risk. Maybe it's just me but I feel way safer on the trials then on the road.

Reply

Timer
+3 Jonas Dodd Cam McRae Pete Roggeman
Timer  - March 19, 2020, 10:45 a.m.

Its not just you. Especially when we are talking about hospitals and intensive care. MTB leads to more crashes than road but most of them are relatively mild. Also keeping in mind that orthopaedic practicioners outside of clinics are not under stress from the virus.

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pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - March 19, 2020, 12:55 p.m.

I agree completely.

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andy-eunson
+1 Timer
Andy Eunson  - March 19, 2020, 8:24 p.m.

I was never really bothered by road riding in the city. Never felt I was going to be hit. But. There’s no question being dinged by a car is far more likely to result in a trip to emerg than sliding out and getting scuffed up off road. I did a road ride up the Pemberton meadows today. Maybe 5 cars and and about the same in cyclists.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 22, 2020, 10:53 p.m.

I didn't used to be either. Have you done it lately? It's a new ballgame.

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SixZeroSixOne
+1 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Greg Bly
SixZeroSixOne  - March 19, 2020, 9:54 a.m.

One of my partner's co-workers has two kids at home who are now seriously bored (already). They don't normally ride much but yesterday mum and kids dug their bikes out and went for a quick spin around the neighborhood. 

Youngest daughter panics when approaching a junction and slams brakes on. Mum (at the back of the group) swerves to avoid daughter and crashes, using the side of her face as a brake (and breaking her bike as well).

Luckily, just flesh wounds and Mum is a nurse so can patch herself up without visiting ER!

True story, bro...

(I'm attempting to ride every day until told not to though I'm definitely avoiding anything too technical and being even more "car-aware" when on the road. 

I'm also toning down the aerobic side as it's still relatively cool outside and I don't want to catch a "general" chest infection that compromises my system should I end up with Covid-19, which is fairly likely as my partner is also a nurse, and therefore she's at high risk as she can't self-isolate/WFH)

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asf
+2 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman
asf  - March 19, 2020, 10:11 a.m.

Riders are still on the trails in the SF Bay Area. Poison oak is thick and growing fast this year so even mellow rides have health risks for sensitive folks. I have some rash still healing up from almost a month ago.

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Sebov
+11 Cam McRae cm1978 rolly Luix goose8 PeterO Andrew Major Niels Merwinn Pete Roggeman Timer
Sebov  - March 19, 2020, 11:41 a.m.

I‘m a Doc in Germany working at one of the biggest trauma hospitals. If you live in an area with Covid-19: ride safe in your comfort zone. If you live in a pandemic area: stop riding. Last few days we had lots of severe motorycyle and sports accidents. Those intensive care beds are now not available for Covid-19 patients. Not fair.

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Lornholio
+1 Pete Roggeman
Lornholio  - March 19, 2020, 12:24 p.m.

Correction: restrictions are indeed in place in France.  Fines are a few hundred Euro.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 19, 2020, 7:57 p.m.

Thank you.  I was unable to find that info.

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cm1978
+3 AlanB Cam McRae Merwinn
cm1978  - March 19, 2020, 12:50 p.m.

Great post Cam. I work as a doc in a hospital and, in anticipation of a likely large, potentially overwhelming wave, we are doing absolutely everything within reason to reduce the load on the hospitals now. We are trying to empty regular and ICU beds. Anything the public can do to eliminate the chance of interacting with the health system will help right now. I’ve dialed it back and am limiting riding to very low risk trails. No one thinks they’re going to crash.

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TucsonMike
+1 Andrew Major
TucsonMike  - March 19, 2020, 2:02 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

mb
-3 Greg Bly cm1978 Robby rolly ZigaK
Mikey Bikey  - March 19, 2020, 2:27 p.m.

Link is to German doc commenting on pandemic.

https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/03/the-serious-problems-with-covid-19.html

In Italy, as elsewhere it seems the real problem is with the generally elderly and underlying conditions.

Not only does  China have  lots of air pollution and TB which causes respiratory problems to begin with,  there is a high immigrant Chinese population in N. Italy w. direct flights between the two.

Yet the Diamond Princess cruise ship is a case in point. Even with a large elderly population, the mortality rate was not that high.

IOW let's not panic about the pandemic. Take precautions, but don't freak out.

Which means a ride might be in order rather than staying home and listening to the fearmongers on the flat screen.

Besides sunlight kills germs.

cheers

Reply

Timer
+4 cm1978 DMVancouver Andy Eunson Cam McRae
Timer  - March 19, 2020, 3:22 p.m.

Keep in mind that the elderly with underlying conditions (which is pretty much a tautology, almost everyone over 75 has some kind of health issue) would often have had many more years to live.

Just for reference, every single presidential candidate in the US is part of the high-risk group.

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mb
-2 Greg Bly cm1978 rolly ZigaK
Mikey Bikey  - March 19, 2020, 9:36 p.m.

Not like I wish anybody ill re. the corona-whatever, but
my political philosphy for a long time has been, forget the great jazz. That's not government's business in the first place.

Rather:

Make America Free,
Build a Wall around Washington DC.

cheers

Reply

Bagheera
+2 cm1978 ZigaK
Bagheera  - March 20, 2020, 12:45 a.m.

The claims made by Dr. Wodarg are judged as false, irresponsible and unscientific by most Docs. Only article I could find quickly is in German, sorry: https://correctiv.org/faktencheck/hintergrund/2020/03/18/coronavirus-warum-die-aussagen-von-wolfgang-wodarg-wenig-mit-wissenschaft-zu-tun-haben

I support your sentiment of taking precautions but not freaking out, though. I'll keep riding, but will take it a little easier (downhill, that is).

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mb
-3 Greg Bly Mammal Robby cm1978 ZigaK
Mikey Bikey  - March 20, 2020, 6:40 p.m.

OK try this one in English. https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/no_author/the-coronavirus-is-not-causing-deaths-weak-immune-systems-are/

True, your mileage may vary, but whatever happened to  Asian/Hong Kong/Bird/SARS/Mers/Swine flu, AIDS,  ebola etc. ?

These apocalyptic epidemics seem to regularly come and go  in large part depending on media coverage and right now, maybe, just maybe who's in the Casa Blanca for the States.

Granted things weren't in good shape to begin with down here in Yankeeville. The financial situation has been papered over by the legal counterfeiting of the Fed Reserve since '08  and the OrangeMan Bad  on Pennsylvania Ave has morphed into Bernie Sanders with his proposal to give everybody $2000, but really?

Where are the true numbers of the asymptomatic and consequently the true death rate?

Yeah, I know: Hindsight is 20/20.

How about the Hippocratic "First, do no harm"?

Common sense, some fresh air and sunlight might  seem to go  along way to solving the problem.

As far as what we really need, big pharma/WHO/CDC/Bill Gates are not real interested in a  panic vaccine, which already is readily available in  singles and six packs.

Rather the house arrests and hysteria must continue.

Rant over, I gotta go ride.

cheers

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Bagheera
+2 cm1978 ZigaK
Bagheera  - March 21, 2020, 3:20 a.m.

I must say I find it difficult to follow your posts, which may be due to my lack of command of the English language or may be due to their rambling nature (as perceived by myself).

About the author of the article above: https://mdprevent.blogspot.com/2012/10/can-bill-sardi-be-trusted.html Also, I find his sayings (in other articles as well) contradicting most research I know of (no, I'm no MD and yes, he'd of course claim that's the big conspiracy and I'm just drinking the kool-aid).

According to several MDs of my personal acquaintance (people who have to deal with the situation right now), s*ht is really hitting the fan and it will get worse. The severe cases are here, even if the true death rate may be lower. If the ER is overwhelmed, it doesn't actually matter if the guys there are 10% or 1% of the infected population, the problem is the overwhelmed ER. And this situation is real and happening, not the construct of media/government/deep state/pick you conspiracy.

So, let's stay calm and do whatever we can to prevent any further spreading of this sucker. Afterwards, we can asses what could have be done better and who to blame, but right now, let's act.

Safe riding to you, have to go do the shopping for some elderly neighbours, will ride tomorrow.

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mb
-4 Mammal Robby cm1978 ZigaK
Mikey Bikey  - March 21, 2020, 12:55 p.m.

There's plenty of folks out there questioning the panic narrative,  even according to the official numbers from WHO/CDC,   besides Sardi, who is a known vitamin hustler but still thinks outside the sandbox enough to make him worth reading imo.

Ben Swann, Heather Mac Donald, why even the usually  despicable NYTimes* ran an oped asking whether the cure was worse than the disease.

Then again there is the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Elderly people at risk in close quarters, 3700 cases approx and what, 10 fatalities?

The flu is serious business. Every year lots of people die from it.

But this is a pandemic?
Get serious/keep calm and carry on.

*It's not what the fakestream moron media tells you. It's what they don't tell you.
IOW a half truth is not the truth. Some of us figured that out even before RockShox figured out front forks.

cheers

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rolly
+1 Mammal
rolly  - March 22, 2020, 9:28 a.m.

It's not your lack of command of the English language.  They're confusing for me too, and I'm a native English speaker.

There's a difference between panicking and taking aggressive action.  1. Covid-19 IS a pandemic (definition: prevalent over a whole country or the world).  2. The quicker people take action (without panicking) the quicker we can get on the other side of this thing.

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taprider
0
taprider  - March 22, 2020, 9:27 p.m.

With all the crack pot ideas about how things are not that serious or how we can go about as normal, I think there has been some cross contamination with  https://nsmb.com/forum/forum/nbr-not-biking-related-9/topic/drunken-ravings-35520/

and yes, I did take it easier on the downhill earlier today

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cm1978
+4 Pete Roggeman Mammal taprider rolly
cm1978  - March 22, 2020, 9:32 a.m.

Always good to have discussion, but I respectfully disagree with this post and link. I certainly do not advocate for panic in any way. What we do need is a healthy respect for the potential for widespread harm from this threat and act accordingly. This virus is fundamentally different from MERS, SARS, H1N1. They did not spread to nearly the same degree because they did not spread in the asymptomatic state. I won’t get into the argument; that’s been made countless times over already. But no other infectious disease has or has threatened to overwhelm systems like this. 

And the comment about this being generally restricted to the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions is false. While it’s true that those categories have a higher risk of death, that’s true of every illness / infectious disease. 25% of deaths in Italy are in younger age categories. In BC we already have young patients critically ill right now. 

The argument of TB and air quality in China, death rates are actually lower in China than outside of China by 3-fold 

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30195-X/fulltext

Because of my specialty, I care for and operate on people with infectious diseases routinely. Influenza, HIV, HCV. I have a respect for the risk of these conditions but I understand the levels of risk and I do not get concerned. After reviewing the emerging evidence of this new threat, this is the first time I have been concerned for my own safety when going to work. I have had, for the first time ever, very sobering conversations with my wife and children with respect to this. 

However from a population perspective, it’s less about any one of us getting sick And more about slowing the spread so that we can manage it within the limited constraints of what our hospitals can handle. At the rate it is increasing, we will run out of protective equipment within a month. 793 deaths in Northern Italy in the last 24 hrs. 

Re the argument re migrant Chinese population, Italy is by no means an outlier. Vancouver has a larger travel relationship with China than Italy. Re Diamond Princess, they were successful because they got on it quickly and slowed the rate of spread with strict precautions. The diamond princess is actually a success story, an argument for restrictive public health interventions rather than against them. 

But I agree entirely with getting out and riding.

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urayamu
0
urayamu  - March 19, 2020, 5:30 p.m.

To be fair there isn't a prohibition for riding bikes in Italy. Yet.

On the government sites is clearly written that you can ride bikes as a sport activity IF you remain close to the area where you live (not literal but is vague) and if you maintain the safe distance of 1 meter. I never heard of the 3000€ fine either. Fines for transgressors of our shelter in place rule starts at around 200€.

What is absolutely prohibited is loading your bike on your car to ride in another area and of course with groups of people.

Also, most regions decided to close city parks or the cycling paths so finding a place to ride is not easy.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 19, 2020, 8 p.m.

Interesting. The info online contradicts that info directly. Do you have a reference for me?

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urayamu
0
urayamu  - March 20, 2020, 1:33 a.m.

Sure, it's on this Ministry of Health page:

http://www.salute.gov.it/portale/nuovocoronavirus/dettaglioNotizieNuovoCoronavirus.jsp?lingua=italiano&menu=notizie&p=dalministero&id=4248&fbclid=IwAR0vpBlQcz9yNUutWdOauB-n_CbeSSWxB-Jl1dAcqG_wi94ha5-K6blo2kw

To be frank it's a giant loophole/grey area and they should eliminate the exception of sport activities altogether. It makes no sense to enforce a shelter in place decree, fining thousand of people walking or commuting without a valid reason and then vaguely allowing all sport activities done "in the territory of residence", which more or less means in the neighborhood/close to where you live.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 19, 2020, 8 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

Dude@
+1 Cam McRae
Dude@  - March 19, 2020, 7:44 p.m.

I live in California, south of the bay area in a shelter in place county. We are allowed to bike as essential health activity. I am very happy for this. I am working from home now and figuring that out. I live 10 minutes from the trails and taking advantage of the opportunity. Everyday, I now enjoy the lunch time ride with the dog and fresh air. However, I am not pushing it. I usually hit jumps and push the downhill speeds. These days, I am Just enjoying the pedal, fresh air, scenery, and mental break. The dog is loving this as well. I am happy to report folks are respecting the social distance. Instead of flying by each other, I and others are stopping and allowing for adequate passing space. It is an interesting recognition of the situation and acknowledgement of maintaining this activity.

As a person with asthma and a bit older, biking helps my lungs so its critical for me to maintain some exercise particularly now to stay healthy for when the high statistical likelihood of my encounter of the COVID 19 happens. 

Stay safe everyone!

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 19, 2020, 8:02 p.m.

Glad you are getting out and staying safe!

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AlanB
+1 Pete Roggeman
AlanB  - March 19, 2020, 9:05 p.m.

Riding is a big part of my health, both physical and mental, which is why I'll keep riding. Toning down the level of difficulty is wise, but there is always risk with mtn biking, as I was reminded yesterday. On a green trail, 100 m from the end of the ride I crashed and scraped my elbow!

Stay safe. Enjoy your social isolation in the woods.

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slimshady76
+3 goose8 Andy Eunson Pete Roggeman
Luix  - March 20, 2020, 4:19 a.m.

We went into mandatory social isolation here in Argentina since Midnight. Until the first of April, any unnecessary travel or even street walking should be avoided. If anyone is found on the streets without a valid reason (such as grocery/medicine shopping, a medical visit, or going to work to an essential job which could not be performed remotely) it will get a nice ticket and an escort back home. If you refuse, you'll land your ass in jail.

Gyms closed on Tuesday, schools closed on Monday, so we're thinking what to do to keep our legs moving. Luckily we have a nice backyard, so maybe I'll build a small pupmtrack to have my kid and me entertained. Other folks down here aren't as lucky as ourselves, locked in a tiny appartment.

Even if this curfew gets longer, it's still for the best of all of us. The pandemia has just landed down here (relatively to EU/US/APAC) so the decision is easy: either we learn from the previous experiences and slow it down at the beginning, or we deal with the massive death toll it could bring. We are at the verge of autumn, and temperature will drop rapidly -as rain starts to fall more frequently- in the next month.

Stay trong fellow MTBers, we will ride again out favourite trails soon. And that day I'll raise a beer to all of you, my brothers.

Wanna see something a bit less dramatic? Pinkbike is taking a lesson from NSMB!!! Yes, the guys who almost patented "it costs less than USD 10,000" as a negative note for any bike review are going to try min/maxing and reviewing sensible priced MTBs!!! Isn't wonderful what a global pandemia could bring us?

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tehllama42
+3 Pete Roggeman Velocipedestrian Luix
Tehllama42  - March 20, 2020, 10:03 a.m.

Yeah, been pretty excited to see that get to a wider audience - but NSMB does it best.  It's kinda the deal that a lot of other content creators have to contend with - deliver the maximum quality of content (to a smaller audience) or deliver the content that appeals to the broadest audience, and the advertiser pressure is definitely towards the latter, even though large parts of the audience want it to trend towards the former.

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slimshady76
+2 Pete Roggeman goose8
Luix  - March 20, 2020, 10:24 a.m.

Completely agree with you. That kind of honest, quality content is what has kept me coming back here.

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pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - March 23, 2020, 9:22 a.m.

Thank you to you too, Luix!

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pete@nsmb.com
+1 Mammal
Pete Roggeman  - March 23, 2020, 9:22 a.m.

You are bang on. No surprise that you get it but it's always nice to see someone point it out in black and white. We're working with select brands to do a better job of providing the content we like to create and our audience likes to consume - in a more sustainable fashion. Some brands get it and we'll be making it more obvious in future which brands those are. It helps us a lot when this is acknowledged, so thank you!

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - March 20, 2020, 10:03 a.m.

Yeah, been pretty excited to see that get to a wider audience - but NSMB does it best.  It's kinda the deal that a lot of other content creators have to contend with - deliver the maximum quality of content (to a smaller audience) or deliver the content that appeals to the broadest audience, and the advertiser pressure is definitely towards the latter, even though large parts of the audience want it to trend towards the former.

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slimshady76
0
Luix  - March 20, 2020, 4:19 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

tehllama42
+1 Pete Roggeman
Tehllama42  - March 20, 2020, 10:01 a.m.

I ride a bit differently now, mostly because I don't want to be a drain on resources.

Amusingly, there are tons more trail users now than any other time, so even my attempts at trail work would need to wait - the biggest upside is teleworking from home, I can very regularly take my daughter on a trailer ride to collect groceries, and the biggest issue is still seasonal allergies for me personally.

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Machuqueiro
+1 Pete Roggeman
Nuno Machuqueiro  - March 21, 2020, 3:19 a.m.

Italy and Spain register almost 5000 death 

so this is no joke 

in Portugal, we closed almost everything

70 plus prohibited to get outside home

let's exercise but not with friends 

and let's be careful, a trip to the hospital could end up worst

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MikeMc
+1 Pete Roggeman
Mike McArthur  - March 22, 2020, 2:27 p.m.

I'm guessing that in less than 2 weeks, this won't even be a debate. We're going to be inside or facing a fine. Time to get your indoor trainer setup dialed.

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GreyHead
+2 Pete Roggeman Cam McRae
GreyHead  - March 22, 2020, 4:16 p.m.

I've been riding but I find going with less commitment leads to stupid falls. From now on its road and gravel trails until we get shut down, probably as Mike suggests in two weeks or less. Stationary bike being setup for exercise...

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - March 24, 2020, 1:11 a.m.

The UK is now on lockdown but you are allowed out to exercise once a day.  For me this will be local XC rides during the day (work the extra in the evening).

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - March 24, 2020, 1:11 a.m.

The UK is now on lockdown but you are allowed out to exercise once a day.  For me this will be local XC rides during the day (work the extra in the evening).

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