In this almost apocalyptic world whereby cities grind to a halt, streets are empty, people are wearing gloves and masks, newly painted lines and foot prints on store floor to indicate social distances and that most nonessential workers are under a stay at home order, I ask myself, is it safe to ride? Well the government recommends no essential travel. Just that alone suggests that riding is a not acceptable.
Two weeks ago I posted this picture on my Facebook page and on the R1200R Group Page as a joke or really just to lighten the situation at hand. Of course it was still wintery and this picture was taken last fall just before winter but the sentiments were that riding is COVID-19 free.
Within minutes on the R1200R page the comments began to flood in. People from Italy and Europe that were facing what we are facing today but in a much worse situation repeatedly said “STAY HOME!“.
My first thought was why? So I engaged the people from Italy and asked them. Why Not?
There were many reasons for riding or not riding. I think the most impressionable argument for not riding has to do with consideration for others, the medical proffesion, first responders (today’s Heros) and yourself.
Riding is an activity that comes with a much higher degree of risk than most other activities such as walking. Therefore the fact that we would consider engaging in an activity that puts us at high risk and may result in an accident that would create a need for an ambulance and a create a further burden to our hospitals is in my opinion the utmost reason to not ride.
I know! I have not had an accident on my motorcycle ever (knocking on layers of wood as I write this). But consider the risk? Today most people are on edge, they may have just worked long hours and are returning home, just lost a loved one or they may just be feeling highly anxious and disturbed while trying to deal with the COVIOD-19 threat. So in fact, these people that are driving may likely have a reduced attention level to motorcycles and are therefore a further risk to riders.
So I think as a Human, a fellow citizen of the world it would be logical during this epidemic that we do not perform activities that may result in the need for first responders and/or hospital care.
So that’s it, the number one argument against riding. But additionally, we also must assume that we may be asymtimatic and could in fact be contributing to the spread of COVID-19 at gas stations or anywhere else we may stop, even if we practice social distancing. Here are some pros and cons to consider before you gear up and ride.
- Stress relief (we all are in dire need of that!)
- Waited all winter and spring is finally here
- Riding alone is self isolating and enjoyable
- I have the right to enjoy my life, even though it is a pandemic situation
- Just got my new bike
- Can’t make the situation worse (see cons)
- The Government is suggesting (recommending) that there is no nonessential travel; period! A leasurely ride is in fact, nonessential
- If I have accident I become a burden on the medical proffesionals already challenged from treating really sick COVID-19 patients
- If I have an accident I also endager myself to get COVID-19 during treatment
- Where can I stop to relieve myself during the ride that is safe? A garage bathroom? Most other bathrooms are closed
- Assuming I may have an asymtimatic vesion of COVID-19 then just stopping for gas may infect another person, someone who could be at a high risk. After all, did you cough once in the last two weeks? Perhaps one small headache or a slight sore throat? We all have to assume that yes, perhaps we had a small cold or instead we have COVID-19 and don’t know it because we cannot get tested
- Negative demonstration to the population that sends out a message that it is ok to ride, or four wheel or just get out there and have fun. As more people do this, they will at times congregate, even if in small groups at a wash room, small store to get a bottle of water or amonst each other assuming everyone in the group is healthy
Can I answer the question wether we should ride or not? Nope, I can not. Only you can answer that question for yourself.
Will I ride? Not right now, Nope. 😦