In the late 80's REM released a song called "It's the end of the world as we know it" well COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it.
While some have taken to panicking, hoarding toilet paper and groceries, others are trying to enjoy their normal lives as best we can while following procedures to keep themselves and those around them safe.
It’s looking like this may be a long road back to the lives that we were used to, so practices that can help keep your body active and mind at ease are key— In a recent Executive Order Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis has issued guidelines for us to practice "safer at home" and in that order it mentions "recreational activities" as permissible... practices like riding a motorcycle fall under that guideline are allowed but we all need to be smart about it.
We have to be careful while riding not to appear that we are not following proper guidelines.
Here are some practical tips to help keep you safe on the road, and help avoid the further transmission of this virus.
Social distancing allows for groups of up to 10 people but let us go one better......... if you have a group of 10 or more... lets ride in smaller groups... so you designate a second ride captain who keeps his group a full car length behind the first group ... so if 10 you could ride in 2 groups of 5 or 6 and 4 if you like to ride in pairs... if you have more than 12 designate another ride captain.
Ride captains should maintain same distance from group in front of them when stopping at red lights or street corners and lead their group to a seperate parking area from previous group.
When you arrive at a destination, be sincere in keeping with 6 feet apart distancing from riders not in your immediate circle.
Helmet on, gloves on.
While this is a good rule for riding in general, I believe it to be more important during this time, it’s a good idea to keep your helmet on with shield or eye ware and gloves on a little more than you usually would When getting to a destination, park further apart than you usually do, even within your group... Keep these helmet and gloves on until the group has separated a bit.
Keep your gloves on while filling up with gas to avoid touching the handle that is probably covered in germs. Or bring your own sanitary wipes and clean the handle for yourself and others.
Keeping your face covered keeps you from touchint it and gloves are likely to do the same. At the end fo the day, wipe down your gloves and helmet.
It’s commonly said that motorcycling is a solitary endeavor, made exponentially more fun by the addition of others. I’ve generally agreed with this, but now… We need some space. Social distancing is one of the key components of slowing down COVID-19’s spread, so avoiding any sort of gathering is key. If you want to go ride with some friends... see above
Wash your bike, your helmet, your hands, your phone.
We’ve all been told to wash our hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, and that’s great advice, you absolutely should. But there’s a lot more than just your hands out there to worry about, and it’s likely that you’ve touched your phone with your gloved hand as well. Think about commonly touched surfaces—even the visor and vents on your helmet that you’ve been adjusting throughout your ride. If you’ve used any tools on your ride, it’s a good idea to clean and disinfect those as well. So play it safe—wash your bike, wipe down your phone, and, for the love of God, wash your hands.
Bring the Purell, wipes, 409, liquids and some snacks.
We’re riding for some social distance here. So whether you’re packing a picnic or picking up some food along the way, you want to be able to clean your hands without having to find a bathroom with some soap, and hand sanitizer is perfect for that. Make sure you can relax and enjoy your meal by packing some of this liquid gold. . 409 cleaner is actually a great way to clean surfaces too and still available at Walmart (well it was yesterday when I was there)... it kills 99.9% of Viruses and bacteria. Also, it is a good idea to pack some snacks and water to keep your blood sugar up and stay hydreated, keeping your immune system working.
Enjoy the freedom, within limits.
I don’t know about you, but where I live, the roads are more open than I have ever seen them. There is a natural part of me that thinks for some reason the rules suddenly don’t apply, but when I go riding I still see cops out. So obey the usual rules of the road while adding some these new suggestions.
If you feel unwell at all, stay home.
If you’re showing any symptoms at all, stay home. Even if you feel well, always practice the 6-foot rule for social distancing (which is easier on a motorcycle, let's face it). Most people who are infected are asymptomatic; do your part and stay home. It’s not worth it to get germs on a gas pump or anything else that may inadvertently infect someone else.
Most of all ....Have fun, ride safe, AND do your part.