Our COVID-19 shelter-in-place experiences range far and wide, but some things are consistent. We can all clearly see the decreased traffic on the roads, the usual city bustle has slowed to a crawl, and the springtime Bay Area weather looks welcoming as ever. 

For those of us who’ve built our lifestyles around the amazing outdoor spaces practically at our doorstep, now may be a tempting time to log some miles by bicycle. However, there are some important points to consider before you pump up your tires and grab your helmet.

Specifically, consider the potential outcome that no cyclist wishes to dwell on for too long – the potential for an accident. Whether by an aforementioned distracted driver, a dangerous roadway condition (trackback?), or inexperienced cyclists taking to the roads for the first time, there are numerous hazards that can interfere with a good bike ride. This is not new. However, with emergency rooms in full crisis management mode and with resources stretched to the max, the usual accident response is disrupted at every point. If you need to call an ambulance, you may experience a long wait. If you go to the ER, you risk high exposure to COVID-19, not to mention potentially diverting resources in treating suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients for injuries that could have been prevented by staying home. And should an injury be severe enough to require orthopedic surgery, that too may require a much lengthier scheduling delay, potentially resulting in permanent bodily damage.

These are not pleasant scenarios to consider. But now, in a time of heightened social responsibility and caution, they cannot be ignored. While we at Heinrich Law will always be here to help in case of a bike accident, we also feel obligated to stress preventative measures at this time. 

Further, if you have access to a stationary bike, there are numerous virtual options at your disposal. Platforms like Peloton and Zwift have brought aspects of social networking to home setups that used to only be available via your local spin class. You can get in a brain-boosting workout, “ride” with friends, join a virtual race, or even tackle a realistic mockup of the most famous cycling climb in the world, the Alpe d’Huez. While nothing can replace the outdoors, there are many options that combine the best of what indoor cycling can offer and CDC-approved safety measures. 

We wish everyone the best as we continue to navigate this unprecedented situation. Please stay safe and, ideally, close to home.