4 Essential Things-To-Do and Gadgets-to-Have for a Safer Bike Commute during COVID-19
This is a revised version of a blog post posted by Hexlox. To read the full blog post visit Hexlox blog.
Recently the European Parliament issued a memo urging employees to avoid public transport. ”Walk or bike or, as a last resort, use your private car,” Kristian Knudsen, the director-general for personnel, wrote. “The risk of transmission of Covid-19 in public transport is much too high.”
Mass transit systems like trains, metros, and buses are riskier choices for commuting and pose a greater threat of catching a virus because it is next to impossible to avoid the large crowds. One is vulnerable if an infected fellow passenger sneezes or coughs inside compact bogies, stations, buses, and check-in counters. Using common utility facilities like ticketing machines, holding safety handles, pressing lift buttons, arms rests, etc. can be carriers of the virus if it was previously used by an infected person.
A lot of us are commuting to work every day, and with the global pandemic the number of everyday commenters is growing. If you have been commuting by bike for years and years then some of the following tips might be common sense for you, but for all the new. Commenters out there, this is some valuable tips to keep in mind.
We sincerely want you to stay healthy and what better way to do that than commuting to work by bike. Safely!
It’s important to feel safe when cycling. While it might seem an easy thing. Just getting on the bike and heading out can sometimes be difficult, but it’s great if you are prepared and make sure the dangerous things are avoided. After all, a big part of any commuter’s journey is shared with cars, pedestrians and traffic fumes.
1. Get Started
Make sure you take time to practice riding a bike. If it’s been a while, then just take out the bike in the area where you live. Just get on it and get comfortable with what it’s like to just ride. A park would be a good spot to get reacquainted with riding again. Practice stopping and changing direction as you definitely will have to do this in a real situation - possibly with lots of other traffic.
2. Do a bike check-up
Make sure your bike is in good working order. Take a good look at your bike. Being able to quickly come to a stop whenever you need is of utmost importance. Therefore, make sure your brakes are in good condition. Secondly, check the chain. It should be tight. You don't want to have that fall off or slip when you are halfway to work and don't have any other means of transportation close. And it might be raining. Third, make sure the wheels are pumped up and that all normal skewers or security skewers are in good condition and securely in place. Having a wheel come off when riding, it's not fun. Trust us on that one
3. Spice it up - Change your route to work - Every week
Hexlox recommend using the route building features at Komoot, as well as Strava. Also, well-known Google Maps work well, even if it’s not as bike centric as the other two. Komoot and Strava work pretty much the same - set a start- and endpoint, and the platform will suggest a route for you - based on other users’ rides. You can of course map your routes manually on both platforms! Plan ahead. Ask other riders about traffic patterns at the hours you ride. Also, talk to the local cycling clubs and indeed ask your friends on Facebook for advice.
4. Protect yourself - and others
Even if the risk of catching the coronavirus while outside, on your bike, is minimal we still recommend using the Urban Air Mask by Airinum because of pollution & smog, pollen & allergens, and other nasty things. According to the WHO is air pollution & smog responsible for 1 in 9 deaths and is the single largest environmental health crisis we face. The Urban Air Mask is KN95 certified and filters out more than 95% of particles down to 0.3μm in size. And always wear a helmet or a Hövding. Period.
Hexlox was founded by Swedish serial entrepreneur Marcus Tonndorf and Australian Industrial Designer Ian Berrell and their mission is to get people to “Worry Less and Ride More” essentially getting more people out on their bikes and onto the road, streets, tracks, and trails all around the world. This is something we at Airinum support as it contributes to our mission to create a cleaner world and a healthier tomorrow.