Bikes and the Coronavirus
Have you given any thought to how bikes and the coronavirus go together? Thousands of cases of COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, have emerged in the United States. Many urban centers have instituted draconian measures to enforce social distancing, the current best strategy for containing the virus in the absence of a vaccine. Restaurants, bars, theaters, libraries, production studios, cruise liners, schools and many other industries have shuttered or all but shut down, while others are being told to practice social distancing and work from home wherever possible. The roads are clearer than they’ve been in years, while public transport is feared as a vector for viral transmission by commuters seeking to avoid crowds. There’s never been a better time to start cycling to work. ALPEN, makers of the impregnable Bike Storage Capsule, can share with you the ins and outs of cycling your way through the pandemic.
A Surge in Biking
New York City, home of the country’s busiest public transit network by far, is experiencing a new phenomenon. It’s the rise of the Citi Bike: usage of NYC’s e-bike network has surged by over 65% over this time last year. The city’s bridges have recorded a 50% increase in bicycle traffic. It’s not an isolated example: Chicago has also seen a significant increase in use of its metered bikes. That said, there are other cities such as Seattle, where large swathes of the workforce have been told to stay home, that are not experiencing this surge. Cities are adjusting their rollout of new bike racks and e-bike facilities accordingly. The New York City transport commissioner, Polly Trottenberg, has gone on record that the city was doing what it could to ensure that this trend can safely continue: “We’re looking at everything we can do quickly to make cycling even safer, and easier, and more accessible,” she said. Some companies are offering deals to help reduce commuters’ exposure to the virus on public transportation. For example, the Czech service Rekola is offering free rides of up to half an hour for the next two weeks. The best way to ensure that you have a safe bicycle for commuting into work every day, of course, is to have and use a bike of your own.
Bicycling During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Of course, there are issues surrounding bike shares during the coronavirus outbreak. The spread of the virus can be abetted by sharing bikes. In Los Angeles, a Metro representative said “Metro Bike Share is reviewing cleaning protocols for bikes and stations and ensuring they are compliant with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Infectious disease specialists are recommending to avoid spitting or being around cyclists who spit, as it is an excellent way of spreading coronavirus via airborne moisture particles (similar to coughs or sneezes).
While the virus itself can not endure for long on outdoor surfaces, wearing gloves is recommended if you are going to be riding a shared bike. It’s also advisable to use hand sanitizer or wash your hands immediately after using a shared bike. That aside, it is unlikely that coronavirus cases will occur as a result of bike sharing. Do your part to make sure it stays that way: use alcohol wet wipes on the handlebars of a shared bicycle before and after using it. Keep your immunity up by staying warm and dry while riding. If you are feeling symptomatic (particularly if you have a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath) do not use shared bikes or any other form of transport: stay home and rest. If symptoms get worse, seek medical help.
Safe and Secure Cycling with ALPEN
ALPEN’s revolutionary clamshell-shaped bicycle storage unit is a solution for those in need of a place to keep their bicycles safe, dry, and away from potential contamination sources. It’s a svelte 79x53x32 inches: slightly larger than the average office desk, and a lot easier on the eye. You can store almost any variety of bicycle inside. Your bike will be kept safe from:
Weather: the ALPEN Bike Storage Capsule protects from UV radiation and rain. Our intelligent design doesn’t let water in, but does allow ventilation so as to prevent condensation, keeping your bike and equipment dry.
Contaminants: With no sharing and no touching, it’s almost impossible for a coronavirus carrier to contaminate your bicycle while it’s safely inside the capsule.
Thieves and vandals: The unique and rugged design of the ALPEN Bike Storage capsule means that your bike will be protected from those who may otherwise steal, damage, or deface it. Its roto-molded polyethylene shell is incredibly resistant to damage. The entire unit, plus a bike, weighs well over one hundred and thirty pounds, and it can be bolted to the ground for added security. It cannot be unbolted without first being unlocked.
If you’re interested in getting your own ALPEN Bike Storage capsule for your parking space, stairwell, backyard, or place of work, you can order one direct through our store.