Covid Cycling Risks & Precautions

Covid Cycling Risks & Precautions

January 15th, 2021 – As of this week, the Ontario Government has issued new stricter measures to reduce the chances of catching the coronavirus that lurks among us.

The government also recognizes that its citizens need to exercise for its physical and mental benefits as we hibernate this winter. This is good news but requires that we all still be prudent and cautious more than ever while still having some fun too.

It has been strongly advised to stay close to home and reduce your travel. Keep to yourself with no groups larger than five people. Wear a mask when close to others on the trail. Pack all that you need for the trip, head straight there and back home with limited stops for gas or errands.

I wanted to write this as a public service to riders who may be using this site to plan outings. I have been diligently working on my new MTB trail guide for this spring. But let me take a moment away from that, as some of you have been asking…

As the long weekend arrives and the spring weather prompts us to head out on our bicycles, the question is, should you? 

Yes, you can go bike riding, but these are not normal times and precautions need to be taken.

Currently, for exercise, and mental sanity, the government is allowing us to ride our bikes (this may change). Is cabin fever setting in? Planning to get out for some sun and fresh air is certainly a welcomed thought.

You are best to stay close to home and ride solo, on the backstreets in your neighbourhood.


That is what I am doing and have concluded this from reading the links below. Please read them too and make your own judgement. 

This is all about RISK management. You do not want to get hurt, go to the hospital, tax the medical system or catch the virus. 

This means ride within your limits, keeping your ride risk LOW. I know this could be boring and easy terrain. Or riding the road, a paved one at that, OMG! Get over it!

Cycling with someone you live with is OK but NOT other friends, or a club group ride, sorry.

The concept is the virus can be airborne briefly and you, riding behind someone, could inhale what they exhale. If they are contagious, and this could be days before feeling ill, it poses a risk to you.

When you ride the road or a wide park path there is plenty of space, the winds blow and one keeps their distance from others; lower risk. On mountain bike trails passing someone can be a tight squeeze, riders are exercising harder = more exhaling = higher risk.

With that and the fact that many more cyclists are free to go out, it has CLOSED Provincial Parks, Conservation Areas and woodlots. Parking lots are too crowded, trails are too confined when encountering others and because many still don’t get it.

This is a nasty virus, that has a new set of rules, be it temporary. Follow them, play it safe for you and the sake of others.

These are just a few key points regarding your safety to add to what you are already doing…which is social distancing, stay close to home, limiting your visits to stores, washing your hands (scrub for 20 seconds before rinsing) refrain from touching your face. (mouth, nose and eyes are virus entry points)

Stay informed, read a few links below for more “new rules of the road”. 

Doing so will reduce your fear, anxiety and the need for speed. Remember this will pass, the trails will still be there to welcome you back, in time. Actually a little vegetation rejuvenation would be a good thing for our trail ecosystem.

Sure, browse this site to make future plans, but for now, stay home and ride on your own, locally.

I am going to post a few favourite videos this weekend to keep you dreaming of that day we are all back doing what we love – Trail Riding 


Be Well – Dan Roitner


Note date and location of articles for current news.

Canadian Cycling Magazine

MTB Atlantic

Bicycling Magazine (Mountain Trail Review)

MTB Pinkbike

IMBA Canada


Ontario Government  – Covid info and self-assessment

Canadian Government – Covid  info

bike path and cyclist
April 10, 20202 Comments

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