10 Guidelines for Safe Riding from the Cascade Rides Committee

Sara Kiesler

Sara Kiesler


The Cascade Bicycle Club Rides Committee has put together 10 guidelines for experienced cyclists to practice during this time period to ensure the safety of the cycling community as a whole. Please read through them and keep in mind that by adhering to these guidelines you are not only ensuring your own safety, but also modeling good behavior and cycling skills to newer cyclists out testing the waters as well.

Ten Guidelines for Safe Bicycle Riding during COVID-19 Restrictions

On March 23, Governor Inslee and Washington state health authorities placed restrictions on peoples’ movement, but have specifically allowed bicycling as a healthy activity, provided precautions are taken. We want everyone to ride their bicycles, but it is crucial that we don’t add to the crisis by transmitting the COVID-19 virus while doing so, or adding unnecessary additional strain on shared resources, including hospitals and emergency personnel. As experienced cyclists, we are ambassadors for the cycling community, and we can continue to enjoy this activity safely and responsibly if we follow these guidelines.

  1. You must stay home if...

    • ...you have been tested and are positive for COVID-19.

    • ...you have been tested for COVID-19 but have not yet received results.

    • ...you, or anyone in your household, are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19.

    • ...you have been in close contact with someone who is suspected of being infected, or confirmed to have been infected, with COVID-19.

  2. Preserve the opportunity to ride. As a community if we don’t follow these guidelines and health authorities subsequently see bicycling as adding to our already strained system, we may lose the freedom to ride.

  3. Ride alone, or only with members of your household.

    • Let family members or emergency contacts know your route and when you will be home. Set up a “ride tracker” if you have one.

    • Group rides increase the likelihood that a member of your group is infected, and the larger the group, the harder it is to ensure social distancing is maintained.

  4. Maintain social distancing guidelines at all times, on and off the bike.

    • Health experts recommend a minimum of six feet of buffer.

    • The COVID-19 virus remains airborne for some time, so you may need more than 6 feet if you’re riding behind someone.

    • Riding side-by-side on multi-use trails makes it hard to maintain social distancing, and should be avoided.

    • Be aware of other riders, and pass safely with enough distance to keep both riders safe.

    • While waiting at stop lights, continue to observe social distancing rules.

  5. Avoid multi-use trails if you are comfortable riding on roads, especially when trails are crowded, and traffic should be unusually low on streets at this time.

    • Because bicycling has been promoted as a “safe” activity, many novice cyclists are taking to multi-use trails which is increasing the chances of accidents.

    • When the trails are full of inexperienced users, it is difficult or impossible to maintain social distancing.

    • Caution riding on roads. Although there are fewer cars, this can lull you into feeling safer, and the drivers on roads can be stressed and distracted.

  6. Carry your own food and water rather than stopping at grocery stores, as this will decrease the likelihood of spreading the virus and avoid straining these shared resources.

  7. Avoid bathroom stops by planning your ride appropriately. Many public bathrooms and parks are now closed.

    • Use sterilizing hand wipes, hand sanitizer, or a clean cloth, to open doors.

    • If you absolutely have to stop at a restroom, wash your hands before using the facilities (to avoid spreading the virus if you happen to be a carrier) and after (to avoid picking up the virus).

  8. Don’t spit or blow “snot rockets.”

    • Carry tissue or a handkerchief if needed, and carefully dispose of tissues.

    • Handkerchiefs, gloves and sleeves attract germs; isolate them and wash them after every ride. 

  9. Ride slower and more cautiously. Heed stop signs. Avoid door zones. Use your lights during daytime. Wear your brightest, contrasting colors. Use a mirror and check it periodically.

  10. Be a good citizen. If you choose to ride, behave as if you are carrying the virus, and simultaneously, as if you are not carrying it, but everyone else is.



Be safe out there, 

Your Rides Committee 

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