I cannot remember a lot about the time I think we’ll start calling B.C. — Before Coronavirus. It wasn’t that long ago in late February and early March when times were pretty good, if not care-free amazeballs with wonderment and splendor. We could shake hands, hug people, go to restaurants, and ride our bikes in gangs. Now we’re wearing masks, avoiding each other, eating canned food, growing our hair out and getting cabin fever. Be that as it may, life goes on, but it’s hardly recognizable in many ways. Bicycling is still allowed here in Austin, Texas, fortunately, so during my daily rides I’ve noticed a few things. Well, 20 things, to be exact. So I’ve compiled them into this handy list of the Pros and Cons of Bicycling Through the Pandemapocalypse.
Pros of Biking These Days
- Less traffic and less chance of getting hit by it
- Fresher air makes it more enjoyable to breathe hard
- No getting up early for shop rides
- If you ride less, no one cares
- Fewer kudos you have to give out on Strava
- Stop signs are more optional now
- You can get away with not wearing a kit
- Newby riders think you’re awesome
- No hands riding is a lot safer
- More people are riding bikes
Cons of Riding Right Now
- When there is traffic, it can be startling
- Wearing a mask makes breathing harder
- It’s kinda lonely out there
- Riding a trainer is boring as hell
- Finding places to urinate can be a real challenge
- If you crash and burn, you could be in a spot of bother
- Fewer people to say hi to on Strava flybys
- Bike shops may not be open or able to help right away
- Bike lanes are full of maskless #COVIDiots passing too closely
- Can’t hang with your bike buds
Many people don’t have the option to cycle right now, and I feel for them. “Just get a trainer” isn’t good advice if you’re unemployed. Or they can ride, but only in a 12 km radius from home. For others, it’s just too risky. What if you have a high-risk person at home, and you do crash and have to get medical treatment? You could be exposed and bring the damn virus home. That’s my situation, and I have to move yet again. And trust me, it is not a good time to try to find a place for a renter.
But focusing on the positive, riding every day has been a life-saver for peace of mind. First, to escape the omnipresent, ubiquitous roommates. They’re fortunate to be able to work from home. But they seldom leave, and being on house arrest is not something most people without a medical situation keeping them home are used to. So I take my walk, and later go on a bike ride. That gives me exercise, Vitamin D, and some time with my best gal Sophie, the Fairdale Weekender Archer. (Read my blog about how she just passed 10,000 miles.)
Some good news just came out suggesting aerobic exercise is important in the fight against the virus. In a recent article,“Study Suggests Regular Exercise Can Prevent Coronoavirus Patients from Developing Severe Complications,” Newsweek says:
Regular exercise can possibly prevent coronavirus patients from developing severe complications like acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), according to a new study.…
In his research, Yan studied a powerful antioxidant that is released throughout the body when exercising, which showed to help prevent disease, such as ARDS. The antioxidant is known as “extracellular superoxide dismutase” (EcSOD), which is created naturally by our muscles, but Yan’s studies discovered an increase in production when exercising.by Matthew Impelli, Newsweek 4/17/20
The good news is all you need is 30 minutes a day. Also, weightlifting can build muscle that produces (EcSOD) too. So even if you can’t go out even for a walk, you can lift stuff around the house, do vigorous Yoga with Adriene, or whatever gets your heart pumping. So if you aren’t already getting out there, or can’t, consider doing some exercising while “sweatin’ to the oldies” to increase the chances of surviving coronavirus should you happen to get it. I’ll keep doing what I can. Maybe my streak of cycling 180 days in a row and counting will inspire you. If you do, be smart and safe. Stay at least six feet (or 20) away from others, wear a mask, and wash your damn hands!
What is happening in your area? Can you exercise? What are the limits?
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