Be active, Stay safe, then get back in the house
These uncertain times are very challenging for everyone, especially families with children. As we worked through our first full month of sheltering in place, cabin fever definitely set in. All these changes to daily life can get a bit overwhelming, but the good news is, while a stay home order is in full effect, going outside for some fresh air and physical activity is encouraged! Cycling is one of the best ways to get moving.
Best tips for your next family bike ride
1. Prep Is Key
Do you know where you are going?
As a result of the stay at home order, many parks and trails are more crowded than usual, especially for local inner-city parks like Frick Park and Highland Park. If your family is comfortable, keep your ride in or around your neighborhood. Check out our BikePGH Bike Map to help plan your route.
Did you do an “ABC Quick Check” on all bikes?
An ABC Quick Check is a fast, systematic way to check over key components of your bikes before each ride. It’s extremely helpful to check your bikes beforehand to avoid interruptions on your ride. Click the link for full “ABC Quick Check”.
Do you have what you need?
Be sure to pack any quick fix tools, snacks, water, first aid, and any other essentials for you and your family.
2. Stay safe outside
Practice safe social distancing while riding.
If you already ride as a group you’re already used to riding with a bike’s worth of space between you and the riders around you. Make sure the whole family knows what that looks like including family members with smaller bikes. Remember: “Be smart, stay 6ft apart”!
Use the single-file ride method.
In our youth education program Positive Spin, we practice all group rides in a single file line at first. The group is complete with a ride leader at the front and a caboose at the very end to keep all youth insight. This method is great for family rides and is the most efficient way to practice safe social distancing on your rides and take up less space on crowded trails.
Keep it short and sweet.
Though you are encouraged to get some exercise, the longer you are outside the higher your chances of coming in contact with the virus. Keep your rides under 5 miles, especially if you are using highly populated trails and parks. Remember: “Work it aht and get back in the Hahs”
Stay Clean and Informed!
After your ride, sanitize all the components of the bike that are touched the most, like the handlebars, breaks, your helmet, etc..). Use a clean towel to wipe your face and wash those separately from your house clothes. Be sure to check out local news sources, the CDC, and the WHO for new information regarding going outside and safety precautions.
The Benefits Of family Cycling
Cabin Fever Treatment
Many families with children are now coming out of spring break, and in-home traffic and energy are high. Cycling is one group activity that can be done safely outside. Adding a few rides into your weekly routine can help take the edge off of being stuck in the house, burn off extra energy, and relieve anxiety for everyone.
Keeping the Body Protected
Physical activity is key in keeping healthy bodies healthy. One big way of fighting this outbreak is keeping the body healthy and the mind calm. Do both by taking a calming ride to get your heart rate up and clear your minds safely as a family.
Routine is Key
Children who would usually be in school right now are used to a routine. Physical activity is a weekly routine if not daily for some. If possible, a family ride a few times a week can help bring back that sense of normalcy and help make homeschooling a little easier.
Please check your local news source daily for updates related to COVID-19. We are all in this together.
PS. Share your family ride photos with us on social! Tag @BikePGH for a chance to be featured on our story.