What a bizarre blog post. Who ever thought wed be re-thinking how to ride a bike outside? Who ever would have thought that group rides would be [for the time being] a thing of the past? Not me, thats for sure.
Incidentally, I have always been more of a lone wolfette as opposed to a cyclist who yearns to roll deep in a 30-person peloton. I think that's simply because when I first clipped in over a decade ago, I didn't have much of a choice. I knew a couple (maybe a few?) women who rode bikes. I was simply a stranger to the sport. These days, sure, every once in a while it's nice to get caught up in a paceline, enjoying the swift pace, and the opportunities to sit in as well as the challenge to pull. But I'm pretty sure I've logged at least two thirds of my miles solo, and the other third with a small group of friends.
I suppose it's the same sense of independence that made me want to create my own clothing line. I like making my own decisions: where to ride, how much I want to suffer, and what I want to wear.
So here's my advice [you know I don't like 'rules'] from one lone wolfette to another.
1. Tell someone where you will be riding. Consider using something like the Strava beacon feature. And make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave.
2. Minimize risks. With first responders overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this is not the time to do anything which would amplify the inherent risks to riding a bike. I was just about to dip my toe into riding gravel, but the last thing I want to do is get into a new discipline, on unknown trails, by myself. Gravel can wait.
3. Pass if you must, but make sure it's necessary. If you pass another cyclist, make sure you can hold your distance. Especially now, it's not only obnoxious, but unsafe to pass someone only to sit right in front of him (or her).
4. Be extra prepared. Think about taking 2 tubes. Grab an extra full bottle. Pack another bar. Minimize the chance that you'll have to come into contact with another cyclist to help you fix a flat, or go into a store for food or water. And remember: closed parks often = closed restrooms.
5. If you listen to music, please leave one ear free, preferably your left one so that you can hear cars. It's actually the law in many states, including California.
Stay well and stay safe.