A cyclists moral dilemma – Yesterday Italy and Spain said cycling is banned. At first, I was outraged. How could they do this? But after considering the logic, I agree with altering the rides I am going to do.
The Cycling Today article comments that hot home for me came from Carlos Mascias, medical director of a private hospital in Madrid. “Stay at home and put the bike aside,” “Whatever possibility to minimize the impact on the resources of medical services that is not directed toward coronavirus is primordial. If any cyclist suffers an incident and needs an ambulance or a bed in intensive care, we are taking it away from people who truly need it, who are now arriving en masse to hospitals,” he continued. “If something happens to you now, maybe you have a chance [to be treated], but you will be taking it away from someone else … but in 48 hours, if something happens to you, the one who is left without [ICU] might be you, those who are now riding your bikes.”
I think it is likely safer to ride today and in the weeks to come. People are staying in. Traffic is light. However, I also know that anytime I get on the road there is a chance of being hit. Normally, I’m OK with the risk, as I am only putting myself in harms way.
With the corona virus things are changing this prospective. If I, or you, end up being hospitalized because we are doing a “high” risk activity, we could end up taking up a bed at a hospital at a time the entire medial system is being overwhelmed are being overwhelmed. We need to look at whats happening from a completely different prospective. As I have so many people in this community I love, I’m thinking of them. I’m thinking of all the people on the front lines in the hospitals who are so incredible and making their job easier. I’m thinking of the possibility of health care workers having to make a ethical decision of who do you save if resources become limited. As I type this I feel like i’m an alarmist, pushing panic, but reading what happened in China and is still exploding in Europe, I feel like this is just common sense.
I was going to be pre-riding the El Tour de Tucson course this weekend, but am going to hold off for a few weeks. I will avoid group rides not only due to social distancing, but the additional risk ( even if small- I am going to do my part). I’m still weighting out if it’s still justifiable to be commuting on The Loop and rides where there is limited traffic. I still can see mountain biking, but will be staying on less technical riding and more cross county.
This is really, really hard for me to accept all this. Riding is a part of everything I do. It is what keeps me sane. I expect many who read this will think I’m over reacting. I might be, but this is a case where the good of the community out weights my need to ride.
In the case you don’t care about the risk because you are such a great rider and are never going to hit the pavement, I have another reason not to ride. In the image above, you can see if you are riding in a group, you might be following someone who has COVID-19. Just one more reason to be extra careful at this time.