“Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe?” –RW Emerson, Nature
As more people are discovering freedom on two wheels and the joys and benefits of self-powered locomotion outside, we are reminded how essential cycling businesses are for supporting basic transportation. Some public health orders were not clear on whether bicycle shops were designated as ‘essential businesses’ during the current public health crisis. Bike shops are definitely providing essential services to families and especially our children. The first rule of cycling safety is maintenance and a pre-trip inspection. In addition to maintenance, bike shops do repairs, match us to appropriate equipment, and provide a host of services from bike fitting to route finding and local expertise.
“One of the principles of health promotion is to support an individual or community in taking control of their own health.” –BCCHC (Bernalillo County Community Health Council, March 2020 announcement)
Many of the workers we rely upon use the bicycle to commute to work, such as doctors, nurses, food workers and more, plus the bicycle is used for deliveries and essential errands. It’s important to ensure people have the assistance they need to make sure their bicycle is safe to operate. This ‘basic bike check‘ is the first step before any ride.
Bicycle shops are foundational to healthy communities. They provide the equivalency of services that automotive shops do for cars. As we review things with fresh eyes, we are recognizing bike shops as essential service providers for transportation safety for all. Don’t let the simplicity of the bicycle fool you–it’s incredibly effective at making seamless work of uniting our basic needs for health, community, and sustainable mobility for perpetuity.
Resources to get (and keep) riding safely:
The community network of bike shops, instructors, orgs., etc. in New Mexico by the LAB, can be of assistance if you are started riding. I’m listed as an instructor. Drop me a line
City of Albuquerque bicycling information, including a bike map
PedBikeSafe is a resource about road design elements that citizens can use to be more informed and understand proactive safety measures, risks and hazards, and countermeasures. http://www.pedbikesafe.org
On March 28th, the Dept. of Homeland Security amended its guidance to include “bicycle maintenance” and “employees who repair and maintain …bicycles” as part of the essential workforce: https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce This is guidance. It only becomes law if our states and local entities follow it
Bloomberg Philanthropies partners with NACTO to provide the Transportation Response Center including tools for cities to support cycling https://nacto.org/program/covid19/
Jose Jimenez, a professor of chemistry at the Univ. of CO Boulder specializing in aerosol science, recommends keeping up to 25 feet away from others while exercising outside https://theknow.denverpost.com/2020/03/31/exercising-outdoors-coronavirus-distance-apart/236439/