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Freewheelin’ Friday No. 3

Our weekly round-up of interesting bike news, commentary, and the best of what our favorite riders are up to.

Should we wear masks when bicycling? The Centers for Disease Control issued guidelines on April 3, 2020 recommending “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain”.  But how do we do we, as cyclists, abide by these new directives while still enjoying a ride? Well, that may take a while to figure out.

But, for now we’ve found two informative feature stories with expert insight and an understanding of social distancing practices by bike.

Bicycling posted this feature story to their website with advice and information from a wide range of health professionals. 

“Really, what these announcements should mean to athletes, and to everyone, is that the situation we are in is very serious. And that we all need to consider the consequences of our individual actions on the community around us,” said Matt Ferrari Ph.D., associate professor of biology in the Eberly College of Science, and a researcher with the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State.

VeloNews asks and answers the question, ‘Why masks and why now?’ in this story from their website this week.

For cyclists heading out on the road, the likelihood of being in close enough proximity to someone to spread disease is low. Consequently, there is no need to wear a mask on the road, or in wide-open areas, Smith says, “but if a cyclist plans to stop at a store or to interact with someone during the ride, it’s wise to carry a buff or mask for that reason.” One thing he wants to reiterate: group rides should not be happening.

Photo: BR&IN

Bikes Mean Business – Trek Bicycle president, John Burke, sits down with the editor-in-chief of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News for a conversation in which he suggests the likelihood of very good days ahead for bicycles and bike business. John is a talented leader and has been active in state and national advocacy for decades. Bike Gallery  has been a dealer for Trek for decades and just one more great example of why we are thrilled to have them as our longest-running sponsor.

“We’ve been saying for a long time that the bicycle is a simple solution to complex problems.” -John Burke

World’s Steepest Street – Ready for a challenge? Most cyclists who like to climb dream of the classic mountain courses like Alpe d’Huez in France or the Mortirolo in Italy. But at 8% and 11% average gradient for each they pale in comparison to New Zealand’s Baldwin Street. Located on the country’s South Island, Baldwin Street is a whopping 34.8% gradient. A recent challenge from a community in Wales has been once-and-for-all settled by Guinness World Records and the title belongs to Baldwin Street. Check out this fun story over on Cycling Tips and prepare to be out of breath.

But did you know Oregon City, Oregon is home to North America’s only vertical street? The Oregon City Municipal Elevator is one of only four municipal elevators in the world and connects two neighborhoods separated by a 90-foot cliff and technically serving as 7th Street at both upper and lower locations.

Pro Delivery –  Four-time Tour de France stage winner Dylan Groenewegen is using his sprinter’s speed to deliver groceries by bicycle in the Netherlands. With the country under a national order to remain home, professional cyclists are not permitted to train outdoors but anyone who can is asked to provide support for people in need. Groenewegen happily answered the call and likely delivers more quickly than any service in town.

“No racing for a while, but time to help. In the time ahead I will deliver groceries by bicycle to the elderly and care providers who are currently unable to do this themselves.”


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