Covid-19 and Riding Motorcycles: Now What?motoplex | May 11, 2020 | 2 | covid-19 , Riding , safety
Am I Going To Be Safe From Coronavirus While Riding My Bike?
It was just a matter of time, wasn’t it? Just a matter of time when someone had to write an article to try to scare a bunch of motorcycle riders into installing air filters into their helmets, and rubber gloves under their riding ones. Some ‘snowflake’ just had to write about whatever liberal agenda that’s taking away our given rights as Americans, because they just don’t do any research outside of whichever news network, or whichever Hollywood star has them convinced that this thing is anything more than a scam, right?
This isn’t that article.
I was born in a small town in Idaho, and I grew up on a ranch riding horseback in the hills quite some distance from that small town. Nowadays, my ‘horse’ eats petrol (not hay,) but the concepts of freedom and integrity that I learned from those early years are still the things I hold dear to this day.
These are the two biggest reasons I became a motorcycle enthusiast. The idea of riding out on the open road just seems to personify everything I hold dear, and truthfully, I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s a camaraderie amongst riders. It’s why we give one another a nod or a wave as we pass. It’s why we buy strangers a beer after a long day. It’s why we ride.
So how is all of this pandemic stuff hitting the riding community?
Should you be worried about possible infection, just going for a ride?
Should you abstain from participating in the upcoming group events due to social distancing?
These are questions that many of you should be asking yourselves if you’re not already. It’s important to ask these questions, because frankly, too many people nowadays are just part of the herd, drinking whatever punch the media tells them to drink, and then acting however they see fit.
So in order to answer these questions, I think it’s important that we take a look at all this very new point in American history, as if all of us had the superpower of common sense (because apparently it is a super power nowadays since no one seems to have any of it.)
What We Know About Covid
I’m not a doctor, but I’m sure a few doctors out there will read this. So what I am about to say is going to be what I know with 100% absolute certainty about the Covid-19 virus. These are items that everyone should agree on (hopefully,) and help us think about this from the perspective of a rider.
- We know it’s a virus. Like most viruses, it is only strong inside the body. Outside of the body, many different types of cleaners kill it instantly. Even the temperatures outside the body will kill it relatively quickly without the need of cleaners.
- We know it exists. We know that it’s a real thing that has affected millions of people in one way or another worldwide. It’s not a boogie man or a myth. It is real.
- We know that it’s contagious as hell in confined spaces. It’s an airborne virus, and all airborne viruses are contagious as hell in confined spaces, if they weren’t, no one would ever get sick.
- We know that the more people there are to infect in a small area, the more likely the infection will spread. Again, this is normal stuff, the more people the more problems. That’s just that.
- We know that it can kill us. Especially if we are outside of our prime, immune compromised, or still young children (if you are a young child reading this, go get your parents!)
…And there you have it…
That’s all I know for sure about Covid-19, and really all I have to know. You may not feel the same way as I do, and that’s just fine with me. You may want to start spewing out daily death tolls (or what have you,) or who’s doing what right or wrong in the Whitehouse. That’s just fine too, but guess what?
I don’t care.
I know what I know, and I’m going to make all of my choices based on that right there, because in all honesty, the next section is more important to me, and that is:
What We Don’t Know About Covid
How long am I going to make this section of the article? I could get out the tinfoil, make us each a cute little hat, and we could start talking about viral videos, conspiracy theories, and the evil of big pharma. Trust me, I love to write about all of that stuff, too! Better yet, let’s get together and talk about all of this, because I like to hear myself talk way more than just simply writing an article!
The bottom line here is this: there’s only one point that matters when we talk about what we don’t know about this new virus. It’s not a “what-if.” It’s not some biochemical mumbo-jumbo you can’t pronounce. It’s one simple matter-of-fact that anyone reading this cannot deny:
- Without seeing test results, we don’t know who has it.
Simple enough, right?
We just don’t know who has what anymore, and that’s that. It’s not like someone catches a nasty virus and turns fluorescent blue, or something! In fact, viruses thrive because people aren’t changing colors when they’re infected, and that allows them to infect other people. And sure, if they did change color (especially in shady bars and certain strip clubs) life would be a bit easier, but guess what?
It’s really not the way things work. If you want to know how things work, then you need to apply a little bit of super power to any situation.
You need to use some common sense.
Common Sense and Covid-19
Hopefully, up to this point, you’ve agreed with all the bullet points in the article. They are pretty simple, and I think you would find that what I’ve outlined to this point can’t really be argued. So here’s where this article gets to the point.
We are all riders. We all ride for various reasons, but there’s a camaraderie that is created usually due to two simple concepts: freedom and integrity.
There is a freedom that is associated with the open road that we all share, and that freedom means a love for the path less travelled. It doesn’t matter if you’re Idaho born and bred like me, or if you’ve moved to Seattle for work, and still have to ride on the weekends so you don’t take a blowtorch to your boss’s car. Riders love freedom.
We still respect our elders, it’s why we open the doors for our moms, and it’s why we wave to one another as we pass. Rarely is it that you see another rider, and don’t feel the need to ask them where they were riding from, and where they are riding to, and how it was. Every rider has a code. One that can be as simple as respect for the road, go as deep as a code of conduct you have with your brothers, or even be a personal relationship they have with their maker. Yet no matter what this code may be, it can all be broken down one simple word: integrity.
Are we still agreeing?
Good, because here’s the pickle:
When we are out there being free, and getting away from it all, there’s still a few things to consider. We have to get fuel, and that means gas stations. We all have favorite stops, and that means confined areas.
So what happens then?
Well here’s where you get to make a choice (and I truly believe that it is your choice:)
- You get to choose how careful you are when you stop to refuel, or visit friends. Knowing that you agreed with me earlier, you get to determine if you know if everyone that used that gas pump (YES! That one you’re about to use) was healthy.
- You get to choose if that traveller was from a small town like you with low infection numbers, or if they were from a big city and are enjoying the same scenic routes you enjoy in order to get away from a high death count.
- You get to choose if you want to be responsible, no matter how low the chance might be, for bringing an infection back to your small group of friends.
It’s all your choice, and it’s all that simple; but I do hope you use some common sense before making that choice.
For me, I have some hand sanitizer and some gloves in my saddle bags, and it’s not because I’m afraid. I’m not even sure if I’m sold on the whole severity of the issue. I don’t know anyone who has died from Covid-19. My home town has very few infection rates. I just don’t know enough to be afraid.
Yet I do still have my integrity, and I have my love of freedom. Those two concepts mean that it is my duty to respect everyone else’s right to ride the same roads I ride, and enjoy the same life I live.
Who am I to tell them that I know more than they do? Maybe someone they knew died from it.
Who am I to tell them not to be scared? Maybe that’s how they avoid infection.
I’m a rider, and I ride to feel free. I don’t ever want to taint that by unintentionally taking that away from someone else.
So my superpower says this: “That gas pump is probably filthy.” It takes two seconds to slap on some gloves from my saddlebags before I use it. It takes another second or two to use sanitizer before I get back on the road. And just like that, without any skin in the game, I’m off on my merry way.
I hope you all follow my lead.