Big Ride Cancelled? What Now?Jade Jesser | June 3, 2020 | 0 | covid-19 , Riding , safety , travel
Well, it’s almost the halfway mark of the year 2020, and as of June 1st, there’s been a lot of “interesting” occurrences in our great nation to say the very least. With the big Covid outbreak hitting the nation in the first part of the year behind us, we are finally starting to see some of the businesses come back online and some semblance of normality return when it comes to social distancing. It’s been so weird in the U.S. all, that it’s really hard to determine just what’s normal anymore.
This really seems to be affecting all aspects of the nation, including how and what we motorcycle enthusiasts do. As a rider, one of the foremost words that coincide with riding is ‘escape.’ Riding is usually our ticket to get the hell away from the day to day. It’s our chance to get the heck out of dodge and go see the countryside. It’s how we maintain our sanity.
Of course, we already know all this, and in all reality, motorcyclists’ behaviors haven’t changed too much. I mean, riders like you and I have been practicing social distancing for a long time both on and off the road. After all, it’s in everyone’s best interest for people to stay at a safe distance of at least 6ft…and you better not be touching my bike!
Yet one dynamic of riding has really been affected this spring, and that’s all the big rides that had to be cancelled due to the outbreak. This was especially a bummer, because many of us had been itching to get moving all winter long, and there just wasn’t a choice but to call off those rides. Spring rides are a huge tradition for many biker communities, and people are really feeling a bit estranged with the unfortunate loss of the events.
Though opinions vary at the need for such precautions that require the cancelling of events, it’s always been my opinion that we have to roll with the punches. Yet how exactly do you roll with the punches when you don’t know when (or even if) the next punch will be coming? What if there’s another wave of the virus on the horizon? What exactly do we do then?
Well the short story is that we keep on keeping on.
Whether it’s this pandemic or the next one, motorcycle enthusiasts are probably going to be okay by simply following a few basic steps that most of us already follow.
Wear a helmet or bandana over your face hole.
Keep your gloves on.
Don’t let strangers touch your bike.
If you aren’t feeling tip-top, just stay home.
It’s all pretty simple, but alas, I digress. This article isn’t about how to protect yourself. It’s really about riding in smaller groups.
This is pretty much what we have to do in lieu of some of the larger rides’ cancellations, because it’s easier to ask questions in a smaller group. It’s also easier to make sure that you don’t accidentally get exposed to something and mistake it for a Covid infection. For example, hay fever and allergies are prevalent this time of year, and it’s real easy to get a touch of anxiety over a simple allergen when there’s a virus rolling through the country claiming 100,000 lives so far. In this scenario, and someone in your small group of ten or so people gets sick, it’s really easy to coordinate recent medical issues.
Believe it or not, there used to be a bit of a taboo when discussing medical issues with friends, even the close ones. Trust me when I tell you that this is no longer the case. If someone gets their feathers ruffled if you ask them how their recent health has been, they may not be the type of person you want to be riding with anyway. Most motorcycle enthusiasts are courteous by nature, and most understand that concerns during this strange time are just another precaution to add to the list of items a rider has to look out for.
So just ask questions if you are wanting to get a small ride together. Trust me, they want to ride as much as you do, so they aren’t going to be upset about a little disclaimer…and hey, you can always keep it discreet via email or text, depending on how you decide to send out the invites.
Another thing to consider when organizing a small ride is where you’re going and what the current laws are in that place. Idaho has seven neighbors, six states and one Canadian province. The states of Washington and Oregon are to the west, Nevada and Utah are to the south, and Montana and Wyoming are to the east. The Canadian province of British Columbia is right up above us.
Here’s a current list of the social distancing laws in effect in the above areas, as of June 1st 2020:
Stay home, stay healthy
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Governor Inslee has asked Washington residents to stay home as much as possible and do their part to keep everyone healthy. This is especially important as the state begins to gradually reopen and we work together to prevent outbreaks.
Avoiding group gatherings, staying six feet away from others, wearing a cloth face covering and engaging in good hygiene such as hand-washing and covering our coughs and sneezes are all ways we can each do our part to keep ourselves, our families, workers and our communities safe.
On top of the usual precautions (wash hands, six feet of distance, etc,.) the Oregon governor says: No gatherings where people cannot keep 6 feet apart. Also, the order does not allow social events and non-essential business where people come into close contact.
Nevada is currently in phase two or reopening, and plans on opening Gaming up on June 4th. They are on schedule for that, and still ask that you follow the expectations of washing hands, social distancing, and staying home if you fell sick.
Utah is moving into its “yellow” or “low risk” phase, and asks for all the basics, and that groups be limited to 50 or fewer people.
Yellowstone has opened back up as of today, and businesses are allowed up to 75% of their occupancy. They are on track to get back to normal as planned.
As of 5/27/2020 private groups still need to be limited to 25 or fewer people. Other than that, the state is somewhat lenient at this point.
BC is still closed to travel for us, but is constantly updating their website and have both mobile and web based apps to help you understand the policies.
All in all, things are getting back to normal when it comes to the recent shutdown. For the most part, everyone is really hoping that this normality is achieved sooner rather than later, and that goes for riders as well.
So even though it’s a bit early to go on some big rides, and you might be feeling a bit estranged for missing out on a ride you traditionally attend, don’t be afraid to get a small group together and escape to that cherished open road. Right now, as strange as things are in this great nation, a little escape might just do you and those you hold closest a bit of good!
As always, ride safe!