As the Lockdown measures are eased, allowing bikers to get out and about, there are some sages pieces of advice below, offered by our friends at Doc Bike and from Northants Police.
There is a lot of confusing information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) at the moment, so we thought we would take the time to look at what we know and how the latest Government restrictions apply to bikers. All this is subject to change, so please keep up to date with Government advice
The Facts (from our Doctor)
COVID-19 is droplet spread. Everyone is susceptible, but some people are more at risk of becoming critically unwell and may die should they become infected. It is for this reason that we all have a responsibility to reduce the spread of infection within the community. Of those who are sick enough to need to go onto life support, only half will survive. Whilst the Government restrictions on COVID-19 have been modified, certainly in rural areas where the majority of the population have yet to be infected, this still poses a serious risk to life. The key messages from the Government still apply:
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Limit contact with other people
- Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart)
- Wash your hands regularly
- Do not leave your home if you or anyone in your house has symptoms
What Does This Mean for Bikers
On Wednesday 13th May, the Government relaxed some of the restrictions regarding COVID-19, but this applies to England only. The lockdown remains for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In response to a number of questions regarding what motorcyclists can and can’t do, No 10 has been asked specifically and this is what we understand.
- You can ride your bike to an open space and there is no restriction on the distance travelled
- When you get there, social distancing must be maintained
- You are not allowed to go out as part of a group of motorcyclists
- Group gatherings / motorcycle events are still cancelled
More Importantly (from all of us)
We have all been off of our bikes, (except for one sunny weekend in March) since last winter. This means we have missed that period where we normally ease back into biking and get comfortable on roads, bends, dealing with other traffic and their reactions (or lack) to bikers.
The last thing the NHS needs at the moment is a surge of seriously injured motorcyclists coming through the door, so it is in our interests to stay out of hospital.
We have a responsibility to ease ourselves back into riding, starting as if we have just come out a cold winter. Ride your bike like you would a demo from a dealership (with a big excess!)
The fact is that people haven’t been in their cars as much recently and so haven’t been used to looking out for us bikers, so thinking about this when you ride will serve you well. A 2 minute video, originally made regarding Easter Bank Holiday which has some tips to keep you on two wheels when drivers aren’t used to seeing you is below
Check Your Bike Over
It is worth just making sure that your bike’s in order too, with perhaps over 6 months of inactivity, give it a quick MOT style check to ensure that nothing has seized or broken since its last use! Tyres lose air just sitting in the garage, oil leaks and brakes can seize.
How Are We Viewed By Others?
Bikers know how easy it is to get a bad reputation, so please follow the rules, push positive messages about bikers doing good deeds for people i.e. shopping for the elderly/supporting the NHS.
Covering Your Face
One of the good things about being a biker, is our use of neck buffs. Because COVID-19 is droplet spread, we are being encouraged to cover our faces with a homemade mask (so as not to deplete NHS resources).
A bike buff pulled up over your nose is perfect when combined with 2 metres social distancing.
Bikers are no different to anyone else in the community. We all have our bit to do to keep ourselves safe, but it looks like we are now getting the chance to get out on our bikes.
As long as we are sensible, follow the rules, ride safely and take it easy– it is good news!
Restrictions lifted – Northants Police
Whilst from Northants Police – the core message is equally valid across the country. Nice weekend, lockdown eased and we’re thinking about getting out….