5 reasons why cycling protects against corona

According to the German government and scientists, the best way to 'socially distance yourself‘ is on a bicycle. You not only protect yourself, strengthen your lungs, but also protect other people. We have put together five (5) reasons why cycling protects you from corona, as well as tips that you should follow while cycling. 
(Based onthe current measures with the Corona virus; last updated: March 20th 2020)


5 reasons why cycling protects against corona

The bicycle as self-protection according to virologists

The best way to distance yourself socially in traffic is in the car or on the bicycle. Cycling has a clear advantage. It protects you from the virus in many ways. Virologists who specialise in the corona virus also see bicycles as the perfect self-protection. Stronger, they even recommend using a bicycle. People can and should decide for the bicycle. Cycling instead of using public transport. This could reduce the risk of infection. This is also how the german paper “Der Spiegel” report.  

‘There are no objections to cycling. The bicycle is the perfect form of self-protection, because you not only keep your distance, but also do not touch infected surfaces". - Gerd Antes

Cycling protects against corona - 5 reasons

The german paper ‘Der Spiegel‘ also reports that the biostatistician Gerd Antes, the former head of the Cochrane Centre at the University Hospital in Freiburg, actually sees cycling as a way to mitigate the infection curve. This happensmuch quicker inapublic transport. Read here the reasons why cycling protects against corona.

1,5 meter bike distance van raam

1. You automatically keep your distance

The advantage of cycling is that you automatically keep a distance of 1.5 metres. But cyclists do not only automatically keep their distance to others, they also have a lower risk of getting infected because they touch fewer surfaces. Our Van Raam tricycles already offer more distance to each other than a two-wheeled bike, due tothe two wheels in the back.

2. No infection as in a public transport

People who avoid buses and trains reduce the risk of infection because the corona virus is mainly transmitted byadroplet infection over short distances, explained Michael Barczok, pneumologist from Ulm and member of the German Federal Association of Pneumologists, Sleep and Respiratory Medicine. The pathogen can survive on surfaces for a long time and may still be transmissible and contagious. Every touch in public transport therefore carries a fundamental risk. Caution: This also applies to traffic light buttons. In the further part of this article we will deal with questions such as "Can I still press the button at the traffic light? 
The lung disease specialist rates the chance of inhaling the corona virus on a bicycle as 'zero'
 

3. Cycling provides preventive protection

Cycling has another meaning in times of the lung disease corona, it can also have a preventive effect. If you cycle regularly, even if it is only comfortable, it strengthens your immune system. Now that the gyms have closed their doors, cycling is an excellent alternative for athletes and people who still want or need to exercise. 

Riding a bike help the lungs van raam

4. Cycling strengthens the lungs

According to Michael Barczok, people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at particularly high risk of being exposed to the corona virus. This is why lung training is especially important during this time. Read more about cycling with COP in our article 'Cycling with COPD lung condition‘. But cycling can also have a positive effect on people without previous illness. Since endurance sports such as cycling basically train the lung muscles. When cycling rhythmically, the respiratory system is also well ventilated and blood circulation is improved. "You breathe more intensively, which means you clean your lungs well. And this is optimal in terms of virus protection," says Barczok: "The bicycle is a sensible means of transport, especially now, for this reason too. 

5. Cycling strengthens the cardiovascular system

People who suffer from diabetes and cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension should also move, advises the pneumologist Barczok. Regardless of age, these conditions are among the underlying diseases that increase the risk of a more severe course of Covid-19. This is what the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) writes on its website.
(Source: Nieuwsfiets.nu, Der Spiegel)    

Read even more reasons why cycling is healthy in our article "10 reasons why cycling is healthy".  

'The bicycle is a sensible means of transport, even in times of the coronavirus.'

Important for cycling

In addition to the fact that cycling is a good alternative to athletes, cycling is also a good alternative to get to work or shops, if the current guidelines are taken in account. In this way, public transport can be avoided. Leisure cycling is a good way to keep moving and to get you mind off things. But it is important to think about the following guidelines when cycling: 

  • Do not ride in a group
  • Keep a distance of 1.5 metres between
  • Try to avoid crowded points if possible.
  • If you have to wait at a traffic light, choose to wait one after the other and not side by side.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after cycling, especially if you have touched surfaces such as traffic light buttons.
  • Do not take any risks that could lead to an accident. Medical care has a hard enough time as it is.

(Source: Fietsersbond)

What else is on your mind and what you should be aware of

Knowing the reasons why cycling protects against corona is a helpful. But we also understand that there are other questions. We have compiled a number of questions and answers for you.

Can I still press the traffic light button? 
There is still no definite answer to this question. Previous research has shown that the virus cannot survive for long outdoors and in sunlight. Of course there is a risk if someone coughs in front of you and then presses the button. Try to use your elbow if possible. 
In any case, if you have pressed, try not to touch your face until you can wash your hands. (Source: Plusonline) Nevertheless, cycling is "hygienically safe", says Michael Barczok. Also because there is a "high level of protection for others" in case you are infected yourself.
 
Can I ride a bike with my partner?
You can ride a bicycle together with your partner. As long as you follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. This means: keep your distance, wash your hands, cough or sneeze on the inside of your elbow and use paper tissues. 
It is best to avoid going out on the street in large numbers. 
 
Can I ride a rental bike outside?
You can use a rental bike, but you or someone else should clean the handlebars and saddle thoroughly before riding. 
 
Can I ride a little on my bike with minor complaints?
With mild symptoms, you are more likely to infect others. That is why it is better to stay indoors. 
(Source: Plusonline)
 
What else can I/we do? 
It is important that your health comes first and that we all work together to prevent the spread of this virus. Stay in touch with your friends through the phone and social media and support each other both practically and morally through this time.
Maybe you can go shopping by bike and bring food that is currently not available. This situation will not last indefinitely, and we can expect to be back on the road together by bike soon.
(Source: cyclingUK)
 
Do you want to know what Van Raam does or do you want an appointment during this time? Look at the article ’Measures related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Van Raam

Cycling is healthy Van Raam

Riding an adapted bicycle

If you can no longer ride a normal two-wheeled bike, but you still want to go outside during this time, then a specially adapted bike may be something for you . At Van Raam we have various models of special bikes, such as tricycles, wheelchair bikes, side by side tandemstransport bikes, and Scooter bike. Take a look at our range of adapted bicycles below.

Tricycles

Tricycles

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Wheelchair bikes

Wheelchair bikes

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Tandems

Tandems

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Side-by-side tandems

Side-by-side tandems

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Low step through bikes

Low step through bikes

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Walking aid

Walking aid

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Electric mobility scooter bike

Electric mobility scooter bike

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Transport bikes

Transport bikes

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