The Governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, issued a stay-at-home order for the state of Kentucky to take place on March 26, 2020. The order directed everyone except certain exempted people, professions and business, to stay at home to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The order primarily exempts all life-sustaining businesses and services and then lists certain industries that meet the definition. However, the order is silent on whether someone can ride their bike or go out for a walk during this time.
Riding a Bike
In an attempt to answer this question, the Governor made a statement on April 6, 2020, that shed some light on what staying at home meant. He said that people can go out for a walk and exercise in their neighborhood so long as they practice social-distancing. This has been broadly defined as staying at least 6 feet from other people and includes wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks.
One could interpret the idea of “exercising” in one’s neighborhood as being able to ride their bike. The Governor also discussed getting essential goods for the home like medical supplies and food, and it’s reasonable that one might ride their bike to pick up these essential supplies.
How Do I Ride My Bike Among Others and Stay Safe?
So if a Kentuckian feels that the order allows them to ride a bike, then there are ways to ride that will help comply with other parts of the order and to keep the cyclist safe.
- Stay Apart from Other Riders: The order still requires people to stay at least six feet from others when outside with non-family members.
- Group Riding Social Distancing: Riding in a group is not prohibited, but if your group includes more than immediate family members, then you should stay six feet away.
- Don’t Ride with Others Who Show Signs of Virus: If anyone in your group is showing any signs of the virus, encourage them to stay home until the symptoms pass. If they don’t, then you shouldn’t ride with them.
- Social Distance Inside Buildings: When you get to any essential service, store or building, when inside, the social distancing order is still in place.
- Sanitize Your Bike Seat Handle Bars: The virus can live on hard surfaces for a bit, so even a passerby coughing on your bike while parked outside can spread the virus. Sanitize surfaces of your bike on each ride.
The purpose of Kentucky’s stay-at-home order is to keep people safe. By staying home, if someone has the virus, they are not coming into contact with non-family members. Also, if you stay home, you have less chance of getting the virus from someone else.
While riding your bike can benefit you during the shutdown, it’s essential to ride safely keeping in mind the steps required to prevent the spread of the virus.