Biking in New Orleans During Covid-19
Some tips for staying safe and healthy while enjoying the benefits of biking
COVID-19 is a serious and scary situation. As many of us start practicing social distancing and spend significantly more time at home, we want to make sure our community is up to speed on questions and guidance around biking in New Orleans during this time.
As of right now, public transportation throughout New Orleans is operating on a reduced Saturday schedule (for more information visit – www.norta.com/COVID19). That means biking will become an even more important means of transportation in our city, especially for those roughly 20% of households without access to an automobile.* Let’s all make sure we’re doing our part to keep biking safe and equitable in New Orleans.*
First off, we are not encouraging anyone who is sick to ride. If you’re at all symptomatic, don’t ride a bike – please rest, self-quarantine, and seek medical advice. In general, we are recommending that even healthy people just stay home, and we also understand the benefits of getting outside and getting physical activity as we all cope with the stress of our current situation.
For now, it’s safe to bike. In fact, disease transmission is less likely to occur outside than inside. That being said, we do suggest riding solo and avoiding crowded routes (keep reading for some suggestions on secluded routes). If you do ride in a small group, be sure to maintain social distance of at least 6 feet.
Especially during these times, biking is a great way to get outdoors, get some exercise, and stay healthy. Study after study demonstrates the health benefits of biking: lower rates of diabetes, longer life expectancies, improved immune system, and better mental health. But, in these times, make sure to also closely follow the health recommendations of experts like the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
If you’re using Blue Bikes, wipe down the handle bars before and after with sanitizing wipes, and use gloves if you have them. Also, make sure to wash your hands before and after and avoid touching your face throughout the ride.
Like we said before, biking is safe right now, but we recommend solo rides and going on more secluded routes. Here’s a few of our favorite, less-crowded bike routes you can check out.
As one of the largest green spaces in the country, City Park not only has miles of bike paths, it also has plenty of secluded grassy areas to hang out in the sun.
If you’re looking for a longer ride, the Lakeshore Drive won’t disappoint. It’s about 22 miles and hugs the edge of Lake Pontchartrain most of the way, so you’re guaranteed a nice view and a breeze most of the way.
On the edge of the Bywater lies Crescent Park. With beautiful paths and a great view of the Mississippi River, it’s a great park to bike through. Crowds can vary though, and we recommend checking out the other paths if it happens to be crowded.
For more detailed guidance on biking during COVID-19, check out this helpful article from Bicycling.com.