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Thread: How cycling changed during the pandemic - input for article

  1. #1
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    Default How cycling changed during the pandemic - input for article

    I'm writing a press release / internal article about an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study of the impact of the pandemic on bicycle-motor vehicle crashes, and I'm hoping to get some input from bicycle commuters about what was different about your schedule, route, etc. One of the points of the study is that there were more riders and fewer commuters, so if you fit into that category (i.e. you rode but not to the office) I'd love to get your feedback, too.

    I'll brief you on the research if and when we chat.

    cheers,

    Jason Overdorf
    IIHS

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joverdorf View Post
    I'm writing a press release / internal article about an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study of the impact of the pandemic on bicycle-motor vehicle crashes, and I'm hoping to get some input from bicycle commuters about what was different about your schedule, route, etc. One of the points of the study is that there were more riders and fewer commuters, so if you fit into that category (i.e. you rode but not to the office) I'd love to get your feedback, too.

    I'll brief you on the research if and when we chat.

    cheers,

    Jason Overdorf
    IIHS
    I’d be interested in chatting…the pandemic certainly changed my cycling habits!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Hi Jason, good to see your post, looking forward to reading your article when it publishes as I'm also in transportation safety.
    Pat Smith
    NHTSA

    Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk

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    I fit into that category as well. More miles but almost no commutes. At the start, I enjoyed the reduced traffic on roads I had not previously attempted (McLean, toward Great Falls, Vienna/Oakton/Tysons), but as things got back toward normal with car traffic, I've done a little less of that and done more miles on trails--maybe 50/50 now.

  6. #5
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    Not only did my daily commute (75 miles a week) go to zero, not to be replaced by any other kind of biking, but my reading of this forum became monthly rather than daily. Total check out.

  7. #6
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    lordofthemark is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    My miles collapsed. 1. I lost my close to daily 20 mile round trip commute. 2. For most of it I avoided group rides, and rides to see friends. 3. I avoided eating indoors at restaurants, and avoided restrooms where I was not confident in low occupancy and good ventilation (hmm, that sounds weird, but I mean because COVID, of course, which made it hard to do long solo rides 4. When the pandemic was worst, esp before I was convinced how relatively safe outdoors was, I avoided riding on trails, both for personal COVID safety and to allow more trail space to others -m which also made long solo rides more difficult. 5. I no longer used transit, which was my bail out option if I was exhausted or had a mechanical I couldn't fix (and Im not great at bike repair) In summary, I rode less recreationally than before (also my wife, deprived of other social outlets, was more intent on taking walks with me, which took some of my bike time)

    OTOH - Both because I was avoiding riding on trails and sidewalks (of course I'm not a regular sidewalk rider, but use them as connectors in places, like the one on King from Park Center Drive to 30th near my home) and because at the beginning, there was so much less auto traffic, I began to ride in the road in places where I generally had not before. This revealed new routes to me, and generally made me a more confident rider than before. As an example to avoid the above sidewalk, I started going Ford>N Hampton>King>28th as my default route from home to Fairlington and beyond - I don't think I had ever ridden in the road on that part of King before.

    Also I used some of my stim $ to buy a new bike (well I'd been shopping for itbefore, but whatever) the first drop bar road bike I'd owned since I was in college (I THINK that old Motobecane was a drop bar, I don't remember). That (in June 2020) was the first store I had entered since the pandemic had begun.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 07-08-2021 at 08:19 AM.

  8. #7
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    My riding also collapsed during the pandemic. I got sick right before things locked down and broke my "ride every day" streak. Without that crutch, being without group rides, commuting, or other reasons to get from A to B, and most importantly a daughter who took the "stay at home" guidance VERY seriously, I found myself completely lacking motivation to get out and ride (or even stay in and ride). It confirmed the importance to me in terms of how I'm wired of having at least some flimsy excuse/reason to go out.

    Freezing Saddles helped in January with a reason to get out each day, but then other health issues made that much more challenging until (a) I got an eBike to make it realistic for me to go for more than a sleaze ride as I got things sorted out and (b) the photo scavenger hunt provided a purpose to get out and find something.

    I'm still lacking a commute, but really it's taken being vaccinated (which brings with it a bit of peace of mind) and things starting to open up to make it easier for me to contrive excuses, and get closer to the ballpark of what I used to ride.

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    I found that the trails got really crowded with new walkers, and the roads in the suburbs/rural areas got a lot more dangerous as cars were really speeding since drivers just saw empty pavement; that made riding somewhat unappealing. Things are pretty much back to normal, with congestion everywhere and all the new people on the trails back to whatever they were doing before.

  10. #9
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    When the entire region shut down, and I was furloughed from my traveling IT repair job, I *thought* I would be riding more. Except...Every store, restaurant, rest room on the trails were all closed. That cuts your range. Add to that a nighttime curfew and the fear of picking up COVID in the slipstream of another rider on the W&OD. Yet it brought bikes out of sheds and people out on the trails. My own riding verged more onto roads I would not normally have dared to. I must say it's been *nice* to have the whole of Pennsylvania Ave. NW to myself, free of motor vehicles. I will miss that.

    I used to lead rides for a local bike shop. That couldn't happen. And I couldn't hang out at the bike shop like I used to.

    A silver lining- my "rescued" Kettler Alu-Rad CityShopper gained big pannier bags and finally got used for its intended purpose, as a grocery-getter supreme.

    Your Independent Bike Retailer got hit with a crazy mix of feast & famine all at once. Sudden overwhelming demand for repairs and bicycles compounded by massive shortages of new bikes or the most essential consumables and repair parts, due to manufacturing shutdowns, the temporary collapse of a normally robust overseas shipping industry, to containers being badly delayed at customs. Few retailers are getting the full quantity of bikes they ordered, even now. And of course the consumer was fearful of going into the shop and store staff feared catching the virus from the customers they depend on. Been rough on everybody. Everyone had to adapt. Some have not survived. While COVID restrictions are being lifted, supply issues are still a major problem.
    Last edited by Starduster; 07-09-2021 at 01:08 PM.

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    For me, the pandemic has been great for my riding. I've been teleworking since last March. Before the pandemic, Iwould bike commute to work 3 or 4 times a week on average, 33 miles round trip. The first few months of the pandemic, my cycling really diminished. I then decided to start cycling regularly. With my flexible work hours, I've been able to easily work in rides. I've generally timed my rides to take advantage of the best weather and traffic conditions. I ride almost exclusively on roads, so crowded trails haven't been an issue.

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