We, like you, have been glued to the news lately. What happening out there, with respect to COVID-19, a.k.a., the coronavirus, has a lot of people on edge. We get it. We have loved ones, too, that may be impacted in any number of ways by the illness and the fallout it creates.
But we are also grateful that we work in an industry, that is centered on an activity, that can act as something of a countermeasure to what’s happening. Cycling may not be a solution in itself to a global pandemic, of course, but it can offer empowerment to riders, and in a way, to their families, too.
What are we talking about? We’ll try to explain.
For one thing, mild-to-moderate exercise helps boost your immune system. Broadly speaking, it increases white blood cell density and helps your body fight off infection, whether symptoms have manifested or not. We’re not doctors, but we think there’s a reason so few avid cyclists call out of work sick. Going too hard, however, can have the opposite impact, so don’t go crazy. Just get the blood pumping a bit. (Please note: we are NOT saying that cycling can or will prevent those exposed to COVID-19 from contracting it, but it can’t hurt to ensure your immune system is ready to go, just in case you do!)
Secondly, as more and more areas of the United States (and indeed, the world) are being placed under in-home quarantine measures, more and more families and friends are being bound together for perhaps longer than they would find ideal. A solo spin on the bike provides relief all around: it gets you out of the house, gives you some alone time, and gives your friends or family a bit more space. Even after only a day or two of quarantine, that sounds like a win-win for everyone.
We do strongly advise, however, that if you do go out for a ride, to please do so even more carefully and cautiously than usual. A trip to the hospital during these times may strain already-strained staff and resources, and potentially risks your exposure to COVID-19 in that environment. We know the risk is small, but please bear it in mind when you roll out.
Lastly, for those of us that live in areas where we may normally depend on public transportation, cycling (and the warming spring temperatures for our customers in the northern hemisphere) provides an opportunity for all of the above while also limiting your exposure to the general public on trains, buses, ride-shares, taxis, and crowded sidewalks. If you do have to head out, whether to work or anywhere else, a bike may be the smartest way to do it right now.
Again, we’re not doctors or disease pathologists, and we realize that our focus on the silver lining of this stressful situation, via cycling, is through the lens of our business. But to us, cycling isn’t just about business. It’s about engaging in a healthy lifestyle, it’s about a tremendously fun and challenging sport, and ––– in the broadest sense these days ––– it’s about community, both on the bike and off of it.
Yes, at R&A, we will continue operating our website and warehouse (with smaller crews) as normal. What you order online, you will receive as you would at any other time. We’re still deliberating our plans for our physical storefronts in Brooklyn, NY, and Walnut Creek, CA, and we’ll keep everyone updated. But the point is: if you were looking for an opportunity to upgrade your bike, upgrade some parts, or get some tools and do some light maintenance, now may be a great time to do so.
We are sharing our thoughts here because we want our friends, family, customers, and our industry as a whole to see through the noise of the moment, and remember that life can, and will, go on beyond COVID-19. Let’s not panic. Let’s get through this – and let’s ride our bikes!
Wishing you and your loved ones safe days ahead,
*Written by Caffery Garff, and the R&A Cycles team*