Hello September 2020! NYBC Newsletter ūüö≤

Larry Denbaum

NY Bike Coalition newsletter includes COVID group biking guidelines and they are hosting an organized ride on Sunday October 11th out of Stony Brook

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Date: Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 9:01 AM
Subject: Hello September 2020! NYBC Newsletter¬†ūüö≤
To: New York Cyclist <ldenbaum@...>

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Newsletter Contents:

  • Hello September!¬†
  • Recommended group guidelines from the Board
  • Back to School 2020: Recommendations for Safe Routes to School Programming, from the Safe Routes Partnership
  • The 5th Annual CyleNY Long Island Ride is October 11h!
  • What we're reading¬†
Hello September!

New York is showing signs of waking up from its long slumber that COVID-19 has wrought on our bicycling community. For many, quarantine and the understandable reservation to go out has given way to again experience the joy of being outside on a bicycle. With fall just weeks away, children are going back to school, more people are getting back to work, and roads and trails are being increasingly traveled by bicyclists. So as we look forward to riding this fall, an especially active season for bicyclists, we recognize that while New York has made great strides in managing in a pandemic, we will need to be thoughtful in adapting our riding behavior and habits. With this in mind, this newsletter shares information on safely bicycling during this time of caution. 

While out on a ride to think about the September newsletter, I happened to meet Bill Ballenberger of East Greenbush, NY. Bill is a recently retired IT engineer from NYSERDA and active member of the Mohawk Hudson Bicycl
e Club. With more time on his hands, Bill was looking forward to logging more miles than usual this past summer.  Then COVID-19 hit. Bill was diagnosed in early April and endured a strict 30 day quarantine. Missing his bike, and still not feeling himself, he started riding again on short leisurely paced rides. "It took time to build up again" He said as he reflected on the long road to recovery and normalcy. Regaining his form was difficult. It wasn't until he completed a 20 mile ride in scenic Kinderhook that he realized his heart, lungs, and legs were again with him. In that moment he knew his recovery was complete.

Bill cautions that everyone, including bicyclists, should take the virus seriously by protecting themselves and others responsibility. "I could have died and am fortunate." He is grateful to be fully recovered  now and credits riding his bicycle on bike trails as vital to his journey back. He plans on taking  a few long rides this fall on the Hudson-Mohawk bike trail with his wife. 

 His cautionary tale is a reminder that many in our community can relate to: bicyclists are encouraged to ride smart and follow th the CDC guidelines for outdoor recreation and parks.

Keith Pickett
Executive Director

Recommended group riding guidelines from the Board

NYBC understands the extraordinary importance of resuming the social bonding that bike clubs and group rides  provide. We want people to ride in as safe a manner as possible. NYBC has closely been following the warnings and trends of cycling during the COVID-19 outbreak. Lots of information has been shared about group rides, paceline rides, family rides and social rides. We compiled the below information by reviewing a variety of materials including NYS guidelines, information from the CDC, talking with bike clubs and other statewide bike coalitions.  It appears to us that establishing unequivocal guidelines at this time is difficult. We will continue to follow the trends, data, and research as the phases of reopening advance. 

It is equally important to note that there is a spectrum of acceptance of risk that the public is willing to take on. As a statewide coalition, risks and tolerances will vary from region to region. To date the information seems to indicate that outdoor activity amongst healthy people remains at the lower spectrum of risk. However, it is important to note that any crowd for whatever purpose poses a risk of spread. We encourage you to check your regional NYS¬† ‚Äúcontrol rooms‚ÄĚ, the C.D.C. or your county or NYS Department of Health for updates on the COVID-19 outbreak and current data on transmission. With that in mind we are happy to share the information we have collected to date. This information is geared to assisting both group rides and individuals and families who want to get out on the road.

  • Rides should remain under 10 people. If you have a popular ride you can schedule multiple sections of that ride as long as there is at least a half hour between departures. There cannot be a common gathering point of multiple sub 10 person rides.¬†

  • Club rides should be limited to club members only.

  • The ride organizer should ask screening questions of all participants and exclude anyone from participation who answers ‚Äėyes‚Äô to any of the screening questions. If possible, screen participants prior to arrival.¬†¬†

  • Do not participate in any ride if you are feeling ill.¬†

  • Do not participate if you have tested positive for COVID in the past 14 days.

  • Do not participate in the ride if you have been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID in the past 14 days.¬†

  • Do not participate in the ride if you have traveled within a state with significant community spread of COVID-19 for longer than 24 hours within the past 14 days.

  • Proper social distancing of at least 6 feet must be maintained at the start and at all times during the ride, including rest stops, red lights, stop signs, ‚Äúmechanical‚ÄĚ stops, etc.; where this is not possible, face coverings¬† must be worn, covering both nose and mouth. We suggest all riders make it practice to wear face coverings at all stop lights and ride pauses.¬†

  • If more than one group is riding the same route from the same start, they must start at least a half-hour apart. Groups should not rejoin one another during the ride.

  • Cyclists should ride in a single file and at least 2 bike lengths apart, whenever possible.¬†Close-up pace-lining should not be permitted.¬†¬†

  • No spitting, ‚Äúsnot-rockets‚ÄĚ or expelling fluids from your nose or mouth. Keep any tissues, handkerchiefs, etc. securely tucked inside your pockets.

  • All riders should come to the ride with a face covering that can be put on easily at any point during the ride.

  • Face coverings¬†should be worn whenever social distancing cannot be maintained.¬† ¬†¬†

  • It is recommended that all riders carry their own personal hand sanitizer.

  • Ride distances should take into account the limited availability of rest rooms and food stops.

  • ¬†Ride leaders should ask any rider who is not following safe guidelines to leave the ride.

  • If riding alone or with family, be courteous of those sharing the road with you. Give plenty of room and practice good social distancing on all trails and paths.¬†

An addition to the standard club waiver may read as follows: 

  • Bicycle riding is inherently dangerous and riding in a group can increase the participant‚Äôs chances of contracting COVID-19.¬†
  • The Participant will take reasonable precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and will conduct himself or herself in accordance with the club requirements as well as the recommendations of public health officials.

  • I agree to abide by the strict adherence to social distancing, face-covering-wearing and other requirements, including numerical limitations.

  • The Participant has read and understands all of the above and will abide by all of the terms and conditions of the ride waiver and the supplemental guidelines for group riding.

We hope these guidelines assist you on planning  your outdoor social rides. We wish plenty of safe and healthy miles. 

The Board of the New York Bicycling Coalition 

 (1)Screening should be required of all participants, and be completed using a questionnaire that determines whether the individual has: (a) knowingly been in close contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19; (b) tested positive for COVID-19 through a diagnostic test in the past 14 days; (c) experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days; and (d) traveled within a state with significant community spread of COVID-19 for longer than 24 hours within the past 14 days.

Back to School 2020: Recommendations for Safe Routes to School Programming from the Safe Routes Partnership

New York Bicycling Coalition is a partner affiliate of The Safe Routes Partnership, a national nonprofit organization working to advance safe walking and rolling to and from schools and in everyday life.

The Safe Routes Partnership has released the¬†Back to School 2020: Recommendations for Safe Routes to School Programming, a comprehensive set of short-term, actionable recommendations for implementing Safe Routes to School programs this fall.¬†Using the Partnership's six E‚Äôs framework‚ÄĒEngagement, Equity, Engineering, Encouragement, Education, Evaluation‚ÄĒthe Back to School 2020 guide offers strategies, tools, considerations, and advice for implementing programs remotely, in-person, and/or through a hybrid model.¬†¬†

Additionally, the Partnership has created a helpful COVID-19 Resource Center to help advocates and practitioners  adapt to living and working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 5th Annual CycleNY Long Island Ride

Join us Sunday, October 11, 2020 for the 5th annual CycleNY Long Island Ride to benefit the NY Bicycling Coalition.

Many cyclists look forward to group rides as a common bonding experience. While virtual rides can accomplish the goal of raising funds for worthwhile causes, there is a camaraderie of shared experience that cannot be matched by virtual rides. We have found that since we all have emerged from lockdown, the thing that most of us have craved is the sharing of a common experience with others. Studies have repeatedly shown that humans enjoy social bonding, and a sense of belonging is vital for healthy survival.  Those social needs cannot be met by a virtual ride and it is for this reason that we have decided to go the extra mile (pun intended) to put on a COVID conscious ride that is consistent with the most stringent public health guidelines. New York has proven that with careful adherence to science-based guidelines, life can take on a new normal within the backdrop of COVID.  Here, we present the steps we plan to take for the 5th Annual CycleNY Long Island Ride at The Stony Brookside Bed & Bike Inn.

Check-in - We have staggered the start times for the ride, and we will be sending off small groups of riders throughout the starting period of the ride. This separation will alleviate crowding at check in and might provide a quicker and more seamless check in than most rides. We will comply with 6 feet social distance clearly marked at the line for check in as well as at the queue for facilities and the sendoff.  All riders will be required to wear face coverings while checking in and awaiting the start.

The Ride - By sending off riders in small groups, we will rely on the fact that rides spread out very soon after they begin and that there will never be a giant pack as in a bike club. However, we will require riders to have a mask at the ready that can easily be slipped on at traffic lights, rest stops and around others. Riders have accepted that you cannot join a group ride without a helmet and they are also now accepting that you cannot join a group ride without a face covering. 

Rest stops - We will oversee rest stops to avoid crowding, and all refreshments will be pre measured and sealed.  Hand sanitizer will be utilized by all, but most importantly,  all snacks will be individually packaged.

The post ride refreshments - We have a large property and we will identify space where people can settle down and enjoy their lunch. We will be careful and cautious to ensure that no more than fifty people are on the property at any given time and that appropriate distancing is followed. Lunch will be prepared and provided in individual  boxes.

Yes, there is a lot to consider and pay attention to, but we think it is worth it to show a sign of emergence from the retreat of lockdown. A safe COVID compliant ride can be done and we intend to prove that. Please join us on October 11th at the 5th Annual CycleNY Long Island Ride at The Stony Brookside Bed & Bike Inn. 

What better way to support your New York Bicycling Coalition!


For more information on this ride you may contact info@... or nybc@.... 

What we're reading
GOBike Buffalo Press Release: GOBike works with City of Lackawanna to install a 1.4-mile protected bike lane pilot project on Ridge Road.

Office of the Governor Pressroom: Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of Pedestrian Safety Enhancements on Long Island.

Work begins on Kingston-Ulster section of Empire State Trail, reports Mid-Hudson News.

Poughkeepsie street converted into haven for bicycling enthusiasts, reports News 12.

Gaps closed in Erie Canalway Trail east of Syracuse, New York reports Parks & Trails New York.

Ten Cities To Use Open Streets As Tools for Equity And COVID-Resilience on Streetsblog.

The possibility of a Senate bill in 2020, a federal funding and policy update on the League of American Bicyclists blog. 

Beyond Complete Streets: Could COVID-19 Help Thoroughfares Into Places for People? Key considerations for those with a vision to make change on city streets on Planetizen.

Bike Shorts, It’s Your Time to Shine in The New York Times.

Pandemic boosts share-bike and scooter business in Bicycle Retailer.
 A New NYC Club of Black and Brown Cyclists Takes the Streets, a great read about the Good Co Bike Club on Curbed.



New York Bicycling Coalition
Albany, NY |1220
P.O. Box 8868
website: www.nybc.net 
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