Survey results: How the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting bicycle travel

May 6th, 2020

We wanted to know: How is the Covid-19 pandemic affecting our members’ cycling plans?

We sent out a short survey in our April newsletter, and received more than 300 responses. Thanks to everyone who took the time to give their input!

We know that bicycle travel can help us develop our perseverance and determination. True to that, we’re seeing cyclists display optimism, compassion and resolve at this difficult time.

About 80 percent of respondents say the pandemic has prompted them to cancel plans. A handful of members say they had to postpone their once-in-a-lifetime bucket list adventures, and aren’t sure if they’ll be able to make it happen.

Many of you also say your day-to-day riding habits are different, as your clubs and groups have canceled rides.

The good news is that we heard from many people who’ve found that cycling is a bright spot and a chance to enjoy some fresh air. A few commenters added that they’re training more on indoor bikes.

Looking forward, we’re seeing a shift in interest from longer cycling trips to shorter, more local excursions.

We’re glad to see our members excited to keep planning their adventures and seeing where their bicycles can take them. We’re working to provide more resources and options for local and regional rides, including our combined Bike Your Park Day/Bike Travel Weekend coming up in September.

We’re including some of your comments below.

Tough times 

“I’m part of my local bike collective (which is closed during the pandemic) and it’s sad & scary. I’m on the leadership of the collective and I don’t know how to lead the team. I almost want a mentor to help guide through this time. Otherwise, I miss riding my bike every day and the trainer is just not comfortable. Hopefully things are okay soon.”

“I am not riding at all. Reason is I don’t want to fall and get injured and end up in the hospital in the emergency room with people who might have covid-19. So I’m stationary bike riding.”

“I’ve cut back significantly on my riding, my concern is that were I to be injured while riding due to a distracted driver or carelessness on my part seeking medical treatment would take resources away from Covid-19 patients and expose me to chances of infection.”

“My company has over 90% of its 14000 global employees working from home. All of the offices are locked up and only essential site employees are allowed in. It means no daily commutes to work. I have to be creative to carve out cycling time. I’ve been cycle commuting to work in a loop from home back to home. It works, just.”

“Staying in shape is hard. I am gaining weight even though I get out a couple times a week. I am riding solo and am constrained by how much water I can carry because I won’t stop anywhere to refill anymore”

Finding the silver linings…

“We’ve been doing nightly bike rides. One to two hour rides. It’s been great! Virtually no cars! There is an upside to this pandemic!”

“Instead of my usual 4,000+ miles solo epic bike tours like I have done the last 7 summers, I’m going to Backcountry bike pack in the Cascades out my back door. Also planning to bike to trailhead ride my Cutthroat to the edge of the Alpine Lakes wilderness and backpack a two week loop.”

“I’m actually riding MORE! I have a new riding friend who is out of work because of the pandemic. We stick to rural routes and ride at least 3x a week. Mileage is increasing!”

“Since I have lost my job due to the pandemic I have lots of free time to go on short day trips. I have been riding a lot across the Golden Gate bridge to the Marin Headlands. The wildflowers are in full bloom. Very healing.”

“We love the reduction in automobile traffic on our local bike routes, this is the only refreshing part of this pandemic. We find more walkers and joggers along the same routes and fewer areas of interest welcome people once we get there. We are adapting and traveling to different areas than our usual haunts which adds new twists. We evolve and will continue to cycle as long as it is safe.”

If you missed the survey the first time, it’s not too late! Our Covid-19 survey is still open to responses here.