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Be a Bike Ambassador during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Updated June 3 to add group riding suggestions

We are experiencing a bike boom during this pandemic. The data and the news articles are undeniable evidence that people are biking more than before—but how do we make sure people love biking the same way we do? At the League, we’ve been doing everything we can to make sure people can bike safely for transportation or recreation during the pandemic starting with pushing for bike shops to be considered essential businesses, to advocating that decision makers create more spaces for people to ride, and working on Capitol Hill to ensure there is the funding that will make safe streets for all. 

The League continues to encourage people to ride solo or with members of your household.

It’s incredible to see so many people biking more these days. Bicycling makes life better. You know that when we make biking better—safer, more comfortable, and accessible to all—we will have happier, healthier people, vibrant communities, and cleaner air. We’re sure you, like us, are getting questions about biking now. We want to do whatever we can to help you be an ambassador for better biking.  This doesn’t mean offering unsolicited advice like, “your seat is too low.” Just meet them where they are and be a good bike friend. It’s up to all of us, as people who bike, to help our neighbors experience the joy of biking as they get out for the first time in some time. 

Pandemic Riding Tips from the League

The League continues to encourage people to ride solo or with members of your household.

Basic Bike Check

The best bike for riding is the one that you have and can get on today. First, make sure it’s in good working order with this Basic Bike Check. We can almost guarantee you need to put air in your ties! Need to fix a flat? Watch this video from Ayesha McGowan to learn how. Find a shop in your area if you run into mechanical issues you can’t tackle yourself or if you need a new bike. 

Basic biking tips

Whether this is someone’s first ride in a while (or ever), here are some essentials to get people rolling. Here’s a blog we put together with six videos about getting started. Always reinforce that folks follow local traffic laws, ride in the direction of traffic, signal their movements and ride predictably, use front (white) and rear (red) lights at night, and wear a helmet. Here are some additional tips for riding on paths, and remember to pass others with (even more) room than you’d want a car to pass you For all of our videos please check out our Smart Cycling videos and the Smart Cycling Quick Guide (print) and (ebook) you can share. 

Wearing a mask

Modeling good behavior is important and that goes for following the rules of the road to, these days, wearing a mask when riding near others. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, and your region likely has its own guidelines on when and where to wear a mask. There has been a lot of discussion out there about whether or not this coronavirus can be spread while riding or running.The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Parents Magazine have all covered this recently, and while there isn’t complete clarity on transmission risk outside, the risk of transmission is likely lower outside. Importantly, health experts, including those at the WHO and CDC, say we should be outside, walking and biking whenever it is feasible and that we should wear a mask or use a neck gaiter to cover up if we are going to come within six feet of other people. Even if the likelihood of transmission is low, it lets people around you know you are thinking of them and being extra careful. If you are riding on a trail or in another potentially congested place, cover your face and pass others with as much space as practicable. If you aren’t going to be near other people for a majority of your ride, it’s still good to have one with you on the ready.

Group riding

We want to be totally clear that riding right now is safe and a part of our fundamental human need for recreation. We also want to pass along some helpful tips for group riding during this time of pandemic:

  • Follow the guidance of your local health department and the CDC
  • If you’re feeling ill, please stay home
  • Ride alone or with members of your household. Follow local guidelines for expanding your social network, but please keep in mind the safest rides are solo  
  • Try to maintain six feet of space from others
  • When riding with others, ride side-by-side or 20 feet behind the next rider
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid spitting, an uncovered cough, nasal drip, or other droplet transmission
  • Wear an athletic mask or cycling buff that covers your nose and mouth when riding around others

Many are asking when it’s safe to resume group rides. While we’d love to give all groups a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ the answer isn’t quite that simple. The League represents groups from all over the country – from urban centers to rural counties that may have only reported a handful of infections. The timetable for returning to group rides will depend largely on your location and the advice of your local officials. Please stay safe and protect members of your community less able to protect themselves.

We want people to enjoy themselves riding during the outbreak and experience using bikes for fun and transportation. We hope that many will see how important biking is to their lives, and the lives of essential workers, and will join us in speaking up for better bicycling and safe streets for all. Everyone has a voice in our movement, from new riders to those in the million mile club. Bikes unite us, through the pandemic and in taking action to enable better biking. Sign up for the Bike League newsletter at or becoming a member at