Why are Florida Cyclists Participating in Group Rides During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Video Transcription:

Jim Dodson: Hey its Jim Dodson, The Florida Bike Guy. So are you still doing group rides? This is week six or so of the pandemic and everybody's still on social distancing. When this first started, all the clubs came out and announced that we were not going to do group rides and I'm still riding on the road multiple times a week and over the last two weeks, particularly Saturday and Sunday of this weekend, I've really started to see groups forming. We need to think about this. A couple of reasons why, well there's many reasons why you don't want to do that. I understand, it's been six weeks. Everybody's tired of being cooped up. You're not seeing your friends and were not doing the things we're accustomed to doing. But everybody's in that boat together.

I was riding on Sunday and I got held up by a traffic light when a group of about twelve people came up right beside me and we took off together. Turned out they were riding the same speed that I was riding. What that means is I ended up right behind them for a short period of time before realizing I don't want to be here. This isn't my group. I don't want to be in the tailwind of this group. Remember that cone that is throwing off what's coming out of our lungs, particularly when you're working at high energy. That creates this long tail cone going on behind you. I understand that each member of the group has made a decision that they're willing to take that risk and join the group and ignore the requirement or the suggestion for social distancing. But when you join a group like that, two things are happening. You pull up next to me or another cyclist, now you've made that decision for me or for them. Whatever the group is throwing off is throwing off to everybody that you pass, that you ride next to, that you ride ahead of. I would urge you to think through that. As you know, its really not the thing that we ought to be doing.

Secondly, my concern for the cycling world is that this seeing large groups start forming, just confirms, unfortunately the idea in the minds of many people that cyclists don't follow the rules everybody else follows. We don't want to feed into that mindset. We don't want to be the one that says it doesn't apply to us. I don't want to come across as square or somebody who's not willing to get out and enjoy the sport. Quite frankly, this is not the time we ought to be doing it. My son is an ICU doctor. He's dealing with this everyday he goes to the hospital. Every conversation he has with me is Dad, take this seriously. I have young people with no health issues in my ICU intubated. Don't think this can't affect you or some people that you know. There's a lot of stories, there's an amazing story in Cycling Magazine recently about a very fit thirty-something year old, highly fit amateur cyclist who ended up in the hospital with the effects of the virus. Just because were in good shape, doesn't mean we won't be affected by it. My son keeps pointing out to me that its very indiscriminate in who it lays out. Obviously there's an age range for those who have passed away, but the people that get affected by it is much bigger group and its unpredictable where you're gonna be when you get that virus.

So I don't want this to be a negative conversation, I just want you, all of us, to think about what we're doing and the image we're portraying. We just need to cool it on the group rides until this is all over. We can all get back together when the time comes, but the time isn't here. Let's do this, let's do our part, because we're all in this together. I'm Jim Dodson. I'm The Florida Bike Guy. I want to hear from you. If you disagree, let me know. If you agree let me know. All right, be safe out there. Bye.

Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.