One question we keep hearing is, “Can I go for a bike ride right now just for pleasure, even if I’m not traveling for a purpose?” The answer is a little sticky depending on where you live. We’re providing answers for riding in Texas, but they’re good for many other states as well, just be sure and double-check with local regulations.
Can You Ride Your Harley® During Shelter in Place?
On March 22, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a shelter in place order for Dallas County residents that went into place just before midnight on the 23rd. Other Texas counties soon followed suit to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Shelter in Place prohibits all non-essential travel and encourages residents to stay in their homes as much as possible.
You can travel to work, to get food and to check on family members, and that’s about it. Otherwise, you’re supposed to stay inside your home social distancing from even your family members.
That encourages the obvious question, can you ride your Harley® during shelter in place, even if you’re not going to work or to the grocery store?
Most shelter in place orders allow people to go outside and engage in activity by themselves. You can go for a solo run, you can cut your front lawn etc.
Is There Anybody Who Shouldn’t Ride Right Now?
If you have symptoms like a fever and a cough, even if your symptoms are mild, you should stay home. You may feel like you’ll be okay and intend to keep completely to yourself, but you can’t predict what might happen if you go for a motorcycle ride. If you are infected with Coronavirus, you may accidentally spread it to others.
How Long Can COVID-19 Live on Bikes and Riding Gear?
If you’re confused by the crazy deluge of conflicting information, you’re not alone. Every two minutes some expert is weighing in with a new study that creates fresh alarm. To add to the confusion, America just pulled funding for the World Health Organization for mishandling and covering up the whole thing. We’ve been trusting that organization for news and recommendations since this started.
The amount of time COVID-19 can stay infectious varies by the type of surface on which it exists. It lives longer on some surfaces than others, which is part of the reason you can’t get a straight answer. It’s somewhere between a few hours and several days.
Either way, if you leave a sanitary environment and get out in public, assume you’ve picked up germs.
Will Riding My Harley During Coronavirus Affect My Immune System?
Probably, but in a good way. The physical and mental stress from this whole situation is starting to add up. Depression and anxiety have spiked, and both of those weaken the immune system. A ride elevates mood and makes your mind and body more able to cope. We’ll come back to that in a few minutes.
Can I Ride With My Buddies?
No way should you ride with a big group. We’ve cancelled events that put people in contact with each other because we take public health seriously. But for those asking whether or not they can ride with their spouse or a friend or two, they’re really asking two questions:
Q: If I ride with a friend will I get pulled over and ticketed, quarantined or thrown in the slammer?
A: If you’re committing a moving violation or suspected of a crime, probably. If you’re just riding, cops may pull you over or you may encounter checkpoints at which they ask where you’re going and what you’re doing. As long as you’re behaving reasonably and maintaining six feet of distance between yourself and your friend, you’re not doing anything wrong. However, law enforcement officers are tasked with preventing the spread. Some view any social activity as taking unnecessary risk. You’re less likely to have a problem if you ride alone.
Q: Is it bad for my health to ride with a friend?
A: If you’re riding six feet apart wearing helmets, you’re not very likely to spread Coronavirus if one of you is infected. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face.
Is There Anywhere I Shouldn’t Ride My Harley® During the Pandemic?
The fact that you’re riding a Harley® as opposed to a car or a horse or a unicycle doesn’t really make a difference, but there are things you should know about travel right now.
Every state has its own restrictions. If you leave Texas, re-entering the state might cause issues. For example, if you cross the Louisiana border and stay the night there, you might be asked to quarantine for 14 days upon your return. To avoid the hassle, stay in the state. If you need to ride to somewhere else, do your research.
Also, recognize many things are closed. The rest stop, gas station and favorite restaurant you’re used to stopping at may not be available, so plan ahead.
What other questions do you have? Post them on our Facebook page and we'll do our best to get you answers.