Clare Woodhead, Bike Newport Director of Education, on Ocean Avenue in Newport.

The following was submitted and written by Bike Newport.

The gyms are closed, transit is less frequent, cabin fever is real, and it’s suddenly spring. For these reasons, and others, more and more people are on their bikes for transportation, recreation, and escape.

Biking is a great idea. We need physical activity and bikes are a wonderful way to be active. We can easily maintain safe social distance of more than six feet. The spring weather and fresh air are uplifting in a difficult time, and the activity helps to improve our immunity. Both the restrictions and the recommendations feature biking – for our health and to get where we’re going.

Here are advice and resources to make biking better during the pandemic. You’ll find more details, links, videos, and maps at Bikenewportri.org/resources and Bikenewportri.org/maps.

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1)    Ride your bike. Plain and simple. Enjoy the exertion, the solitude, the fresh air.

2)    Check your bicycle before you ride. Practice the “ABC Quick Check” so your bike is road-ready. You want to check the Air, Brakes, Cogs, Chain, Crank, and Quick Releases. Be sure your tires are pumped up, your brakes are working, and your pedals and gears are clear of debris and in working order.

3)    If your bike needs attention – try fixing it yourself. You’ll find helpful tutorials on the Bike Newport resource page mentioned above. You’ll also find 24/7 free tools and air at 5 Fix It Stations in Newport – at Bike Newport (62 Broadway), Gateway Visitors Center, Florence Gray Center, Thompson Middle School, and AshMart.

4)    For pro assistance, most bike shops are still open for safe contact-free drop-off and pick-up service. Be sure to call ahead.

5)    Take your time and wear a helmet. Please don’t risk any injury that will put demands on our strained medical system and caregivers. Take extra precautions when riding, just like you take extra precautions with your distance – because you care about your community.

6)    Choose a route with lots of room. If you find a bike path too crowded to keep your distance – leave. You have other options. Try someplace new. We never (ever) get tired of riding the Ocean Loop in Newport. But when’s the last time you rode to Beavertail in Jamestown? Or took a ride through Wakefield?  The parking lots are closed, but you can still stroll most beaches and parks if you get there on your bike.

7)    Need a bike? Bike services are considered essential services. Several bike shops are taking orders and providing safe curbside service. Bike Newport still has some restored bikes available, and a waiting list – email your size and bike style to allyson@bikenewportri.org. Bike Newport also needs donated bikes now – contact them to make arrangements. All bike transactions are made with strict rules, no shop entry, and no contact. Everyone’s cooperation is appreciated, so people who need bikes can access them.

8)    Share your bike love with the little ones. Find fun bike safety videos and activities for kids at bikenewportri.org/resources – scroll to the bottom.

Have other questions? Reach out to Bike Newport for the support you need to get rolling: info@bikenewportri.org.

Remember: Keep your distance and take it slow, biking will keep you active and feeling good. Now get out there and ride.

What’s Up Newp is free to read, and always will be, but we need your support to keep it that way. 

(Please Note: Contributions are NOT tax-deductible)