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Considering a Mini COVID-19 Social Distancing Tour

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Considering a Mini COVID-19 Social Distancing Tour

 
Old 03-17-20, 10:50 PM
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Bassmanbob
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Considering a Mini COVID-19 Social Distancing Tour

In order to break the stress of the current COVID-19 pandemic, I am considering a no-contact two day bike tour for my wife, my dog and me for this weekend. We would need to drive to the west coast of Florida on this Saturday morning, where there is a nice long bike trail my wife wants to cycle. We can unload our gear, including food, and bike with the dog on our trailer to a camp ground a little distance away. We would then make camp, eat dinner, shower and go to sleep. The next morning, we can break camp, eat breakfast, ride back to the car, pack the car, eat lunch and drive back home. The only possible contact with others or common use surfaces that I can think of are the gas pump when purchasing gas one time with my credit card and the public bathroom at the camp site. It would get us on an outing away from home, have virtually no close contact with others and almost completely eliminate the possibility of catching and spreading this virus.

Is this a reasonable and responsible alternative to just staying home or am I crazy? Of course, staying home is the most reliable way to isolate, but I think this is a way to have an outing, yet be careful. I'm not overly concerned with catching the COVID-19 virus, considering my wife and I are healthy, but I am more concerned with transmitting it to others. Thoughts?

UPDATE 3/19/2020: The campground is booked solid until mid-April, so this mini tour is off. The full update is in post #13 . Thank you.

Last edited by Bassmanbob; 03-19-20 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 03-18-20, 03:36 AM
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First off, check to see if the campground is open. NJ state park campgrounds are closed, for example.

Second, you might want to bring your own pen to register at the campground.

Plan to cook? If so, will you be using a campground camp sink?
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Old 03-18-20, 05:03 AM
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Good points. We would cook using my backpacking stove. Our water source would be the individual campsite source.

I would also book the site on line ahead of time, so Id know if it were open.
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Old 03-18-20, 05:29 AM
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I say go fof it. These are the type of tours I fear we've been reduced to for a while. Maybe even until fall.

The main thing one should be careful with is spreading the virus. Even more than getting sick. Since you will be self-contained, I dont see a problem. Being on a bike trail helps to not be seen, which is ideal, because it's not really a good look to be traveling for recreation right now, even though you really won't be, others won't be able to tell. If people get the sense your touring, going to disparate towns and regions, you may draw the ire of others, be questioned by the police, or even being told to turn back or desist.
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Old 03-18-20, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
Is this a reasonable and responsible alternative to just staying home or am I crazy? Of course, staying home is the most reliable way to isolate ...
Sure. You're on your own, keeping your distance, keeping fit (and mentally fit), avoiding contacts/crowds and stress ... and not inflicting your potential infectedness upon anyone (no matter how much they fear it, while you're on the road).

Standard precautions all would apply, of course. As with any communicable, air-borne disease. You might want to very specifically select your travel routes to be the least-populated ones you can find, given what's going on. Other than that, you'd already be less-likely to come into contact with this thing than most any other activity you could do.

Not quite as foolproof as consigning yourself to "living" in a bubble for awhile, I suppose. But you'll be healthier, even if at slightly increased risk of coming into proximity of someone's infected cloud of air they just sneezed/wheezed into.

One downside: if you get stuck, how would you get back with a minimum of close-proximity contacts (ie, via taxi, bus, whatever)? Might want to bring extra spares and have a couple of suppliers lined up who've got certain parts available that could mail them to you on the road, if your trip is more than a few weeks.

The only other risk I can think of is that if, while you're out there, the state goes full-fascist in terms of forcibly detaining people who "defy" orders to stay put. Things are moving fast enough that some states are, with little warning, coming down hard on people if they break curfews, travel "needlessly" and so on. Might get a little sticky, if you're found on the road traveling for leisure when The State has dictated that's all verboten.

Enjoy the trip, if you go.
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Old 03-18-20, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Lanesplitter View Post
If people get the sense your touring, going to disparate towns and regions, you may draw the ire of others,
I think I mentioned in another thread that the above is something I have been thinking about in connection with the June tour I have planned for MT and ID. If I pull into some one-horse town and try to get something to eat might I be refused service? Or might I be turned away at a private campground. Fortunately, I have only one stay planned at a private place, and it's the day before I start riding from Missoula, so there will be other options. However, on day 3 I am scheduled to camp at a Forest Service place at 5,200'. If the weather is bad there are options lower down the mountain, but they are both private.
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Old 03-18-20, 08:28 AM
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You know, I was just about to open a thread like this. I have been wondering whether or not campgrounds will be open this Summer. The shunning of tourists in small towns is also a real possibility. I have heard that during the 1918 pandemic, the town of Gunnison CO refused to let train passengers disembark. Evidently, the town stayed disease free. Self contained and stealth may be the order of the day. My other question is what will hostels and the like, with communal bunk rooms, do?
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Old 03-18-20, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
The shunning of tourists in small towns is also a real possibility. I have heard that during the 1918 pandemic, the town of Gunnison CO refused to let train passengers disembark. Evidently, the town stayed disease free. Self contained and stealth may be the order of the day.
Yeah, most of my tours have relied on the openness of folks in the middle of the country to cyclists staying in picnic areas and so on in small towns. I can see that not being the case now or as the pandemic gets worse.
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Old 03-18-20, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
I have heard that during the 1918 pandemic, the town of Gunnison CO refused to let train passengers disembark.
Interesting. Gunnison is on Adventure Cycling's Great Parks South route. Stayed there back in 2000 on my way to Mesa Verde N.P.
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Old 03-18-20, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Yeah, most of my tours have relied on the openness of folks in the middle of the country to cyclists staying in picnic areas and so on in small towns. I can see that not being the case now or as the pandemic gets worse.
The Bike Camp in Twin Bridges, MT, comes immediately to mind. It's located in the town park and is on the TransAm route. Pretty popular place. The park is also used by locals who may not be so keen on "outsiders" staying there. I am scheduled to spend another night there in June.
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Old 03-18-20, 10:27 AM
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Make sure your car is well ready for the drive, it would be unfortunate if you had a breakdown. And if you need anything, you might not be able to buy it, so pack carefully.

I have kept a stock of disposable rubber gloves for emergency bike repairs, etc. Packed them with my sparetubes. Given the times we are in, a pair of disposable gloves and a small bottle of hand sanitizer in a jersy pocket might be good additions.

Have a great time. Being in Florida, don't get arrested.
https://www.velonews.com/2020/03/new...-arrest_508042
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Old 03-19-20, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The Bike Camp in Twin Bridges, MT, comes immediately to mind. It's located in the town park and is on the TransAm route. Pretty popular place. The park is also used by locals who may not be so keen on "outsiders" staying there. I am scheduled to spend another night there in June.
Yes, I guess that even in places like that a problem is likely, but I was was thinking more of the little picnic areas in really small towns and the bigger town parks with a baseball field and sometimes a pool, neither with any designated camping sites and neither officially allowing camping.
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Old 03-19-20, 05:25 PM
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Well as it turns out, this is a moot point anyway. The campground is completely booked until mid-April. I guess I'm not the only one considering a social distancing trip. Then again, it is Florida in the late winter/early spring. When I did this mini tour two years ago with just my dog, it was July and half of the campground was empty. I think I was the only tent camper too. Everyone else had their air conditioning cranking in their RVs.

A few days after concocting this trip, I'm still not fully convinced it currently is a good idea. Perhaps staying at home, with my tuna cans and toilet paper is the most prudent move for me, my family, my work environment and the community at large. Thank you all for your input. I'll do this another day.
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Old 03-20-20, 02:44 PM
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Plus we still lack a reliable way to make cars maintain an appropriate social distance
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Old 03-20-20, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
Plus we still lack a reliable way to make cars maintain an appropriate social distance
So no one should tour for that reason?

If you think so this is not the right sub-forum for you. Maybe try A&S.
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Old 03-20-20, 10:10 PM
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You seen the news lately? A car requires gas, if it rains you need a hotel. You use bathrooms, public campgrounds.....

I mean if you rode from your home directly into the dessert wit no humans it would be social distancing. But what you plan will encounter humans or touch surfaces humans touched recently.

There may be curfews by the time you return.

I listened to a bicycle podcast yesterday . That was recorded on 3/12/2020. In that they wondered if the Giro d Italia would happen this year. Now a week later with all what happened the idea of a 2020 mass event in Italy seem surreal. It probably was naive a week ago as well.
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Old 03-20-20, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post

There may be curfews by the time you return.

.
You just changed my mind. I guess I'm staying put.
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Old 03-21-20, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
You just changed my mind. I guess I'm staying put.
Sorry to say that this is the smart choice. These are trying times. I don't think I would have been giving blanket advice to put off touring at any time in the past.
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