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Pedal Power Association: Wear a mask when exercising, and that includes cyclists

17 May 2020 11:52 AM
Tags:
Cycling
Cyclists
Pedal Power Association
COVID-19
Level 4 lockdown
compulsory cloth masks
PPA chair Rens Renzelman says it's simple aerodynamics that exhaled droplets remain in a cyclist's slipstream.

Social media is awash with complaints and pleas for people to wear the required face masks when they venture out during the morning exercise window.

And that includes cyclists.

Cyclist wearing mask. Image: pixabay.com

The Pedal Power Association has added its voice to the calls to protect yourself and others through mask use during the 6-9 am exercise period.

RELATED: [READ] Dept of Health: How and why we should be wearing masks at a glance

Studies have shown that exhaled droplets remain suspended behind in a cyclist’s slipstream and PPA chairperson Rens Renzelman highlights this fact on Weekend Breakfast.

If it's a cold morning, you can see when people breathe you get the heavy condensation. You almost have to picture that those could be Covid-infected breaths for want of a better analogy, and that's the worst-case scenario.

Rens Renzelman, Chair - Pedal Power Association

When you are cycling, that, in a slipstream, can suspend for some time and that's why for us the whole thing has been - if you protect yourself by wearing a mask you're also protecting other people and it's really that simple.

Rens Renzelman, Chair - Pedal Power Association

Renzelman says they've been campaigning for extra "physical distancing" already for years, mainly to create more space between road users.

So for us, asking for more distance between cyclists, traffic and people is a wonderful thing, we're quite happy to hop on that bandwagon. But... because there are so many variables involved I think it's dangerous to make a statement to say because of slipstreaming there's a greater risk of Covid droplets being suspended. Personal fitness, wind, the speed at which you're travelling - there are so many variables.

Rens Renzelman, Chair - Pedal Power Association

He notes that under the current conditions, a lot of team sport players are turning to other forms of exercise which has led to an increase in runners and cyclists on the road.

There's a mass volume of people out on the roads now and it's really important that people do make sure that they take the necessary safety precautions.

Rens Renzelman, Chair - Pedal Power Association

I think with the 6-9 window it's all good and well but unfortunately what we're experiencing is that there's a massive concentration of people, everybody is out and I think for your mental health that's actually quite wonderful to see... but in terms of what it actually creates - a mass concentration of people - that in itself necessitates a mask.

Rens Renzelman, Chair - Pedal Power Association

He feels a possible future relaxation of the mandated exercising hours will lower the Covid risk in itself.

Renzelman says various cycling associations have discussed the measures and believe that cycling is actually part of the solution.

We've seen in cities like Philadelphia, New York, Paris and even London that with the lockdowns, so many cities have been revitalised and commuting by bicycle is probably one of the safest things you can do. Just logically, you've got your own physical distancing, you are avoiding crowded public transport systems.

Rens Renzelman, Chair - Pedal Power Association

What they've actually done in those cities - and Cape Town I believe should be no different - they've actually said 'no more traffic on these roads post-Covid' and they will solely be for the use of pedestrians and cyclists.

Rens Renzelman, Chair - Pedal Power Association

Listen to the conversation below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Pedal Power Association: Wear a mask when exercising, and that includes cyclists


17 May 2020 11:52 AM
Tags:
Cycling
Cyclists
Pedal Power Association
COVID-19
Level 4 lockdown
compulsory cloth masks

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