Wednesday, October 4, 2023

    Bike Riding & Face Masks: What are the Requirements in NYC?

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    As masks become a part of our everyday life, some cities and towns have mandated masks even for outdoor activities like running, swimming and hiking. If you live in New York City or plan to visit in the upcoming months, review the mask regulations when exercising in a public space before you begin to research the best women’s city bike for your next ride.

    New York City Mask Regulations

    • Currently, New York requires individuals ages 2 and older to wear masks only when indoors in a public place with others outside the person’s immediate family. Even when you can maintain six feet of distance with others in the immediate area, you should still wear a mask in settings like public transit stations, grocery stores, doctor’s offices and retail locations. You should also wear a mask in common spaces if you live in a dorm or apartment with a shared kitchen and bathroom. 
    • A mask can consist of any type of fabric or paper as long as it securely covers the person’s nose and mouth. Avoid wearing a mask with a valve, which allows air to escape. 
    • Under these guidelines, you do not need to wear a mask while riding your bike in New York City. However, you may choose to do so if you frequently ride on city streets or other congested areas. Specifically, the city Department of Transportation notes that social distancing is impossible at many intersections frequented by cyclists. If you decide not to wear a mask while riding Dutch style bikes or other cycles, make sure to stay six feet away from others.

    Mask Tips for Bike Riders

    • If you choose a disposable paper face covering, you can wear it until it gets wet or dirty, tears, or becomes damaged. Do not reuse this type of mask. Fabric masks are more economical since they can be used again and again. Choose a lightweight, woven, breathable material like cotton for the most comfortable experience. Wash your mask by hand or in the machine after each wear, then dry it fully before using it again. 
    • Before putting on or taking off your mask, use a hand sanitizer that contains alcohol or wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Keep your mask in a plastic bag inside your biking bag so it won’t collect germs when you aren’t wearing it.
    • If you have an underlying health condition such as asthma, talk to your doctor about wearing a mask while you ride your bike. The World Health Organization says that wearing a face covering while exercising could cause health issues for individuals who have respiratory or cardiovascular conditions.
    • If you forget your mask or cannot wear one for health reasons, make sure to choose a route on which you are unlikely to encounter other riders. Consider biking at off-peak times when the streets are less busy, although that can be a difficult prospect in New York City.
    • From bikes for heavy people to electric bikes that increase rider stamina on long treks, bicycling is more accessible for most people than ever before. Stay safe and healthy while you ride by wearing a mask on any route where you might pass within six feet of a pedestrian or another rider. 

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