Covid 19 & Riding

We’ve all seen the discussions and articles about riding during this pandemic and Andy and I are in the same boat as everyone else! We want to stay safe, keep our family safe and not endanger anyone else. Both of our adult children are home and for that we are thankful. It’s been a big adjustment having everyone home. When you’re use to just picking up and going somewhere not to have that option is very different. I often think how fortunate we are to be able to navigate this time with a safe roof over our head, food in our bellies and the ability to stay out of harms way. If we’re being honest all of these things were much easier when the weather was more winter like but now that warmer days are here we are feeling the need to get out and ride – which brings a whole new set of challenges!

We are trying hard to stay within a one tank of gas distance from our house. We are doing our very best to use the same gas station. At that gas station we keep our gloves on and also use wipes to wipe them down afterwards. When we are out and about we keep to the social distancing rules and we are getting better at wearing our masks when our helmets are off. We are reading about popular riding communities asking riders to not come there and we completely understand that thinking. In some of our motorcycle groups we’re reading about some areas where locals are taking measures into their own hands as they really don’t want to risk outsiders bringing this virus in with them.

Andy and I have always loved packing picnics and stopping to eat beside the water so we are doing that more and more again. I won’t lie – we are absolutely loving being back to eating our charcuterie lunches in pretty places. When we stop at the parks are there plenty of people doing the same as we are; they are keeping their social distance, enjoying being outside and smiling and saying hello to everybody as  you pass.

We do feel that we are being responsible while out and about with the social distancing. Andy and I are pretty laidback riders so speed and taking unnecessary risks are not in our nature. We are also pretty defensive riders so we do our very best to anticipate what’s going happen before we get into situations. Yes we understand that accidents happen but we are being even more diligent than ever!

Seems fitting to talk about bathrooms today seeing as May 19th is Word IBD Day. Word IBD Day is a day to bringing this disease to the forefront. It a day to say this is not an easy life and we are choosing to make the best of a shitty situation.  It is a day to recognize the struggles that many people live with on a daily basis.

One of the biggest hurdles we’re finding with riding right now is locating open bathrooms! We have found some Tim Hortons as well as gas stations and seeing as we are pretty much riding the same route over and over it’s not as bad as when we first started out. I haven’t talked much on our blog about the fact that I have Crohn’s and Colitis (IBD) so going behind a bush isn’t always a viable solution for me. With some business being able to open it bothers me a bit that they can open to the public but they can keep their bathrooms closed – you’re either open or you’re not. I am have been planning outings around bathrooms for years. At one time I could tell you where all the bathrooms were in the shopping malls that surrounded me. I ride a motorcycle now so I buy bike accessories and gear instead of collecting clothes (lol).

Living with an autoimmune disease you get use to taking extra precautions and keeping yourself safe. The majority of bathrooms now have touchless features like faucets, soap and drying options. Toilets flush automatically (if they don’t I use a piece of toilet paper to touch the handle and then drop it in the toilet). Most people will use a paper towel to open the door. More and more places have also placed sanitizer outside the doors as an extra level of precaution. If I’m being completely honest it is also very rare that I don’t use my sleeve over my hand or my elbow to open a door – the less I touch things the safer I am. So using a public bathroom can be done safely.

The whole lack of open bathrooms has limited a lot of people to not being able to go outside. As someone that has been very outspoken about the needs of my IBD community I will likely not go back to some business that we use to frequent because of this.  For us it’s not just a convenience situation it is a medical issue and as I’m finding some people just don’t care. Yes, we are in the midst of a pandemic but compassion should not be forgotten!

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