How to Mountain Bike Safely in Colorado During Coronavirus
The coronavirus has been keeping us all at home a lot more lately. But nothing can stop us from dreaming about our next ride.
If you’re like us, you’re ready to get down and dirty on some backcountry mountain bike trails as soon as possible. But you might be wondering where (and if) it’s safe to ride during coronavirus.
Fortunately here in Colorado, there are plenty of places to bike in the mountains, including a number of trails that are open and safe to use right now. You just need to know where to find them.
You’ve got questions about where, when, and how you can get your mountain bike fix in. We’ve got answers. Let’s roll.
Disclaimer: We’re experts on many things here at Alchemy, but epidemiology isn’t within our skill set. The information below is intended to be a helpful guide, and is based on state and federal recommendations.
For complete coronavirus safety guidelines, please visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s COVID-19 resource page >Last updated on May 13, 2020.
Can You Go Mountain Biking Right Now?
Short answer: Yes. Now that the Stay At Home (aka Shelter In Place) order across Colorado has been lifted, you’re legally free to travel around the state.
However, with the new Safer At Home recommendations, health officials are asking people to limit recreational trips to a distance of less than 10 miles from your home, or within your county.
We know that for many of you, riding is life. But when there’s a health emergency, mountain biking has to come second for a little while.
So if you have great mountain bike trails right out your backdoor, you’re in luck. If that kind of riding is further than 10 miles from your home or outside your county, you’ll have to make do with what you have nearby for a bit longer.
Where in Colorado Can You Go Mountain Biking Right Now?
You can ride on any trails that are still open (if they’re within the 10-mile radius recommended within the Safer At Home guidelines).
Some parks are closed entirely right now, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Red Rocks, the Manitou Incline, and Waterton Canyon. However, some of these parks are already looking at phased reopenings.
That is obviously not a comprehensive list of parks, and the situation changes regularly. Call or check the website of the park you’re hoping to visit before you rack up your bike. For information on trail openings in our National Parks, the NPS website is your best bet.
One thing you’ll notice at many trails is directional riding signage. The point is to minimize contact with other riders, so look for these signs and follow the rules. Don’t be that guy.
Some trails will continue to be closed for a while for seasonal reasons — protecting wildlife and preventing trail damage. Riding on wet and muddy trails can cause damage, and areas populated by elk are generally off limits during the spring for calving.
In this case, a park may be open, but the trails could still be closed. Check in advance before you head out.
- You can get updates on the status of Colorado’s parks here >
- Submit questions about specific trails here >
- Other contact information is available here >
P.S. — We’d love to hear where you’re safely riding right now!
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How Can You Ride Safely?
Wherever and whenever you decide to ride, there are some precautions you can take to do so safely.
Remember, even if you’re not worried about getting sick yourself, these recommendations are intended to prevent you from infecting others (and yes, you can be infected even if you feel fine!).
Rules of the Trail During Coronavirus:
Don’t do it if you’re sick
- If you feel at all sick, have a fever, are coughing, etc., stay at home.
Don’t take risks
- Ride well within your limits. Hospitals are dedicated to treating both coronavirus patients and other serious emergencies right now. You don’t want to accidentally add to their workload after trying a jump you can’t quite land. Plus, the hospital is a good place to get infected.
Wear a mask
- You may be all alone up on that trail, and then out of nowhere someone comes racing down in the other direction. You’ll want to be wearing a mask for these surprises. If you’re riding with others, a mask should be worn at all times, anyway.
Don’t cough or spit when near other bikers
- Hold it in until you find a little space.
Don’t bike in large groups
- Keep your biking group to others who live in your household. If you do bike with people you don’t live with, keep the group as small as possible (under 10 people), and maintain a 6-foot distance from other riders at all times.
Don’t hang out in the parking lots
- The trails may be able to accommodate everyone, but the parking lot is likely to be a hotspot for viral spread if everyone stands around chatting before or after a ride.
Avoid crowded trails
- This is especially true for narrow trails where it’s impossible to keep that 6-foot distance between you and other riders. If it’s a busy day, look for somewhere else to ride, like a fire road.
- Water bottles, beers, towels, gloves, bikes, etc. If you touch it, no one else should, and vice versa.
Is it Time for a New Bike?
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It’s a bummer that we can’t ride everywhere we want to right now. But those mountains aren’t going anywhere —this will pass soon enough, and we’ll be exploring high-altitude trails and taking in the epic views.In the meantime, there’s one thing you can do right now, right from the device you’re reading this on — get a new bike for the season ahead.
And guess what? We have a huge sale going on right now — $1,000 off all complete bikes and $1,500 off our Arktos 27.5 models.
Buy your dream mountain bike today, warm up on paths and trails near your home tomorrow, and when the Safer At Home order is lifted and more trails open up, you’ll be ready to push yourself and your new ride to the limit.
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