Coronavirus | How can motorcyclists help?

Here are the best ways that the motorcycle community can help during the Coronavirus pandemic

Kawasaki ZR900

UPDATE: The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced fresh new curbs to restrict movement in the United Kingdom to slow the spread of the coronavirus - all non-essential travel is prohibited. Full details here (Monday 23 March)

LIKE many people across the UK, I felt more than a little trepidation when the news broke that the UK government was moving from delay to containment of the COVID-19 disease.

Initially there were no measures in place to prevent people from getting to work or riding a motorcycle for pleasure and it seemed as though our favourite pastime was still allowed. However, a sharp influx of people venturing out over the weekend as a result of good weather saw the rules change significantly on Monday [23 March].

As such, all non-essential travel has been prohibited whether it's on foot, in a car or on a motorcycle et al. 

This means no public gatherings of more than two people you don't live with and venturing out must only happen to buy essential goods (food and medical supplies), caring for the vulnerable, medical needs, exercise once a day and travelling to and from essential work if you cannot do it from home.

However, if you DO need to venture out on the motorcycle - and we stress you only do so for the reasons stated here and nothing else as per the PM's ruling - we encourage you to heed the following advice...

Top 10 Best Suzuki Motorcycles Ever Made |

How can motorcycles help during Coronavirus?

For starters, just riding a motorcycle to essential work, to pick up prescriptions and to buy small amounts of essential groceries using your motorcycle is already helping. You’re helping to alleviate congestion, reduce emissions and using less fuel and putting less strain on that particular supply chain. You’re helping already but only if you must head out.

Don’t be an idiot

If you do need to travel whatever distance for essential work or for supplies, don't take advantage of the fact you're doing it on a motorcycle.

An empty stretch of public road snaking off into the distance is an enticing sight when the UK isn’t being told to stay indoors. Seeing the same thing pretty devoid of cars, vans and lorries is even more inviting.

But let’s try and keep our powder dry shall we, now is possibly not the best time to try and beat your best time along the Cat and Fiddle.

For one thing, with the country mainly respecting the PM’s advice to remain home, it’s likely that accidents, on-road and otherwise have dropped. However, the initiation of new regulations is likely to see more police on the streets to enforce the rules, which could land you with a fine if you cannot justify why you are outdoors for the aforementioned reasons stated above.

The second – and to me most important – reason to keep a lid on the speed a little is that the NHS is already under a massive amount of stress. I’ve heard unconfirmed reports of overflowing ICUs and that in some places makeshift morgues are already being erected to deal with the possibility of an increase in the frequency of deaths. Having to take these frontline staff away from their job of helping people just because you and your mate wanted to go and live out you Mickey D fantasies is both selfish and stupid. Please don’t do it.

Avoid mass gatherings

UPDATE: The government has now enforced no public gatherings of more than two people if you don't live with them. The measures remain in place for 3 weeks between 23 March - 14 April

It may sound simple, given the government telling all pubs to close should have been a clue, but it seems that some people up and down the country didn't heed the advice.

If anything was going to bring in an enforced lockdown – when the Government tells us to stay indoors unless travel is absolutely necessary – more quickly it’s people not listening to the advice and gathering in large groups, whether it's in parks, beaches and towns.

Just this weekend I saw posts on social media confirming that people were gathering at motorcycle cafes up and down the country even though the cafes were closed. While the group of people congregating on the carpark and drinking flasks of tea probably didn’t all organise the meeting, the police and authorities will still look upon it as an illegal gathering in their eyes.

Follow the advice of medical professionals

What I’m trying to say is; your mate Dave who once volunteered for the St John's Ambulance during the summer of 74 doesn’t know better than a medical practitioner who has trained most of their life for this. Regardless of how much he says he’s read on Google.

Follow the government Social Distancing guidance – found here – and also their advice on keeping yourself and your home infection free – found here.

Glove it up at the pumps!

Going out for a ride is already an isolating experience, it’s part of the appeal for many – myself included. One of the few times on a ride that you could come into direct contact with another human is at the petrol station. Handling cash and touching a petrol pump that has been used by somebody else are two scenarios that spring to mind.

Always were the disposable gloves when filling up and not just your own riding gloves. The virus is known to live on certain surfaces for days at a time. Touching it with your nice new Spidi race gloves could pick it up and take it with you.

If possible, pay at the pump, removing the trip to the counter greatly reduces the risk of touching something or someone that is infected. Don’t forget to keep the disposable gloves on for when you touch the keypad!

UPDATE: The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced fresh new curbs to restrict movement in the United Kingdom to slow the spread of the coronavirus - all non-essential travel is prohibited. Full details here (Monday 23 March)