To help people get around during the COVID-19 outbreak, Seattle’s only bike share company JUMP is offering free 30-minute rides to essential workers during the stay-at-home order (“at least”). Workplaces just need to email [email protected] to get ride codes they can send out to employees.
Bike share is an interesting option during this outbreak because while it is a shared object in public, you really don’t come into contact with many parts of it while using it. JUMP says it is disinfecting the bikes every time they are serviced, including every time workers replace dead batteries with charged ones. But there is no way to guarantee that the bike has been disinfected between rides, so you have to assume it has not and take your own precautions.
If you are disinfecting the bike with Lysol-style wipes, be sure to wipe down all the parts you touch including the locking mechanism, the seat clamp, the back of the saddle and, of course, the handlebar grips and brake levers. It’s also a good idea to sanitize your hands once you are all adjusted and ready to start pedaling in case you end up touching your face during the ride. And, of course, you should sanitize or wash your hands when the ride is over.
The good news is that ultraviolet rays from the sun are a great disinfectant. The bad news is we live in Seattle, so that’s not very reliable.
The city also announced in a recent blog post that SDOT is working with JUMP to install extra bike parking in places where it is needed. With a lot of people turning to bikes as an affordable, reliable and socially-distant way of getting around, bike parking crunches are likely. And the last thing a healthcare or grocery worker needs right now is to waste time trying to find a place to lock up or spend their shift worrying about whether their bike is secure.