Safer Cycling Calgary's response to COVID-19

 

SHORT UPDATE SEPTEMBER 3, 2021: Masks are again required in all public buildings, effective Sept 4. Masking in the building (for bathroom access) will be strictly enforced for all. Please bring your own mask if possible. 

 

Last updated August 3, 2021


COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is a serious threat to human health. At Safer Cycling Calgary, safety is our business; not just related to bicycling, but in general. We are taking this threat seriously, and as such, some of our operations have been altered. 

First, clarification: bicycles are considered vehicles and are a form of transportation. Transportation is essential, and businesses which provide transportation or related products & services were always permitted to operate. 

Provincial restrictions have eased, however we are continuing with some safety protocols as follows:

1. We rely on a local community centre for access to toilets, and we will continue to limit access to one family at a time to the building and provide hand sanitizer for use before and after. Masks are recommended for all while inside the building but not required.

2. Courses with an indoor component (Intermediate day camps) will run with increased physical distancing measures in place and will require masking by all as well. Touch surfaces such as tables, chairs, door handles, and toilets will be wiped down with sanitizer before and after each day. 

3. Physical distancing is likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future: as most of our courses are exclusively outdoors, all are on bike and some are on road, remaining 2m apart is reasonably easy and failing to do so can be dangerous for reasons that have nothing to do with a virus. However, every course has some contact between instructor(s) and participant(s)/equipment, particularly in the First Time courses. We will continue with adjustments as follows: 

- participants in First Time courses for children will continue to require a parent/caregiver on site and that adult will continue to be responsible for involvement such as adjusting helmet fit and providing "push assist;" participants may be offered push assist, depending on the instructor (instructor will wear a mask while in close contact with the participant);
- participants in First Time courses for adults will be responsible for adjusting their own helmet fit and may not be provided "push assist," depending on the instructor (instructor will wear a mask while in close contact with the participant);

- participants/caregivers will be provided with hand sanitizer/disinfecting wipes to use before & after using any shared equipment, such as tools; 
- instructors will complete registration of bikes through 529 Garage, as self-registration yielded few protected bikes in 2020;
- instructors will reduce contact with participants' equipment and ensure the use of hand sanitizer before and after necessary contact (such as to remove/reinstall pedals, adjust seat height, adjust brakes, Project 529 registration, providing push assist); 
- participants in First Time courses for children will not be provided with equipment such as balls or crayons for breaks and playground time will be staggered between groups; hand sanitizer will be used before and after visits to the playground; 
- group discussions will be modified to allow increased distance between participants and will not involve "interaction" in the form of participant demonstration;
- masks will be worn by instructors when in close contact with participants and are recommended (but not required) for all participants when not actively riding, particularly those who are unvaccinated.

4. Our instructors will not come to work if they are sick: this may result in some courses being cancelled or postponed: you will be offered a refund or an alternate date. If you or your child are sick, if anyone in your home is sick, or you have been in close contact with anyone who is sick, do not come to a course. If you notify us in advance, we will refund your course fee (pro-rated if your course is a multi-day course). No shows will not receive a refund, as per our usual policies. We also pledge to inform you if any of the participants or the instructor of your course become sick after the fact, which we can only do if you advise us if you are one of those participants.

We take safety - and health - seriously; it's right in our name! We want to assure you that we are taking necessary precautions to reduce the spread of a dangerous virus, while also respecting our need to stay in business and provide our services to you. Now, maybe more than ever, bicycling is a very effective way to not only reduce your exposure to contagious diseases, by being able to get around without being stuck in a box with other people, but also by keeping your body healthy through exercise. Cycling has been shown, through many studies, to be excellent for improving both physical and mental health. Riding your bike to the store or around a park or your neighbourhood will ultimately be better than allowing your body and mind to become vulnerable. For those who can't work from home, and need to get to work, cycling is an effective mode of transportation with built-in physical distancing: no need to touch public surfaces, use public transportation or get in a taxi with a person you don't live with, it improves physical health and mental health as well as reducing pollution: it's a win all around. Please don't be afraid to ride a bike, unless required to stay indoors. 

Should you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wishing you health and great bicycling, 
Melissa Malejko, owner of Safer Cycling Calgary

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