Riding a bicycle is a healthy activity and is both legal and encouraged during Chicago’s Stay At Home order. Just be sure to maintain safe social distancing while cycling.
Was biking banned?
There is indeed confusion. That’s because Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told residents to not go on long runs or bike rides during the COVID-19 shutdown. “Stay at home,” she said. “Only go out for essentials.” The mayor said this and was visibly upset at reports of gatherings around some of the parks and beaches in Lakeshore that were in violation of the order.
After this announcement, the mayor promised to back up the words with action. “Be smart,” she said. “Not only will our police be deployed to shut them down if you are not abiding by these orders, we will be forced to shut down the parks and lakefront.”
She also announced that violators will get one warning to disperse or turn away from closed parks, and then will be cited with a $500 fine followed by arrest if the person continues.
Chicago’s Press Release Encourages Physical Activity
The official press release from Chicago states that Chicagoans are still able, and encouraged, to exercise during this time. That includes cycling, walking, jogging, running.
On March 26th, the lakefront was essentially shut down. All trails, beaches and parks are now closed until further notice. Other recent closings include the 606 Trial and the Chicago Riverwalk.
Many people feel that the orders are a bit harsh and have complained that their fitness routine and ability to exercise has also been interrupted.
Exercise is Allowed
However, the mayor did say that getting outside for a short walk was a good thing, but she didn’t want people to go on long walks, runs and bike trips. She also said that she didn’t want to keep people from getting their exercise, but they need to do it in groups of less than 10 and stay six feet from one another.
The rest of the country
Bicycling has a great article about how to cycle safely during Coronavirus if you’re interested.
Filed under: Bike News