To mask or not to mask?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    To mask or not to mask?

    I have been riding mostly masked and primarily because I have been riding super-crowded Green Mountain. It feels like most (~90%?) of riders are not masking (on GM) even though most hikers are masking.
    The main driver for me to mask is just how close you have to come when passing on singletrack - some hikers have been walking fairly wide off-trail to compensate for trail narrowness.

    Breathing hard on climbs while masked definitely sucks and if uncrowded, I have been dropping the mask.

  2. #2
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    Lots of unmasked riders and hikers down here as well. I tend to stay on the difficult trails as it reduces my chances of contact. We have more outdoor participants now then ever, with trailheads spilling over with cars. Luckily we have enough trails in my area to spread everyone out, for now. I carry my mask until I get close to others then put it on.
    "If you're getting chased, you don't have to be first, just don't be last!"

  3. #3
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    I've found that people with masks are more likely to not social distance enough. Most folks are good about passing with 6 feet or more, but people with masks often cruise along about 3 feet away.

    False confidence in their effectiveness is one of the reasons that the W.H.O. says they should not be used. Other reasons include that they generally do not fit appropriately, they do not filter enough, they cause excessive touching of the face, and also that they should be tossed after every single use since most people will not be able to properly disinfect them.

    "Since the outbreak began, the World Health Organization (WHO) has consistently said only the ill and those caring for the ill need to wear masks.
    Research suggests they are not as effective as frequent hand washing with soap and water, and can give users false confidence."

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52382196

  4. #4
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    Wearing a real, medical-grade mask and following real, medical procedures, correctly, 100% of the time is very effective at both protecting the wearer and reducing the transmission.

    Wearing a bandanna around your neck and occasionally pulling it up is neither.

    Being outside in the sunshine is probably safer than anything else we do!

    Stay home if you are sick.
    Stay home if you are in a high risk category.
    Limit your group size.
    Keep your dog on a short leash.
    Keep your kid on a short leash.
    Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze.
    Wash your hands.
    Don't spit or blow snot rockets if anyone is within sight.
    Don't lick boogers on the ground.

    And for the love of God, everyone take out your earbuds and stop looking at your phone. Pay attention. Maintaining a bit of distance is easy if both parties are spatially aware. Yes, it might mean slowing down sometimes. Yes, it might mean stepping off the trail sometimes.

    Now, go get your vitamin D!
    Is this where I write something witty?

  5. #5
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    Even though wearing a mask is supposed to protect other people from the wearer's droplets, I think most people wear masks hoping it protects them.
    I don't wear one when I ride, I would not be able to breathe well and it would get soggy real quick, besides out on the trails, even passing someone within less than the recommended 6 feet, the chances of getting someone's virus would be slim to none. In fact I don't have a mask, I have a bandanna (probably 0 efficiency) that I keep in my car and put around my face when I go grocery shopping to avoid getting the evil eye. I wash my hands regularly and use whatever hand sanitizer I have left.
    New to Colorado since 1993.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by djlee View Post
    Wearing a real, medical-grade mask and following real, medical procedures, correctly, 100% of the time is very effective at both protecting the wearer and reducing the transmission.

    Wearing a bandanna around your neck and occasionally pulling it up is neither.

    Being outside in the sunshine is probably safer than anything else we do!

    Stay home if you are sick.
    Stay home if you are in a high risk category.
    Limit your group size.
    Keep your dog on a short leash.
    Keep your kid on a short leash.
    Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze.
    Wash your hands.
    Don't spit or blow snot rockets if anyone is within sight.
    Don't lick boogers on the ground.

    And for the love of God, everyone take out your earbuds and stop looking at your phone. Pay attention. Maintaining a bit of distance is easy if both parties are spatially aware. Yes, it might mean slowing down sometimes. Yes, it might mean stepping off the trail sometimes.

    Now, go get your vitamin D!
    spot on..
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia View Post
    spot on..
    If we could get all to understand the facts presented in this post and stop watching the news, would so beneficial to everyone and the economy.
    Good stuff!


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurochien View Post
    ...besides out on the trails, even passing someone within less than the recommended 6 feet, the chances of getting someone's virus would be slim to none...
    What's your rationale there?
    Do the math.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by djlee View Post
    And for the love of God, everyone take out your earbuds and stop looking at your phone. Pay attention. Maintaining a bit of distance is easy if both parties are spatially aware. Yes, it might mean slowing down sometimes. Yes, it might mean stepping off the trail sometimes.
    Yeah... who would have thought that giant, noise-canceling headphones would be suitable for trails with heavy traffic? Especially when the wearer is walking their dog.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    What's your rationale there?
    What do you mean?
    New to Colorado since 1993.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurochien View Post
    What do you mean?
    He means why do you think you cant get the virus outside on trails? I've seen data from the dutch that an athlete expels enough water vapor at mild exertions to potentially effect a 20 meter space behind them. So say I'm an asymptomatic carrier, huffing uphill, come to pass you, how can you avoid the unseen mass of water vapor I expell asci pass? If I'm wearing a mask it controls that water vapor to a degree, and yours adds an additional degree. CDC says from casual contact at say a grocery store aisles if the carrier has a mask and you dont, its 60% if you have mask also it's down to 15% chance. Less chance spreading is less virus, it only lives on surfaces for 3 days, but if inside us it can reproduce and make more for weeks. Until it's gone we are prisoners. Wear a mask now, so come summer we won't need them.

  12. #12
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    I'll just go with what Boulder pulmonologist and critical care physician Dr. Hunter Smith, is saying for now, until proven wrong, dead wrong:
    https://www.velonews.com/news/explai...-while-riding/
    New to Colorado since 1993.

  13. #13
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    No mask for me on the trail, out in public, at home, in my truck, etc. If someone wants to wear one, that's their choice - if they're "concerned" that I'm not then keep your distance which is what I'd prefer anyway regardless of CV. I get a laugh at the "social distancing" thing ... I've been doing that for the past 20 years.

  14. #14
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    I donít/wonít wear one.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurochien View Post
    What do you mean?
    I work at a hospital here in Denver and with many physicians that ride we've had this discussion. They all conclude that you can obtain droplets from someone passing by them at any speed in a less than 6ft distance. What SBSbiker said is pretty true and the doctors have said this as well. Droplets can be expelled just in conversation physicians said, so imagine a hiker huffing and puffing, a trail runner, or a MTBer. That 6ft distance has to be increased because the droplets have expanded their reach when someone is in exercise because heart rate has increased, more oxygen is required and expelled with more force. The 6ft distance is for people who are in a resting heart rate engaging in normal conversation. Again, piggy backing basically off what sbsbiker said, not sure if he's in health care as I am, but his comment was pretty spot on.

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  16. #16
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    I'm planning on getting to GM either today in a few hours or tomorrow. I wanted to do Heil Valley Ranch in Boulder but its closed all weekend due to muddy conditions. I may not wear a mask for all the reasons everyone here stated already. I do know that I have no symptoms and will be sure to ride far around people as much as possible. Maybe riding Dinosaur ridge would be better option, less hikers maybe? Not sure how muddy it would be though.

    At the end of the day, we're all doing are best. We all need to get out. We all need to clear our head. Patience, common courtesy, will go far in this time.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by djlee View Post
    Wearing a real, medical-grade mask and following real, medical procedures, correctly, 100% of the time is very effective at both protecting the wearer and reducing the transmission.

    Wearing a bandanna around your neck and occasionally pulling it up is neither.

    Being outside in the sunshine is probably safer than anything else we do!

    Stay home if you are sick.
    Stay home if you are in a high risk category.
    Limit your group size.
    Keep your dog on a short leash.
    Keep your kid on a short leash.
    Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze.
    Wash your hands.
    Don't spit or blow snot rockets if anyone is within sight.
    Don't lick boogers on the ground.

    And for the love of God, everyone take out your earbuds and stop looking at your phone. Pay attention. Maintaining a bit of distance is easy if both parties are spatially aware. Yes, it might mean slowing down sometimes. Yes, it might mean stepping off the trail sometimes.

    Now, go get your vitamin D!
    ^This^
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  18. #18
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    Talked to immunologist and pulmonologist friends this weekend. Both also stated no one takes into account the speed of the runner/cyclist and/or the wind speed during the activity into consideration when discussing outdoor dispersion rates or density of the droplets. All the models are based on a steady state. Neither of them is wearing a mask during running or cycling, but both are when venturing to stores, etc.

  19. #19
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    A mask can prevent someone from spraying you with droplets but if the virus can spread thru vapor it'll prevent that as well as your pants stop a fart.

  20. #20
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    Yeah. Though viruses are incredibly small and hard to filter based on size exclusion alone (N95 masks incorporate an electrostatic layer of filtration) , they are still many thousands of times larger than vapor molecules in your halitosis or farts (which even a N95 won't help). IMO, the main effect of the more basic and home made masks is to somewhat reduce the amount and range of spewage. It's kinda like the 6' rule. There's nothing magical about 6', it's just a convenient distance to use to somewhat reduce the possibility of transmission, and there are a lot of variables like, wind, humidity, sunlight. With a simple mask and 6', you're better off than with either alone.
    Do the math.

  21. #21
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    No, you're better off with more than 6' and no mask.

    https://www.who.int/publications-det...ncov)-outbreak

  22. #22
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    I've been riding in the city mostly, maintaining as much distance as possible and wearing a mask. To those who've been on the trails what is it like? can you even get 6ft away? Are lots of people wearing masks? Is it crowded?
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  23. #23
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    Trails are insanely crowded with lots of cars at trailheads.

    Generally speaking.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by locoyokel View Post
    Trails are insanely crowded with lots of cars at trailheads.

    Generally speaking.
    Damn yeah that's what I figured, parks in the metro area have been the same way. I'm really tired of road riding on my mtb lol. Hopefully a bit more opening up in our state will translate to fewer people out on the trails at-least on weekdays. Denver is going to be closed through the 8th though, so I don't imagine surrounding trail systems will see any change until then. I really miss trail riding but oh well.
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  25. #25
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    One easy way to avoid trail crowding - night riding. Leave at 9pm and there will be no one on the trails. Bonus - the rattlesnakes will be inside for the night.

    But watch out for skunks. Seriously.

    And those eyes you see reflecting your lights - they are always deer. Don't look closer, just KNOW in your heart that they MUST be deer, and you're all good.

    Besides, 95% of the time they actually are deer...

  26. #26
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    I've wanted to do that but my primary 700w helmet light died in febuary lol. gonna try and fix it, its probably a dead lithium battery.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by locoyokel View Post
    Trails are insanely crowded with lots of cars at trailheads.

    Generally speaking.
    Let me fix that for you: trails are insanely crowded on the weekends. During the week, the THs are a little more crowded, mostly because people are driving separately, but the trails themselves are pretty empty during the week.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Let me fix that for you: trails are insanely crowded on the weekends. During the week, the THs are a little more crowded, mostly because people are driving separately, but the trails themselves are pretty empty during the week.
    Really? that's good news. Might be worth riding out to see for myself.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by coyotegulch View Post
    Talked to immunologist and pulmonologist friends this weekend. Both also stated no one takes into account the speed of the runner/cyclist and/or the wind speed during the activity into consideration when discussing outdoor dispersion rates or density of the droplets. All the models are based on a steady state. Neither of them is wearing a mask during running or cycling, but both are when venturing to stores, etc.
    Iím sure all of the mitigative actions will slow transition rates. I read an John Hopkins article about time exposure that was interesting and something I believe in. The time spent inside a transmission space plays a role. If you put 5 people in a say 25íx40í room for 10minutes, the chances of transmission are significantly lower than staying in the room for 45minutes with Covid19. If you did the same with the chicken pox virus the 10 minute crowd is almost assured to contract it, and the 45min crowd will contract it. IMO using a buff around your neck, pulling it up and looking away when passing a person is the best, least invasive method to mitigate the risk of traveling on trails.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by SicBith View Post
    IMO using a buff around your neck, pulling it up and looking away when passing a person is the best, least invasive method to mitigate the risk of traveling on trails.
    This just proves the World Health Organization is right, masks give users overconfidence.

    The best way to mitigate the risk is to GET AWAY from the other user, a minimum of 2 meters (6+ feet).

    Are you going to trust incompetent local and state governments who can't even deliver testing (let alone the criminally negligent Federal government), or the W.H.O.?

    There's a list of other reasons the W.H.O. gives for not wearing masks - excessive face touching (raising the likelihood you will get Covid), creating a moist environment at your face (raising the likelihood you will get Covid), inability for most people to properly clean masks (also increasing your chance of getting it), no way to judge or regulate effectiveness (even if you are one of the very very few who manage to make a good mask, chances are you're not sealing it properly around the nose/mouth), etc.

    Masks are just social acceptability and false confidence, nothing more.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by locoyokel View Post
    This just proves the World Health Organization is right, masks give users overconfidence....
    The same argument is used against bike helmets. They cause head injuries because riders become overconfident.
    Do the math.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by locoyokel View Post
    The best way to mitigate the risk is to GET AWAY from the other user, a minimum of 2 meters (6+ feet).
    I've never been on single-track where a six foot distance is feasible. The masks purpose is also not for your protection its to protect others. No matter which organization you have a beef with the fact is this virus spreads through droplets. A mask prevents you, to a certain degree, from spewing your droplets onto someone else. Its our responsibility to mitigate that spread when we are in public spaces, especially since its such a simple thing. If that's too oppressive stay home.
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  33. #33
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    ^^^ agree. If I make extra effort to move over and the other rider does the same, OK, but fairly often the other riders don't. Many do, but a significant number don't, and forget it as far as all the kids and newbies go.

    For this reason I've been pretty much sticking to road riding. There's usually much more opportunity to put distance between me and other riders. The main issue I have is faster riders overtaking me and not giving me any distance. What I'll do is watch for riders coming up and as they approach I do a left 360 turn so I wind up well be hind them.

    Looking at the CO numbers, 0.021% of the people 60-70 years old have died from Covid19. For people 30-40 years old, it's 0.0006% . 60-70 year old Coloradans have 35 x the chances of dying than 30-40 year olds. So, if you see an old fart on a bike, like me, give him some room.
    Do the math.

  34. #34
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    Same I've been sticking to non single track riding, been looking to making the road riding as fun as possible, so lots of hoping off curbs and pumping everything lol. I've had the same experience though with roadies passing me without warning about two feat away while they huff and puff (I tend to spin up asphalt climbs cause theyre so boring lol). What happened to a little "on your left" or god forbid a bell? guess that adds grams.

    I really don't get people resistance to basic prevention. I'm stuck at home from college with my 60 year old parents, my dad is an ex smoker too, so for me the whining about social distancing is personally irritating. Catching this thing is not an option for me, I have to protect my loved ones, and it would be nice if we could get past idiotic politics and care about each-other a bit. At the very least the riding community could take care of its own, we are all relatively healthy but this sport has plenty of older people in it we should watch out for.
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  35. #35
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    My wife and I, in our 60s, are the caretakers of her 91 yo mother. Our siblings and their spouses are in their 60s too, so we do have some angst. None of them are "old and decrepit." It was great when we were young and invincible, but we aren't any longer.
    Do the math.

  36. #36
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    Yeah, youth is no excuse though. I had a classmate of mine hospitalized, and my best friends mother is a nurse, his dad also has health issues. I just don't buy that all the people my age (20 somethings) have no one in their lives that they care about whom might be impacted by this.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by locoyokel View Post
    This just proves the World Health Organization is right, masks give users overconfidence.

    The best way to mitigate the risk is to GET AWAY from the other user, a minimum of 2 meters (6+ feet).

    Are you going to trust incompetent local and state governments who can't even deliver testing (let alone the criminally negligent Federal government), or the W.H.O.?

    There's a list of other reasons the W.H.O. gives for not wearing masks - excessive face touching (raising the likelihood you will get Covid), creating a moist environment at your face (raising the likelihood you will get Covid), inability for most people to properly clean masks (also increasing your chance of getting it), no way to judge or regulate effectiveness (even if you are one of the very very few who manage to make a good mask, chances are you're not sealing it properly around the nose/mouth), etc.

    Masks are just social acceptability and false confidence, nothing more.
    Obviously I would give/take space when I can. Riders coming from opposite directions on single track makes it difficult to create that space. Get passed them fast and keep moving. I spend a lot of time on the road for this reason, as creating space on the road is easy. Luckily weíre still melting out where I live so roads are the best option for rides over an hour.
    you can get passed a dog... nobody fuks with a lion

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by locoyokel View Post
    Masks are just social acceptability and false confidence, nothing more.
    I agree 100%.

    But now apparently Boulder County feels the need to make us wear masks outside on the trails. What a f*cking joke. Ugh.

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    I guess people still don't get it the masks are not PPE unless you have an n95 or something better. They are for the benefit of your neighbors.

    Does it get hot and uncomfortable when you're huffing and puffing up hill? For sure and you can pull that thing down as long as you're not huffing and puffing in someone else's face.

    But my god the oppression I've been asked to wear a bit of cloth over my face in public, the humanity! muh rights!
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  40. #40
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    Yeah. When you see others wearing face coverings, they're doing you favor. They wear it for others because it reduces the range and amount they spew.

    Whether you give a shit or not about getting it, you should care about not transmitting it to your family or friends... or the others. Getting it and dying would suck a lot less than being the cause of your wife, kids, parents or friends dying or winding up with life-long disabilities.
    Do the math.

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    To mask or not to mask?-012f8c1f-1853-4cb8-a37d-59e165cecc44.jpegI havenít worn a mask while mountain Biking but on my commuter fire breathing Budnitz I do and breathing is not a problem

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by locoyokel View Post
    This just proves the World Health Organization is right, masks give users overconfidence.

    The best way to mitigate the risk is to GET AWAY from the other user, a minimum of 2 meters (6+ feet).

    Are you going to trust incompetent local and state governments who can't even deliver testing (let alone the criminally negligent Federal government), or the W.H.O.?

    There's a list of other reasons the W.H.O. gives for not wearing masks - excessive face touching (raising the likelihood you will get Covid), creating a moist environment at your face (raising the likelihood you will get Covid), inability for most people to properly clean masks (also increasing your chance of getting it), no way to judge or regulate effectiveness (even if you are one of the very very few who manage to make a good mask, chances are you're not sealing it properly around the nose/mouth), etc.

    Masks are just social acceptability and false confidence, nothing more.
    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    I agree 100%.

    But now apparently Boulder County feels the need to make us wear masks outside on the trails. What a f*cking joke. Ugh.
    Also 100% agreement. I won't wear one outside--I don't stand or ride that close to people. Also, that Dutch study that everyone loved to quote on Medium has been debunked. I'm more likely to get an asthma attack because I can't breathe. I also try to ride as early as possible (7:30-8am during the week), and hopefully I can get out to the trail heads that early on the weekends too. The crowds during the weekday afternoons and weekends are a shit show now. Looking forward to riding at higher altitude.

    Inside a building with an active HVAC and lots of people going in and out (such as the grocery store), I'm usually wearing an N95 mask. And I usually go to the store either late Sunday night or morning weekdays. The crowds are terrible.

    So BoCO is requiring masks on the trails? You'll have more people having heat stroke than likely to pass COVID-19 that way. Stupid. How are they going to enforce that, or is it social pressure?
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    I agree 100%.

    But now apparently Boulder County feels the need to make us wear masks outside on the trails. What a f*cking joke. Ugh.
    I rode White Ranch last night (around 5:30-7pm), and I don't think I saw a single MTB'er wearing a mask. And maybe half the hikers. The parking lot was half empty and the trails were quiet.

    Stripes, where are you riding that the trails are a shitshow on weekday afternoons? I haven't encountered many people at all during the week, and I typically ride White Ranch, Hall, Left Hand, and up around Loveland/FtC. Maybe the main trail systems like Green Mountain that are closer to Denver? Otherwise, I'd say it's getting quieter as we get into summer more, and restrictions start relaxing meaning more folks are hopefully working again.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    I rode White Ranch last night (around 5:30-7pm), and I don't think I saw a single MTB'er wearing a mask. And maybe half the hikers. The parking lot was half empty and the trails were quiet.

    Stripes, where are you riding that the trails are a shitshow on weekday afternoons? I haven't encountered many people at all during the week, and I typically ride White Ranch, Hall, Left Hand, and up around Loveland/FtC. Maybe the main trail systems like Green Mountain that are closer to Denver? Otherwise, I'd say it's getting quieter as we get into summer more, and restrictions start relaxing meaning more folks are hopefully working again.
    Apex is basically a shitshow always nowadays. Except before 7AM on an odd day. Even days, super early (6AM), there are still 20+ cars in the lot that early.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    I rode White Ranch last night (around 5:30-7pm), and I don't think I saw a single MTB'er wearing a mask. And maybe half the hikers. The parking lot was half empty and the trails were quiet.

    Stripes, where are you riding that the trails are a shitshow on weekday afternoons? I haven't encountered many people at all during the week, and I typically ride White Ranch, Hall, Left Hand, and up around Loveland/FtC. Maybe the main trail systems like Green Mountain that are closer to Denver? Otherwise, I'd say it's getting quieter as we get into summer more, and restrictions start relaxing meaning more folks are hopefully working again.
    Mainly some neighborhood trails, Erie, and Valmont. My concern isn't people going back to work, but kids being out of school for the summer. They have zero F's to give about social distancing. I won't go to Valmont in the afternoons anymore right now, not only that, but it seems like it's needs a lot more TLC than it's been getting.
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  46. #46
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    Just remember to not re-use your mask without effectively sterilizing it after each use.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    I rode White Ranch last night (around 5:30-7pm), and I don't think I saw a single MTB'er wearing a mask. And maybe half the hikers. The parking lot was half empty and the trails were quiet.

    Stripes, where are you riding that the trails are a shitshow on weekday afternoons? I haven't encountered many people at all during the week, and I typically ride White Ranch, Hall, Left Hand, and up around Loveland/FtC. Maybe the main trail systems like Green Mountain that are closer to Denver? Otherwise, I'd say it's getting quieter as we get into summer more, and restrictions start relaxing meaning more folks are hopefully working again.
    Surprisingly 3 sisters hasnít been bad but Iím also going during the week and not weekends or holidays and usually a 9am start.

    The main lot though was already packed by then
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    Is it still just GM that is open (legally) for night riding?

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