Bike Riding & Face Masks: What are the Requirements in Los Angeles?

August 19, 2020

There’s nothing like an outdoor bike ride to cut through stress and add invigorating activity to your day. That type of exercise benefit is even more important during challenging times, like the ones so many people have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before you head out for a ride on a bicycle for short adults, it’s important to know all the most current health guidelines for going out in public, including requirements to wear a face covering. Here are the most important updates about wearing a face mask while riding your bike.

California Requires Face Masks in Most Settings Outside Your Home

In mid-June, the California Department of Health released guidance on wearing face masks. The guidance mandates wearing face masks in most settings outside of your home. It’s a statewide order, meaning it applies to Los Angeles. The order includes outside spaces - everyone is required to wear a face mask in public, outdoor spaces when it’s not possible to maintain more than 6 feet of distance from another person. Most trails and sidewalks in Los Angeles would fall into that category.

Outdoor Exercise Is an Exception, in Some Cases

There is an exception in the health department’s order for people engaging in outdoor exercise, like going for a ride on an adult cruiser bike, when you’re able to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, and you’re riding alone or with another member of your own household. So, if you’re planning to take your bicycle for short adults out on a very wide trail, a lightly trafficked street or other setting when you’re unlikely to come within 6 feet of another person, you are not required to wear a mask for the whole ride.

It’s still important to be prepared, in case the trail is busier or more narrow than you expected. Riders on city bicycles should be ready to follow the mask guideline by having a face mask easily accessible, in case you come across other people. Wearing a neck gaiter that can be doubled over to create multiple layers of fabric is an easy, accessible solution if you need to cover your face quickly. General guidance is to get your face covering ready if you see someone within 30 feet of you.

Many Types of Face Coverings Meet the Requirement

Guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health states that everyone should wear a face mask when they’re interacting with other people - who are not members of their household - or public or private spaces. The health department lists acceptable cloth face coverings including face masks, which can be purchased or made at home, as well as bandanas, neck gaiters, scarves or other types of coverings made from tightly woven fabric.

A cloth face mask should have multiple layers and fit securely over your nose and mouth. Look for options made from breathable fabrics to increase your comfort level while you ride. Most cloth face masks are reusable, and should be washed after each use. Local health departments generally recommend against wearing N-95 respirator masks, which are intended to protect health care and medical staff.

Getting exercise on a bike remains a great day to enjoy the outdoors. Have your mask ready and rely on a trusted vendor of high-quality bicycles to get the most enjoyment out of your next ride.


Tatjana Faplo
I am a professional writer and editor with a rich history of writing experiences. In the past, I've worked for glossy magazines, branding agencies, creative institutions, architectural and design firms, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and health foundations.

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