LAST UPDATED: March 31, 2020
How is the Corona Pandemic changing motorcycle riding behaviour? Are we riding more or are we riding less? I looked at the number of rides that were logged in Scenic over the last few weekends and found some interesting differences between countries.
DISCLAIMER: No real conclusions can and should be made from the data and analyses presented here. First of all the data is limited: It’s based only on the number of rides logged in the Scenic app. Secondly, we can make out trends and take an educated guess at the reason for these trends, but these remain just that: guesses! Next to Corona Virus, there are many other factors that affect people going out for a ride. Think of weather and long (public holiday) weekends for example.
All graphs show the percentage of rides logged in the Scenic app in a specific weekend, relative to the number of rides in the 1 Feb weekend. So, the number of rides in the 1 Feb weekend is considered 100%.
Around the weekend of 21-22 March Australia was in the early stages of its outbreak compared to countries in other continents. We don’t see a significant decline in the number of rides. In fact we see a little increase. In the March 28 weekend the number is decreasing again. Hard to tell if this is structural and/or due to Corona at this point. Decreasing weather conditions could also play a part.
From start of March we see a clear increase in the number of rides, due to start of season / improving weather, but in the March 21/22 weekend we see a clear drop. This is the weekend after the week where social distancing and even lockdown measures were sharply increased by various European countries.
Unfortunately Scenic doesn’t have sufficient data on Italy nor Asia, but it does have quite some data in Spain. Spain being the European country 2nd most affected by COVID-19, has been running ahead of its fellow European countries with its containment measures. As such you can see this effect in the number of rides. In fact, in the last weekends, the number of rides has almost been decreased to zero as Spain strengthened its lockdown procedures.
United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Switzerland show a rather unexpected increase. As all other European countries show a declined (or at least unchanged) number of rides for the weekend of 21 march, UK shows a significant increase. I’ve been told that weather was extremely good in UK in that weekend, so that might have something to do with it.
In the weekend of 28 march UK shows a huge decline, while Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland show a big increase in that weekend.
For U.S., in general, we see the number of rides increase from Feb 8 onward. This is most likely due to weather getting better. On March 7 there is a peak and after that it goes down a bit. For Canada as well as US there is no significant change between the March 14 and March 21 weekend.
Last week I was expecting to see a drop in the number of rides for the March 28 weekend, but the opposite shows to be true, even though it has become clear in the last week that Corona is still spreading exponentially without slowing down, throughout the US and Canada.
What does it all mean?
I do this analyses pure for informative purposes! It should not be taken as an input to define your behaviour regarding COVID-19. It does not add value compared to the primary data for number of cases and number of deaths. Please don’t take any action based on this analyses. I’m not a Corona Virus expert at all!
If you must take action then take the safe route. Stay inside, distance yourself, rather sooner than later. The sooner you take action (even if your government doesn’t) the better! This thing is exponential. The earlier you take action the bigger the effect will be (this goes for positive as well as negative action)!!!
Stay safe everyone!