UPDATE May 18, 2020
Most Orange County parks have been open during the COVID crisis, but the parking lots were closed, making them less accessible to the public. On May 13, the Orange County Board of Supervisors decided to OPEN MOST PARKING AREAS. All of the rides that XEN MTB offers in county parks are included in this plan. See the official information at the Orange County Parks website here: https://www.ocgov.com/news/displaynews?NewsID=6586
As a result of the parking lots being reopened, the following ride options have been fully reinstated:
PLEASE NOTE THAT STATE PARK PARKING AREAS ARE STILL CLOSED. That closure affects only one ride that XEN MTB offers: Crystal Cove State Park. There are several legal access points to that park, so it doesn’t completely shut down the ride.
As of Midnight, Friday, March 20, 2020 California residents are under “stay at home” orders issued by the governor. (See: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/03/19/governor-gavin-newsom-issues-stay-at-home-order/). You can watch his televised announcement here:
What does this mean for mountain bike tours? Well, technically anyone violating the governor’s order could be charged with a misdemeanor pursuant to section 8665 of the California government code. It would seem counter-productive to the goal of the order to throw people in jail. The court systems are heavily impacted already with thousands of cases being continued.
What’s the reality of the situation? He’s not saying you can’t get out to exercise. Mountain biking is exercise. So long as we’re maintaining distance between each other and using common sense, nothing is going to happen – health-wise or law-wise.
Until we’re in a total lockdown, tours will continue. Also, until this crisis is over, any tour booked may be refunded for any reason. You won’t lose your money if the government decides last minute to shut everything down! Let’s hope for the best possible outcome and keep the rubber side down.
How We’re Dealing With This – The Logistics
You’ll need to arrange bike rentals and transportation entirely on your own. There will be NO SHUTTLE ASSISTED RIDES available during this crisis and there will be no customary hand-shakes. XEN MTB is going to follow the guidelines outlined by the International Mountain Biking Association.
Your tour-guide, Mark Warrick, is working at home and taking a common sense approach to dealing with the mass hysteria and realities of living in the world right now. He wears a mask inside stores that require it and maintains a reasonable distance from others. He DOES NOT wear a mask while riding a bike.
And Finally…The Opinions
Mark is a firm believer that doctors know better than politicians when it comes to your health and safety. As such, he listens to health experts, not politicians, on those matters. The data regarding Covid-19 virus cases has proven that 99% of otherwise healthy people will recover from the virus even if infected and that there’s a low chance of being infected.
If you are in one of the high risk categories of people identified by the World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control, you should NOT book a tour with XEN MTB. You are ultimately responsible for your own health and safety.