Wednesday, 1 April 2020


Cycling responsibly - the dos and don'ts 

(Based on the original article by Tony Farrelly of Cycling UK - full article here)

 

Recreational cycling for health is still allowed in the UK. The current guidelines are that during the lockdown you can exercise outside once a day, and cycling is permitted, so long as you cycle alone or with members of your household. Cycling to work is also very definitely still allowed and has the extra benefit over public transport of built-in Social Distancing. 

Among some misconceptions around the current rules on cycling and exercise generally, we're sharing this edited post from Cycling UK on how to cycle responsibly - including the latest information & the rules laid down by government and the best practice for applying them drawn from the expertise of, and what is being advised by, cycling's main governing bodies.

The actual regulations covering exercise in the emergency laws were enacted by the Government last week [link] and lists excercise as one of the main exceptions to the rule that 'no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse' and that 'a reasonable excuse includes the need...to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household"

It is worth noting that the vagueness of the act means that some things the public, and police forces are interpreting as the law are not actually covered by it: there is no limit in the act to the number of times a day you can exercise, nor any specific bar on driving somewhere to take exercise. However, the Government as part of its efforts to stop the coronaviurs clearly doesn’t want people to do either of those things and some police forces are doing their best to enforce the Government’s wishes rather than the letter of the law and that situation may change

So, in the meantime…

Why we need to ride responsibly?
First, because of the ethical and moral considerations placed upon us all to do our bit to slow the spread of the coronavirus to safeguard the health and lives of our fellow citizens and the health workers striving to keep us all well. And second – and a very distant second – because if we don't cycling will be banned for weeks and possibly months.

So what should and shouldn't you do to be a socially responsible cyclist during the current crisis? 

Do ride on your own, stay on your own, go home on your own and keep social interactions down to the absolute minimum. if you do meet people along the way then observe the guidance on social distancing. In like with all other forms of exercise the only exception to the riding on your own rule is if you ride with other members of your household – partner, children, housemates/flatmates.

Don’t go out for a recreational/training ride on your bike more than once a day. Government advice is very explicit about this. While there are no rules about how long, or how far you should ride – beyond Michael Gove’s assertion that you should do no more than you would normally do (link is external). The advice on how often you should go outdoors to take exercise is VERY clear. Once.
Do stay local – stick to routes you know well and ride within your limits.

Do keep a safe distance from other cyclists in as safe a manner as possible and remember that your speed dictates how safe a distance you need to be behind someone before you pull out to pass – inevitably it is going to be much more than the two metres prescribed for pedestrians. Read our guide to How much distance you should leave the cyclist ahead in a time of pandemic.

Do make sure that you're self-sufficient and that you can fix your bike and make it home without help from anyone else.

Don’t share bikes or equipment – pretty easy if you’re riding on your own. Only use your own bike, and your own equipment.

Don’t drive somewhere to ride – the Government's Covid 10 Travel Guidance (link is external) is clear on this only essential travel is allowed and it deems only three things essential: going to work (if you can’t work from home) luckily you are allowed to ride to work if you have to go; health reasons; and buying food. True the relevant wording of the travel exemption for exercise "to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household" is open to interpretation, but it is also clear that the Government don't want you to do it. The court of public opinion is definitely against it too. Given that you can ride your bike from your front door on deserted roads it's hard to dress driving somewhere else to ride it as either essential or smart.

And remember: a pandemic isn't the time to be pushing your limits – certainly not doing things you wouldn’t normally do. Getting some fresh air on a leisurely solo ride is a very different thing to a hard, fast training loop, and the risks are different too. And while Michael Gove might say that doing what you normally do for exercise outside is fine – so long as you only do it once a day – British Cycling has wisely advised its members to ride for “calm recreation” [link] and not to challenge themselves.

If you're self-isolating, there's also some guidance, here:

The locked down cyclist's guide to getting fit and staying fit from the comfort of home

AND FINALLY...

Failing to ride in a socially responsible way will have devastating consequences for communities, individuals, and the health service. It will also mean the end of cycling outdoors for everyone for quite some time. That in turn will see bike shops and all those that depend on them – yes, even websites like this – going the way of pubs, clubs and restaurants in having to shut or severely restrict their operations. 

Best wishes to you all from the Bike Events Team - stay fit & healthy!


Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Covid-19 & Bike Events rides update


Dear Cyclist

If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us anything - it’s that it’s going to take all of us pulling together to get through this safe and sound.

In these strange times we are making new plans. Bike Events will be rescheduling all rides due to take place in May and June (Cambridge 100, Tour de Tendring, Hertfordshire 100, Norwich 100 and Suffolk Coast).
 
We may also have to reschedule the July events (Manchester to Blackpool, London to Southend and London to Cambridge) 

We'll email riders the new dates and post them on www.bike-events.co.uk and on our facebook page
 
Here are the options, if you’ve signed up to an event: you could take part on the new date, or transfer to a different ride, or substitute a friend in your place, or do the ride in 2021. Or when the dates are published, if you can't make the ride, you can apply for a refund less an admin charge to cover bank and credit card costs.

We sincerely hope that the current crisis resolves as early as possible and that we can all return to some kind of normality.  And so while we’re all waiting for that happy day enjoy the Spring and keep cycling in order to stay healthy and keep your spirits up  - but remember to  do so responsibly: either alone or with one other person maximum, keeping that safe two metre-plus distance (at least) from each other!

Best wishes from the Bike Events Team

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Covid-19 and Bike Events rides update



With the rapidly changing situation around COVID-19, we are continuing to follow guidance from the Government, Public Health England and the World Health Organisation. Bike Events’ priority is to operate in a way which protects the health and wellbeing of all our cyclists and staff.

Current government advice is that 'While the risks of transmitting the disease at mass open-air events are relatively low, banning of non-essential gatherings will also allow emergency services that would have been deployed for these events to be prioritised in alleviating pressure on public services.'  Our events have their own medical and other services, so do not make demand on public services.  

British Cycling current guidance is that mass cycling events should not take place before the end of April and no Bike Events rides take place during this period.  We are currently looking at rescheduling our Spring rides (in May and June) to dates later in the Summer and Autumn and will post further details both here and at www.bike-events.co.uk

In the meantime, we encourage you to keep cycling for your health and well-being. Health experts, including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Professor Sir Andy Haines, said on March 17th that:
“Walking and cycling, particularly in green spaces, is good for mental as well as physical health. ”Walking and cycling can be compatible with social distancing if people are responsible.”
https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/support-people-cycling-outside-during-coronavirus-pandemic-say-experts-452006


We hope everyone stays safe and healthy and wish all of you the best in these incredibly challenging and worrying times.