We hope this slightly delayed monthly newsletter finds you and your families fit and well, and that you’re all managing to keep yourselves and any members of your household busy/entertained during these extremely unusual times. Obviously, with the programme of Club events currently cancelled, we don’t really have too much to report, but still want to keep you in the loop as to what’s been going on behind the scenes.
Just over a week ago, the Committee held its first online Zoom Meeting, which was a resounding success, although Mr Winchcombe couldn’t get his volume to work so ended up giving us various hand signals and typing messages throughout! Until the next time…
Hopefully by now you will have read our COVID-19 statement and understood the Committees reasons for cancelling Club events and activities, which at present, remains in place until further notice. To clarify, this includes all weekend/leisure rides, any indoor classes, planned social events and racing activity. We do however have several ‘Virtual events’ happening each week, if you’d like to join a session head to the ‘Our News‘ section for details.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Club members for their continued compliance with the Governments guidelines; unlike some other local cycling clubs who appear to have been experiencing a few issues, we have not received a single complaint during this unprecedented time. Let’s make sure we keep this up, Wheelers.
British Cycling Update
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all British Cycling sanctioned activity is currently suspended until 30th June. Understandably and inevitably, the ongoing, global uncertainty around the virus has prompted lots of questions and concerns from the cycling community, so to help answer some of them, BC have put together a Q&A. Please find a few of these questions below.
Can I still go out on my bike?
Riding a bike is a great way to aid your physical and mental health. Provided you follow the advice on social distancing and good hygiene, it is important to remain active when you can. Now, more than ever, we must ride our bikes responsibly – that means only going out once a day, either on our own or with people we live with, keeping 2-metres (6 feet) apart from anyone we meet, and stopping and waiting for people to pass when necessary.
Please only ride on routes you know well, that are close to home and that are well within your ability level; this is a time for calm recreation, not for challenging yourself. If you are riding off-road, choose wider trails wherever possible. If you’re on a narrow path, make sure to leave enough space between yourself and anyone you might meet. While you should only use your bike to exercise once a day, you can also use it to shop for basic necessities, provide care or help somebody vulnerable, and travel to/from essential work.
What will happen if people don’t ride responsibly?
British Cycling would like to emphasise that our individual liberty to get out on our own and ride our bikes is dependent on continued common-sense behaviour from all of us, and strict adherence to Government guidelines. We are concerned that, should some people continue to organise and ride their bikes in groups, then the Government will feel that it has no choice but to prohibit outdoor cycling for everyone.
The social value of the bicycle has never been so clear, with key workers relying on it for transport to and from work, and many vulnerable people receiving essential deliveries and medicines via cargo bike. On top of that, millions of us are currently using our bikes to maintain our physical and mental health. If the cycling community continues to behave responsibly then we all hope to keep the roads and trails open for use, so that we can all benefit from them in the coming weeks and months.
As a British Cycling member, am I still insured to do so?
British Cycling’s third-party liability insurance and legal support and advice member benefits remains in place for all Commute, Ride, Race Silver and Race Gold members who abide by Government guidelines on social distancing whilst out on their bikes. However, the insurance cover provided to members and clubs could potentially be invalid if a rider/club takes part in a group ride, or any activity which contravenes the clear advice above on social distancing.
What does this mean for clubs/cycling groups?
As above, our recommendation to clubs is that no organised activity (including rides, training, coaching, events) should take place during this period, in line with government advice on social gatherings and non-essential travel. We would implore clubs to follow the advice set out in the ‘Can I still go out on my bike?’ section.
How can I continue to keep active while adhering to Government guidance?
While the guidance on riding outside (either on your own or with someone from the same household, keeping two metres apart from others at all times, and only once a day) is clear, there are also options for those looking to keep active in their own home. British Cycling and Zwift have launched an eight-week virtual ride series, which will allow people to ride against others on the popular online training platform. Full details are available here.
Meanwhile, our HSBC UK Ready Set Ride programme contains free, fun resources which allow parents to teach their children the basics of riding a bike. Full information is available here. Sport England is encouraging people to share their own home workouts using the hashtag #StayInWorkOut.
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British Cycling are also currently offering free membership for 3 months to any NHS staff; the offer, which is being supported by HSBC UK, is being made in recognition of the incredible work that NHS workers are doing to help combat the current crisis, and of the vital role that bicycles are playing in safely transporting so many of them to work. For more info click here.
That’s all folks…
If you have anything you would like to share with other Club members, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
And that’s your news for April/May. Whatever and wherever you ride, ride safe.
Wishing all our members good health, we look forward to seeing you all very soon.