British Cycling Update Their Guidelines for Riding During Lockdown.

With COVID-19 lockdown guidelines being updated last Sunday, British Cycling have clarified what that means for cyclists in England.

While it can be difficult to work out what a change in lockdown guidance might mean, British Cycling have sought to clarify what the updated guidance means for cyclists in England.

British Cycling have, essentially, paraphrased Westminster government guidance into their own literature, meaning their FAQ section is only valid for England.

Read the full British Cycling FAQ section on COVID-19 here

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What are British Cycling saying?

British Cycling have explained the government guidelines in the specific context of cycling following the Prime Minister’s update on Sunday:

Riding a bike is a great way to stay active, look after your mental health and make every-day journeys, and we applaud the Government’s recent efforts to get more people cycling at this time.

While cycling is now very much encouraged, you must still adhere to the social distancing guidelines set by the UK Government and the devolved administrations.

You can find the most up-to-date guidance for riding in Scotland here and in Wales here.

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On Wednesday 13 May, the guidance in England is changing. The updated guidance is as follows:

  • You may exercise outdoors as many times each day as you wish.
  • You can only exercise alone, with those you live with or with up to one person from outside your household. Gatherings of more than two people from different households are not allowed at this time.
  • You should maintain a two-metre distance from anyone you meet from outside your household while out riding, stopping and waiting for people to pass at a safe distance when necessary. This is particularly important when riding on narrow paths and trails.
  • You can sit and rest outside before, during and after your ride.
  • You may drive to outdoor publicly accessible open spaces irrespective of distance, but should follow social distancing guidance while you are there.
  • In line with UK Government guidance, those aged over 70 should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.
  • When cycling in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, you should follow the guidance and regulations issued by the relevant devolved administration.
  • If you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating, you should stay at home.

What does it all mean Basil?

The fears with the somewhat early lifting of restrictions in advance of any real dent in the COVID-19 situation, certainly in the realms of cycling, is that people will start travelling to riding spots all over the country as they feel they are now entitled to do.

Yes, it may be the case that one rider going to one riding spot to ride solo will likely not cause too many issues, but if everyone has the same thought, then it’s really not going to work. Riding side-by-side on a fire road is not a 2m gap, neither is two abreast on the road. So you’re going to have to draft from a distance, which almost negates going for a ride with someone else anyway.

The lack of consistent guidance from all governments is likely to cause havoc with policing the new guidelines. Closing borders isn’t an option but the lack of a single, united message leaves those who want to do as they see fit the ability to successfully navigate their way through the confusion.

So we’re getting mixed messages, despite the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments sticking with Stay at Home, while the UK government has adopted the ‘Stay Alert’ message, whatever that means…

Read the full British Cycling FAQ section onwhat COVID-19 guidliens mean for cyclists in England here.