It’s been many months since we could ride with more than one other person and even longer since we could cycle with more than six people. It’s great to be back out with our mates or on the club run but some social distancing guidelines still need to be followed…
From March 29th, if you are in a British Cycling Club you will be able to cycle in groups of up to 15. Even if you aren’t affiliated to a club you can still cycle in a group of six, which is a lot more people than we have ridden with in a long time!
Before your first group ride this year there are a few things to consider – COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, people may be nervous of group activity and group cycling skills might need some practice.
Remembering social distancing is difficult on a bike ride, catching up with your mates and pedalling along together feels natural and it probably won’t be too long before you are slipping back into old routines. However, while social distancing is easy to forget when cycling, we still need to be mindful of protecting ourselves, and others.
British Cycling recommend that cyclists maintain a one metre social distancing protocol while riding, that means no sheltering directly behind the rider in front by sitting on their wheel. It also means that if riding side-by-side you need to spread across the road a little more than usual, so extra caution needs to be given before you do this.
Off your bike, the two metre social distancing rules still apply. If you are getting takeaway coffee or pausing to eat an energy bar at the top of the hill remember to keep your distance from each other. Some communities are understandably very nervous of large gatherings at the moment, so make sure that your meeting point and anywhere you stop allows plenty of space and doesn’t cause any obstruction to locals.
Carrying a bottle of anti-viral hand wash such as this one is a good idea on a ride. We like this one because it’s made in Yorkshire and meets all European Standards for Bactericidal, Virucidal, Yeasticidal and Fungicidal activity while remaining safe enough to use before eating – you don’t need to rinse before chomping on an energy bar!
Normally if someone punctures or has a mechanical everyone rallies round to help but, for now, it is probably still wise to avoid sharing equipment or getting too close while fixing a bike. Even though you are with a group aim to be self-sufficient in the same way you would on a solo ride. That’s not to say riders shouldn’t help each other, it’s just yet another thing to be mindful of. It’s a simple as only one person working on a bike at a time and washing hands and equipment. British Cycling has more guidelines here.
COVID-19 restrictions will make group rides feel a little bit different but just being able to ride with our friends this spring is a step in the right direction for normality.
Where are you riding and who are you riding with on your first group ride?