Friday, March 26, 2021

Riding through the Pandemic – Resuming Group Rides


As you are doubtless aware the partial lifting of Government restrictions means that we can now ride in groups of up to six from 29 March 2021. Our first Wednesday ride will therefore be on 31 March, please see the blog for further details.

For the present the committee has decided that the Rule of Six will apply as last year at least until we have considered advice from CUK regarding larger groups. In addition, please read and observe the following rules.

It's easy to forget to do social distancing, and it's worrying to see people sometimes in groups bigger than six, and mingling between their groups of six at stops.

There will be people who remain cautious about re-joining group rides, and worried about people getting too close to them. Many of our riders are at increased risk from Covid due to age or medical conditions, and we all need to look after each other. Vaccinations have helped but do not make us fully immune.

So remember and practice the following golden rules:

· Don’t come on a ride if you feel unwell or have a positive or pending test

· If you do feel unwell follow the Government guidelines here.

· Keep your hands clean: wash or sanitize them if you touch something that others have touched

· As far as possible only meet outdoors.

· Maintain 2 metres distance between people: social distancing at less than 2m is allowed if you take other precautions but 2 metres is still desirable and safer.

· Please remind people if they are closer to you than the safe distance.

· It is safer to leave a longer distance than 2 metres when riding behind another cyclist, because of possible contamination through coughing or sneezing; we recommend enough space between riders to allow a car to overtake safely.

· The law continues to restrict us to groups of six off the bike. Stay in groups of six, and don’t mingle between groups – this increases the risk to everyone.

· Ride leaders should minimise contact at refreshment stops by 20 min spacing between departures as far as practicable.

· We are obliged to wear face coverings when in shops, takeaway cafes, and when using public transport; bring a covering and be prepared to wear it.

· If you are on an all-day ride, bring a picnic unless you are confident that you will be able to buy food on the ride, and you are comfortable with the distancing and hygiene in the pubs and cafes we visit.

· If you become unwell on a ride and Covid is suspected inform the Ride leader promptly, who should assess the situation with you. You should return home as soon as possible with the least risk of infection spreading. This may involve calling for help from home, or the leader asking for a volunteer to accompany you as a suitable distance. All members of the ride should assess their level of contact with the person and take appropriate action including self-isolation if appropriate. If necessary, the ride should be abandoned, and riders return home. If this occurs in a sub-group the overall leader should be informed, who should assess the overall risk. A committee member should also be informed and a CUK incident report filed if necessary.

· If you are helping another rider with a puncture or mechanical use hand sanitiser before and after, and consider using a face covering.

If you have concerns about these rules and their observance by members, please contact a committee member.

The risk from Covid is not going to go away in the foreseeable future, despite the vaccination programme, so it continues to be vital to look out for the safety of others as much as ourselves. The virus spreads by touch and in the air, so help us all to stay safe.

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