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Bristol cyclist flagged on Strava and reported to British Cycling … for crossing into Wales for bike ride during lockdown

Rider apparently flagged by 'Strava Police' account says he didn't realise different regulations apply across the Severn...

A cyclist from Bristol who crossed the Severn Bridge into Wales today to cycle on quiet roads has had his ride flagged on Strava because it is claimed to contravene lockdown guidance from the Welsh Government not to ride more than walking distance from home.

Each of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom has its own regulations regarding the lockdown announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 23 May.

While the guidance is broadly similar and permits exercising, including cycling, being a reason to leave the home, only Wales has sought to put a limit on the distance from home you can ride.

> Welsh Government says you can only cycle within walking distance of home

The reason given was to ensure that if a mechanical problem or some other issue happened to the rider, he or she would be able to get home on foot without involving the emergency services or get someone to come out and pick them up.

While a distance of 10 miles form home has been widely reported, that stipulation is not contained in the Welsh Government's guidance, nor the emergency regulations themselves.

The cyclist, who told road.cc that currently 90 per cent of his cycling happens indoors, crossed the Severn Bridge into Monmouthshire today.

From leaving his home in Bristol to returning there, he was on his bike for a little under four hours, covering a little more than 100 kilometres.

After posting the ride to Strava, it appears to have been flagged by an account called ‘Strava Police’ which is based in Chepstow.

The account has no followers, nor has it logged any activities, and it may be that it has been set up on the social network to enable the user to see what others are doing, in particular people crossing the Severn from England into Wales.

 The rider was reported to British Cycling in an email which read, in part: “This is in contravention of the Welsh Assembly laws concerning COVID19 that state that no one should cycle further than their local area in Wales.

“Also they should cycle no further than the distance that they could walk home in the event of mechanical issues.

“This is a potential strain on local resources and he could be bringing COVID 19 to a rural area heavily populated with working farms and an older population.

“Please have a word with him as the next time it is spotted the matter will be referred to the police. I have a screen shot of his ride today as proof should I need to take that step.”

The rider, who said that he had been unaware of the different regulations between England and Wales, told road.cc that “most of the purpose of me riding out that way was to actively seek solitude from the busy city I live in.”

He added: “I do 90 per cent of my rides inside."

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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