British Cycling has announced that it will suspend all cycling activities and events in England from midnight tonight due to the new National Restrictions to combat the spread of coronavirus coming into force.
The national governing body expressed disappointment that its request to the government to continue to allow group rides of up to six people as well as training sessions, especially for youngsters and people with disabilities, had not been granted.
The suspension will last until Thursday 3 December, and British Cycling said in a statement: “We are currently providing support to event organisers and volunteers who have events and activities planned during the suspension period, and our full guidance for the sport can be found here.
“All suspension dates are subject to change, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely over the coming weeks.
“While activity is suspended, British Cycling will continue to offer ways and encouragement for people to keep cycling – both outdoors and virtually – to ensure that as many people as possible can continue to stay healthy and active over the challenging weeks ahead.”
British Cycling Chief Executive, Julie Harrington, said: “Whether riding alone, joining a group ride, racing in an event or enjoying a coaching session, we know that cycling has played a vital role in helping people to boost their physical and mental wellbeing, in what has been an incredibly challenging year for all of us.
“We are naturally disappointed, not least because we know the efforts that our clubs, volunteers and event organisers have gone to over recent months to show that our events and activities can be delivered in a safe and Covid-secure manner.
“While we fully respect the pressure which the Government is under to limit the spread of the virus, we maintain our belief that the wellbeing benefits gained through small group activities – particularly for less confident riders, young and disabled people – vastly outweigh the very limited risks entailed, and we will continue to make that case alongside colleagues from other sports.
“In the darker and colder days ahead staying active will prove to be an even greater challenge than in the spring, however our team is ready to offer support through a variety of means to help us to come through this challenging period together,” she added.
British Cycling said that in accordance with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s elite sport guidance, the Great Britain Cycling Team is allowed to continue racing and training during the four-week period.
The national governing body also summarised what the new rules are for cyclists in England, as follows:
Under the new restrictions cycling and being active is still strongly encouraged, and here’s a summary of the rules you’ll need to follow:
Only ride alone, with those in your household/support bubble, or with one person from another household. If you are riding with a person from another household, you must only ever ride as a pair. For example, two riders from the same household cannot ride in a group of three with a person from another household, unless all are part of the same support bubble.
Stay two metres apart from anybody not from your household/support bubble.
If you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating, are sharing a household/ support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace, you should stay at home.
There are no restrictions on how far or how often you can ride, however we recommend that you stay within your ability level and prepare accordingly, especially if you are riding alone.
For essential journeys, the Government is encouraging people to cycle or walk where possible.
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.