Cycling Ulster has warned its members that flouting lockdown restrictions with group rides reflects badly on cycling as a whole. However, the governing body for cycling in the province is dealing with an additional challenge during the coronavirus outbreak, as it has to deal with different rules either side of the border.
Cycling Ulster has responsibility for cycling in counties in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.
In the Republic cyclists are only permitted to ride within 5km of home. In Northern Ireland, there are no restrictions on how far cyclists can go, but while groups of up to six people who do not share a household can meet up outdoors, Cycling UK has said it is, “unclear whether six cyclists riding two metres apart would be breaching the regulations.”
Earlier this month, Cycling Ulster urged cyclists to stick to the rules after a number of reports of riders training in groups.
Sticky Bottle reports that it has since informed its clubs and members that following an easing of lockdown restrictions, groups of up to four people from different households can meet outdoors while maintaining social distancing.
In a statement yesterday, it reminded cyclists to stick to the current restrictions over the weekend.
“As per phase 1 of the Cycling Ireland Roadmap, members are currently permitted to cycle as an individual, with a member of your own household or in a maximum of a group of four if social distancing can be safely maintained.
“Residents of Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan are also limited to a 5km radius of their home. To ensure a planned activity can meet the guidelines, Cycling Ulster advise due consideration is given to social distancing (min 2 metres) being able to be maintained within a group of up to four riders.”
It added: “Any breaking of these regulations reflects badly on the members, clubs, and wider cycling community and could also impact on society’s attempt to combat the spread of Covid-19 and lead to restrictions being in place for longer.”