On March 23, we announced that, based on the most recent Government advice on Coronavirus/COVID19, we have extended our suspension on all sanctioned, cycling activity, until 30 June.
This was following our initial suspension until 30 April, which we put in place on 17 March.
Understandably and inevitably, the ongoing, global uncertainty around the pandemic has led to plenty of questions and concerns, and we have done our best below to answer and clarify some of the queries we have received from the cycling community.
Can I still go out on my bike?
Riding a bike is a great way to aid your physical and mental health. Provided you follow the advice on social distancing and good hygiene, it is important to remain active when you can.
Now, more than ever, we must ride our bikes responsibly - that means only going out once a day, on our own, or with people we live with, and keeping two metres apart from anyone we meet, stopping and waiting for people to pass when necessary.
Please only ride on routes you know well, that are close to home (a selection of Let’s Ride routes are available here) and that are well within your ability level; this is a time for calm recreation, not for challenging yourself.
If you’re riding off-road, choose wider trails wherever possible. If you’re on a narrow path, make sure to leave enough space between yourself and anyone you might meet.
While you should only use your bike to exercise once a day, you can also use it to shop for basic necessities, provide care or help somebody vulnerable, and travel to/from essential work.
What will happen if people don't ride responsibly?
British Cycling would like to emphasise that our individual liberty to get out on our own and ride our bikes is dependent on continued common-sense behaviour from all of us, and strict adherence to Government guidelines.
We are concerned that, should some people continue to organise and ride their bikes in groups, then the Government will feel that it has no choice but to prohibit outdoor cycling for everyone.
The social value of the bicycle has never been so clear, with key workers relying on it for transport to and from work, and many vulnerable people receiving essential deliveries and medicines via cargo bike. On top of that, millions of us are currently using our bikes to maintain our physical and meantal health.
If the cycling community continues to behave responsibly then we all hope to keep the roads and trails open for use, so that we can all benefit from them in the coming weeks and months.
As a British Cycling member, am I still insured to do so?
British Cycling’s third-party liability insurance and legal support and advice member benefits remain in place for all Commute, Ride, Race Silver and Race Gold members who abide by Government guidelines on social distancing whilst out on their bikes.
However, the insurance cover provided to members and clubs could potentially be invalid if a rider/club takes part in a group ride, or any activity which contravenes the clear advice above on social distancing.
Why have we taken the decision to suspend our sanctioned activity?
With all Government guidance pointing towards a period during which the nation is being urged to come together to fight the spread of the virus, and the unprecedented burden currently on our emergency and public services, we felt that this is the most responsible – and only – course of action we could take at this moment
What does this mean for clubs/cycling groups?
As above, our recommendation to clubs is that no organised activity (including rides, training, coaching, events) should take place during this period, in line with government advice on social gatherings and non-essential travel.
We would implore clubs to follow the advice set out in the ‘Can I still go out on my bike?’ section of this page.
How can I continue to keep active while adhering to Government guidance?
While the guidance on riding outside (either on your own or with someone from the same household, keeping two metres apart from others at all times, and only once a day) is clear, there are also options for those looking to keep active in their own home.
British Cycling and Zwift have launched an eight-week virtual ride series, which will allow people to ride against others on the popular online training platform. Full details are available here.
Meanwhile, our HSBC UK Ready Set Ride programme contains free, fun resources which allow parents to teach their children the basics of riding a bike. Full information is available here.
Sport England is encouraging people to share their own home workouts using the hashtag #StayInWorkOut.
Will I get a refund for a British Cycling-sanctioned event I’ve entered which has now been suspended?
Yes. British Cycling is working with sanctioned event organisers to ensure that this process takes place as efficiently as possible. If an organiser is considering rearranging their event to a later date, there is also the option to mutually agree with the rider to carry the entry fee over to the rearranged date.
Will my suspended event get rearranged?
We are encouraging organisers to request alternative dates for their suspended events if they wish to. However, the calendar is already extremely busy and even under normal circumstances, allocating dates can be extremely challenging. We will try our best to accommodate all requests where possible, by working closely with regions to support calendar coordination, and our online event calendar will be updated as and when events are confirmed.
I’m an event organiser – what should I do next?
Further information for event organisers is available here.
What will happen after 30 June?
This suspension period will include the dates originally set for several traditional milestones of the competitive cycling calendar. As with the vast majority of sports – while our primary focus will always be health and wellbeing – we will be exploring all options regarding the fulfilment of the racing calendar once sporting events can recommence.
How will this affect my ranking points and my ambitions to move up through racing categories?
We understand that the suspension of all racing will impact riders who are looking to progress through the categories or ranking system, with potentially fewer opportunities to score points. This is something that we are mindful of, and we will monitor the situation as and when racing recommences.
I'm concerned about the financial impact on the sport of cycling
The sport and the cycling industry are an ecosystem of small businesses and self-employed people who, along with many thousands of volunteers, allow the sport to exist.
Many people and businesses from across our sport will be extremely worried about the immediate and longer-term impact on their lives and livelihoods. British Cycling, Welsh Cycling and Scottish Cycling are in constant communication with UK Sport, Sport England, Sport Wales and Sport Scotland to understand what immediate and long-term support will be available for the sport sector over the coming weeks and months. The sport sector's advocacy organisation, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, is keeping all NGBs updated with guidance.
We are encouraging every person and business owner to turn to your employer (if you have one), your bank and the free HMRC helplines (in England and Wales: 0300 456 3565 In Scotland: 0300 303 0660) to understand what the immediate steps are that you can take to ensure you and your families have enough money to live. There are excellent online resources such as Money Saving Expert which are providing up-to-date advice from financial experts.
Specifically regarding financial pressures for the operators of cycling facilities, we have set up this short survey to better understand the pressures that facilities are experiencing so that we can ask for the support we need from Government.
I feel I need to do something to help, how can I?