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COVID-19 Update 5

Good morning Sitwellians,

I hope you’re all staying safe during these difficult times.

We requested feedback last week and over the weekend regarding the announcement from British Cycling that was circulated to its members.

Taking that feedback on board the Committee have discussed it and the announcement at length and this is where we’re at. Please read and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Committee.

COVID-19 UPDATE 5

British Cycling has updated its COVID-19 guidance, and this does permit some club activities. The suspension of sanctioned club and coaching activity has now been lifted and these can return with immediate effect, providing they are delivered in line with Government guidance on group sizes and social distancing.

The suspension of the recreation programmes (e.g. HSBC UK Breeze and Guided Rides) will remain in place until 4th July and racing are still not permitted until 1st August 2020 at the earliest.

CLUB RIDES

However, the restrictions on group sizes in the guidelines mean that we are still unable to re-introduce club rides at the current time. Essentially, the guidance strongly recommends that group rides are still restricted to six riders maximum, and less than six riders when using the public highway. Clearly, less than six riders is not a viable number for club rides, which - except the Wednesday off-road ride - all use the public highway, and so the Committee has decided that we will have to wait a little longer to restart these in any meaningful way.

Although it is very tempting to return to ‘normal’ and a lot of members are rightly taking advantage of any fine weather we’ve had recently, the maximum group size for a ride should be six with social distancing being practised. As such, if you’re out riding in groups, please refrain from wearing club kit. All it takes is one photo where it looks like you’re not following the guidelines and we all have a problem. There are some idiots out there looking for an excuse to criticise cyclists or worse, and we don’t want to give them that excuse.

Breaking the guidance also puts you at greater risk if you were involved in an incident as British Cycling - if you’re a member – will not validate your insurance or legal support.

We also have to think about the wider community, under the current Track and Trace initiative, if one of those out riding were to show COVID-19 symptoms then those that have been riding with them will have to self-isolate for up to 14 days until they can be tested.

We appreciate the frustration that some people may feel but are keen to make sure we do everything we can to keep our club members safe and maintain the club’s reputation as a responsible organisation. So please enjoy your cycling and get plenty of miles in but do so safely and in line with the latest guidance.

If you would like to read the full details, see British Cycling: The Way Forward.

GO-RIDE

Again, we’ve taken the decision to not restart these just yet. The limit on group sizes means that if we need parental support during a session, we’re limited to two children per coach.

The minimum number of children British Cycling qualified coaches can coach is set out in the coaching guidelines and only those that hold a Level 2 qualification or above can coach 1:1. Chris Habershon is the only coach that could lead sessions under those restrictions and he is currently shielding.

We also feel it would be difficult to get the children to social distance properly and for them not to touch other children’s bikes or coaching equipment.

As the same as club rides, we also have to think about the wider community, under the current Track and Trace initiative, if one of those at coaching were to show COVID-19 symptoms then those that have been riding with them will have to self-isolate for up to 14 days until they can be tested.

REASSESS

We will reassess our decision in 4 weeks time (by Monday 20th July) or earlier if British Cycling changes their guidance.

Thanks,
Jonny
Chair

pp/ Sitwell Cycling Club Committee