Guide to Cycling during the COVID Pandemic
With the whole world on lockdown, there were numerous new rules and regulations imposed on various sectors which are relevant even in the least possible way to going outside, In this article , we’ll see how it has affected cycling, along with a small guide to cycling during these tough times.
Cycling Through the Pandemic:
During the pandemic, although there have been loads of restrictions imposed on almost everything to do with outdoor activities, cycling has certain unique rules that cycling enthusiasts are encouraged to follow to stay on two wheels.
Maintaining a safe distance from others is still applicable for cyclists as well along with practicing good respiratory hygiene.
When the government of the UK had imposed the rule of being within the local area for cycling, there were numerous questions raised by different individuals, groups, as well as the general public as to what this term refers to.
This instruction or regulation was rather intended to be guidance on the matter that how far one can travel for the exercise, and this distance was bounded within the rule of “local area” meaning if you’re from a certain village, stay within the village, and if you live in a certain town, stay within the town for exercise and not travel to another town.
Coaching, leading, and instructing:
You may be wondering if the whole lockdown thing will bring a pause to coaching and instructing on cycling. Well here’s the deal – this can be done only on a one-on-one basis and can take place in a public outdoor place.
However, the needfulness of maintaining a social distance from one another remains, which means that it must be maintained while being coached or trained as well.
On the other hand, many guided rides are currently suspended until the situation changes or a notice is issued. The coaches or instructors who are providing others with the lessons must also comply with the necessary safeguarding policies for both their and their student’s safety.
New Rules for Cyclists: Regional
There were also different sets of rules imposed on different regions in the UK. Let’s take a look at the different rules and recommendations for the four different regions.
In England, there were restrictions announced by the prime minister which was aired on 4th January 2021. These restrictions included some very generic ones for the whole pandemic, and some locality-based restrictions as well.
For instance, the prime minister had suggested that people stay within their households and not leave unless they have to, perhaps for permitted reasons, of which exercise is a part. But they have to ensure that exercise is done either alone or with another family member, or perhaps one member outside your household. It was also mentioned that exercise must be limited to once per day for the current situation.
The same rule as England applies for Scotland as well, which was announced on 5th January 2021. However there was a restriction on the distance, which specified that the exercise must be done within the local authority area, must begin and end in the same place, or must be within five miles radius of the local authority area. This means that they have been imposing much stricter distances for exercise.
Northern Ireland has been facing quite tight restrictions from 7th January 2021 and is assumed to stay put till about 6th February 2021 till things get a little better. A review had also been planned to be conducted on 21st January to see if changes need to be made.
Group exercise has been prohibited for this region, which also includes organized group rides. Unless the member has a social bubble or perhaps has another person from the same household, it is encouraged not to go for group exercise. No time limit or distance limit has been imposed, but unnecessary travel has been advised to be avoided.
Wales has been on alert level 4 since 20th December 2020, so the rules for Wales have been made to be more strict to keep all the people there as safe as they can. Exercise has only been permitted with household members or alone, if needed, with a support bubble. No time limit has been imposed, however, but the locality of the place stays within the epicenter to be the home of the cyclist or exerciser. It should begin and end from home, but now it has been acknowledged that driving a short distance to a location might be important for exercise and so this falls within the recommended boundaries.
Event Organizers and Financial Support:
While the COVID pandemic hits regions hard and social connections through cycling has been reduced to almost nil, these new rules for cycling and exercise will continue to bring more disappointment for event organizers. But there are still some supportive elements for events that may take place over the upcoming weeks. Apart from that, financial support and funds are also made available by some organizations to be able to respond to COVID challenges.
With so many indoor and outdoor sports facilities being locked down, people are looking for new ways to continue to stay fit and healthy while maintaining social distance.
Cycling may not only be a great exercise, but it is also a great passion for many that they are almost failing to keep pursuing due to the pandemic. Read a Beginners Guide To Mountain Biking.
However, by maintaining the rules which have been put forward by the government, they can keep their body and mind healthy as well as safe in the least.