Coronavirus – What does social distancing mean for mountain bikers?

***This article was updated 12th May 2020 to include the latest Staying alert and safe Government guidance***

Following the Government guidance issued at the weekend, in England – and hence the Peak District – you can exercise outdoors as much as you want from 13th May and meet one other person from another household whilst observing social distancing. You can also travel to outdoor open space irrespective of distance. The advice is still to stay home as much as possible.

Fundamentally the situation hasn’t changed that much and we should still be avoiding group rides, observing social distancing and minimising risk as much as possible.

The advice (recommendations) and the regulations (legal requirements) vary across the UK, so don’t assume that what’s advised and regulated for in England is the same as in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Cycling UK’s FAQs summarise this very well, and is a great resource. We recommend you read and bookmark it.

Everyone plays a part in reducing the transmission of Coronavirus, and social distancing measures are hugely important in reducing transmission rates. There’s loads of useful information on the internet about social distancing (check out the Government website), but what does it mean for cyclists who wish to get some fresh air and exercise?

Cycling is important to us, and fresh air and exercise are good for the mind and body. However, that does not mean it is OK to ignore the Government advice on social distancing. Do not ride in groups and do not travel to the busy areas where it is difficult to observe social distancing guidance. Keep to quiet, preferably local areas, observe social distancing guidance and ride well below your limits to reduce the risk of accident. Remember accidents can happen to anyone at anytime, and the repercussions can be significant.

Cycling UK provide more advice on cycling during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak:

“Under no circumstance should you take part in any cycling activity in groups. We have also written a guide containing advice on how to maintain social distancing when cycling.” – https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/coronavirus-qa-it-safe-cycle

The Peak District National Park have stated:

“…we remain open to access. Whilst some travel restrictions have been relaxed from 13 May 2020, please consider if your journey to the Peak District is still necessary. The majority of visitor facilities including hospitality businesses remain closed for the time being. Social distancing measures continue to apply – please observe these at all times for the safety of communities, businesses and staff from agencies working in the National Park” – https://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/learning-about/news/current-news/coronavirus-covid-19-update#faqs

We all want to avoid a situation where we are in lockdown in our own homes. If we continue to do our bit to slow down the transmission of Coronavirus COVID-19, we’ll be safely enjoying the trails with each other sooner.

What we know  – what will be open and what will not?

We have put together a list of key landowners in the Peak District and what they are doing in response to the relaxation of the Covid 19 rules.
The Government guidance regarding the strategy to return to normality can be accessed here:

22 March 2020

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