Another national lockdown has brought in new laws and new guidance that affect mountain biking in the Peak District. Peak District MTB recommend staying local and reducing risk of accident.
Exercise is hugely important for physical and mental health. The latest Government guidance states exercise:
“…should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.” – source Gov.uk
Popular mountain bike honeypots such as Ladybower are asking “don’t travel to our site if it is not local to where you live”. ‘Local’ is subjective and open to interpretation, so Severn Trent Water – who manage Ladybower and the Upper Derwent Valley – have provided this advice:
“…when planning on coming to site please ask yourself if our site is your nearest green space that you can access to exercise, if the answer is no then please reconsider.” – Source
Peak District MTB support this approach. We also recommend reducing risk of accident as much as you can, such as riding less technical terrain than usual and slowing down. Avoid riding in remote spots where mountain rescue would be required if you have a serious accident, and make sure you check weather conditions are appropriate for your chosen route. There were 205 more mountain rescue callouts in the Peak District in 2020 compared with 2019 (source), in a year when every callout takes much longer due to additional processes for preventing spread of Coronavirus.
For those not lucky enough to have your favourite quiet trails on your doorstep, we realise this means compromising where you ride. We appreciate how important mountain biking is to many of you, but the reality of what is being asked of us all is to make some sacrifices so we can *all* get out riding our favourite trails sooner. Your local riding may not be as good as routes further afield and may not even have much off-road, but it’s still riding a bike, right?
To paraphrase John F Kennedy, ask not what the Peak District can do for you, ask what you can do for the Peak District.
- Official Government guidance on what you should and shouldn’t do during lockdown, including exercise – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- Cycling UK Coronavirus guidance – https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/coronavirus-qa-cycling-guidance