The “vast majority of cyclists” are following government guidance to ride alone or with members of their household, British Cycling has told road.cc. Cycling UK has also said that it seems that people are heeding official advice and are riding on their own and close to where they live.
Under guidelines unveiled by Prime Minister Boris Johnson a week ago, people in the UK are only allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons, one being to take one form of exercise a day, including cycling, but only if they exercised alone or with people who live in the same house, while maintaining social distancing.
Concerns that some people were continuing to cycle in groups with friends or fellow club riders led British Cycling CEO Julie Harrington to reiterate on Friday that riding with others is out of the question for the time being.
Likewise, Cycling UK, which urged people earlier this month for people not to ride in groups during the current crisis, reinforced its advice to members to ride solo or with household members, or not at all.
It appears that the message is getting through.
Today, a British Cycling spokesperson told road.cc “We’re glad to see that the vast majority of cyclists are now following the government’s guidance on social distancing and physical exercise, and we haven’t yet received any complaints from the weekend via email or social media about people riding in groups.
“We’ll continue to monitor this situation over the coming weeks and regularly reiterate our guidance.
“Whether for key workers on their commute or others just getting outdoors to aid their physical and mental health, we are now seeing the true and unique value of the bicycle – and it is our priority to ensure that the ability to use it is maintained for all of us.”
Cycling UK is also taking a positive message from the behaviour of cyclists over the past weekend.
Sam Jones, communications manager at the charity, told us: “With every bit of advice coming out from government, Cycling UK is working on finding out what this means for cycling and the wider community and making sure that it is clear and not open for misinterpretation.
“No-one wants a repeat of what happened two weekends ago, and the good news is that, by and large, people seem to be following best practice and still enjoy time out cycling.
“It might not be in the way they might usually be accustomed to ride, but it’s clear as a community we realise our short term pleasure should not be at the expense of saving lives.
“Reports coming back from our member and affiliate groups, are they’ve shelved group rides for now, have stopped their café visits, and are riding local and solo
“While contact from our members and the wider public is either about how they can keep cycling safely at this time, or thanks for clarifying the situation via our regularly updated Q&A on our website.
“It’s all really encouraging to see and hear, as we well know what a difference a short ride can make to our wellbeing when cooped up all day.”
He added: “It’s so important and everyone seems to understand that by following the best public health practice and guidance we’re all doing our bit in edging the country closer to when life, and the way we cycle, can return to normal.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.