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Police say cyclists in club kit are ignoring rules and riding in groups

“Large groups” seen on Peak District’s Snake Pass – police say “Stay at home”

Police in Derbyshire have urged cyclists, among others, not to flout government restrictions regarding exercise during the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting what they say are “large groups” of riders apparently in club kit riding on the Snake Pass in the Peak District. They have also underlined that while individual exercise is permitted, people should not be driving somewhere away from home to do it.

On Monday evening, outlining new rules under which people have to stay at home with limited exceptions, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that it was permitted to go out for one form of exercise – walking, running or cycling – once a day, either alone or with members of your household.

However, it appears that many people are driving to beauty spots such as the New Forest or the Peak District to go for a walk or bike ride, resulting in police underlining that this is not permitted under the rules and telling them to start and finish their exercise from their own homes.

Earlier today, Derbyshire Roads Policing Unit said on Twitter: “We are patrolling all areas of the county and continue to see an unusually high volume of activity particularly in rural areas.“None of us ever expected or wanted this to happen but the message is clear – stay at home.”

In subsequent tweets, the force added: “Essential travel and local exercise does not include driving to locations and going for walks. It does not include Lycra-clad leisure cycling on the now quieter roads.

“It isn’t just about preventing the spread of the virus but also reducing the burden on essential services.”

Clarifying one of those tweets, it added: “Lycra clad cyclists is in reference to what appeared to be members of cycling clubs in matching outfits riding in large groups along the 11 mile stretch of the A57 Snake Pass.”

It’s not just cyclists that were criticised for ignoring the rules laid down by the government, breach of which is now subject to a £60 fine for a first offence.

“Snake Pass. Large groups gathering enjoying picnics, kebabs and shisha. Visitors from Manchester, Sheffield and Ipswich,” they said.

“Dispersed with no resistance but seriously this is not social distancing and staying home.”

Derbyshire Police also posted a film shot by its drone unit showing people engaging in activities deemed non-essential in remote areas of the Peak District.

It’s clear from social media posts from police forces across the country that many people are ignoring the rules on staying at home and avoiding social gatherings, as well as those laid down regarding avoiding non-essential journeys and exercising alone or with people who live in the same house.

While cycling is one of the permitted forms of exercise, the risk is that if some people continue to flout the rules and ride in groups, or take their bike by car to ride elsewhere, is not only that they may spread the virus, but that cycling will be banned altogether, as has happened in several countries on the continent.

A week before the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday, the charity Cycling UK urged people not to ride in groups, and after his address to the nation it reinforced that point.

“Under no circumstance should you cycle or take part in any cycling activity in groups,” it said. “This is critical to stop the coronavirus disease spreading between households.

Our own advice is in the article linked below, originally published at the weekend and updated since then as the situation has evolved is that if you do feel that you need to ride outside, “then ride on your own, stay on your own, go home on your own and keep social interactions down to the absolute minimum. If you do meet people along the way then observe the guidance on social distancing.”

> How to cycle responsibly in a time of pandemic

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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52 comments

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arowland | 4 years ago
1 like

Without wishing to disagree with the obvious observation that travelling a distance and exercising in groups is selfish and risks spreading the virus to other areas/people, what about people who cannot easily exercise from their own home? The police say start and end your exercise at your house, and where I live, that is easy. I'm fortunate. But what if you live in a dense urban area where you can't get away from other people to keep fit? Not a long journey, sure, but enough to get somewhere that isn't crowded... maybe one size can't fit all.

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PpPete | 4 years ago
2 likes

So I've just been out 2.5 miles to the local supermarket, and as many of the previously out-of-stock items are now back in, 2.5 miles back with a 15kg rucksac of essential shopping, uphill.  So that's my shopping and exercise for the day in one.    Glad I'm not in Derbyshire as I wore lycra.  Must dig out some "not lycra" for my weekend ride though...

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Municipal Waste | 4 years ago
3 likes

"Hightlighting what they say are 'large groups'"

I wish the police would stop body shaming... 🤭

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Nathan79 | 4 years ago
2 likes

Honestly what utter nonsense. Who actually gives a toss about the term " lycra clad", not me because I'm not a fanny. What does irk me is the continued flouting of the rules by idiots who think they can do as they please. If you are going to ride outside do it on your own and don't take the p**s,  going for century rides is not big or clever its just showing that you are incapable of being sensible at a time when you are really needed to. I totally agree that the fines need to be far higher than the current £30. 

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mdavidford replied to Nathan79 | 4 years ago
10 likes

The next person who gets harassed or assaulted while out for a ride simply because they chose to wear cycle-specific clothing and "the police have said you're putting lives at risk doing that" might very much give a toss.

We all agree it's irresponsible to get together for a club run right now.

It's also irresponsible of the police to lend legitimacy to the targeting of (a particular group of) cyclists by using the term 'lycra-clad' when it's entirely irrelevant to the message that needs to be communicated.

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Captain Badger replied to Nathan79 | 4 years ago
4 likes

I wore lycra yesterday when I picked up diabetes medication for my brother in law - he is disabled and at-risk as he has no lymph glands as a result of his cancer treatment over the past few years, so he can't go himself. Should I not have gone out?

I also went out this morning on a "lycra-clad leisure ride on now quiet roads". But the Police say that I'm irresponsible (for doing my daily exercise as prescribed by the govt.)

What the police says matters. I'm not offended (the main thrust of their point was clear and true). However they managed to dilute reasoning (and therefore potentially support) for a valid prohibition by making it about, of all things, lycra.

FFS

 

 

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Mybike replied to Captain Badger | 4 years ago
0 likes

Going out for medication is essential also going out riding alone close to your home is also ok. What the article says is there no need for you to drive your car to the country side to ride your bike or go for a walk. It also say that the police use the term lycra clad to describe a large groupe of cyclisit who belong in a club and not a individual person on a bike wearing lycra.

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Captain Badger replied to Mybike | 4 years ago
3 likes

My objection is to police using the term "Lycra clad" as a pejorative, and to identify individuals as wrongdoers based on their attire. As I and others have mentioned in the threads below this is a red herring and dilutes the relevant message, a message which I and most others here support.

A large proportion of cyclists at some point are lycra-clad - this is not an indicator of irresponsibility, however it is seized on by haters as a reason to hate. The police, in this case, are feeding that narrative.

The police don't make it easy for us to support them, as they clearly discriminate against cyclists (not to mention other groups in society) on no rational basis.

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eburtthebike replied to Nathan79 | 4 years ago
5 likes
Nathan79 wrote:

Honestly what utter nonsense. Who actually gives a toss about the term " lycra clad", not me because I'm not a fanny.

There are those of us who might disagree with your self-assessment.

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Nathan79 replied to eburtthebike | 4 years ago
0 likes

 

[/quote]There are those of us who might disagree with your self-assessment.

laugh

Jog on big man

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Captain Badger replied to Nathan79 | 4 years ago
5 likes

Nathan, you seem to have  been suggesting that those who with a different view to you may be summed up as fannies.

And then seem to take issue when someone calls you out.

Shall we keep it civil, do you think?

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Nathan79 replied to Captain Badger | 4 years ago
1 like

They are welcome to their view as I am to mine. My point is there are far more serious things to worry about. This site seems to be a never ending roll of close passes and moaning these days. 

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Captain Badger replied to Nathan79 | 4 years ago
3 likes

Indeed.

One wonders why you bother visiting, let alone posting.....

 

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Nathan79 replied to Captain Badger | 4 years ago
0 likes

because every so often I feel the need to vent at fannies, now sod off Ive had enough of your baiting, I'm starting to come around to the idea of the badger cull..

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Captain Badger replied to Nathan79 | 4 years ago
1 like

I'm not keen on baiting, can't put my finger on why.

Toodle pip old thing...

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eburtthebike replied to Nathan79 | 4 years ago
3 likes
Nathan79 wrote:

Jog on big man

I. I don't jog.

2. I'm not big.

3. I will continue to ride, sensibly, obeying the new rules.

4. You're a fanny.

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Nathan79 replied to eburtthebike | 4 years ago
1 like

lets keep it civil shall we

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Russell Orgazoid | 4 years ago
4 likes

Unacceptable and we all know it.

And pack in the whataboutary.

€3000 fine in Spain for riding outside. This shit will spoil it for us all.

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bikeman01 | 4 years ago
3 likes

I can't see any cyclists in that video.

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dreamlx10 | 4 years ago
12 likes

Of course flying to Balmoral and jumping the queue for a test is ok if you're royalty. We're all in this together, some are just not as in it together as the rest of us.

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Secret_squirrel replied to dreamlx10 | 4 years ago
3 likes

I'm puzzled.  Why don't you think being the sucessor to our head of state is not enough reason to get tested?   Wouldn't you expect the deputy primeminster or a member of the cabinet to be tested?

Amazing how the frothing republicans (of the UK variety not Irish or US varieties) will jump on any excuse to bash the monarchy. 

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Sniffer replied to Secret_squirrel | 4 years ago
9 likes

On the face if it, no there is no reason to test him. Whether or not you are a republican or a monarchist

The govenment comparison is not sensible.  They have decisions to make at this time that will affect millions.  Fortunately nobody in the House of Windsor is making decisions that does that.

Anyway there are plenty of spares in our hereditary system.

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maj replied to Secret_squirrel | 4 years ago
9 likes

Sure he can be tested, he met the criteria, but his non symptomatic wife? both at home? within 24 hours in a location they travelled to after the scottish government asked people not to "flee to the highlands"?

There are people waiting on wards nearing ICU care waiting 48 hours for tests, the man had a sniffle. where was his courage to show his subjects leadership as a monarch? 

While our friends and family put their health on the line in hospitals and markets day in day out, not knowing if they'll recieve treatment if they do get sick, you'd think they'd show a little more of that "stiff upper lip". 

no need for bootlicking in 2020

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Simon E replied to Secret_squirrel | 4 years ago
8 likes

He could self-isolate and no-one would be worse off.

Can you tell me why he is so useful? I've never had anyone explain his purpose in the running of the country. The royal family exists to preserve an outdated, anachronistic system that is designed to reinforce ideas about some people being 'special'. Are countries without a royal family somehow bereft? Absolutely not. Even nations like Denmark that have a royal family that lives a more 'normal' life function perfectly well.

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ktache replied to Simon E | 4 years ago
1 like

He may find it eespecially difficult to self isolate, his household seems especially large, old article I know, but there seem to be more current ones out there-

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/nov/16/monarchy.jamiewilson

He had a household of 85 at that point.  Someone to squeeze his toothpaste...

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brooksby replied to Secret_squirrel | 4 years ago
6 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

Why don't you think being the sucessor to our head of state is not enough reason to get tested?

But if Charles died, there's William.  And if Wills died, there's George-plus-a-regent.  And so on.  That's how hereditary monarchies work.

So, no, I don't see why he jumped the queue to get a test.

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Secret_squirrel replied to brooksby | 4 years ago
0 likes

By your logic - not that I agree with it - there are plenty of other Doctors and Nurses who arent sick or will immune in a few weeks time.

As for their patients - most of them have younger family members that can replace them.

See what you did there?   Twonk.

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Hirsute replied to Secret_squirrel | 4 years ago
0 likes

Because being an HRH and a doctor or nurse are equivalent of course.

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brooksby replied to Secret_squirrel | 4 years ago
2 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

By your logic - not that I agree with it - there are plenty of other Doctors and Nurses who arent sick or will immune in a few weeks time.

As for their patients - most of them have younger family members that can replace them.

See what you did there?   Twonk.

Except that, the last time I checked, being a doctor or a nurse wasn't a f-ing hereditary position!

Funny, isn't it, how so many of the wealthy and powerful can get a test whilst all those front line doctors and nurses can't...?

See what you did there?   Twonk.

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 4 years ago
15 likes

'Lycra clad' is an unnecessary dig.  It kinda emphasises what they really think. 

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