Like this site? Help us to make it better.


“Vast majority of cyclists” are following government guidance during coronavirus pandemic, says British Cycling

Cycling UK also confirms that people are riding responsibly during this difficult time

The “vast majority of cyclists” are following government guidance to ride alone or with members of their household, British Cycling has told 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.

> Warning that cycling could be banned if people don’t ride responsibly 

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.

> Updated: How to cycle responsibly in a time of pandemic

Today, a British Cycling spokesperson told “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.”

> Daily exercise rules: current cycling dos and don'ts

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.”

> How much distance should you leave to the cyclist ahead in a time of pandemic?

Simon joined 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.

Add new comment


EddyBerckx | 4 years ago

All the local clubs (east london / essex) stopped their group rides 2 or 3 weeks ago. I've not seen more than 2 out at a time (almost always 1 person tbf). The roads are quiet...people seem to be sensible. I'd agree with the headline. No need for a big debate and argument over a very small minority

brooksby | 4 years ago

I'm not allowed out to ride in my so-called 'spare' time, even in normal times.

But I haven't been riding into work since the not-quite-a-lockdown: I've been driving into work as my plausible deniability excuse if the police question me - I can say (honestly, if they do stop me) that I'm just going into the office to bring as much of the contents of my office home as I can it in the car.

(Full disclosure: I'm the only person that's set foot in my office building for over a week, now - drive from home to office, park up round the back, scurry round the front and don't leave the building all day, so I'm not in contact with any other persons).

Hirsute | 4 years ago

200 mile ride ?

I think that does qualify as a piss take though.

eburtthebike | 4 years ago

We all know that this is true, and almost all cyclists are riding alone or with their cohabitees; has anyone told the Royal Park managers?

ktache | 4 years ago

Proper chilly wind at the weekend, I think that had a fair bit to do with keeping everything a bit quieter.

Latest Comments