National governing body British Cycling has extended its suspension on sanctioned cycling activities through to June 30, 2020.
In a message to British Cycling members, the organisation’s CEO Julie Harrington said, “These exceptional times have required us to take exceptional action, but I am certain that the character of our membership is up to the challenge. Therefore, I am asking you today to join in me in three tasks:
“Firstly, we must all do what we can to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone on a bike. That means all organised club activity must stop – from group rides to coaching sessions. It also means that whenever we go out on our bikes, we must remember our duty to ride responsibly. Following Government advice, right now we should only ride on our own, or with people we live with, and always keep two metres apart.
“Secondly, we must do all we can to help those around us – and I have been inspired in recent days by stories about bike shops, clubs or just individuals who have put cycling to the service of their communities.
“Thirdly, we must join together so that cycling can emerge from this with strength. Whether you’re a rider, club official, coach, event organiser, ride leader or a business owner, you’ll have felt the effect of the last few weeks. We are well aware of the challenges that our sport was facing before this situation took hold, and I know that – while the world as a whole is now facing a new challenge – the worries that we had before will have been added to, rather than replaced by, the Coronavirus outbreak.”
She continued, “Now, more than ever, I’d like to reiterate our commitment to you, as the people who ensure our sport continues to function. We’ll face the challenges head on, and together.”
British Cycling statement…
Given the ongoing uncertainty around the Coronavirus/COVID19 outbreak, and the developing Government advice and guidance, British Cycling has taken the decision to extend its current suspension on sanctioned cycling activities to 30 June.
With all Government guidance pointing towards a period during which the nation is being urged to come together to fight the spread of the virus, and the unprecedented burden currently on our emergency and public services, we felt that this is the most responsible – and only – course of action we could take at this moment.
We are acutely aware of the impact that this situation has had on individuals, communities and businesses within cycling and beyond. We’d like to take this opportunity to reinforce that, while we share in the disappointment of those affected by this extended suspension, we will do absolutely everything within our power to ensure that cycling can return with strength and as soon as possible.
This suspension period will include the dates originally set for several traditional milestones of the competitive cycling calendar. As with the vast majority of sports – while our primary focus will always be health and wellbeing – we will be exploring all options regarding the fulfilment of the racing calendar once sporting events can recommence.
Our recommendation to our clubs remains that no organised activity (including rides, training, coaching, events) should take place during this period, in line with government advice on social gatherings and non-essential travel.
However, riding a bike is a great way to aid your physical and mental health, provided that guidance on social distancing is followed. British Cycling would urge all cyclists to only ride on routes you know well, that are close to home and that are well within your ability level – this is a time for calm recreation, not for challenging yourself.
Now, more than ever, we must ride our bikes responsibly – that means only going out on our own, or with people we live with, and keeping two metres apart from anyone we meet, stopping and waiting for people to pass when necessary. We’re doing this to protect ourselves and others, and to make it safe for everyone to ride.
If the cycling community continues to behave responsibly then we all hope to keep the roads and trails open for use, so that we can all manage our health during the coming weeks and months.