Update on WSCC Club Rides

Update on WSCC Club Rides

This message updates the previous advice on WSCC group rides (dated 19 March).  It reflects the consensus reached at a committee meeting that was held on 4 June to discuss the issue.  We are pleased to say that in view of the relaxations in restrictions announced for England, we feel that it should now be possible for some regular club activities to get underway again.  The position we reached can be summarised as follows:

  • It’s clear that Govt and CUK advice permit us to do group rides with up to 6 participants, and that ride leader insurance would continue to apply.  This is subject to the proviso that the 2m distancing rule and other government regulations are adhered to.  The latest CUK advice on group rides, including some useful advice on best practice, can be found at https://www.cyclinguk.org/news/coronavirus-advice-and-guidance-group-cycling
  • However, the committee discussion noted that there is not much appetite for resuming full club rides under the current rules.  This is mainly due to the practical problems of organising groups of 6 riders whilst maintaining distances and not posing too much of a burden to other road users.  A significant number of WSCC members have concerns about the virus infection risks of riding in groups.
  • It may nevertheless be the case that some of the smaller WSCC groups find it easier to make a small group ride work – and they should be free to do so.  If/when this is formalised into a planned ride, it would be helpful if any rides schedules were communicated to the rides secretary.
  • There was general enthusiasm for implementing the meet-ups idea (which has already been trialled informally by some WSCC groups) for any WSCC ride group that considers this would be viable.  Phil Gasson has sent an email to members to explain how this will work, starting Wednesday 10 June. The key elements for the Wednesday groups are:


  • Separate meet-up locations for each of the three Wednesday ride groups and a choice of at least 2 meet-up locations for each of G4 and G3 groups, to keep the numbers limited.
  • An indicative meet-up time window of 11am – 12 noon
  • Encouragement to members to team up with ride buddies if they prefer to ride to the meet-ups in 2s and 3s.  The same applies for riding home from the meet-up.
  • Encouragement to members to keep others informed of their intention to join one of the meet-ups (via WhatsApp or email) so that we can assess likely numbers and adapt as necessary.
  • The need to be very clear on strict adherence to the 6-person rule at the meet-ups.  That might involve splitting into 2 or more groups when we sit down to socialise.
  • No need for a formal ride leader.


  • We have started to compile a list of meet-up locations in different parts of our territory – large green spaces that provide space for us to sit in one or more groups of 6.  Proximity to a takeaway coffee/cake seller would be advantageous, but not necessary if riders take a snack/drink with them.
  • It should be feasible to change meet-up details to switch the day and/or time of day at relatively short notice, e.g. in the event of bad weather forecasts.
  • We won’t be pursuing the idea of “bubbles” (i.e. ensuring that groups of 6 remain the same from week to week) since that seems too restrictive.
  • All the above will be a work in progress – we should adapt the format as and when we get feedback on how this new idea works, and dependent on member feedback.

We realise that this still falls some way short of full club activity, but we are pleased to be able to offer some progress, and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible out on the roads in the coming weeks.


7 June 2020

Letter to Surrey CC

Derek Ridyard has sent this letter to Surrey County Council regarding opportunities for action to improve safe passage for cyclists during the current crisis.  (click image to view letter)


Club kit update

Thanks to everyone who ordered items of the new club kit. After a flurry of last-minute orders we eventually reached a total of 55 jerseys plus a few gilets – not bad in view of the distractions caused by the current crisis. In addition, we have made a club order of a limited number of the most popular items so that we will be able to offer some items from stock (or perhaps facilitate some size swaps in the event of any disasters on that front).

I have also enquired about the likely timetable for delivery of the new kit, which is made in Alé’s Italian factory. Thankfully, their production site was re-opened on Monday (4 May) and we have been informed that they plan to work around the clock to make up the order backlog that was caused by the shutdown. The original guideline was 8 weeks from order to delivery, which would mean end of June, but I think we will have to wait and see how this maps out in these challenging times. I will provide an update as soon as I hear any news on progress.

When the kit is produced, orders will be sent out individually to club members. Let’s hope that by that time some form of group riding will be back on the agenda!

Wishing you all the best


COVID-19 – Updated Advice on WSCC Rides, 19 March

Cycling UK has now advised that all club rides should be cancelled in view of UK Government advice to avoid unnecessary social contact and to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. See https://www.cyclinguk.org/news/what-does-covid-19-coronavirus-outbreak-mean-cycling

CUK also advises that Organiser’s (i.e. group leader) Liability Insurance might well be invalidated if organised rides are staged. However, individual CUK member cyclists should continue to be protected by Third Party Liability insurance.

As a result, we do not think it is viable to operate the rides listed on the WSCC rides calendar, and therefore formal club rides are suspended until further notice.

However, the CUK advice continues to emphasise the (obvious) health and wider welfare benefits of safe cycling. We therefore hope that for the time being many WSCC members will feel able to carry on riding outside, and that club members will continue to support each other during this period of uncertainty (for example via personal contacts and the WhatsApp groups that operate for several groups within the club). In the event that club members do find themselves sharing the road with other cyclists, the principles for social distancing and safe riding that we outlined in our previous advice continue to apply.

The official advice has also led to the cancellation of cycling events such as the Philip Hampton Memorial ride and the Isle of Wight Randonnée. Planned WSCC events such as the Sunday club rides we had scheduled for 7 June are (on current information) likely to meet a similar fate. We hope to be in a position to provide a more positive update soon.

Please do not hesitate to contact me or any other member of the WSCC committee if you have questions or feedback on the above.


COVID-19 – Advice on WSCC rides

We have had numerous discussions within the committee and with other club members over the last few days, trying to take stock of the advice that has been issued on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) threat.  The latest government advice is to avoid non-essential contact with others, including visits to pubs and clubs.

In the short term (starting with the rides on Wednesday 18 March) we plan to continue to offer club rides, but to change the way they operate, as follows:

  1. Continue with current outdoor meeting points at the start of the ride, though naturally we should avoid contact with other riders.
  2. Abandon organised coffee and lunch stops (many of our usual venues for these will in any case probably choose to be closed for business from organised groups in light of advice).  Instead, we will ask ride leaders to prepare and advertise a route that allows for a scheduled stop at around half way to enable riders to rest and to take food and drink that they have brought with them on the ride. This is likely to mean that planned routes are shorter than normal on all-day Wednesday and Sunday rides.
  3. Adapt riding in groups by forming smaller sub-groups (4-5 per group), and ensuring reasonable distance between riders and between groups.  This should still permit the normal patterns of signposting and generally looking out for fellow riders (e.g. in the event of punctures or technical or navigational difficulties).
  4. All riders to take extra care to be considerate, not to endanger fellow riders, and to take particular care with respect to any “emissions” that might provide a transmission mechanism for viruses.

We recognise that some club members will choose not to participate on club rides during this period.  That is a choice that each of you will make according to your own personal circumstances, health, age and attitude to risk.  We would, however, insist that any member who feels that they are or might be suffering from the symptoms of a flu-like virus (high temperature, coughs, breathing difficulties etc.) stays safely at home until such concerns can be dismissed.  The same applies to those who have been in recent contact with others who have exhibited such symptoms, or who have had recent contact with known COVID-19 hot spots.
Whether the approach outlined here can be viable beyond the current week must depend on the official advice we receive from the government and its experts.  For example, if/when advice is issued requiring all vulnerable persons to be “shielded from social contact” it is hard to see how attendance on a club ride would be a sensible course of action for such people, and it is possible that restrictions on non-essential movements will be increased still further in the coming weeks.

Even if it turns out that club rides cannot easily be operated, we hope that club members can and will use existing communication mechanisms and friendship groups to look out for one another, and (where applicable) perhaps to engage in smaller impromptu ride groupings during these testing times.