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