WSCC Rides – the Rule of 6 and “Spond”

With the implementation of the “Rule of 6” from last Monday (14 Sept), and new advice to member groups issued by Cycling UK, the club has had to take a fresh look at how we organise rides.  The club committee met on Tuesday, and we felt it would be useful to provide an update to you on how we see things working.  (A version of this advice was sent to WSCC Ride Group leaders yesterday).
The new regulations require some big changes, and it will take some time before we get this fully settled.  There is also of course the added complication that the Covid crisis is evolving day by day, and there is a danger that further regulations will overtake the advice we can give now.  But we have to start somewhere!
CUK Advice on Rule of 6
The essential aspects of CUK’s advice on group ride activity can be found at here.   (More detailed CUK advice can be accessed via this link by clicking further).  In this advice, CUK states that it cannot advise member groups such as WSCC to rely on the “organised activity exemption” to the Rule of 6.   Accordingly, CUK’s advice is that group rides in England should be restricted to a maximum of six participants.  Multiple groups of six are permissible, provided these groups do not come into contact with one another.
We want all WSCC groups to retain their own discretion when assessing what works best for them, and to take a pragmatic and common-sense approach to the organisation of riding activities.  Any rides we undertake in the current Covid environment need to take the following into account:
  • Most fundamentally, there must be no more than 6 on a ride.  This means that some form of pre-ride registration and booking is almost essential.  Where numbers interested in joining a WSCC ride exceed 6, provision should be made to run two or more rides in a way that takes precautions to ensure that these groups do not come into contact with one another (i.e. the rides should employ different routes and stops).
  • In keeping with the Government’s track and trace regulations, someone involved in planning any ride needs to keep an attendance and contact record (for 21 days).  This makes obvious good sense even if this is an informal ride with friends.
  • All riders should take facemasks – these will be required to go into cafés, pubs or shops anyway.
  • All riders should adhere to social distancing at all times, including when stopping on the road (it’s easy to forget this and pull up next to each other).
  • With the above in mind, those on a ride should have a plan for fixing punctures (where we often help each other) and/or sharing tools. Obviously if you need to help, put on your mask, wear gloves if you have them and use sanitiser before and after.
  • Whilst the weather is good, we should sit outside for coffee and lunch where at all possible.  Consideration should be given to how riders will deal with ill-health or an accident (consider carrying sterile gloves).
  • Riders should go solo if using a car to get to the start of a ride.
  • It remains up to each individual to decide, based on their own circumstances, whether they feel comfortable participating in group rides.
Introduction of WSCC Spond system for managing the Rule of 6
Our first experience in dealing with these new rules was in the preparation of last Wednesday’s rides.  Our experience here was overwhelmingly positive.  The rides were enjoyed, and the new “Spond” booking system was taken up amazingly quickly by 50 members, and proved to be very effective.
Based on Wednesday’s experience, we would now encourage the widest possible adoption of Spond to achieve this.  Spond is a software application designed specifically for sports clubs and activities.  It can be accessed either:
  • Through the creation of a user name and login on the Spond website ; and/or
  • Through a smartphone app
Spond is free, and simple to use.  It provides a seamless way to keep attendance records, share ride details and open up rides to all our members in the spirit of the club. It also substantially reduces the administrative challenges that face us all.
Our own experience with Spond is very recent, but feedback so far has been good.  (We also know that Dorking Cycling Club has successfully used Spond to organise its rides under the new rule of 6 regulations).
To deal with Wednesday’s rides, the club created a Spond account, and this was successfully used to advertise and organise attendance on multiple G3 and G4 rides.  We would now like to roll this out so that all WSCC members and ride groups have the opportunity to use Spond.  With this in mind we (or, to be precise, Laurie Mutch) have created a “WSCC” Spond account that includes 6 sub-groups, one for each of the club’s ride groups.  Members will then be able to opt to join one or more sub-groups and to receive and respond to notifications for rides in their chosen group(s).
All club members can be invited to sign in to a WSCC club page on Spond that will enable them easily to see what rides are available and how to sign up for them.  Similarly, those leading or planning rides can invite group members to attend rides (either by email or using messages on the smartphone app), and check who has signed up.  Spond easily allows the number of riders to be limited to the maximum of 6.
Please contact Laurie Mutch or John Child if you have any queries about how to join and participate in Spond.
Of course, simply signing up for the WSCC groups on Spond does not in itself make group rides happen!  We will need active participation from our many ride leaders to plan and post invitations to rides.  That is already underway as regards the Wednesday ride groups and we’ll continue to work on it.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me or any other member of the committee for help and advice during these challenging times or to share any concerns with us.

WSCC Rides Update 11 September 2020

With the increase in the rate of Covid infections and the new “Rule of 6” regulation being introduced by the UK Government from Monday 14 September, we have been looking at how to revise the approach to WSCC club rides. The key principles are:

  • In the short term, we propose to limit all club rides to no more than 6 participants. This will require the larger club groups to arrange multiple rides (see further below), with non-overlapping start points and stops.
  • As the rules and requirements surrounding the latest Government regulations become clearer, and Cycling UK develops its guidance, it might well become possible for us to benefit from the exceptions for organised sport and to increase ride groups to 15. If/when that occurs, we will consult with WSCC members to assess whether there is an appetite to do so.
  • It is of course up to each individual to decide, based on their own circumstances, whether they feel comfortable participating in group rides.
  • It is essential that we all adhere to good standards of hygiene and personal distancing and the wearing of face masks indoors (e.g. at coffee/lunch stops).
  • Anyone who experiences, or who is living with someone who exhibits symptoms of Covid should stay at home and not participate in club rides.
  • In order to meet track and trace requirements, we should maintain a register of all ride participants.

It will take some time for us to adapt to these new requirements, so the arrangements we are putting in place should be seen as a work in progress, subject to revision.

Our smaller ride groups should be able to work within these new restrictions using existing informal arrangements. For our larger groups (notably the Midweek Wayfarer groups) we plan to use the “Spond” smartphone app (click here) in order to advertise and administer ride attendance. Details of the new WSCC MW Spond group will be communicated to members of the google mail group shortly. Spond is used successfully by other local cycling groups including Dorking Cycling Club, and we believe it will provide the functionality we require, and be easy to use.

We will post further details in due course.

If you have any questions or comments on the above, please feel free to contact me or any other member of the committee.


Alison and Martin Dorsett’s charity ride

Alison and Martin Dorsett are cycling 100 km on 27th September in the Yorkshire East Riding (part of the Tour de Yorkshire) for the charity Ataxia.  Click here for details of the event.

Anyone who wishes can donate to their JustGiving page by clicking here.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to Ataxia UK, so it’s the most efficient way to give – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Suggest cycling and walking infrastructure improvements to Surrey County Council

Surrey County Council has submitted a bid to the Department for Transport for £7.8 million Emergency Active Travel Fund to improve walking and cycling infrastructure.

Residents and cyclists know their local areas best so Surrey County Council created a tool  for ideas on improving  cycling and walking infrastructure.

Press release at

Pat and G-BUG

Echoes from the past

In 1968 a young Ian Price wrote down his record of his first two years of serious cycling – buying a bike, joining the CTC and W Surrey DA, and enthusiastically taking part in our activities. He recently unearthed this record, scanned it and emailed it to me. I have uploaded it to our History and Archives webpages here. Read how he and Russ rode the 100-mile standard ride in 5h 45m including a half-hour lunch break. Read half a dozen press cuttings, reports submitted weekly by our then President, Bill Inder, to the Woking News & Mail and the Surrey Advertiser. Read how Ian got himself into one of them by riding into Bucklebury ford at speed. Did he get through? Or did he fall in? Read …