Taking into consideration UK Government’s Guidelines and the advice from both British Cycling and Cycling UK, we still don’t feel the time is right yet, in this very early phase of lockdown easing, to recommence formal club rides.
However, there’s no reason not to be reaching out to each other, meeting-up and riding in a responsible way. We’ve therefore set up a Meet Up channel on the HotChillee Community Platform so HotChillee CC members can easily arrange to ride with other members. We just ask that you keep it safe, stick to the rules and, especially if you’re wearing HotChillee kit, be a good ambassador for your club and your sport.
We’ve put together some of our tips for group riding under the current guidelines below.
You can theoretically ride as a group of six but we’d recommend sticking to a smaller group than this at the moment.
This is simply because, to maintain social distancing of 2m, a group of six riders would create a line of a minimum length of 12m. On both the road and on trails it’s easy to imagine how this could create issues and frustration for other users.
It’s also impractical and unsafe, on all but the widest off-road trails, to ride side by side and maintain 2m social distancing so stick to single file.
The latest Government advice is to maintain 2m distancing whenever possible and, if not, to maintain 1m+. It’s definitely possible to maintain 2m when cycling and therefore we feel you should.
Think about where you arrange to meet-up bearing in mind that you’ll need to maintain 2m social distancing while waiting to ride. You’ll need to be able to do this without causing an obstruction to other road users, pedestrians etc.
If you’re driving to meet-up and ride, try to minimise travel time as much as possible. Check that the car-park you’re intending to use is open and be aware that many facilities, such as toilets at car-parks, are still shut.
Even if someone rocks up with a brand new steed, avoid the temptation to touch and just admire from afar. Stick to your own bike and avoid contact with others, especially the handlebars. The same applies to mechanicals and punctures – make sure you have the skills and the tools to be self-reliant.
Pop a bottle of hand sanitiser into your jersey pocket and use after going through gates or touching any potentially contaminated surfaces.
Stick to routes that everyone in your group knows as this will reduce the need for re-grouping stops.
Try to minimise the number of junctions, especially right turns as maintaining social distancing at junctions could be tricky.
Remember that many public toilets are still closed so factor this in when determining the length of your ride.
If you’re heading off-road, keep the technical demands of the ride well within the comfort zone of all on the ride. Try to avoid narrow shared use trails whenever possible and maintain social distancing when going through gates.
More cafés are now open for takeaways but double check what they’re offering and their opening hours if using one for a mid-ride refuel and bottle refill. Expect queues during busy times so factor this into your ride planning.
We realise that not riding side by side might limit the social side of cycling so why not schedule in a few socially distanced chat stops?
We’ll constantly be keeping abreast of the latest guidance and as soon as we feel that we can re-start Hotchillee rides, we will. We’re desperately keen to see you all again, get back to doing what we love and we’ll keep you updated on any changes or developments.
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Glen is usually behind the scenes making sure that the Hotchillee Ride Captains and event participants have fully functioning bicycles to ride but he occasionally makes an appearance in front of the camera to share his wisdom. If he’s not fixing or building bikes he’ll be out riding in #SweetSussex. If you want to know anything about Cyclocross, Glen is the man to ask.
Consultant with British Cycling and author of the Road Cycling Performance Manual. Lover of cobbles, gravel and Siberian Pine – not so keen on climbs! Nik is the author of all of the Hotchillee Training Plans, Zwift workout files and regularly posts tips and advice on the Hotchillee app. He’s also the evil genius behind the now infamous Hotchillee Gain Train.
Adele has worked within the health and fitness industry for over 25 years starting with a ballet and dance background herself, she has progressed to training and teaching all styles of fitness and offers Pilates, barre & yoga. As a keen runner, Adele appreciates the need for a strong healthy body and mind and incorporates many elements of Pilates, yoga and barre into her own training to ensure her strength and stamina remain.