On Sunday 10th May, the Prime Minister said that ‘Stay At Home’ has become ‘Stay Alert’. and announced the relaxation of some rules about exercising. It is now acceptable (in England at least) to exercise as much as you like, not just for one short period a day. Also, it is now acceptable to meet someone from outside your own household if it is kept to one-on-one (no groups) and social distancing of two metres is maintained. What does that mean for Club members?
A quick glance at the figures suggests that we are a long way from being able to relax about spreading Covid-19. At the time of writing, the lowest day’s death toll from the virus has been 210, and it has risen since. That suggests we should interpret the new rules with caution and though we can ride further, and more often, than before we should still ride alone.
Why should that be? How realistic is it to maintain a two-metre distance from each other? If you ride side-by-side, one of you will have to be in the middle of the road. If instead you ride in single file, the two-metre rule doesn’t apply. Two metres is the safe distance suggested for people standing still, but if you are riding behind someone droplets from their breath will float back a lot further in their slipstream. For cyclists in single file, the suggested safe distance could be as much as 20 metres, which is hardly ‘riding together’.
Further, we are close to the Welsh border and the rules in that country have not changed. You can review them here Since they discourage riding far from home, and the border is nearly thirty miles from Gloucester, it is obvious that riding into Wales should be avoided.
So, in summary, let us continue riding alone, and staying in England. That gives us plenty of good (and not so good!) roads to enjoy, and as always, Stay Alert – the road’s hazards haven’t gone away. There will be time enough for group rides once the pandemic is under control.
Is it worth the risk of doing anything else? I doubt that anyone working in hospitals or care homes would say so.
Malcolm Taylor, President