The Bugle | Blast 429

Friday 13th March 2020
Covid-19 Edition



"It's going to disappear" - Donald J Trump


I make no apology for breakng the usual Bugle format. It's Friday the 13th for goodness sake so what better day to discuss disaster?

Cycling events (see below) are being cancelled left, right and centre. It's going to change the way we eat, work and play (our Aldi is already almost bereft of pizza!).

I thought as a statistician it would be helpful to give a take on yesterday's and subsequent statements by our Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser as it may effect the club.

Feel free to disagree - we are in uncharted waters and nothing is certain.

The current plan differs from other countries (and WHO advice) but as we don't get a choice it is best to understand and work with it. It's a gamble and only time will tell if it's a successful one.

Although it wasn't stated explicitly yesterday - today it became clear the government's plan is to get us gradually to an 80% infection rate at which point we will have herd immunity and, in Donald Trump's words it will disappear (well nearly until a succesful vaccine arrives to finally polish it off). Life and the economy can then get back to normal.

What they are doing is to try and get there in as smooth a way as possible so that the limited supply of ventilators and associated equipment can be deployed efficiently to the most acute patients to minimise the mortality rate - unlike Italy where people who could be saved are not because the hospitals and staff are overwhelmed.

The good news is that this will not effect 95% of the population who will suffer at worst 'bad flu' to nothing at all.

It will seriously effect the remaining 5% who develop acute pneumonia and who will rely on the NHS to survive. 5% is a big number (over 3 million) and it takes a long time to recover - 5/6 weeks is not uncommon so spacing out the people arrving at hospital will determine the number who will live or die.

The demographic of our Club means we have a disproportionate number who are at particular risk. I qualify on three counts (over 70, respiratory problem and on steroids which depresses immunity - but does help my cycling). 

I know quite a few who in the club, quietly, are in the same boat. Our chances of getting through and of everbody's elderly relatives may depend on how the rest of you amend your behaviour. True altruism is the name of the game.



The more the better. It makes your body younger than its years which is a real bonus against Covid-19 (and any future similar pandemics). So keep cycling if you are fit enough to do it.

Exposure to the sun generates Vitamin-D which helps your immune system and helps mitigating against other infections so helping to eliminate some 'underlying complications' which can be a deadly factor when you get Covid-19. The longer the ride the better.

This isn't so good:
Refreshment and chat are integral parts of any Club ride. But also probably the most dangerous environment to pass any virus to one another. Especially when eight of us squash round a table for four. I suggest the following simple rules for rides this spring and summer:
  • Eat & drink outside if at all possible

  • Spread out

  • Remember who you sat with

  • Keep stops short

  • Go to the toilet and wash your hands first, not last

If you subsequently discover you were infected please notify the people you sat they can self-isolate. If you don't know how to contact go via somebody like Tom V or George L who has all our contact details.

This may be fake news but a physician did suggest that frequent hot drinks helped flush any virus from the throat into the digestive system where it is killed by acids. So enjoy your tea and coffee all the more!

Fortunately we have been splitting large groups into smaller rides but it may be prudent for ride leaders to consider arriving at different venue and or different times to avoid crowding.



If you have symptoms you won't feel like riding - so don't.

If you are well and bored then taking cycle ride might be better than staying indoors and annoying/infecting folks you live with. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Take a ride on your own. We have a large collection of downloadable GPX files of our club rides you can use. Check them out here (you will find a 'Download' button near the bottom of the report near the map/elevation):
  • Find a buddy and do the same. As long as you keep 5/6 feet apart there should not be any significant risk. And that may be worth it if you have a puncture/mechanical.
  • Follow a club ride. Let the leader know you might be infectious so they can see no one gets friendly and stay at the back. Bring your own food/drink for the stop and stay outside.
  • And don't kiss dogs however cute:



Last week we announced it. This week it is postponed: AndrĂ© Greipel, at the London Bike Show 27 - 29 March 2020 

  • UK: Mountain Mayhem - cancelled
  • France: Tour de Bretagne - cancelled
  • UK: Bespoked - postponed
  • Italy: Strade Bianche - postponed
  • Italy: Tirreno-Adriatico - postponed
  • Italy: Milan-Sanremo - No new dates for any of these three major Italian road races. Giro di Siclia, Trofeo Binda and the Settimana Coppi e Bartali have also been pushed back.
  • Belgium: Flanders Classics sportives - Flanders Classics has postponed all its upcoming sportives, including the We Ride Flanders sportive, which was set for a field of around 16,000 riders
  • USA: Sea Otter Classic

The Prudential Ride London is still on - but with the cancellation of the Premier Football League today I'd put my money on it not happening. Indeed assume all events this spring/summer won't happen unless they explicitly say they will be running.



Saturday 7th March: 
Karen led the ride last Saturday to Hildenborogh Golf Club. Very pricey

Riders were Peter R,Dave S, Amy and Jim (not K - the other one). All enjoyed the ride no mech's around 60 miles. We rode via Pilgrims Way and Under River to golf club and back via Bough Beech, Pootings, Hurst Green, Marden Park then home.Btw Dave S caught the train home he was tired so four came back.Keep well!



Saturday 14th March: 10:00  Shurguard/501 Brighton Road
(Coulsdon PO 10:20)
Steady: Roger leads to Horne Golf Club via Portnalls, Nutfield. Back though Lingfield.

Sunday 15th March: 10:00 Shurguard/501 Brighton Road
Weather dody so no decisions yet

Tuesday 17th March: Shurguard/501 Brighton Road
Rides to Denbies
Speedies: 09:30: Leader Tom V
Steadies: 10:00: Leader John D
Relaxed: 10:00: Leader Stuart G

Thursday 19th March Meet Shurguard at 10:00 am. 
Speedy: tba


First a short Oscar winning film. Buried deep within it is the lifelong intimate relationships between the Dutch, their bikes and the water. If you've been to Holland you will know. If you haven't - you need to know:

Second film I suspect we have had before - but one that bears re-watching. Amazing highland riding by Danny Macaskill:

Happy Cycling