Club Rule Changes Due to Covid 19

I think more thought needs to be given to this for a number of reasons.

There is only one thing that the experts agree on and that is that it is likely to at least 6 months before a vaccine is available (if at all).  It will be much longer before a successful vaccine is available to the general public – i.e. us!

Lock down will kill the economy and therefore have to be relaxed and a different strategy tried.  With this in mind, the Government’s rules which we will be required to follow, will no doubt change many times over a very long time period.

Are we going to change the Club rules every time the local rules change?  Not a very sensible or practical solution and we are already running into problems.

It has been suggested that no members will be allowed to sit inside venues such as tea rooms during a club ride.  This would infringe the civil rights of those members who live in Surrey and are currently allowed to do so.  Let us hope none of those affected decide to sue the Club!

Instead of getting bogged down in the minutiae of rule changes, can we not stick to something more simple.  We are after all mature and sensible adults, who I am sure, are well versed in the TV news reports and newspaper coverage. 

Could we not just use a catch all along the lines of:

“Club members are required to follow the current rules and regulations as set out by the Government with regard to the Covid 19 virus when out on Club Rides or partaking in other club activities.”

Something could be added (but is it really necessary) about the most important requirement – i.e.” “That the rules and regulation concerning social distancing should be complied with during club rides and other club activities.”

You may also consider that to reinforce the importance of the rules/regs a reminder is added along the lines of:
“Should any member or members infringe these rules and or regulations and their conduct result in a fine, the member or members will be responsible for paying the fine and any other related costs.”

The next point that I wish to raise is the proposed rule that ride groups must not exceed 6, which I agree with – in part!  What the rules apparently say or mean – according to the advice  (updated this month) and provided by Cycling UK and given at:

Is that  “  Groups in England should be restricted to a maximum of 6 participants. However multiple groups of 6 are permissible, as long as these groups do not come into contact with each other”
According to the Oxford English Dictionary “contact” means physically touching, however in the above context I assume it to mean that groups should not at any stage join together.

As I am sure many of you are aware, I have been taking advantage of this wider interpretation.   Accordingly, I have been leading rides of two sub groups, where social distancing can be used to keep the two groups from coming into direct contact.

There are a number of practical benefits from  two smaller groups, rather than one larger group of 6.

From experience over recent weeks, we have found that most venues provide a greater number of seating arrangements for 4 persons.  Where tables for 6 are available these tend not to have so much space between persons as with tables for 4. If a group of 6 splits into 4 + 2, the 2 will often be required to sit at a 4 seater.  Not the best use of limited space for the venue owner, and hence loss of much needed income.

Under the latest regs my personal preference, now, is for 2 sub groups of 4. This allows an extra 2 members to join the ride.   Also, should a member turn out to be asymptomatic, a crowded table of 6 could result in 5 others being infected. However at a table of 4 there is likely to be greater separation , but in any case only 3 are at risk of infection, rather than 5.

These are some points which I submit for consideration and discussion.