What the new lockdown rules mean for YOU as a cyclist in England (Road CC article)

From Thursday, you will only be allowed to ride with household members or one person who doesn’t live with you…

On Saturday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new National Restrictions that will come into effect in England at 0001 hours this Thursday 5 November to combat the rapid rise in coronavirus cases both in the UK and abroad – and as with the previous lockdown announced in March, there are implications for cycling, whether for sport, leisure or as a means of transport.

What is being widely termed a second lockdown is due to run until Wednesday 2 December, although few would be surprised if it were extended beyond that, with the government underlining that “the single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.”

Here are the essential points relating to cycling once the new rules in England kick in – until then, the government says that “the relevant Local Covid Alert Level measures will continue to apply in the area where you live.”

Exercise

As with the lockdown earlier this year, outdoor exercise, including cycling, is one of the “specific purposes” for which people are allowed to leave or be outside their homes.

However, it is only permitted “with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with one person from another household (children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents, will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside).”

That means that going for a ride in a group of up to six people, in line with the so-called “rule of six” and currently permitted in Tier 1, 2 and 3 locations, will no longer be possible.

At the moment, there does not appear to be any clarity on whether outdoor exercise will be restricted to once a day, nor whether any restrictions on distance from home will be applied – issues that may be addressed once the legislation has gone through Parliament, or in separate guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

One major implication for cycling, however, is that as happened earlier in the year, it seems that it will be impossible to hold club runs and other events while adhering to the new rules.

Travel

People are also allowed to leave their home “for childcare or education, where this is not provided online,” and “for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home (including if your job involves working in other people’s homes).”

As before, the government is emphasising the role that active travel can play here, saying: “If you need to travel we encourage you to walk or cycle where possible and to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.”

Other than for specific reasons including work and education, overnight stays and holidays, whether abroad or in the UK, are not allowed, including in a second home.

Retail

You are allowed to go “shopping for basic necessities, for example, food and medicine, which should be as infrequent as possible” – and clearly, going to shops by bike is one option.

While full details are yet to be published regarding which retailers are considered essential, we would expect bike shops to be permitted to continue trading as happened in the previous lockdown, when many remained open for repairs and maintenance and the purchase of items such as inner tubes.

Essential retail businesses “should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers” – many bike shops that remained trading during the lockdown earlier this year operated an outside queueing system with customers not allowed to physically enter the store, and we would expect to see that in operation again.

Social distancing

In all cases, people are required to “minimise time spent outside your home and when around other people ensure that you are two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble” – although as we have explained before, you’d want to give more space to anyone riding in front of you when you’re on your bike.

How much distance should you leave to the cyclist ahead during the pandemic?

What next?

The government says that at the end of the four-week period, it will seek to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data available. Whether that will reflect the tiering system currently in place, with groups of up to six allowed to meet outdoors, is impossible to say.

The above rules apply to England only, with separate rules applying in Scotland and Wales. Later this week, we will be publishing an updated version of the article we published earlier this year that looks at the picture across all three countries, once the relevant legislation for England has passed through Parliament.

What did Cycle Seahaven ever do for me?

Cycle Seahaven means a lot of things to a lot of people. For some it is a way of having fun with like-minded people, for others, it’s been a lifeline. For one young man, it shaped his career choice. Here’s his story:

I joined Cycle Seahaven because my mum, Louise Pye, became a member. As one of the younger members of the club, I wasn’t to deterred by riding with the older members because I enjoy getting out on my mountain bike and participating in club rides.

It was one of those rides that changed the direction of my life. We were in the forest and one of the male riders in the group rode into one of the bomb holes/craters. Apparently, he had done this many times before but this time he misjudged it and crashed. He was obviously concussed and we didn’t know what was wrong with him, so we called for an ambulance. Because of the location and the difficulty of access for vehicles, the air ambulance was called and it landed in a field nearby not long afterwards. Fortunately, the rider didn’t need it but he did get admitted to hospital and was kept in overnight.

Cycle Seahaven had organised several first aid courses in the past and these were open to Ride Leaders and members of the club. The two-day course didn’t cost much and I thought it would be a handy skill to have if someone I was riding with ever fell off.

I did the course in 2017 and absolutely loved it. The training was brilliant, with a focus on the type of injury a cyclist might sustain. It finished with a practical exercise in the forest and left me wanting to learn more.

As a result, I decided to join St John Ambulance in 2018. They gave me further training and I became an Operational Cadet First Aider. This gave me the chance to attend small and large events, providing first aid to members of the public.

When I turned 18 I assisted the cadets as an adult staff member, training them in first-aid. As I progressed in St John I started to undertake some management roles too. It was at about this point I realised I wanted to join the Ambulance Service and become a Paramedic.

There were two routes open to me, go to university for 3 years or join the service and work my way up. So I decided to go for option 2.

I then I spend the next few years gaining as much experience as possible. I became a Team Leader at the Amex stadium, a First Responder for a medical company and a Dementia Specialist

After this, I applied for the role of Apprentice Associate Ambulance Practitioner in the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMBS). I was accepted in April 2020.

I then spent 18 weeks during the lockdown, doing clinical training.  I am now out on the road working full time responding to 999 medical emergencies. I’m really enjoying it.

I hope to become a paramedic in the next couple of years. All this because of Cycle Seahaven and a bloke falling off his bike!

Cameron PYE
TAAP
Brighton OU  

Touring Rides Aplenty

A quick glance at the Rides Calendar shows that there are now more Touring rides then ever being run, mainly due to the introduction of Touring Plus and Easy Touring rides.

Originally, Touring rides (Level 3 on the Grading system) were for those road cyclists who could maintain a moving average speed of 12-13 mph over moderate terrain. Over the years, as more members joined these rides, it became clear that some would like to go at a slightly faster pace and others a tad slower. Eventually, the Touring Plus and Easy Touring rides were introduced to cater for the wider speed range; the former have proved popular but the latter less so. This may be because there hasn’t been a clear distinction between Easy Touring and Touring as between Touring and Touring Plus.

Therefore the moving averages are being adjusted slightly, wef next Tuesday 6th October, as follows:

  • Touring will be increased slightly to 12½-13½ mph
  • Touring Plus: 13½-14½ mph
  • Easy Touring: 11½-12½ mph.

These moving averages should be treated as a guide to the pace of a ride. In practice, rides may be a slightly faster or slower depending on various factors such as terrain and wind strength.

Hopefully, members will find the clear distinction between these three types of ride helpful in deciding which they prefer to cycle. This topic will be kept under review and feedback sought from cyclists at the end of rides.

A key feature of our rides is that they always include at least one café stop. However, café stops are a bit different these days with the Covid-19 restrictions but just as enjoyable. Clearly, we have to social distance but this isn’t a problem as we always stay outdoors as you can see from the above picture.

If you haven’t been on one of our rides then why not give them a try. We’ll be pleased to see you.

Happy cycling,

Clive

Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling ‘revolution’

A cyclist passes a rental bike on the pavement. £2bn will be spent on cycling and walking across a five year period, under new plans.

A cyclist passes a rental bike on the pavement. £2bn will be spent on cycling and walking across a five year period, under new plans. Photograph: Richard Baker/In Pictures/Getty Images

 

Residents will get powers to banish through-traffic from local streets and councils will be prevented from building substandard cycle lanes under what Downing Street has billed as a revolution for cycling and walking in England.

The plans will see the creation of a watchdog to ensure new cycle and walking routes are up to standard, intended to act as a transport equivalent of the schools inspectorate, Ofsted.

Active Travel England, to be led by a yet-to-be-appointed commissioner for walking and cycling, will refuse to fund paint-only bike lanes – without physical barriers or protection from cars – or routes where cyclists and pedestrians have to share space. It could also cut budgets in other areas for highways departments which fail to deliver on active transport.

Local people will be given a chance to choose whether residential side streets should be closed to through motor traffic to make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists, under plans to be put out for consultation.

Another proposal could see some main roads, for example in cities, kept as through-routes for pedestrians, cyclists and buses, with other motor traffic allowed access only.

Also on the table are grants to help people with the cost of electric-assist bikes, which can encourage cycling, particularly on longer or more hilly commutes. However, these tend to be more expensive than traditional bikes, often costing well over £1,000. It has not yet been specified how much assistance might be offered.

Following Monday’s announcement of a new strategy to combat obesity, the push for more active travel is a parallel strand of Downing Street efforts to improve public health, an issue highlighted by worse coronavirus outcomes faced by many people with chronic conditions connected to weight and inactive living, such as type 2 diabetes.

More active travel will also relieve pressure on the roads and on public transport, where capacity has been cut due to social distancing measures. Since May, people have been urged to walk or cycle to work or elsewhere when possible.

The proposals include the provision of more cycle racks in city and town centres to encourage people to arrive by bike.

The proposals include the provision of more cycle racks in city and town centres to encourage people to arrive by bike. Photograph: Maureen McLean/Rex/Shutterstock

 

He said: “From helping people get fit and healthy and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest health and environmental challenges that we face.”

The plans were welcomed by campaigners, who nonetheless warned that their effectiveness would depend on proper implementation and necessary funding. Chris Boardman, the former cycling champion who is now policy adviser to British Cycling, said the plans showed “the level of ambition required to transform the country”.

He added: “Many will focus on the health benefits of more people getting around by bike or on foot, but we know that these are changes which reap dividends in all walks of life, not least the quality of the air we breathe, the congestion on our roads and the economic benefit for shops, cafes and bars.”

Matt Mallinder, director of influence and engagement at the campaign group Cycling UK, said the plan was “a truly comprehensive and far-reaching set of measures”, but warned about the levels of funding.

“To truly shift gears so that everyone can feel the transformative benefits of cycling the £2bn of funding already announced will not be enough,” he said. “However, with a forthcoming spending review, now’s the time for the chancellor to invest in the future and make the prime minister’s vision of a golden age of cycling come true.”

The new standards for cycling and walking routes will be fully spelled out in updated official guidance to be published on Tuesday. The proposals include more cycle racks at stations and other transport hubs, as well as in town and city centres, and for protected bike hangars allowing safe storage for people who cannot keep a bike at home.

Others cover areas such as strengthening the Highway Code to protect pedestrians and cyclists, giving councils new powers to tackle traffic offences and pilot schemes for local authorities to give contracts in areas such as waste disposal to cycle freight companies.

A New Chair for Cycle Seahaven

 

Andy (Gus) Lock has been co-opted onto the committee and unanimously voted to the role of temporary Chairperson, under Section 7.C of the club constitution:

7.C. Composition etc
c If an Officer or Committee member retires or resigns from the Committee before the next AGM then the Committee may co-opt a Club member to sit as that Officer or Committee Member with full voting rights, until the next AGM. The post must then be put for election as in rule 6e.

Andy has previously served on the committee for eight years and held the position of founding Chair for three years.

On behalf of the members, the committee welcome Andy back!

A warm welcome too, to Dave Sutton and Sarah Winser who are rejoining the committee as Road and MTB Ride Leader co-ordinators.

The road to nowhere is going somewhere!

Ride Leader Andy (Gus) Lock has provided the following information:

The path between Halfords, Newhaven and the bird screen on the Ouse Estuary Trail (aka: road to nowhere) has been re-routed onto a new tarmac shared path. From the Halfords end, cyclists and pedestrians keep to the right of the road to pick up the newly surfaced shared path.  Coming from the Seaford end you keep left and stay on the tarmac surfaced path, rather than cut across the grass. 

Keep right on the shared path…

The road to nowhere from Halfords, Newhaven

The road to nowhere from Halfords, Newhaven – keep right!

 

Carry on the surfaced path…

Road to nowhere from Seaford

Road to nowhere from Seaford – keep on the surfaced path!

 

Thanks Gus!

 

Featured image: Photo by Paul Chessare from FreeImages

Cycle Seahaven Jersey Design 2020

Ready to design the next Cycle Seahaven jersey? 

See here for more information!

 

Previous jersey designs

Cycling at a safe distance and a suggestion from a local resident (bottom of page)

What is a safe distance when running, biking and walking during COVID-19 times? It is further than the typical 1–2 meter as prescribed in different countries!

 

countries walking, biking and jogging are welcome activities in these times of COVID-19. However, it is important to note that you need to avoid each other’s slipstream when doing these activities. This comes out of the result of a study by the KU Leuven (Belgium) and TU Eindhoven (Netherlands). (1)(2)(3)(4)

The typical social distancing rule which many countries apply between 1–2 meters seems effective when you are standing still inside or even outside with low wind. But when you go for a walk, run or bike ride you better be more careful. When someone during a run breathes, sneezes or coughs, those particles stay behind in the air. The person running behind you in the so-called slip-stream goes through this cloud of droplets.

The researchers came to this conclusion by simulating the occurrence of saliva particles of persons during movement (walking and running) and this from different positions (next to each other, diagonally behind each other and directly behind each other). Normally this type of modelling is used to improve the performance level of athletes as staying in each other air-stream is very effective. But when looking at COVID-19 the recommendation is to stay out of the slipstream according to the research.

The results of the test are made visible in a number of animations and visuals. The cloud of droplets left behind by a person is clearly visible. “People who sneeze or cough spread droplets with a bigger force, but also people who just breathe will leave particles behind”. The red dots on the image represent the biggest particles. These create the highest chance of contamination but also fall down faster. “But when running through that cloud they still can land on your clothing” according to Professor Bert Blocken.

 

Out of the simulations, it appears that social distancing plays less of a role for 2 people in a low wind environment when running/walking next to each other. The droplets land behind the duo. When you are positioned diagonally behind each other the risk is also smaller to catch the droplets of the lead runner. The risk of contamination is the biggest when people are just behind each other, in each other’s slipstream.

On the basis of these results the scientist advises that for walking the distance of people moving in the same direction in 1 line should be at least 4–5 meter, for running and slow biking it should be 10 meters and for hard biking at least 20 meters. Also, when passing someone it is advised to already be in different lane at a considerable distance e.g. 20 meters for biking.

This is definitely information I will be taking into account and it also puts in perspective the closing of busy parks etc. Perhaps the better way is just running in the street, on your own or at least with sufficient distance. Stay safe…

And a connected post from a Seaford resident:

Hi Cycle Seahaven – as a cyclist, I know none of us like ‘rules’ being applied and people worked hard to earn permission to cycle on the seafront at Seaford. Do you think, during this Corona crisis, cyclists should (or could) be encouraged to cycle on the road? As they overtake pedestrians on the path, the 2m gap is breached – when they also say hello as they pass (an otherwise lovely thing to do) they are effectively sending vapour particles straight onto the person they’re greeting. Maybe I’m being overly cautious but if we’re going to stop the spread we might as well do our best. If cyclists were on the now nearly empty road instead,  distance would be maintained and everyone could enjoy the space. What do you think? Aiming to be constructive for the safety of the greater community. Thanks for accepting the intended spirit of the message (it’s not a moan)!! 🙂

Cycling UK offers free membership to NHS staff

Cycling UK is offering free membership to NHS staff “in recognition of the significant contribution” that they “are making in keeping the UK safe” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please pass the news on to anyone you know who could benefit

NHS workers who are riding bikes to get to work during the crisis will be eligible for three months’ free membership of the national cyclists’ charity, including being able to access uts third party insurance and legal advice.

The offer can be accessed through the charity’s website(link is external), and Cycling UK is urging cyclists to spread the word to people they know who work within the NHS so that as many people as possible can benefit from the initiative.

Cycling UK chief executive Paul Tuohy said: “Last night along with the rest of the nation, I cheered and clapped for our NHS heroes from my doorstep.

“These brave men and women are putting their lives on the line for us every time they go to work and deserve everyone’s support and respect.

“That’s why today, we’ve made Cycling UK membership available to every NHS worker who is cycling to work.

“Hopefully they will never need to use the insurance and legal advice that comes with it, but just as they’ve got our back in case the worst happens, Cycling UK wants to make sure everyone in the NHS who needs it is looked after too – it’s the least we can do.”

The sign-up page on the Cycling UK website(link is external) also has a dedicated advice page containing articles and videos that will be useful for any NHS staff taking up cycling for the first time.

Resources include cycle safety tips, a journey planner, and advice on basic maintenance and secure bike locking.

The charity has also set up a page on Just Giving(link is external) for donations to be made to help it keep NHS key workers moving as part of the fight against COVID-19.

Tuohy said: “Cycling UK couldn’t make this offer to the nation’s real heroes if it wasn’t for ongoing support of our 68,000 members,

“But by opening up our membership to those who need it most, it is likely to impact our finances.

“I’m appealing to our members and the wider cycling community who can afford it to make a small donation, so we can keep on helping those who need it the most.”

Cycling UK added that any NHS workers who already have membership will have it extended by three months when it expires.

Other organisations in the cycling community that are supporting NHS workers in getting to work include Brompton Bike Hire, which yesterday unveiled plans to make another 1,000 bikes available to hospital staff.

> Brompton Bike Hire in fund raising drive to make more bikes for NHS workers – here’s how you can help