It’s the news we’ve been waiting for. When we can ride our bikes for leisure again. The earliest is March 29th when we should be able to meet up with another household or 6 people. Track days can also resume from this date! Our bikes are ready and waiting!
A slightly slow start for biking. From next Monday you’ll be allowed to leave your home for ‘recreation and exercise outdoors with your household (or support bubble) or with one person from outside your household’. The Cabinet Office confirmed to MCN that the ‘stay at home’ order will still be in effect, that you should minimise the amount of journeys you take and stay local wherever possible.
This means you’ll be permitted to head outside for recreation as well as exercise but what the guidance currently suggests (as confirmed by the Cabinet Office) is that you will not be able to travel for recreational purposes until the 29th at the earliest. So in effect you could walk 10 minutes down the road to meet a mate for a coffee but you couldn’t ride 50 miles to meet a mate for a coffee.
Should the virus infection and death rates be deemed to be heading in the right direction, from March 29 the ‘stay at home’ order will be relaxed. The rules will also be relaxed on groups, so two households or six people will be free to mix. That means you’ll be free to ride as you see fit with up to five of your mates.
Outdoor sports facilities will also be allowed to reopen, so that means track days will be able to resume as well as bikesport, such as racing, trials and enduro, as long they are compliant with the guidance. These events won’t be subject to the gathering limits but the no overnight rule will still apply and there won’t be spectators.
Step two of the planned relaxation could be as early as April 12 and will see non-essential retailers allowed to reopen. That means bike dealers and kit retailers, if you’re crying out for new metal or a shiny new lid.
With it outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen too however you have to order, eat and drink while seated, so you local bike meet won’t be at full power just yet. Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday cottages where there are no shared facilities will be allowed to reopen. That means if you fancy taking a solo bike tour (or going with someone you live with) you could do but you couldn’t go with mates.
Around this time the Government hope to make a statement on the future of international travel but until they do so, biking holidays into Europe and beyond will still be banned.
May 17 is the earliest that the Government expects to be able to relax the rule of six outdoors, instead allowing people to decide their own comfortable level of risk. Gatherings of more than 30 people will still be banned but you probably don’t go for a ride with that many mates anyway.
The rule of six (or two households) will still apply indoors though and if you do go somewhere to eat or drink, it will still be table service only. Other indoor locations such as B&Bs and hotels should be open by this point too, making a bike tour even easier.
By this point, the Government is also hoping to allow people to attend large outdoor events, where they can be spread out in allocated seating, so watching BSB in person should be back on the cards.
If everything goes to plan, the Government is hoping to remove all legal limits on social contact by June 21, so if you want to get 45 mates and go for a big ride out there’s nothing to stop you. Apart from having 45 mates obviously.
This is an evolving situation and the government guidance could change.