On 24th August 2020, the Scottish Government announced an easing of restrictions as part of Phase 3 of its route out of lockdown. This included an exemption from the general restrictions on meeting people from other households outdoors for “organised outdoor activity” including sport. Further guidance issued by Sport Scotland and the various sport governing bodies, including Scottish Cycling, authorises up to 30 participants from unlimited households to participate in non-contact sporting activity outdoors without social distancing.
Portovelo sought clarification from Scottish Cycling, who confirmed that any club, whether or not affiliated to Scottish Cycling, could organise group rides that benefit from this exemption – but only if they followed Scottish Cycling guidance. In particular, that requires the club to appoint a Covid coordinator, and to keep records of the names and contact details of everyone taking part in each ride.
Separately, Portovelo has affiliated to Cycling UK and will therefore follow its guidance for group rides. This includes a lower maximum group-size of 15.
A Covid coordinator has been appointed. The Covid coordinator can be contacted via the club mailbox (email@example.com) using the subject-line FAO Covid coordinator.
In order to ensure Portovelo complies with Scottish Cycling guidance, all riders are asked to agree to a “Covid contract” before participating in any club rides. This is a code of compliance with relevant Covid restrictions, and also covers GDPR requirements in relation to the retention by Portovelo of riders’ contact details.
View the Covid contract here.
The Covid contract only applies to organised club rides (all of which are advertised on the Calendar page – principally the Sunday fitness-plus, fitness and intermediate rides). There is no exemption from the general Covid restrictions for informal rides that Portovelo riders organise for themselves.
Before the ride
Please remember that normal social distancing requirements apply until rides begin. On arrival at the bandstand:
- fitness-plus riders should assemble towards the beach
- fitness riders should assemble towards the Scottish Water building
- intermediate riders should assemble nearer the road.
Within each area, 2m distancing should be maintained between riders (as well as between groups).
If more than 15 people wish to take part in any group, some may be asked to join other groups. Alternatively, if there is an additional ride-leader available, two groups may be formed (e.g. two Intermediate groups). If neither is possible, it will be for the relevant ride-leader to decide which 15 riders can take part.
Before each group leaves, the ride-leader will record the names of all those participating. Riders who have not already agreed to the Covid contract and provided a contact phone number will be asked to do so.
All groups will leave promptly at the advertised time (to minimise the time spent as a large gathering), so please ensure you arrive ahead of that time.
During the ride
While riding, 2m distancing is not required and normal group-riding protocols apply. However, it is good practice not to ride closer to others than necessary – both for Covid-related and road-safety reasons.
All riders should take care to practice good hygiene while riding. If you need to cough, sneeze, clear your nose etc., drop to the back of the group first or, at least, turn your head away from other riders.
If the group has to stop for any period – e.g. for a puncture – riders should keep 2m apart from others in the group (except for riders who share a household). To avoid cross-contamination, it is better for the rider affected by a puncture or mechanical to fix the problem him/herself, but if others need to assist, they should sanitise their hands and any shared equipment immediately afterwards.
If the ride-leader splits a group at any point during a ride (e.g. faster and slower sub-groups taking different routes to the cafe), both parts of the group form part of the club ride and can complete the ride on that basis (without social distancing). But if any riders peel off of their own accord (e.g. to get home early), they no longer form part of the club ride and must observe the guidance that applies to non-organised activity (including social distancing).
If a group stops at a cafe, normal Covid guidance applies (in particular, 2m distancing). It is important for all riders to comply with this – to keep ourselves, cafe staff and other customers safe, and to uphold the reputation of the club. This may make it necessary for riders in a group to split up among many tables, or for only some to enter the cafe at a time. In some cases, a cafe stop, even if planned into the route, may prove unfeasible (e.g. if the cafe is already busy when the group arrives). It is always for the ride-leader to decide whether to plan a cafe-stop and whether a planned stop can go ahead.
Accordingly, all riders should arrive at the bandstand with adequate food and drink for the whole ride. It’s also a good idea to bring a face-covering for use in a cafe (or shop).
At the end of the ride
Portovelo club rides do not normally have a defined end-point as riders separate towards the end to make their own way home. All riders should remember that, once they are no longer part of the group under the direction of the ride-leader, normal Covid rules apply (including social distancing from other riders).