With the reintroduction of the "Rule of 6" club rides have now been able resume again with a couple of rides going out on Saturday. As our area is in Tier 2, Government regulations again allow us to ride in small groups (in Gov’t speak - to socialise) outdoors in groups of up to 6. British Cycling have endorsed this and provide additional information for anyone who care to read more
The club ride protocols are all as they were before the recent restrictions but there is one change which will affect the way that rides will run this winter.
The change is that we must not socialise with anyone we do not live with or who is not in our support bubble in any indoor setting. Outdoors in OK in groups of up to 6. The implication for us is that, until we move into Tier 1 or the regulations change, as a group we will not be able to enjoy the in-side space in cafes.
This means that the club ride group organisers and ride leaders will need to be more creative in the way that they run club rides which will be very weather dependant week by week. In a normal winter we have all been reliant on the cafe stops helping to restore our body temperature, whilst now any stops have the opposite effect. This may mean that we have very brief take away cafe stops, arrange to stop towards the end of a ride or possibly have shorter non stop rides. Even meeting up in the car park at the end of the ride for a DIY coffee with your own flasks may work for some to have a sociable chat.
Riding in winter can very enjoyable, getting outside for some air and occasionally a few rays of sun, but this year we should think about taking along some extra items to help manage the cold when we stop. Whether that be an extra jacket and hat to put on at the stop, hand warmers to put some life into dead hands or a hot drink flask in lieu of a water bottle.
The important things this year will be getting out when it's safe to ride, socialising with our groups when we can and keeping our riding ticking over ready for better days in the spring.