By Jonny Long
British Cycling have advised all cycling clubs to suspend organised activity in line with the Government's social distancing measures, which are intended to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
The governing body has given further advice on how individuals can continue safely riding, asking cyclists to only use routes they know well, which are close to their home, adding that this is a "time for calm recreation, not for challenging yourself".
London's Royal Parks were shut to motorists at the weekend after the public descended on the green spaces following the Government ordering pubs shut on Friday. They went on to ask cyclists to stop riding in groups or the parks would have to close completely.
British Cycling have echoed this advice, saying people will only be able to keep riding if they "continue to behave responsibly".
They also announced the suspension of cycling events would be extended until June 30 and that they will try to reallocate dates for cancelled events when the possibility of holding sporting events returns.
In their statement, British Cycling said: "Given the ongoing uncertainty around the Coronavirus/COVID19 outbreak, and the developing Government advice and guidance, British Cycling has taken the decision to extend its current suspension on sanctioned cycling activities to June 30.
"With all Government guidance pointing towards a period during which the nation is being urged to come together to fight the spread of the virus, and the unprecedented burden currently on our emergency and public services, we felt that this is the most responsible – and only – course of action we could take at this moment.
"We are acutely aware of the impact that this situation has had on individuals, communities and businesses within cycling and beyond. We’d like to take this opportunity to reinforce that, while we share in the disappointment of those affected by this extended suspension, we will do absolutely everything within our power to ensure that cycling can return with strength and as soon as possible.
"This suspension period will include the dates originally set for several traditional milestones of the competitive cycling calendar. As with the vast majority of sports – while our primary focus will always be health and wellbeing – we will be exploring all options regarding the fulfilment of the racing calendar once sporting events can recommence.
"Our recommendation to our clubs remains that no organised activity (including rides, training, coaching, events) should take place during this period, in line with government advice on social gatherings and non-essential travel.
"However, riding a bike is a great way to aid your physical and mental health, provided that guidance on social distancing is followed. British Cycling would urge all cyclists to only ride on routes you know well, that are close to home and that are well within your ability level - this is a time for calm recreation, not for challenging yourself.
"Now, more than ever, we must ride our bikes responsibly - that means only going out on our own, or with people we live with, and keeping two metres apart from anyone we meet, stopping and waiting for people to pass when necessary. We're doing this to protect ourselves and others, and to make it safe for everyone to ride.
"If the cycling community continues to behave responsibly then we all hope to keep the roads and trails open for use, so that we can all manage our health during the coming weeks and months."
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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