The UK coronavirus lockdown is not the time to go out browsing for a nice new bike, according to Cycling UK.
As Prime Minister Boris Johnson has banned people from leaving their homes for non-essential reasons, charity Cycling UK has urged riders to distinguish between essential and non-essential shopping trips.
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While shops selling non-essential items will be closed across the country, bike shops are allowed to remain open under the new government restrictions, as people are still allowed to cycle outside once a day for exercise.
But policy director at Cycling UK, Roger Geffen, said: “Cycling UK urges people to distinguish between essential and non-essential shopping trips. This is not the moment to go out and browse for a nice new bike.
“However, it’s another matter if you’re getting that neglected bike out of the shed so you can make essential journeys without relying on public transport or a life in someone’s else car and you therefore need to get a replacement tyre or inner tube, or to get the bike repaired by a professional mechanic.”
Cycling UK has welcomed the news that bike shops will remain open for anyone cycling for their essential journeys or for exercise and has encouraged people to jump on the bike instead of using public transport.
The British government has introduced unprecedented measures to help stop the spread of coronavirus, including banning people from leaving their homes.
Exceptions for the lockdown include shopping for basic necessities, one form of exercise a day including cycling, medical help, providing care to a vulnerable person, or travelling to work when absolutely necessary.
Shops selling non-essential items will also be forced to close, however bike shops are exempt from the closures.
Director of the charity Matt Mallinder said: “These are extraordinary times, but sometimes the most ordinary of activities can be part of the solution we need.
“Now is the time for people to get those bikes out of their sheds and use them on those short local journeys to work or to help a vulnerable person they might normally take public transport. Do it not just for your own health but also for our frontline workers on the NHS.
“More people cycling will help reduce the demand on public transport and make social distancing easier which will hinder the spread of the virus.”
He added: “Cycling can help us all to remain healthy, boost immune systems and also lift our spirits at a time when we could all do with cheering up. Right now, this is something we all need.”