ADVICE ON RE-OPENING TRAILS, PUMP TRACKS AND MTB SKILLS AREAS IN SCOTLAND (PHASE 1)

Introduction

Following the publication of the Scottish Government’s route map through and out of the Covid-19 crisis, this document provides outline advice from Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) to assist owners/managers/operators of mountain bike trails, pump tracks and MTB skills areas, to support a safe environment to reopen to visitors.

Update

Under this new guidance all trails, pump tracks and MTB skills areas can be opened, within phase 1. guidelines. All facilities should be operated in line with Scottish Government guidance on health, physical distancing and hygiene, which can be accessed at www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

Before Opening

  • Contact your Local Authority to ask for their advice on opening your facility
  • Contact your insurance provider to ensure your facility is insured when opening
  • Inspections and risk assessments of trails should be conducted with the following in mind:
  1. The priority should be on easy (Green) trails then through to Severe (Black) trails
  2. If a trail has been inspected within the timeframes outlined in your risk assessment then there is not the requirement to do a new risk assessment before opening (please check this with your insurer)
  • Gates or entry points - where possible minimise points of contact that are likely to see multiple people needing to touch them. Try to leave them open where possible.
  • Car parking – if you manage a car park as part of your facility seek advice from your Local Authority on good practice on managing their use.
  • Toilets – in line with Scottish Government guidance, all indoor facilities including toilets will remain closed.
  • Staff - ensure that relevant workplace guidance is followed by staff and ensure existing health and safety advice is maintained and aligned. This should be detailed in the risk assessment.
  • Signage – where possible provide signs (free downloads below) to encourage:
  1. - riders to maintain 2m distance
  2. - ride well within your own limits 
  3. - use your own hand sanitiser before and after touching anything at this facility
  4. - no spectating (except if parents/carers supervising a child or vulnerable adult)

Communications 

Please ensure the following is communicated on a regular basis using your social media accounts and website:

  • Travel only 5 miles – give riders clear instruction that they should not travel further than 5 miles to visit your site.
  • Car Parking – make it clear if car parking is possible at your facility and encourage riders to ride to the venue rather than drive.
  • Ride well within limits – recommend that only those who have ridden at your facility before and are very confident they will be able to ride safely and within their ability should visit. Explain that emergency services are still under pressure and, if appropriate, remind riders that it is highly unlikely that mountain rescue are back to full operations – help riders consider the fact that a full rescue may not be possible and may take longer to get to you.
  • Maintain social distancing – at meeting points/trail entry/pump tracks/skills areas riders should maintain a strict 2m distance.
  • Be nice – explain that we are all sharing busy local outdoor spaces. Saying hello, giving way, smiling and a friendly wave – can brighten up everyone’s day.
  • Spectators - Consider signage and communications in advance to discourage spectating, particularly, if there are areas where riders (or public) congregate to watch other riders. Spectating should be discouraged to avoid groups forming. (Parents/carers supervising a child or vulnerable adult are an exception to this, but they should ensure they remain physically distanced from others.)
  • Personal hygiene – tell riders they should wash their hands before and after riding. Bring hand sanitizer with them. Don’t share mobiles, equipment, food or drink. Detailed guidance is available at;

www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/web-resources-container/covid-19-guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings/

www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/hand-hygiene/

  • Who shouldn’t ride - no one who is self-isolating should undertake outdoor sports activity (as per NHS guidance, anyone symptomatic should self-isolate for 7 days, household members should self-isolate for 14 days). Consider including this on websites and other advanced communication to users, and on signage at facility.

Cleaning/hygiene

Along with leaving gates and entry points open where possible. Facilities should consider, if at all possible, cleaning regimes for any touch points and any non-essential equipment (e.g. benches beside pump tracks, skills areas). Please read more at the official guidance (below)
o www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/web-resources-container/covid-19-guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings/
o www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/hand-hygiene/

Signage (Free downloadable signs)

  • main infographic poster with key MTB messages (pdf)
  • riders should maintain 2m distance (pdf)
  • ride well within your own limits (pdf)
  • use your own hand sanitiser before and after touching anything at this facility (pdf)
  • Download all 3 facility posters (distance, within limits & hand sanitiser) - (pdf

We will be making available all the above posters in ai format if you wish to add your own facilities logo to the documents. 

Conclusion

Any new hazard needs to be properly understood before it can be managed. Covid-19 is a hazard that we are all learning to manage and live with. As we receive further information to assist in the safe ongoing management of your facility, we will advise as soon as possible. Further advice will also be supplied in advance of each phase of the lockdown route map.

We hope this advice helps you open your facility in a managed and safe manner. Please don’t feel pressured to open your facility until you feel it is safe to do so.

Image credit on banner: Jake Gibbons