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UPDATED ADVICE ON MOUNTAIN BIKING DURING PHASE 1 OF SCOTLAND’S ROUTE MAP THROUGH AND OUT OF THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PANDEMIC - 29/05/20

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout the lockdown, we have been working with the Scottish Government, sportscotland, other outdoor governing bodies and Scottish Mountain Rescue to provide relevant information and guidance to the mountain bike community to support the effort to contain the spread of the virus and to help safeguard volunteer mountain rescue teams and the emergency services.

The messages and guidance have been adopted by the vast majority of the mountain bike community who have refrained from travelling, riding closed trails and taking unnecessary risks with their riding, during this time. We thank everyone for getting on board and supporting our community and the Scottish Government throughout these unprecedented times.

This updated information has been issued following the publication of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lock down, today's press release from sportscotland and to support Phase 1 of the guidance for the mountain bike community.

The First Minister would like us to ensure that we communicate the message that the relaxation of the lock down restrictions in this phase is NOT a return to sport, but the start of a phased extension to exercise.

This guidance has been prepared to help you understand what that means for our sport.

All mountain bikers should follow these key points:

  • Plan in advance – Local trail centres, pump tracks and MTB skills areas are likely to remain closed at the moment but will be opening on a managed, rolling basis dependent on their local circumstances – check the facilities website/Facebook to see if the car park and trails have been opened. Natural rides – do your utmost to check car parking situation and choose a ride you have done before and know you are easily capable of riding it. Remember the to Do the Ride Thing and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
  • Minimise your Travel – you can now travel by car within your local area, broadly 5 miles, from your house to start your ride. Do not go further.
  • Parking – Park your car respectfully and, where possible, in a space away from other vehicles or next to cars where there is no sign of people getting in/out of vehicle.
  • Do not go far –we recommend riding smaller loops rather than one longer remote ride to minimise the chances of a complicated mountain rescue, should you get into difficulties, which could put more people at risk.
  • Ride well within your limits – only ride on trails that are that you have ridden before and you are very confident you will be able to ride safely and within your ability. Emergency services are still under pressure and it is highly unlikely that mountain rescue are back to full operations – consider the fact that a full rescue may not be possible and may take longer to get to you
  • Keep your distance – at meeting points/trail entry/pump tracks/skills areas maintain a strict 2m distance.
  • You can now ride with members of one other household, per day,  if you maintain strict social distancing – maximum of 8 people, ensuring that you keep a safe distance when passing other cyclists or pedestrians.
  • Be nice – we are all sharing busy local outdoor spaces. Saying hello, giving way, smiling and a friendly wave – can brighten up everyone’s day.
  • All indoor facilities including toilets will be closed.
  • Personal hygiene – wash your hands before and after your ride. Bring hand sanitizer with you. 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

People who are shielding should not go mountain biking. People who are symptomatic should self-isolate for 7 days; household members for 14 days as per info on NHS guidance. No one who is self-isolating should go mountain biking.Information on Scottish Governments approach to managing covid-19 is available at www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

Head of DMBinS, Graeme McLean, said:

“The guidelines from the Government along with those from other national bodies will continue to evolve and we will maintain our efforts to provide practical advice to the mountain bike community to help riders make the right decisions during each phase of this route map out of this crisis. The Scottish Government message in this phase that this ‘is not a return to sport but an extension to daily exercise’

“The vast majority of trail centres, pump tracks and skills areas will remain closed at the moment. However, we will continue our work with Forestry and Land Scotland, Local Authorities, businesses and communities to provide advice and support so they can open these facilities in a safe manner in local areas. All the trails, car parks and other facilities need staff to return to work to carry out trail inspections and risk assessments before opening.

“The reputation of the mountain bike community, as with all other sporting communities, will be under unique scrutiny at this critical time. The Scottish Government have made it clear that they will remove the right to exercise for sports who don’t follow the guidance. We urge mountain bikers to resume activity in a measured, sensitive and responsible manner.

We thank all cyclists, mountain bikers and riders for strictly adhering to this advice.”

We will continue to work with the Scottish Government, sportscotland, Scottish Cycling and other partners to develop clear guidance for outdoor sports enthusiasts in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

If you operate, manage or run a trail centre, pump track or MTB skills area - please see our advice on opening your facility

Image credit: Jake Gibbons

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