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:
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