Guidance for MTB Riders

ADVICE ON MOUNTAIN BIKING DURING PHASE 3 OF SCOTLAND’S ROUTE MAP THROUGH AND OUT OF THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PANDEMIC - 11/9/2020

We would like to thank the mountain bike community for continuing to follow guidance through each stage of this crisis. By doing so you are supporting the Scottish Government and protecting the wider public throughout these unprecedented times.

This guidance has been prepared through consultation with Scottish Cycling, sportscotland, Glenmore Lodge, other outdoor sports governing bodies, Scottish Mountain Rescue, Forestry and Land Scotland and the Scottish Government to help you understand what the changes within Phase 3 means for our sport. 

Please remember that these guidelines are drawn up to protect us all. Covid-19 has not gone away and remains a significant health care threat to the public.

Key considerations in Phase 3

Plan ahead: While travel for recreation and exercise remains unrestricted, we are urging riders to plan rides/trips carefully. Check our MTB Trail Centre Page to see if your chosen destination is open. Please also be mindful, there may be areas of localised outbreak of COVID-19. This may mean localised travel restrictions in and/or out of a certain area. Please check in advance.

Be prepared: Trail centres and other facilities will all be doing all they can to welcome us back safely, but may not yet be quite ready – do your research online in advance. Ensure you have enough equipment for your ride including extra clothing, food and water in case of emergencies and a delayed rescue. 

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. Do the Ride Thing and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code at all times.

Advice for Phase 3:

Plan Ahead

  • Think about your chosen destination – Are the trails open? Check our MTB Trail Centre page - up to date information regarding purpose built MTB facilities across Scotland to help you make the best choice for your ride or trip.
  • Overnight stays - all holiday accommodation, including hotels and self-catering accommodation with shared access, can reopen as long as establishments follow appropriate guidance. You can only use fully self-contained holiday accommodation including holiday homes, second homes and self-contained units in caravan and campervan parks, subject to the rules around the number of households who can mix.
  • Wild camping /bike packing - wild camping is now permitted, but campers are asked to respect the countryside and follow all the appropriate health guidance and the Outdoor Access Code Guidance.  New to wild camping?  Why not invest in this course from Glenmore Lodge to start you off safely.
  • Overnights with Friends – a household can meet up to 1 other household at a time – up to 6 adults  in total, although due to localised outbreaks - restrictions regarding overnight stays may be in place in certain areas.  Please check in advance.
  • Parking – please park with consideration for others and avoid blocking roads, driveways and access for other vehicles. If your chosen destination’s parking facility is overcrowded, please have plan B option.
  • Group rides – Restricted to 6 adults from 2 households, with physical distancing. Please consider only meeting with friends from your local area to minimise the risk of spreading the virus across different communities.
  • Organised group rides - For information on organised group activity for both children, young people and adults including mountain bike club activity, leaders, guides, coaches and instructor – please see our colleagues in Scottish Cycling’s guidance.
  • Maintain physical distancing of 2m with anyone that is not part of your household.
  • Personal hygiene - Be committed to hand hygiene and be cautious of touching surfaces eg gates, stiles. Hand sanitiser should be at least 60% alcohol based and detergent wipes are appropriate for the surface they are being used on.
  • Avoid sharing food, drink, mobiles or equipment with other people.
  • Cleaning of equipment, hand and respiratory hygiene are core measures to be implemented and provision should be made for these. Cleaning products should conform to EN14476 standard or any detergent is followed by chlorine releasing agent.  Detailed guidance and advice is available at www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/web-resources-container/covid-19-guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings/

Be Prepared

  • Have a Plan B - Prepare to be flexible and have alternative ride locations in mind if your chosen destination is busy or crowded – car parks in popular locations may be busy, or even closed.
  • Bike hire – check in advance and book online.
  • Litter - Take a bag to put your litter in and take it home – there is no excuse.
  • Equipment – Take enough food and drink for your ride and remember if you were to have an accident it may take longer for help to reach you – put an extra layer in your pack.
  • First Aid & PPE - Take your own first aid kit and include a COVID kit with sanitiser/soap, gloves, mask/ face covering.
  • Avoid longer and more remote rides – we would still advise that you do this. The entire population of Scotland is going back to the hills, and all outdoor user groups need to be mindful of the associated risks of larger numbers flocking to remote areas.  However if you are planning an epic, please plan your adventure carefully.
  • Emergency services including mountain rescue assistance are  adjusting to new covid-19 protocols – everything takes longer - should you need assistance be prepared to wait for rescue.

Be nice

  • Local Communities – Continue to be considerate. Local, especially rural, communities may be wary of large numbers of visitors and the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Smile & Wave – It is still a concerning and challenging time – please continue to be friendly, smile, wave and say hello and thanks when passing. At this time – more than ever it is important that we look out for each other.
  • Respect staff - Many staff are returning to work and may be wary about the risk of infection. Please treat everyone with respect and follow all reasonable directions. 

Who Shouldn’t Ride

Do not leave your home to undertake exercise or physical activity if Scottish Government advice means you should stay at home because you or someone you live with has or has had symptoms of COVID-19. 

People who are symptomatic should self-isolate for 7 days and 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/

Further information