FIRST MINISTER’s STATEMENT 18/06/20 – SCOTLAND MOVING INTO PHASE 2
It is very encouraging to hear of the progress that Scotland has made in the controlling the spread of the Covid-19 virus and we understand that the Scottish Government is taking a very cautious approach to easing lockdown to continue this successful trajectory.
The statement has left us with some mixed feelings. Whilst it is obviously good news that the virus is being controlled and all our collective actions as mountain bikers regarding riding local and within our limits will be having an impact. However we do understand that riders, particularly those from urban areas, will feel a sense of disappointment around many aspects of the statement, especially, the continuation on the (broadly) 5 mile restriction of travel and the continued closure of car parks, which is likely to lead to further delays in some trail centres being opened.
We had hoped that the statement would have enabled more riders to travel further and get back to riding trails that you know and love. Please be assured, we are committed to supporting the re-introduction of mountain biking at all levels in a safe and responsible way. We are working hard to do this with our colleagues at Scottish Cycling, other outdoor sports governing bodies, sportscotland, Glenmore Lodge, Forestry and Land Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Mountain Rescue.
Continued compliance from the mountain bike community will greatly help us represent the views of our community and enhance the case for changing aspects of the current Scottish Government guidance within this Phase. So, we ask the mountain bike community not to investigate loopholes but rather continue to prevent the spread of the virus by doing the following:
• Ride local: You can still only travel by car, broadly 5 miles, to start your ride – we still recommend starting your ride from home and continue to explore local trails, paths and tracks.
• Be prepared: Trail centres, car parks, toilets and other facilities are likely to still be closed – 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.
• Ride Within Your Limits: Ride well within your limits to avoid the need for using the emergency services including mountain 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. Follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code at all times.
We, once again, thank the vast majority of the mountain bike community who have been amazing throughout lockdown, and the easing of Phase 1, and we hope that through continuing to follow guidelines we will see mountain biking opening up, hopefully during this Phase, and definitely into Phase 3 on (at least) 15th July.