Covid-19 - Update 17 June 2020

I am very pleased to be able to let you know that, following an AUK Board meeting earlier this week, we plan to recommence validating Permanent and DIY AUK rides of up to 200km from August 1st.

As I mentioned in my letter to you earlier this month, we were very keen that AUK should act on a “ whole nation” basis, with any resumption of validation taking effect in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man at the same time.

Members of the Board have spent a lot of time and effort following the pronouncements of politicians, considering the guidelines issued subsequently, and examining the legislation that is supposed to underpin it all. Not all items of this information have proved to be compatible with each other. When multiplied by several administrations, this has caused us multiple problems in working out a way forward.

Fortunately, it seems reasonable to expect that we will see the different sets of regulations and guidance - at least as directly relevant to randonneur cycling- converging towards alignment in the next few weeks, which should mean that we will be in a position to restart validation for all of our members, including those overseas, at the same time. It may be that a particular region or part of the UK is still (or becomes) subject to local restrictions that would prevent either re-commencement on the 1st of August or the continuation of events at some later point. In that instance, our intention would be to, in effect, "quarantine" that region, while still allowing events elsewhere. Permanents ridden on foreign soil (PROFs) should only take place where they are explicitly permitted in the areas in which they take place.

There may still be some differences in the rules covering the number of people who may gather or ride together and I would remind all members that they must comply fully with any requirements specific to the region in which they are riding.

I also strongly encourage riders to minimise travel to and from events.

Organisers will have total discretion over whether to offer any, or all, of their usual events. Those that are available will be open for entry on the web site and/or by post from August 1st;. DIY riders will be able to enter their events at the same time. Please bear with organisers if they take a little longer than usual to respond to inquiries or validate rides as, like many of us, they may have other more pressing demands on their time at the moment.

Completed events will qualify for distance points, altitude points, fixed wheel points etc., as usual, although all championships will remain suspended. Distances covered will be eligible for Brevet and Randonneur awards if appropriate, including annual and multi-year awards. For multi-year awards such as Brevet 5000 and Brevet 25,000 we will be looking at ways in which the time period may be extended to take into account the break in validations.

If you have been working towards a RRtY award, you will have a six month ‘grace’ period in which to restart the calendar and recommence your monthly rides. Once restarted, you will still need to complete your 12 rides in consecutive calendar months.

All of this is, of course, based on our current understanding of the various regulations and guidance in place to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus and we may have to revise this should there be a significant change of circumstances, such as a second spike in infections leading to lockdown measures being reintroduced. However, I am optimistic that we will be able to re-start as planned and, over time, be able to start re-introducing longer DIYs and Perms as well as, eventually, calendar events.

On behalf of the Board I’d like to thank all members for their patience and understanding during these uncertain times and for the many messages of support we have received. Some of those messages included queries, which I hope to respond to as soon as I can.
I look forward to seeing at least some of you on the road again soon.

With best wishes,

Chris Crossland

Chair, Audax UK