Covid-19 - Update 4 June 2020

I hope that you and any family and friends are keeping safe and well, along with – perhaps – managing to fit in at least some cycling during the current situation. I am writing to let you know where we are with dealing with the pandemic situation and its effects on our cycling. Thank you to all those members who took the trouble to reply to my previous messages on the subject. Hopefully, you will understand that I can't reply to all because of the time that would be involved. Your individual views are appreciated, as is your commitment, whatever your views are.

Earlier this week, we held an AUK Board meeting to consider what steps we might be able to take to begin re-introducing validation of AUK events, as the individual guidelines or regulations from the various relevant governments and Crown Dependencies evolve.

We agreed that, in principle, as Audax UK, our preference would be act on a “one nation” basis, with any rule updates taking effect in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man at the same time. That, we feel, would be the simplest and fairest course of action.

However, we also agreed that the differing approaches being taken - by the government at Westminster and those in Edinburgh and Cardiff, in particular - could result in an event that would be within the guidance and legislation in one nation or even region being proscribed or restricted in another. This is not an insurmountable problem, but it does require event organisers, and members planning DIY routes, to give very careful consideration to whether their routes take them into or through regions with differing restrictions.

We agreed that the current suspension of all events will remain in place until July 4th at the earliest and that we will give organisers and members at least 2 weeks’ notice of any aspect of the suspension being lifted. If we are unable to lift any restrictions on July 4th, we will set a new date for formal review.

As a point of principle, we have agreed that we may validate events of shorter duration or individual/small group events such as Permanents and DIYs prior to re-commencing all events, but this will be entirely dependent on any further changes to the relevant guidance and legislation and individual organisers’ availability and willingness to support them. We will be talking to event organisers over the next couple of weeks to establish which events will or will not be feasible. Organisers will have total discretion over whether events that can go ahead will go ahead.

Given the current ban on overnight stays away from home in England and the general advice elsewhere that we should avoid unnecessary travel, event distances will be almost certainly be limited to 200km at first and we will strongly encourage riders to minimise travel to and from events. We will, of course, expect members to adhere to all the regulations applicable to their route. Whilst neither AUK nor its organisers can be expected to scrutinise every ride or route, any obvious breaches of the legislation or the guidance would invalidate a ride.

I do want to stress that the situation remains uncertain and we must retain the flexibility to respond to any new developments, whether positive or negative, but I hope that this update will reassure members that we do intend to bring back AUK events as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.

The Board will be meeting again in mid-June and I will report back to you after that.

Best regards

Chris Crossland

Chair, Audax UK