British Cycling Updated Guidance

Through this page we have aimed to answer all of your questions on cycling under the current restrictions, and what it all means for Clubs, events, facilities, coaches and others involved in our sport.

Our full library of guidance documents on safely resuming cycling activities and events can be found here. You can find the most up-to-date guidance for riding in Scotland here and in Wales here, and you should ensure that you follow all appropriate guidance when entering both countries.

This page was last updated on: Tuesday 22 December 2020.Most recent amends are highlighted with an ‘*’ at the end of the question.

What can I do if I live in a Tier 4 area in England?*

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday 19 December we are suspending all sanctioned activities in Tier 4 areas in England, with the exception of outdoor activities for under-18s and disabled people.

Staying active is important, and those living in Tier 4 areas can continue to cycle – however they must either do this alone, with members of their household/bubble or with one person from outside their household/bubble.

Those living in Tier 4 areas should not leave their areas to take part in cycling activities or events.

Organised outdoor activity, such as coaching and cycle sport, for under-18s and disabled people is permitted in Tier 4 areas provided the following are observed:

  • People do not travel into or out of their Tier 4 area to participate.
  • Parents, helpers and guardians only attend to enable participation by under-18s and disabled people, and always maintain social distancing of 2m+.
  • Participants, parents, helpers and guardians do not mix with people from different households e.g. by congregating at start and finish areas.
  • Coaches, officials and volunteers do not travel into or out of their Tier 4 area to support the delivery of activity.

Full guidance from the Government can be found here.

What activities are currently permitted to take place from Sunday 20 December?*

All outdoor activities currently sanctioned under The Way Forward guidance (such as club rides, coaching sessions, recreation programme activity and certain cycle sport events) are permitted to resume in England in Tiers 1, 2 and 3. These activities should ensure that they adhere to maximum group size limits (six people for club/group rides, 30 for coaching sessions).

All sanctioned activities are suspended in Tier 4 areas in England, with the exception of outdoor activities for under-18s and disabled people. Please see above for further guidance.

We are no longer able to sanction sportives or non-competitive events in Tier 3 areas. We are working with Sport England to understand options for safely resuming these events in Tier 3 areas and will provide an update in due course.

At the present time we are only able to sanction indoor events and activities for adults in ‘Medium’ (Tier 1) alert level areas, and here coaches and organisers must ensure that participants are in separate groups of up to six people which do not mix with other groups.

Indoor activities and events for under-18s, disabled people or for educational purposes can take place Tiers 1, 2 and 3, while adhering to our guidance in The Way Forward.

Can I travel to take part in British Cycling events and activities?*

This depends on your area’s alert level. Where possible, you should stay local and avoid travelling outside of your local area.

Medium (Tier 1): Yes, though people shouldn’t travel into ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) alert areas to take part in sport and physical activity. Travel into ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) areas which is necessary to enable disability sport, sport for educational purposes, elite sport or supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s to take place is permitted. In these instances, travel should still be minimised and kept to short distances only. You should not travel into a Tier 4 area.

High (Tier 2): Yes, travel for physical activity is allowed within and in/out of the area for sport and physical activity. People shouldn’t travel into ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) alert areas to take part in sport and physical activity, however travel into ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) areas which is necessary to enable disability sport, sport for educational purposes, elite sport or supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s to take place is permitted. In these instances, travel should still be minimised and kept to short distances only. You should not travel into a Tier 4 area.

Very high (Tier 3): People can travel within a ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) alert area to take part in sport and physical activity. They should avoid travelling outside their area, or entering another ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) alert level area, unless it is necessary to enable disability sport, sport for educational purposes, elite sport or supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s to take place. In these instances, travel should still be minimised and kept to short distances only.

You are also permitted to travel into/out of ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) areas if this is necessary to enable individual exercise (or exercise for people from the same household or support bubble). Where this is necessary (such as to access a green space for a bike ride), you should only travel a short distance and stay as local as possible.

If you are an adult taking a child into or from a Tier 3 area under the youth sport exemption, under the Government guidelines you should not compete in that event yourself, and you should follow the appropriate rules on spectating while there.

You should not travel into a Tier 4 area.

Stay at home (Tier 4): Those living in Tier 4 areas should not leave their areas to take part in cycling activities or events. People should not travel into a Tier 4 area to take part in cycling activities or events.

Can my group ride pass through other areas in different tiers?*

We know that many of you will often begin your ride in one area and cross into others as part of your normal routes, and this is vital to helping individuals to stay active and access quieter roads and green spaces.

Groups from ‘Medium’ (Tier 1) or ‘High’ (Tier 2) areas are permitted to pass through a ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) area as part of their route, however they should not stop for a break while in that area.

Groups from ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) areas are permitted to pass through ‘Medium’ (Tier 1), ‘High’ (Tier 2) or other ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) areas as part of their route, however they should only stop for a break while within their own area.

Groups should not pass into or out of ‘Stay at home’ (Tier 4) areas.

What is the current state of play for clubs, groups and British Cycling recreation programmes?*

Tiers 1, 2 and 3 Club, group and recreation programme activities can resume in England in Tiers 1, 2 and 3, and should still be limited to six riders. All participants should ensure that they comply with relevant travel guidance, which can be found in the question above.

Clubs and groups are now able to ride ‘one metre plus mitigations’ apart in all circumstances, rather than having to maintain a two metre gap. The ‘mitigations’ listed by the UK Government include being outdoors and being side-to-side (avoiding face-to-face contact), both of which are achieved in group riding.

Multiple groups of six are permitted to begin their rides at the same location, however groups should be kept wholly separate, start times should be staggered and they should take different routes if possible to prevent groups from merging together during the ride.

Social interaction before and after group rides should be extremely limited and only take place in line with legal gathering limits and other relevant restrictions. Groups from ‘Medium’ (Tier 1) or ‘High’ (Tier 2) areas should not stop for a break while in a ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) area, and groups from ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) areas should not stop for a break outside of their area.

Tier 4 All club, group and recreation programme activities in England in ‘Stay at home’ Tier 4 areas are suspended.

More detailed guidance for Clubs and groups can be found here, and further questions relating to British Cycling recreation programmes should be emailed to breeze@britishcycling.org.ukrideleader@britishcycling.org.uk or ridesocial@britishcycling.org.uk.

What about café stops?*

Groups from ‘Medium’ (Tier 1) tier areas should ensure that they adhere to the ‘Rule of 6’ at any mid-ride café stops, which prohibits groups of more than six from socialising together indoors or outdoors. If you live in a ‘Medium’ (Tier 1) area and travel to an area in a higher tier you should follow the rules for that area while you are there.

For specific rules on cafes and hospitality in ‘High’ (Tier 2) and ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) areas, click here.

Cafés in ‘Stay at home’ (Tier 4) areas are required to close.

Can I cross the border into Wales or Scotland on my ride?

We understand that many of our members live close to and often ride across national borders on their rides. If you are crossing into Wales or Scotland, our guidance is that you should not stop while in those countries unless necessary, and you should make yourself aware of any additional rules in place which may differ from in England. For example, in Wales riders out on a group ride should be two metres apart at all times, whereas in England riders are permitted to be ‘one metre plus’.

Further information on riding in Scotland can be found here, and for Wales here.

What about on Christmas Day?*

Areas in Tier 4 No change to Tier 4 restrictions – you can only meet one person from another household.

Areas not in Tier 4 On December 25, the rules of some social contact restrictions will be eased to enable families to spend Christmas Day together. You may see a maximum of two other households to form a ‘Christmas bubble’.

Christmas bubbles are permitted to ride together in any number, in the same way that a group of riders from the same household is also permitted to. However, if a group ride consists of riders from more than one household/Christmas bubble, you should always follow the Rule of Six.

For example, a Christmas bubble of five riders cannot join with two people from another household for a seven-person ride.

More details on Christmas bubbles can be found here.

What does this mean for coaches, leaders and instructors?

Tiers 1, 2 and 3 Outdoor coach-led activity can take place in groups of up to 30 participants, including coaches, per session.

At the present time we are only able to sanction indoor coaching sessions for adults in ‘Medium’ (Tier 1) alert level areas, and here coaches and organisers must ensure that participants are in separate groups of up to six people which do not mix with other groups.

Indoor activities and events for under-18s, disabled people or for educational purposes can take place in Tiers 1, 2 and 3, while adhering to our guidance in The Way Forward.

Tier 4 With the exception of activity for under-18s and disabled people, all coach-led activity is suspended.

Our full guidance for coaches, leaders and instructors can be found here. If you have any further questions, please email education@britishcycling.org.uk.

I’ve just turned 18. Do I still qualify for the youth sport exemption?

All young people who were under 18 on 31 August 2020 qualify for the youth sport exemption, even if they turn 18 during the remainder of that academic year.

What does the new guidance mean for cycling facilities like pump tracks and outdoor velodromes?

You can find our most up-to-date guidance for facility operators here. Further industry guidance is also available from UK ActiveSport England and the Gov.uk website.

If you are planning to attend a facility it is advised that you check with the facility operator beforehand to see if there are any changes to opening times or procedures.

As a British Cycling member, what does this mean for my third-party liability insurance?

British Cycling’s third-party liability insurance and legal support and advice member benefits remain in place for all Commute, Ride, Race Silver and Race Gold members.

Those riding in groups which comply with Government guidelines (see above) will be covered, but please note that insurance cover provided to members and Clubs will be invalid if they are wilfully contravening Government advice – ie. riding in large groups of more than six – or participating in activities which are currently suspended.

Is informal/self-organised group riding permitted?

Yes, informal or self-organised group cycling is permitted to take place in groups of up to six riders in all three tiers.

What support is there to help me keep active at this time?

British Cycling has a number of great initiatives to help people get and stay active at this time, including:

  • HSBC UK Let’s Ride Local – A new microsite containing all the information, inspiration and activities you need to enjoy cycling as a family.
  • Commute Smart – Learn to commute by bike with confidence through this great series of short videos, covering everything from planning routes to packing kit.
  • HSBC UK Ready Set Ride – Our free games and activities are perfect for teaching the little ones how to ride. We split the process into three simple stages: Prepare to ride; Balance; and Pedals.
  • British Cycling Ride Series – Virtually rub shoulders with riders from the Great Britain Cycling Team through our popular ride series, delivered in partnership with Zwift.
  • Sport England is encouraging people to share their own home workouts using the hashtag #StayInWorkOut

Is spectating permitted at cycle sport events?*

In ‘Medium’ (Tier 1) areas people can gather in groups of up to six (or larger groups if they are from the same household or support bubble) outdoors and indoors.

In ‘High’ (Tier 2) areas people can gather in groups of up to six (or larger groups if they are from the same household or support bubble) outdoors. Indoors, people cannot mix with others from outside their household or support bubble.

In ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) areas spectators should not mix with others from outside their household or support bubble indoors, however people can meet in groups of up to six at public outdoor sports facilities.

There is an additional risk of infection where people are shouting or singing in close proximity to others (particularly indoors and when face-to face). Spectators should minimise shouting or raising their voices.

Attendance at ‘Stay home’ (Tier 4) events is only permitted if it is necessary to enable participation by under-18s and disabled people. Social distancing of 2m+ should be maintained, and participants, parents, helpers and guardians should not mix with people from different households e.g. by congregating at start and finish areas.

I’m an event organiser – what support is available for me?

Our Events team are working to support organisers in safely planning their events. Our general and discipline-specific guidance for cycle sport events can be found here, and our team can also be contacted by email at events@britishcycling.org.uk.

How will this affect my ranking points and my ambitions to move up through racing categories?

Following internal and external consultation, British Cycling can confirm that events across all disciplines will be designated as non-ranking for the remainder of 2020, or until further notice.

Given that riders will not be able to claim ranking points, no rider will be moved down a licence category at the end of the year, while those who collected sufficient points to move up a category prior to the suspension of racing in March will be able to retain that higher category. We hope that the opportunity to race new formats across a variety of disciplines will encourage many new riders to come and get involved. Find out more here.

Still unsure about anything?

Click here to find out the best way to contact British Cycling.