Cycling During Lockdown

We have put together the following guidance about how to cycle safely and responsibly during lockdown, and also to reduce the risk of infection while travelling for essential journeys for daily exercise, shopping or to get to/from work by pedal cycle.

commuter cycling along road

Should we cycle?

Yes! Daily exercise outdoors is permitted under current lockdown restrictions. The benefits of cycling are well documented and contribute to our health and well-being. However, each rider must consider what is a reasonable cycle journey. At a time of increased pressure on the health service taking unnecessary risks (such as extreme or very remote off-road routes, or descending at race speed) should be avoided. DO NOT GO OUT if you are feeling unwell or displaying any symptoms.

Planning well in advance, anticipating and responding to situations as they arise; these are the hallmarks of a safe and responsible cycling strategy. The four core functions from the National Standard for Cycle Training provide a useful guide to the essential skills for cycling during lockdown.

Think ‘look’

Make good and frequent observations

Be aware of what is happening around you at all times. Is the road behind clear of traffic? Do you have enough time and space to change riding position? Is there anyone who needs to know your intentions at the junction? When sharing space with other people during lockdown – cycle riders, pedestrians, horse riders, drivers – being aware of the time and space you and they need to perform manoeuvres is critical. As a minimum, look behind before communicating intentions or changing riding position.

Think ‘position’

Choose and maintain the most suitable riding positions

If you are out in public during lockdown you must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from other people at all times when cycling, and avoid riding in others’ slipstream.

To keep a safe distance:

  • Cycle on your own or with members of your household
  • Avoid riding in the slipstream of someone who is not of your household (advice on distance varies: two examples here and here)
  • Ride well away from the kerb when passing pedestrians, after checking there are no other road users behind you first
  • Move near the centre of the lane to encourage others to give you more room when they pass.

Think ‘communicate’

Communicate your intentions clearly to others

With more people out walking and cycling during lockdown, good communication is vital for maintaining physical distance. Let people know what you’re going to do first, but only if there is someone to communicate to. Changing riding position, providing arm signals and making eye contact are all useful ways to communicate your intentions to others, particularly at junctions and in traffic. A friendly verbal call when approaching other cycle riders or pedestrians will let them know you are there and wish to pass them. It is also courteous to say hello to others who are sharing the road: be friendly when you are out and about – we are all in this together.

Think ‘priorities’

Understand priorities on the road, particularly at junctions

You must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from other people at all times when cycling, and avoid riding in others’ slipstream.  Knowing who has priority at each stage of your journey – setting off, passing slow-moving or stationary vehicles, negotiating junctions, finishing the journey – will help you achieve this. At junctions, the same rules of the road apply to motor vehicles and pedal cycles. Sticking to the rules removes confusion and makes the road environment a more predictable for everyone.  Understanding ‘who goes first’ helps all road users have the time and space they need to complete manoeuvres safely and responsibly while maintaining physical distance during lockdown.

Further information from partner cycling organisations

Visit Cycling UK

Visit British Cycling

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