The last week and a half has been quite stressful for the SPR committee. Every day there has been a discussion on what the clubs response will be to the Covid-19 pandemic. An important outcome of this discussion was the development of the Pandemic Strategy which showed just what our response will be at each stage.
Last week we moved to level 3 which meant that rides were still on but we were not recommending stopping at coffee shops. We believe that the risk of infection was greater when people congregated around common shared surfaces. This was our recommendation leading into this weekends rides.
However, the discussion about moving to level 4 has continued around the following points – What is the trigger for moving to level 4, and what is the trigger for coming back off level 4? Our biggest concern has been how long this will last and therefore if we move to level 4 too early, after a while, people will get complacent when they should be getting vigilant.
We decided that a good trigger would be the closure (and reopening) of gyms. Being a niche sport, we were pretty sure that there would not be a government directive pertaining to cycling in this respect. Gyms, however, were the closest business that we thought the government could mandate on. Today, the PM announced that all gyms would be closed, so we are using this as our trigger to move to level 4.
What this means is that all SPR organised rides will be cancelled. It is now up to you to make the personal choice as to whether you ride or not, who you ride with and where you ride. The club is in the process of organising a number of Zwift rides for both during the week and weekend. We realise that not everyone has easy access to a Zwift setup, but for now that is all we, as a club, can provide.
The current advice from Cycling Australia is that groups of no more than 10 people should be riding together. Again, this is now your personal choice and may actually change in light of the PM’s announcement. If you are looking at organising a small group, please refrain from using the SPR social media pages to do that. The risk of more than just a few people turning up will be too high.
Although it seems that the government has forced our hand, this decision has not been made lightly and the discussion has been robust on both sides. While we appreciate that this is such a divergence from what we are all used to doing, the club will be here when we come out the other side. Please continue to stay social on social media. It is important for the club to be both inclusive and social even if we are not riding together. After all, those are two of the founding cornerstones.