Hi everyone

I guess we ought to get the latest Covid-19 government guideline/rule update out of the way!

The most recent announcement, on 22nd September, means there is not a great deal that changes in what we can do as a club. In England, we can still conduct social (and socially distanced) runs for up to six people, and we can carry out observed runs. Many people have been taking advantage of the smaller social runs and we hope that this will continue; if you haven’t led a run yet, then have a chat with your team leader about what’s involved; there’s lots of help and guidance available. Remember that if you are on a social or observed run and you go into another country (e.g. Wales) or into an area of England that is in lockdown, then the rules are different so please plan ahead.

We have had a couple of questions raised about who is allowed to participate in social runs.
We categorise social runs to help make it clear what sort of run the run leader is planning:

  • A   Skilled/progressive for confident riders on all types of road. Aimed at smaller groups.
  • B+ More progressive pace (than a ‘B’) for the confident, focused rider.
  • B   Medium paced, relaxed ride.
  • C   Leisurely paced with no overtaking within the group. Suitable for first timers.
  • T   Team training run – observed/social ride with an element of coaching.

We hope that the categorisation will encourage the right sorts of riders onto the runs and members will not be discouraged from participating in runs that they consider appropriate. If you see someone new on a run, then please go and say ‘hello’! They may not know anyone else and be feeling a bit left out – so please make the effort to include everyone.

The updated government rules do mean that other activities, particularly face-to-face social meetings, St Crispin’s meetings and most of our trips and courses, including Look, Lean, Roll are not possible now.

Local teams are continuing with video meetings and the virtual St Crispin’s meeting, at 9am on the third Sunday, is gaining in popularity. We have test pass announcements now, with 17 (including 8 F1RSTS) announced last month. The virtual St Crispin’s also has ‘breakout sessions’ for the Trainee Observers and one for those interested in becoming an Observer. You can join the virtual meeting via the link on the facing page which is also on the Groups.io calendar.

The Training Team has been updating the Highway Code quizzes. There are two levels available, and both levels have new questions. And did you know we host these quizzes for other groups, including Bristol, Bournemouth & Wessex, Cheltenham & Cotswolds and Hull & East Riding? Why not check out your level of knowledge on the Highway Code and related areas here www.tvam.org/ highway-code-quiz/? It’s all for fun and the scores are private – even I don’t get to see them!

Although some difficulties remain around face-to-face and larger group activities, we can get out on our bikes, there are some great social runs going out and we can do observed rides too – so let’s make the most of it. Some local teams are arranging sessions for Associates to get observed rides with different Observers – so do ask your team leader about these if you’re interested.

I’m sure we all see many examples of people out there on the roads that appear not to be fully aware of what’s going on around them, so do take time to apply the advanced riding principles – and have fun!

Chris Brownlee
Chief Observer