We’re now beyond our tenth, yes TENTH week of our Managed AdHoc ride program. Its been such a success that I want to take a moment to congratulate all that have made this such a great program. First and foremost thanks to our Ride Leaders that have stepped up and adjusted to the new world we live in. Thanks to your Board for having the faith, confidence, foresight and courage to demonstrate the leadership in the cycling community that this club has always displayed. Thanks to our sponsors for having the faith in this club to do the right thing. Lastly, thank you to all the participants for their patience, hard work and smiles in support of these rides.
Going into this, your Board of Directors knew there were a percentage of cyclists on the road regardless of whether the club had our rides running. With a lack of ride choices, they were sometimes putting themselves into unsafe situations. As our medical experts learned more and more about how this virus spreads, it became very apparent that cycling is a very low risk activity as long as the groups are kept small and there is no sustained contact between the participants. Your Board felt that if we couldn’t contribute to a safe and healthy alternative during the pandemic, our relevance to our members would be in question.
STCC felt it our responsibility to find a way to provide a safer ride environment for our members in the middle of a pandemic. There were some basic criteria that had to be met before we could confidently put any club supported groups back on the road.
- That environment had to provide the safety of riding in a group on the road
- The rides had to be led with qualified STCC Ride Leaders, with the process and controls for which our rides are known.
- The rides would include other club benefits, like the supplemental insurance in case of accidents
- The environment also had the unfortunate necessity of limiting the impact and exposure on the rides of any positive Covid case. We did not want a single case to shut down all the rides or risk possible exposure to everyone in the area.
- The rides had to guarantee that the groups stayed small and did not exceed the size of 10 both recommended by health experts and mandated by our governor.
- To limit exposure, whatever method was selected, we could no longer have large groups for multiple rides gathering in the same location.
- Most importantly, there had to be a method of contact tracing, to be used in the event of exposure. If a positive case was reported, we had to have the capability of quickly reaching out to the participants with the confidence that EVERYONE on that ride was notified of possible exposure.
We checked all those boxes with our Managed AdHoc rides. By limiting the rides to Members only and requiring everyone to pre-register, we have been able to tie that registration to our membership system with all the associated contact information. Ride Leaders do not allow anyone not registered to roll with the group.
We have now have 16 Ride Leaders (and growing) rolling their own Managed AdHocs weekly, each from their own start locations. Since we started rolling this out in late July, we have put over 1,200 cyclists on the road without a single Covid incident. Other groups in the area have been watching and are now replicating this process for their rollouts. We thank those groups for their leadership in the community as well.
We know group rides aren’t for everyone just yet and we have a long way to go before we get out of the crisis. Many of us are in high risk categories that make getting Covid-19 a dangerous proposition. Others just aren’t ready for the groups. Cycling is a low risk activity, but nothing is no risk. Just be confident that when you are ready, STCC has a proven solution for you and your group rides. Give thought when you join rides that have no club support and see how many of the items in our checklist you can mark off. Large groups, like the 30-40 we’ve been regularly seeing lately, are not safe for so many reasons, but especially in these Covid times. Whatever you do on your bike, be safe and Just Ride Your Bike!
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