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Updated advice on mountain biking during the coronavirus pandemic

By Gavin Musgrove

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Scottish Cycling has been working with the Scottish Government to clarify and update the guidance on participation in mountain biking during the pandemic.

The guidance makes it clear that mountain biking is permitted as part of a daily exercise routine during this time but that any activity should be undertaken in line with latest public health advice.

All mountain bikers should follow these four key points:

* Only ride from your home – it is not essential travel to go mountain biking or cycling and you may face enquiries from the police if you are stopped enroute or returning from a ride. All Forestry and Land Scotland car parks and trails, including the 7stanes sites, remain closed.

* Do not go far – whilst you can go exercise for longer, we recommend riding close to where you live and not into remote areas – think more smaller loops rather than one longer remote ride.

* Ride well within your limits – only ride on trails that are that you are very confident you will be able to ride safely and within your competency. It is highly unlikely that mountain rescue are back to full operations – consider the fact that a full rescue may not be possible and may take longer to get to you.

* Only cycle with members of your own household - keep a safe distance when passing other cyclists or pedestrians.

Graeme McLean, head of CS' Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, said: “We are very supportive of the Scottish Government's efforts to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible during this difficult time.

"We also know that cycling, including mountain biking, has a positive effect in terms of both physical and mental health.

"We know there are parts of mountain biking which are risky and we are all keen to stress that we do not want to encourage anybody, including cyclists, to undertake activity where they may get into difficulty and require assistance from the emergency services including mountain rescue.

"We are living in unprecedented and challenging times and it is clearly vital that everyone maintains strict social distancing measures and public health guidelines to ensure we minimise the spread of the Coronavirus.

"We thank all cyclists, mountain bikers and riders for strictly adhering to this advice.”

SC and DMBinS have said they will continue to work with the Scottish Government, sportscotland and other partners to develop clear guidance for outdoor sports enthusiasts in relation to the coronavirus outbreak.

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