Since March 13th, following the guidance from Canadian health authorities, Cycling Canada has been carefully monitoring the global COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. As of May 25th, the recommendation is that all events on the domestic calendar should be postponed or cancelled until July 31st. On June 19th, Cycling Canada will propose a revised schedule for events to take place between August 1st and November. Due to the rapidly developing and evolving COVID-19 global health crisis, this FAQ is intended to address some of the most common questions and concerns from the Canadian cycling community and the planned return to cycling across Canada.
Can I still leave my house to ride my bike?
Cycling is recommended by health authorities as a safe way to stay active outdoors. It carries few risks when done solo or socially distant in a small group. Outdoor activities carry a lower risk of infection but the cycling community has a responsibility to strictly adhere to health guidelines, restrictions on group sizes and to practice social distancing with people who aren’t members of their household. It is important to remember, COVID-19 is easily spread through direct contact and droplets.
What does this mean for clubs/cycling groups?
As cyclists we are privileged to be able to practice our sport free of many of the restrictions or risks of other organized sport activities. However, there are precautions we have a responsibility to follow to reduce the risks and prevent the spread of the virus. Educate yourself on local health guidelines before gathering with anyone not from your household. Respect Provincial/Municipal guidelines on group sizes if you choose to gather with others for cycling activities. Solo rides remain safer than group rides.
All participants in any cycling activities should be symptom-free for the last 14 days at minimum. If you have travelled, have had contact with known or suspected COVID-19 patients, or have had symptoms in the last 14-days, do not participate in any group activities. During activities do not pass food, water bottles and take precautions, such as wearing a non-medical mask, to reduce the spread of droplets.
What precautions should I take when cycling?
To reduce the spread of the virus, cyclists should take precautions and adjust their behaviours to mitigate risk. Strictly adhere to group size restrictions and remain physically distant during the group activity. Wear a cloth mask to prevent droplet spread. If you have to cough, sneeze or blow your nose make sure you move away from other participants. Don’t pass food or water bottles amongst your group. Make sure you ride well-prepared so you minimize the number of stops required for water, food or mechanical assistance.
When have cycling events in Canada been suspended until?
Cycling Canada has recommended that all events through July 31st be postponed or cancelled. The situation will be reassessed on case-by-case basis for all events beyond that date. We are recommending that our provincial and territorial associations implement a similar process.
The Canadian government is urging all of us to work together to fight the spread of the virus by limiting all non-essential gatherings. The health and safety of Canadians is our priority so until further notice, we will not recommend that any events go ahead as originally planned.
I am an athlete, what mental health resources are available to me?
Cycling Canada has invested significantly in mental health and mental performance. Our national talent pool athletes all have access to support through our mental health and performance team. Athletes can also access this support directly from the practitioners, through the national team coaches, through the national team physicians or through their representatives on the Athletes Council. Athletes who are registered at a Canadian Sport Institute have access to resources through those organizations. Additional resources include GamePlan and Canadian Centre for Mental Health and Sport.
For emergency clinical support, we also encourage athletes to contact local health agencies. Any athlete who is struggling is encouraged to contact Cycling Canada so we can connect them with the support they need.
Will postponed and cancelled races get new dates?
Cycling Canada will work with organizers, the UCI and provincial partners once the health crisis is under control to determine whether events postponed or cancelled are able to receive new dates. A new calendar with events on the domestic calendar scheduled between August and November will be presented by June 19.
I am an event organizer – What should I do next? Who should I contact for more information?
Organizers of sanctioned local, regional or provincial level events should contact their respective provincial cycling association. Organizers of sanctioned national and/or international events should contact Cycling Canada. Cycling Canada, along with our provincial partners, are equipped to assist organizers in assessing the status of their event and make recommendations based on evolving public health guidelines.
How will race cancellations affect my points and ranking?
With fewer events and opportunities to race, the suspension of all racing could greatly impact athletes who were looking to 2020 to progress through the categories or rankings. Cycling Canada is mindful of athletes’ concerns and will monitor the situation carefully once racing resumes.
Can you direct me to additional travel, health and safety resources?
If you are looking for health and safety guidelines and resources, we recommend you consult the Health Canada, World Health Organizations, or your municipal and provincial health websites. Here are additional recommendations from the Government of Canada on mass gatherings and travel advice.
How can I support the Canadian cycling community through this crisis?
Our provincial associations, clubs and event organizers depend heavily on membership and participant fee revenues to support operations and deliver programs and events every year. Like many organizations there will be significant challenges for these entities through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. You can support our cycling community by going ahead and purchasing your provincial association or club membership now like you would any other year. You can also donate to your local club, provincial association or to Cycling Canada here. If you would like your donation directed to a specific club, PSO or event please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with instructions.