The committee has been discussing the best way to return to riding in groups, now that government guidelines allow up to groups of 10. We understand that this will require some changes and it may not be perfect in its first editions, but with everyone’s input and effort, utilising the information available to us from the Department of Health and Government Guidelines, we do believe that we can get back out under the new normal.

Firstly, things unfortunately can’t just go back to the way they were before, so there will be change. This may require individuals to make some changes and this may not be your preferred option, however in order to fit into the government recommendation and the current environment, change will be required.

If you do not feel comfortable, returning to the peloton at this stage, that is completely understandable. This return is only for those who feel comfortable to do so, are healthy and are willing to follow the guidelines.

OPPORTUNITIES

There are some real potential opportunities that we can utilise under the new arrangements. We believe that in order to cater for everyone, we are looking to trial a number of new initiatives:

1. New start locations for riders. Under the new Health Guidelines, we can’t have large groups milling around, so we will be bringing the start locations to you. We are thinking of the following group ride start locations: Bus Shelter (as per normal), Warringah Mall, Seaforth Shops, Dee Why Service Station etc.

2. New routes – Why not look to explore some new routes? Up Allambie Road, for instance. Bringing back the Mosman Hills loop etc. This stops all of the groups just catching and mingling and also reflects the different start locations.

3. Different Start Times – Do we always have to ride so early in the morning? With so many working from home now, perhaps some of the rides can start later to reflect the lack of commute into the Office. Who could complain about that?

WHY?

Why do we have to implement these changes? In order to fit in with the updated regulations with social distancing and Government requirements with group numbers and to allow for tracing if it was required, we need to make these changes to allow for group riding to happen in a safe and relatively controlled environment. At this stage, each group will be limited to 10 riders.

HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO IT?

At this stage, we are going to require some individual responsibility and that will involve riders signing up to rides, prior to the morning. We will open up rides via Buncheur and riders will simply login and join a ride. Once that ride is full, riders will be required to sign up to another ride offered. This will allow us to provide tracing, for those who haven’t signed up to the COVID app and control the numbers on the rides.

The days of simply jumping on the back of a bunch are over.

We understand that may be inconvenient to have to sign up the evening before and sometimes your preferred ride may be full, but this will be the new normal. We hope that we can roll out lots of options, to keep everyone riding.It will also mean that the format of some of your favourite rides have to change as we will aim to keep the groups together as they ride. It will all be a test of how it works and a bit of practice.

Are we going to get it perfect the first time, no. Will we tweak it and look for other options, absolutely. This will require rider feedback and also require riders to take responsibility out on the road.

Not jumping in a group you haven’t signed up for, just because it doesn’t have 10 riders, is the first loophole that we can envisage people trying to exploit. The risk here is that this exposes the group to an inability to trace everyone on the ride, under a worst case. Quite simply, riders will have to be told to leave the group.

This is our opportunity as riders to lead by example.

When are are we going to start? We are going to look to roll this out from next week, a few groups will test the technology and process this weekend, we will reconvene the committee after they have done this, to try and iron out any issues and take in some feedback and tweak any glaring items.

Then it will be up to riders to suggest any preferred start points and times and we will try and get a consensus and get them all going. So your feedback will be appreciated.

Embrace the new rides, the new processes and lets bring back the Peloton.

Feedback welcome.

We will soon be providing our update on returning to racing.