On March 13th, following the guidance from Canadian health authorities Cycling Canada recommended the postponement or cancellation of all events through May 1, 2020. On April 3rd, a decision will be made in regards to events that fall between May 2nd and June 14th. 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.
Can I still leave my house to ride my bike?
Canadians have been urged to stay at home to reduce the spread of the virus. At this time, Cycling Canada recommends that cyclists who are equipped to ride indoors strongly consider staying home for recreational riding and training. Cycling Canada is fortunate to have athletes such as Catharine Pendrel, Ross Wilson and Antoine Duchesne leading online Zwift rides, so if at all possible, we encourage you to keep an eye out on social media for those. We encourage you to do home workouts or exercise routines rather than heading outside for a ride.
While the Government of Canada has not prohibited outdoor cycling, your local health authority may have stricter policies that you should observe. If it is permitted where you live and you do decide to go out, it is critical that you practice physical distancing and good hygiene. At all times keep a physical distance of 2 metres from others and avoid crowded areas. Be self-sufficient on your rides and ride your bike responsibly. With such intense pressure on our healthcare system it is each of our responsibility to manage risk wherever we can. Stick to routes you know well that are close to home and avoid crossing provincial borders. Only go out for a ride once a day or as is strictly necessary. Additionally, please respect any national and provincial park trail closures.
Do not organize group rides, only ride with people you already live with. If cyclists do not practice proper social distancing, the government may feel it has no choice but to intervene and prevent all outdoor riding which has happened in some other countries.
What does this mean for clubs/cycling groups?
Our recommendation to clubs is that no organized activities (including rides, training, in-person coaching and events) should take place during this period, in line with government advice on social gatherings and non-essential travel. We would implore clubs to follow the advice set out in the ‘Can I still leave my house to ride my bike?’ section of this page. Set up online group rides to keep engaged with your community and video conferencing for coaching advice but do not gather.
How can I continue to keep active while adhering to government guidance?
There are many options for staying active in your home. Canada’s Sport Medicine Advisory Committee has recommended that athletes reduce their training regimens and instead exercise moderately indoors focusing on maintaining general health, working on stability, core strength and fundamental movement quality.
Cycling Canada will also be sharing the details on social media of online athlete-led Cycling Canada group rides. Additionally, we are following and sharing athlete home workouts and initiatives like Sara Poidevin’s #HealthyHabitsWithPoido which is encouraging people to stay healthy and active while staying indoors.
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, or 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.
When have cycling events in Canada been suspended until?
Cycling Canada has recommended that all events through May 1 be postponed or cancelled. The situation will be reassessed on April 3 for events that are scheduled between May 2 and June 14. 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.
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.
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 potentially 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.