Message from the CRW President
Two and a half months of home confinement. We’re all going a bit stir crazy. My wife and I got a puppy and named her Covie. Yup, definitely a bit crazy.
We announced the closure of CRW group rides on March 16th. Things were moving quickly back then. Previously, on March 13th, I had announced that we were shutting down CRW social gatherings but continuing the ride program. We paid close attention to government and public health news and watched what other bike groups were doing. As a result, we reversed course only 3 days later.
As we enter June 2020, new cases of Covid-19 are finally declining and Governor Baker is beginning the process of re-opening business and recreation in Massachusetts. Many CRW members are anxious to get back on their bikes and some are asking when we will re-open our group rides.
Covid-19 Task Force To get a handle on this, I’ve convened a CRW Covid-19 Task Force with representation from Board Members, Ride Leaders, and those with medical and legal expertise. Steve Carlson (evp [at] crw.org) is co-chairing this task force with me. The Task Force’s mission is to figure out how and when we will re-start group rides. Neither question is easy and the “When” is downright impossible at the moment. The Task Force had its first meeting on March 20th and tabled the “When” until we gather more information. At the moment, we are in touch with other bike clubs, but we are not seeing any re-opening. We are also awaiting definitive announcements from governmental authorities on when group riding should begin. We are also awaiting clarification from our insurance company that they are providing liability coverage to CRW and its volunteers.
Ride Leader Feedback The “How” we run group rides when we re-open is complex and our Rides Committee will solicit feedback from all our Ride Leaders to understand their concerns about leading rides in this environment. Much will change and a great deal of the impact will be felt by them. I want to emphasize that Ride Leaders need only run rides if they are comfortable with the Covid-19 restrictions established by the club.
Procedures CRW will require many new procedures when group rides re-start. Some of the changes being considered are:
- Posted rides will not include an exact route or start location.
- To limit group sizes, riders will be required to sign up for rides. Sign up may include a request for a specific start time; riders may also be grouped by pace.
- During sign up, all riders will sign new waivers with language about transmissible diseases.
- Only after signing up will a rider be given a start location and route.
- Registered riders will receive a ticket that must be presented at the ride start.
- To ensure social distancing, riders should arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to the ride start time and stay near their car (or away from others) until shortly before the ride begins.
- Rides will be limited to club members only.
- Riders must be prepared to navigate using a GPS device or a cue sheet (which they must print for themselves).
- Face masks will be required and all riders must stay at least 60 feet apart while cycling.
- Riders must carry sufficient food and water to sustain them for the ride. They must be prepared for the fact that public restrooms are unlikely to be available.
- Carrying bike tools as well as hand sanitizer and latex gloves will be encouraged for all riders.
- Separate considerations may need to be made for recurring rides.
Re-opening is a lot harder than shutting down. We fully understand that our proposal will seem too rigid for some and not rigid enough for others. As always, we will look to you to join us, if and when you feel comfortable to do so. Things will not be the same for a while. There are many questions that still need to be answered such as, what group sizes are allowed. Your cooperation is assumed and needed. This will not be easy for any of us. If we see situations with rogue riders or unsafe practices, we may need to impose additional restrictions or close down rides again.
Technology will be needed to institute the sign-ups, dissemination of route information and handle wait lists. Because group sizes will be limited, CRW rides will be limited to CRW members for the moment.
New Normal This is the foundation of the “New Normal”. We ask for your patience and we ask you to pass along information that you feel is relevant to the task force. I will keep you informed about our progress and thinking.
Comments Please send your relevant comments to Steve and myself. Because of the high volume of emails regarding these issues, I ask that you don’t email to plead for immediate re-opening.
Task Force Members I thank the members of the Task Force who are working with us on this critical issue:
· Jack Donohue (CRW Webmaster)
Stay Safe and Stay Healthy!