A popular forest park in Devon has asked riders to “keep within your limits” after a cyclist was injured in crash, requiring medical attention.
The crash, which happened at Haldon Forest near Exeter on Friday (January 22), has prompted more discussion about the government’s “stay local” guidance for daily exercise during the coronavirus lockdown.
Management at Haldon Forest have asked the public to keep well within their limits when exercise in the woodlands and to stick to places they know well.
A statement from Haldon Forest Park, posted on Facebook, said: “Luckily there’s been no accidents in the woods for a while, until yesterday.
“In order to keep both ourselves and others safe and avoid extra demand on the NHS and emergency services during this current national lockdown, it’s really important that we all keep within our limits when having our once-a-day-local exercise.
“Keep to places you know well, that are well within your ability level.”
Park management also asked people to park responsibly and considerately.
Haldon Forest has a network of off-road trails for people of all abilities, catering to mountain bikers, gravel riders, and people wanting to hone their skills.
The spot has remained a popular location for people getting their daily exercise during the latest lockdown, but some people have been left confused about whether they are allowed to drive to the forest for their exercise. Haldon’s bicycle hire shop has remained open, which has also added to the confusion.
The government’s lockdown rules for England have already caused confusion, due to the vagueness of the “stay local” guidance.
Cycling groups have recently written to the government for urgent clarification over the ‘stay local’ guidance for exercise during the coronavirus lockdown.
Cycling Weekly asked its riders how the government guidance had impacted their riding, with some riders saying they were anxious about riding their bikes as they were concerned about breaching the rules.
In response to the confusion, which started when Prime Minister Boris Johnson was criticised for riding his bike seven miles away from home, British Cycling and British Triathlon along with charity Cycling UK have written to the government to ask for clarification.
The current government guidance for exercise in England says people should minimise the time spent outside of their home, but that you can leave home for exercise.
You can exercise outside by yourself, with the people you live with, with your support bubble, or with one person from another household.
But the guidance also says your exercise should be limited to once per day and you should not travel outside of your local area.