By Northampton Cycling Club
Published 07/24/2020; Updated 12/22/2020

The following is a message from the Northampton Cycling Club’s Board of Directors:

Dear NCC Member,

The board has discussed the wisdom of restarting Group Rides and holding a traditional BikeFest at every meeting since the start of the pandemic. At Monday night’s meeting, it was unanimously decided that running either activity is not in the best interest of the club or its members.

Based on our monitoring of the MA reopening plan, USAC Cycling recommendations and the lack of success of other states reopening, we believe that both activities are too risky. Therefore, group rides are cancelled for this year. BikeFest may be run as a creatively distanced fundraiser — stay tuned for details.

We interpret the Massachusetts reopening plan to prohibit organized group rides until Phase 4. Based on other state’s results, we expect this to happen sometime in August at the earliest. Not only are we near the end of the normal ride schedule, but our area will have an influx of students coincident with the restart.

We also have reviewed the safety requirements of running the rides and find them to be draconian. Our relaxed, conversational rides and exhilarating pacelines down the river would be replaced with mask and spacing requirements as well as rider limits. We do not believe that this experience is worth the risk.

We do encourage you to ride for better health and an improved immune system. The safest alternative is the Zwift Rides on the NCC calendar. If you plan to ride outdoors, we urge you to exercise good judgment and follow guidance issued by local, state and federal health agencies. If you choose to ride in a small group, please remember that it is just as important to prevent spreading the virus as it is to prevent catching it.

We hope that you and yours remain healthy and well,

The NCC Board