NEMBA COVID Guidance for Rides & Trail Care Events

Friday, April 9, 2021

NEMBA COVID recommendations for NEMBA rides & trail care sessions

 

As the warm weather approaches and trails dry out, we recognize that there is an increased demand for group rides and trail work days. Please consider the guidelines below, as well as the state by state guidelines, when organizing and hosting a group ride, trail care event, or other event. We all want to ride bikes, let’s just do it safely!

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Follow state & local guidelines (see links below as these change frequently)

  • Ensure you have a participant list with contact information in case contract tracing efforts are needed. This is a requirement.

  • Try to keep groups to 10 or less. Split larger groups as necessary. 

  • Wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

  • Respect the wishes of volunteers who request a more strict approach. Every individual has their own risk tolerance.

  • All participants must also sign the NEMBA Annual Waiver.

  • Email office@nemba.org with information of any upcoming events.

  • Very importantly, all guidelines still apply irregardless of any individual’s vaccination status.

 

Background:

Out of an abundance of caution most NEMBA chapters put a hold on Trail Care days and Group Rides as the Covid-19 Pandemic escalated. As vaccination efforts continue, and studies suggest extremely low transmission rates while outdoors, NEMBA looks forward to resuming trail work days and group rides. Recently, it seems like everyday one or more of the New England states relax their recommendations and guidelines. Their overriding concern though, of course, is still safety. NEMBA must follow at least the minimum guidelines set by each state. But these state guidelines vary in their directives. So, we have developed recommendations that support the cautious resumption of group rides and trail care sessions. See state by state restrictions at the links below.

 

NEMBA Recommendations for Group Rides

  • Group rides are allowed in all New England states. The permitted size of those groups varies. NEMBA is recommending group sizes of 10 people or less. When more than 10 people are expected our recommendation would be to divide up into smaller groups. This reduces interruptions to other trail users and helps keep things safe and fun. But we leave it to local chapters and their ride leaders to determine what is best for them.

  • If you anticipate more than 10 attendees to a ride, break into smaller groups and physically disperse the groups (example: direct one group to the north end of the parking area, the other to the south etc. Or, plan different meet-up locations for the groups. Your goal is to avoid creating a large congregation of people in the same area)

  • NEMBA requires using some method of rider registration or participant recording so that in the event of needing to track an individual’s contacts, you can provide that information. Please record the name and phone or email for each participant. 

NEMBA offers Eventbrite registration, with a Covid-19 questionnaire for any individual or chapter that wishes to use it. But Eventbrite is just one option. Many chapters just keep a record of attendees. Either by pre-signing up people or taking names and email addresses at the ride. 

  • Maintaining at least 2 bike lengths between each rider ensures physical distancing.

  • If the ride stops for any reason, encourage social distancing there as well and mask up.

  • Wear masks when gathering (at the start of the ride, working on a trailside repair, etc.)

  • Ride with a mask at the ready so that you can quickly put it on if you come across other trail users where you can’t maintain a social distance of at least 6’. Or better yet, leave it on. While a mask is primarily a courtesy to others, it also provides protection for you.

  • Exaggerate your courtesy to other trail users. When encountering other trail users, slow down or stop and move off the trail to provide room for people to pass and maintain social distance. Say hello, but give everyone space.

  • For now, don’t linger together in groups before or after rides. We can get our “social” back on when the pandemic diminishes further. This also means no social food gatherings after rides for now.

  • Try not to overwhelm a riding area. If a riding area is busy, try to find an alternate time or location to ride.

  • Respect parking regulations. Parking has become a problem at many riding areas due to the influx of new trail users. If a parking area is full, find another legal place to park.

  • We leave it to local chapters to decide what is best for their area and the comfort level of their ride leaders.

  • Bring hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, etc. Most states require providing sanitizing materials at events.

  • Volunteers and participants should remain home if not feeling well, if they have received a positive COVID test, or if they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID.

  • All the above health and safety guidelines still apply irregardless of any individual’s vaccination status

  • When a NEMBA chapter wants to schedule a group ride, send an email to . That way your event will be covered by NEMBA’s insurance.

  • All participants must also sign the NEMBA Annual Waiver

  

Currently, larger group events (MBAS, etc) are on hold. Some chapters have begun planning for fall 2021, but most states currently restrict large events. Further guidelines will be developed as needed to accommodate for larger events.

 

NEMBA Recommendations for Trail Care Events

  • Limiting trail care groups to 10 people or less. If a larger group shows up, please split into small groups. Ensure there are enough volunteer leaders to manage demand.

  • NEMBA requires using some method of participant recording so that in the event of needing to track an individual’s contacts, you can provide that information. Please record the name and phone or email for each participant.

NEMBA offers Evenbrite registration, with a Covid-19 questionnaire for any individual or chapter that wishes to use it. But Eventbrite is just one option. Many chapters just keep a record of attendees. Either by pre-signing up people or taking names and email addresses at the ride.

  • Embrace social distancing. Spread out and work on different parts of the trails.

  • Wear a mask, especially when it is not possible to maintain at least 6’ of distance between participants.

  • Bring hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, etc. Encourage participants to bring their own gloves and tools if possible. Minimize the sharing of tools, and clean between use.

  • Advance sign up or, events run by invitation only, could be used to put limits on numbers.

  • Minimize pre- and post- event socializing. This also means no social food gatherings after trail care events for now.

  • Volunteers and participants should remain home if not feeling well, if they have received a positive COVID test, or if they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID.

  • All the above health and safety guidelines still apply irregardless of any individual’s vaccination status

  • If your NEMBA chapter wants to sponsor a Trail Care Event send an email to . This will ensure that your event will be covered by NEMBA’s insurance.

  • All participants must sign the NEMBA Annual Waiver

 

State by State Guidance 

Connecticut Covid Response          CT DEEP Response

Maine Covid-19 Response             Maine Bureau of Parks

Massachusetts Covid-19                Mass DCR Guidance

New Hampshire Covid-19              NH State Parks

Rhode Island Covid Information     RI DEM Guidance

Vermont Covid-19 Guidance          VT State Parks