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Can I still ride my bike outdoors?

Last updated: Monday 14 September 2020

There are a lot of changes in our lives at the moment and restrictions on what we can and can't do, but the good news is we can still go for a pedal.

We've got information about what the current coronavirus restrictions and the gradual steps out of restrictions mean for bike riding in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

We also have advice for riding in the rest of Australia.

Some of the restrictions that are in place may seem tough, and for people in Victoria, a bit of a kick in the guts after previous lockdowns, but we need to stay strong and consider ourselves the lucky ones who can still get a little bit of what we love.

Bike riding is one of the great stress relievers – plan your trips, use them as something to look forward to and ride on.

Guidelines for metropolitan Melbourne

If you live in metropolitan Melbourne you can ride a bike for exercise during the current restrictions, but must stick to these rules:

  • You cannot travel more than five kilometres from home. This is measured as the crow flies in any direction from your home.
  • If you are a permitted worker you may also exercise within five kilometres of your workplace.
  • You must carry a fitted mask that covers your nose and mouth
  • You can exercise for two hours per day, broken into a maximum of two separate sessions. For example, a 90 minute ride in the morning and 30 minute ride in the afternoon.
  • You can exercise with members of your household or up to five people from a maximum of two households. No one in your group can travel more than five kilometres from home. Children under 12 months not included in the cap.

You can also ride a bike for transport if you need to go to work or the supermarket.

  • If your workplace is more than five kilometres from home you may still ride to your workplace. Curfew hours also do not apply if you are going to or from work.
  • If riding to the supermarket you can only do this on your own and once per day. If you have a child or dependent person who cannot be left at home alone they may join you.
  • You must carry a fitted mask that covers your nose and mouth

Previously, Victorians were able to use shields, buffs, bandanas and scarfs as face covers. You now cannot use these and must carry a fitter face mask while riding. Click here for more information about riding with a mask.

Steps out of restrictions

On Sunday 6 September the Victorian government announced its roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions which includes four gradual steps that bring us to a COVID normal. The timing of each step depends on the number of active coronavirus cases.

Metro Melbourne is currently in the second step out of coronavirus restrictions. Below is information about how the next steps affect bike riding in metropolitan Melbourne. The biggest change for bike riding will be during the third step when you will be able to start riding in small groups with no restrictions on how far from home you can ride.

Third step for metro Melbourne – timing subject to trigger points

During the third step you will be able to start riding in larger groups and ride anywhere you like.

  • There will be no restrictions on reasons to leave home or how far you can travel from home
  • Outdoor non-contact sport will return with gathering and density limits
  • Public gatherings and outdoor fitness groups will be allowed for groups of 10 people

The third step will only come into place when thresholds are met of less than an average of five daily coronavirus cases Victoria-wide (over the 14-day period prior) and less than five cases of unknown transmission during that time.

Last step for metro Melbourne – timing subject to trigger points

During the last step, bike riding will begin to return to what we are used to.

There will be no exercise restrictions, facilities will be open subject to safety measures and outdoor public gatherings will be allowed for up to 50 people.

The last step will only come into place when there are zero new cases of coronavirus Victoria-wide for 14 days.

Click here for more information about the Victorian government's roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne

Rest of Victoria

Regional Victoria is currently in the third step out of coronavirus restrictions. You can ride a bike with the people you live with or in groups of up to 10 people. You must carry a fitted face mask.

While there are no time or distance limits on bike riding in regional Victoria, Bicycle Network recommends following these three steps to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

  • Cover up: Make sure you have a mask with you and pop it on whenever you’re near other people.
  • Stay local: Keep it local where you can. Go to the bike path nearest your home or start your road ride from your front door.
  • Keep your distance: Only ride with people from the same house or one other person. And make sure you keep 1.5 metres apart.

Previously, Victorians were able to use shields, buffs, bandanas and scarfs as face covers. You now cannot use these and must carry a fitter face mask while riding. Click here for more information about riding with a mask.

Steps out of restrictions

The next step out of restrictions for regional Victoria is step four. This will happen on public health advice and when there are no new cases of coronavirus for 14 days across Victoria.

During step four restrictions there will be no exercise restrictions, facilities will be open subject to safety measures and outdoor public gatherings will be allowed for up to 50 people.

Click here for more information about the Victorian government's roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions for regional Victoria.

Rest of Australia

  • You can go for a ride with other people but each person should maintain physical distancing and stay 1.5 metres apart.
  • No more than 20 people can ride together in New South Wales
  • In Queensland, up to 30 people may gather outside in non-restricted areas and only up to 10 in restricted areas. 
  • Riding with your family is allowed 
  • Riding a bike to the supermarket, chemist or work is allowed and a good thing to do.
  • When you do go for a ride you should avoid sharing equipment and be mindful of where you place your helmet, glasses, gloves etc. Keep them with your bike or on your person rather than placing them down somewhere.
  • When you return from a ride, wash your hands thoroughly and wipe down your bike, helmet and any gear.

If you’re self-isolating and feeling well, set up a stationary bike with an indoor trainer if you’ve got one.

This advice has been pulled together from relevant health, government and sporting bodies. If this changes, we will update it as necessary.

State guidelines

Bicycle Network's guidelines have been taken from current government documents or websites. Please always refer to information from your home state to make sure you are doing the right thing.

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