Given the unprecedented nature of the bushfire crisis in many states of Australia during this summer period would each Regional Committee/ Ride Organiser ensure that appropriate risk management is in place when running rides until the situation abates.
In addition to the direct fire-related issues please also consider the indirect issues such as the level of isolation that the ride entails and air quality issues as I am sure you would all agree that makes riding unpleasant and at times dangerous as toxins in wood smoke are not well understood.
At least the following is suggested:
- No cycling in any of the affected areas not only during the fire event but until the roads and tracks have been declared safe. (Remember over the years many firefighters have been killed by falling trees)
- Monitor the emergency services incidents and warnings and do not ride in or near them. Example: https://www.emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/
- If in doubt contact the local response centre and get their advice.
- No cycling when air quality is significantly affected
- Avoid being on the same roads as emergency vehicles, and
- Consider changed traffic conditions as a result of the current emergencies.
My condolences to those people / areas affected.
Queensland has initiated a ride to raise money for the Red Cross and I would support other regions should they choose to organise similar rides.
I wish you all a pleasant and safe riding during the crisis.
President of Audax Australia