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Safer Cycling Calgary's response to COVID-19

Last updated Nov 29, 2020


COVID-19, the disease caused by  the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is a serious threat to human health. At Safer Cycling Calgary, safety is our business; not just related to bicycling, but in general. We are taking this threat seriously, and as such, some of our operations have been altered. 

First, clarification: bicycles are considered vehicles and are a form of transportation. Transportation is essential, and businesses which provide transportation or related products & services were always permitted to operate. However, we do not offer courses during the winter, so current restrictions have no effect. 

We will respect all restrictions, recommendations and best practices in place when we re-start in spring 2021. 

Some details of our courses and of the measures we took in 2020: 
1.  Course capacities: First Time courses are 1 instructor to a maximum of 4 participants (children must have a parent/caregiver with them - this would be 1 instructor and 8 "participants"), Beginner has a maximum of 2 participants though is typically run 1:1, Novice courses have a maximum of 15 participants, Intermediate and Advanced courses have a maximum of 6 participants (Kids Intermediate, including camps, require an Assistant Instructor as well). First Time courses were run at half capacity until July, to allow for greater spacing. Novice courses were suspended for 2020. We anticipate being able to run First Time courses at regular capacity in 2021 and will consider if the Novice course is feasible. No adjustments to Intermediate or Advanced course capacity were necessary.

2. Since we rely on local community centres for access to toilets, we were unable to run kids courses early in 2020 (adults can tolerate 3 hours without a toilet). Once access to the toilets was permitted, we sprayed all touch surfaces (toilet seats, flush buttons, doors, sink taps) with bleach before and after each course. Further, we limited access to one family at a time to the building and provided hand sanitizer for use before and after. Bathrooms were stocked with soap and paper towels. This will continue. 

3. Courses with an indoor component ran with increased physical distancing measures in place. As this component can't be skipped or made virtual for day camps, if indoor gatherings/groups are not permitted in 2021, we will be unable to offer day camps. However, we already have virtual learning for Intermediate (non-day camp) and Advanced courses and will be able to offer these courses with online learning in 2021. Intermediate kids courses are currently scheduled with "classroom" learning which will be modified to online learning if restrictions require such. Modifications for those who do not have adequate internet access/technology have not yet been formulated. 

4. Physical distancing is likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future: as most of our courses are exclusively outdoors, all are on bike and some are on road, remaining 2m apart is reasonably easy and failing to do so can be dangerous for reasons that have nothing to do with a virus. However, every course has some contact between instructor(s) and participant(s)/equipment, particularly in the First Time courses. We will continue with adjustments as follows: 

- participants in First Time courses for children will continue to require a parent/caregiver on site and that adult will continue to be responsible for involvement such as adjusting helmet fit and providing "push assist;"
- participants in First Time courses for adults will be responsible for adjusting their own helmet fit and will not be provided "push assist;" 
- participants/caregivers will be provided with hand sanitizer/disinfecting wipes to use before & after using any shared equipment, such as tools; 
- instructors will reduce contact with participants' equipment and ensure the use of hand sanitizer before and after necessary contact (such as to remove/reinstall pedals, adjust seat height, adjust brakes); 
- participants in First Time courses for children will not be provided with equipment such as balls or crayons for breaks and playground time will be staggered between groups; hand sanitizer will be used before and after visits to the playground; 
- instructors will complete registration of bikes through 529 Garage, as self-registration yielded few protected bikes in 2020;
- group discussions will be modified to allow increased distance between participants and will not involve "interaction" in the form of participant demonstration;

5. Our instructors will not come to work if they are sick: this may result in some courses being cancelled or postponed: you will be offered a refund or an alternate date. We would appreciate if you would also choose not to come if you or your child are sick, or if anyone in your home is sick: if you notify us in advance, we will refund your course fee (pro-rated if your course is a multi-day course). No shows will not receive a refund, as per our usual policies. We also pledge to inform you if any of the participants or the instructor of your course become sick after the fact, which we can only do if you advise us if you are one of those participants.

We take safety - and health - seriously; it's right in our name! We want to assure you that we are taking necessary precautions to reduce the spread of a dangerous virus, while also respecting our need to stay in business and provide our services to you. Now, maybe more than ever, bicycling is a very effective way to not only reduce your exposure to contagious diseases, by being able to get around without being stuck in a box with other people, but also by keeping your body healthy through exercise. Cycling has been shown, through many studies, to be excellent for improving both physical and mental health. Riding your bike to the store or around a park or your neighbourhood will ultimately be better than allowing your body and mind to become vulnerable. For those who can't work from home, and need to get to work, cycling is an effective mode of transportation with built-in physical distancing: no need to touch public surfaces, use public transportation or get in a taxi with a person you don't live with, it improves physical health and mental health as well as reducing pollution: it's a win all around. Please don't be afraid to ride a bike, unless required to stay indoors. 

Should you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wishing you health and great bicycling, 
Melissa Malejko, owner of Safer Cycling Calgary

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

All courses require participant's name and participant's (or parent/guardian's) valid email address to complete registration. Placement in course is not confirmed without payment of full course fee. 

 

REFUNDS AND CANCELLATIONS

You are able to cancel the registration within 1 business day of it’s submission without penalty. Otherwise the following will apply:

  • A cancellation made 3 weeks or more prior to the course start date will be refunded less an administration fee of 25% of the course fees.

  • A cancellation made less than 3 weeks prior to the course start date will be refunded less an administration fee of 40% of the course fees.

  • A cancellation made less than 3 days prior to the course start date will not be eligible for a refund unless due to a medical reason and then will be subject to a cancellation fee of $75.

  • "No shows" will not be eligible for any refund.

  • Multi-day courses must be attended in full: a participant that missed any part of any day and is unable to continue will not be eligible for any refund.

Unfortunately, the above applies in cases of injury and/or emergency. Cancellation requests with little notice do not allow us the time to fill the associated spot and our goal is to stay in business for when you are able to attend a course. 

TRANSFERS

Transferring your registration to an alternate course will result in an administration fee as follows:

    • A transfer request with 3 weeks or more notice will be subject to a $25 administration fee.

    • A transfer request with less than 3 weeks notice will be subject to a $40 administration fee.

    • A transfer request with less than 3 days notice will be subject to a $75 administration fee.

Full payment of the administration fee will be required before registration in the alternate course will be confirmed. In the event a suitable course is not offered, the above cancellation fees will be applied.

FIRST TIME AND BEGINNER COURSES

Most First Time courses (adult or child) and Beginner courses are weather dependent; a weather cancellation may occur. In the event of a weather cancellation, your registration fee will be transferred to an available later date of your choosing or fully refunded if no alternate date can be arranged.

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