Pembrokeshire has long been considered a haven for cycling – but those going out on their bikes have been restricted further by new legislation in Wales.

Prior to last weekend, rules permitted one outdoor form of exercise per day, but the guideline on distances and time spent were ambiguous at best.

But updated guidelines are now in place stating people should exercise within a ‘reasonable walking distance from home’ – with 'reasonable' equating to 10 miles. Driving to exercise is also now forbidden unless deemed absolutely necessary.

Police now have power to take action if they find an individual further than 10 miles from where they live.

And it is regular cyclists in our county who will be affected most. Many had been undertaking lengthy distances and spending hours on the road. Indeed, with the event yet to be officially postponed or cancelled, hundreds have still technically been training for Ironman Wales in September. That event includes a 112-mile cycle.

The legislation is part of an attempt from the Welsh Assembly Government to tighten up on people leaving their homes for prolonged periods, and reduce the risk of health authorities having to deal with an unnecessary accident.

Following enquiries, Telegraph Sport have simplified the guidelines below:

  • Exercise should be taken within a 10 mile radius of home. And driving to exercise is forbidden unless it is deemed imperative.
  • You can only leave your home once a day to exercise. There is no actual time limit, although Government advice suggests an hour is sufficient.
  • People with certain conditions or disabilities, such as autism or dementia, or mental health issues, are permitted to exercise more than once a day.
  • Exercise can onlt be taken alone, with people from your household, or with carers if necessary.
  • You should avoid places that will potentially be busy.
  • Exercise should be walking, running and cycling. Entering the sea to swim or surf is forbidden.
  • You should not be stopping during your exercise to sit down, eat, or meet with others.
  • If going to work is justified then you are allowed to cycle.
  • Cyclists are expected to stick to routes they know and be respectful of walkers, runners or other cyclists. They should stay two metres apart and stop to let people go by.

Ambiguity reigns:

You will note the term ‘should’ appears frequently in the guidelines above. It underlines the ambiguity regarding lockdown exercise that has lingered ever since Michael Gove ambled on about what time limit he thought would be sufficient.

The stark reality is that for those who push the boundaries, the level of risk will depend upon the belligerence of the police officers patrolling the area.

That is no excuse for deliberately flouting guidelines of course, but the new measures in Wales will test many cyclists. For many who ride regularly or competitively, a 20-mile round cycle is a mere warm up.

But whilst this tightening up will be harder on some than others, especially those who enjoy long distances on two wheels, a bigger picture remains.

With Covid-19 still claiming hundreds of victims per day, adhering to new exercise measures is a small price to pay for the long term benefit of people's health and safety.