Posted by Editoress on 09/6/13
On June 19th of this year, during a weekly event run as the Wednesday Novice Ride by the Waterloo Cycling Club of Waterloo, Ontario, a ride in which riders new to group riding are instructed about riding safely and efficiently in groups, the aggression of bypassing motorists found a peak.
During the group rides of this year, we have seen an increasing number of incidents with drivers shouting abuse out of their window, throwing stuff at cyclists or pulling into the group while bypassing just to pull away again in the very last moment to intimidate the cyclists. On that very day, a 59 year old man towing a trailer, which then hit several cyclists of the group. The group was riding in a double paceline / Belgian Tourniquet formation and the cyclists who were hit by the trailer were thereby thrown into the right lane, several cyclists were injured and transported to local hospitals. Lucky enough, no one was severely injured and all cyclists were released from hospital the following days.
The incident took place on rural roads around the Wellesley Township, a route known locally as the Bamberg loop which was also used to run the provincial championships in 2011. The township of Wellesley as well as most townships in the Waterloo Region have a bylaw that prohibits riding two abreast except for passing each other. The police arriving at the scene did not follow the interpretation of the club that riding in double pacelines does meet the criteria of constant passing each other and that the group was thereby not violating the bylaw, so along with the driver of the SUV who was charged for careless driving, two riders of the group were charged also, with careless driving and failing to move over to the right being among their charges.
Because of the importance of riding in double pacelines for cycling clubs in Ontario in order to train efficiently, the OCA along with the WCC and local cycling clubs from Toronto, Collingwood and London have started a fund to pay the legal costs of the cyclists.
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Courtesy Christian Eilers
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