There have been charges laid against the driver of the horse trailer, and several of the cyclists. Apparently there is a local bylaw that does not allow 2-abreast riding.
This has lead to columns such as this one in a the local Kitchener-Waterloo paper of record, The Record:
My response to columnist Luisa D'Amato, who's eMail address is, email@example.com, is as follows:
Say there is a group of 20 cyclists out riding. If they are riding single file, they are strung out in a long single file line. On a two lane road, with no shoulders, as is the case on many rural roads in Ontario, many motorists think it OK to try and squeeze by the cyclists while staying fully in their lane. This places both the cyclists, and the motorists less than 1/2 a meter apart moving along at a reasonably high speed. The passing of a long line of cyclists takes some time. ANY false move on the part of the motorists, or the cyclists will result in . . . Now, compact the group to 20 riders, riding 2-abreast. If it's a group of good riders, they will be riding tightly together. They will be taking up more of the lane, but not that much more, and the distance from front to back of the group will now be less than half of what it was. However, this will force, the motorist coming up from behind, to slow down. Otherwise, they will run right over the cyclists - something I hope they would not want to do. They will then have to wait for a safe place to make the pass around the cyclists - just as they would if they came upon a slower moving car, farm vehicle, police vehicle, etc . . Yes this a minor inconvenience. However, that safe place to make the pass, as it always does, will come up in a few seconds. Now, the pass is made by, moving into the adjacent lane, giving the cyclists a wider berth, AND, key here, passing the group of cyclists in significantly less time. This is safer for EVERYONE - the cyclists, other motorists, and the driver of that particular vehicle! Think about it for a bit.
I ride frequently with the Newmarket Eagles cycling club in and around Aurora and Newmarket, ON, in central & northern York region. It is the club policy to ride 2-abreast, where appropriate. We are lucky that most of the roads of our regular routes are on reasonably quiet 2-lane rural roads probably not unlike the roads outside Kitchener-Waterloo . We rarely have any major issues when riding 2-abreast - but do from time-to-time get verbally harassed by motorists( see #1). We even get passed by York Region Police officers in their cars, and we exchange friendly waves.
What say you? Do you agree or disagree with Ms. D'Amato. Please feel free to express your feelings here or via an email to Ms. D'Amato, or The Record.
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