Transcript: Peddling Cycle Safety in Collingwood | Oct 12, 2018


(music plays)

A clip shows a group of cyclists riding down a road.

Jeyan says WELCOME TO
COLLINGWOOD, ONTARIO.

(music plays)

A cyclist says BEST CYCLING IN THE PROVINCE.

Jeyan says BUT WHAT MAKES IT
THE BEST? A COMBINATION OF
MOUNTAIN, DOWNHILL, ROAD, AND
GRAVEL RIDING.

A caption reads "Noelle Wansbrough. Collingwood Cycling Club."

Noelle is in her late thirties, with long straight light brown hair and wears cycling gear.

Noelle says GREY-BRUCE-SIMCOE HAD
THE MOST CYCLING VISITS IN ALL
OF ONTARIO.
20 percent OF ALL ONTARIO CYCLING
VISITS ARE TO THIS AREA.

Jeyan says THAT'S WHAT MADE
NOELLE WANSBROUGH FALL IN LOVE
WITH THE AREA 10 YEARS AGO.
WHEN SHE STARTED BIKING HERE,
THERE WAS ONLY A HANDFUL OF
CYCLISTS ON THE ROAD BUT NOTHING
COMPARES TO THE NUMBERS TODAY.

Noelle says YOU'RE GOING TO SEE
HUNDREDS, TONS OF GROUPS OF
CYCLISTS OUT. AND THEY JUST
WEREN'T THERE TEN YEARS AGO.

Jeyan says AS PRESIDENT OF THE
COLLINGWOOD CYCLING CLUB, SHE
REPRESENTS ONE OF THE LARGEST
BIKE CLUBS IN THE PROVINCE, WITH
MORE THAN 450 MEMBERS.
THE TOWN, ABOUT TWO HOURS NORTH
OF TORONTO, ALONG THE SOUTHERN
SHORE OF GEORGIAN BAY, IS ONE OF
THE FASTEST GROWING COMMUNITIES
IN THE COUNTRY.

A satellite map shows the location of "Collingwood."

Jeyan says COLLINGWOOD SAW A 13.3 percent JUMP IN
POPULATION, CLIMBING FROM 19,000
TO MORE THAN 21,000.
BUT THAT INCREASE HAS BROUGHT
CHALLENGES FOR THE CLUB.

Noelle says WE'RE EXPERIENCING
SOME GROWING PAINS.
THERE'S MORE VEHICLES ON THE
ROAD BECAUSE THIS AREA IS
BECOMING MORE AND MORE
POPULATED.

Jeyan says CLUB MEMBERS SAY
THEY REGULARLY COME ACROSS
DRIVERS WHO AREN'T HAPPY TO SEE
THEM.

The caption changes to "Susan Thompson. Collingwood Cycling Club."

Susan is in her forties, with chin length wavy blond hair and wears cycling gear.

Susan says SOME PEOPLE TELL US TO
GET OFF THE ROAD.
IT'S LIKE I'VE GOT A ROAD BIKE.
I'M RIDING ON THE ROAD.

The caption changes to "Steve Varga. Collingwood Cycling Club."

Steve is in his forties, with short wavy light brown hair and wears cycling gear.

Steve says AS IN MOST OF NORTH
AMERICA, THERE ISN'T A WELL-
ENTRENCHED CYCLING CULTURE.
SO TO THE DRIVERS, WE'RE A BIT
OF AN ANOMALY WHERE THEY DON'T
QUITE UNDERSTAND HOW TO DEAL
WITH US.

Jeyan says AND THAT HAS CREATED
A SAFETY CONCERN FOR BOTH
CYCLISTS AND MOTORISTS.
THE CLUB INSISTS THE ISSUE ISN'T
UNIQUE TO COLLINGWOOD.
IN FACT, RESEARCH OUT OF WESTERN
UNIVERSITY IN LONDON EXAMINED:
BETWEEN 2010 AND 2015.

Steve says IT'S SCARY.
IT'S TERRIFYING.

Jeyan says IN THE FALL OF 2015,
THE PROVINCE PASSED THE ONE
METER RULE.
IT REQUIRES DRIVERS WHO WANT TO
PASS A CYCLIST TO GIVE A
ONE-METRE CUSHION BETWEEN
THEMSELVES AND THE CYCLISTS.
BUT NOT ALL MOTORISTS ARE
CATCHING ON.

Noelle says THE SCARY THING FOR
US AS CYCLISTS IS WHEN THE
DRIVERS THREAD... WE CALL IT
THREAD THE NEEDLE.
THEY WILL TRY TO PASS US, STAY
IN OUR LANE, AND A LOT OF TIMES
THERE WILL BE AN ONCOMING CAR.
THERE'S A CAR COMING BOTH WAYS
AND THEY'RE TRYING TO SQUEEZE
PAST US.

Jeyan says STEVE VARGA, THE
CLUB'S VICE PRESIDENT SAYS THE
CLUB HAS ADOPTED DEFENSIVE BIKE
PRACTICES COMMONLY USED IN
EUROPE.

Steve says THEY RIDE TWO ABREAST,
BUT THEY RIDE TOGETHER IN A
TIGHT, DISCIPLINED WAY.
SHOULDER-TO-SHOULDER, AND
THEY'RE TYPICALLY 2 TO 3 FEET
BACK AND THEY'LL RIDE IN GROUPS
OF SIX TO EIGHT.

Jeyan says VARGA SAYS WITH A
CONDENSED GROUP DRIVERS CAN
STILL HAVE HALF THE LANE FREE
BEFORE MAKING A FULL LANE
CHANGE.

Steve says SAFER BECAUSE THE
LENGTH OF THE GROUP IS
SHORTENED, REDUCED BY HALF, AND
THE AMOUNT OF TIME YOU SPEND IN
THE ONCOMING LANE, THAT'S THE
DANGER POINT. THE ACT OF TURNING
THE STEERING WHEEL IS NOT THE
DANGEROUS PART. THE DANGEROUS
PART IS HOW MANY SECONDS AM I IN
THE ONCOMING LANE.

Jeyan says BUT THE STYLE OF
RIDING HAS CAUSED SOME CONFUSION
WITH LOCALS, AND EVEN POLICE.

Steve says IF YOU DON'T LIVE IN
A CULTURE THAT ACCEPTS CYCLING,
GROUP CYCLING, THEN THIS LOOKS
OFFENSIVE.

Jeyan says IN AN UNRELATED
INCIDENT, MEMBERS OF THE CLUB
WERE PULLED OVER BY OPP AFTER
AERIAL SURVEILLANCE ALLEGEDLY
SPOTTED THE GROUP RIDING THROUGH
A STOP SIGN.
THINGS ESCALATED WHEN A MEMBER
OF THE GROUP, A RETIRED POLICE
OFFICER, WAS HANDCUFFED BY OPP
AFTER REFUSING TO GIVE HIS NAME.
CHARGES WERE NEVER LAID BUT THIS
OPENED THE DOOR FOR DISCUSSION
ABOUT HOW CYCLISTS AND DRIVERS
CAN CO-EXIST.

A newspaper article headline reads "In cottage country, cyclists are clashing with 'blue collar' locals and the police."

Steve says WHAT IT DID HIGHLIGHT
IS JUST THE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE
WITHIN THE AVERAGE POLICE
OFFICER OF THE HIGHWAY TRAFFIC
ACT AND HOW IT TRULY APPLIES.
THE ACT IS THIS THICK, AND
THEY HAVE A THOUSAND ACTS THIS
THICK THEY HAVE TO DEAL WITH.
THAT THEY'RE NOT FAMILIAR WITH
SECTION 148 DOESN'T SURPRISE ME,
BUT IN THIS PARTICULAR
COMMUNITY, WHERE THERE ARE
LITERALLY A THOUSAND CYCLISTS
OUT RIDING EVERY WEEKEND, IT'S
TIME TO BECOME AWARE.

Jeyan says VARGA SAYS EVEN THE
OPP WEREN'T SURE IF RIDING TWO
ABREAST WAS LEGAL, AND POLICE
HAD TO GO TO THE ATTORNEY
GENERAL'S OFFICE WHERE IT WAS
CONFIRMED UNDER THE HIGHWAY
TRAFFIC ACT. THE CLUB ADMITS THE
BLAME ISN'T SOLELY ON DRIVERS,
BUT ALSO ON CYCLISTS.

Noelle says THE CYCLISTS HAVE TO
FOLLOW THE RULES OF THE ROAD AS
WELL. NOT EVERYONE IS FOLLOWING
THE RULES OF THE ROAD ON BIKES
EITHER SO EVERYBODY HAS GOT TO
PLAY THEIR PART.

Jeyan says INCLUDING COLLINGWOOD
AND THE REST OF GREY COUNTY.
LAST YEAR, COUNCIL APPROVED A
RECOMMENDATION TO FULLY PAVE ALL
SHOULDERS WHEN BUILDING NEW
ROADS.
AND AS THE SPORT OF CYCLING
GROWS IN COLLINGWOOD AND IN
NEIGHBOURING AREAS, THE CLUB
HOPES THE MESSAGE OF SHARING THE
ROAD WILL RESONATE BECAUSE
CYCLISTS IN THIS PART OF ONTARIO
ARE HERE TO STAY.

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

Ontario Hubs Field Producer, Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO.

Editor, David Erwin.

A slate appears with the caption "Ontario Hubs are made possible by: The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

Watch: Peddling Cycle Safety in Collingwood