A cycling group from Quebec have got themselves in a bit of hot water over their poor riding behaviour.
Équipe Cycliste Déjardins-Ford is a group of cyclists, aged 17 to 21, who came to Penticton during a pandemic to cycle and train on Penticton’s roads, including in Naramata.
They’ve been seen riding two to three abreast on Naramata’s narrow roads, putting motorists and themselves in danger and also breaking the rules of the road which require them to ride single file.
Several people have been talking on local Facebook groups about the cyclists’ bad road etiquette and questioning what they are doing here in the first place considering there is a ban on non-essential travel.
Retired RCMP officer Dan Moskaluk is a resident of Naramata and took to Facebook as well after he was caught behind the cyclists riding two abreast, forcing him to drive into the oncoming lane to pass them.
Riding multiple riders abreast is illegal in B.C. and a violation under the Motor Vehicle Act, he pointed out.
Moskaluk approached the riders regarding their unsafe riding practices.
“When I attempted to speak to the first set of riders, they ignored my question as to who was in charge,” he said.
They were speaking French which Moskaluk is fluent in. So he went to the second group and addressed them in French.
This time the riders said they didn’t know who was in charge.
He waved down their support vehicle and spoke to the driver who at first denied the road behaviour.
“I told her a lot of the community isn’t happy with you cycling unsafely, forcing drivers into opposing lanes,” he told her.
“I spent 33 years attending fatal accidents. The last thing I want to see is a cyclist hit or a head-on collision because of this,” said Moskaluk.
The support driver, who is the cycling group’s athletic director, apologized and promised to have the young people ride single file. They are in town for another two weeks.
“Let’s hope going forward that they ride single file and if they do, let’s reward the good behaviour with a wave or a thank you,” he said.
But if they continue riding two or three abreast, Moskaluk encourages people to report it to the Penticton RCMP who have been made aware of their activities.
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen board chair Karla Kozakevich, whose area is Naramata, chimed in to say that there is signage on Naramata roads reminding riders to ride single file.
“But, she pointed out that there should be more signs and she was going to look into that,” said Moskaluk.
When Moskaluk took to Facebook about the situation, many questioned what people from Quebec are doing here when there isn’t supposed to be any non-essential travel right now.
“It does make you wonder why they came here when we aren’t supposed to be travelling and vacationing right now?”
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