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VCB e-News

Vol 11, #17 - 6/03/14 -  Aligning The Stars !

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Velo Cape Breton is the Island wide voice of cyclists, working for better cycling in our great Island. We have made significant progress since our formation in 2004.  Visit our website that will introduce you to some of our activities.   If you have any questions, suggestions, or want to contribute to this eNewsletter,  please contact us at 


Joining VCB is a proof of support to the community development and advocacy work done by the hard working volunteers of this club.  Your $10. will go a long way.  It's your 2013 legacy to the rising generation.  To join click here. Check our Facebook page,  Follow us on Twitter


Help us make Cape Breton Island a better place to live!


In this Edition

-  Editorial

-  My Name is Shelley Porter

-  Rides Captain Corner

-  Rumble Strips - Feedback

-  Cycling, "Train-The-Trainer" Workshop

-  The Price of a Human Life

-  How About Facilities?  How about Education?  

-  The Priest's Retirement Dinner Speech




"Few people take objectives really seriously. 

They put average effort into too many things, rather than superior thought and effort into a few important things. 

People who achieve the most are selective as well as determined."  - Richard Koch (The 80/20 Principle)





For Velo Cape Breton, the month of February has been one of the most productive on all fronts in a while:  100+ VCB registrations recorded, a flow of donations allowing VCB's Shelley Porter to present in Winnipeg at the 2nd International Winter Cycling Congress;  Lobster Roll Relay volunteer team getting things organized for the 3rd Annual presentation on June 15th;  opening of registrations for the Cabot Trail in 4 Days  (only 3 spots left by the way...);  excellent feedback and support to the presentation of the Position Paper on rumble strips to Dept. of Transportation;  continued relationship with law enforcement officials towards improvement of safe cycling;  feedback on Active Transportation plans in development in Port Hawkesbury and Baddeck;  training of executive members in communications and social media marketing;  order of VCB cycling jersey completed;  Women-on-Wheels group moving in high gear;  streamlining distribution of VCB eNews...


Although the glitch in the software executing the transition from winter to summer has not been found yet, the clock is running and all the stars are getting aligned perfectly for an amazing rest of the year.






I've been a member of Velo Cape Breton since 2004.  A lifelong cycling enthusiast, I was taught by my father that no life is complete without a bicycle for transportation and recreation. I have a Master of Science in Biology from Acadia University, and sees cycling as key to creating a greener future for our planet. Born and raised in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, I love rural areas and have worked to make them sustainable them all my life.  I have lived in 7 Nova Scotia counties, three National Parks, and two provinces. 


Serving as Secretary of Velo Cape Breton in the early days, coordinator of the 52 Week Bike Challenge since 2009, member of the VCB's Cycling Ambassador team, I currently sit on the Board as Member-at-Large.


My goals for this term on the Board include expanding the 52WBC, working with the Board to increase membership and cycling opportunities in Cape Breton (SummerFit Challenge), to help improve safety for cyclists in Cape Breton Regional Municipality and to take on VCB Editor's role for a short while on top of my employment at the Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources as Bras d'Or lake Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative Coordinator, delivering paper by bike with my daughter every morning, taking care of two grown children, two fluffy rabbits and a cranky horse... 






by: Shelley Johnson,  Rides Captain, VCB Cycling Ambassador


If you ride on a Sunday morning, you will have the road pretty much to yourself to enjoy.  That’s exactly what took place this past weekend. Aside from a red fox with a bushy, black, tail scrambling over a snow bank, I was pretty much alone.  It was a beautiful, sunny morning for a ride.  A little bit of wind, but nothing too difficult.  What pleasure to be out on my bike cruising through the neighbourhood. The occasional car passing me.  Isn’t it grand that most people are slow to get moving on a Sunday morning?  My ride was relaxed, but my pace was good.  I’m sure you would agree, there are times when riding one’s bike, that one could just ride on and on, even during our long winter season.



Here’s what’s going on this week:


Summer Fit Challenge

Has your nose been pressed up against the window this winter season?  Wishing for warmer days?  Yes my fellow cyclists, there will be a summer!  And Guess what?  You can take part in the Summer Fit Challenge.  It’s not too soon to get on board…or should I say on your bike and join your peers. 


What is required of you?  

From May 5 to September 27th all you have to do is cycle outdoors for at least 1 hour per week, 2 times per week for 20 weeks.  


You’ll benefit from improved fitness, personal goals achieved, bragging rights and most importantly a year end party to receive your Certificates in:

-Carbon Fibre Frame:  all 20 weeks

-Aluminum Frame:  19weeks

-Steel Frame:  18 weeks 


That’s all there is to it. Take the challenge and  let’s see you on the road!


*** Note:  Please register on line to Shelley Porter.



Women on Wheels

Good news ladies!  We are in the final stages of the Women on Wheels shirts.  We had some kinks that we had to work out over the past month pertaining to the design of these shirts.  But I am pleased to say that we should have something coming to you very soon.  Stay tuned.



Cabot Trail 4 day Tour

The Cabot Trail 4 day Tour , August 1st- 4th is filling up quickly, only 3 spots left.  Now is your chance to sign up for a terrific tour put on by your club.  This is a signature tour and one that is a “must-do”, if you haven’t already.  Sign up for the Summer fit challenge or ride some of our other events and use this as a chance to train for this tour. Fully supported and pampered you’ll be, which will allow you to check out the breathtaking splendour of the Cabot Trail by bike.  More information and registration here.



Velo Club Rides Schedule

Just a reminder that if there is a ride that you would like to do, or suggestions that you might have, please forward them to me and we will do our best too oblige.  The schedule will soon be finalized so now is your chance to have input.



Women on Wheels Cycling Weekend ( Women’s Cycling Weekend)

The  Women on Wheels Cycling Weekend is still being developed and coming along quite nicely for May 2,3,4 at the Deanery.  Workshops on bike mechanics, nutrition, cycling fashion, women's cycling issues, road safety, etc. and lots of fun.


It is not just for "serious" cyclists but for anyone who rides a bike, has children who they'd like to cycle with, a possible interest in bicycle touring, and lots of other cycling information.


Sorry guys, it's a women's only event and only if you are of legal age.  This will be a very exciting weekend and is a first for our Province to bring women together with a common interest in cycling.  You won’t want to miss this.

Let the Ageing Hippie Cyclist Lynne Pascoe, know if you'd like to be on the e-mail list for more information.


Have a wonderful week. Stay active and stay healthy.







At our Greenways Board Meeting today we unanimously passed the following motion:


“Greenways Nova Scotia supports the position of Velo Cape Breton as follows:

If rumble strips are to be put on appropriate highways they must employ Best Practice Standards to support Active Transportation. “


All the best,


Barbara Bishop,




Bicycle Nova Scotia,   Feb 27th Meeting


The board was very supportive of VCB’s position on rumble strips and we’ve passed a motion affirming that.  I’ll get something up on our website and the BNS Facebook page soon.


Ben Buckwold,

Director for the Bikeways and Blue Route Implementation







March 15th – Making Tracks Cycling Train-the-Trainer Workshop

With Adam Berry, Making Tracks Expert Trainer


Location: Hebbville Academy, 16161 Highway #3, Hebbville, NS, B4V 6Y1

Start time: 8:30 am

Lunch: BYO please, we’ll be staying on-site

End time: 4:30 pm

Cost: $10 (please bring cash with you or contact Julian to make other arrangements)


Equipment: A bicycle helmet and bicycle are mandatory to participate in this session.  You must provide your own helmet.  Please bring your own bicycle if you can; however, some youth bikes (grades 7-9) are available on site.


To register, please contact Julian West, Making Tracks Coordinator at 442-0209 or mt@ecologyaction.caPlease note that space is limited.

To find out more about the Making Tracks program please visit our website at







In industrial nations, the justice system considers a human life "priceless".  Others will say:

  • $50,000 per year of quality life (international standard most private and government-run health insurance plans worldwide use to determine whether to cover a new medical procedure) Source: Time.
  • $129,000 per year of quality life (based on analysis of kidney dialysis procedures by Stefanos Zenios and colleagues at Stanford Graduate School of Business)
  • $6.9 million (Environmental Protection Agency) Souce: NBC News.
  • $7.9 million (Food and Drug Administration)  Source:  New York Times
  • $6 million (Transportation Department)  Source:  New York Times


What is the value of a cyclist's life


Cyclist killed in a hit-an-run in Iowa USA  $735.


Cyclist killed in Washington State:  $42.


The above is very upsetting and hardly acts as a deterrent for bad driving which places lives at risk.  There's a camping run by CTC in UK which calls for tougher measures by the police and the courts to tackle bad driving. If careless and dangerous motorists are properly dealt with by our legal system then this will encourage better driving and thus safer roads.


So, here in Canada, to cycle or not to cycle is the question? 


Kay Teschke, professor of public health at the University of British Columbia said, “I think getting exercise is a major problem in North America, and though we have higher [injury and fatality] risks from cycling than in Europe, we have higher risks from obesity, as well.  So, in North America, while the risks are greater, the benefits are greater as well.”


It’s important to note, too, that there is a well-documented “safety in numbers” effect for pedestrians and cyclists, meaning that as more people get on their bikes or walk to work in a city, the safer these methods of transport become.






Check this out:


How about growing up as individuals?







A Priest was being honored at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish. A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and to give a little speech at the dinner.


However, since the politician was delayed, the Priest decided to say his own few words while they waited:


"I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss's wife, taken illegal drugs. I was appalled. But as the days went on, I learned that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people."


Just as the Priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and gave his talk:


I'll never forget the first day our parish Priest arrived”, said the politician. “In fact, I had the honor of being the first person to go to him for confession”.



Moral: Never, Never, Ever Be Late!





Jacques Cote

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

March 6th, 2014


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