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VCB eNews Vol 11, #31 - To Be A Cyclist, Keep Going!

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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 (902) 562-8137 or


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: To Be A Cyclist

-  Rides Captain Corner, Shelley Johnson

-  Velo Cape Breton President, Jacques Cote, Honoured with Robert Baillie Award

-  Heartland Tour, 2014

-  Loose Chain Links

-  Bike Buy and Sell

-  About That Funny



"If you wish to be a writer, write.- Epictetus



Editorial: To Be A Cyclist

The Board, Cycling Ambassadors, and many members of Velo Cape Breton frequently receive requests to teach people to bike. The first time someone asked me to teach them how to bike, I was stumped. I'd been cycling so much for so long that it was like being asked to teach someone how to breathe. Usually these requests are not from people who can't stay upright on a bicycle without training wheels, but from those who are uncertain about not just their place in the road while riding a bicycle, but their place in the seat. They do not need to be taught how to “ride a two-wheeler”. They need to learn to be comfortable, calm, and confident travelling from one place to another on a bicycle. You can get a long way toward that flow state where there is no line between you and your bike by taking a CAN-BIKE course. Knowing the proper way to move in traffic (trust me, you'll know the rules of the road better than most motorists when you are done), proper use of the gears on your bike, spin technique, how to deal with obstacles in the road, correct and safe lane changes – much of the time our anxiety is quelled by just knowing what to do when situations arise. But I am not sure this is always what people mean when they say they want to learn to bike, to be a cyclist. We go to great lengths to have the right bike, the right accessories, the right clothes – to be a cyclist. We wait for the right time, the right weather, the right companion. We wait for the potholes to be filled in or the bike lane markings repainted. Our bike stands by like the Maytag repairman, always ready but never called upon. There is really no big secret to being a cyclist, once the basic equipment (don't forget a helmet, lights, and a bell!) is acquired and the basic rules of the road (for heaven's sake, SIGNAL turns and lane changes!) learned. There's only a little secret: if you wish to be a cyclist, cycle.






by: Shelley Johnson,  Rides Captain, VCB Cycling Ambassador



With light breezes WOW road though Point Edward.  A beautiful spring evening despite the clouds that occasionally intervened in an otherwise sunny day. Twenty- nine women gathered to participate in the second WOW session. Has Point Edward ever seen such a large number of women rolling along on two wheels?  Probably not, and that was very encouraging to witness.  You gals are ground breakers!






Today was the first "real" ride of the cycling season for the VCB Cycling Ambassadors.  All right, there was a ride two weeks ago but, only Jimmie and Chris made it under the dark grey skies between two rainfalls.


We were in North Sydney today with Jimmy leading us around for a ride of a couple of hours. Despite our 22 years on Cape Breton Island, I can say that I rode streets in Sydney Mines that were completely new to me.  Pretty streets with nice homes, not all new, but clean and well maintained with lots of flowers in bloom. We've been through old sub-divisions to appreciate the coal mining past, riding along rows of company houses and piles of mine tailings spread out as reclaimed lands.


Needless to say that eleven cyclists on the streets was a noticeable pack for more than "several" people.  Got a lot of friendly "toot-toots" from some known people, but mostly unknown.  The sun was a welcome addition to the happiness and laughter.


Thanks Jimmie, for a great 25km ride.  We had lots of fun.  Was it cold?  So much warmth...  It was not cold.


Next Ambassadors in the Hood ride on Sunday June 22nd, starting from the Deleskie Bros. Bike Park in Open Hearth park Sydney.


Jacques Cote

President of Velo CB & Cycling Ambassador









Velo Cape Breton’s own Shelley Porter (aka;The Beaz and biking blues singer ) will share her love of cycling and riding every week of the year.  Where:  McConnell library, Date: June 11th, Time:  7:00 pm.  Show your support for Bike Week and Shelley by riding your bike to the library for the presentation.






Registrations have been coming in for the 3rd Annual Lobster Roll Rides.  The weather looks good for  Sunday, June 15th.  Don’t delay and miss out!  Check for $10.00 coupon in the CB Post that can be used toward onsite registration of $35.  Register now online for $25.00 at  Onsite registration 8:00-8:45 am.  Ride starts at 9:00 am SHARP!  Come out and enjoy a great day with friends and family!  Great food and prizes!  Put this event on your cycling season’s bucket list....





Registration: 8:00-8:45 am at the Mira Road Firehall.

Date:  Sunday, June 15, 2014.

Time: 9:00 am start time.

Two lobster rolls, your choice of ride length from 25-100 K.

More information at  See you there!!



Congratulations:  Robert Groves





The fourth session of the Women on Wheels will be held  this coming Tuesday on June 17th at Noelle’s Country Market on Keltic Drive.  Start time 6:00 pm. Come out and share in the fun!  Get tips each week about cycling.  Make friends as you ride around the scenic area of Pt. Edward.  Snack afterwards on some of Noelle’s baked goods or take home for later.  Just have a really good time riding at your own pace.  Required: You need a hemet and a bike in good working order.  Free to Velo Club Members, Non-Members $2.00.


Have a great week and stay active!

Shelley Johnson

Rides Captain & Cycling Ambassador.






The Robert Baille Award recognizes people who are “champions of healthy living in our communities”. The selection committee would have been hard-pressed to find a better role model or more energetic advocate than Jacques. Ever humble, Jacques mused thusly: “It's not my thing to blow my own horn for something I don't entirely deserve, but as president of Velo Cape Breton, I accept this as kudos for all the past and present volunteers who have put forth effort for Velo Cape Breton over the past eleven years”. Congratulations, Jacques, for all your hard work and inspiration over the years (editor's note: remember that behind every great man is a good woman – thanks and congratulations to Micheline as well).




The Heartland Tour will be in Sydney on July 9th, 2014. In addition to the cycling event (from Sydney to Louisbourg), there will be various activities at Open Hearth Park including an 8.5 km bike ride around Whitney Pier, a run/walk at Open Hearth Park, prizes and giveaways. Cyclists along the Sydney-Louisbourg route can meet the group at points along the way and ride the distance they prefer. Everything starts at 8:30 am at Open Hearth Park. For more information, see





AT Professional Development Grant available:


Leaked: Specialized Diverge “all road” bike:


As we are 100% into Bike Week, why not try an alternative to driving to work?  Hey, good way to exercise, save time and money, change the routine . . .






Wanted: Old “touring” bike for a display at a local business. Willing to pay a reasonable price. Contact Janet Dawson at The Bobbin Tree in Sydney. 902-539-0575


GIANT Rapid 3 (2010 model) hybrid bike: $375. Excellent condition. Ridden (sporadically) over three summers (never winter or rain driven). Tires on bike are Micheline Krylon Carbon (700x25cc). Extra set of tires included (Kenda Kwest, 700x28cc). Contact


 Shimano SPD SH­M036 cycling shoes: $15. Very good condition. Men's size 10.5. Tan / black colouring. Contact


For Sale: Trek Ziptite cycling helmet: $10. Very good condition. Adult / adjustable. Black / red / silver / white colouring. Contact






About That Funny

 [Editor's note: this is quite funny, and I am only giving you the first two here. Follow the link at the end for the other 7 reasons you can't ride a bike to work):


Nine Reasons You Can't Ride a Bike to Work, by Brendan Leonard.

I find riding a bicycle exhilarating, but that's no reason for you to think you should. In fact, here are 9 reasons you shouldn't bike to work. I'm sure you can think of others.

9. It's too dangerous.

Can you imagine being out there on a bicycle with all these crazy drivers flying past you, nothing to protect you except a plastic and styrofoam shell on your head? You could get killed. The absolute best thing is to stay in the protective cage of your car, because no one's ever been killed when they're inside an automobile. Driving is safe.

8. You have to wear a tie to work. Or a suit. Or a skirt.

Not only that, it's important to wear your tie/suit/business casual attire from the moment you leave your house in the morning until the moment you get home. There is no conceivable way you could leave some clothes at your office, and change into them after you ride your bike to work, two or three days a week. Plus, your suit/tie combination is so dialed, you can't just spread your tie collection out over two locations. Where the hell is my cornflower blue tie? I need to see if it looks good with these shoes.








Shelley Porter, 

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

VCB Cycling Ambassador.

June 12th, 2014


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