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VCB eNews, Vol 11, #36 - Alone...

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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


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In this Edition

-  Editorial: Alone

-  Rides Captain Corner, Shelley Johnson

- Across the Highlands Mountain Bike Challenge 2014 DONE

-  Loose Chain Links

-  Bike Buy and Sell

-  About That Funny



"No-one saves us but ourselves. No-one can, and no-one may. We ourselves must walk the path" -- Gautama Buddha





In the Summer of 2006, I borrowed my son's mountain bike and went on my first Across the Highlands Mountain Bike Challenge. I'd never done any mountain biking before (well, only if you count riding a steel-framed 10 speed through all the trails at Kejimkujik National Park) and I was taking instruction from my fellow riders all along the 65 km trail. I enjoyed that ride so much that I bought my own mountain bike. The AHC is the cycling event of the season that I will not miss. It is fun, it is difficult, it is beautiful, it is frightening, and it is terrifically rewarding. This year, I realized the AHC could be a metaphor for Life, at least for mine.


I have shown up at the start line of the AHC most years alone. Once or twice, I've done the ride with a family member. Always I ride at least part of the time with friends. This year, I started out with a few companions, but rode most of the route alone. And riding along, I realized that I've done that most years. The AHC is a fun ride, not a race, although many riders will ride it like one. We get a wide range of skills and levels of fitness participating in this event, and the agility of some of the riders is a wonder to behold and an inspiration to better one's own skills. There is always someone around to ask for help, be it mechanical or medical. Every rider is provided with a map, some refreshments, and the promise of a warm shower followed by a great meal at the end -- and it feels like heaven. 


As in life, your experience of this challenge is shaped partly by your attitude, partly by your preparation, partly by chance. You may cruise along in great company for a time, then come to a parting of the ways. You may be buoyed along by your friends' enthusiasm, yet those climbs are conquered by your own legs. You may have the vistas pointed out to you, or already marked on a map, and yet . . . sometimes the most breathtaking scenes are revealed only when some mishap forces you to stop, change your focus, look up from the track, and point your face in some direction you never would have considered if your journey had not been interrupted. The opportunity to see things differently, to not just go back to doing things the same old way, to alter your pace if not your course, is yours. Alone.





by: Shelley Johnson,  Rides Captain, VCB Cycling Ambassador



Some of the Cycling Ambassadors and one of the WOWs check out the new installations at Open Hearth Park. L to R, Shelley Porter, Charlene Wadden, Stan Wadden, Cheryl Berube.


Ambassador's in the Hood enjoy a ride through Open Hearth Park on Sunday, July 13th as part of their 35K ride to Fort Petrie and back.  It was a spectacular afternoon spent with wonderful friends.  Thank you Shelley Porter for acting as Ride Leader and making this a pleasant and fun ride.  


You too can come out and enjoy the next AMBASSADORS IN THE HOOD ride to be held Thursday, July 24th.  Approximate distance 15-20K.  Meet: Deleski Bike Park, Sydney, 6:15 pm.  This ride is open to Velo club members, who ride for free and $2.00 for non members.  For those involved in the Summer Fit Challenge this may be your chance to get a ride in while enjoying the company of other cyclists. Come on out and enjoy an evening ride through the Sydney area.  You'll have a good time!



THURSDAY, JULY17TH   Come out and ride the parade on your bike. Extra from Stan and Charlene Wadden, Cycling Ambassadors: "An invitation has been extended to VELO and WOW participants to participate in the Bay Days Parade, to be held in Glace Bay, Wed., July 17th, forming up at Sobey's parking lot on Reserve St. with departure at 6:00 PM. This would be great exposure for VELO and its members.

As you can imagine, the speed is slow and there will be a lot of waving from big-eyed children and smiling, curious adults" -- Stan & Charlene


RIDE AND BRUNCH- ( Isle Madame Chapter)


This is a great ride and a fun day!  You'll have great memories from this ride and social.  So much so that you will want to do it all again next year! 

When: Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Where: Dooley's Pharmacy Parking Lot

Time: 10:00 am

Contact: Development Isle Madame Association @ 226-1918 / Jessica Boudreau @ 226-1214

For all levels of cyclists, choose from 20km, 40km, or 60km routes as you cycle through beautiful Isle Madame.  Followed by free seafood chowder and BBQ at LeNoir Landing for all cyclists.





LADIES!  This is our very first ride and social of the summer and it's going to be a good one!  Come and join your fellow Women on Wheels for a fabulous relaxed ride through friendly Glace Bay.  There will be an opportunity to stop for a cup of coffee/tea and a chance to socialize with each other.  Now it doesn't get any better than that!  Let's see you there with that WOW spirit on!

When:  Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Where:   Sobey's parking lot

Time:  1:30 pm 

Approximate distance:   25K;   RLs: Charlene Wadden & Shelley Johnson



WOMEN ON WHEELS continue to ride Tuesday Nights at Noelle's Country Market  Note:  Time Change- 6:15 pm for a 6:30 start.  Ride the loop of Pt Edward, or as far as you like.  The summer weather has been beautiful for a relaxed evening ride with your BFF gal pals.  See you there!




Anticipation is the key to proper shifting. To make the transition smoother, try to change gears just before you really need to. Shift at the dead spot of your pedal stroke, when your feet are at 12 and 6 o'clock. The less pressure you put on the pedals, the more reliable your derailleurs will be.


WHEELS They should spin straight and not rub the brakes. Make sure your tires have plenty of tread and no cuts or large nicks, and that they are properly inflated.


THE CHAIN! Too much lube will attract dirt and grime, which wears out your drivetrain. A good test is to wipe your finger on your chain. It should come away with just a small amount of oil.


YOUR COCKPIT Check your headset by grabbing the front brake and rocking the handlebar back and forth. If you feel movement in your headset, loosen the stem's clamp bolts and tighten the top cap until there is no more movement. Don't forget to retighten the stem bolts before you ride.



Have a great week and enjoy your bike!

Shelley Johnson, Rides Captain/Cycling Ambassador





The 11th annual AHC was staged July 12, 2014, with 86 riders and several officials tackling the scenic trails around Cheticamp. This edition was well-organized,  as usual, and offered just the right mix of scenic viewpoints, quiet woodland trails, brutal climbs, and gleeful descents. A big thank you is due the volunteers who put this together, from signage to on-trail support to catering. It was the BEST ONE EVER (although I do say that every year)!





Regular articles, including Loose Chain Links:

Word document or compatible, 12 pt Times New Roman. Please have submissions for the current edition submitted by the Monday prior.


Ads for Bike Buy & Sell: Word document or compatible, 12 pt, Times New Roman, submitted by the Monday prior. Ads will run for 3 weeks. Please inform the editor if the item is sold before that term is up. If the item doesn't sell, you may re-submit your ad.  


Photos: high resolution (photos taken with a phone are usually too low, but there may be exceptions); please name all the people in the photo, and give the event, date, and location.







It would appear North America's love affair with the car is far from over, despite the alluring lines of modern bicycles:


"a new psychological shift for drivers accustomed to the belief they own the road":


More reasons to ride at night, this time for a cause:


Why cycling makes you a better person (according to science):


Had to laugh at this one -- wish someone would pay me $30K to deliver the papers!


Must be Summer:


A destination ride just outside Sydney: The Goat Island trail just as you enter Eskasoni is the site of an extensive display featuring Mi'kmaq culture and history. You can leave your bike at the trail head and walk the trail, with its beautiful views of the Lakes and natural features. If you want a more involved experience, you can book a guided tour which includes a boat tour of Crane Cove and a traditional Mi'kmaq meal. For more information, see


Fort Petrie, the destination for the Ambassador Ride this past Sunday, recently suffered a number of broken windows in a vandalism incident. Volunteers at the site are organizing a fundraiser concert. I will pass along details when they become available. 



No bikes or bike stuff to sell this week!


About That Funny


A not-bad cycling comic strip:


Are you a real [British] cyclist?


"To get back my youth, I would do anything in the world . . . except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable." -- Oscar Wilde


"I went to a gym. They offered me a free membership for life if I would pose for a poster that said 'Don't let this happen to you'" -- Lenny Clarke 




Shelley Porter,  

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

VCB Cycling Ambassador.

July 17th, 2014


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