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VCB eNews Vol 11, #38 - Travelling With Your Bicycle


E-mailed without cost or obligation to bicycle advocates around the world.


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


In this Edition

-  Editorial: Traveling With Your Bicycle

-  Rides Captain Corner, Shelley Johnson

- Spot Open on Cabot Trail in Four Days Trip

- Fort Petrie Fundraiser

-  Loose Chain Links

-  Bike Buy and Sell

-  About That Funny


"I thrilled with the bliss of motion

Like a bird that skims the down

Give me my wheel for a comrade

And the Queen may keep her crown

  •  Quoted but not attributed, in Silent Steeds: Cycling in Nova Scotia to 1900 by Heather Watts



EDITORIAL: Traveling With Your Bicycle


The recent publication of cycling route maps for some regions of Nova Scotia got me thinking about traveling with one's bicycle. Note that is with one's bicycle, not by bicycle. Cycle touring, that is going from Point A to Point B by bike, panniers loaded with camping gear, is a time-honoured tradition. I'm thinking about those trips you take by car (or train -- this is possible) where you take your bicycle along. Having a bicycle with you opens up options for day trips that offer a welcome change from viewing the landscape from your vehicle window. It's also a way to see the sights at your destination (or during your journey) using active transportation. Going for a bike ride gives you a chance to get some exercise while enjoying the tourism highlights. 


Not many bicycles will fit in the trunk of a Yaris, so I have a bike rack. Bike racks come in many styles and at many price points. Trunk-mounted racks tend to be the least costly, and are usually easy to get on and off of your car. Drawbacks can include not having easy access to your trunk, and the possibility of damaging your bicycle or your car if the rack is not installed properly or your make a misstep attaching your bike. It's important to make sure the rack not only fits your car, but that your bike fits well on the rack when it is on the car. 


I prefer a hitch mounted rack, and you can have a hitch installed on even a small car for a reasonable price. Not having the hitch wired for trailer hauling keeps the cost down. If you are only going to use the hitch for a bike rack, wiring is not necessary. 


Other items to have along once your bike is safely attached to the rack are a tool kit (you can take along a few larger items that you wouldn't on a cycling tour -- a floor pump, for example), a guidebook to cycling routes, and a lock to secure your bike to your car rack. It's a good idea to keep your bike locked to the rack when parked in strange environs. I prefer to take my bike right in my hotel room if possible, or freaking out the other seniors in the complex by carrying my bike up the stairs and stowing it in my mother's apartment when I am visiting her.


Cycling is a relaxing and healthy way to see the countryside when you are traveling -- when packing your bags, don't forget your bike!




RIDES CAPTAIN'S CORNER: "If You Look Straight Ahead You'll See France"

by: Shelley Johnson,  Rides Captain, VCB Cycling Ambassador


I took a ride though Glace Bay and surrounding area on Sunday afternoon.  The winds were feisty and were blowing steadily as we left the parking lot of Sobeys and headed up Reserve Street.  I don't often get to cycle in Glace Bay and I must admit that I am not entirely familiar with all the streets that criss-cross each other.  I tucked myself in behind Jacques and Micheline's tandem and let the afternoon unfold.  


Glace Bay, as most people know, is a community with a rich and long history.  Back in 1893, the Dominion Coal Company made Glace Bay a boomtown in its efforts to extract bituminous coal from seams underlying the surrounding area and dipping under the ocean floor.  Eleven collieries were operated in the town by Dominion Coal.  By 1980s the last remaining colliery was closed by DEVCO.  By the turn of the 21st century DEVCO was dismantled and its assets sold.  So yes, there is history here!  


As we rode through the streets, mostly uphill (Glace Bay is not flat) the legacy of those days past reach out and touch you. On the eastern side of Glace Bay, the company houses that line the streets speak of those mining days.  Some of these houses remain habitable, while others have been long abandoned and left to decline.  Mother Nature and time have a way of reclaiming their own.  Next to its weathered grey wood shingles, one such company house in disrepair had some tiger lilies bending and bobbing in the wind. Back and forth to and fro, the orange lilies remaining as a silent testament, that at one time there was someone who took great care of this property. There is character here amidst the smell of the salt sea air. The air that breathes life into all of us Maritimers.


We eventually made our way to the coastline and its rocky cliffs around the ocean.  Our bikes came to a stop as we could go no further and we looked out at the enormous blue expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.  Someone said, "if you look straight ahead, you'll see France!".  Joking, of course.  Squinting, I could see nothing but white caps on the water and feel the wind upon my face.  I heard the squeal and cries of seagulls along the shore line.  This had been a wonderful ride!  I am so glad that I live here.  We have so much to enjoy and what better way to "see the distant shores of France" than by bike.  


I invite you to join us for one of our rides.  Please check out our schedule at


Here's what's up and coming:




This tour is now filled and will be leaving the Gaelic College in St. Ann's Bay and riding in a clockwise direction.  Looks like good weather ahead.  Good luck to all participants and enjoy the ride. 





Cheticamp cyclists are invited to join up with the Cabot Trail Tour 4 Day with Velo Cape Breton for a return ride to Pleasant Bay.  Please contact Michel Aucoin  for further details.




Meet at the Englishtown Ferry for 9:15am for a 9:30am departure.  This ride will head to the Clucking Hen to join up with those participants on the last leg of the Cabot Trail Tour 4 Days for lunch.  You have the choice of returning with the group to the ferry, or riding a more challenging route through Tarbot and area, approximately 40 K.




Regular Tuesday night show and go at Noelle's Country Market.  Ride at your own pace around the Pt Edward loop.

Meet: 6:15 pm for 6:30 start.




Come out to the Light House and then back into the Louisbourg Fortress on Sunday, the 10th of August.


Cost is $15 in cash, $5 with pass ($17.60 with plastic at 9:45 at the Visitor Reception Centre counter).


Meet on the main floor in the Visitor Reception Centre at 9:40. I will 

be in a red volunteer shirt and Jimmy Campbell will be wearing a

bright yellow and green Velo Ambassador shirt. Included are: maps and a certificate. A virtual day pass into the Fortress for cyclists entering with 

me.  A bike tour (but you bring your bike) that has 7 historical stops with me as your guide/interpreter and a safe place to store your bike as you tour the fortress.


This is a guided and supported tour. I will be in my SUV with a bike rack for people who experience bike problems. We have some basic tools. In my SUV there is also room to store clothes, water, cameras, etc.  As we will be on mostly dirt (but smooth) roads, I do not recommend racing slicks.  The tour will go on rain or shine.


The ride will start at 10:15 am at the Visitor Reception Centre where there is also lots of car parking and will finish at the King's Garden around 1:30 pm. The day trip (return) total's about 36 kilometres with 7 stops.


10:15 leave the Visitor Reception Centre.


1. Eight kilometres to the Light House and battery; 7 km paved road, 1 km on good dirt Park road.


2. One kilometre back to Careening Beach; 1 km on good dirt Park road.


3. Seven kilometres to Stella Maris cemetery and Camperdown elm; through town and on paved road.


4. One kilometre to St. Richard's Cemetery and old town pathway; paved road.


5. One kilometre to Gate/porte 2 (probable site of facine battery); good dirt Park road.


6. Four kilometres to Black Rock; good dirt Park road.


7. Two kilometres into Fortress via Queen's gate to King's Garden; good dirt Park road.


Eat your picnic lunch in the King's Garden or come join us for lunch 

at one of the town's fine eateries.


The return trip is 12 kilometers via Gate/porte 2 from the King's garden




The King's Garden is a safe place to lock/store your bicycle.  Park closes at 5:00 pm.




Come on out Glace Bay and surrounding area cyclists!  Come and enjoy a ride with the Ambassadors who will be cruising though your area.  We ride to promote cycling in our communities and we'd love to have you join us on this ride.  

Where:  Sobey's parking lot.  Please park in spots facing Reserve Street

When:  Meet for 1:15 for  a 1:30 start time.

Distance: 25-30 kms


Have a wonderful week staying active and riding your bike!

Rides Captain and Cycling Ambassador





Good day to y'all


Bernice who has been preparing for weeks for the tour Cabot Trail in 4 Days" who has been struck by a flu and cannot entertain riding the Cabot Trail this weekend.  She's offering her seat to anyone who wants it.


This is an "eleventh-hour" call but if you have always wanted to ride the Cabot Trail but never find the best condition, this is an opportunity.


The person wanting to take the empty spot can call/email Bernice  902-562-2509  to make arrangements.


Once Bernice confirms to us that arrangements have been made with the person taking the seat, that person will be required to fill-out the CT4D Registration form and we will go from there.  


This offer ends by midnight on Thursday July 31st.


This is not something that we normally do but Bernice being a member of Velo Cape Breton for the past 11 years deserve this service.


Thanks to all for understanding.


Jacques Coté

Organizer of CT4D






As mentioned in last week's newsletter, the historic site at Fort Petrie recently suffered damage from vandals. A fundraiser concert is planned for August 3rd. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the afternoon of live entertainment. Music starts at 1 pm, and goes to 4 pm. Performances by Bob MacDonald, Big Ed MacDonald, Gary Cummings, Romeo and Stephen Melanson, and Fred Macneil. Sound by Jason McKinnon, Ward Goloskit, Ken and Trish Cox. Hope to see you there!





Where are you?


Best bike routes in NS being mapped.


Is Canada missing out on cycle tourism?






To Give Away: Mountain bike in excellent condition. Contact Bob Walker at 564-6815 for more details.


STOLEN: From Blues Fest, Ottawa on July 13th, Giant ATX 890 aluminum frame,  yellow Xtra-Small (XS) size with a sticker from Mike's Bike Shop, in Dieppe; the frame has Velo Cape Breton stickers on both sides, where the down-tube joins the head-tube.  The dark blue and red lettering on the yellow frame has abrasion scratches in a number of places. The handlebar and stem are black Easton aluminum parts with yellow and white "Easton EA50" logos. The bike was fitted with a red Rock Shox Judy front suspension fork.  The wheels are built on Shimano XT silver hubs (not grey or black) with very conspicuous rims - Mavic X517 rims in the limited-edition, "citron" lemon-yellow colour and brown/black Michelin Wildgripper tires.

The bike is mainly outfitted with Shimano Deore LX dark blue/black parts; shifters, brake levers, brake calipers and front derailleur all from the Shimano M570 series of mountain-bike parts - relevant years for parts: 1999 to 2003.  The rear derailleur is from a different group of parts, the Shimano Deore XT group, but as the LX and XT parts were all "Mega-9" designated, still work well together as a Shimano 3 X 9-speed drivetrain. If you have information about this bike, please contact Lori Henley,






True Stories from Travel Agencies

I had someone ask for an aisle seat so that their hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window.

A client called in inquiring about a package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, "Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?"

I got a call from a woman who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information when she interrupted me with "I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts. "Without trying to make her look like the stupid one, I calmly explained, "Capecod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa." Her response ... click.

A man called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that is not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, "Don't lie to me. I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state."

I got a call from a man who asked, "Is it possible to see England from Canada?" I said, "No." He said "But they look so close on the map."






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.







Shelley Porter,  

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

VCB Cycling Ambassador.

July 31st, 2014

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