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VCB eNews Vol 11, #39 - Have Bicycle - Will Travel

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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In this Edition

-  Editorial: Have Bicycle, Will Travel

-  Rides Captain Corner, Shelley Johnson

- Cycling Shoes

- 2014 Adrian Campbell Valley Classic

-  Bike Buy and Sell

-  About That Funny


“A deputation of prominent cyclists waited upon the Province [of Nova Scotia] to urge the need for better roads. Premier Murray . . . is an enthusiastic wheelman, and he and Alderman Redden are among the wild scorchers to be seen about Spring Garden Road and the suburbs in the evenings” – The Atlantic Weekly, June, 1897





Over this past weekend, I made a trip to the Wolfville area to visit family. I took along my hybrid bicycle, and was delighted when my daughter readily agreed when asked if she wanted to bring along hers as well. Wolfville is a small, quiet town and the home of Acadia University (which is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year). The main street is lined with magnificent trees and historic houses of notable architectural beauty. It is the seat of intellect, innovation, and metaphysical contemplation in a region where agriculture is the prominent industry. Hardworking local farmers are tolerant of newcomers and new inventions “as long as it doesn’t frighten the horses”. Tourism is also a major industry in this region and they seem to have if not invented the Farmers’ Market at least to have been “early adopters” of the local food and craft movement.


I love Wolfville for a variety of reasons, but a recent bicycle ride down its main street made me think things had changed for the worse since I left in 1990. Main Street is just as narrow as ever, just as busy, and just as lined with parked cars. I noted with alarm that my little bike bell would probably not be heard by motorists opening the doors of their stopped vehicles. I was puzzled by this apparent bicycle unfriendliness, as bike racks are absolutely everywhere and every one had at least one bike attached. I didn’t see any other cyclists on Main Street “downtown” (if you can call about 200 m a downtown). Where were the cyclists coming from? 


My son is working at Randall House Museum as a project assistant, and like a good researcher he solved the mystery for me: everyone uses the trails that run parallel to the main road. He uses them himself cycling to work every day. Following his example, my daughter and I took to the trail system of an early morning. The trail is wide, well maintained, hard-packed, and allows scenic views of the agricultural lands to the North of the town. My daughter and I had a fantastic 25 km ride at a leisurely pace that took us to Grand Pre to view an art installation and back to Wolfville for a snack at a coffee shop. A cyclist coming from Grand Pre, Gaspereaux, or Port Williams and beyond could pick up the trail, come into town and lock their bike at any of several racks, then stroll about enjoying all Wolfville has to offer.


Now, before you think this is just a tourism plug for my favourite town, consider two points: my son cycles to work every day. My daughter and I cycled 25 km completely off paved roads, but comfortable on hybrid bikes. Trust me, neither of these young people is a cycling enthusiast. I’d cycle not matter what, but they, and hundreds of other people around Wolfville, cycle because they have the infrastructure. “Better roads”. Let us wait upon our towns, and our province, regarding the need for better cycling roads.





by: Shelley Johnson,  Rides Captain, VCB Cycling Ambassador



Indian Brook, Taken as I rode by on my bike. 


The cooler air was welcomed.  It was still warm, but the humidity was not as high as in past days.  We’ve had a beautiful summer, but sometimes the humidity is the definitive moment as to our enjoyment of outdoor activities. Regardless, cool was in... hot was out!  Our destination ride was to the Clucking Hen to meet up with the participants of the Cabot Trail Tour, to share a meal and to listen to stories about their tour.  We left the Englishtown Ferry at 9:30 am, which upon reflection was perhaps a tad early for an 11:00 am meet up.  So we stopped along the way at the Fine Art Gallery which is housed in a refurbished church.  Inside, we discovered many pieces of local fine art as well as a grand piano, which caught my interest.  Turns out it had been sent over form England and had been of a make and model that Beethoven preferred to play due to the reverb of the bass strings. It had a very rich sound.  We still arrived at the Clucking Hen somewhat early, but that just gave us the opportunity to have our lunch before things got really busy.


Slowly riders began to trickle in.  Ah, those wonderful, although challenging days of riding the Cabot Trail!  If you have ridden the Trail, then you will know what I mean.  If you have not, I encourage you to go and experience the ambiance and the lure that is in our own back yard. You will be coddled by her beauty and tested by her ruggedness.


 I am sure that there will be someone who comments in the newsletter on how wonderful this tour actually was from their perspective.  I heard comments of how well organized it was and folks seemed to be enjoying themselves a lot!  Some faces were familiar from other tours that I had been on, but many were not.  I had the pleasure of chatting with people from Vermont, Calgary Alberta, Quebec and Ontario.  I am sure that I missed some others.  That’s always sadly how it goes.


I was told that the chemistry of this group was tremendous.  Isn’t it interesting how we as people bond toward a common cause.  Fun was had by all and I am sure some cherished memories were made in those four terrific days.





Riders gather at the Clucking Hen for some tasty food on the last leg of the Cabot Trail Tour.



Our “tandemming” and Velo Cape Breton friends and club members from Quebec: Jean Pierre and Helene. Fun to be had on a tandem going around the Trail.pastedGraphic_3.pdf

The Fine Art Gallery








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 (Ride Organizer is Eliot Frosst) 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, and, of course, 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) totals about 36 kilometres with 7 stops.


10:15 leave the Visitor Reception Centre.


1. 8 kilometers to the Light House and battery; 7 km paved road, 1 km on good dirt Park road.


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


3.  7 kilometers to Stella Maris cemetery and Camperdown elm; through town and on paved road.


4.  1 kilometers to St. Richard's Cemetery and old town pathway; paved road.


5.  1 kilometers to Gate/porte 2 (probable site of facine battery); good dirt Park road.


6.  4 kilometers to Black Rock; good dirt Park road.


7.  2 kilometers 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


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





Regular Tuesday night show and go at Noelle’s Country Market.  Ride around the Pt Edward loop at your own pace.  Meet at 6:15  for a 6:30 start.  18 Kms





Come on out to Glace Bay and surrounding area cyclist!  Come and enjoy a ride with the Ambassadors, who will be cruising through 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





Bib Interval is situated in a valley, about halfway across the mountains between Grand Etang and the Cabot Trail at the intersection at Margaree Valley Road.  It is one of the most picturesque places in Cape Breton.  Herman and Ruth Schreeberger always greets us with a warm welcome and fabulous food


Choice of 3 routes:

  1. Leaving from Big Interval dirt road in Margaree Valley at 11:00 am. (easy 30 km, return ride, mountain bike or hybrid bike)
  2.   Leaving from Margaree Valley Road at Cabot Trail intersection (across from Dancing Goat at 10:30 am (easy 40km, return mountain or hybrid)
  3. Leaving Universite St Anne Campus in Lemoine at 9:00 am and over the mountains via Pembrooke Lake Road (challenging 48 km return ride, mountain bike only)


The route starting in Grand Etang has a level of difficulty similar to the challenging trails and climbs of this years AHC ( the climb to Pembrooke Lake is more than 4 km).  You do not have to register in advance and there are no pit stops, so everyone must bring their own food and drink.  That being said you have to let us know that  you’re joining us for the ride so we can make lunch reservations at the Fishing Lodge.  It’s a ride done in a friendly atmosphere.  Each cyclist can ride at their own pace; the fastest climbers usually wait or go back and forth, so as not to read any slower climbers behind.


  • All 3 groups meet around noon at the Big Interval Fishing Lodge to share Herman’s wonderful cuisine
  • Weather permitting, there is an evening get together at Rene and Shelley’s scenic beach to enjoy a BBQ (bring your own food) and bon fire.
  • We welcome any interested cyclist to join us, especially members of VCB.


N.B. if interested contact






The Ambassadors are riding through Open Hearth Park and surrounding area in Sydney.  This ride is relaxed and easy.  No big hills.  Just a short evening ride.  Approximately 20 Kms.  Meet: 6:15 pm for a 6:30 start.






Don’t miss out on this ride ladies!  Mark your calendar.  This is a really nice summer time ride in a relatively low traffic area.  You’ll ride at your own pace along the Mira River heading to Marion Bridge and looping back to  the start point in Albert Bridge.  Then join us for a bite to eat and something to drink.  


Where:  Meet at McMullins Gas Bar and Store. 

Time:  Meet 1:15 pm for a 1:30 pm start.

Distance:  Approx. 30 Kms

RL:  Shelley Johnson


Have a great week to everyone!  Enjoy your bike and make the most of this great summer we’ve been having.


Shelley Johnson

Rides Captain and Cycling Ambassador






Shoes are important when you travel by bike, because you're likely going to be spending a lot of time in the saddle. But there comes a time at the end of each day when you will step off your bike and want to walk around. Which brings up the question, "What kind of shoes should you be using on your bicycle tour?"

Shoes are very important on a bicycle tour because your feet are one of three areas on your body where you connect with your bicycle (the other two areas being your hands and your bottom). Select the right shoes for your bike tour and your ride will feel like a dream. But select the wrong shoes and your bike tour could quickly turn into a nightmare.

Road racing shoes are stiff, lightweight shoes that are worn by road racing cyclists. These shoes allow you to clip into the pedals on your bicycle, providing you with both a powerful down and upstroke. These shoes are great for short, one-day bike rides, but they are pretty uncomfortable when used for long-distance bicycle touring.

In all my years, I've never seen a single person on a long-distance bicycle tour wearing these types of shoes.

Road shoes are fine for long day rides or guided tours where your  normal tennis shoes are carried for you in a vehicle that follows you  along your route. In fact, if you have another pair of shoes to change  into once you get off your bike, riding in these types of shoes might work just fine.

As you will see in a moment, however, there are better options when it comes to shoes for traveling cyclists.

The most common type of shoe in use by long-distance  bicycle tourists is the SPD shoe. This type of cycling shoe uses a Shimano SPD clip to attach your shoes to your bike.

The reason these types of shoes are so popular for touring is that  they allow you to connect with your bicycle for a powerful, enjoyable  ride... but they also allow you to walk considerable distances in relative comfort. You probably wouldn't want to walk for more than a couple  miles in these types of shoes (I've done it), but covering a mile or two in MTB shoes won't hurt you at all.

MEN's SPD Bicycle Shoes:

WOMEN's SPD Bicycle Shoes:

Finally, you might consider riding in a regular pair of tennis shoes or sandals. I rode with a pair of New Balance running shoes on my first two  bicycle tours and they worked quite well. And in 2009 I  cycled through Europe wearing a pair of $30 Nike running shoes. And again-no problem!

The disadvantage of riding with regular running/walking shoes is that they don't provide you with the fluid, powerful ride that you get with  shoes that clip to your bike. However, once you get off the bike, you'll be completely comfortable covering long distances on foot. If you plan  to do a lot of walking on your bike tour, riding in regular tennis shoes might be a good idea.

So, there you have it! Those are the three most popular types of shoes worn by bicycle tourists.

Thanks for reading. Have a great week, and I hope to see you out there on the road sometime soon!

Darren Alff
Bicycle Touring Pro


Darren Alff is a world-renowned authority on bicycle touring, and is the founder of, the world's most popular international bicycle touring website and how-to information source.






We invite you to participate in the second annual ACVC.  After a very successful and fun filled day in the saddle at the 2013 ACVC, we have added improvements to this years ride to make it even better.  A few of the many highlights added for 2014 - beer and BBQ post ride, more on bike ride leaders, and we have added 6 vintage scooters to our existing ride vehicle support.  Of course we still offer the great food and rest stops from last year.


Let’s make this year’s ride even better, and encourage a friend to join in the fun, all for a great cause!

When: Date: Sunday, September 28th, 2014
Time: 9:00 am sign in, 10:00 am depart
Location: NSCC Kingstec - 236 Belcher St Kentville, NS


Three ride options:
120km ride (28 km/hr avg) 
120km ride (23 km/hr avg) 
55km (18km/hr avg)


Cost to register: $95.00 CDN – register soon as the ride is capped at 150 riders. 
All funds raised by the volunteer run organization go directly into the Adrian Campbell Scholarship Fund and help a NS athlete attend a NS secondary institution.

Register here


Included in your ride registration:
• Beautiful, fully guided and supported routes through the scenic Annapolis Valley 
• Pre-ride refreshments and light snacks – all cyclists need their coffee! 
• Fully stocked rest stops [ hydration and fuel ] 
• Rolling bike support by professional bicycle mechanics 
• Catered Lunch with music 
• Wine tasting at Gaspereau Winery – for 55km group 
• Bathroom facilities at NSCC Kingstec (start and finish) 
• Free parking at NSCC Kingstec 
• “Something on a Bun” and beer reception – post ride 
• Limited edition tour jersey available for $60.00


2013 Rider testimonials

"…one of the best days he had ever had on his bike.” JW

"Best ride I have ever done in NS.” SD

"One of the top organized cycling events we have ever participated in.” GM

More Information








 Do you agree? Sound like Canada??


Cycling parking


Just weird


Cycling infrastructure in NS grows:





For Sale: Roof racks, suitable for small car with gutters. Adjustable. $60. Contact the editor.





Did you hear about the magic tractor? 

It turned into a field! 


What do farmers use to make crop circles? 

A Protractor.


What's the best part of farming? 

Getting down and dirty with my hoes 

Who tells chicken jokes? 





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.

August 7th, 2014




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