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VCB eNews, Vol 11, #41 - Meet Our Challengers

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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: Meet Our Challengers

-  Rides Captain Corner, Shelley Johnson

-  Bike Buy and Sell

-  About That Funny



“We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.” 

– Maxwell Maltz





I’ve been the 52 Week Bike Challenge Coordinator for Velo Cape Breton for over five years. For some strange reason I can’t recall the year I started. I do recall thinking at the end of that first year as a participant thinking “Wow, I’m glad that’s over and I don’t think I will do it again”. Out of politeness and appreciation for his efforts creating this unique initiative, I sent some kudos to the coordinator who as it happened was also the president of the club. Impressed by my enthusiasm, he promptly made me coordinator! D-Oh! And thus began my dependency on wool socks . . .  .


The 52 Week Bike Challenge is a year-long event wherein participants commit to cycling at least 30 continuous minutes outdoors once per week for every week of the year. There is no set distance or location, just the time spent outside on your bicycle. This year, a new Challenge was created for those not quite ready to take on winter cycling: the SummerFit Challenge. In this challenge, participants commit to cycling for at least one hour twice per week. The season is shorter, but rides are longer and more frequent than in the “B52”. Attendance is on the honour system, and no records are kept except for by participants, if they wish. At the end of the challenge, Velo Cape Breton presents each participant with a certificate. The finishers get the satisfaction of having completed a year-long challenge (or half-year, for the SummerFit group) and all the health benefits that go with it.


My role as coordinator is to keep a casual eye on participation levels, supply Challengers with tips and tricks for cycling, and send out the occasional encouraging word. You don’t have to be a member of Velo Cape Breton to participate, and you don’t have to be in Cape Breton. We have had participants from Kentville, Ottawa, and small-town Kentucky. You don’t have to be an avid cyclist either, as the age and ability levels have a wide range, from seasoned cycling commuters to newcomers to bicycle riding. Occasionally I send out an email to the list of Challengers, and ask how they are doing and what they’ve been up to. The responses are always wonderful, as participants relate their favourite rides, latest accomplishments, and tales of cycling vacations. The Challengers are as diverse a group as can glide on two wheels and we are always welcoming more. Come join us: it will be a challenge.




by: Shelley Johnson, Rides Captain


Each month since May, the Cycling Ambassadors have held a 30 K ride in either in North Sydney, Sydney, or Glace Bay.  The purpose of these rides is to raise public awareness of cycling and Velo CB club activities.  Plus it’s just fun to get together with the gang and share a story or two while riding along through the streets of each town or rural area.





Jimmie, Stan and Charlene share a laugh. Below: Jimmie Stan and Shelley


The interesting thing about these rides is that they have been both very interesting scenically and educationally.  Today we rode the streets of Glace Bay with Ambassadors Stan and Charlene, and I have to say that it was one of the most enjoyable riding experiences I’ve had all summer long.  The pace was relaxed and both Stan and Charlene were a wealth of good humoured information as we rode though this colliery and that colliery (the proper numbers now escape me).  At one point we found ourselves taking in the view from the Marconi National Historic Site.

Glace Bay, N.S. as seen from the Marconi Historic Site.


Most of us know this is the site from which the first transatlantic radio message was sent west to east by Guglielmo Marconi in 1902.  Across from where we stood was a good view of the rugged coastline, the harbor, and the township of Glace Bay.  In the distance was Flint Island as we gazed out toward the ocean and Port Morien.   Later in the day as we headed toward Sand Lake, we would pass by the original homestead of the Marconi family. 


From the Marconi Historic Site we made our way to the Miners Museum, and rode down the cobble stone path amid the historical reconstructions of a mining town.  Three retired miners sat on a bench outside the museum chatting as a car-load of visitors pulled into the parking lot.  Off we headed next onto a busy street where the Heavy Water Plant used to be.  The ground is now leveled for development, and of the plant only heavy equipment remains, like abstract art placed here and there on a canvas.  Eventually we made our way back to where we had started after we criss-crossed this street and that.  It was a very interesting afternoon for a 33K jaunt around the ‘hood.  I would highly recommend these rides.


Aside from riding individually in their own communities, each monthly ride that the Ambassadors have taken over the summer has served to promote the enjoyments offered by bicycle.  Most of all, these rides have been fun.  A very positive message indeed.  Thank you Stan and Charlene for a wonderful ride.

Stan and Charlene with a young friend (no helmet – this fellow needs some safety instruction!).  This is what Ambassadors do best... reaching out into their communities.


Here’s what is up and coming:





WHERE:  Deleski Bike Park (Open Hearth Park ) Sydney

WHEN:  Meet at 6:15 for a 6:30 start



These rides take place in Sydney and leave from the park heading out into the surrounding area.  Pace is relaxed.  You are invited and welcome to attend.





Leave the Velo Max Bike Shop at 9:00 am or CBHA at 10:00 am.  Choice of 15, 30 or 75.

Contact: Michel Aucoin (902) 224-0069,







WHEN:  Sunday, August 24th


WHERE: Meet at Mullin’s store in Albert Bridge.


TIME:  1:15 PM for a 1:30 PM START.


DISTANCE: Approximately 20 kms  & 30 kms.


Ride leaves Mullin’s Rite Stop store in Albert Bridge heading out on the Trout brook Rd to Marion Bridge.  You have the opportunity to turn around at the Bengal Rd and head back which is about a 20 K ride.  Those wishing to do the 30 K, will loop around on Hillside Road back to Mullins for food and social.

Ride goes rain or shine.






Have a wonderful week!  Don’t forget to get out there and ride.  By the looks of things from your responses at the halfway point of the SummerFit and B-52 Challenges, you have been!


Shelley Johnson

Rides Captain and Cycling Ambassador






Opera-trained pop singer Alexandra Kalinowski celebrates the joy of Summer cycling


This website is kind of amazing. Check out the article about hand signals for cycling.


And more about travel by bicycle:


If one must use auxiliary power, I prefer this to the lawn mower engine-powered cycles we see on the streets in CBRM.


Tiny house that can be pulled by a bicycle.






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


For Sale: Kid’s Bike, Norco ZX80, nearly new. 20” wheels.  Originally purchased new at Frameworks for $120+taxes.  Asking $75.  Barely ridden. Can be seen here:

Contact the editor.




The problem with winter sports is, they generally take place in winter.




The Michaels family owned a small farm in Canada, just yards away from the North Dakota border. Their land had been the subject of a minor dispute between the United States and Canada for generations. Mrs. Michaels, who had just celebrated her ninetieth birthday, lived on the farm with her son and three grandchildren.

One day, her son came into her room holding a letter. "I just got some news, Mom," he said. "The government has come to an agreement with the people in Washington. They've decided that our land is really part of the United States. We have the right to approve or disapprove of the agreement. What do you think?" 

"What do I think?" his mother said. "Jump at it! Call them right now and tell them we accept! I don't think I could stand another one of those Canadian winters!" 





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 21st, 2014


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