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VCB eNews, Vol 11, #44 - Get A Horse!

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In this Edition

-  Editorial: Get a Horse

-  Rides Captain Corner, Shelley Johnson

- Close Call on the Bike’n’Hike Event – Jacques Cote

-  Bike Buy and Sell

-  About That Funny



“Since the bicycle makes little demand on material or energy resources, contributes little to pollution, makes a positive contribution to health and causes little death or injury, it can be regarded as the most benevolent of machines."

Stuart S Wilson






This past week, I have had two of my bicycles serviced at a local retail shop. I don’t mind shelling out to keep my rides in tip-top shape, and with four of my own and two others in the house to care for, it’s necessary to send them out for maintenance from time to time. As I got ready to put my PIN number in for the latest bill, the thought crossed my mind that the horse might be a cheaper mode of transport. Now, a quick assessment of the costs associated with a non-farmer owning a horse pretty soon put paid to that notion. Once the price of boarding is added, the horse quickly outpaces the bicycle for cost of ownership. Of course, the bicycle doesn’t nicker to you when you come in the barn, and can’t take you over a course of fences. The special bond between horse and rider can readily be assessed at “priceless”. 

Still, the annual vet bill was almost as much as the combined cost of tuning up and repairing two bicycles. Compared to my motor vehicle, though, the horse looks like a cheap option! estimates the average cost of owning a car at over $10,000.00 per year (this includes registration, depreciation, etc.). It’s nice to know that my horse won’t depreciate, at least not for about a decade. The bicycles do, but not at the same rate as a car.



As with a car, a savvy handyperson can save a few bucks by doing minor repairs and maintenance on their bicycle. My profoundly unmechanical self changed a headlight bulb just yesterday, saving the cost of labour at a shop. Unlike motor vehicles, the basic technology of the bicycle has not changed a lot since the bicycle was invented. Doing your own bike repairs and maintenance can mean investing in some tools and supplies, but the convenience of being able to fix your bicycle yourself is well worth it if you 1) have a lot of bicycles; and 2) bicycle a lot. Over the past year when I’ve had two bicycles in the house that had to be used six days per week without fail, I’ve replaced a chain and a whole lot of brake pads. Given that when I first joined Velo Cape Breton in 2005 I was extremely reluctant to even attempt to change a flat tire, suffice to say if I can do it, anybody can. 


A well-maintained bicycle is safer, more comfortable and fun to ride, and can save you cash in trips not taken in your car. Doing regular maintenance and minor repairs can save you money, too, as well as give you a great sense of competence and accomplishment. Changing the light bulb in the car did indeed make me feel like a mechanical genius, but those opportunities are rare. Much more likely you’ll be sharpening your hand-eye skills on your bike. Properly cared for, your bicycle can last over two decades, so that it will be available for trips around the neighbourhood, like, say, going to visit your horse . . .  .





by: Shelley Johnson, Rides Captain

Yep!  There  definitely has been a bend in the road!  Is that red in those leaves?  OMG!  

Dare I say it?  Fall is upon us. Warm days and cool nights.  But don’t let that deter you.  The fall is no time to put the bike away.  Our warm days mean that you can have some wonderful rides, if you dress a bit in layers ( yes . . .  I said layers).  But you won’t need much to keep you warm.  Trust me I know layers.  Ride for a winter and find out. That, however, is for a future write-up. If you ski or ski-doo . . . or in the case of a friend, motorcycle . . . at least once a month all year long, you can ride a bicycle in the winter.  Again: for another write-up.  Although, for some mysterious reason, I do dream of Florida in the winter. Ah, Florida! Canada’s 11th province for snowbirds. A Canadian rite of passage . . .  . Yes?  I say that tongue in cheek of course.  But I digress.


My point is that there is still lots of time to catch the wonder and the joy of riding one’s bike.  The leaves will be beautiful in just a short while.  Be sure to get out and enjoy them by bike!  We have some rides that will help you do just that.


Here’s what is up and coming:



Please note that the LAST Tuesday night WoW Show and go at Noelle’s Country Market will be TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH.  Please note the time to meet is 6:00 pm with a 6:15 start time “sharp”.   Regret to see our ride go, but alas it is a must due to our diminishing light. We will soon be in darkness during that time period. A big THANK YOU LADIES to those of you who showed up to support this ride.  You made it fun and most enjoyable.





Once again we are on the North Side and as always you are invited to join us for a loop though North Sydney, Sydney Mines and Bras d’or.  The Ambassadors are in the hood to provide  promotion of cycling in various areas over the summer months.  We welcome you to join us. 

Where: Waterfront Parking lot behind the Royal Bank.

Time: 1:15 pm for a 1:30 pm start   Distance:  30 K





A 3 day fundraiser bicycle ride around the Cabot Trail to raise awareness of sexual abuse and to help further the education of abuse survivors.

Contact Kent Cadegan: 





Ladies!  This is your last chance for a Women on Wheels ride and the season ender.  Sad to say goodbye as far as the regular bike rides go.  Here’s the skinny on our last official ride till 2015.  RIDE AT YOUR OWN PACE!

MEET:  Englishtown Ferry 

TIME:  10:00 am for a 10:15 am start.  * note this is a slight time change from the schedule.

DESTINATION:  Ride to the Clucking Hen in Indian Brook.  Great food and lots of fun!  Check out the glass blowing across the street and some of the artisan shops along the way.


NOT MANDATORY BUT COULD BE FUN:  Let’s see how creative you are by donning  a piece of tartan ( yours or other clan...who is gonna know?  Okay, maybe some aficionados will ).  Attach it to yourself or your bike.  Could be fun!








Cyclists can either leave from the park entrance at 9:00 am or from Corney Brook at 9:30.  This will be an opportunity to see if you have improved your strength adn cardio over the summer.

Contact: Michel Aucoin 224-0069 or email






Shelley Johnson

Rides Captain and Cycling Ambassador




by: Jacques Coté

Suddenly, we had to back off for our own safety . . .  .  It was serious stuff.  No time to play a game.

It all started around 9 am on a cool, sunny, windy day riding our bikes through the sleepy and quiet Ingonish.  That early, we met touring cyclists doing the Cabot Trail in both directions, some loaded with panniers and stuff and others pedalling light with a support vehicle.  The pace was relaxed as we rode 40km to Cape Smokey and back.  This was the first part of the second Annual Bike N' Hike led by Ride Leader, Paul MacDougall.  Although we have seen the picture of Middle Head with the shining white Keltic Lodge striking against the blue ocean and sky background several times, today, for some strange reason, there was something more spectacular in this familiar scenery.   A short pause at the look-off to chat with a friendly couple from Sussex England and we were underway again, pushed at times by a strong tailwind, climbing our way to Cape Smokey look-off.  

The temperature was now over 25°C but thanks to Claude and Louise traveling to Louisbourg in their van, we were given extra water to pour over our heads to cool off.  The ride back was the cherry on the cake with hardly a pedal stroke most of the way down to Ingonish Ferry to finish where we had started three hours earlier.  

At that point, we had no idea what was brewing up there on the Franey Mountain trail we were to hike with several others who had joined the party for Part 2 of the Bike N' Hike event.  The newcomers were pleasant company and in good cheer.  Thanks to the tree cover, the heat was not an issue and we made progress climbing the well-maintained trail.  Slowly, we climbed upward. We were burning off the lunch eaten an hour earlier.  Eventually we made it to the top of the mountain.  We met two couples starting their way down who warned us to be cautious.  We each sat on the red chair for the pictures.  It was windy all right and despite the warnings, we ventured out onto the rocky ledges overlooking the Clyburn Valley.  



After a while, we thought we had enough for the day and decided to head back.  No less than 15 minutes on the way down, here is big mamma moose on one side of the trail and her little one on the other side. Neither had any intention of moving from its controlling position.  Mamma moose was huge, and definitely not afraid of the invaders of her territory.  Much to the contrary, both kept looking at us with an attitude that was sending a clear message.  We backed off.  Thank God, five eternal minutes later, they slowly walked away to munch sweeter twigs a little off the trail.   Making sure they were not coming back, we continued on our way down Franey, looking back once in a while just to make sure they hadn't changed their minds.

Oh what a memorable day!






CBC’s Definitely Not the Opera’s season premiere, “Where does your bike take you?”


Need stylin’ advice for your daily bike ride? Momentum has it:


An innovative way to cut down on what you have to carry on your bike . . . and keep your bike secure!


And some of us accident-prone types should just wear this all the time:


“Last mile” transportation option (when you can’t just walk):






For Sale: Bike trailer, sized to carry an adult. $450.00  An example can be viewed here:  Contact John at






Mechanic Humour

A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a Harley motorcycle when he spotted a well-known heart surgeon in his shop.

The surgeon was there waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his bike when the mechanic shouted across the garage, "Hey, Doc, can I ask you a question?"

The surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on the motorcycle. The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag. "So Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take the valves out, repair any damage, and then put them back in, and when I finish, it works just like new. So how come I get such a small salary and you get the really big bucks, when you and I are doing basically the same work?"

The surgeon paused, smiled, leaned over, and whispered to the mechanic...

"Try doing it with the engine running"



And . . . one the “real” mountain bikers and trail riders will appreciate:

How do you tell when a pickup truck in the US has been stolen?

It’s actually off-road, dirty, and there's something in the bed.







Regular articles, including Loose Chain Links:

Word document or compatible, 14 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, 14 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.

September 11th, 2014



Opinions expressed in the VCB eNewsletter are those of the editor and contributor(s) and are not necessarily shared by the Velo Cape Breton Bicycle Association.

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