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VCB eNews, Vol 11, #44 - Maybe You Can Help !


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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: Maybe You Can Help

-  Rides Captain Corner, Shelley Johnson

-  Bike Buy and Sell

-  About That Funny



“Generosity could be as contagious as the zombie plague as long as enough people were willing to be carriers.”
— Jonathan Maberry, Dust and Decay






The other evening, I was driving my car up a winding secondary road in our fair municipality when I encountered two cyclists, going my way. With no sightline past them, I was forced to follow them for several hundred metres. Neither was of Lance Armstrong pace, so all of us were in a very low gear. As the first of the pair crested the hill, I saw him sit upright off his aerobars and look intently ahead. Keeping his eyes on the road, he waved back to me that it was safe to pass. I appreciated this courtesy, and gave them more than the 1 metre clearance required by law as I passed. 


Cyclists, as vulnerable road users, are quick to assert their rights and demand respect from vehicles – they have to, to stay alive. But like most cyclists I have shared the road from “both sides of the wire”. This little incident got me thinking that there are a lot of ways both cyclists and motorists can help all of us share the road. I’ve mentioned the importance of cyclists being predictable – don’t cycle against traffic, on the sidewalk, or without proper signalling – in a previous editorial. Motorists should be sure to use proper signalling as well, and know the rules of the road, e.g. who has the right of way at intersections (please look this up if you are uncertain), or correctly making a left hand turn in multi-lane traffic. A very dangerous practice for motorists and cyclists is to make a left hand turn by crossing the left lane directly to the right lane as you turn, instead of remaining in your lane as you turn, then signalling to change into the right hand lane. If the cyclist executes this turn correctly and motorists don’t, the cyclist ends up in a very hazardous position, squeezed between two lanes of traffic and trying to change into the right hand lane. If the cyclist does this turn incorrectly, they risk being hit by traffic making the turn correctly from the right hand lane, or incorrectly from the left hand lane. 


Another serious hazard for cyclists is improperly secured loads on trucks, trailers, or cars. Make sure the load on your vehicle does not stick out past the boundaries of your lane into the shoulder. I know of more than one cyclist who was nearly knocked out by an improperly secured load. Make sure loads on trucks and cars are secure and stay within the lines. Mark extra-long objects with a brightly coloured tape or cloth. 


There is no doubt a book that could be written about this topic; in fact, I think there have been one or two, starting with the Nova Scotia Driver’s Handbook. This is available as a free download here: For some tips on safe cycling, check out


We can make the roads safer for all users if we know the rules of the road and put them into practice. Those little courtesies, like waving on a driver when it’s safe or giving lots of room to struggling cyclists on a steep climb, show our generosity to one another. I can only hope that once shown generosity, my fellow road users will pay it forward.





by: Shelley Johnson, Rides Captain


A group of yellow and orange red sunflowers caught my eye, as my friend and I  rode by on a glorious Saturday under sunny skies.  I said “Let’s stop.  I just saw something of interest to me.”  I have always been attracted to nature and colours.  So we stopped our bikes and returned to where the sunflowers waited motionless, up against a red building, by the side of the road. 

Did you know that sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) originally came from the United States?  Now I am not sure the precise history of how they made it into Canada, but I suspect that our Native peoples had something to do with introducing these beautiful plants here as a food source and for cooking oil, among other purposes.  On Saturday, I was not thinking of the use of sunflowers, but rather how the sunlight played with the colour of the petals as in the picture above.  As if painted by a brush, this beautiful sunflower looked almost on fire with its vivid swatches of orange and shades of red.  In the last days of summer, a burst of life and colour.  Sort of what cyclists do when they squeeze out the last droplets of  summer cycling.  You take advantage of the time you have in the saddle.

Just as a piece of trivia, that the largest sunflower head was grown in Canada at 32.5 inches.  I don’t think that I would want to be standing under that one and have someone yell “Timber!”…..



If you missed our last Tuesday night ride for the season you missed a good one!  Yes,  it was overcast skies, but there was very little wind., which made all the   better for ease of pedalling.   We cycled around Pt. Edward with gusto since the daylight was quickly fading, but we were done at 7:30 pm.,  just as dusk turned to night.  Thank you, gals, for your support this year.  You made WoW a success.

So on that note, I want to encourage you to join us next season.  WoW will return.  This is an opportunity to ride with fellow female cyclists in a safe, fun and accessible format.  We want to see you ride with us!  Get to know other female cyclists.  Make friends.  You’ll  have FUN!


Here’s what is up and coming:



This is it, gals!  The last official ride of the season.  Please come and join us for the Tour dah Tartan.  It’s a 20 K ride form the English Town Ferry to the Clucking Hen in Indian Brook and you are invited to join other WoW participants for a ride and luncheon.  Check out the various artisans en route such as glass blowing across the street from the Clucking Hen.  

Just for fun and by no means mandatory: don a piece tartan, on yourself or on your bike.  

Meet:  Englishtown Ferry

Time:  10:00 am for a 10:15 start

Distance: 20k




This is also the last official ride of the summer for the Ambassadors who have twice a month been on the road as a group to promote cycling.  Come join the Ambassadors for this night time ride through the streets of Sydney and the Open Hearth Park.  Dusk is upon us but we can light the way!  A front white light and a rear red light are mandatory for night time riding.

Meet: Deleski Bike Park, located at Open Hearth Park

Time: 6:00 for a 6:15 start

Distance: 20K



Looking for places to ride?  We mean to keep you in the saddle this fall.  We’ve got 16 Cape Breton Day Rides to keep you riding.  Go it alone or take your friends.  Enjoy the fall foliage by taking in any of these rides.  Cue sheet with distances on the website.



Just a reminder that the SummerFit Challenge ends September 27th.  Have you been naughty or nice this summer riding your bike?  Hopefully you got out to enjoy a terrific summer being active whether it was on your bike or otherwise.  The B52s continue to ride till December.  Consider joining them at least until then.  Lots of good riding days, fresh air, and fitness to be had in the last few months of 2014!  Maybe check out one or several of those day rides on the Velo CB Website.

Have a great week and stay active on your bike.


Shelley Johnson,

Rides Captain and Cycling Ambassador






Protected bike lanes being built in Halifax.


Are you nervous??


Interbike 2014







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



For Sale at very reasonable price:  2 pair of cycling shoes with clips peddles included.


1st pair:  Ladies, size 9, black, Jaqwa with BOA closure system in very good condition, $25


2nd pair:  Ladies, size 6 (but fits large), black, Bodyglove in very good condition, $25


Contact Info:  (902) 539-2734







My friend, Andrea, noticed that her dog (a Schnauzer) could hardly hear, so she took it to the veterinarian. The vet found that the problem was hair in the dog's ears. He cleaned both ears, and the dog could then hear fine. The vet then proceeded to tell Andrea that, if she wanted to keep this from recurring, she should go to the store and get some "Nair" hair remover and rub it in the dog's ears once a month.

Andrea went to the store and bought some "Nair" hair remover. At the register, the pharmacist told her, "If you're going to use this under your arms, don't use deodorant for a few days." Andrea said, "I'm not using it under my arms."

The pharmacist said, "If you're using it on your legs, don't use body lotion for a couple of days."

Andrea replied, "I'm not using it on my legs either. If you must know, I'm using it on my Schnauzer."

The pharmacist said, "Well then, stay off your bicycle for at least a week."






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.

September 11th, 2014

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