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VCB eNews, Volume 13, #14 - Determination




Volume 13, #14  -  Determination




Editorial: Determination

VCB Annual Awards

VCB Tours in 2016

Flashing Light - Commentary

Keep Moving

Loose Chain Links

About That Funny



“Believe in yourself, and the rest will fall into place.  Have faith in your own abilities, work hard, and there is nothing you cannot accomplish.” 

~ Brad Henry





I thought I would just send a Thank You to you all B52 Challengers.   


I am trying to only go week by week but I must let you know how I am enjoying this tremendously.  I would never have thought of driving my bike in the dead of winter. 


I live on Cape Breton Island, and winter here in Chéticamp can be harsh, especially riding a bike.  But so far it amazes me.  It seems to be possible.  Even if it means driving my bike after a 12 hour shift in the church parking lot at 8:00pm for 30 minutes to avoid the cold and snow that is predicted for the week ahead.  And the best part is, I felt like a million bucks after.  


Or waking up to "Blue Monday" and getting on that bike for 30mins and driving by the ocean to hear the sound of the waves pounding the beach as I drove my bike once again to try and avoid the weeks forecast. Suddenly "Blue Monday" turned into a great day.  


Getting out on my bike for 30 minutes before a 12 hour nightshift is a great way to start the night off and being in great cheer for my patients.


My point is...I would like to thank you all for the encouraging emails.  They are very motivational. 


As to date, I have done 3 weeks of the 52Week Bike Challenge.  I cannot think too far ahead.  I will not worry about the -10°C temperatures and all the snow winter is yet to bring.  So far Mother Nature has been good.  I am waiting for her mood to change.  I will deal with it then.


The past 3 weeks have been a great experience.  This challenge is all new to me.  I am so glad I embarked into it.


I’m committed to this and I'm determined to do it.


Cheers to the next 49 weeks!


Gayle Bourgeois



Ed:  A few years ago, in her late 40ies Gayle decided to go in a new career.  She completed her required education to move up, then through hard work and determination she made it to her final goal.  She is now a registered nurse at 51.  BRAVO! 






A massive snow storm may have cancelled Velo cape Breton’s annual potluck but not the awards normally presented at the event.   The awards given annually recognize individuals, groups or organizations that have helped promote cycling or further the idea of a cycling culture.


This year’s “Commuter of the Year” is Dr. Monika Dutt who rides to work year around with her son Kail in tow.   She is our Medical Officer of Health and is a role model for cycling and active living. 


The Participation Award,  recognizes individuals who have faithfully attended many events. Carla Arsenault and Denise Sakalauskas  joined our Women-on-Wheels group and never looked back.


Nichol, Devon and Sean MacNeil were selected for the Cycling Family Award.   The family acted as honorary ride leaders for our Lobster Roll ride on Father’s day.  Nichol rides a special adaptive bike that allows her son Devon to ride along with she and older son Sean.   As a family they completed more 40kms of the ride and spread a lot of joy and admiration though the whole event.


This year, Rosalind Wright of Sydney is recognized as the clubs’s “Most Improved Cyclist”


This year the Cycling Community Support Award goes to Carl Fleming of the Cape Breton Post.   His passion for and interest in the well being of our island, goes far beyond the regular 9 - 5 commitment of his position.   We, in the cycling community, are grateful for all his efforts to help us share our message to the households and citizens of the Island in his position as Managing Editor of the Cape Breton Community Post. 

The “M-3” or Most Motivating Member Award”  goes to 8 year old Felix Vainio-Mattila.   This year Felix completed 20km of the Lobster Roll Ride a feat in itself.  But he also used his bike to get to school and activities. His indomitable spirit, his perseverance, his larger than life personality, his sense of justice especially for those less fortunate have inspired his friends and many adults who had the privilege to spend time with him.  


Shelley Johnson receives the “Volunteer of the Year” award. Shelley, is this silent force with a focus on results.  She makes things happen with skill and efficiency.  She has answered the call on so many occasions that both sides of her award certificate would not suffice to list them all. She is a vibrant example of dedication and a role model for us all.  Velo Cape Breton is very fortunate to have her in its ranks.     


Congratulations to this year’s champions of change!







Back by popular demand, VCB is offering two tours back to back in 2016 with a Day Off in between.


1.  Cabot Trail in 4 Days from Sunday July 24th to Wednesday 27th.


2.  Tour du Lac Bras d'Or from Friday July 28 to Monday August 1st.


Why this scheduling?

First, there a large demand for both of these tours from the membership and friends.  

Second, several of you from away want to make the most of their travel to Cape Breton and time while on the fabulous Island. 


More information and registration for the tours at the following links.

1.  Cabot Trail in 4 Days.

2.  Tour du Lac Bras d'Or.


Each of you who registers and clear their dues will receive a confirmation of payment from PayPal.  I will also send you a confirmation with your seat number.


A first announcement was made last  Sunday which saw 20 registrants in each of these tours with several taking both.  


A tip...  If you're not sure yet, you can register now to get a guaranteed seat with the group of 40 early-birds; you will then have until June 1st to change your mind at be re-imbursed 100% of your deposit.  A waiting list will be kept to fill-out cancellations.


Should you have question, please do not hesitate to ask.  The remainder of the guaranteed seats may go fast






by:  Gerald Bohémier


I read with great interest the article about night lighting. (VCB eNews Vol 13 #13, Loose Chain Links)  A flashing light does draw attention but estimating distance and the size of the object hidden behind the lights is very difficult and near impossible unless the city streets are very well lit up - not so where I live.  


I have never used lights in the daytime as I feel that my very bright fluorescent green vest that I wear over my clothing is more than adequate and makes me very visible from all directions - 360 degrees.  I have received very positive feedback from drivers.  


In winter I also wear a helmet with the same bright colouring.  On certain days that I was not wearing that high visibility equipment, I had more incidents of drivers cutting me off.  This is worse in winter as folks don't expect to see cyclists on the roads.  


For the nighttime riding, I would like to share an idea where a rear-facing light on the handlebars would illuminate the body of the cyclist, adjusted so as not to blind the cyclist.  If the rider was wearing reflective or light-coloured clothing, this would make the cyclist very visible (somewhat like in the daytime).  A rear-mounted light could possibly do the same for the backside.  Again the reflective outer shell would stand out quite well I think.  I don't know if members from your club would want to do some trials.  I don't really have anyone around that wants to trial this at my end.  


Thanks for the great newsletter.  As with Winnipeg, I continue to cycle in Vernon, BC all year long - love it…








Snowshoe Jaunt Under The Moonlight

Start the weekend with a great outdoor experience with winter-loving friends.  Chose your group for a guided 3, 5 or 8km SS hike at Ski Ben Eoin.  Hot chocolate & cookies afterwards at the Broken Buckle Bar...  or else!  Dress in layers, no need for special lighting equipment, in fact you don't need anything as the bright moon and the white snow light everything up.  Snowshoe rentals at Ski Ben Eoin.  Watch for Updates on Ski Ben Eoin website.  There is another one planned for Saturday February 20th.




Spinning Classes 

THE VCB Membership is invited to join the Barbarians doing Sunday morning spin classes at the YMCA.  


Currently 10:00 - 11:30, after Feb 7th it will be 10:15 - 11:45. 

No cost to YMCA members; if not you need to pay the drop-in fee (~$11.).  


Some of the group swim or run afterwards, or go to the gym for a workout, which makes paying the drop-in fee more worthwhile.








Big Money South of The Border


In FY 2015, States obligated $834 million in Federal-aid highway program funds for bicycle and pedestrian programs and projects, including all Safe Routes to School and Non-motorized Transportation Pilot Program funds.   That is an increase from $820 million in FY 2014. Bicycle and pedestrian funding was less than 2 percent of Federal-aid highway funding (~$40 billion).

Source:    for more information.




I love to read stories about the history of things, stories like this, somehow we think that what is happening now days is groundbreaking and that we are innovating. It turns out that more often than not we are just going back to the basics of the past and rehashing old ways of doing things but spinning them in our present context.


In 1900, Los Angeles had a bike highway — and the US was a world leader in bike lanes.







A guy was getting ready to tee-off on the first hole when a second golfer approached and asked if he could join him.  The first said that he usually played alone, but agreed to the  two some.


They were even after the first few holes.  The second guy said, "We're about evenly matched, how about playing for five bucks a hole?"


The first guy said that he wasn't much for betting,but agreed to the terms.


The second guy won the remaining sixteen holes with ease.


As they were walking off number eighteen, the second guy was busy counting his $80.00.


He confessed that he was the pro at a neighboring course and liked to pick on suckers.


The first fellow revealed that he was the Parish Priest.


The pro was flustered and apologetic, offering to return the money.


The Priest said, "You won fair and square and I was foolish to bet with you. You keep your winnings."  


The pro said, "Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?"


The Priest said, "Well, you could come to Mass on Sunday and make a donation.   And, if you want to bring your mother and father along, I'll marry them."





January 21,  2016



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