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VCB eNews, Vol 13, #16 - Pep-Up Talk





Volume 13, #16  -  Pep-Up Talk!




Editorial: Cycling in Winter

Adopting Best Practices of Riding Are Paying Off

A Wink from Antigonish

Gearing & Cadence

Annual Dessert Social

Loose Chain Links

About That Funny



“We’re an unlikely pair. Roy bikes for speed, and believes in focus and biking excellence. 

I bike slowly, let my mind go where it goes. We each think the other is missing the point.” 

~ Phil Milner, Antigonish





It's just starting to clear off here in New Minas. I went out earlier to do my weekly ride (only one ride per week for me these days). I did 4 circuits of the subdivision's loop, for a total of 6 km. Conditions were slippery but I was careful. 


January is a hopeful time - a new year with all its possibilities. Gardeners start poring over their seed catalogues and stashes, planning the coming season's plantings and dreaming of the fall's harvest. The shadows are long in January, the days are lengthening, the light is bright - it encourages taking a long view of things.


I see registrations are high for VCB's summer rides, and the Baie St. Marie Gran Fondo is filling up. I envy those who can plan that far ahead. 


January can be a dark, grey time, too. Storms are intense, cold can be severe, and the longer days make this long month seem like forever. People with Seasonal Affective or other mood disorders tend to despair this time of year - make sure you extend a compassionate hand to them. And if at all possible, get them outside on a bright, sunny day! 


Congratulations on making it through that first long month. If this is your first B52, a special bravo to you. Use this challenge to not only challenge yourself physically, but psychologically too. You are taking a risk, pushing your personal envelope, enlightening your neighbours, supporting your friends. It takes discipline, strength, persistence, and the insight and humility to reach out to others for encouragement to succeed (however you define that). Imagine - if you can do this, even if you simply attempt this, what else might you achieve?




Shelley P.



ED:  24 participants in the 52WBC.  






by:  Monika Dutt,  VCB Commuter of the Year


It's easy to be a cyclist and complain about drivers, but as someone who bikes on Kings Rd almost daily, I can't think of the last time I had a bad experience such as a car coming too close or someone being rude. It's been as good as it could be on a busy road with no bike lane/separated bike lane, and now often with no lane markings.


I've tried to be a better cyclist with brighter clothes, more lights, studded tires, waves at drivers who might not see me.



So thanks for sharing the road. And a particular thanks to a man who's often at a bus shelter on Kings Rd who awesomely steps out to give me a high five when I bike by -- totally makes my morning!








The quote above is taken from the recent blog by Phil Milner, mountain biker extraordinaire who did more than his share of Across the Highlands MTB Challenges over the years.  

Read the full article at:






Gears are simply a means of maintaining a constant degree of leg effort under varying conditions: tailwind, headwind, downhill, climbing, getting underway…  Using your gears will not make you go faster but will allow you to cycle more efficiently.


The first step in learning how to use gears properly is to develop a fast cadence.  Cadence, or leg speed, is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).    


To measure your cadence, try this.  Warm up for about 10 minutes on a flat course.  Then keep pedaling at your regular speed counting the number of times in fifteen seconds one leg rounds the bottom of the stroke, then multiply by 4.  Total will be your cadence.


Experienced riders spin at 80 to 100 rpm (20-25 pedal strokes in 15 secs), and they seldom stray from their preferred cadence.   


If your cadence is around 60rpm, do the course again with an easier gear (larger diameter gear at the back wheel) and increase the rpm.  You will notice that even with the same effort on the pedal (heartbeat, breathing), your speed over the ground will be higher.  Voilà, you are more efficient.


How is this possible?      Because you divided the amount of work required to ride from A to B in small sections by putting less force per pedal stroke at a higher cadence rather than high force per pedal stroke at a lower cadence.  Remember, a low cadence drains your muscle energy faster and damage your knees in the long term.   Knees cannot be replaced easily, we keep them for life, wrecked or not.


Thus choice of gear is very important to maintain an efficient cadence and us cyclists cannot afford to get it wrong.







At the Coxheath Hills Wilderness Trail.  An afternoon to enjoy chocolate and other decadent desserts.


Sunday February 7th,  Noon - 3pm

Either you hike up the hill to the chalet and back to build appetite 


for a change, take dessert first then hike up the hill to the chalet and back to burn it off.   You choice.  


$5. per person.  A fundraiser for this volunteer community organization.


See you there







The BIG RIDE will take place once again this year around the gorgeous Cabot Trail on Sunday, July 17th. Distances will be 100k, 200k, and 300k.


Registration opens this Thursday. February 4th, 2016.





Bikepacking is cycle touring off-road, a discipline that has been around as long as people have been riding bikes. However its recent popularity can be linked inextricably to the explosion of lightweight equipment available now.  -




“The Municipality of the County of Victoria received the highest number of award points for their outstanding health and wellness accomplishments (Municipal Wellness Awards 2015).  One of their greatest accomplishments over the past years has been the approval of their Employee Active Living Subsidization Program” – AMANS Municipal Newsletter (Municipal Highlights of the Month – Nov. 2015) –


ED:  Vince Forestall, VCB Board member is the Physical Activity Coordinator of Victoria County.  BRAVO Vince!




There were pedals with clips that are now mostly replaced by clipless pedals in which a steel cleat on the bottom of each shoe engages a spring-loaded mechanism in the pedal.  How about magnetic pedals where the foot is held in place using magnets instead of mechanisms.








1)  You are reading this.

2)  You are human.

3)  You can't say the letter ''P'' without separating your lips.

4)  You just attempted to do it.

6)  You are laughing at yourself.

7)  You have a smile on your face and you skipped No. 5.

8)  You just checked to see if there is a No. 5.

9)  You laugh at this because you are a fun loving person & everyone does it too.

10)  You are probably going to send this to see who else falls for it.




February 4th,  2016



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