You are here

VCB eNews, Vol 13, #40 - Inspiring





Volume 13, #40  -  Inspiring!




Editorial:   Inspiring !

WOW Update


About That Funny



“Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated”
 ~ Wolpepers 






ED:  VCB has been left, right, front and center over the past weekend organizing and participating in various events in the community.  Read this one from Tim Brooks.  



Big Ride Ridden! 


Wow what a day! We were SO relieved that Sunday did not turn out like the day before (31 degrees in the shade!) and in fact was an absolutely perfect day for us to attempt to ride the Cabot Trail in a single day. Temperatures ranged from 18 to 24 degrees, and the wind was negligible and almost always behind us - a constant tailwind in a loop ride is a special and rare thing for a bike ride! Just like the Big Swim last year, we got really, really lucky with the weather.


My good friend Dan and I left Baddeck at 5:15 am, along with 13 others who were attempting the whole shebang (many others were picking up later, doing 200 and 100 km rides.) 



Heading up the coast towards Cheticamp: 



We rode with a group of five through the sunrise and early light to Cheticamp, arriving before the aid station was set up. As many of you know I eat a little funny, and my special protein-and-veggie meal that I'd prepared was not there, and that and some other confusion caused Dan and me to seperate from the group. That wasn't ideal for speed and efficiency but it was a good thing for our chemistry - we were better off by ourselves.  We passed 100 k, plugging along up French Mountain, across the gravel plateau (big construction project) to MacKenzie, and rocketed down to Pleasant Bay. 



From French Mountain looking back towards Cheticamp



MacKenzie Mountain, overlooking Pleasant Bay



The sun really came out then, just in time for our ascent of North Mountain, the steepest and hardest climb on the Trail. I've never had a more difficult ascent of North, but we made 'er okay - it was just really really hot and slow. (It was only 24 degrees - had it been yesterday we would have been destroyed.) Things started to go a bit weird for my legs at the top of North. I had stood up for the entire climb - something I'd never done before but I thought why not get off the seat since I'll be on it for most of the day. But when I sat down and started riding across the top of North, the muscles on the inside of my quads cramped so badly I couldn't push. It was a disconcerting moment but there's really nothing to the top of North so we were soon on the fastest descent of the Trail, and I really wound it out, hitting 79 kmh near the bottom. I felt amazing in almost every way, but when I started riding again my calves cramped up! I stood and coasted and stretched in earnest, and tried to push and had several false starts before finally got back in a little ten-minute groove. But before I got to Cape North my hamstrings cramped up so bad I had to stop quickly and get off the bike to stretch them, and for the whole slow section up into Cape North, whenever I'd put the slightest effort into pedaling, something would cramp up - my calves, my inner quads, my hamstrings, even the toes on my left foot. We'd ridden 150 km, we were at the top of Cape Breton, and only half way through the ride. I was screwed… or would have been if not for a strange idea that I'd heard about last year and had been joking with a friend about for a while - I stopped at the Cape North General Store and bought a big jar of dill pickles. I filled one of my water bottles with the juice from the pickles, and left the jar at the next aid station. For the next five hours, whenever I felt a cramp coming on, I'd take a wee sip of the pickle juice, and immediately the cramp would dissolve. It changed everything! (and the pickles were a hit amongst the subsequent riders to come through that aid station!)

We passed 200 km and rolled into Ingonish Beach around 1:30. Jane and Eli and Jude were there playing on the beach and they had some good loving support for us, and the rest stop was a really nice rejuvenating scene. (My second food bag was there, for which I was very thankful - I'd had more than enough bananas and bars - but somehow they had managed to RUN IT OVER in the parking lot! I ate some salmon and veggie stir-fry out of a crushed container) 

We flew out of Ingonish very refreshed, and cruised up Smokey without much trouble. At the top of Smokey we met Dan's wife and daughter, so he was likewise encouraged by his loved-ones. While we were visiting, a solo rider, Wally, caught up to us, and we finished the ride as three. 


From Smokey Mountain



There was one last thrilling descent down Smokey and then the slog of the homestretch. The final 75 km was harder - every little uphill seemed like a vertical wall, and if I didn't prepare for it by standing up and pedaling really hard, it would almost stop me. Quite wonderfully though, Dan - who prepared for this ride by commuting to work a whopping 17 km every day - was strong as an ox and suffering no ill-effects whatsoever from just riding 225 km in the mountains of Northern Cape Breton, and he pulled for most of the St. Ann's Loop and when we hit the highway he parked it in front of me and we pinned it at 35 kmh the whole way back to the Baddeck exit. I took the glory lead back home along the Bay Road, and at exactly 6 o'clock we rolled into the rink parking lot to finish our Big Ride. It was a pretty euphoric feeling and we were totally thrilled to coast home to the cheering finish, with our families and supporters, beer, barbecue and a band, and lots of good vibes. 



We did it!  


Final stats: 298 km in 10 hours 59 minutes, 27.1 km/h avg. with 2480 m of climbing. Big Ride!


(10:59 was over an hour faster than I had anticipated, which speaks to the strong companionship and the perfect weather.  Both really couldn't have been better :-) 


So we are able to do these awesome things, these Big Swims and Big Rides, but we do them to help people who can't. Thanks to Give To Live, we with extra time and energy are inspired to get involved and put in the effort to raise money for others whose lives are dominated by very real, very life-changing issues. Thank you all for your donations supporting the Canadian Cancer Society. With your help I was able to raise over $1400 for Halifax's "Lodge That Gives," a very noble enterprise which provides room and board free of charge for patients who must find a place to stay in Halifax while undergoing their daily cancer treatment. We were told yesterday that collectively we had raised almost $55000 for the Lodge that Gives! The fundraiser is open for another two weeks, so if you are interested in donating you can do so here:


Thanks for reading.

Yours in health and happiness, 









Tuesday evening rides resume with Shelley Johnson returning from a tour in the USA.  She will have certainly tons to talk to you about.


Meet at 6:00pm at the Coxheath Arena.


Sign up on FB Women on Wheels - link -  for updates and latest information such as impromptu rides.  







TONIGHT  -  Thursday, July 21st

Great Tartan Bicycle Ramble

This ride will be a one of a kind family-friendly cycling event in North Sydney!


Check recent posts on the Facebook page for details and all kinds of interesting stuff.



July 24th - 27th

Cabot Trail in 4 Days

This is a fully supported ride organized by VCB for its members and guests.  It is fully booked with 40 participants.  The itinerary is in the clockwise direction leaving the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s Bay on Sunday July 24th.  Day 1,  To Margaree Harbour,  85km. Day 2,  to Pleasant Bay, 70km. Day 3,  .... to Ingonish, 71km Day 4, to Gaelic College, 71km.  



July 29 - August 1st

Tour du Lac Bras d’Or

This is a fully supporter tour where everyone cycle the 340km flat to rolling terrain at their own pace and style.  It is bully booked with 40 participants. Clockwise direction, Day 1:  87km  Sydney to St. Peter's;    Day 2:  82km to Port Hawkesbury with a short detour to Isle Madame for lunch;    Day 3: 77km to Whycocomagh via Marble Mtn.;    Day 4: 97km to Sydney via Little Narrows ferry, Iona, Grand Narrows along the St. Andrews Channel, Barrachois and Keltic Drive. 



August 10 - 14

4-Day Self Supported Tour - CB Challenge Legs 11 to 14.

This Self Supported tour which was postponed earlier due to bad weather is scheduled to tentatively start August 10th in Port Hawkesbury.


Day 1 - Port Hawkesbury to Mabou - 55km

Day 2 - ... to Margaree Forks via Margaree Harbour - 70km

Day 3 - ... to Whycocomagh via Lake Ainslie - 50km

Day 4 - ... to Port Hawkesbury  - 56km  


The above is the full course meal.  Should you want just a slice of the pizza, or just a couple of bites, your are more than invited to join us any day you want for any distance you'd like to ride. 


Camping or solid roof accommodation at your choice.  You make your own reservation.

No registration required.  For more information contact tour leader Micheline at 902 562-8137 or email 







A  little girl: was talking to her teacher about whales.  


The  teacher: said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a  human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was  very small. 


The  little girl: stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.  


Irritated,  the teacher: reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it  was physically impossible. 


The  little girl: said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah".  


The  teacher: asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"  


The  little girl: replied, "Then you ask him". 






A  Kindergarten teacher: was observing her classroom of children while  they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each  child's work. 


As  she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked  what the drawing was. 


The  girl: replied, "I'm drawing God." 


The  teacher: paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."  


Without  missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl: replied,  "They will in a minute." 






A  Sunday school teacher: was discussing the Ten Commandments with her  five and six year olds. 


After  explaining the commandment to "honor" thy Father and thy Mother, she  asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our  brothers and sisters?" 


Without  missing a beat one little boy: (the oldest of a family) answered,  "Thou shall not kill." 






One  day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes  at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had  several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her  brunette head. 


She  looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, "Why are some of your  hairs white, Mom?" 


Her  mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and  make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white."  


The  little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said,  "Momma, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?"  






The  children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to  persuade them each to  buy a copy of the group picture.  


"Just  think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up  and say, 'There's Jennifer, she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael,  He's a doctor.' 


A  small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the  teacher, she's dead." 





A  teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying  to make the matter clearer, she said, "Now, class, if I stood on my  head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face." 


"Yes,"  the class said. 


"Then  why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position  the blood doesn't run into my feet?" 


A  little fellow shouted, 

"Cause your feet ain't empty."  





The  children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary  school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted it on the apple tray:  


"Take  only ONE. God is watching." 


Moving  further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a  large pile of chocolate chip cookies. 


A  child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the  apples.





July 21st,  2016



Velo Cape Breton is the island-wide voice of cyclists, working for better cycling in our great island. Visit our website that will introduce you to some of our activities.   If you have any question(s) or suggestion(s), please contact us

VCB eNews is e-mailed without cost or obligation to bicycle advocates around the world.  We hope you enjoy receiving these periodic emails from us. 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.  Everyone is invited to submit content for the VCB eNews, forward to  Please forward this eNewsletter to cyclists who may not know about Velo Cape Breton. They too can sign up and receive the VCB eNewsletter.  

Joining VCB is a proof of support to the community development and advocacy work done by the hard working volunteers of this club. Your $10 will go a long way.   It's your legacy to the rising generation. Check our Facebook page.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer