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VCB eNews, Vol 12, #17 - Freeze Frame


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By:  Shelley Porter,  Editor VCB eNews



To All Subscribers

The distribution of this edition of VCB eNews is made through the Velo Cape Breton website to the same list of addressees used to send previous editions through the Express eMail Marketing Service which VCB has cancelled Renewal.    All further editions will be sent from the VCB website.

    The Website Team.


  • Editorial: Freeze Frame
  • Rides Captain’s Report
  • Snow Shoe Event
  • February is Heart Month: Heartland Tour Update
  • Loose Chain Links
  • Bike Buy and Sell
  • About That Funny
  • Submission Guidelines, etc.


“The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other, but to be with each other.”
— Christopher McDougall, Born to Run





Those of us of a certain age will recall, from those days when parenting was done by the seat of your pants (that means the child’s pants, usually in contact with a flexible but solid object) being admonished to stop scowling or sulking with “You’d better wipe that look off your face or it will freeze that way!”.  A human face has 20-30 muscles (depending on which ones you decide to count), and depending on your disposition, you might be giving them a pretty good workout every day, so it’s  unlikely one’s face will “freeze” in any given position. But those of us who have suffered repetitive strain injury or just muscle stiffness, it seems muscles in other parts of the body can freeze solid.


Doing the same exercise over and over again puts one at risk for overuse or repetitive strain injuries like tennis elbow (tendonitis in the forearm), bursitis, and stress fractures. Overuse injuries commonly seen in cyclists include Achilles tendon damage, neck pain, numbness in the hands, and iliotibial [IT] band syndrome. 


You can prevent overuse injuries in several ways. Make sure your equipment fits you properly and works properly (so you aren’t compromising good cycling form in order to compensate for a mechanical shortcoming of your bicycle). Have the bike shop make sure your bicycle fits you when you buy it. There are recumbent bikes, bikes ergonomically designed for females, upright bikes – it should be easy to find a perfect fit within the diversity of types! Good cycling technique and posture will also help reduce the risk of injury. Get training and technique tips from more experienced cyclists so you are not putting unnecessary strain on joints, muscles or tendons out of ignorance.


My favourite way to prevent overuse injuries is cross-training, i.e. doing other sports. Don’t think of it as taking time away from your favourite sport, but as a way to add to it and prolong your “cycling life”. Cycling requires a certain degree of cardio-fitness, and after years of practice I have found the best bang for your buck (and by buck I mean your precious time) for improving cardio-fitness is running. Running can benefit your cycling by strengthening your heart and lungs, strength you will need if you decide to do a long, challenging ride like the Cabot Trail. I learned to play soccer when I was 47 years old, and played in a recreational league for a few years. Soccer can be good training for cycling – after you’ve played soccer for a few months, crashing your bike will seem quite minor in terms of bruising and general injury. We’ve all heard about the necessity of stretching for keeping muscles supple and preventing “freezing”. Yoga in any of its modern manifestations is a relaxing way to work out stiffness, rehabilitate injuries, and keep range of motion in joints and muscles. 


The essential message is to move your muscles and joints in many different ways to maintain a full range of use and prevent wear and tear. Getting involved in a different sport can expand your social circle, as you meet new team-mates and training buddies. Some of my best cycling friends are runners or triathletes. Cross training is an enjoyable way to become a well-rounded person, and if your face has to freeze some way, wouldn’t you prefer it was in a smile?


Michelle Crane Murphy (runner), Peter Hanna (triathlete), Patricia Swan (triathlete) and the editor (cyclist who occasionally runs) celebrate the completion of a 16 km run up and back over Kelly’s Mountain (Shelley Porter photo, February 2015).






There I was, in the summer of 1973, having just received one degree and planning on going back for another. But this time there would be one small difference: I was moving out of residence and would be sharing an apartment with some like minded-folks. Having grown up in a fairly typical family of the time, as the eldest son cooking was not one of the skills my mother taught me. As my job was work for 2 weeks and then be off 2 weeks, I figured I should learn to cook while at home so as not to starve when I got back to Halifax. The most interesting thing I discovered about cooking that summer was how people complained they couldn't boil water without burning it. All they had to do was to be able to read. You didn't have to make anything up and everything was listed and the directions were 1,2,3.


 Needless to say, I have never looked back. Although I was never one to go back to the land, as someone growing up in the 60's I was affected by that movement and consequently determined to not cook out of cans. I learned to make everything from scratch and use only ingredients as close to natural as possible. However, I also realize that not everyone has my bent, so here are two recipes to help warm you up if you are out in the elements. I was only going to do one, but this ice storm we have just gone through made me change my mind. One to eat, one to drink, so it is your pick (unless you still have some of that wine left).

Corn Chowder: 


10oz./280g  can condensed cream of chicken soup 
10oz/280g  can drained, flaked Tuna
10oz./280g can creamed corn
 1/2 pint/275 ml water
 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
 1/4 tsp salt  pepper

Put soup in pan with tuna and corn. Blend in water and Worcestershire sauce. Bring slowly to simmering point. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper (to taste) before 
serving. This recipe is fairly close to my guidelines, so enjoy.

For all the Cape Bretoners out there, I am sure they will like this one.

 Robyn Gray's Hot Buttered Rum (from the 1927 Lounge of Rosewood's Hotel Georgia in Vancouver)
  Compound butter: 1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened
  1/3 cup brown sugar
  2 tablespoons maple syrup
  1 tsp. each of cinnamon, ground clove, and nutmeg                    
dash each of vanilla extract and kosher salt

 Add all ingredients in a blender or mixing bowl and blend till 
smooth, then transfer to a mason jar. Chill until hard as this allows 
flavors to blend. For best results, allow to come to room temperature 
before mixing into final drink.

Mixing the Hot Buttered Rum: Mix 3 oz .boiling water ,2 oz. black rum 
and 1 tablespoon of the compound butter in a preheated ceramic 
mug. Whip, swizzle or stir until mixed; garnish with a cinnamon stick.


 Plans are starting to come together for this season's riding schedule so I may get back to a cycling focused blurb next time. Good riding everyone.






If you enjoy the fresh air and the snow, why not join your friends for an evening of snowshoeing at Ski Ben Eoin?  Meet at the ticket building at 6:30 pm for a 7:00 pm start. The group will take the chair lift to the top of the hill and will be led along the designated trails by guides. The event will last for approximately 2 hours, after which the group will meet for hot chocolate, apple cider, cookies, and . . . door prizes!  Now, that does sound like a good time doesn’t it?  Specific details listed below.  See you there! 


Saturday, February 28th
Meet-up at ticket building at 6:30pm
Hit the trails at 7:00pm

    •    Non-member $5 for event

    •    $10 trail pass

    •    $10 snow shoe rental 

    •    $18 combo for rentals & trail pass







Heart Land Tour recognizes Heart Month


February is Heart month in Canada and in many other countries. It is an opportunity for you to focus on your heart health, set some goals, and make some healthy changes. 


The Heart Land Tour planning team in Cape Breton want to encourage you to use this time to think about becoming more active on a regular basis. 


Many of you will know about the HeartLand Tour, because Cape Breton residents have been participating in this event since 2007.  This event is the brainchild of Halifax Cardiologist, Dr. Nick Giacomantonio. He challenged himself and his cardiology colleagues to “practice what they preach”, and share this message across the entire province. So in July of 2007, a group of mainly medical professionals, committed to crossing the province, in a week, on bicycles. They mounted their bikes in Yarmouth, and dismounted in Sydney. All along the route they welcomed local cyclists, and they shared the important message of active living. Since that inaugural year, the HeartLand Tour has become an annual event, and has expanded to welcome more riders each year. 


In 2015, the Cape Breton event will be held on Monday July 6th, from the Open Hearth Park, Harbourside Commercial Park, Sydney. We will offer rides of various lengths and challenge, as well as a walk/run event. As always, we will have active living draw prizes, including at least one bicycle. There is no cost to take part in any of our rides. 


This is the time to start your training so that you can take part in our event. Set a goal for the 10 – 15 km ride, the  25 – 30 km ride, or go for the long scenic 70 – 80 km ride through the beautiful Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Active living can start today, so that when old man winter finally leaves, you will be in good form to start cycling outdoors. In the spring watch for some friendly group training rides organized by Velo Cape Breton. Sign up for indoor cycling at a local gym. The spin bikes are extremely user friendly, and a good method of winter training. Make out a schedule and find a training partner to commit with you. Create a team in your workplace. As a team member for many Heartland Tour years, I have enjoyed hearing the various success stories of how people committed and met their goals through the Heartland Tour. 

Visit our website for more details: . Contact a local team member through the website if you want help identifying a goal, and starting a training program. Get active now, and plan to join us on July 6th. Your heart will thank you. 






The types of cyclists:


Spiritual kind of bike yoga:


So much more than a bike:


Note comments about bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure:


Think we can do this in an abandoned coal mine?:


Clothes for riding your bike, and no ironing ever!:


The recent weather in NS makes this look very appealing:


Glowing bike path, solar powered and inspired by van Gogh:






Wanted: Looking to do some touring this summer and looking to find a 54 inch or medium size Cabot Norco touring bike in new or in lightly used condition.  If you are wishing to sell yours or know of one for sale, please contact me through email


Also looking to purchase a 54 inch or medium lightly used aluminum frame hybrid bike.  Please contact


For Sale: Brand new Crank Brothers cleats for eggbeater, Candy, mallet, or smarty pedals. $10. Contact






The Family Tree of Vincent Van Gogh 
His dizzy aunt ---------------------------------------- Verti Gogh         
The brother who ate prunes--------------------------- Gotta Gogh              
The brother who worked at a convenience store ------ Stop N Gogh          
The grandfather from Yugoslavia ---------------------- U Gogh                 
The cousin from Illinois -------------------------------- Chica Gogh       
His magician uncle ------------------------------------- Where-diddy Gogh            
His Mexican cousin ------------------------------------ A Mee Go         
The Mexican cousin's American half-brother ----------- Gring Gogh           
The nephew who drove a stage coach ----------------- Wells-far Gogh         
The constipated uncle ---------------------------------- Can't Gogh       
The ballroom dancing aunt ----------------------------- Tang Gogh          
The bird lover uncle ------------------------------------ Flamin Gogh      
The fruit loving cousin ---------------------------------- Man Gogh         
An aunt who taught positive thinking ------------------- Way-to-Gogh          
The little bouncy nephew ------------------------------ Poe Gogh            
A sister who loved disco ------------------------------ Go Gogh           
And his niece who travels the country in an RV -------- Winnie Bay Gogh


Are you smiling? --------------- There Ya Gogh!






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.

February 26th, 2015


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(), please contact us

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