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VCB eNews, Volume 12, #27 - Ready to Rumble

Volume 12, #27:Ready to Rumble

Shelley Porter, Editor


Editorial: Ready to Rumble

Rides Captain’s Report: Bridge over . . . cycling?

Notices of Rides and Events – NEW events this week!

Loose Chain Links

Bike Buy and Sell

About That Funny


“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

  • Ibn Battuta





When I was 12 years old, my family moved from Shubenacadie to New Minas. My father had a 3 ton, 5 speed, closed truck and we moved all of our belongings ourselves, traveling the old route through the Rawdon Hills. The move took several trips, and on the last I tagged along. I felt quite grown-up riding along in the cab with my parents, rolling past farmhouses and fields all in darkness. It was well past my bedtime, and somewhere outside Brooklyn, I fell asleep. Sometime shortly after that, with my mother and I snoozing peacefully alongside him, so did my father. 

All three of us jolted awake when the front right wheel of the truck dropped off the right shoulder of the road. My father instantly turned the wheel and righted the truck in the lane. We had narrowly missed a calamitous wreck, saved by my father’s quick reflexes. 

The type of vehicle crash we avoided is the kind rumble strips are designed to prevent. Rumble strips – raised or grooved patterns cut in the shoulder of a paved road - alert drivers with noise/vibration that they are drifting off the highway. Rumble strips are an effective safety measure to prevent run-off-the-road crashes, 53% of which are to the right, exactly where my father’s truck was headed. Rumble strips are great for sleepy or distracted drivers, but what about for cyclists?

When road shoulders are available and clear, cyclists will use them in order to avoid conflict with faster moving vehicles in the travel lane. This means cyclists are more likely to be negatively affected by the implementation of rumble strips. When rumble strips take up too much of the shoulder, cyclists cannot avoid them. Poorly designed and placed rumble strips force cyclists to ride out of the shoulder area and into the travel lane, increasing risk for both cyclists and other road users.

Nova Scotia began installing rumble strips in 2007, with positive results for reducing run-off-road motor vehicle crashes. Velo Cape Breton [VCB] started considering rumble strips and their implications for cyclists when Highway 105 between Millville and the Seal Island bridge was repaved around 2010. The middle line and shoulders were scored with rumble strips, even when the shoulder was less than 1 metre wide. The width of the rumble strip relative to the shoulder means there is not much room left for cyclists. 

 The VCB executive meets annually with the local NSTIR office, and in January 2011 they expressed concern regarding the potential risks to cyclists of inappropriately installed rumble strips. The issue was raised again at the 2013 meeting.

In an effort to offer useful insights into the cycling community’s stake in the installation of rumble strips, VCB and other cyclists prepared a position paper which was presented to the Premier and the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Geoff Maclellan. Minister Maclellan assured VCB that the needs and safety of cyclists would be taken into account as policy was developed and installation of rumble strips on Nova Scotia’s 100 series highways continued. 

The issue was raised at the October 2014 provincial Cycling Summit, with Deputy Minister of NSTIR Paul LaFleche in attendance. Mr. LaFleche was receptive to the concerns of the cycling community, and among concerned cyclists there was hope for change. In November 2014, VCB again met with local TIR staff, indicating disappointment with recent installation of rumble strips on a section of Highway 105 near Little Bras d’Or which did not meet current standards. The local TIR manager agreed to review the part of the installation in his jurisdiction. Meanwhile, VCB wrote yet another letter to the Minister asking for an update on the development of a new policy

A response came from NSTIR staff in March 2015, advising that “a revised policy for shoulder and centreline rumble strips was implemented by the department in August 2014. The policy does take into account comments and concerns previously raised by Velo Cape Breton. In order to ensure adequate paved shoulders for cyclists, Directive # 9 in the policy indicates shoulder rumble strips will only be installed where the shoulder is more than 2 metres wide.” This was very positive news for VCB. It was also learned that corrective work would be done at Little Bras d’Or to comply with the new policy.

VCB welcomes the support and participation of individual cyclists and cycling organizations in this process, as we work with provincial agencies and other stakeholders to ensure safe and enjoyable travel routes for all road users.



Smooth, wide, paved road shoulders make for safe, fun riding. No bull. (S. Porter, photo)









This will be short this week as I am about to leave for Moncton to play bridge in a tournament. When I first retired 4 years ago I started doing all the physical things I hadn't done during my life as I was determined to stay healthy. Just over a year ago a friend convinced me to start playing bridge. And in order to stay healthy, you also have to have an active mind so I said sure. The day I signed up for lessons was almost the last day. There were 18 strangers in the room and I was the only male. I am not a very outgoing person and not having the support of even one other male was daunting but I stayed anyway. Once lessons were over I bit the bullet and started to go to the various bridge games that are held in the area. As I didn't have a partner, you hope that someone else is missing a partner that week and you play with them, or failing that situation, the director. Bridge is a very challenging game. It had guidelines more so than rules and these change depending on where you are sitting or if someone else has bid and given the number of permutations that can be dealt with a deck of 52 cards rarely are 2 hands similar. These were all people that had played for many years and knew more of the "conventions" than I, but I am slowly learning the game. I suppose the point I am trying to get across is that there are many situations in life that are daunting, but if you persevere, in all likelihood, you will win through. I still don't have a regular partner and I do most of my riding solo but getting together with like minded people, doing the things you like is well worth the effort. So have a great ride this weekend with people you may or may not know. They are all interesting and have their own stories to tell.  JP





Whether you are relatively new to the sport of cycling or an old hand at it, or simply just want to improve your riding skills, Women on Wheels ( WOW ) maybe the program for you.  Our goal is to get you to love riding your bike in a safe, friendly and fun environment with other likeminded women.  You’ll get a chance to build your confidence and bike handling skills by riding with other women. So if you are looking to improve your cycling/fitness skills and make some great friends along the way, then we’d love to see you at Women on Wheels


Each session starts off with 15 minutes of instruction, followed by a ride.  There are usually two groups of WOW.  On e group is a beginner group who will receive instruction on shifting, safe handling and a shorter ride to practice all that is learned.  The second group of WOW is a more advanced group of women, who are more fitness focused and are new or previous participants who are comfortable in riding an 18 Km route.  Rides are relaxed and meant to be fun.  No one will be dropped, meaning that there will always be someone in the lead and at the back of every ride to ensure things go smoothly.  You ride at your own pace.


Join fellow Women on Wheels for our first session on Tuesday, May 26th at 6:00 pm at Noelle’s Country Market in Pt Edward.  See you there!


In order to get a sense of approximately how many participants and if you think that you might like to attend or have any questions about WOW, please contact Shelley Johnson at .






This year’s Ride of Silence in memory of cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles will be held in Sydney on Wed., May 20th. The ride will assemble at the parking lot of the former Target store off Welton St. in Sydney at 6:30 pm. The ride will start at 7 pm, with police escort. Honorary ride leader: Dr. Monika Dutt.





 GIVE TO LIVE is reaching out to you for help in publicizing the BIG RIDE 2015. The one day fully supported ride will take place Saturday, July 18 around the gorgeous Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The route will run counter clockwise from Baddeck to Baddeck and will cover 300 km’s. Cyclists can ride solo and conquer the full 300km themselves or in a 3 person Relay Team of 100km per leg. 50 riders will have the opportunity to join the 2015 BIG RIDE. The BIG RIDE is a charity event and will raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. ( If anyone is looking for additional information and details on the event, please contact

The BIG RIDE is online at:







Interesting discussion:


A tisket, a tasket:


Don’t try this in Ottawa:


Obeying the law is always a good start:


Flat pedals (I want the red ones!):


Trail in Nova Scotia, some built and more being built:






FOR SALE: SPECIALIZED "SEQUOIA" Features - Made with Specialized A1 Premium Aluminum, the compact SEQUOIA frame is erogonomically designed for maximum comfort over the long haul. The ZERT inserts on the fork's Specialized FACT carbon legs absorb vibrations to keep you feeling fresh. The Specialized COMP handlebar is ergonomically shaped to form the perfect cradle for your hands. The SHIMANO 105 10 Speed STI break and shift leavers give you crisp shifts and effortless breaking. New road tires and tubes. Size Medium to Large ( I am 6 feet tall, 185 lbs and it was a great fit for me). 

I have maintenance and upgrade records form FRAMEWORK along with owner's manual. Original price was $999.99 plus tax. My selling price is $600.00. Give me a call if interested in seeing this bike or if you would like to take it for a spin. 902-561-1965



FOR SALE: Crank Brothers premium eggbeater style cleats, never used, still in the box. $10. Contact



FOR SALE: Two mountain bikes, one Giant Rincon 6061 aluxx, frame size 14 in., $300; one Norco XFR, frame size 15, $300. Both about 4 years old, rarely used, stored inside. Will sell together for $500. Contact Heather at






This is real, and made me laugh until I cried:



Shelley Porter,  

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

VCB Cycling Ambassador.

May 8th, 2015




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