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VCB eNews, Volume 12, #31 - Transferable Skills, or What Sport Is This?



Volume 12, #32: Transferable Skills, or What Sport Is This?

Shelley Porter, Editor



Editorial: Transferable Skills, or What Sport Is This?

Rides Captain’s Report

Other Rides and Events

Loose Chain Links

Bike Buy and Sell

About That Funny


“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.”

  • Robert Greene





Sometimes when you are applying for a job, you are required to list your “transferable skills”, those things you have learned doing previous jobs or volunteer activities or just going about your daily life, that can be transferred to the position for which you are applying. They don’t have to be specific to the new job, they just have to be useful in it. 


I have a lot of interests (and I like to try new things), so I’ve participated in a number of different sports and activities. I have discovered among the activities I do, there are many transferable skills. 


Some of these skills, or simply habits, work well across a variety of activities: fitness, balance, and strength come in handy in every sport, and in everyday life, for that matter! A skill I learned mountain biking, looking ahead at where you want to go, also applies to horseback riding: your eyes lead to where you want to go next, and your body and horse will follow. Looking at the front wheel of your bike or directly at the ground will sometimes lead to a crash; looking at the horse’s ears instead of the next jump can have equally negative consequences. In horseback riding, you stand in your stirrups to go over a jump; in cycling, it can be helpful to stand on the pedals to go over an obstacle. Remember to keep your heels down and don’t lock your knees!


Some good habits and practices transfer well from one activity to another, like warning others in your group of cyclists or equestrians of traffic or road hazards with a word or signal that everyone understands. However, there are times when moving back and forth between sports can cause confusion or difficulty. For example, I learned to ride a horse before I learned to ride a bicycle. You always get on a horse from the left (so your sword doesn’t get caught, because we all have a sword hanging from the left side of our belts, right?). But, for safety’s sake, you should get on and off your bicycle from the right (so you aren’t moving into the roadway when you dismount). 


Then there was the time I was nearly at the end of the lane during a swim workout and I looked up to check my helmet mirror before I turned, to make sure nobody was behind me . . .  .


Recently a riding buddy was describing an incident where a horse refused at a jump and the rider “went right over the handlebars”. Wait a minute . . . what?


The other evening, I went to Zumba class at the YMCA. Zumba is a dance-fitness class where you execute (and in my case, that’s not a completely inaccurate description) a series of moves to funky “club” music. There is a mirror at the front of the room where you can check your form. I make very sure I place myself where there is no possible way I will ever be able to see myself in this mirror. At one point during the class, I couldn’t figure out why I always seemed to end up facing the wrong way at the end of a sequence. Looking from the instructor’s feet to my own, I finally figured it out: I was on the wrong lead . . .  .



When a horse is on the correct lead at the canter, the front leg on the inside of the circle strikes out first, and the horse moves easily in the proper direction. In this photo, Laura Porter-Muntz and Twistin Junior Toffee canter to the left, on the correct lead. (S. Porter, photo)






 "Out on the Mira" was a good ride this past weekend with a few seasoned riders and a couple of new members. Faced headwinds initially and a few sprinkles of rain but coming back Hills Road, we had a tailwind that just moved us right along. A very relaxed ride. I have come to realize that no matter what the conditions, cold, wet, or otherwise, at the end of the ride cyclists pretty much all respond with "That was a great ride and I had fun", the hardest part of any endeavour is getting motivated/started. Once you do, it is all downhill with a tailwind.

Upcoming events:

Bike week starts Friday the 5th at 10:30 am with the Bike Week flag raising at the Civic Centre. 



A ride will leave the Farmer's market on both Saturdays at 11 a.m. (the 6th & 13th). Length of ride is about 20 km, route is in fair condition and it will be at a relaxed pace as I will be leading it. I will also be leading a ride on Wednesday morning (the 10th) from the Ugly Mug Cafe. Gather at 9:15 for a 9:30 departure. This ride will take us out King's Road, around Blackett's Lake and back, another ride of about 20 km. All rides were designed to turn right to avoid crossing highways and keep the route as simple as possible. 



WOW rides will be continuing Tuesday evenings even during bike week and your president will be doing a ride on Sunday the 14th in Glace Bay.


There will be an Cycling information center at the Mayflower Mall on Friday afternoon and on both Saturday mornings (June 6th and 13th) there will be a bike maintenance/checkup at the Farmer's Market. Please continue to check our site for updates. 



There was an error in the printed schedule regarding the Miner's Pick ride. The correct date for this ride is Sunday, June 28th. Have a good week everyone and get out for those rides and events.


- JP










NEW: Show and Go Rides! 

SHOW up at the Coxheath arena on Thursday evenings at 6 pm, and GO for a relaxed ride with like-minded cyclists.   First ride tonight June 4th.





The annual Intro-to-Triathlon session will be combined with the (?1st annual) Tri Gear Swap-and-Sale this Thursday, June 4th.


Bring any swim, bike, or run gear that you are not using but may be useful to other people.  Put a price on it.  Trade it or sell it.  If you want you can donate your proceeds to the club.  Anything from a bike, to bike parts, to some shoes that didn't quite work out for you, to clothing...


This event will be at the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation (former Holy Angels High School) in the North End of Sydney.


The swap-and-sale will start around 6:30PM, learn-to-tri session around 7:30PM will last 45-60 minutes.


Triathlon can be an intimidating sport because of the amount of gear involved, transitions, clothing, numbering, etc etc.  Julie and I now have 55 years of combined experience doing triathlons (oh my god we're old) and can hopefully help you avoid some of the mistakes that we made along the way.


This year we're going to add on a short session at the end on "Optimizing your Training" - some basic dos and don’ts that will apply to those of you who are looking to improve your speed.


I will confirm on Monday, but we are hoping to book the pool 9-10 to do an optional beginner tri swim session, working on sighting/turns/drafting and some other tri-specific swim skills.  You can also just come to get a workout in.  And perhaps a beer after all is said and done?


Hope to see you there!  Any questions definitely let me know.  If you want to post a list of some of your for-sale items here, it may let others know what to expect at the sale, but please no pre-sales - save it for Thursday.


-Chris Milburn,








Who Cycles in the US?:


You can follow CBRM road conditions on Twitter:


Women cycle, just not as much. Yet.


A wooden battery for your bike light?:


Grip lights:


Eastwind Cycle does bike and BBQ:






FOR SALE: Giant Cypress comfort bike. Men’s, size 17 in. Excellent condition, just tuned up at SportChek. $200. Contact






The devout cowboy lost his favorite Bible while he was mending fences out on the range. Three weeks later, a horse walked up to him carrying the Bible in its mouth. The cowboy couldn't believe his eyes. He took the precious book out of the horse's mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed, "It's a miracle!" "Not really," said the horse. "Your name is written inside the cover." 


Murphy's Horse Laws 

There is no such thing as a sterile barn cat.

No one ever notices how you ride until you fall off.

The least useful horse in you barn will eat the most, require shoes every four weeks and need the vet at least once a month.

A horse's misbehaviour will be in direct proportion to the number of people who are watching.

Your favorite tack always gets chewed on, and your new blanket gets torn.

Tack you hate will never wear out and blankets you hate cannot be destroyed.

Horses you hate cannot be sold and will outlive you.

Clipper blades will become dull when your horse is half clipped.

If you approach within fifty feet of your barn in clean clothes, you will get dirty.

If you fall off, you will land on the site of your most recent injury. 

If you are winning, then quit, because there is only one way to go. Down! 



Shelley Porter,  

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

VCB Cycling Ambassador.

June 4th, 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(s), please contact us

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