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VCB eNews, Volume 12, #34 - Timeless Moments




Volume 12, #34: Timeless Moments

Shelley Porter, Editor



Editorial: Timeless Moments

Rides Captain’s Report 

VCB Charter Member awarded CTV Maritimer of the Week

Other Rides and Events

Bike Culture Finds –

Loose Chain Links

Bike Buy and Sell

About That Funny


“The butterfly counts not months but moments, yet has time enough.”

  • Rabindranath Tagore



EDITORIAL: Timeless Moments


Many of the runners and cyclists I know have some sort of device that counts – their steps, their runs, their race times, their heartbeats. I see them worn on wrists, arms, and around chests. I have a cycling computer on my touring bicycle, which is also the bicycle I used to race. Not only is it fun and rewarding to know your top speed or total distance, but counting certain things can help you work toward a goal or improve your technique. The original reason I bought a cycling computer was to monitor my cadence: the number of pedal revolutions per minute. A consistent “spinning” speed (or cadence) of 85 rpm is most efficient and comfortable for me. Spinning properly prevents injury and fatigue on long rides. If you can’t maintain your cadence in the gear you are using, you need to either gear up or down. Racing cyclists can have much higher cadences, but a touring ride for me is an 85 rpm ride.


The recent Lobster Roll Rides in North Sydney reminded me of all the things we count. It started with participants – about 70 riders. There were bicycles of every possible design and purpose. One of them was very special: the Duet bicycle the Children’s Wish Foundation had just obtained for Nicol McNeil and her family. Nicol wanted to be able to ride with both her sons, but her younger boy, Devon, is not able to ride a bicycle. The Duet bicycle allows Nicol to ride with Devon in a special seat that doubles as a wheelchair. Nicol had borrowed a Duet bicycle from the IWK the last two summers, and this year Children’s Wish made it possible for her family to have its own. 


I experienced several special moments during the 100 km ride: drafting on the wheel of a strong rider, looking down and seeing the number “38.4” on the km per hour line of my computer; swooping down a long hill and having the momentum and strength to speed up the other side (I didn’t know I could still do that); hearing my misbehaving derailleur drop onto the smallest chain ring on the last long hill, when I really, really needed that break. 


On one steep hill I was behind a slower rider, with two of the Women on Wheels leaders. The rider ahead was struggling a bit, expressing doubts about being able to make it. Behind her came the gentle words, “Breathe, breathe, breathe”, a steady metronome of encouragement along with confident coaching, “You can do it”. The rider made it up the climb. Our “WoW” leaders really deserve their acronym! 


Long after my own ride had ended, Nicol arrived back at the starting point. All the participants assembled in the parking lot to cheer her on. She had counted the kilometres she pedalled, 30 in all and the longest ride she had ever attempted with a Duet bicycle and Devon. We yelled and applauded as she pushed the pedals up the slope and cheered when she stopped in front of the crowd. In that moment, I chided myself for ever complaining on any of the long climbs on our route. I only had my light bike and myself to propel. Nicol had transported herself and her son, on a heavy machine. Beside me, moved by this strong and brave mother’s efforts, my friend was wiping tears from her eyes. I know because I could see her through my own. Among those moments we are counting, we find the moments that count. 



Nicol McNeil accepts well-deserved congratulations after completing her Lobster Roll Ride as honorary ride leader, with sons Devon (in seat) and Sean (on bicycle).  (S. Porter, photo)






 As I write this I am trying to grab a few moments of calm. Tomorrow it is the Walk-A-Mile event for Transition House. And of course Sunday is the BIG day as far as one of our major rides, the Lobster Roll Rides, for Velo Cape Breton takes place. There are way too many things that need to be done at the last minute even though this event has been in the planning stages for months. Registrations are beginning to go up and it looks like a good crowd for this year’s event. I hesitate to even mention this but it looks like the weather may co-operate this year. Yeah! This year’s Lobster Roll Ride should be a blast and we have an honorary ride leader(s) this year.  Devon McNeil, the recipient of a Children's Wish of a Duet bike will be riding with his mother, Nicol, and older brother, Sean. I hope you give them a hearty round of applause when you see them. No doubt we will also have pictures (like this one):



Nicol McNeil takes a rest after completing her 30 km ride on the Duet bicycle. Still smiling!  (S.Porter, photo).


  • By now everyone should have heard that this afternoon one of the founding members and tireless supporter of Velo Cape Breton, Jacques Cote, received the CTV Maritimer of the Week Award. This recognition is well deserved and as Jacques said "It couldn't have happened without the support of a lot of people”. Let’s keep that sentiment alive and well, and continue to grow the club and cycling in Cape Breton.


  • I really don't think I need to nag anyone this week, just remind you that rides are posted on our site. This coming weekend (June 27/28) will be busy with the Englishtown Musselfest in Englishtown, and the Miner's Pick ride on Sunday in Glace Bay leaving at 1 p.m. sharp from the Atlantic superstore parking lot.  (see below)


  • July 1st will find everyone at Jacques and Micheline's for a holiday BBQ. (see below)


  • The first full weekend of July will also be filled with rides but more on those next week. I hope everyone has a good time Sunday, and I hope that I can say I saw you there. 


- JP


Rides Captain’s Report UPDATE (dateline, June 21, evening):


I am now home after a verrrry long day. Good to know everyone got out and gave THE McNeil family several resounding sets of applause. The boys looked like they had a good time and Nicol, though last and slow, FINISHED while overcoming several great disadvantages. They are, indeed, well deserving of Honorary Ride Leader status.


We never did get to do the door prize draw. In my very scrupulous way, it will be done and prizes will be awarded - it just AIN'T going to happen tonight, so don't anyone hold their breath waiting. This year the weather co-operated, so that is now 3 for 4, a 75% average. There were a few small glitches which will be rectified by your hardworking committee members and of course Louise will have to get her odometer fixed because it is giving her too much credit on her mileage. But all - in - all it seemed to go well. Anyone with any major complaints is free to let me know as they will be running the event next year. Hope everyone is recovered because there are more (but shorter) rides still to come.

A special thanks to all the volunteers from the Golden K club, the police, and people that stepped forward to give a helping hand. 


Your Rides Captain, JP.  

PS: I am still open to any suggestions for rides -as long as I don't have to plan/run/organize it.









Tuesday night’s ride was absolutely stunning.  With just a hint of wind and very nice evening temperatures it made for a very enjoyable ride around Pt. Edward.  So nice to listen to cheerful voices and to receive friendly waves from the local folks along the way.  Thank you ladies for coming out.  I hope to see you all next Tuesday at Noelle’s Country Market for 6:00 pm.


This Saturday, June 27th is the Englishtown Mussel Fest and we have a special invite for Women on Wheels.  We will have a WOW ride to the Clucking Hen in Indian Brook which is approximately 18 kms one way. It’s a go at your own speed, with no major hills.  The weather looks good for Saturday’s ride.  Come and join us!  BTW, if you have not eaten at the Clucking Hen before... you are in for a treat!


Meet at the Englishtown Community Hall at 11:00 am.  Ride starts at 12:00.


Shelley Johnson

WOW Coordinator





by:  Jacques & Micheline,


The news of horror stories taking place in so many unsettled and troubled regions of the world make us realize how fortunate I’ve been to be born in Canada.  Every morning I wake up and I kiss the floor several times so recognizant of the peace and freedom our forefathers worked hard to establish for their descendants now living in this land.  Mind you I kiss the floor doing my morning push-ups but nevertheless, what I see around me every single day of the year is a reason to celebrate our nation on July 1st.


This year, we open our place at 53 Petersfield Ct. in Westmount for you all VCB members and your friends for a pleasant afternoon of entertainment and good food. 


2:00 pm.  Poker Bike Ride around Pt. Edwards. Distribution of cards. $5. to play. 
Those not riding can tour the Canada Day celebrations - kiosks, music, games, hundreds of people - at the nearby Petersfield Park next door around the fence. 

4:00 pm.  Return and checking the hands.  High hand gets 80% of the pot, worst hand gets 20%
This will be followed by a BBQ and a bonfire on the beach, wind conditions permitting.   Bring your own main course for the BBQ, there will be condiments and accompaniment available.   

All are welcome, it is free for all VCB members.  Non-VCB members $5.00





Heartland Tour 2015: The annual Heartland Tour will roll into Sydney on July 6. We saw lots of beautiful Heartland Tour jerseys at the Lobster Roll Rides. Come out and support this tour to promote cardiac health. Please register online! Details at




This section features bike-friendly places and spaces, as submitted by our members. You can write in and tell us about a retail or service outlet that encourages cycling, whether it be by offering cyclist-friendly food, safe pathways, or just being there when you need it (like a public washroom).


There is always a public Port-a-Potty at Coxheath Recreation Park in the summer months, generously sponsored by Belmac Supply of Sydney.





Pre-ride advice:


How to replace brake pads (cause stopping is important):


61-year-old cop rides the Great Divide for charity:


Active cities=rich cities:


Chocolate, wine, bicycles: what could be bad?:






 (Ads will run for 3 weeks; if your item has not sold in that time, please resend the ad to the editor. Thanks!)


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


Still for sale: Cleats, suitable for eggbeater-style pedals. Crank Brothers brand. New, still in box, ordered wrong model. $10. Contact


Still available: 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


Wanted:  Bion-X electric bike.  

E-mail Patsi @





  • The other day my friend accused me of not knowing what irony meant. Which is ironic, because we were standing at a bus stop.  [If you get this joke, please explain it to the Editor!]


  • I tried walking uphill without a watch, but had neither the time nor the inclination.


And . . . athletes count:  A man had been driving all night and by morning was still far from his destination. He decided to stop at the next city he came to and park somewhere quiet so he could get an hour or two of sleep.  As luck would have it, the quiet street he chose happened to be one of the city’s most popular jogging routes. No sooner had he settled back to snooze when there came a knocking on his window. He looked out and saw a jogger running in place.


“Excuse me, sir,” the jogger said, “do you have the time?” The man looked at the car clock and answered, “7:15.”

The jogger said thanks and left. The man settled back again, and was just dozing off when there was another knock on the window and another jogger.

“Excuse me, sir, do you have the time?”


The jogger said thanks and left.

Now the man could see other joggers passing by and he knew it was only a matter of time before another one disturbed him. To avoid the problem, he got out a pen and paper and put a sign in his window saying, “I do not know the time!”

Once again he settled back to sleep. He was just dozing off when there was another knock on the window.

“Sir, sir? It’s 7:45!




Shelley Porter,

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

VCB Cycling Ambassador.

June 18th, 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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