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VCB eNews, Volume 12, #36 - Elbow Room



Volume 12, #36: Elbow Room

Shelley Porter, Editor



Editorial: Elbow Room

Rides Captain’s Report 

Across the Highlands MTB Challenge - AHC ’15

Bike Culture Finds 

Loose Chain Links

Bike Buy and Sell

About That Funny


“Now my soul hath elbow room.”

  • Wm. Shakespeare, King John, Act v. Sc. 7





It might surprise you to know that riding a bicycle is safer than driving a car. Among cycling advocates it is stated often and with confidence that the best way to improve safety for cyclists is to get more cyclists on the roads. American cycling advocate and journalist Elly Blue, in her 2013 book Bikenomics, cites studies and reports that indicate clearly, contrary to what one might assume, that as bicycle ridership goes up, crash rates stay the same or decrease. This isn’t only reported from the United States, but from studies around the world.


Yet most people who resist cycling on roads shared with motor vehicles cite safety as their greatest concern. And one of the most frightening aspects of cycling on roadways is being passed by a motor vehicle. Drivers on low traffic roads may pass at high speeds, throwing up road debris and generally unnerving the cyclist. Drivers in heavy traffic are impatient and sometimes inconsiderate, “squeezing” (stopping too close either behind or beside the cyclist) cyclists at intersections and passing within centimetres of the cyclist’s elbow. We say we share the roads, but at times it seems more like cyclists are fighting for a small sliver of them.


Twice recently while riding in my neighbourhood I have been passed waytooclose by the driver of a large motor vehicle. As the World Naked Bike Ride emphasizes, cyclists are vulnerable road users: naked for all intents and purposes within a traffic flow consisting mainly of powerful engines encased in hard and heavy armour. Nothing brings this home more forcefully than the whoosh of slipstream past one’s naked elbow. No – there is something more forceful: hearing the news that a cyclist has been struck by a vehicle because that vehicle was following or passing too close.


In Nova Scotia, we are fortunate to have a “1 metre rule” that legislates the legal right of cyclists to travel as close to or as far from the edge of the pavement as they deem safe, and requires motor vehicle operators to give one metre safe distance to cyclists when passing them. This rule applies to all motor vehicles, from motorcycles to transport trucks. Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada with such a law.


One metre rules, like a lot of things about cycling, are controversial. Some argue that one metre rules let governments bail out of improvements to cycling infrastructure  (the very best way to make cyclists safer is to create bike paths, bike paths separated from roadways shared with motor vehicles), and are a low enforcement priority so effectively lack “teeth”. Others insist that one metre rules protect cyclists by making driver’s aware of their presence and allowing the law to find fault if a cyclist is hit by a passing vehicle.


There are a lot of cyclists on the road at this time of year, and their mere presence helps make drivers more observant and aware of their presence. In CBRM many, if not most, drivers give not just one metre to cyclists but the whole lane if possible. For those who pass within centimetres, this is a request for elbow room. Let’s truly share the roads.









 It has been a long day for me. Up early and drove to Halifax for my second World Naked Bike Ride, and then drove home. On the ride, it was fun seeing pretty much everyone have a laugh and shout out encouragement as we rode past. Somehow I don't think it would work here on the Island. Even with the large population base HRM has, there were still only about 35 people that went on the ride.


Sunday July 5th was the Ride and 'Rite event and on Monday, July 6th saw the Heartland Tour going through CBRM.   The summer is flying past even though it seems as if it just got here. The days are getting shorter and we are pretty much halfway through our programmed rides for this year.


The LRR committee had its wrap-up meeting. We think with a few minor tweaks, next year's ride will be even better.


It is a time of changes for many people. Children are graduating high school and going their various ways, on what they believe to be their paths for life. All too soon they will realize that very few people arrive at the destination they initially choose. Life has a habit of interfering with the way we live. However, for those young adults whose parents had the foresight to get them on a bicycle early and teach them the joy of riding, they will make out just fine. What they learned riding a bike will make it easier for them. Look ahead, keep your balance, and have fun doing it.

Enjoy your summer. It is already getting ahead of you and winter will 
be here sooner than you think possible. 


JP Martin, Rides Captain





Saturday, July 11th is the date for the annual Isle Madame Ride and Brunch


Rides start at 10:00 am sharp from La Forge, Veteran's Memorial Drive in Arichat. Three distances to choose from, 20km led by Lionel, the 45km ride led by Jessica and 60km tour of Isle Madame by Jacques.   Rides end with a gorgeous seafood chowder, BBQ and music at "La Forge".  

Come one, come all, bring friends!   A great event that is growing and growing better every year organized by the Isle Madame Development Association in collaboration with local generous volunteers.

Note:  This is also Farmers Market day so parking around La Forge will be limited.  Please find parking elsewhere and ride to La Forge for the start.






Only four more days to register for this year's event in Mabou. More Info and Registrations here.  Registration will close at midnight on Sunday to give organizers time to prepare for a First Class event, much like all the previous Editions getting better and better to suit the level of participants and expectations.

Trail preparations in full swing with 25+ volunteer hours this past weekend alone and we expect to be going out with multiple crews this weekend.

Participants can expect four freshly stocked pit tables. On the course you can expect a bit of everything and probably some things you never expected!

Don't forget, you can camp within riding distance to the start/finish at Ceilidh Cottages. Also, they are generously making their showers and the pool available to all participants.
More info here :





By popular demand, the WoW meets will continue on Tuesday evenings in July.  


Rides start at 6:00 pm from Noelle’s Market on Keltic Drive at Balls Creek.







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).


Cycling culture, like all cultures, includes food. Here is a Canada Day party Lemon Tart recipe from VCB member, Shauna English-Jackson. Shauna contributed this dish to our recent BBQ and it disappeared very quickly, to rave reviews! 


Lemon Tart

1 c. Slivered Almonds or pecans ( toasted) 
1 c. Flour
1/2 c. Butter
8 oz cream cheese
1 c. Icing sugar
1 pkg. Cream Cheese

Mix: flour, butter with half of the nuts ( nuts should be finely chopped). Press crust into a fluted pan.  Bake 20 - 25 mins in a 350 oven.  Let cool. 

Mix Cream cheese and icing sugar; beat until fluffy. Spread over the cooled crust. 

Make a lemon pie filling and pour over the cream cheese mixture.  Let set / cool for a few minutes. 

Top with cool whip and the other half of slivered toasted nuts.  Refrigerate and then enjoy! 





Add value to your property by connecting to cycling:


Mountain bike headlight review:


Transport is central to 21st century global challenges:


Sunglasses made for Nova Scotia weather:


I need one of these:


The safety of pedestrians and cyclists must be addressed urgently:






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



WANTED: I'm 5'2" and look for a women's road bike size Small.

email:  Carla Arsenault


WANTED: triple crankset to fit square taper bottom bracket (and bottom bracket if you have one!), old is fine.  Looking for something cheap or free for an old frame rebuild.


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







Two CBRM councillors are walking their bikes down a country lane while on holiday. One says to the other: "Can you see that gravestone over there? That chap lived to be 128!"


The other replied: "Gosh, he must have been a hard working farmer or something like that. What was his name?"

"Miles from Sydney.”




Shelley Porter,

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

VCB Cycling Ambassador.

July 9th, 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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