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VCB eNews, Volume 12, #48 - What's Left



Volume 12, #48: What’s Left

Shelley Porter, Editor



Editorial: What’s Left

Rides Captain’s Report + Rider’s Commentary [double dose]


Bike Culture Finds 

Loose Chain Links

Bike Buy and Sell

About That Funny



“ . . . people with nothing to declare carry the most.”

~  Jonathan Safran Foer





Recently, I have moved out of my house. This was a rapid process, done in stages. First, packing the non-essentials and seasonal items; then the less essential; then paring what’s left down to what is absolutely necessary for survival. 


How do you decide what to pack last? Aside from those things you miss in the corners of closets and on top of cupboards, or the things you need to close boxes or take apart furniture or remove and re-attach doors – what is left? 


I spent several nights sleeping on my chesterfield, with the rabbits in their cages close by. Each day more items and boxes disappeared, packed away or shipped away for storage or done away with by being discarded, recycled, donated to charity or given to friends. The last two nights, it was just me, the rabbits, and what was absolutely necessary. Food, tea, clothing, soap – and two bicycles. Now that I have progressed to couch-surfing at friends’ and relatives’ houses, I have pared that down to one bicycle. (My other four bicycles are in storage at my new location).


Moving a considerable distance forced me to think hard about what was absolutely necessary – what was worth paying to ship a long way, and then pay to store for an undetermined period of time. With my children safely ensconced in their own domiciles at university, I only had to worry about “things” and our pets. It really made me think about what is important to me, what I am willing to sacrifice for, what I really need. My loved ones (children or pets), my memories (photos, writing) . . . and at least one bicycle. Love and memory and necessity - the necessity of getting from one place to another, to escape, to do work , to be healthy– all tangled up with the bicycle. A touchstone, a reassurance that life is normal or will get back to normal soon, all wrapped up with the bicycle. 


Moving is full of learning experiences and new discoveries. This move (my lifetime 20th) I discovered that a camping sleeping mat is a pretty comfortable thing to spend a night on, and that when I opened my eyes in the morning, the sights that reassured me were contented pets . . . and a bicycle. Life will get back to normal soon. 



The Editor’s bicycle, and some rabbits enjoy the amenities on a friend’s back deck (S. Porter, photo).




(The Editor has been in transition between homes and jobs, and apologizes for being slightly behind with the newsletter. You get a double dose of Rides Captain’s musings this week!)


September has been an excellent month for cycling and with any luck, October will continue this streak for the few official rides left. I hope everyone is enjoying it as winter will be here soon enough. Shorter days and cooler temperatures require a little more planning for any long rides you may think of doing. Also, remember that hydration is still very important even though you may not think you are losing a lot through sweating.

The Velo AGM is only a month away so I hope everyone is considering participating. I may sound like a broken record (and only the older folks will get that reference - things change) but it is very important to having a viable club and advancing cycling in our city and province/country. I was away for a week in Wisconsin and while the roads were great along with the weather ,I did not see anyone riding a bicycle. It was all designed for automobile traffic. That being said ,I did enjoy my time away. A change is as good as a rest they say.

I did receive one more instalment in our VCB Riders Write section so I hope others will come forward and send me their thoughts.

So somebody flipped the switch and we are into much cooler and wetter weather now that October has arrived. Which is fine as I used the past several days to bake my Christmas fruitcakes. Three of them, of which one-and-a-half are gifts. Yes, very soon we will be complaining of the cold and snow which seems to be coming much too fast. However, before that happens, Eliot Frosst will be doing a last ride at Louisbourg (Oct.10) and sometime in December Shelley J. will be doing her Christmas Lights ride.

October 8th will see the last Velo board meeting before the AGM (date to be announced) which I hope many of you will attend as there will be positions opening up for anyone wishing to join the Board. Because of key changes in the Board’s make-up the frequency of the newsletter may be affected - we will be looking for a new editor and if anyone has suggestions for changes to the newsletter format now is the time to make them known.

Our last Ride on the Mira will have taken place (4th Oct.) and it looks like the weather will be co-operating: sunshine tomorrow before we go back to rain for a few days. I hope everyone has been checking the schedule so they don't miss it.

The CBRM launched their cycling handbook on the 27th of Sept. It can be found online here or in hard copy from CBRM or several other outlets. The launch was well-attended and while all the objectives put forward by the various  involved groups have not been met, the first steps have been taken to improve the cycling experience in Cape Breton. See you at the AGM.






Everyone has his or her own reasons for choosing a new activity. My reasons are pretty simple: health and happiness. I have a history of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes in my family and while I have remained quite healthy over the years, I was aware that I needed to become more active and reduce some stress. Hockey is my main winter activity, but I wanted something I could pick up in the spring and continue into the fall. I knew of Velo Cape Breton and when I checked the website two years ago, I discovered Women On Wheels. I thought this would be a great opportunity to get out on my bike, socialize a little, make some new friends and hopefully learn a bit about cycling. WOW has allowed me to do just that! I don't get out on every ride, but when I do, I always enjoy my time cruising Point Edward or wherever our ride captain sends us. I love that cycling allows me to ride quietly and enjoy some solitude or stay close to other riders and socialize along the way - all the while getting a bit of exercise and fresh air - a perfect prescription for health and happiness.

- Barb Vokey








The Cape Breton Fiddler's Run Organizers are looking for 5 to 6 cyclists to cycle the Fiddlers Run race on October 18th.  Interested parties, please email or call (902) 567-2261 and ask for Ron Neville.         


Thank You.





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).


The 2015 Nova Scotia Cycling Summit wrapped up with a series of rides on Sunday, Oct. 4th. One of those rides included tours of several Valley wineries. Below, the group has stopped at Gaspereau Vineyards for a tasting. Gaspereau Vineyards was well-prepared with a nice bicycle rack out front, and lots of wine, snacks, books, and branded garb. The other wineries were the same: for example, when we rolled up to Domaine de Grand Pre, there was a bike rack right there in the courtyard. Bike culture or wine culture? Hey – why do they have to be separate?? Enjoy it all, by bicycle.







Hollis St. bike lane, oh, my soul:


Car free Paris:


10 facts about walking in the USA:


It’s a scientific fact:


Smart lights talk to you Smartphone:





 (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: Saris Guardian 3 bike rack. Only used a couple of times. Purchased at Framework (original price $150). Asking $50. Contact Colleen at








Moving Tips:


  1. Wear lots of antiperspirant on moving day.
  2. Do lots of weight training prior to the big move.
  3. Resist the urge to pop all the bubble wrap before packing fragile items.
  4. Do NOT use packing tape for painful practical jokes.
  5. Make lots of friends BEFORE moving day.
  6. It’s OK to swear at heavy furniture.
  7. Trolley good – hernia bad.
  8. If the Editor asks you to help her move, be aware that her belongings consist of the following: very fragile things given to her by elderly members of her extended family; BOOKS; more BOOKS; items of furniture given to her by elderly members of her extended family, and all of these items of furniture are made of solid oak, AND a piano declared by three professional moving companies to be the largest, heaviest piano they have ever seen. 




Shelley Porter,

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

VCB Cycling Ambassador.

October 8th, 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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