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VCB eNews, Volume 13, #1 - Regrouping




Volume 13, #1,  Regrouping




Editorial: Regrouping

VCB Annual General Meeting

Rides Captain’s Report + Rider’s Commentary

Women on Wheels Update

News From Away – Shelley Porter

Loose Chain Links

Bike Buy and Sell

About That Funny



"I am more concerned about how the Earth is starting to respond to the changes and the implications for my children."

~ Marshall Shepherd, 






The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that 2015 is likely to be the warmest year on record.  Records go back 136 years (1880).  Despite what climate change doubters say, there is no pause in warming since 1998.   The primary cause of global warming is human activity, most significantly the burning of fossil fuels to drive cars, generate electricity, and operate our homes and businesses. 

As individuals, we can help by being mindful of our electricity use, riding instead of driving, reducing the number of kilometres we drive, and taking other steps to reduce our own consumption of fossil fuels.

It doesn't matter if a month or a year is No. 1 or No. 2 or No. 5 hottest on record, said University of Georgia climate scientist Marshall Shepherd.

"The records are getting attention but I worry the public will grow weary of reports of new records each month," Shepherd said in an email. "I am more concerned about how the Earth is starting to respond to the changes and the implications for my children."

We’re just out of a long federal election campaign and canadians have chosen what is looks like a government focused at investing in climate resilient infrastructure and clean energy.  How this will be accomplished remains to be seen but the voice of citizens, your voice, my voice will count.  

Did you know that the Federal Government through the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency (ACOA) did not invest a single penny in the implementation of the CBRM Active Transportation Plan this year?   

Did you know that the only provincial investment of $100k was matched by CBRM for a total of $200k in 2015?  Bottom line means 2015 investment in green infrastructure ini CBRM is only 1/5th of what it should be.  

This is a wake-up call to concerned citizens to regroup and be pro-active.



by:  Colette Smith, President.


With the summer like temperatures we've enjoyed that far into October, it was a real bonus for cycling at the end of the 12th year of Velo Cape Breton.


This year, we've had another exciting cycling season and significant new cycling infrastructures to celebrate.


Come and join us at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to review the past 12 months.  Also, we want to hear from you.  We want to know what you liked in 2015, what you liked less, what you'd like to see VCB offer to you the membership in the coming year.  Your feedback is important to the new board of directors that will be formed at the AGM. 


If you cannot attend the AGM, we would appreciate to hear from you by email or phone 562-8137 before the AGM so we can bring your points to the people present.


Remember, "If you don't speak out, nobody will hear you!"  -  "Words may sting but silence is what breaks the heart!" ...  of volunteers.








VCB MEMBERS WRITE – (this week, Tom Nixa tells why he loves cycling)


In 1972, while attending the University of Northern Iowa, I met the person who has become my lifelong best friend. His name is Cole. He introduced me to cycling and sold me my first "serious" bicycle: a French-made Follis.  We had many good rides over the years and that bike went with me to Arizona in 1980 - 1986 where I joined the Arizona Bicycle Club or ABC.


 The ABC was the first real club that I joined. We had Sunday morning breakfast rides. These were totally social, always welcoming new riders. I initially volunteered to greet and ride with the new riders. We had a policy of leaving no-one behind or alone no matter their skill or experience. We're affiliated with American Youth Hostels or AYH. They were affiliated with International Youth Hostels which are global low cost accommodations for all travellers, particularly supporting human-powered transportation including hiking and cycling.  We had two hostels that were supported by volunteers of the ABC: Phoenix and Grand Canyon in Arizona.

All this, including my being on the Board of Directors and a ride leader for self-contained bicycle tours, got me really involved and excited about cycling, volunteering, and fitness. I gained many new experiences, adventures and lifelong friends.

I later road-raced for about 10 years in Arizona with Domenic's Cycling Club and White Mountain Racing Club and later in Michigan with the Wolverines and the Flying Rhino Cycling Club.


 My later involvement in RAGBRAI (Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) led me to many more good rides and new lifelong friends. I joined Rainbow Cyclists (later called Cedar Valley Cyclists) in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, Iowa, the home of my former University, UNI.  Again, many new friends were made and new adventures had.

In 1998 in Kansas City, Missiouri I trained for and raised over $7600 to go on the American and Canadian Lung Associations’ “Big Ride Across America”.  This 1000 rider, 7 week ride (May 15 to August 1) went from Seattle, Washington to Washington, D.C.  This was my personal tribute to my mother who died at age 50 from lung cancer.  I rode with the Kansas City area group from both Missouri and Kansas known as" Team Toto". They have all become lasting wonderful friends. I also met a really special couple, the Levs from Toronto, who became great friends with me and the Totos.  They organized several Big Ride Reunion Rides including one on the Icefield Highway in Alberta, and Vancouver Island in British Columbia. I fell in love with Canada and Canadians on those rides.

In 2002, the Levs organized a Big Ride Reunion Ride in western New York state called the “Bon Ton Roullet” meaning "Let the Good Times Roll".   This was a fundraising ride for Boys and Girls Clubs in western New York. On the opening day of this week-long ride with 400 riders around the Finger Lakes my friends met a friend from their TBC bike club from Toronto. Arthur, their friend, was celebrating his 50th birthday and had convinced his daughter and his Executive Assistant - neither of whom had ever been on a multi-day ride - to ride with him. His Assistant, Tricia Little, who I met several times on that ride, is now my dear wife.

 So why do I love cycling?  I love cycling because it has brought me my best friends, my beautiful and talented wife, my health, and life full of adventures. May the wind be at your back and the sun on your shoulders !

- Tom Nixa,  Long Point, Cape Breton

PS. Thank you all at VCB especially Jacques Cote for your friendship, hard work, and support. I will be sending you all info and photos from my recent Mississippi River Bike Ride that was on my bucket list for 20 years.





NEWS FROM AWAY – Shelley Porter


So far, I’ve been too busy getting myself and all the rabbits settled and doing my new job to do any bicycling. The weather has been lovely, and I have regretted not enjoying some of it a velo. I’ve been trolling back roads, looking for a property amenable to cycling. This is proving challenging, as all of Nova Scotia has evolved into a place dependent on the motor vehicle for transportation. Some lovely and affordable homes are available . . . tens of kilometres from the nearest multi-use trail. Walk scores are in the low tens or even come up “0”. 


In the contiguous small towns along the mid-Valley floor, cycling infrastructure is here and there, showing an awareness of cyclists’ presence. Even the Kings County Branch of the Nova Scotia SPCA has a newer-design bike rack outside. The Town of Berwick, Apple Capital of Canada, has beautiful apple-themed bike racks all around town. Yet, you don’t have to wander far off the main road to find yourself back on narrow roads with the fog line right at the edge of the asphalt. 


This is a pity, as the quiet, scenic country roads could be a real draw for cyclists and the economic boost they can bring to rural communities. The Blue Route is expected to be a boon to these regions, not just in the Valley but all around the province. Meanwhile, I keep looking for that elusive place my five rabbits and equal number of bicycles will call home.


-Shelley Porter

(currently in Grand Pre, NS)


The view from the driveway of my boarding house. (S. Porter, photo)





Bikes help:











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









An elderly couple, who were both widowed, had been going out with each other for a long time.

Urged on by their friends, they decided it was finally time to get married.

Before the wedding they went out to dinner and had a long conversation regarding how their marriage might work. They discussed finances, living arrangements, and so on.

Finally, the old gentleman decided it was time to broach the subject of their physical relationship.

'How do you feel about sex?' he asked, r...ather tentatively.

'I would like it infrequently' she replied.

The old gentleman sat quietly for a moment, adjusted his glasses, leaned over towards her and whispered

'Is that one word or two?'


Jacques Côté,
October 22
nd, 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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