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VCB eNews, Volume 13, #2 - Cross that Bridge




Volume 13, #2  -  Cross that Bridge





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



Once you cross that bridge it takes you to a whole new world.” 





What’s there on the other side?


If you’re that type of adventurous person, you will likely turn the handlebar and ride over the bridge for whatever surprises awaits you on the other side.  However if you are like the majority of people, you will stay away from the unknown, miss a lot and complain about a boring life.  


I know you readers are more of the adventurous type.  See what the 2015 Annual General Meeting has in store for you the “adventurous”    


5:30 - 6:30pm:  Meet and Greet.  Meet your biking friends and many other like-minded individuals

6:30pm:  AGM’s business.  Get an account of all the good news of past 2015 season before we cross the bridge to the 2016 season.  

Election of new members on the board?  Nothing to worry about as Elaine Swartz, Vince Forrestal, Mike Gillis are anxious to get on board to cover the vacancies.   Also, we want to hear from you.  We want to hear what you’d like to do cycling wise in 2016.


Circle the November 5th on your calendar and come to CBRM Civic Centre's Round Room to support the volunteers making VCB what it is for you and our cycling community.

Come with me and let's cross that bridge!






So I lied. Last week's newsletter wasn't the last one for me. 


This past week I had the privilege of spending the day with two dedicated members of Velo at a Wellness Fair held in Sydney.  Stan and Charlene Wadden truly show what the spirit of volunteerism is all about.  When I had been approached to attend the fair on behalf of VCB, I responded with a cautious “yes” - if I was able to get some people to help out.  Stan and Charlene stepped forward immediately when asked, even going so far as to reschedule some other events that were happening.


We arrived at 9:30 and set up our table, VCB canopy and our Lobster Roll Ride banner. Stan has a great eye for placement and our positioning made us the first table to be noticed as people walked in - a major impact. 


People started to arrive in groups at 10:30 am and a day I had initially thought was going to be dull and boring turned out to be very interesting. You need a hook to get people to stop and engage, and we had several (all thanks to Stan and Charlene). 


When anybody denied being a cyclist, we asked them if they drove a car and since most people do, we started passing out the CBRM's Cyclist's Handbook noting that as a driver all the rules to be followed by both cyclists and drivers were in the booklet as well as how best to interact with cyclists they met while driving. For the female attendees that stopped and said they were afraid of cycling on the roads and were just beginners, we reeled them in by talking about WOW and passed out membership cards saying that they didn't have to join VCB, but if they went to the website on the card they would find all the information on the club and our events. A very soft sell.

By the end of the day we had given out more than two boxes of information and one of the organizers said they were getting a lot of good feedback on our display. 


All in all, a good day and my thanks to Stan and Charlene. See everyone at the AGM.





by:  Shelley Porter


On Facebook recently a local photographer took on an interesting challenge: to replicate the photographs in Will R. Bird’s popular 1956 travelogue Off Trail in Nova Scotia. Bird was a very well-known writer at the time, and his book was intended to increase tourism in rural areas. He and his wife toured the province by car, stopping at little-known villages and sites. They talked to local people, researched local history and culture, and took photographs. 


When I saw the photos from the Valley, the 1956 images juxtaposed with the present day ones, it struck me how little the iconic landscapes have changed. Surely they have, with many apple orchards replaced by cauliflower fields and vineyards, and pastures converted to subdivisions, but overall the Valley still stretches away in all directions as a patchwork of fields, forests, and Century farms. 


So I suppose I ought not to have been surprised when on an evening bike ride from Grand Pre to Wolfville, I felt as if I’d never left. The same houses, the same farms, the same soft air. The only thing different was my perception of how long a ride it was from the outskirts of Hortonville to downtown Wolfville. It speaks well of my years “training” with Velo Cape Breton that my 53-year-old self found that outing an easier ride than my 23-year-old self ever did! Or maybe it felt less taxing because I was not pedalling as fast as I could, trying to avoid being late for work. 


They say you can’t go home again. Maybe not. For me, wherever I go, it always feels good to come back here.






by: Colleen Clare,  


On Monday, November 16th, the Steve O’Brien Cross Canada Relay for Youth and School will come to our community. Steve, a Canadian Olympian, is travelling across Canada to encourage children to persevere in the pursuit of their dreams and to raise funds to help schools and youth organizations make those dreams come true. Steve left Victoria, BC on April 12 and he plans to finish in St. John’s, NFLD on December 8. He travels at least 50km a day using many different modalities: walk, run, bike, mountain bike, in-line skate, scooter, long board, pogo stick, cross country ski, snow shoe, adapted bike and wheelchair. During his time in Sydney, Steve will visit two elementary schools to share his story and his message.


After retiring from Canada’s National Track Team, Steve has spent the last 25 years connecting with kids young and old. He understands that our youth have valid questions, concerns and ideas that need to be heard. More importantly, he understands that kids needs a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen. He wants to remind us all that any goal is possible and no obstacle should be too hard to overcome. Steve also is a firm believer that by keeping kids active we are enabling them to pursue a better education and ultimately a better lifestyle.


CBRM Recreation is inviting local cyclists to join them as they welcome Steve to our community. An exact time and meeting spot will be announced in the very near future. Please contact Colleen at or 902-563-0901 to join in.


For more information on Steve’s relay, please visit:


Thank you!


Colleen Clare, MCIP

CBRM Physical Activity Strategy Coordinator











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


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


On November 5th, 5:30 pm, come to the CBRM Civic Centre's Round Room to 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 hearing 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.



Colette Smith,  President.




Bikes help:




Cyclists have opinions:


Could it get worse before it gets better?:


Active transportation means more eyes on the street for safety and law enforcement:











The Rabbit Cyclist


Once upon a time there was a frog who lived in a lake all by himself. He had been given special powers by a local witch. One day, he ventured out of the lake to get a look at the wider world. The first thing he saw was a bear chasing a rabbit, so he called out to them and asked them to stop. Then he said, “I am a magical frog, and since you are the first animals I have seen I will grant you each three wishes.” The bear went first: “I want every bear in this forest to be female except me.” A magical sound, and his wish was granted. The rabbit said, “I wish I had a bicycle helmet.” The frog thought is a bit odd, but . . . a magical sound and the wish was granted. For his second wish, the bear said, “I wish every bear in the neighbouring forest was female”. A magical sound, and it was so. The rabbit said, “I wish for a fast road bicycle”. The frog and bear thought it was peculiar that the rabbit didn’t just ask for money so he could buy a bicycle, but whatever: a magical sound and there was a bicycle. Finally, the bear wished “I wish every bear in the world was female except me!” A magical sound, and his final wish was granted. The frog turned to the rabbit and asked what his third wish would be. The rabbit replied, “I wish the bear was gay”. Then he put on the helmet, got on the bicycle, and took off like a bat out of Hell.



October 29th, 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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