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VCB eNews, Volume 13, #5 - The Charter




Volume 13, #5  -  2015  The Charter




Editorial: The Charter

Rides Captain Corner

Wider Paved Shoulders

The “Cs” of Tandeming

News From Away

About That Funny




“"The good life is the healthful life, the merry life. Life is health, joy, laughter. "   ~ Jean Bodin





Growing up in the ‘50s in a small well-knitted community of less than 5000 people, I was well surrounded by family and relatives  living in a mile radius.  I think “Community Watch” was invented in my town because no matter what I was doing right or wrong, my mother knew every single details of my daily life.  Sometimes I was deserving praises and at other times my mother who had her own interpretation of the charter of rights and freedom, that did not exist at the time, “actively” put me back on tracks and always with the same, not so convincing justification….  “I do that because I love you!”  


Unknowingly, my “book” was getting written with words, paragraphs, pages of what could be called today the thesis of “Universal Human Values” without the knowledge and understanding of which nobody can give a direction to his/her own life that make sense.  Among all the chapters that were written in that book, I think these on Respect, Honesty and Courage are the most elaborate.  


With the adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom by the Federal Government that came into force on April 17, 1982 Canadian laws began to be modified/enacted which has a major impact on the promotion and protection of human rights in Canada.  Today, almost 35 years later, lots of people are still confused about the true meanings and interpretation of the Charter.  For most in our modern society, the Charter of Rights and Freedom is interpreted as a sort of  “Charter of Freedom of Rights” in which people take the liberty to make and adopt their own set of rules which often lead to socially and morally unacceptable qualities and behaviours, i.e.  egocentrism, envy, vengeance, arrogance, respectlessness, irresponsibility to name a few.  Knowledge and understanding of these vices is needed to make the difference between what is right and what is wrong, to figure out what is an immoral and antisocial behaviour and what are the consequences. 


“Hey, what all this has to do with bicycling and road safety?” 


Well, I think that asking the question is for everyone to work towards finding the answer…  What do you think?






The seat of Rides Captain was not filled at the Annual General Meeting a couple of weeks ago.  VCB Board will meet tonight and finding a Rides Captain is on the Agenda.  

Should you be interested in giving back to the cycling community, please come forward.   This is an essential position on the Board with a good set of guidelines and support.  A very satisfying position as well.





by:  Rick McCready, CBRM Planner


CBRM recently completed adding white edge lines to four streets with the intention of improving conditions for cyclists.  Although not official bike lanes, the new lines create a paved shoulder which in most cases is equal in width to a bike lane using the TAC guidelines.  We will be monitoring these streets in the future to see how they are working.  We would appreciate help from Velo members in evaluating the success of these efforts- please try out these paved shoulders and give us feedback.


The four sections are:

  • Memorial Drive, Sydney Mines, between Convent Street and Memorial High
  • Alexandra St, Sydney, between Sunset Dr. and St Anthony Daniel Church
  • Mitchell Ave, Dominion between Dominion Beach ( 2nd entrance) and Commercial St
  • Main St, Glace Bay ( starting at Station Street) and  Kings Rd in Dominion


Memorial Drive has 1.7 m. shoulders, Alexandra has 1.5 m. shoulders, and in Dominion the shoulders range from 1.4 m. to 1.2 m.  In Dominion ( see pic) the road width varies a lot and the yellow line was often off centre, making the job difficult and the shoulders a littler narrower than ideal. On Alexandra the line painting machine had to skip a couple of spots due to parked cars.



Rick McCready






 Successful tandeming can be summed up in the five C's: Commitment, Cooperation, Communication, Compensation, and Compromise. 


COMMITMENT to trusting the other partner is vital. Pilot or Captain in the front, Stoker or Rear-Admiral at the back.

COOPERATE, as in sharing responsibility for the safety of the team - hand signaling, watching for traffic signs, etc.   

COMMUNICATION may be verbal or non-verbal, depending on the couple. 

COMPENSATE for the other, i.e. end of ride, hills, strong winds,

COMPROMISE on destination, speed, cadence. Overall Rule: the Rear-Admiral is always right.






by: Shelley Porter, in Grand Pré, NS


Good morning, B52s. Just a quick note, as I have long days at work now - long days that grow dark early. Since relocating, I have had to make a lot of adjustments and I'm not talking about my brakes. My work hours are slightly different, my commute (still much too long, and by car) is mostly on a busy highway, and regular routines have been supplanted by the need adapt to different schedules and a frustrating lack of domestic independence. 


But I have managed to do at least one bike ride per week, usually two, and they are usually of over an hour each. I've been exploring the country roads and yesterday finally got out to cycle part of the Kings County Rail Trail. A treasure, but much too limited in the Kenville area and suffering from a serious lack of wayfinding signage. 


I've attached two photos, one from last Sunday's ride around Hortonville and the other from my ride yesterday on the Rail Trail. 


The first one shows you why Avonport is not on my list of places to buy a home: it's cut off from the country roads on the Wolfville side by a missing bridge. I wonder how many small communities in Nova Scotia are unnecessarily isolated and bicycle-unfriendly because when a highway was built, a connecting road was abandoned. I think it would make a difference to Avonport and even Hantsport if tourists in Grand Pre could cycle, walk, or even drive their car from their accommodation to those communities. 


The second photo is the Rail Trail behind the town of Kentville. This is a very pretty trail that runs along the dykelands behind the town. I do have a complaint, though: when the trail peters out in the actual town, there is no signage to tell you where to pick it up again (and I am assured by locals that if you go through town on the streets, the trail is somewhere on the other side). 


I hope you are keeping up your rides, we are very close to completion for this year's Challenge. We've had quite a gentle autumn, it hasn't been a challenge to get out because of weather (maybe participants from other regions have had a different experience?).


Tailwinds all, and if anyone knows of a temporary or permanent home for me and my 5 little rabbits in the Kentville area, I am very, very interested. No luck finding a house, despite making offers on two. I am very satisfied with my decision to come back "home", but getting kind of panicky about finding a home. 


-Shelley P.







ֲA young geek goes off to college. Half way through the semester, having foolishly squandered all his money .... he calls home.


"Dad," he says, "You won't believe what modern education is developing! They actually have a program here at University of Alberta that will teach our dog, Rover how to talk!"


"That's amazing," his Dad says. "How do I get Rover in that program?"


"Just send him down here with $1,000" the young geek says "and I'll get him in the course."


So, his father sends the dog and $1,000.


About two-thirds of the way through the semester, 
the money again runs out. The boy calls home.


"So how's Rover doing son?" his father asks.


"Awesome, Dad, he's talking up a storm," he says, "but you just won't believe this -- they've had such good results they have started to teach the animals how to read!"


"Read!?" says his father, "No kidding! How do we get Rover in that program?"


"Just send $2,500, I'll get him in the class." 
The money promptly arrives. But our hero has a problem.


At the end of the year, his father will find out the dog 
can neither talk, nor read.


So he shoots the dog.


When he arrives home at the end of the year, his father 
is all excited.


"Where's Rover? I just can't wait to see him read 
something and talk!"


"Dad," the boy says, "I have some grim news. Yesterday 
morning, just before we left to drive home, Rover was in the living room, kicked back in the recliner, reading the Wall Street Journal, like he usually does".


"Then Rover turned to me and asked, so, is your daddy still messing around with that little redhead who lives down the street?"


The father went white and exclaimed, "I hope you shot
that lying dog before he talks to your Mother!"


"I sure did, Dad!"


"That's my boy!"



November 19th,  2015




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