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VCB eNews, Volume 13, #8 - Younger Next Year





Volume 13, #8  -  Younger Next Year




Editorial: Younger Next Year

Are You Still There?

Jingle Bell Ride

Pep-up Talk to the B52s

Loose Chain Links

About That Funny



“If I would have known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself !” 

~ Bill Nixa,  Tom’s dad.  1926 - 2003





“Let me give a brief, heartfelt plug at this point to the blessed…..the heavenly…..the healing sports.  Some sports, like tennis, pull you apart because they’re centrifugal.  Others, like running, beat on your joints remorselessly.  But a few actually knit you together.  Your muscles and especially your joints feel better when you’re done than when you began.  Biking is peculiarly like that.  Swimming, cross-country skiing and rowing, too.  They are the healing sports, and you ought to have at least one of them in your repertoire.


There is no machine more beautiful, more perfect in the form-follows-function line, more ideally suited to your purpose than the bicycle.  ……..  New bikes – the composite/graphite beauties, the titanium jewels – are miraculously improved over the models of only fifteen or twenty years ago.  If you’re rich, run right out the door now and get one.  But you don’t have to.  You can get a super road bike, with modern gearing and brakes, for a few hundred bucks……


Three other biking points:

 1. You already know how to do it. 

  1. It’s wildly good for you. 
  1. It’s great for your legs. 


Later on, we make the point that building up your legs is particularly important in the ‘Next Third’. Failing legs are what can put you in the walker or in the chair.  When in doubt, default to exercise that helps your legs.  Like bicycling.”


Quote from the book “Younger Next Year – A Guide to Living Like 50 Until You’re 80 and Beyond” by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge, chapter six “Life is an Endurance Event: Train for It”, sub-title “Take Up One of the Healing Sports”  -  Thanks to Lori Henley for submitting





Note:  Thanks to the many who clicked the link last week and the week before.  No need to do it again.  Today is the last call!

A survey done three years ago brought the list of VCB eNews subscribers addresses from 1543 down to 526.

The exponential growth of social media has introduced us to whole new ways of communicating or getting the information we need.  We seem to live in a constant state of immediacy. 

For our volunteer-run organization facing the usual challenges of time and human resources poverty, we need to re-assess from time to time where we can get the best return for that investment of time and energy of the volunteers. 

Does the weekly VCB eNews is still the best way to communicate with our faithful supporters?  

If you have read this edition so far, please click this link then click “send” with or without your comments.  Thank You.






An amazing biking week isn’t it?  


Hard to feel like Christmas but it’s coming and fast.


It has become a tradition now to ride with Shelley “WOW” Johnson to check the decorated houses in the neighbourhood.  


This year’s ride will start from the SuperStore parking lot in Sydney River at 5pm on Sunday December 13th.


It’s now time to dress up your bike.  Riding at night, for your own safety, the law requires you to have a front light and at least rear red reflector. 

How many more light can you add to remain visible?   Check it out:


Hope this link and this picture will give you some tips.  





by:  Shelley Porter,  52-Week Bike Challenge Coordinator




Hey, B52s! Where did the time go? We are well into the first week of the last month of the Challenge! Did you think you would make it this far? DID you make it this far?? I know we have had a few drop-outs, for various reasons. I don't think "I decided I don't want to do it" has ever been one of them. Everyone seems to do their best to keep up the rides and complete the Challenge.   (Ed: 20 registered last January.)


I have had a hard time getting in even my one ride per week this past month. I moved into a rental 2 bedroom "apartment" (really, a 2 bedroom house with a separate apartment in the basement) a couple of weeks ago, and am still far from completely unpacked and organized. I am a little worried about how to make Christmas happen. I still haven't found my travel mugs, let alone the Xmas decorations and tree stand (I may have left that in Jp Martin's attic!)


I've heard moving is one of the most stressful life events. I believe it. I need to thank everyone who helped make this move . . . not as awful as it could have been, HA HA! Like Jp Martin, who helped move things, and is storing some of my stuff in his attic (thank god, because I am having a hard time fitting the contents of a 3 bedroom house with a full basement into a 2 bedroom house without one). Lynn and Fred Baechler, who let me stay in their home for the last two weeks I worked at UINR. Jacques and Micheline for taking care of my "princess" rabbits for that time. Patricia and Cyril who helped me load the truck, and then unload it. Thank god and his grandmother for Cyril, who drove that truck back to Sydney. Thank you to my children, who helped move everything from the storage units to this rental, especially Laura, who did so much heavy lifting. Thank you to my mother, who helped unload no matter how many times we told her to go sit down, and unpacked and organized my kitchen (I cannot find ANYTHING). And everyone who took the time to come out to say "farewell", and send me away with lovely gifts, the greatest of which is of course your friendship. You have all helped make the stress bearable.


So, after a morning and a bit of unpacking and trying to organize, today I went for a bike ride. What a day to be out! It is hard to get into the Christmas spirit when the weather is like September. Yesterday I went for a little walk on the "rail trail" that runs from New Minas to Wolfville. I'd heard it was completed, but not quite ready for bicycle traffic. I wanted to go see just how "bikable" it was. I walked about 4 km total. The surface was rough but seemed good to me (me, with how many Across the Highlands Challenges done? If you don't have to swim or carry your bike, it's good). 



Today, I started in Wolfville, near the library (which used to be the train station) and rode to the end of the completed trail in New Minas. The surface varied from hard packed with gravel to slippery alluvial muck to PAVEMENT. Yes, my lads and lassies, the portion of the trail that goes through New Minas is PAVED. I was very impressed. There are some cultural landmarks along the way, like the Horton Township Poor Farm cemetery, and the Lay's potato chip factory. The latter smelled absolutely delicious, both days.


I met lots of walkers along the way, many with dogs in tow, but only one other cyclist. It may simply be that seasonal cyclists have put their bicycles away already. A shame if so, because today was excellent cycling weather, and it may last all week. 


SO - it will be a cinch to get out to do your B52 ride this week! Jacques wants to know who has completed the Challenge. He is making up some very snazzy certificates for you all, so let us know you are keeping up with your rides by replying to this message.



-Shelley Porter (from New Minas, in Kings County, Nova Scotia)





Still in & counting Shelley. Did a nice ride yesterday with 7+ temps. Great to be able to get a 45k ride in DEC and not have to worry about getting cold toes & fingers. My k's are lower this year than the last 3 previous years but nonetheless still above the 5000 mark.


Kudos to all that are still in the race and a merry christmas to all.


Gerard Moss,  Dartmouth



Yes, I’m still in the challenge.  Being semi-retired has as of January 31 has helped bring my cycling activity up to the best yet this year—loving it.


I hope Nova Scotia weather is kinder to you this season than last. You folks are made of sturdy stuff.  Keep it up.


Larry Preble,  Louisville KY



You can count me in as I have been able to ride every week no matter where my heavy travel schedule took me this year.   I cycled in Italy, France and Denmark even Yellowknife in the middle of their winter.    


I would have never done that without this B52 commitment which I have enjoyed. I will finish the year over 1000 km which may not sound like much but given my work schedule away from home I am happy with.  


Albert Bohemier, Halifax



I'm still with you.  As particular as I have been in past years to count my mileage, this year I did not. I decided not to be so fastidious and "let it ride". Pardon the pun.  That is usually Larry's expertise!  LOL.  Having said that, I can put a pretty good guess on it.  As you know, I had three wonderful trips last year to the States that I spent with our B52 friends Nita and Larry and Larry's wife Margaret. Needless to say, I have  some very fond memories of the trips we took while in each other's company.  The biggest challenge for me this year was cycling through the winter, but made it just the same.  Been enjoying our fall cycling and like Gerard have enjoyed the warm toes on my rides on the weekend.


Yes, by all means sign me up again. Happy holidays to all and cheers!


Shelley Johnson, Sydney



ED:  Download the 2016 Mileage Recording spreadsheet attached.







If your net worth was $6 billions, $6,000,000,000.  what would you do with all that money?  Give it to charity? Buy an island and develop it as the dream world?  Re-invent the wheel?  

Check this out.




Over all the adult years I’ve been cycling, I got my share of abuse from drivers and passengers of cars and trucks.  Honking, dog barking, yelling, throwing things at me, being pushed off the road and what not.  There’s a new form of harassment being displayed by the jerks and the rednecks of this world. It is called Rolling Coal.


Is it illegal?  Here’s what the NS Motor Vehicle Act says:


Muffler or fumes 187    (1)    Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise, and no person shall use a muffler cut-out, by-pass or similar device upon a vehicle on a highway.


(2)    The engine and power mechanism of every motor vehicle shall be so equipped and adjusted as to prevent the escape of excessive fumes or smoke. R.S., c. 293, s. 187.


188    No person shall start, drive, turn or stop any motor vehicle, or accelerate the vehicle engine while the vehicle is stationary, in a manner which causes any loud and unnecessary noise in or from the engine, exhaust system, braking sys- tem or from the contact of the tires with the roadway. R.S., c. 293, s. 188.


Check this link

The schedule of fine is at Page 5  



Talking about the NS Motor Vehicle Act, I’m sure you will be interested in this Plea for Clear and Reasonable Rules for Cyclists published at


I have clear reservations about what the article proposes.  Anyway, give it a read and read some of the comments which trickle down to three things, “education”, “follow the Rules the Road”,  “respect if you want to be respected as a cyclist”.  



You like touring but sleeping in a trailer is more your thing than tenting on the ground, packing things wet in the early morning, you see what I mean.  How about pulling a micro-trailer behind your bike in which solid roof shelter you’ll sleep, cook, relax, store your belongings and what not?   Check this do-it-yourself gizmo.







Two policemen (Constable Ken and Bob) call the station on the radio.

"Hello. Is that the Sarge?"


"We have a case here. A woman has shot her husband for

stepping on the floor she had just mopped clean."

"Have you arrested the woman?"

"No sir. The floor is still wet." 



December 10h,  2015



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