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Vol 9, #24 - Supreme Court Decision

Velo Cape Breton is the Island wide voice of cyclists, working for better cycling in our great Island. We have made significant progress since our formation in 2004.  Visit our website that will introduce you to some of our activities.   If you have any questions, suggestions, or want to contribute to this eNewsletter,  please contact us at (902) 562-8137 or

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Help us make Cape Breton Island a better place to live!


In this Edition

  • Editorial
  • Rides Captain Corner
  • Heads Up!
  • Cabot Trail in 4 Days - Q & A
  • Opening Banquet - Report
  • Did You Know?
  • Bicycle Collection
  • CAN-BIKE - Update

After cycling the Trail counterclockwise during Hurricane Earle, my derriere was so wrecked that when I got home I was going to take the seat off and  turn it in the the RCMP and charge it with assault. ~ John Webb, looking forward to do the Trail clockwise in 4 days with VCB.



Supreme Court: ATVs can use trail in Paradise,  Halifax Herald, April 15.

On Wednesday, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court dismissed the latest attempt by the Paradise Active Healthy Living Society to wrest back control of the local trail.

The trail, formerly a section of railway tracks, is owned by the Crown, the court heard, and the Crown is entitled to make deci­sions on the use of that land.

Barbara Bishop, president of the society, said the issue is not really about the ATVers. “It really is about government account­ability. That’s why we went to court."

Bishop said the society be­lieves that “if the government can do this to our community, it can do it to any community on any issue. It is the actions of the government that are the issue, not the ATVers.

All in all it is a very confusing situation what with lots of contradictory faces on the Provincial Government's legislation, policies and initiatives with regards to public lands for use by the public, commented David Major of Chester Basin.   One only has to run down the points of contention to see the drift.  ACTIVE LIVING, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES, SAFE WALKING TO SCHOOLS, GREEN TRANSPORTATION, TOURISM.  A subsidized countering face is well lubricated with the vested interests of Motorized recreation.  Recreation = Amusement and Entertainment.   It is not at all about Active & Healthy Living, as any physician would attest.  

In the Western World, only Nova Scotia and Newfoundland as a matter of policy devote public funds to multi-use trails (where permitted users include motorized vehicles.  Reason is that elsewhere they know that mixing volumes of non motorized and motorized traffic on such trails is fraught with risk.  That is why a trail (now part of Quebec's Green Route of +7,000kms of cycle friendly trails and roads) like Le P'tit Train from St. Jerome (Montreal to Mount Laurier) established at the same time as the Chester Connector (and likely the trail in Paradise) since two years ago has recorded over half a million riders annually.  If any counting is being done in Nova Scotia (who wants accountability??) it will show a minuscule fraction of that active living traffic. ...or any traffic.   My point is that there is a whack of public money being squandered on such multi use trails simply because that mix of traffic and conditions do not entice either groups.  

As you may know, the Trans Canada Trail organisation got hornswoggled by the NS group, believing them to be non-motorized.  So it is that the TCT which seeks donations nationally for non-motorized trails is actually hooked up with the ATV interests in NS.

What with Dept of Transportation and Infrastructure's chronic neglect of secondary road shoulder conditioning and the situation regarding Rails to Trails in NS, it is little wonder that the medical community keeps pointing at the poor physical condition of the population and obesity of the youth.  And why Nova Scotia's lure as a cyclist's haven has been tarnished to the point that cycle tour operators pretty much concentrate on the federally funded Cabot Trail.  At least that facility has encouraged a corps of riders in Cape Breton to further develop the sport and lifestyle.

I wish someone from these parts elected or media would visit Quebec and see what proper non-motorized trails can do for communities, healthy living and tourism. (click on the english button)




My best friend today is the Weather Forecaster...  

Friday, Sunny, 15°C.  

Saturday, mix of sun and clouds, 11°C.  

Sunday, same thing except a slight chance of a drop of two.

Who wants better weather conditions than that in mid-April along the Atlantic Coast?


The Kid With a Bike - Thursday, April 19. 

CAPE BRETON FILM SERIES. Drama: Abandoned by his father, a young boy escapes a state-run youth farm, and persuades the town hairdresser to foster him on weekends.  Plays one show only, 7 p.m., Thursday, April 19, at the Empire Theatres Studio 10, 325 Prince Street, Sydney. Tickets $11, students $7.



Impromptu Ride - Saturday, May 21st

Sydney to Morrison Lake and return (   A relaxed early season ride starting from ACAP (corner of Townsend/George) in Sydney at 1:30 pm.

Louisbourg Highway has 1.5m excellent paved shoulders.  All are welcome.




Kelly’s Klimb #1 -  Sunday April 22.  Postponed to Sunday April 29th 

Time trial - 7km distance up 265 metres.  Determine your “opening-of-the-season” baseline; compare at end-of-season climb on the same route (Sept. 23). 

Meet at:  New Harris Road by KOA campg’nd - 9:15am Start time 10:00 am.   info: bighead(at)

Followed by St. Anns Bay Loop or to Baddeck & back.



CAN-BIKE II  Bicycle courses 

Session #1 - April 20-22 

Room for three more participants.  

Session #2 - April 27-29

Room for one more participant.

All info and registration on the VCB renovated website at: 





Bike Week 2012 - Event Grants

Attached is a poster on the grants groups can apply to for bike week activities.  Deadline is this Monday, April 23.



Bike Clinic, Swap and Sale - Farmers Market,  Coxheath,  May 12,  8:30 to 12:00

Minor maintenance/repairs by our volunteer mechanics.  Sell/buy bike, parts, accessories.  Coffee and Breaky on site.




"Dust-off-your-Bike"  Relaxed rides  -  May 5 - 6

For you all to connect or re-connect with your fellow riders on a 1.5-hr guided relaxed ride.  Daniel Roy - CAN-BIKE II Grad. will be your Ride Leader.   

Saturday May 5,  Meet at the Coxheath Arena.  Ride leaves at:  10:30 am

Sunday May 6,  Meet at Tim Hortons, Highway 105, Big Bras D'Or.  Ride leaves at:  10:30 am




For all good reasons, this 4-day tour (August 3- 6) has generated lots of interests among VCB members and non-members.  There are only 10 spots left.  After these seats are taken,  a "waiting list" will be kept to fill cancellation(s) if any.

You have until May 2nd to register at $50. which will be applicable to the total cost of the tour.  From May 2nd to June 13, cost of registration is increased to $70. out of which $50. is applicable to the total cost of the tour.

Three questions:

  • Is there a level of expertise a cyclist is required to have in order to participate? 
  • Is there a recommended training schedule to prepare? 
  • Is it possible to register with the understanding that I have no real desire to bike the steepest mountains? I think I could train for the distance but don't have the desire to do French, MacKenzie and North mountains. Would the support van transport me up mountains?



The Cabot Trail has been named one of the Top 10 Cycling Destination of the World by Lonely Planet in 2009.  It has this sort of unique characteristic that matches a cycling challenge, gorgeous landscapes, various cultures, a National Park, wildlife, and what not.  

The reasons why someone will want to ride the Trail are somewhat personal for each individual.  I met young people, old people - I mean "old"... well in their eighties, athletes challenging the entire Trail in one day, people spending a week on the Trail....  all sorts.  What VCB is proposing is a tour doable by most individuals who just want to do the Trail but only have the time to spend 2 - 3 days a week on the bicycle during the cycling season from early-mid April to mid-late October.   Like for every tour that we've done, mental and physical preparation is essential.  I put the word "mental" first for the obvious reason that the "will" to do it governs the physical aspect for the most part.

The climbs of the Cabot Trail do not compare with several others found in Newfoundland, on the Pacific Coast of North America as well as these found in the Alps or Pyrennées in Europe which can be steeper and much much longer, 20-25 km long at grades up to 12-15%...    Ours are much shorter with only a few sections in the same %%  range which is enough to give everyone a great sense of accomplishment at the top.  Climbing hills by bike can be resumed as an act of patience...  easy does it.    Preparation for the Cabot Trail is no different than the preparation for any bicycle tour locally or overseas.  

Build up slowly and steadily. The rule of thumb following extended time off for any reason is to start low and increase mileage about 10% each week to build up a good foundation.

Riding every second day or so during the week and the two days of the weekend should give you enough Rest time. Rest is the catalyst for improvement. A benefit of a slow-and-steady buildup is allowing your sitting area to adapt without undue discomfort.

Spin the pedals @ 80 - 90 revolutions per minute with a light load (easy gear) for a 15-20 mins warm-up before going to a harder gear. Keep your rpm high (average 85 rpm) while trying to find a gear for the terrain that will be just right for you (80 - 85% of your maximum heart rate). Keep riding for 30 - 45 mins at that rate before going to a lower gearing to cool-down.  Because climbing hills is more physical, the cadence is allowed to go down to 65 - 75 rpm with emphasis put on the pedaling style and staying in a comfortable working zone. 

Measure your progress by keeping a log and recording your distances and times.

Climb to fitness. In four weeks or so, your physical and mental condition should bring you fun climbing the hills. Climbing hills is also paying off; it's quality over quantity. You don't need so much time and mileage on the bike to maintain and improve your pedalling technique and physical condition.

Training for endurance is build-up of all these rides you do on the flats, tailwinds, headwinds. 

To reach ALTITUDE, ATTITUDE is everything.


The support van is there to carry cyclists' belongings, set-up food stops at various locations, assist riders in many ways and form in their quest of the Trail.  Start times in the morning will be around 9 - 9:15 which means almost a good 6 - 7 hours to complete the daily distance and an enjoyable pace.




With all that fun, laughter, smiles, new and happy faces, good food, enthusiasm, seen at the Opening Banquet at the Savoy Saturday the upcoming Cycling Season augurs awesome.  

Just speechless!  What else to say about the great show our young artists Ramsay Grover, voice and guitar, Jonathan Smith, voice and keyboard.  You'll hear about them for sure in the near future.  

Warm Thank You's to Colette Smith and crew of the VCB Glace Bay Chapter for putting up such a high quality event at the most fitted venue of them all, The Savoy.




Past issues of VCB eNews are archived at

There a "search engine" on the website that one can use to look for specific info on the VCB old website only.  You only have to enter a word or two and click "search" and voilà!

Try it....





Last Saturday, we left in mid afternoon to prepare for the Banquet in Glace Bay.  Only got back at 10pm to find the a good bike shivering on the porch.  I brought it in the garage among several others of its peers.   The next morning he looked all revived, pepped up and ready to begin a new life.

Thank you all very much for the donations.  In all, nine bikes have been collected, some needing a little more repairs than others to make them safe and put back on the roads.  If you still have some of these bicycles that are...  "used but good", we are takers...  Unfortunately,  we had to discard a few of these bikes that were taken off heavy garbage piles because they had simply passed beyond the threshold of their useful life.

The bikes will be used to teach bicycle maintenance and repair at the Whitney Pier Girls and Boys Youth Club this summer.  





by: Bob White, National Examiner,


I have been active in instructing CAN-BIKE for the past several years. Most of my deliveries were Intro courses (over 125 bike club members), sprinkled with kids and CAN-BIKE 11 courses.


In February I was accepted as a CAN-BIKE National Examiner ((NE). I am now able to teach new instructors, and subsequently was asked by the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) to sit of the national CAN-BIKE Advisory Group. The CCA, a few months ago partnered with Safe Kids Canada to teach 1,800,000 kids between the ages of 9 and 14. Safe Kids Canada identified bicycling as the third largest cause of injuries to kids. This coupled with all the benefits attributed to bicycling was the catalyst in bringing forward the partnership with the CCA,.owners of CAN-BIKE, and in particular the 12 hour kids course was selected as the delivery choice.


I was recently in Toronto, as a guest of the CCA to help set strategy to move CAN-BIKE forward. The country has been split up into 6 districts, including Atlantic - Nfld, NS, NB and PEI. I was asked / have been contracted by the CCA to head up the Atlantic District. This is a 1 year term position, funding is provided by Safe Kids (Feds) and could be renewed.


I have spent considerable time developing both a business plan as well as a strategy for Atlantic Canada, and if asked will be pleased to share with any of my bicycling colleagues. I will receive a modest stipend as well as will have some travel funds for course deliveries.


If we are to commence to teach all these kids, we will need an army of CAN-BIKE Instructors in Atlantic. In order to take the Instructors course, one needs to take the 18 hour CAN-BIKE 11 course, complete same with the required grades, then take the 18 hour Instructors course and become nationally certified. Both courses are normally delivered over a weekend, ie Friday 6 to 9, Sat / Sun.


At present we have about 16 instructors in NS (about 8 are active), 3 in Nfld (1 is active), 1 in NB (none active) and none in PEI. I have been in contact with the provincial cycling bodies of each province and we are developing strategies. I fully expect to be on the road delivering CB 11 / Instructor courses wherever needed. In addition, I am in the process of setting up, here in Dartmouth, an Atlantic Centre for Bicycling Excellence. This center will be used to train CB11 / new instructors, plus have a host of ongoing kids CB courses, delivered by many instructors. (more to follow). Regarding the CB 11 / Instructor courses, I expect we will have out of provinces students from rural areas, like Gander, Bathurst, Montague, Annapolis Royal, etc. where it is not practical for a NE to travel just to teach 1 or 2 students. As always, course costs and expenses are a factor and we are striving to keep same reasonable.


My prime goal for 2012 is to teach new instructors, some of whom will be groomed to become master Instructors who can also teach new instructors.


Based on the above, in Atlantic, we need:


- people to take the CB 11 course who have an interest in taking the Instructor course and have a desire to teach kids under the Safe Kids initiative (but not just limited to kids)

- people who have already taken CB 11 and are now interested in becoming new CB instructors

- help from existing CB instructors to refer their CB 11 grads to me / and the other active NE Jacques Cote in Sydney) to be taught the instructors course.




- In order to keep costs as low as possible, we are looking for people who live within 20 minutes of Dartmouth to serve as Student Bike Billets and "put up" for a modest fee an out of town bike student (s) for Friday and Saturday nights - ie provide a bed / shower and no meals. If you are interested in this contact me at and I will let you know the blanket fee / charge to be levied.


Education (of all stake-holders), in my opinion, is the greatest barrier in promoting safe bicycling as an everyday activity. Providing our children with the knowledge and skills to ride in (light) traffic with more confidence will help establish a very healthy and active lifestyle.


Partnering with Safe Kids / CCA / CAN-BIKE is a win win win! Now is our time, why not be part of it? You can take CB course weekends as well as when you become instructors deliver courses over the weekend. in addition to a pt activity, this is an excellent "retired" pastime; we all have lots of knowledge and skills to pass on. Bicycling is a Kraft, we learn from those that came before us.


Check my website, below, for scheduled courses and know that I can readjust my schedule to accommodate groups as well as have the flexibility to travel to instruct.


Best regards





Best friends graduated from medical school at the same time and decided that, in spite of two different specialties, they would open a practice together to share office space and personnel. Dr. Smith was the psychiatrist and Dr. Jones was the proctologist; they put up a sign reading: "Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones: Hysterias and Posteriors". The town council was livid and insisted they change it.

So, the docs changed it to read: "Schizoids and Hemorrhoids". This was also not acceptable, so they again changed the sign: "Catatonics and High Colonics" - No go.

Next, they tried: "Manic Depressives and Anal Retentives" - thumbs down again..

Then came  "Minds and Behinds" - still no good. 

Another attempt resulted in:  "Lost Souls and Butt Holes" - unacceptable.again! 

So they tried: "Analysis and Anal Cysts" - not a chance. 

"Nuts and Butts" - no  way. 

"Freaks and Cheeks" - still no good. 

"Loons and Moons" - forget it.

Almost at their wit's end, the docs finally came up with: "Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones - Specializing in Odds and Ends". 

Everyone loved it.



Jacques Cote

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

April 19th, 2012

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