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Vol 9, #35 - Time Flies!

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


Joining VCB is a proof of support to the community development and advocacy work done by the hard working volunteers of this club.  Your $10. will go a long way.  It's your 2012 legacy to the rising generation.  To join click here.


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


In this Edition

  • Editorial
  • Rides Captain Corner
  • Heads Up!
  • Let's All Try To Be Cycling Ambassadors
  • Don Patterson's Quest - YMCA Strong Kids
  • Check Your Riding Technique - Part 2
  • At he Mortuary

Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.



Summer is just beginning and we are already in the last half of the 2012 VCB Schedule of Rides, Events & Tours.  What's coming is what we've all prepared for:  leaving the car home and commute to work, go on a tour, taking on a challenge, enjoying socials, visiting friends by bike.


Tens of opportunities coming to us all to join cycling events, meet friends, learn more tips and tricks to reach your goals.






From collected data, participants of the Lobster Roll Relay did a total of over 5500 kilometres in a little over six hours.  How this compare to...?  No, this is not the point.  The point is that everybody had a lot of fun and realized that, when a challenge is taken with the right attitude and support is provided, people can conquer the highest peaks, reach goals that they though were only for others...  One step at a time!




Englishtown Mussel Fest


When:  Saturday, June 30th

Times:  Run* 9:30   Bike Ride: Noon

Where:  Englishtown Community Hall

What:  A relaxed ride around St. Ann's Bay for all levels of riders.  A fundraiser for the Community Hall.

Registration:  $15 for each event or $20 if both events are entered.  Children ride for FREE.


This weekend is another opportunity to get the body and bike out and ride.  This time at the Annual Englishtown Musselfest riding on the Artisan Loop around the 45km tour of St. Ann's Bay.    This ride is open to all.  I mean ALL...  from experts to novices,  from singles to families.  Come on and get carried along with tens of good people that will make your ride shorter and really a treat!  Pit stop along to way to refuel, support vehicle sweeping just in case...


The ride starts at noon.  We will take the ferry to the sand bar - the shortest boat tour on the Island - where the ride will start in earnest.  The bike ride is part of the Victoria County Canada Day Fitness Challenge.


A shorter ride is available to families with young children.  How about riding the 2km sandbar, take a break on the beach, throw rocks in the water, continue on the dirt road on the left to the end of Jersey Cove and ride back to the ferry for a 10km ride?  An adventure the whole family will remember for a long time. 




Destination Ride and 1st Garden Tour:  Wednesday July 4th 10:00 am  (note:   change of "Relaxed Rides" from Tuesdays to Wednesdays for July)


This week, ride from your place or from wherever you want and join the Time-Out Garden Tours for a Walking Tour of Baille Ard Trail with Catherine Sneddon. 

This is an identification wild flower Tour in the trail system of Baille Ard.  

Time the duration of your ride to meet the group at Terrace Street parking lot at 10:00 am


Hope to see you there


Note:  Locations of other Garden Tours for July are available here.




Across the Highlands MTB Challenge - AHC '12,   9th Edition.


When:  July 14th,  

Time:  9:30 am  

Where:  Belle-Côte Community Hall

What:  A Unique MTB event for riders of all age groups.  Choice of 30 or 50km courses in the Highlands of Cape Breton.  AHC'12 is four to six hours of outdoor adventure on trails with incredible landscapes.  This year's AHC is action packed with lots of opportunities for personal highs.  The is followed by a sumptuous BBQ at the community hall.  In a nutshell, a full day of playing hard, topped off with a memorable social event.

More info & Registration: 


ED:  See Update #2 here.  Only 10 days left to register.




The 2012 Heartland Tour IS ON!


The sixth annual HeartLand Tour will be kicking off with an Atlantic Cardiology Society meeting planned for Wolfville on July 7th! The core team of the HeartLand Tour will be cycling across Nova Scotia with all-day events planned for Wolfville, Yarmouth, Bridgewater, Truro, Pictou County, Antigonish, and Inverness County before wrapping up in Halifax on July 15th. 


More info here.




Guy's Afternoon Ride & Poolside BBQ


When:  July 8th,  

Time:  1:30 pm  

Where:  10 Alderwood Drive.  Off Coxheath Road.

What:  A Poker Ride on Point Edwards Loop followed by a poolside BBQ.  BYC* - BYOF* - YCYOF* -  CASTF*  

*BYC:  Bring your Cooler

*BYOF:  Bring Your Own Food

*YCYOF:  You Cook Your Own Food

*CASTF:  Come And Share The Fun!



by: Bill Williams,Worthington, OH, 1 Apr 2006,  submitted by Stan Wadden, VCB Cycling Ambassador, Glace Bay.


As cyclists, we have all been confronted on the road by irate drivers.  We have all experienced the honks, the birds, the profanities and even the occasional projectiles of beer cans, trash and various fruit – and it makes our blood boil.  The inconsideration, the ignorance, and the downright hatefulness of some of these drivers can be both intimidating and enraging.  Tragically, most of us know or know of a cyclist who has been badly injured or killed by a thoughtless, reckless driver. 


The temptation is strong to engage, to shout back, to catch up to them at the next light and give them a piece of our mind or even kick their tails.  Their hostilities can even fuel our violent fantasies of revenge with a can of mace or a gun.  I admit I have had these thoughts myself, and I have ridden with enough people to know that most of you have had them too.   


But, in my opinion, engaging them in any way other than a polite wave or just ignoring them completely is the wrong thing to do.  I know it is difficult; it takes every fiber of my being to restrain myself at times and I’ll be the first to admit, I am not always successful at doing this. But engaging them gains us absolutely nothing and it often makes matters worse.  You may get the upper hand or the last word with this guy, but chances are his stance against bicycles is going to harden even more and he is going to take it out on the next cyclist he sees.


Most of the people who take their rage out on cyclists are miserable people with low self esteem anyway who deserve our pity more than our barbed responses or our middle fingers.  Something is usually hopelessly wrong in their lives and they have to take it out on others.  When we respond to their provocations with our own aggression, we are responding the way they expect and even want us to, so they can justify their hostility, at least in their own mind. 


When I am confronted by a motorist, if I can’t just ignore him, I bite my tongue hard and try to eke out a smile and a wave.  Who knows if it will do any good? Maybe he will think I thought they were waving to me and I am waving back; maybe he’ll take a second to reconsider the inappropriateness of his own actions; maybe he’ll change his mind – if even just a little – about cyclists.  Probably not.  But at the very least it is not likely to escalate the situation. 


When, on the other hand, I see a motorist being courteous and respectful to cyclists I go out of my way to give him a wave of acknowledgement and thanks.  When I ride out in the country and a car approaches from behind and slows down and gives me a wide berth 


I always try to give the person a wave as he passes to say thanks for the consideration.  I find that most people like to be acknowledged for their thoughtfulness, and they almost always wave back.



submitted by: André Gallant, 


Two weeks ago I provided a brief report about Don Patterson, a YMCA volunteer that is riding across the country in support of the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.  Don's initial plan was to start in BC in July, but circumstances changed and he is now underway.  If weather or weariness don't delay him too much,  he expects to ride through our area around July 18 or 19.  Details of Don's ride can be found in the attached brochure.


For those readers and their friends that have flexibility in their day, you may be interested in joining Don for part of his ride across Cape Breton Island.  He will be providing daily updates, so we'll be able to narrow his arrival as he gets closer.  It would be great if we could provide him with some shelter from the wind. 


Given the dates, there is a slight chance Don's ride coincides with part of the Heartland Tour.  While the route or timing may not match up exactly, the messages certainly do: physical activity is the road to good health.


The YMCA Strong Kids Campaign provides financial support to those children and families that could not otherwise afford programs such as child care, swimming lessons, day camp or memberships.   To make a donation to the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, or to follow Don's progress, please visit




ED:  Don is a 58 year old grandfather with 3 adult children who participated in numerous YMCA programs while they were growing up. He strongly believes that all kids should be able to access Y programs irrespective of their physical abilities or financial resources. 



Source:  -  Part 1 appeared in last week’s edition.


Last week, I started this column to provide a list of body checks you can perform while riding to ensure that you’re using the best possible technique.

As I mentioned, this may not sound very technical, but how you spin down the road on your featherweight flyer is actually much more technical than even many experienced cyclists realize - including me. It’s definitely worth focusing on and trying to improve, because these technique tips help you ride more comfortably, efficiently and injury-free.

Last week, I started down the body with the head and torso. I’ll pick it up from there. I also neglected to mention Alan Canfield’s RBR eBook, Watch Your Line, as a great resource for more in-depth techniques to improve your riding skills. Alan recently helped me with a video analysis of my bike fit, which really helped improve my pedal stroke, and he’s working on a bike fit video analysis eBook for RBR that is slated for release this fall.



Your goal:Relaxed and dropped shoulders, relaxed arms, bent elbows, elbows tucked in and pulling only when necessary. Common problems: Stiff, tight shoulders locked high that waste energy and cause enough tension that you can get headaches. Locked elbows and straight arms that can’t absorb road shock can cause pain all the way down to the hands. And excessive pulling with every pedal stroke burns energy and tires you out.



Your goal:Yes, you use your hands to control the bike, shift and brake, but be sure to avoid injury, numbness and pain by using a relaxed grip, moving your hands every 10 to 15 minutes and ensuring that you’re holding the bars in a natural position for your hands and wrists. Common problems: Using a death grip on the bars (riders often do this on scary descents, and it actually makes it more dangerous since tight hands can’t respond as quickly as relaxed ones), riding with your hands in the same place for too long, and holding your hands at an angle that can harm the wrists.



Your goal:When it comes to sitting on a bicycle, comfort and efficiency are the main goals, and that’s usually the result of having the right seat that’s properly adjusted for you, a nice pair of cycling shorts, and for technique, sitting squarely on the seat and letting your legs do the pedaling. Common problems:Rocking side to side trying to add power to your pedaling (but maybe causing chafing and pain instead), bouncing up and down on the seat as you pedal, sliding forward and back on the seat.



Your goal:Let your legs do the pedaling. This sounds obvious, but roadies who bounce (like me) are usually trying to help their legs do the work. The problem is that only your legs are attached to the pedals so you can’t gain much from other body parts, but you can take away from the amazing power we all have in our legs. Focus on smooth, even, powerful pedaling with your legs only. Common problems:Rocking, bouncing, pulling with the arms and pedaling better with one leg than the other. It bears repeating that you can control wasted upper-body motion and get more pedal power as a result by using your abdominal muscles for stability.



Your goal:Having your knees follow a nice, natural and reasonably straight path up and down with every pedal stroke. Your knees should both clear your bicycle’s top tube by the same amount on every pass.Common problems: This one’s interesting to me because I have this problem: If I just relax and let my legs go around, my left knee flays out on every upstroke. This weakens that leg and makes me shift over on my seat, causing chafing issues. To fix this, I only need to focus on it and my left knee happily tracks straight and true. You don’t want to force your knees into an unnatural position, but if they’re wobbling it’s worth trying to improve and seeing if they don’t feel better after a few rides.



Your goal:Like the knees, you want to pedal with whatever feels comfortable and relaxed to your feet and ankles. It can help to use a motion similar to scraping mud off the bottom of your shoes, pulling through from about 3 to 8 o’clock to balance the natural up and down motion. Riders may prefer a flatter or more toe-down foot position -- and that’s fine. Use what feels right but pay attention to it so you recognize if you’re changing. Common problems: This is another one I’ve experienced: tensioning my feet and crunching my toes unconsciously to try to add power through my feet when the pace is hard or on extended climbs. Of course, this leads to chafing, pain and even blisters.




Three dead bodies turn up at the mortuary, all with very big smiles on their faces.


The coroner calls the police to show them what's happened.


An Inspector is sent and is taken straight to the first body.  "Cape Bretoner, 60, died of heart failure whilst making love to his mistress. Hence the enormous smile Inspector", says the Coroner.


The Inspector is taken to the second dead man.

"Newfoundlander, 25, won a $2500 on the lottery, spent it all on rum. Died of  alcohol poisoning, hence the smile."


Nothing unusual here, thinks the Inspector, and asks to be shown the last body.


"Ah," says the coroner, "this is the most unusual one. Haligonian, 30,  struck by lightning."


"Why is he smiling then?" inquires the Inspector.


"Thought he was having his picture taken", replies the coroner.


Jacques Cote

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

June 29th, 2012

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