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Vol 9, #49 - Nova Scotia Weather...

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!
  • Whitney Pier Youth Project - Collecting Bicycles
  • Caffeine & Performance - Feedback
  • Olympic Success Gets Brits on Their Bikes
  • Entertaining Videos
  • Obsessions


                       No one has been able to explain to me why young men and women serve in the Canadian or U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay on retirement.  While Politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men and women, and receive full-pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any sense.




"A conversation about the weather is the last refuge of an unimaginative mind according to Oscar Wilde but then he never tried to figure out the probability of staying dry on a Saturday ride in Nova Scotia, nor do I suspect he had ever explored the wonders of forecasting in this climate, or the lengths prognosticators go to interpret weather patterns. Did he know for example “When the goose honk high, fair weather; when the goose honks low, foul weather” (a proverb), nor was he privy to the latest weather pattern models available to modern meteorologists . He probably agreed with Mark Twain’s quote: “Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get”, but neither famous wit has been much help to me forecasting this weekend’s weather."  -  Alexander MacKinnon, Editor CCC eNews in Wolfville.

The weather forecast is presently calling for Saturday a mix of sun and cloud. Low plus 5. High 7; Sunday, Cloudy, Low 2. High 9.

Last weekend showers and rain were called for all three days, a forecast enticing most to look for indoor activities.  In fact, after the morning fog and mist dissipated, Saturday was gorgeous for the CAN-BIKE session in Port Hawkesbury;  Sunday, a band of showers crossed the Island in the morning and we got beautiful clear skies in the afternoon riding in the Highlands;  Thanksgiving Monday, overcast skies but no rain till the end of the day.  

Sooooo...  Summer is over.  Put away that light summer clothing and bring in your long sleeves, Wintex Jackets, gloves, long thighs and get out there!  Cycling in the fall is the "cool down" period.  Cycling and life schedule of spring and summer is usually full.  I mean FULL.  Interesting riding events come in rapid succession one after another leaving almost no time really to focus on important technical aspects of your cycling that can really improve your riding efficiency, overall safety and pleasure either commuting, running errands or even riding on a tour with friends.  

Getting out on an off-road trail with your fat-tire bike is a different sport altogether that you'll be pleased to discover.  Riding mostly in a car free environment will help focusing at improving your pedalling technique, hill climbing, gear changing, bike handling skills and is a great confidence builder.

No need of a full-suspension MTB to start exploring easy gravel roads, we have lots of them around.  Progressing to the roads that are no longer serviced by the Dept. of Transport - the "K" roads - will be your step.  K roads may be bumpier, have large puddles of water, protruding rocks and washed out climbs/descents that are a lot of fun to negotiate... on or off the bike.  From the K roads to ATV trails and single tracks, there's just one more step and that may lie in the equipment itself but this is another story.  A purchase you will eventually do with more knowledge of what really will work best for you.  




by: Micheline,


Cool weather is an invitation to ride or hike in the country, the fragrance and the colours will be at their maximum over the weekend.  This happens only once a year and also for a very short time.  Don't miss it.

 Several events on Saturday to choose from.   



Saturday, October 13,  

1st Annual, Relay for Health in Baddeck (Bell Museum National Historic Site).

From 10am to 1pm.

Family Fun: Healthy Lifestyle Choices for You & Family To Participate In – Walk, Run or Bike and Learn:

Event Includes

1 miler; 3 K, 5 K or 10 K Walk, Run or Bike; Bicycle Rodeo (RCMP) - free helmets for children; Bounce Inflatables; B-B-Q—Free; Bell Museum Mascot (“Parka”); Mascots; Play Den; First Aid; T-Shirts (If you collect $20 and over from pledges); Awards/Prizes for most pledges collected in your category; Health Expo: Educational exhibits/Demos/Prizes; Demonstrations/Displays; Fire Truck Display/Candy Toss Free Tim Horton’s Hot Chocolate & Timbits.


1 - 3pm - Adult Bicycle Ride 

Cyclists can choose their distance: 10k (Museum Gate to Big Farm Road and return) or 20k (Museum Gate to the end of Big Farm Road) 1-3pm. The route will be well marked and support provid-ed. The rides bring awareness to the importance of being active and leading a healthy lifestyle. All adults are encouraged to participate. This is an opportunity to dust off that bike that has been sitting in your garage or shed and join us in a group ride. A bicycle helmet is required. This could be your first step to an active lifestyle and the benefits associated with it. This is a health promotion activity. We encourage all adults in the county to come out and give it a spin. Please contact Brian Morrison @ 295-2448 or Bill Marchant @ 295 1209 

See poster in .pdf  attached.



Saturday  October 13th. 1 - 4 pm

Hike the Coxheath Colours & Ceilidh.

Where:  Knox Hall,  Junction Coxheath Rd/Blacketts Lake Rd.

A time to celebrate the splendor of the fall colours on the Coxheath Hills Wilderness Trails.  Along the trail stop to listen to the musicians and to chat with the wildlife experts.  Ceilidh at the Hall,  Storytellers at the cabin.

Event is Free but Donations are welcome.



Saturday, October 14.

Introduction to CAN-BIKE Skills In Sydney

CAN-BIKE Sessions to hone your skills, ease you way in city traffic, develop and/or improve your confidence as a cyclist on a ride around the block or a tour around the world.  Five participants so far and room for more...

See what Tom Nixa has to say about the session he took in Port Hawkesbury last Saturday...

CAN-BIKE was awesome!!!!  Thanks Jacques and Micheline!  Great info. and skills never offered to me in any other bike club.  Great practical everyday stuff that can save our lives and help us get along better with our fellow motorists.  


ed: BTW, Tom has an EXTENSIVE list of completed cycling tours.  He and family are new transplants from the U.S. (California, Arizona, Iowa) that made Cape Breton their new home.  Great to have them around!




The group leaves at 10:00 am from various locations within CBRM.  Rides designed to be relaxed and are for novice and experienced cyclists alike, several groups can be  formed.  After three rides so far, participants are ready to go a little longer.

Back by popular demand...  Tuesday October 16th ride will start from the Birch Grove Community Hall for a 25km counter-clockwise loop to Broughton and return via the Glace Bay - Louisbourg old railroad trail.  See map here.  

No special need for a mountain bike, any street bike with tires of 28 to 39 mm section will do, i.e.  tires on hybrid, comfort bikes.   Bring a light lunch.  

See you there!



Velo Cape Breton Annual General Meeting,  November 5,  

5:30 - 6:30  Meet & Greet, light lunch

6:30 -  AGM.



CAN-BIKE 2 Session

In Sydney only.  Evening + 2 days.  October 26 - 28th.

On the weekend of 26 - 28th VCB will be hosting a CAN-BIKE 2 safe riding course.  This course is thorough and introduces the strategies for safe urban riding, elements of bike fit, mechanics, touring, and urban street strategies with a heavy emphasis on actual street riding.  The Friday evening session is entirely indoors at ACAP (corner of Townsend and George) , and - depending on the weather - there will be parking lot and on-road training sessions on both Saturday and Sunday.  There is a final written examination, as this course is a requisite for advancing to become a CCC-certified instructor of CAN-BIKE safe riding courses.  

CAN-BIKE 2 is the "driver's licence" for bicycle riding.  It is in many ways comparable to taking a drivers exam for operating a motor vehicle.  This is an excellent program for parents who want to teach their kids the basics of safe riding, for bicyclist commuters, and for officials and leaders in active transportation, bike route design, professionals (i.e. police, paramedics)  and bicycle program development.

There is a $90 fee to take this course.    For Saturday and Sunday you will need to bring a street-ready bicycle.  If you have not installed a bell, please do so.  Any type of road/commuter/mountain/touring bike will do.   If you ride on the streets, you will not regret taking this course.  The combination of riding skills, discussion of the vehicle act, and evasive manoeuver training will make you a stronger, safer and more confident rider.

Registration here.



Riding on the success of this year where kids refurbished bicycles handed out by generous donor and/or picked up from the roadside during heavy garbage pick-up, got CAN-BIKE and MAKING TRACKS training, VCB and Active Transportation Coalition join resources again to give more kids the opportunity to get bicycles and enjoy the benefits of cycling, something their would not have otherwise.

This winter there is a plan to teach kids the basics of bicycle mechanics and maintenance.   You may have a bicycle that is not used, that you want to replace next year, that need maintenance or repair or for whatever reason you no longer need, we are takers.

The WPYC Project can give this bicycle a second life on the road,  increase the number of utilitarian cyclists on the roads and occupy the kids with something constructive. 

Please email or call 562-8137 for arrangements (pick-up or delivery).

Thank You!



by: Dr. Chris Milburn,

Caffeine is an "ergogenic aid" (ie: helps improve ability to exercise at a sustained, high level).  But the only studies that have been convincing in this regard use caffeine after a "washout period" of a week or more.

ie:  If caffeine is to benefit you, you need to be off it at least a week first, and take it on the morning of the race/ride/run.


As well, the only studies showing benefit are in events of 15min-1hour.  There is no proof of benefit for longer events.  There is no proof of benefit in easy or moderate intensity activity (ie:  it's only the "high-performance" athlete who would likely benefit)

And there is legitimate concern about the diuretic effect of caffeine, both in having to make you stop and pee during your athletic event, and the possible increased risk of dehydration or electrolyte (sodium/potassium) disturbances.

So my take on caffeine is this:

-  if you like coffee, go ahead and have some

-  don't expect it to do much for you

-  even if you are willing to undergo a "washout period" first, don't expect it to do much for you

-  even if your event is short, you are a "performance athlete" in competition mode, and you use a washout period, remember the effects are fairly small and not noticeable for most of us.



Internet:  submitted by André Gallant.


Sky poll shows more than half of the country inspired by success of British cycling team to get on their bikes. 

70 per cent of non-cyclists believed that Team GB success will have a lasting positive effect as cycling feels the ‘legacy effect’ from London 2012.

Cycling increasing part of the fabric of British life. 


Press Release: Research commissioned by Sky, in partnership with British Cycling, shows that the British cyclists’ success at the Olympic and Paralympics Games has had a dramatic effect on Britons’ appetite for cycling. 


The research conducted by the London School of Economics (LSE), mapped the impact of the Olympic and Paralympic Games across a wide range of social and economic factors including cycling awareness and participation. 


Increased participation across all categories of cyclist

The research showed that people are increasingly taking up cycling for fun with family and friends. This provides real evidence of the connection between elite sporting success and grassroots participation.


52 per cent of all people indicated that they were motivated to cycle as a result of the achievements of Team GB’s cyclists

Three times as many people questioned said they were more likely to take up cycling as a result of Team GB achievements following the Olympics than before the Olympics 

87 per cent of those who said they were inspired to cycle by the Games were also encouraging their children to cycle

8,000+ people have joined British Cycling since the start of London 2012


Cycling becomes recreational

The research shows that London 2012 is also encouraging people to think about cycling in a different way. Increasing numbers of people are seeing cycling not only as a mode of transport but also as a leisure pursuit the whole family can enjoy.


Almost 50 per cent of total cyclists had taken part in mass cycle rides as a result of the Olympic effect, with 56 per cent of Regular Cyclists inspired to do so 

One in four of all respondents said that they were more likely to take a UK cycling holiday as a result of the London 2012 Games, with this rising to 45 per cent for Frequent Cyclists

Around 40 per cent of the sample indicated that London 2012 had inspired them to visit a Velodrome and organised cycle events as a spectator

42 per cent said they were inspired to watch or visit other para-cycling events


Fresh boost for Britain’s bicycle market

The research paper showed that people were spending more on bicycles and bike kit, driven by the excitement around the medals won by British cyclists. 


28 per cent of all respondents felt inspired to buy bikes and cycle accessories in the lead-up to the Games

Retailers reported a surge in demand following the Games. Cycle Surgery, reported a ‘record turnover week’ for road bikes for the second week of the Olympics. Wiggle reported UK traffic to its site leapt by 71 per cent during the Olympic period and online store reported a 73 per cent jump in sales of bikes to women as a result of the Olympic effect


Cycling feels the London 2012 ‘legacy effect’

The results confirm a resounding degree of support for the sustained growth of cycling in the UK.


Almost 100 per cent believed that the London 2012 Olympic Games will have a lasting effect on cycling participation in the UK 

Over 50 per cent of the group are now motivated to volunteer to support people with a disability to cycle in their local area


Tricia Thompson, Director of Cycling, Sky, commented: “Right from the beginning of our partnership with British Cycling in 2008 we have been working hard to bring the grassroots and elite sides of cycling closer together. This research shows the first tangible evidence of the connection between the two.” 


Ian Drake, CEO, British Cycling, remarked: “The partnership between British Cycling and Sky, unique in sport in this country, has been the key to using Olympic and Paralympic success to encourage huge numbers of people to get on their bikes. Our success in driving participation is no fluke but the product of years of detailed planning and preparation.”




How to have fun on a road bike...


Martyn Ashton takes the $15k carbon road bike used by Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins & Mark Cavendish for a ride with a difference. With a plan to push the limits of road biking as far as his lycra legs would dare, Martyn looked to get his ultimate ride out of the awesome Pinarello Dogma 2. This bike won the 2012 Tour de France - surely it deserves a Road Bike Party!




The Cardboard Bike

Izhar Gafni set out to make a cardboard bicycle. Not deterred by engineer’s claims that it would never work, and motivated by his wife to try it out, he made the impossible possible.




Undercover Cycling

Velomobiles are a new type of vehicle and a new way of life. For the first time, conservation, frugalness and fitness is combined in a way that are actually provocative, engaging and fun!  A velomobile guarantees you protection from rain, sun and even cold, but you still need to pedal


A Velomobile is a “Human Powered Vehicle”, complete with options such as headlight, backlight and turn signals.


What other vehicle can you “recharge” with a sports drink and a power bar? Our Velomobiles are truly next-generation vehicles that you can own and enjoy today and not worry about where you are going to refuel!




Dux Helm

the world's first bike helmet with patent pending 3 R Lens System - Retractable, Removable, Replaceable.




A psychiatrist was conducting a group therapy session with four young mothers and their small children.


"You all have obsessions," he observed.


To the first mother, Mary, he said, "You are obsessed with eating. You've even named your daughter Candy."


He turned to the 2nd mom, Ann, and said, "Your obsession is with money.  Again, it manifests itself in your child's name, Penny."


He turned to the 3rd mom, Joyce. "Your obsession is alcohol. This too shows itself in your child's name, Brandy."


At this point, the fourth mother, Mrs. Smith, quietly got up, took her little boy by the hand, and whispered, "Come on, Dick, this guy has no idea what he's talking about. Let's pick up Peter and Willy from school and go get dinner.



Jacques Cote

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

October 11th, 2012

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