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Vol 9, #38 - Pier Pedalers

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!

- Sentencing Parity for Dangerous Cyclists - Feedback

- Across the Highlands 2012 - The Day After

- Out of Luck!



""The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."

~ Lao Tzu





CBRM now has a new bike club. The Pier Pedalers hit the streets on the 9th of July.


Sponsored by Velo Cape Breton and the Whitney Pier Youth Club(WPYC), five of the club's members and one of the staff attended a week long cycle training camp.


They learned how to change and repair a tire, adjust a derailleur, change a brake cable or pad, fix a chain, and make other minor repairs and adjustments. They worked on their cycling skills and participated in several group rides in Whitney Pier and along the new Whitney Pier Heritage Trail.


The camp instructors were Howard Knight, the retired president of a large bicycle manufacturing company, and Andrée Crépeau a Making Tracks and CAN-BIKE Instructor. Howard got everybody's hands dirty as they greased cables and played with chains or fished for bubbles on punctured inner tubes. In the end the group repaired and rebuilt donated bicycles and four of the participants now have new-to-them bikes to use. They also repaired a a number of other bikes that will be used by the club. Andrée improved bike handling skills in the adjacent parking lot, taught the rules of the road and lead the group rides. Velo Cycling Ambassadors Danielle MacKinley and Lonnie Jones helped with the group rides in the neighbourhood.


Motorists in Whitney Pier will all remember the long line of eight cyclists each wearing a bright orange safety vest wheeling down the streets of their neighbourhood with big smiles on their faces.


This camp was a pilot project and Velo hopes to return to the WPYC to repeat the camp in the fall as an after school activity. The objective is to offer this opportunity to every child at the club who is interested and over 11 years of age. Velo Cape Breton sees this project as an ideal way to promote safe cycling and to share the fun of biking.


Funding for the project was supplied by ACTRAC, Velo Cape Breton and the volunteer efforts of the staff and members of the Whitney Pier Youth Club.


If you would like to support this project please consider donating good used bikes. We're interested in bikes that would be suitable for kids 11 years of age and older. The size range is generally 16 inches and up. We have a particular need for a road bike to fit a 31inch inseam measurement. Contact Howard Knight at






Cycling for Strong Kids, Thursday, July 19th...


YMCA volunteer Don Patterson continues his cross-Canada ride because he strongly believes that all kids should be able to access Y programs irrespective of their physical abilities or financial resources, and believes the YMCA has the tools to help raise physical activity levels in children. In the 23 days to date (July 18, as I write this), Don has covered over 6000km from Vancouver as is approaching Antigonish, NS. His shortest day so far was "only" 177km, followed by a monster 440km in one day. Details of Don's ride can be found on his blog at


We are uncertain of Don's exact arrival time in Cape Breton, but it will be early Thursday, July 19. Once we have further details, we will post (and update) approximate arrival times on our Facebook pages. or


Please join us for any or all of Don's ride through Cape Breton as he heads for the Marine Atlantic ferry at North Sydney, or consider a donation to the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign at




Andre Gallant, CEO

YMCA of Cape Breton





My Heart is in the Mira: Saturday July 21st 1:00 pm


For a different riding experience, join Cycling Ambassador Art Spencer for an exciting afternoon ride and BBQ by the Mira.

Choice of 30 or 50km distances. Get a bit of history, meet new friends, swim in the warm waters of the Mira, pay a short visit to the new Crystal Gable shop.

Note: This ride is open to all and suitable to family with kids.

BYOE... "E" for everything...


Meet at: 1211 Hillside Rd. Mira (Don't drive down that driveway, no parking at the other end.)





Destination Ride and Garden Tour: Wednesday July 25th 10:00 am


This week, ride from your place or from wherever you want and join the Time-Out Garden Tours for two tours:


1. 9:30 am, Jeannie and Robert McCharles' gardens at 63 Hanart Wood Drive (off Coxheath Road),

2. 11:00 am, Florence Thorne's gardens at 355 Westmount Road (corner of Murphy Road).


Distance between both gardens is approximately 8.7km or nearly 20 minute ride. Hope to see you at either one or both gardens.


Note: This will be the last garden tour on the VCB schedule.




Le Grand Phare Bicycle Ride, Sunday, July 22nd 10:00 am


What: 18km Interpretive ride with 8 stops and historic Fortress admission.


Ride: Starts from Fortress of Louisbourg Visitor Centre out to the Light House (le Grand Phare) and back into the Fortress itself.


From the Visitor Centre we ride out to:

  1. Le Grand Phare - the old light house an important point for both the French and the English in the two sieges.
  2. Careening Beach- where ships were beached for caulking.
  3. Royal Battery - again an important for both the French and the English in the two sieges.
  4. Stella Maris Cemetary - fishing houses and the recent elm.
  5. Marconi Tower site - possible area of English Titcomb's Battery.
  6. Gate 2/Porte 2 -possible site of English Block House #3 and Siege Battery
  7. Black Rock - French site with talk/view of Queen's Gate and Moripain's Gate.
  8. King's Garden - talk of town site (there is a washroom here), break for your lunch (bring your own or you can buy one at the taverns in the Fortress). If there is inclement weather we will have our final talk in the MacLellan House (museum) beside the King's Garden.


Your Guides: Eliot Frosst (support vehicle), Jimmie Campbell, VCB Cycling Ambassador.

Starts at the Park Visitor Centre at 10:00 sharp.

- Please pay ($15.00) at the Visitor Centre at 9:45.

- There are washroom facilities there and a very good diorama.

- Packs, water bottles and other personal belongings can go in the support vehicle that will accompany the ride.


More information: Eliot Frosst, 674-0936








Due to unfortunate incidents, five of our riders had to retire from the fully-supported tour Cabot Trail in 4 Days. Anyone still interested are invited to join before cancellations of the reserved rooms is made. We will keep the rooms until Monday July 25th.


More info on the tour here.


Please email or call (902) 562-8137 for further details.





Weekend of rides with the VCB Chéticamp Chapter


Saturday July 28th. Sweat & Gears, 9:30 am

Chéticamp to Pleasant Bay and back. A healthy 75km ride in the mountains to use all your gears. Lunch in Pleasant Bay.


Meet: Cape Breton Highlands National Park Visitor Centre.



Sunday July 29th. MTB to Salmon Pool.

A pleasant ride along picturesque Cheticamp River. This ride is open to all and suitable to family with kids.

Join either on of the two groups.


Group One: Leaves Quai Mathieu - 10:00 am

Group Two: Leaves National Park Visitor Centre - 10:45








Should cyclists who are not following the Rules of the Road, are involved in dangerous riding, kill or seriously injure other road users face the same penalties as drivers? The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents thinks so, according to a story in The Times earlier this week.




It has been said, that in NYC, the best way to get away with murder is to hit someone riding a bike with your car.


I don't know what the fixation with cyclists is and the perceived risk that many motorists think cyclists present. I have to presume all the letters to the editor in our local rag are from angry motorist who feel that cyclists need to have insurance and pay registration like they do.


Much of the argument is a straw man attack on an imaginary cyclist, a cyclist scoff law who is killing and injuring thousands of people across the land. Now, if we do a reality check at this point, you will realize the number of people actually injured by negligent cyclists is very, very low. Now, put that into the perspective of the number of people killed or injured in motor vehicle related accidents, you end up with a very small problem of cyclists who are mostly putting themselves at risk.


Cars are the number one killer of our youth aged 16-24, and I argue, the number one contributor to the early deaths of many from heart disease, diabetes and obesity. The benefits to society are huge for people engaged in active transportation. Now tell me, what is the problem with cyclists again?




-Doug Denny. Cyclists, Motorist, Pedestrian and Citizen of Halifax, Nova Scotia.






The few drops of rain and grey skies did not deter the 75+ riders who showed up to take the start in the 9th Edition on one of the most fabulous course ever.


After a short mingle with the 40 or so participants of the Nick Giacomantonio's Heartland Tour who had left Chéticamp an hour earlier, the long string of cyclists jokeyed for position on the way to East Margaree where the real mountain bike part of the event started. There were riders of all ages, abilities and skills. The ride lasted from 2 hours 35 minutes to more than twice that time for others who really enjoyed their experience.


We have witnessed not only generous people at the Pit Stops but also generous people on the course helping/supporting/encouraging other riders to go through the particularly challenging last leg after Pit Stop #3.


Thanks for another great ride. And please pass on to your wife and the rest of the volunteers all my thanks.

Funny how the rain this year was sooo much more refreshing, and welcome, than it was a year ago.

It is amazing that you can get 75 or so people and put them through that kind of punishment and everybody is smiling at the end.

Great job.

Looking forward to next year already. ~ Bruce Kennedy, Antigonish


Thank you so very much for an Excellent AHC. The day was so well organized, the camaraderie was amazing. I made many new friends throughout the ride. It was delightful to sit and have a drink at the Centre. What a great end to an awesome day! Peter Korecki, Halifax.


I was one of the last ones through, but it was a LOT of fun! The trails were incredible - just the right mix of steepness/roughness to be very challenging, but not overwhelming. - Shauna Barrington, Mabou.







A drunk staggers into a Catholic Church, Enters a confessional booth, sits down, but says nothing.


The Priest coughs a few times to get his attention but the drunk continues to sit there.


Finally, the Priest pounds three times on the wall.


The drunk mumbles, "ain't no use knockin, there's no paper on this side either!"


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