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Vol 10, #3 - Rural Cape Breton

Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter


Vol 10, #3 - 15/11/12 - Rural Cape Breton


E-mailed without cost or obligation to more than 1400 bicycle advocates around the world.


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 2003. 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!

- Did you Know?

- Safety Tip - How to Respond to the Squirrel Attack

- An Interpretation of the Motor Vehicle Act

- Eat As You Ride to Sustain Energy

- Your Membership Card

- Ed and Nancy




“The person who rows the boat generally doesn't have time to rock it." ~ Chinese proverb.







After spending the evening in Chéticamp around a productive Active Transportation meeting, this morning I drove through the still dormant village at 9:30 am. Except for a few people going about their usual business, there was nobody on the streets, most outlets regularly opened and super busy in the summer were showing the "closed" sign in the window, a few walkers, maybe three were on their morning exercise jaunt on the town's three kilometre sidewalk from Les Trois Pignons museum in Petit Étang to All Aboard restaurant at the western end of the village. By Grand Etang, a lone young mother running on the left side of the empty road visibly focused on her goals for the next season's runs was refreshing sight. Did we meet a car or a truck on the way to Margaree Harbour? Yes, we did, a delivery truck on the way to Cheticamp. That's all.


I knew northern Nova Scotia was a different world outside of the tourist season but that tranquil... No. In November, norther Nova Scotia is a totally different world... a world of serenity and calm fitted for meditation, introspection, creativity fully connected with nature.


The road, the fields, the trees, the sea, the sky are all sending vibes of peace and freedom. Quite a feeling especially on the hour when the newsman reported on war torn countries at the other end of the world. A very sad reality.


We may not have the bluest of the skies and the warmest climes all year round but rural Cape Breton has that unique character that one has to experience to really get back on earth and connect with it.


Try it before the world discovers that gifted piece of the world.







by: Micheline,


Sunny weekend in store and seasonal temperatures. Enjoy!


Join the Strait Area Chapter for the Saturday Morning meet at Tim Horton's across from Port Hawkesbury Civic Center 8:30 AM for socializing and coffee. Ride at approximately 9:00 AM. Easy pace 28 to 40 km “Show & Go” rides. When weather is unfavorable we will meet to do other activities based on participants' wishes like hike, X-country ski, run or walk at the Civic Center track/ workout or jump in cars and explore new ride routes.


Questions / Comments? tjnixa(at)








Active Transportation Workshops by the

Ecology Action Centre


The 2-hr workshops are meant to help increase knowledge about active transportation (AT) and increase the capacity of municipalities and communities to plan for and implement AT on the ground. It’s a matter of interest to all citizens.


No matter where on the spectrum a community is – just building support for AT, ready to create a plan or have a plan and face challenges in implementing – these workshops are tailored to the needs of the particular community and participants.


Got involved!


November 28th, 6 to 8 pm

Port Hawkesbury.

Civic Centre, 606 Reeves St.



List of sessions in the province here.








For each $1 million spent on infrastructure, here are the jobs created according to mode:


- Cycling = 11.4 jobs

- Pedestrian = 10 jobs

- Multi-use trails = 9.6 jobs

- Road with pedestrian and bicycle facilities = 9.5 jobs

- Road-only projects = 7.8 jobs...






excerpt: Joe Reid, Velo Halifax Newletter, 2004


On the road, do not panic! If you're concerned that a squirrel is about to zip right in front of you, and you're traveling at a rate of speed that doesn't allow you to safely stop in time, your safest course of action, for both you and the squirrel, is to ride a straight line. Don't swerve or make any other sudden manoeuvre, as that might cause you to crash, and, truth is, squirrel behaviour is completely you could be moving into its path as likely as away from it unpredictable. They dart here and there, and by swerving, you could be moving into its path as likely as away from it.






by: Doug Regular,


Many believe that cyclists are required to pull over to let faster traffic pass.


This is not true... not always true...


The MVA states:

107 (1) Except when necessary for safe operation or to comply with this Act, no person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable flow of traffic.

(2) Where a person is driving a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable flow of traffic, he shall stop where it is reasonably safe to do so and permit traffic so impeded or blocked to pass his motor vehicle.

Notice the words "motor vehicle" stated 3 times.


A motor vehicle is explicity defined in the MVA as:

"motor vehicle" means a vehicle, as herein defined, which is propelled or driven otherwise than by muscular power;


The MVA also states and I want to make this clear to cyclists:

85 (1) Every cyclist and every person riding an animal upon a highway and every person driving any animal shall be subject to the provisions of this Act applicable to a driver of a vehicle, except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.

Thus, since a bicycle is travelling at the speed for which it is designed, and unable to maintain the prima facie speed limit of 50 kph (thus no application as in section 85 of MVA above), then they are not required to pull over to let faster vehicles pass (section 107(1)).

Overtaking traffic must W.A.I.T until it is safe to pass.

Again, I do recommend to all cyclists that they pull over to allow larger vehicles to pass, if safe to do so. By larger I mean tractor-trailers, dump trucks, oil trucks, larger pickups towing larger trailers, etc.


However, to help facilitate the movement of faster moving traffic, a cyclist is required to ride (or drive) as far to the right side of the roadway as practicable except when

a) in the process of making a left turn in the same manner as a driver of a motor vehicle,

(b) travelling in a rotary or roundabout,

(c) passing a vehicle on the vehicle's left, or

(d) encountering a condition on the roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal or surface hazard that prevents the person from safely riding to the right side of the roadway;

See section 171 (4) of the MVA.


'Practicable' has very specific meaning in CAN-BIKE and is the basis for that bicycle safety program.


There are other points such as: the word printed over our speed limit signs that state: MAXIMUM.


This is the maximum allowed under ideal conditions. Any speed at, or below, that maximum, is legal.



101 A person operating or driving a vehicle on a highway shall operate or drive the same at a careful and prudent rate of speed not greater than is reasonable and proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface and width of the highway and of all other conditions at the time existing, and a person shall not operate or drive a vehicle upon a highway at such a speed or in such a manner as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person. R.S., c. 293, s. 101.


This means, for example, if the speed limit is 60 kph (or the prima facie limit of 50 kph) on a residential street, and a driver sees children playing in the street up ahead, the driver must slow down and exercise due care that they do not compromise the safety of the children. If they blow through at 60 kph, just because it is the legal speed limit, and nearly hit a child, they are in violation of the law.


These are facts that are not covered in our drivers' education programs, to my knowledge.


Many feel that ALL slower moving vehicles are to immediately pull over and many feel that the maximum posted speed limit must be maintained at all times, at all costs.


Not true.






source: Velo Halifax Newsletter, 2005


The heavier you are and the harder you exercise, the more calories you burn. The body can store roughly an hour-and-a-half to two-hours worth of glycogen (muscle fuel). That's all. So, if you're riding longer, you need to carry (or stop to purchase) food and consume enough calories to keep from developing a glycogen deficit.


Beat The Bonk

This glycogen deficit causes a miserable condition that's known as the bonk or hitting the wall, which feels like you've run out of gas. Your legs feel incredibly weak and small hills become Mt. Everest. You may experience a pins-and needles feeling in your arms and lightheadedness, even nausea. If you stop for a while, you may get back on the bike and feel fine, only to have the bonk return in just a few minutes. You can even become disoriented and dizzy, which can lead to a crash.


Food To Go

Jersey pockets are designed to carry the energy bars, fig bars, fruit or energy gels you need to prevent the bonk. Stashed like this, the grub is easily reached while riding, too. Some people use electrical tape to stick packets of energy gel to their top tube or stem for even easier access (good for racing). For high-intensity events or rides, energy gels and drinks work better than energy bars. They can be swallowed in seconds (chewing an energy bar can interfere with breathing) and the ingredients enter your system almost as quickly.


Taste Test

Be sure to experiment in training or on rides that are not as important as your big event to make sure that your food and drink choices are right for you. What works for one person won't necessarily work for others. And, twenty miles into a century is no time to find out that the energy drink your training partner recommended upsets your stomach.







Membership also entitles you to a 10% discount at a number of the bike shops including: VeloMax in Chéticamp; FrameWork Cycle & Fitness in Sydney; Hub Cycle in Truro; Cyclesmith in Halifax; Ideal Bikes in Halifax; Sweet Ride Cycling in Mahone Bay; 15% discount Escape Outddors in downtown North Sydney, 15% at North River Kayak Tours in North River; 10% at Eastwind Cycle on out-of-country bike tours.


Your membership in Velo also supports the advocacy work we do with all levels of government to promote cycling, to improve cycling safety and to improve cycling infrastructure.


Beat the crowd, join Velo Cape Breton online now and start to save on your Christmas purchases. It's $10. for Adults, $5. for children. Rates will increase to $15. for adults and remain the same $5. for below 19 years of age after April 20th 2013.






Ed and Nancy met while on a singles cruise.


When they discovered they lived in the same city only a few miles apart Ed was ecstatic.


He immediately started asking her out when they got home.


Within a couple of weeks, Ed had taken Nancy to dance clubs, restaurants, concerts, movies, and museums. Ed became convinced that Nancy was indeed his soul mate and true love. Every date seemed better than the last. On the one-month anniversary of their first dinner on the cruise ship, Ed took Nancy to a fine restaurant. While having cocktails and waiting for their salad, Ed said, "I guess you can tell I'm very much in love with you. I'd like a little serious talk before our relationship continues to the next stage.


So, before I get a box out of my jacket and ask you a life changing question, it's only fair to warn you, I'm a total golf nut. I play golf, I read about golf, I watch golf on TV. In short, I eat, sleep and breathe golf. If that's going to be a problem for us, you'd better say so now!"


Nancy took a deep breath and responded,"Ed, that certainly won't be a problem. I love you as you are and I love golf too; but, since we're being totally honest with each other, you need to know that for the last five years I've been a hooker."


Ed said, "I bet it's because you're not keeping your wrists straight when you hit the ball."






Jacques Cote

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

November 15th, 2012


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