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Vol 9, #15 - The Bird of Flame

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

-  Get-Cycling Park

-  Rides Captain Corner

-  VCB Membership

-  A Cycling Talent

-  STS Looking For STC

-  Alcohol And The Endurance Athlete

-  Video of the Week

-  Email From Heaven



No need to talk about the rise and fall of the steel foundries of Sydney as all has been said about this coal burning era that engulfed many lives and left a first degree burn in the environment and habitat of many species.


Even Phoenix, the bird of flames was engulfed but it was not destroyed. Of all the remains of the magnificent bird, its deep set of shiny eyes and its undeniable intelligence has been the host of extraordinary abilities. 


The tale goes that when this wondrous bird comes to death, it turns to ash. The ash then ignites in golden fire, and the Phoenix is revived in its own sacred fire. To this end, the Phoenix is an immortal, never really dying, just reviving from its own remains.


Thanks to the intelligence of forward looking individuals, dedicated local administrators, managers, hard working trades people and millions of taxpayers dollars, the legendary phoenix is healing rapidly and in 24 months or so, the "patient" will take flight with a new set of "wings".


These "wings" will host high quality sport fields, the Get Cycling Park, outdoor concert grounds, multi-use trail networks, boardwalks, bridges, interpretive stations, outdoor exercise stations and several other pieces of infrastructure to connect the surrounding communities. 


These components are the seeds that will lead to future growth, and the enrichment of our social, economic and environmental well-being.




General call to all who are interested in joining the working committee to develop the concept of the Get-Cycling Park area identified in the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency Future Land Use Masterplan. This will include working with engineers, liaise with local organizations, develop and expand the business plan and manage the site.


There are tens of capable individuals out there with huge competencies and background who are just eager to give back and reshape that your community for yourself, your children and grand-children. 


Key competencies could be one or many of these:  flexible, judgment, decision-making, information management, available, planning and organizing, problem analysis and problem solving, generous, delegating tasks and responsibility, motivating staff, volunteer, communication, coaching, teamwork and flexible.


Positions are open now.   email or call...




Sunday, 19 February 2012 - 10 a.m.

Heritage Day & Annual Geocaching event at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site.

An introduction to geocaching and snowshoeing will be available for beginners.

Registration will take place at 10 a.m. in the McLennan Centre (formerly the Museum).  Coffee and tea will be available.

This event is hosted by the Atlantic Canada Geocaching Association, Fortress Louisbourg Association and Parks Canada.


For more information, please visit the Atlantic Canada Geocaching Association Web site or call 902-733-3552. 




Friday, March 9th, 5:00 pm

Happy Hour.   Steel City Sports Bar & Steakhouse, 252 Townsend St. in Sydney is our meeting place for the second of this NEW event on the “Social” schedule. A perfect opportunity to reconnect and meet up with old friends and new. Come in and enjoy a few yarns, jokes and laughs, celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, share a story, roast a friend or two, make plans for the weekend. 


Whatever your sport, occupation, age, we share a common connection with the outdoors.  A warm welcome to all who ventures our way, and in the Cape Breton tradition, the door is open to all.




We have a great year planned with events, socials, training opportunities, rides and tours for all levels of cyclists.


If you are getting back into cycling or even starting out we have training sessions and relaxed rides that will help you get back on the road.   If you’ve decided that this year is your year to do the Cabot Trail we’ve several rides that can be used as training sessions and also three other tours.  Maybe you’d like to park your car and use your bike to get to work but aren’t sure or comfortable with how to do it safely and  in style...  we have CAN-BIKE training sessions for that too.


You can also keep track of the schedule at the website  The Rides Captain is putting rides and events as they are confirmed so that you can plan accordingly.  


If you register as a new member you will receive your copy of the VCB Membership Handbook packed full of good information and advice; a membership card that entitles you to a 10% discount at a number of the bike shops including:Framework Cycle & Fitness in Sydney; Hub Cycle in  Truro; Cyclesmith in Halifax. 


Riding with Velo Cape Breton is riding with the safety net of a friendly caring group of like minded bicyclists; enjoying great fellowship, meeting new and interesting people who often share similar passions beyond cycling; taking advantage of CAN-BIKE safe bicycling clinics, courses and tutorials; participating in free club socials; taking part in wonderful touring experiences at a fraction of the price of a "for profit" arranged tour offering similar experiences. 


Your membership in Velo Cape Breton also supports the advocacy work we do:

  • to promote cycling, i.e.  VCB Chapters, Bicycle Friendly Network, VCB eNewsletter, Cycling Ambassadors; 
  • to encourage the construction of cycling infrastructure at the local and provincial levels, i.e. paved shoulders on the Cabot Trail & the Canso Causeway, Share-the-Road signage, Grand Lake Rd bike path;  
  • to improve cycling safety through education for all to enjoy, i.e. CAN-BIKE Instruction, Cycling Ambassadors, Get-Cycling Park.


Fill-out your membership form today. (see below)




Last summer the VCB event in Arichat was not only memorable for the ride, the company, and the hospitality, but it was also a discovery of a young bicycle racing talent, 18-year old Chad Young.


Chad is a dual citizen, Canadian and American and enjoy a home in Petit-de-Grat in Richmond county which he visits two or three times per year and is the base of operations for summer cycling excursions.


Chad had a great racing season in 2011 with 28 road races, 16 Cyclo cross races, and was invited to US Olympic Training Center in San Diego, CA in October.


He is a high school junior who is investigating Engineering schools in Nova Scotia and Ontario for his college experience.  His older brother is a junior at Dalhousie in the co-op program in Halifax.


Here are a couple links to some of his accomplishments in his short career in cycling.  He has been riding less than two years at this point 5th place US road for his age, 12 th place US verge series cyclocross, selection for the US Junior National Road Racing Team trials recent article on Pro Cycling news


He is striving to be selected for the team competing on 44E ÉDITION DU TOUR DE L’ABITIBI /COUPE DES NATIONS in 2012.  He was identified in USA cycling camp as a possible candidate for it last year but, was too young to qualify.






by: Nita,


STS Looking for STC for fun…great mileage…ability to enjoy my sport while out of town.


Sounds like an ad in a singles column but don’t jump to any conclusions yet.  What really is going on here is that I am a single tandem stoker (STS) looking for a skilled tandem captain (STC) when I am traveling out of town.


Let me explain.  Every couple months I am up in the Boston area visiting with my married daughter and grandkids.  During the 3 to 4 days I’m there, I would love to get away for a ride to keep my balance and focus as well as become familiar with and enjoy the beautiful cycling that this area has to offer.


Same goes for when I’m visiting Arlington Heights, IL where my sister lives or Tampa Florida visiting friends.  My dilemma is that I am an avid cyclist, I love riding tandem, have lots of miles under my belt, have a terrific tandem partner who is married, a doctor, and outside of our local rides, it’s not possible to connect up when out of town.  This is where my idea gets better.


Somehow it would be nice if there was a system in place where one might have a contact person who might know of a tandem group or individual who could connect me up with an individual, man or women, who I might stoke for while visiting their area.  Yes I’ve made some calls to local bike shops and even individuals on occasion, with little success.


I would love to hear from other tandem riders / teams about your thoughts on making something like this possible…perhaps through regional area representative in the Tandem Club of America.


Nita Bernat  nita8712(at) 

Louisville, KY


ed:  A longtime subscriber, Nita has been introduced to VCB through a friend while visiting Nova Scotia mainland.



source:  Pacific Health eNewsletter.


Heavy exercisers such as endurance athletes consume more alcohol habitually than non-exercisers. It’s believed that certain aspects of personality, rooted in brain chemistry, tend to attract people to both exercise and alcohol. But are athletes paying a health price for extra alcohol consumption?

In the general population, people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol (one drink a day for women, two for men) have a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, and possibly diabetes than those who drink either more or not at all. However, drinking heavily is much more harmful than not drinking.


It’s believed that alcohol may boost cardiovascular health by increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol. While aerobic exercise itself tends to improve the cholesterol profile, there is evidence that endurance athletes also benefit from a little daily wine or beer. The National Runners Health Study, a scientific survey of 10,000 runners, found that those who drank in moderation had higher levels of good cholesterol than those who drank little or no alcohol.


Whether athletes are able to consume somewhat more alcohol than others habitually without harming their heart health is a question that has not been rigorously answered. The available evidence suggests probably so, but moderation remains the watchword.



contribution;  André Gallant, ex-VCB Prez.


I loved the video of the Sengalese man.  Here's a man from Montreal...




One day God was looking down at Earth and saw all of the misbehaving that was going on. So he called one of His angels and sent the angel to Earth for a time. 


When the angel returned, he told God, 'Yes, it is bad on Earth; 95% are misbehaving and only 5% are not. 


God was not pleased. So He decided to e-mail the 5% that were good, because he wanted to encourage them, and give them a little something to help them keep going. 


Do you know what the e-mail said?


Okay, I was just wondering, because I didn't get one either ....





Jacques Cote

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

February 16th, 2012

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