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Vol 9, #20 - Crazy 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

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

In this Edition

  • Editorial
  • Rides Captain Corner
  • Bike Spinning VS  Bike Riding
  • Special Invite to the Spinners
  • Do the Roads Scare You?
  • 52-WBC
  • Invite from Bicycle Friendly Cabot Shores
  • Cabot Trail in the Limelight Again
  • Video of the Week
  • Medical Reports

Here's an interesting quote from the 2012 "Old Farmer's Almanac" Canadian Edition:

"14.4: jobs created for each $1 million spent creating bike lanes. (twice the number of jobs created by road repairs)


Wishing CBRM Planner Rick McCready a speedy recovery from this serious eye disease that is putting him on the mend for the next 6 weeks.  

Among other important files, Rick is the leading force behind AT implementation.




Just 10-15 years ago, who would have thought that Global Warming would have such effects on the Cape Breton climate?  Should we rejoice or mourn? 

What makes the joy of some people for now, makes others to be seriously concerned about the future.  Take for example this winter, no temperatures cold enough to kill destructive bugs and beetles eating our food plants and our oxygen producing trees.  No cold enough temperatures for ice to form to protect our coasts from erosion, alternate periods of freeze and thaw softened the road beds making them unable to carry the heavy loads of trucks, the gravel shoulders never really froze solid, consequently, the snowplows scraped a good layer of the surface and threw it in the ditches thereby increasing the cost of maintenance big time.  There are many more examples of those effects around but these are just a few things that I observed on my ride this afternoon.  Not looking good.

Crazy weather or crazy humans?

If one thinks that the bicycle will not save the planet it shall, at least, understand that the bicycle can delay its complete destruction.  Go, ride your bike and save.  Save the environment, save your money, save the roads, save the planet....  save your life!   



The Rides Captain in happy.  Tonight is the second event of the 2012 Schedule and the place will be full.    David Aldridge will be the first presenter of the 2012 Guest Speaker Series at 6:30 pm at the McConnell Library in Sydney.  

David will entertain the audience about his peace and quiet 2-wk cycle tour in the southern Danish Island.  You might hear about bad bikes, okay youth hostles, great farm stays, big breakfast and his 1964 stay in Aarhus where he studied medicine for 3 months.  Great pictures in the slide show presentation.  


ps.  Also, an excellent opportunity to renew your VCB Membership and purchase your ticket for the Season's Opening Banquet at the Savoy in Glace Bay, April 14th.


Family Franco-fun Day at Étoile de l'Acadie

This Sunday, March 25th at noon.  

The usual 5km walk/run is now opened to cyclists and roller bladers.  

This will be the 12th edition of this popular event always followed by good food, music and prizes.  

$5./pers  or  $10. for the family.

Come One - Come All !  Lotsa fun!



April 5th - Thursday - Guest Speaker Series  #2

Cycling and Wildlife with Shelley Porter.

Shelley Porter is an enthusiastic recreational road and off-road cyclist with an MSc in Biology. Shelley has lived all over Nova Scotia and in Rocky Harbour Newfoundland. She will share her experiences encountering animals while cycling.  Topics will include carnivores, and herbivores both wild and domestic. Learn how to peacefully share the roads and trails with other species.

McConnell Library, Sydney,  6:30 pm




Q.  What's the relationship between a spin class and actually getting out and riding a bike?

A.  I think spinning is great (with the right instructor) when you're working on increasing leg strength, working on correcting leg imbalances, increasing aerobic capacity and lactate threshold, cadence drills, working with heavier resistance and spinning, and breathing.   Spin with a goal...  the goal to get out on the road for rides, tours, races.



A.  Spinning classes are subtly different than cycling. I have been taking spinning classes during the early evening for a bit of conditioning.

1) The classes are short. They are 45 minutes long and I never take a ride that short.

2) The bikes themselves are rigid platforms. They do not move under you as a bike does.

3) If you have not ridden on the road, you have no idea of what an appropriate resistance is.  In spinning classes, people often have the resistance way too low or at times they increase it so they are doing what looks like 4 rpm. Cyclists tend to ride at a narrower band of resistances using a clever device known as "gears".

4) Spinning will not help your bike handling skills and it will not help your ability to ride in traffic.

5) Spinning will help you develop your legs for cycling and give you a decent base though. If it is convenient and you cannot go out and ride, it is an excellent substitute. 

6) People can look like world beaters in the spin classes but not do well out on the road in a group ride. It is a whole different world in that regard. In spinning class, you can look intense and look powerful. However on the road, you have to actually be powerful and there is a difference.



A.  If you can find time to do a spin class, you should be able to use that same amount of time to go out and ride your bike once you get it. After all, to ride a bike, you simply open your door, walk out with the bike, throw your leg over, and off you go, no time wasted driving to and back from a gym. You have more time to exercise in the same amount of time.



A.  When my bike was being repaired I did some spinning classes. Frankly I found them very boring, plus the music they were playing was driving me crazy. Best thing is just go out and ride.



Spinners, novices, weekend riders, keen riders, the VCB Lobster Roll Relay on June 17 is a ride especially designed for you all.

Four legs of ~25km each along the scenic Atlantic Coast. Ride one to three legs with friend(s) as a team, each riding one or more legs to cover 100 km.  Stopovers at New Waterford, Glace Bay, Mira Gut.  You can ride the entire distance too if you want.  Fully supported.  Food stops, refreshment, escort, friendship....   

Answers to all your questions on the renovated VCB website



I have often stated the two main barriers to safe bicycling in CBRM and beyond are the lack of proper infrastructure and education of all stakeholders.  To be frank, I feel the education is the biggie, as one can ride safely with confidence as part of the traffic flow, when armed with the knowledge.

Funny thing is that I have been biking for over 65 years - tens of thousands of ks, but have learned more in the last 5 years than in all my prior years combined.   Why?  The CAN-BIKE II course, the Instructor’s workshop that followed and all the courses I gave since then kept improving my knowledge, my abilities and my skills… Yes, I still consider myself a student and have much to learn but, my main goal now is to share that cycling experience through CAN-BIKE courses offerings.

Several have registered for the upcoming CAN-BIKE II sessions in Sydney.  

Weekend of April 20 - 22

Weekend of April 27 - 29

Weekend of June 1 - 3

Check the curriculum on the VCB website…  

There are a lot of cycling / traffic myths out there and you may be surprised at what you can learn.

If you commute, use your bike for utilitarian purposes, ride with a touring club / racing or fitness club or are a newbie - the CB-II course is for you.



by:  Shelley Porter, Coordinator...

Good morning, B52ers, on the first day of Spring 2012! The weather has been . . . variable . . . lately, with some lovely Springtime temperatures. I didn't get out on the weekend, but I really envy you if you did! I did manage a nice relaxed ride around Point Edward in the sunshine last week. I still have the studded tires on, I leave them on until Easter weekend every year. You just never know in Cape Breton - we could very well have a blizzard in mid-April. Or May, for that matter.

The nice weather has me thinking about my cycling and other fitness/sport goals for this year. No conclusions yet, except to get through the B52! I will do the Across the Highlands MTB Challenge, (AHC '12)  if it fits with my schedule at all, it is my favourite event of the season. 

So, it's a new season - what's new with you??


ps:  Registrations open for AHC '12 in Belle-Côte.   



Sara here from Cabot Shores- just wanted to let you know about our next upcoming event being held the weekend of March 30th. We'll be hosting a Cape Breton SnowJam which includes a feast of Wood Fired Cedar Plank Salmon, a live music Jam session featuring Bill Conall, SnowShoeing, Outdoor WoodFired Pizza (weather permitting) and much here for more details regarding this event including package deals and add-ons! Proceeds from the evening's music/jam session will be donated to the Good Health Festival Society. 

If you can't make it but may know of some others who may be interested in attending- please feel free to pass this email along! 

Many thanks & kind regards,




After the Lonely Planet,  Bicycling Magazine, Velo-Mag, this time the kudos come from The National, a paper in the Arab Emirates.  Wow!   Isn't that great recognition again?  

Some more registrations got in the mail for the Four Day tour of the Cabot Trail put up by your club for the first weekend of August.  The Cabot Trail in Four Days follows successful tours VCB organized here on the Island, from Tip-to-Tip in Nova Scotia, in several regions of Québec.   Organizers have long distance touring experience to share, i.e. Across Canada, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, France, Spain, New Zealand.

For your first tour of the Cabot Trail, a fully supported option is recommended.  Participants only have to pedal,  enjoy the moment, the friendship, the challenge, the fun.  Solid roof accommodation for three nights, breakfasts, suppers, snacks enroute, technical support, comfort and kindness... it's all included.    Famous people just love being pampered.  

More information and registration here.



Be nice with old people...



1. Patient's medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days. 

2. On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared. 

3. Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert, but forgetful. 

4. She is numb from her toes down. 

5. Patient was alert and unresponsive. 

6. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid. 

7. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until she got a divorce. 

8. Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized. 

9. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

10. By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart had stopped, and he was feeling better.

For the sake of your health - stay away from hospitals 



Jacques Cote

Editor, Velo Cape Breton eNewsletter

March 22nd, 2012

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