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Bicycle Nova Scotia Logo
July, 2016
Edition #22
Follow the links to find what interests you: 

The Blue Route

On June 7th, the next segment of the Blue Route was unveiled. A ceremony took place at the Masstown Market with Minister Karen Casey and MLA Terry Farrell speaking. A short ride on the route took place shortly after. Add another 55km to the map! 

Masstown to Wallace
The second segment of the Blue Route to open, this route connects Masstown to Wallace. It is a 55km stretch of road weaving through the beautiful Wentworth Valley that features freshly paved shoulders on Nova Scotia Trunk 4 and a shared roadway on the quiet Route 307.

BNS Updates 

Women on Wheels
Shelley Porter (based in New Minas, Kings Co.) has been filling in for provincial WoW project coordinator Lynne Pascoe since Lynne left for a cycling tour of the UK in mid-May. 
There continues to be a high level of interest in participation in WoW groups, but a dismaying lack of individuals willing to take on a leadership role in their communities. Shelley and Lynne maintain a database of contacts for those communities around the province who wish to start a WoW group. If anyone from groups or clubs around the province knows of someone or a few people who would be willing to help organize things locally for WoW groups, we would appreciate hearing from them. Lynne (or Shelley, depending on timing) is willing to come out and help get a group going and do some cycling instruction. We just don't have the budget or person-hours to lead each group each week. That said, many groups have been running independently for months or even longer and the members have made them their own.
The WoW groups out of Lynne's office were initially funded by Nova Scotia's Positive Aging program, and the emphasis was on senior women. Funding options have changed, and the groups are opened up to any woman who wants to join. In Kentville, our members range in age from mid-40s to late-60s. The key elements are having a social and recreational approach to cycling, but the desire to learn proper technique and road safety, as well as a basic knowledge of bicycle maintenance and repair. We want independent and healthy riders for the long term!
Bicycle Nova Scotia continues to develop the WoW project, and the hope is WoW will remain under the BNS umbrella. This will allow flexibility and consistency in the program and access to more benefits (training at reasonable cost, bike shop discounts, insurance coverage for WoW rides) for members.
-Shelley Porter
Women on Wheels program leader
Town of Kentville

BNS Member Updates

Heartland Tour

Plan to Ride the 10th Anniversary Heartland Tour

The Heartland Tour marks its 10th year when it rolls out across the province in July. Starting in Halifax, Saturday, July 9 and finishing up in Sydney the following Saturday, July 16, the Tour will also visit Yarmouth, Bridgewater, Truro, New Glasgow, and Antigonish.

"Create a healthier YOU, one kilometre at a time!" emphasizes our primary goal, to encourage regular physical activity as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. "Our events are free, fun and non-competitive, it is all about celebrating active living in our communities," says the Heartland Tour founder, Halifax-based cardiologist, Dr. Nick Giacomantonio. The rides are supported (rest stops with drinks and snacks and mechanical assistance plus experienced "core team" riders to assist riders as necessary) and registrants get a t-shirt and entry into prizes draws. Rumour has it there really is such as thing as a free lunch.

In addition to the "core team" riders, the rides are always joined by a strong contingent of local enthusiasts that help make the events highly visible. We invite cyclists of all abilities to join us and we have different distances, walking events, and other physical activities, especially for the kids.

Here's a challenge to local clubs, show up with at least 10 riders in team kit and you get to lead the ride out in your community. By the way, support your local bike shop - they are knowledgeable, helpful and, as the Heartland Tour knows, always there to support events in your community.

The Tour is made possible by many donations in cash and in-kind and a lot of volunteer effort. The Bank of Montreal (BMO) is our major financial sponsor again this year; their support ensures we have bikes to give away in each community.

The Heartland Tour features positive developments like the one metre rule and the Blue Route initiative. "We ride some beautiful roads with improving infrastructure and road user attitudes," Giacomantonio says, "the scenery along quiet roads, welcoming people and the community, amenities underscore the growth potential for cycling-based tourism. To the extent that the Heartland Tour helps bring attention to the community economic development benefits of cycling we are happy to play a positive role, after all the many volunteers involved live and work in these communities."

We will have a limited number of the 2016 jersey for sale ($65) and we will have some eye candy socks as well ($15).

Our community organizers have been working to provide a broader range of cycling activities this year. Check our website for all of the details by simply clicking on the community of interest on our home page - and why not like us at


Infrastructure Developments

There's a lot for cyclists to celebrate in CBRM! If you've travelled between Glace Bay and Sydney you will have noticed all the work being done on the Grand Lake Road multi-use path that follows the highway. In addition, just above the intersection of highway 125 and Grand Lake Road, TIR has begun work on an overpass that will include a 4m wide multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.
The municipality has been able to secure significant funding to work on the Grand Lake Road path. The budget for this year is confirmed to date at $1.3 million with contributions from CBRM ($475,000), ACOA ($800,000), and the province ($71,000). An additional $54,000 from the province has yet to be confirmed.
This funding will mean major portions of the trail will be completed. By the fall, the section from Mayflower Mall to Cape Breton University will be completed except for a small section around Yolanda Drive. In total, 7.7 kilometers of the 10-kilometre path will be completed.
But it gets better. TIR has begun work on an overpass over Highway 125 near the Mayflower Mall and the end of Cowbay Road. The overpass will include a multi-use path 4 meters wide, similar to one built on the new bridge across Sydney River. The connector trail to the Mall will hopefully be built next year.
The completion of these two projects will finish a major segment of the CBRM Active Transportation Plan. Grand Lake road connects the two major urban centers in the municipality via its largest commercial center and the university and community college. Access to the path from either end is along roads with wide paved shoulders or by low traffic neighbourhood streets.

Heartland Tour: July 16th, Wentworth Park, Sydney
Heartland Tour is a free public awareness campaign that uses the bicycle as a vehicle to educate and draw attention to the reduction of cardiac illness and health risk in Nova Scotia. This year is very significant as it is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Three bicycle routes  are avaialable for you to choose from:
1. Experienced – A 69km route around the Mira Leaving at 8am
2. Intermediate  - A 40km route around the Mira leaving at 10am
3. New to bicycling – A 7.5 km route to Membertou leaving at 11am
There will be a draw for a beautiful bike, scooters, helmets, and many smaller prizes. Free registration and a
free T-shirt when you arrive. You may register to cycle or walk - your choice.

Cyclesmith Short Track Series – Growth at the Grassroots Level

Cyclesmith has held a Tuesday evening Short Track Series at the Africville Look-Off Park for the past 15 years and has always enjoyed excellent participation. This year the event has experienced a huge growth in the young rider category. At just over halfway through the series, 81 of the 201 registered racers are in the age group “10 and Under”. Last year the total number in this category over the entire 3 month series was 40; thus, already double the participants. Many of the 10 year olds from 2015 have returned this year in the next age category. More than half the total registrants are under the age of 16 (108 out of 201).

As a grassroots cycling event, this is exactly the growth area Cyclesmith was hoping for. This is attributed to a change in the format where the “10 and Under” and U15/U13 share the same 6:30pm start time and 20 minute duration, but race on their own separate course. The “10 and Under” course is suited for small wheels, limited bike handling skills and pedalling power so they can experience riding their bikes as an organized sport within their capabilities. The U15/U13 course provides the next level as the young riders get older and stronger. This course is run on a longer loop and includes technical features to build on their skills. The final step for riders graduating from the U15 category is to move to the 7:15pm Adult race which has the most challenging elements of the course added in, plus an additional 10 minutes of racing.

Short Track has always had the goal of providing a fun competitive environment for cycling enthusiasts of all ages. With its current age spread among participants being 4 to 62 years of age, it’s proving to be equally effective as an introduction to cycling for the really young, and as a weekly contribution towards “Fit for Life” for older participants.

Kings County 

The Municipality of the County of Kings is pleased to announce the completion of the Greenwich Section of the Annapolis Valley Rail Trail. This 5.3 kilometer section of non-motorized trail runs from Cherry Lane in Wolfville to behind Lockhart Ryan Park in New Minas. Completion of this vital link is seen as a major step forward in advancing active transportation in the Annapolis Valley.

Funding for this project was provided by the Municipality of the County of Kings, the Province of Nova Scotia, the Kieran Pathways Society, the Acadia University SRMK Active Living Program and the Town of Wolfville.

SATA (Shore Active Transportation Association)

Porter Lake Connector Update

The first phase of the Porters Lake Greenway is now completed. Running from the Metro X Station around the Porters Lake Elementary School to Station Rd, this paved trail provides a place for safe active transportation for community members of all ages.  Whether walking, cycling or using a wheelchair, it has become a little more enjoyable to get out and be active in the Porters Lake area.  The next phase of the project, managed by HRM, will connect to Exit 20. Start date is yet to be determined but we hope it will be soon.

Upcoming Events

MEC Century Ride – Joe Howe (NEW DATE) July 17
50K/100K/160K options!
Ride Meet-up – weekly on Sunday mornings
Bike Maintenance 101 – weekly on Mondays
Bike Maintenance 201 – topics rotate (Brakes, Derailleurs, Drivetrain and Wheel Truing)


Learn To Cycle Camps in CBRM

The Big Ride


Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie

Invite a friend or three and come ride Nova Scotia's Acadian Shore on Sept. 25 for an unforgettable cultural and cycling experience! 117 km, 67 km and 35 km scenic rides. Sign up by July 31 midnight to receive our Garneau Gran Fondo jersey. For info and to register:

Ride for Cancer

Will you ride for cancer?
On October 1, hundreds of cyclists will embark on an epic journey spanning over 130 kilometres though rich, coastal scenery from Mahone Bay to Halifax – while making a big impact on cancer care in our region.

Ride for Cancer (formerly Ride the Rails for Cancer) is a one-day cycling event for anyone looking to challenge themselves for a cause. Choose to ride the road or trail (Rails to Trails) – we are offering multiple distances and route options. So whether you’re a first-time cyclist or a seasoned rider, we have the experience for you.

Do something big for cancer and ride with us on October 1, 2016! Learn more and register at


Lost Shores Gran Fondo

Sept 10, mark your calendar.  The Municipality of Guysborough and Lost Shores Gallery have partnered to bring you the inaugural Lost Shores Gran Fondo. We have a delightful 90 km low traffic oceanfront loop which winds through 20 fishing communities along Tor Bay and Chedabucto Bay. There are also shorter 30 and 50 km road rides and a fun 30 km mountain bike loop along the Trans Canada Rail Trail.

The early bird special for $99 includes eye catching Garneau jersey (MSRP $99) and everyone gets some great riding, great scenery, BBQ and beer tent.  For routes, pictures and registration, check out  We’re also on Facebook at Lost Shores Gran Fondo.


Sweet Ride Cycling

Kid's Mountain Bike Camps

July 4-8th and 18-22nd (See description attached)

Women's Saturday Hybrid Rides

Start your weekend off right and join us in Mahone Bay for women's rides a on mixed-surface of rail trail and quiet roadways at 8am - 9:15am on Saturdays for June, July and August. Meet us in the public parking lot on Clairmont Street, behind the Kinburn Pharmasave in Mahone Bay. No RSVP or pre-registration necessary.

Wednesday Night Group Road Ride - We're Going Social July 6th!

Join us on our Wednesday group road ride to Second Peninsula with July 6th with dinner at the Lunenburg Yacht Club mid-ride. Please RSVP at and watch our facebook page for menu details.

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