BNS Member Updates
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 - www.heartlandtour.ca and why not like us at www.Facebook.com/HeartlandTourNovaScotia/.
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. www.Heartlandtour.ca
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.
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.