Cyclists and supporters gathered at the Dobson Yacht Club last Saturday night to enjoy a potluck meal and celebrate the winners of the Velo Cape Breton Bicycle Association awards for 2014. Seven awards were given out based on nominations from the members and the board of directors.
The Cycling Community Supporter award went to Gerard Jessome, Director of Eastern District at TIR. Jessome’s drive, passion, generosity, and proficiency at getting the job done goes beyond the regular 9-5 commitment. The cycling and pedestrian communities are grateful for his efforts to bring about bicycle friendly infrastructure in the Eastern District of the NS Department of Infrastructure Renewal.
The Volunteer of the Year or the President’s Choice award is attributed to J.P. Martin in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the mission of Velo Cape Breton Bicycle Association. Martin is this silent force with a focus on results and makes things happen with skill and efficiency. He is a vibrant example of dedication and a role model for us all. Martin has also accepted to fill the role of Rides Captain for 2015.
The M-3 or Most Motivating Member award goes to the person who, by their encouragement, example, good words and moral support, has inspired others and helped them to develop their true potential, reach unexpected goals or simply discover a new and fun way to explore beyond their borders. This year’s M-3 Award goes to Dr. Monika Dutt. Velo Cape Breton is all about encouraging people to ride bicycles and advocating for their safe use.
Advocates look for people in decision-making positions who are bike friendly, are active cyclists and/or understand the needs of a cycling culture. As the Medical Officer of Health for the Cape Breton Regional Health District, Dr. Monika Dutt has written the all-important support letter as part of the community effort to get the pedestrian and cyclist overpass on Highway 125. Her office also supported Velo Cape Breton’s efforts to send a member to the Winter Cycling Congress in Winnipeg last winter. In her personal life she is an accomplished athlete and she commutes by bicycle including in the winter.
This year Louise Fleming received the Most Improved Cyclist award. Fleming has displayed great spirit, enthusiasm and dedication to cycling over the past year. By participating in various cycling events, such as Women on Wheels, Lobster Roll, Bike Mechanics and cycling in Europe, she has transformed into a stronger and more confident cyclist.
The Participant of the Year award went to Cheryl Berube. Berube’s involvement in the cycling life of Velo Cape Breton’s various events has been remarkable. She is always the first to register for rides or events taking on all kinds of challenges that she has completed with gusto. Her enthusiasm while assisting in the organization of events has put her ahead of the pack to receive this award.
The Cycling Family of the Year award celebrates the parental support which plays such an important role in enhancing physical activity in the family at a young age. The award was attributed to André Gallant and Paula McNabb family. André and Paula have demonstrated all the characteristics of supportive parents for harmonious and healthy development of children Graeme and Max.
The Commuter of the Year award went to Dianne Wadden. Since the early days of Velo Cape Breton, Wadden has been a dedicated member who took CAN-BIKE courses to improve her skills and confidence in traffic. Recently retired, she sold her car a year ago and got through her first winter last year which was a true challenge, if you remember well. She said she bikes more than she ever thought she could in all kinds of weather. A real source of inspiration.
For more information on these awards, Velo Cape Breton, and the upcoming 2015 season, visit velocapebreton.ca.