In 2007, Shelley Johnson was diagnosed with breast cancer. “These are the words that nobody wants to hear, that you have cancer. My whole world changed immediately and with those two words from my doctor, ‘It’s malignant’, I started a journey of cancer treatment that lasted for 6 years.” Johnson began riding a bike in 2008 at the suggestion of a friend as part of her health recovery and she hasn’t looked back. “I love riding my bike. It’s been a significant part of my recovery toward a healthy lifestyle and wellness,” she said. “I take every opportunity to promote cycling as a means toward wellness and besides it’s fun! It’s an activity that just about anyone can do. The benefits are many.”
This year Johnson is Chair of the third annual Velo Cape Breton Lobster Roll Rides to be held on Sunday, June 15, 2014. “I think this year is exciting. We’ve had two successful years at this with approximately 75 participants each year. This year should equal that if not better it.”
Not only does the Lobster Roll Rides promote physical activity and health benefits, the Lobster Roll Rides coincide with lobster season and serve as a reminder of our local fishing heritage and economy. It is a 100 kilometre ride that is broken down into four legs of approximately 25 kilometres per leg. Participants have the option of riding as many legs as they like, or they can ride all four. Friends or family can choose to ride together, alternating one or two legs each, or a participant can choose to ride on their own. “Although”, Johnson adds, “if you do ride on your own, you will be among friends. Cyclists are a friendly bunch and cycling is a very much a social activity.”
This year, the Lobster Roll Ride will see Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Transportation as Person of Honour, who is himself a cyclist. Mr. MacLellan plans on riding in the Lobster Roll Rides and Shelley Johnson said, “It is a pleasure to have him in this capacity. With the emphasis on active transportation and the bicycle as a means of commuting, it is wonderful to have his support.”
Participants will have the opportunity to cycle a loop that starts at the Mira Road Firehall with pit stops in New Waterford, Glace Bay, Mira Gut and ending back at the Mira Road Firehall. Two delicious lobster rolls will be available to cyclists. Onsite registration begins at 8am. with a ride start time of 9am. Advance online registration/costs and further details are available online at velocapebreton.ca webpage.
“You don’t have to be fast and fancy to participate in this event,” says Johnson. “Although if you are, that is great too. We welcome all to come and join in the fun. The main thing is to come out and ride. Enjoy the day and enjoy the benefits of the activity.”