CRW Board Profile

Steve Carlson


Our illustrious and well-known, past president, past board member and current Wheel People Editor, Eli Post, has kicked off the series featuring Board Member Profiles, and I guess my number came up.    It’s a great idea to give insight into who we are and why we are here, despite the fact that it might be a bit of an underwhelming read…so I will get to the point.


Here we go…short and sweet:


  1.  First bike: gold Schwinn String Ray, no sissy bar, banana seat and nice rear slick (mid ‘60s)
  2.  Second bike: orange Schwinn Varsity 10-speed (mid-70’s)
  3.  Third bike: black Schwinn Criss Cross (early 90’s)
  4.  Fourth bike: black Trek Domane (2015, one of the first production disc brake road bikes)
  5.  Fifth bike: dove grey Specialized S-WORKS Roubaix (2020)
  6.  Sixth bike: silver-blue Specialized S-WORKS Diverge (2022, currently in a cargo container off the coast of California)

There, you have it…me defined in bike-speak.  What I have owned and what I currently pedal.


I really was not a big rider until 2015, after bike number four. It was at that time I was determined to ride across the state of Iowa in my first RAGBRAI. I had ridden at most 30 miles, about 35 years prior. I joined CRW to figure out how to ride in preparation of the event.  In my first CRW group ride, I will never forget, I was welcomed by the smiles of Francie Sparks and Richard Vignoni.  I have been a member of CRW ever since.


By-the-way, I made it across Iowa that summer, and 5 more summers thereafter.   Thanks in part to the enjoyment of that event, but also the continued enjoyment and inspiration I have gotten riding with the club.  Now, just a few years later, I have ridden across the states of Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire.   I have ridden in the Adirondacks, the Rockies (RTR..riding #5 this summer), throughout New England and various other states.


My venture onto the Board of CRW began shortly after I started to ride again.  Soon after my CRW rides began, I met Larry Kernan.  His interest was not so much in me, but to tap my knowledge of RAGBRAI (it was on his bucket list).  He heard I was going and that I was the local born & bred Iowa guy.  We became friendly from those discussions and he asked me to consider a run for a Board seat.   I was excited to win my uncontested battle in 2018.  Having a pleasant experience of giving back to the club which inspired me so much, I ran again in 2021.  I am now in my fifth year with the Board.


What does a Board member do?   I been on the Century Committee for many years, helping to bring back Climb to the Clouds after the retirement of Ken Hablow (~29 years) and the Cranberry Harvest Century.  I have served as EVP, chaired the Grants and By-Laws Committees, volunteered to head a committee to draft our E-Bike policy, sponsored a few fun club challenges (2021 Winter Challenge) and participated in the COVID Task Team, Election Reform and CRW Foundation Committee.  Basically, I did what I could to keep the club moving forward.  


One of my more memorable and fun contributions was last year.  Our then president, Rami Haddad, asked me if I would be interested in taking the lead role in developing the Adventures Program.   Knowing very little about Adventure Riding, I eagerly agreed (?).  With his help, and (now leader) Emily Vigeant’s help, we put together a very cool program with high participation. We offered over eight great overnight adventures led by our volunteers.  It was the kind of stuff you pay Back Roads or Trek Travel for…but it was led for free to our members!


Moving on with less interesting things about me from a biker’s perspective is I am an avid boater and fisherman (does any other biker actually fish?, doubtful).  I recently sold my 35’ cabin cruiser and my 1999 dc boat, but now have a wonderful, new Robalo boat that sees a lot of fishing action in Boston Harbor.   I am a hiker/backpacker and as a New England peak-bagger, I have completed my NE67, NH 48’s and NH 48’s in winter.   You can Google what all that means…but the last one was tough!     My favorite hobby is to do whatever my wife asks me to do.  She has hung with me for 41 years, so it is the least I can do.    We are blessed with two beautiful, accomplished and busy children, both girls and one fantastic son-in-law.  We love to travel with them and take the opportunity whenever we can. 


My closing comments would be to really get out and enjoy the club.  It has so much to offer and the offerings, thanks to your participation, are becoming wider and deeper than ever before.   The dedication by your Board is high.  Do we always get it right?  Nope, not even close.  But do we and will we always strive to bring biking enjoyment to you and support the biking community, absolutely!


I hope to see you on the road soon…but until spring, I will see you on one of our many club’s Zwift rides.  Have you tried those yet?…they are great!