August 2020 WheelPeople


President's Message - August 2020

Larry Kernan

We are finally in the midst of summer and instead of trying to figure out what layers we need to wear,  many are complaining about the heat.  I’ve seen loads of cyclists out early in the morning which makes plenty of sense.

CRW group rides have re-opened and a few riders and ride leaders are trickling back. Thank you, Gerry Sheetoo, our only CRW rider on the July 1st opening ride.The good news is that many of the rides are now actually led by Ride Leaders rather than “show and go”.  I encourage Ride Leaders who are on the fence to consider leading a ride.  The “new” smaller rides are fun and give you a chance to get to know some CRW members you haven’t already met.  Mary Kernan, our Rides VP (ridesvp [at], will help you figure out how to handle the updated ride procedures.

If you prefer to ride solo, we are announcing "CRW Town Route Collections", a major initiative, in this issue to provide you with vetted routes. In any event we hope you get out to ride.

Although the year is just barely half finished, club elections will be held in October. Consider running for the Board if you are interested in “how the sausage is made” and feel like giving back to the club. I will be finishing my two, one-year terms as Club President. Therefore, I am term limited and I am looking for someone to succeed me. If you are at all curious about what this entails, drop me an email at president [at] () and we’ll set up a phone call.

I am pleased to announce that the Board elected Rami Haddad to fill the open Director’s seat, recently vacated by Dan Gomez. Rami is an outstanding CRW volunteer who is already Vice President of Communications for CRW, and is also an avid Ride Leader. Rami has helped lead our webinars this past spring and gave one himself on bicycle touring.

The Climb to the Clouds virtual event was a great success with many participants.  We plan to do the same with the Cranberry Harvest Century event this fall. Unfortunately, we will have to cancel the “live” Cranberry Harvest event.

Eli Post has put together another packed issue of WheelPeople. If it’s too hot outside, relax with your issue.

Stay hydrated!



CRW Town Route Collections

Susan Glass


Help Wanted! CRW Town Route Collections

     CRW is starting a new initiative to curate and create the best cycling routes starting in most towns in the club service area. The vision is that a rider in, say, Lincoln will be able to go to the CRW Route Collections, select the Lincoln collection, and retrieve a set of one or two dozen routes that represent the best biking you can find starting in Lincoln. The rider can follow the collection in ridewithgps so they’re always easily available in their ridewithgps app, and as a club member they can ride these town-specific routes with the club turn-by-turn directions.  

     The incentive for undertaking this project is our changed riding habits in the covid era. Many of us are riding solo, with a member of our “quaranteam”, or with one or a few other riders who live nearby.  As such, there is less incentive to drive to a start location; mostly we are riding routes starting from our own homes, or meeting friends in the same town.  Unfortunately it can take some amount of effort to find and adapt routes that start nearby, that have been vetted recently, and that cover the best/most scenic/least traffic roads.  

     As a large and established club with an active and engaged membership, CRW has the collective expertise to solve this problem by curating collections of the best routes from each town.  We feel this would be a great resource for cyclists in the area, especially during this unusual time.  We already have a few collections in our ridewithgps club account Collections page This is just a start, and we hope to include your town as well! You can use the link provided to reach CRW Town Collections or use the website link under "Rides." Please note that there may be changes in the roadway or pavement, or there may be construction since the route was last vetted.

     If you are interested in volunteering to collect, create and vet ridewithgps routes that start and end in your town, please contact project organizer Susan Glass at susanjglass [at] for more information on how to get started.

The CRW Town Collections are stored on the Ride With GPS website. 

Susan Glass is a CRW member who volunteered to lead this project.


CRW Rides are Back!

Mary Kernan

CRW group rides are back! We had a muted opening, with exactly one intrepid member attending our inaugural ride on July 1st. He was treated to a personal escort by club President Larry Kernan and VP of Rides Mary Kernan. We’re happy to report that the new Covid guidelines were followed, including a recitation of the rules. 

Curiously, those new rules, written by Butch Pemstein, Esq. include the lines, “Be aware of coughing, spitting, nose blowing and sneezing problems. If you are about to do any of those, please make absolutely sure that no one is within the minimum distance or slipstream area.” Originally, this read “…coughing, spitting, snotting…” and Butch was implored to find a synonym. He came up with exrhinorrate and was quickly subjected to the editor’s pen. One can only hope that club members would have followed this caution prior to Covid.

The next group ride on July 2nd had the first appearance of a rogue rider. As registration is now required on all club rides, this is a situation for which we had prepared. Jack Donohue was made to sign a waiver and time was added to his term as webmaster for the club..

Since then, we’ve run 7 additional club rides and the turnout remains small. This is certainly reflective of the caution being shown by both riders and ride leaders. We appreciate the care shown by everyone in following Covid rules and the main issue remains riders who show up having not registered. This does not give us the contact tracing or indemnification (yes, damn insurance companies!) we need. Additionally, stronger riders are challenged in trying to adhere to the 20’ separation rule as there is a natural inclination to form pacelines. When riders do maintain the required 20’ distance from the rider in front of them, a string of 10 riders forms a long line for cars to pass along narrow roads.

It remains an imperfect system and we will continue to evaluate the rules. Until then, thanks to the leaders who’ve been willing to post to the calendar and the riders who join them. We certainly support all who choose to continue to ride on their own or with their select group of friends and welcome those who would like to join a CRW group ride. As noted elsewhere in this issue, we are also taking step to expand opportunities for solo riding for those who prefer that option.

John O'Dowd led a ride on July 18, 2020 with only four signups.

Mary Kernan is CRW VP of Rides





How Much Recovery Do You Need?

By Coach John Hughes

We are proud to offer an article by the highly regarded Coach John Hughes, who has written extensively about bicycle training including nutrition, conditioning, slowing the aging process and otherwise keeping fit.  Among his personal accomplishments in endurance racing,  John set the course records for the Furnace Creek 508 in 1989 and Boston-Montreal-Boston in 1992.  He has been a USA Cycling certified coach since ’96, and has lectured on endurance at numerous events.   John has coached CRW members and has earned high praise for increasing their fitness in preparing for ultra-endurance cycling events and facilitating recovery after major surgery.

Training Stress + Rest = Success.

I cut back on almost every new client’s riding because he or she has too much training stress, not enough rest and therefore isn’t as successful as possible. Recovery is an integral aspect of conditioning, because most adaptations occur when the body is resting, not while riding. 

How much recovery do you need? We used to look at two different things to see if we were recovered: an elevated heart rate before getting out of bed or a change in morning weight. However, scientific research has found little relationship between morning heart rate or morning weight and recovery from riding. (Some digital gadgets using things like these purport to show if you’re not recovered.)

Research shows there are two ways to tell if you’re riding too much and recovering too little:

    • Performance – if you can’t ride as well as before you may not be recovered enough.  We all have off days but if you have multiple days of poorer performance then you need more recovery. This is hard in practice. We think that if we aren’t riding as well we need to train more … but that’s wrong.
    • Mood – If you really don’t want to get on the bike then don’t force yourself. Your negative mood about riding indicates you need more time off the bike.

How much riding is too much? You should finish every ride feeling like you could have done a little more.  If you rode 20 miles you should always feel like you could have ridden two or three more miles.  If you climbed hills you should always feel like you could have climbed one more. You should not feel like you barely made it home. I ignored this mountain biking last week. I went down a steep descent, barely made it back to the top and still had a mile of dirt to get home. I was still exhausted the next day.

Tired legs. If you feel a little tired and aren’t sure if you should ride, you might get on the bike and if after a half hour or so you’re still tired, then go home.

Embarrassing recovery rides. If you have tired legs but still want to get out then go for a very easy recovery ride.  Many riders’ recovery rides are still too fast.  You should ride so slowly that you’re almost embarrassed to be seen on the bike. Experienced riders benefit from active recovery rides like this. Beginning riders should skip the recovery rides and take rest days.

Rest days for all. Every rider should take at least one day a week off the bike.

Real recovery and rest days. Don’t substitute other activities that are cardio using your legs like running, hiking, weight-lifting, etc. Instead go for a walk or swim.

Do less. If you’re not sure if you should ride more then don’t!

Recover more.  Pro Brent Bookwalter advises that if you have another 15 minutes to ride, then spend the time recovering instead.  Bookwalter has been racing professionally since 2008 and currently races for Michelton-Scott.

Include easy weeks.  After three to five weeks of progressively more riding, cut back your riding by 20 to 40% for a week.

Take a week off.  Every two or three months park your bike in the garage and take a complete break.  You’ll recover fully and ride better starting the next week.

How Much Recovery Do You Need? is a recent column of mine.

I’ve written an eBook on Optimal Recovery for Improved Performance. I describe nine different recovery techniques illustrated with 14 photos. Optimal Recovery for Improved Performance is just $4.99.

Coach Hughes has written over 40 eBooks for RoadBikeRider.


Gluck Legal Takeaway

Ronald Gluck

                                                                                The Gluck Legal Takeaway

                                                Cycling and Crosswalks: to Walk or to Ride, That is the Question


Crosswalks exist to enable people to cross streets in a safe manner. They provide pedestrians with a “zone of safety” within which they can cross the roadway. This zone of safety is physically defined by the markings on the roadway.  Vehicles approaching the crosswalk are alerted to reduce their speed and to be cautious to allow people to cross safely. If a driver hits a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk, he or she is in violation of M.G.L. ch.  89 sec. 11 which states as follows:

            Section 11. When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be so to yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk marked in accordance with standards established by the department of highways if the pedestrian is on that half of the traveled part of the way on which the vehicle is traveling or if the pedestrian approaches from the opposite half of the traveled part of the way to within 10 feet of that half of the traveled part of the way on which said vehicle is traveling. No driver of a vehicle shall pass any other vehicle which has stopped at a marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross, nor shall any such operator enter a marked crosswalk while a pedestrian is crossing 

Does the same “right of way“ legal protection that applies to pedestrians also apply to cyclists? Must a driver yield the right of way to a cyclist crossing in a crosswalk?  Is this a zone of safety for cyclists?

Strictly speaking, the answer is that a cyclist is not afforded the same status and protection as the statute affords to pedestrians.  One could argue that if the legislature intended for the statute to afford equal safety protections to cyclists and pedestrians alike, it would have done so by including the word bicyclists in the statute.  It did not do so.

But, practically speaking, the cyclist may use the crosswalk and has legal protection despite not being mentioned in the statute. Cyclists are permitted to ride across the crosswalk or to walk their bike across the crosswalk.  However, depending upon which method of crossing they choose, their legal protections may be different if they are hit by a driver while in that crosswalk. The legal ramification may be that the cyclist who was hit while riding across the crosswalk MAY HAVE a more difficult time proving his or her case of negligence against the driver of the motor vehicle than might the cyclist who walked his or her bike across the crosswalk because the statute specifically gives the added protections to pedestrians.  

But, statute aside, the specific facts of the unfortunate collision often will determine who is likely to prevail in the case in a court of law. Why is this so? The answer lies in other aspects of the law known as the common law or case law. Under cases decided by the Massachusetts courts over time, both the pedestrian and cyclist have a right to use the crosswalk and have a corresponding duty to use reasonable care for their own safety when doing so. At the same time the driver of a motor vehicle has a right to use the roadways of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This right is accompanied by a duty to use reasonable care for the safety of others when doing so.

A trial stemming from a crosswalk collision will involve an analysis of the actions of those involved in the collision, whether they be pedestrians, cyclists or drivers. The exact facts of each case will largely determine the outcome of the lawsuit.  As an example, a pedestrian who enters the crosswalk where there is oncoming traffic in close proximity to the crosswalk  and is hit by that oncoming vehicle, may be found to be more at fault than the driver for failing to use due care for his own safety, and lose the case in spite of the statute that seems to give him the right of way.  On the other hand, a cyclist who rides his or her bike slowly across the crosswalk and crosses 90 percent or so of the roadway when she is hit by an oncoming motor vehicle has a strong case in spite of not having the “right of way protection” of the statute. The reason here is that an attentive driver approaching a crosswalk should see a cyclist crossing 90 percent of the roadway and would likely have had time to stop to enable the cyclist to complete the crossing. In this scenario, the driver failed to use due care for the safety of others. Time and distance matter a great deal in these cases. So, although the driver of the motor vehicle in both scenarios has a legal duty to keep a watchful eye for anyone crossing in a crosswalk, the outcome of the respective cases may be very different.

In Massachusetts, a plaintiff found to be more than 50 percent at fault loses his case.  In some of these cases fault is deemed by the jury to be shared, both parties having failed in some way to use due care. If the plaintiff is 50 percent at fault or less, the plaintiff wins but compensation for damages is reduced by the percentage of his or her own fault or negligence as determined by the jury.

The primary legal factor that gives pedestrian status an advantage over cyclist status in crosswalk cases is that where the plaintiff is a pedestrian the jury will be informed of the statute which gives pedestrians the right of way.  That is powerful. Unfortunately, as the law is currently written, if the plaintiff is a cyclist riding rather than walking across the crosswalk no statutory right of way exists.  So, perhaps consider walking your bike across the crosswalk. Depending on the circumstances it may be a safer way to cross.


Gluck’s Legal Takeaway

Crosswalks can be dangerous. When you are driving a car watch out for and stop for anyone in a crosswalk.  When cycling you may pedal across the crosswalk or walk your bike across. Whichever way you choose, enter the crosswalk after making sure it is safe to do so.   Cyclists are afforded more legal protection if they get off of their bike and cross as a pedestrian.    

Ride safely and stay healthy!


If you have questions about a particular incident or more generally about the subject matter of this column, feel free to contact Ron Gluck at gluck [at]

Ron Gluck is a founder and principal at Breakstone White and Gluck in Boston. Throughout his 35 year legal career Ron has represented seriously injured individuals in a variety of cases including cycling accidents involving catastrophic injury and wrongful death. Ron is a CRW member.


Safety Corner - Avoiding Some Hazards

John Allen

Attorney Ron Gluck has an article in this issue of WheelPeople about cyclists and crosswalks. Attorney Gluck accurately describes legal problems that a cyclist has in a crosswalk. This is an ongoing issue, for legal and practical reasons. I’d like to discuss it from a slightly different perspective.

Massachusetts has unique traffic laws. The legal status of bicyclists in crosswalks is not clearly defined here, as Attorney Gluck indicates. In other states, bicyclists have the same rights as pedestrians in a crosswalk. The motorist is legally at fault unless a bicyclist, or pedestrian, enters the street so abruptly that the motorist cannot avoid a collision.

But the bicyclist generally travels faster than a pedestrian, and is less maneuverable.  At a crosswalk on a shared-use path, it is often safe, and more convenient for everyone, for a bicyclist to maintain speed and cross ahead of cross traffic – but only if the bicyclist can see that all lanes are clear. Danger can arise when a vehicle in a near lane conceals one approaching in a more distant lane, or a vehicle turns across the path of the bicyclist. Sometimes a “you go first,” “No, you go first” situation arises that distracts the bicyclist from a vehicle which is approaching in the next lane.

There are special dangers with sidewalks, sidepaths or so-called “cycle tracks” or “protected bike lanes” that run alongside roads. The bicyclist must scan 270 degrees -- in every direction except to the right rear – for potential conflicts.

Photo credit: Keri Caffrey

As Attorney Gluck states, the cyclist who gets off the bicycle and walks is unequivocally a pedestrian, and has a stronger legal case if there is a collision. Who wants to do that, though? Not only is it much slower, a person walking a bicycle broadside to motor traffic is a much larger target than a person walking without a bicycle.

Have a look at a recent article on the Savvy Cyclist blog for more detail about paths and crosswalks --

I will also discuss Attorney Gluck’s last month’s article. Here is the first paragraph:

All too often cyclists are injured or killed by trucks. In many cases, the cyclist had the right of way. The cyclist may have been riding exactly where she should have been riding, to the right of traffic or in a bike lane. The truck driver seemingly should have seen the cyclist as the truck passed her on the way to the intersection. Surely, thought the cyclist, the trucker would then check the side view mirrors before making a right turn at the intersection.  Except he didn’t check.  He somehow had not taken notice of the cyclist as he passed her. He made the turn and gave the cyclist no place to go, no time to stop. The rest of the story is tragic and predictable. 

“Exactly where she should have been riding”? Let me pose an analogy.

Suppose that someone has installed a diving board at the shallow end of a swimming pool, you dive in and break your neck. Were you “exactly where you should have been diving”? And who should be held at fault?

This is precisely the situation with a bike lane to the right of right-turning motor traffic. The government, in its wisdom, has determined that this is the right place for you to ride, for a number of reasons, but I won’t get into that tangled tale here.

Many things which you can do in this world are legal without being right. Attorney Gluck’s job is reactive: to try to get compensation for injured bicyclists, or survivors, following a crash. It certainly helps him make his case if the bicyclist was in the right under the law.

But my job is to be proactive, to prevent crashes, so please don’t ride into the deathtrap to the right of a truck, where several Boston-area bicyclists have been killed and others severely injured over the past few years.

I refer you to the video here for how to avoid that hazard:

What Cyclists Need to Know About Trucks from CyclingSavvy on Vimeo.


Challenge Complete: Climb to the Clouds COVID Edition!

Steve Carlson

The past two Climb to the Clouds will now go down in the CRW history books as uniquely memorable!

Last year, the century was surprised by an extremely cold downpour which left many riders nearly hypothermic and bailing at the midway point.  This year we were hit with the unfortunate COVID pandemic leaving everything in its wake cancelled, including all CRW bike rides.

All is never lost, however, as your Century Committee and volunteers scrambled the plans to make the best of all situations! This year we thought it would be interesting to encourage members to take the challenge to get out and enjoy the CTTC routes, unsupported, sometime between May 28 and June 22nd

Riders were encouraged to sign-up, record their rides on RWGPS or Strava, and post comments and photos on social media.  Our Climb to the Clouds Century always attracts pretty ambitious riders, so as you can imagine, those interested in riding it solo attracted our most determined bunch.  We had over 30 people take on the challenge!

We loved seeing all your stories on Facebook, and hope the ride left you feeling accomplished and tired!  Congratulations to everyone! 

We did offer a few cash awards to riders who inspired us with their stories and photos.  Let’s all enjoy the experience vicariously through them until we can all ride again…together!

Everett Briggs, rode the Century, Best Story Teller (refers to himself as EBB)

“Riders (3*): E (leader - stubbornly determined), B (along for the ride, "come what may") and B (sweep - picking up the pieces and motivating the other two characters to keep going).

Yes, "we" had to pick the hottest day of the year to tackle Wawa from Cambridge for the first time in 2020. Even so, now that I can submit this report, I have to admit, it was a perfect day.

It was not pretty. "We" set no records. "We" all survived though - barely. (That last is what made it perfect!)

….. It was after 6 when "we" finally reached our end, back in Cambridge. In spite of the fact that we were pretty dead at the end, fortunately, no one ended up in either of the two cemeteries flanking the start/finish of the ride. Like I said - 'twas not pretty!”

Doug and Cindy Chin, Our Only Tandem Team:

“We’ll remember this year’s ride because we decided to be brave and get out there even though so many were staying home for Covid-19. We felt like we were winners by getting out there and doing what we enjoy.

….We found the ride a significant challenge. We think the challenge was a combination of things. First, it was fairly hilly. Second, this was early in the season and we weren’t in the best of shape. Third, it was unsupported. We had to bring our own food and water and fortunately found a gas station on the way to get a little snack and a coke to give some variety for our energy bars and water. Fourth, finding a place to go to the bathroom was challenging.”

Gary Muntz, rode the Century, Best Photography:

“For me this was certainly a challenge……

…. The heat on Fathers' Day was forbidding but that was the day that worked for me. I'd rather ride at 25 than 90 degrees so managing the heat was the main challenge for me. I'd decided to ride-to-the-ride as part of my training plan for future rides, so it would be a long day.

 ….. I channeled its embrace of pre-dawn and started at 4:30am. How I've missed the sunrise! Those first few hours were deliciously cool and free of cars as the drama of sunrise unfolded. Fun to watch the GPS move efficiently westward, a straight line to the big climb so I could finish it before the full heat of day. 

…..  I'm grateful for the advice to take pictures to share with CRW on social media. I enjoy taking them and looking at them later, but while riding it's easy to feel too rushed to stop and shoot. CRW's note helped me take that time, and even to be a little more alert to enjoy the visual beauty of the ride. Starting before sunrise on a hot day was also wonderful and led to some of my favorite photos.”

Photo:The Smiles, Miles and Memories of CTTC CVID Edition-2020


CRW's 20th Anniversary Ride

Eli Post

Background. Most of the articles in WheelPeople come about when we report on club events, technology advances or other news that might impact your riding. Sometimes however it is sheer serendipity that leads the way. This was the case when I was searching the CRW photo library looking for a photo to dress up an article. By accident, I came upon a group photo of a 35 year old event, and recognized some of the riders. I contacted them and in turn received numerous comments and additional photos of an event that was remembered with fondness and significance.It is noteworthy that three of the riders subsequently served as president of the club.

The BeginningIn 1966 a group of riders started out from Ralph Galen's office and biked to Ashland State Forest.  Along the way they elected oficers for  Charles River Wheelmen, and so that is considered the founding. 

CRW's 20th Anniversary Ride was held on June 29,1986. The photo below was taken at Ashland State Park, and the ride started in Cambridge at the office of Ralph Galen, one of the founders of the club.There was a $5.00 charge for the party. Jerry Campbell organized the food and 150 cyclists attended. The route was the original route held by the club, when it had a handful of members, eight to be exact, compared to about 400 at the time of the event and over 2,000 today. Several of our current members were on that ride and shared their recollections. After 35 years we expected that some of these recollections to be fuzzy, but some sounded as if the event happened yesterday. There was a good fest at the park, and included “lots of chicken”, salad, home baked pies, and beverages. The photo was taken with a panorama camera that scanned across the group, and there are two riders who ran around the back and appear twice.

Identifying. We identified the riders that we could, and do not mean to exclude the others.We did identify over 65% of the riders, which is impressive after all these years. In fact, the members I dealt with pursued identification with a vengeance that would have made the FBI proud.There were intense but friendly debates about who was who, and in some cases they reverted to Google or Facebook searches. I remember a debate about one rider and it was determined not to ID him because he was remembered as a "scoundrel".

A Memory. Mike Hanauer became club president in the fall of 1986. Mike remains a member, and at the time said in an October 1986 Wheelpeople article “CRW has given me a love of bike touring and a resource of wonderful people to share it with. It has introduced me to the best friends I have ever had.” This is a perfect way to sum up this wonderful memory. 

Riders. 1- Bill Aldrich, 2- John Allen, 3- Jessica Douglas Mink, 4- Aliza Artz, 5- Meredith Porter, 6- Mark Roseman, 7- Richard Klein, 9- Jamie King, 10- Millie Sheehan, 11- Robye Lahlum, 12- Melinda Lyon, 13- Sam Johnson, 14-Guy Minnick, 15- Linda Minnick, 16- Birdy Elsmore, 17- Debra Glassman, 18- Earl Forman, 19- Patty Kirkpatrick, 20- Anne-Marie Starck, 21- Sue Genser, 22- Tim Oey, 23- Dick Norcross,  24- George Caplan, 25- Jeanne Kangas, 26- John Kane, 27- Bob Anderson, 28- Jim Merrick, 29- Nancy Peacock, 30- Richard McVity, 31- Carol Tesiero, 32- Jerry Campbell, 33- John Vanderpoel, 34- Ralph Galen, 35- Don Blake, 36- Rosalie Blum, 37- Dave Brahmer, 38- Mike Hanauer, 39- Ed Trumbull, 40- Chad Joshi, 41- Walter McNeill, 42- John Springfield, 43- Joan Klappert, 44- Susan Zorb, 45-Dave Garrant, 46- Peter Mason, 47- Joe Repole, 48- Jerri Waloga, 49- Jim McGarry, 50- Tom Domenico, 51- Judy Domenico, 52- Doug Kline, 53- Maggie Phillips, 54- Dena Ressler
Use the scroll bar below to view the entire image.

If you would like a copy of the 20th Anniversary group photo as a memento, click HERE

John Springfield, Ken Hablow, Rosalie Blum, Jamie King, Jack Donohue, and Mike Hanauer supplied the ID's, anecdotes and images. Jack Donohue also handled the technical aspects.



The Athlete’s Kitchen - Intestinal Distress: Gutting It Out

Nancy Clark

While some athletes have cast iron stomachs and few concerns about what and when they eat before they exercise, others live in fear of pre-exercise fuel contributing to undesired pit stops during their workouts. Be it stomach rumbling, a need to urinate or defecate, reflux, nausea, heartburn, or side stitch, how to prevent intestinal distress is a topic of interest to athletes with finnicky guts. Here are tips to help you fuel well before/during exercise while reducing the risk of gastro-intestinal (GI) distress. For more in-depth information, you might want to read The Athlete’s Gut by Patrick Wilson or listen to this podcast: 

• Stay calm. Being anxious about intestinal issues can exacerbate the problem. Think positive. Trust that your gut is adaptable and trainable. Record what, when, and how much you eat, as well as the duration and intensity of your exercise. Use that data to help you figure out what foods and fluids settle best. Building body trust can reduce anxiety—and that can reduce GI issues. That said, precompetition nerves can affect any athlete, regardless of GI hardiness! 

• Athletes in running sports are more likely to suffer GI issues than, say bicyclists or skiers. With running comes intestinal jostling; the longer the intestines are jostled, the higher the risk of upset. Ultra-runners know this too well. 

• If you experience gut issues every day—even when you are not exercising, you want to talk with a GI doctor. Celiac disease, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and blood in your stool need to get checked out now! They are serious issues and differ from exercise-induced GI problems.   

• The higher the intensity of exercise, the higher the risk of intestinal distress. Add heat and anxiety to intense exercise, and many athletes experience transit trouble. During hard workouts, blood flow diverts away from the gut to transport oxygen and glucose to the working muscles and carry away carbon dioxide and waste products. 

• Low intensity training that can be sustained for more than half an hour is less problematic. The GI tract gets adequate blood flow, can function relatively normally and is able to digest, absorb, and metabolize pre-exercise fuel. Athletes tend to have fewer GI issues on easy training days, given better blood flow to the intestines, lower body temperature and less anxiety. 

• Carbohydrate is the easiest-to-digest fuel before and during exercise. Carbohydrate gets broken down into simple sugars in the stomach, then absorbed into the bloodstream from the small intestine. Specific transporters carry each sugar molecule (such as glucose or fructose) across the intestinal wall. Hence, consuming a variety of carb-based fuels helps minimize a “backlog” if all the transporters for, let’s say, fructose get called into action.  

• With training, the body creates more transporters to alleviate any backlog. That’s one reason why you want to practice event-day fueling during training sessions. Your body gets the chance to activate specific transporters. The foods and fluids you consume before and during training should be the ones you’ll use for the event. Some popular carb-based pre-and during-exercise snacks include fruits (banana, applesauce), vegetables (boiled potato, roasted carrots), and grains (sticky rice balls, pretzels, pita)—as well as commercial sports foods (sport drinks, gels, chomps). Illustration courtesy of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 6th edition.

• Athletes who experience gas and bloat want to familiarize themselves with FODMAPs —Fermentable (i.e., gas-producing) Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. These are sugars and fibers that some people have trouble digesting. Commonly eaten sport foods high in FODMAPs include milk (apart from lactose-free milk), bread, pasta, onions, garlic, beans, lentils, hummus, apples, and honey.

     By choosing a low FODMAP diet for a few days before an important event, an athlete might be able to reduce, if not avoid, digestive issues. (Of course, first, experiment during training to be sure the low FODMAP foods settle well!) Low FODMAP foods include bananas, grapes, cantaloupe, potato, rice quinoa, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, and maple syrup.  For more information on FODMAPS, refer to  

• Fatty foods (butter, cheese, nuts) tend to slowly leave the stomach and are metabolized slower than carb-rich foods. If you will be exercising for only one to two hours, think twice before reaching for a handful of nuts or a chunk of cheese for a quick fix before you exercise. A banana or slice of toast will digest quicker and be more available for fuel.

      Eating fatty foods on a regular basis can speed-up gastric emptying a bit but you won’t burn much pre-exercise dietary fat during your workout unless you are an ultra-athlete who will be exercising for more than three hours. In that case, a bagel with nut butter or cheese will offer long-lasting fuel.  

• Some athletes chronically under-eat during training. This includes dieters trying to lose weight, and athletes with anorexia. Under-eating can impair GI function; the gut slows down with inadequate fuel. Delayed gastric emptying means food stays longer in the stomach and can feel “heavy” during exercise (as well as is less available for fuel). Slowed intestinal motility easily leads to constipation, a common problem among under-eating athletes.  

• Highly active athletes, such as Tour de France cyclists and ultra-runners, need to consume a large volume of food to support performance. If they are eating “healthy” foods before and during endurance exercise, they can easily consume a lot of fiber —and that can easily contribute to rapid transit. Endurance athletes needing a high calorie diet often benefit from eating some so-called less-healthy foods (such as white bread, white rice, cookies, candy) for low-fiber muscle-fuel.  

• Given each athlete has a unique GI tract, be sure to experiment during training to learn what works best. Eat wisely—and enjoy miles of smiles.

Sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD counsels both casual and competitive athletes in the Boston area (Newton; 617-795-1875). Her best-selling Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook (6th edition, 2019) can help you eat to win. For more information, visit





August Film Festival

Alex Post


There's nothing better than getting out for a ride, but on a rest day a video can almost take us there, so enjoy our little monthly virtual film fest. We welcome any suggestions for future selections.  

Anna Meares Fast & Fabulous
Legendary cyclist Anna Meares brought the sport of track racing to new levels. See what got her there and keeps her motivated. 14 mins.
Standing Man
World Speed Record
Some riders enjoy a pace around 14 mph, but Daredevil Eric Barone prefers something brisker, say, about 141 mph, as he attempts to break the world speed record on snow. 3 Mins



Alex Post is a CRW member who lives in Virginia, but regularly visits MA to bike with his dad. He has also led rides for CRW.



Dynamo Jenny

Rami Haddad

The advent of the bicycle coincided with, and influenced, the rise of the women’s rights movement in the late nineteenth century. But, by some accounts, it could be argued that cycling was more gender-inclusive then than it is today. Dynamo Jenny, Adventure Cycling’s first-ever podcast, explores the dynamics of women, bikes, and taking on public space in America through personal stories from the people who ride.

Podcast host, Jessica Zephyrs, introduces listeners to industry gurus like Nicole Formosa, professional creatives like Hilary Oliver, and a handful of inspiring and hilarious women from all walks of life. The podcast can be viewed here 

“With adventure being hard to come by at this particular time, connection and stories are the ways we have to get out of our own headspaces right now,” Zephyrs said. “So I’m particularly excited that I have the privilege of helping to convey some really lovely, and at times outrageous, personal accounts of bicycle travel. 

“The podcast has everything from grizzly bear encounters, an overnighter at a monastery, and on-tour breakups to feminist bicycle history, bicycle clubs for people of color, and a woman who’s trying to find out if she’s the first Black woman to ride the TransAmerica Trail self-supported. These women’s stories hit on some of the most poignant aspects of traveling on a bike: vulnerability, self-doubt, and joy.”

Find Dynamo Jenny on all major listening apps, including Apple, Spotify, Google, & Stitcher. All episodes are available for download now.


Picture of the Month

Eli Post

The club opened up the ride program in July 2020 with a soft re-start. It was an experiment to judge how comfortable members would be in joining group rides while the COVID-19 virus is still present. Procedures were changed and new restrictions were adopted. The rides were off to a slow start and the July 4th ride attracted only a handful of riders. We compare this with the July 4th ride in 2011 when it was led by Bill Widnall who invited riders back to his home for an after-ride party. Let's hope we can return to the old days before long.

July 4, 2020


July 4, 2011


Looking Back

Brandon Milardo

In 1986, August was the month for rides with swim stops and sea breezes: on August 3, a ride left Dover center and stopped at Lake Winthrop for a lunch and swim stop; on August 24, a ride left Hamilton and passed by Singing Beach and Plum Island (60 mile route only); and on August 31, the Framingham Reservoir Ride traveled through scenic local reservoirs and stopped at Farm Pond in Holliston for a swim break. The nautical theme continued into September for the 7th Annual Martha’s Vineyard Ride, where the 10:45am ferry from Woods Hole cost $6 per person and $5 per bike. (In 2020, the round trip fare to MV is $17 per person and $8 per bike.) 

We couldn't locate photos from the above referenced event, but here are ones from a Martha's Vinyard Tour in September 2007.


Yes, We Get No Shirts in 2020

Eli Post

This is not a complaint. So many have encountered extreme difficulties during this Covid-19 pandemic that my issue is trivial at best. Yet the end or even a break in a long standing tradition is somewhat distressful.

I have been a CRW volunteer for a great many years. My reward has always been creating a good experience for others, but the club also provides a T-shirt to its century volunteers. Not only do I have a large stash of CRW shirts, but to my recollection, I have not purchased a T-shirt in almost a quarter of a century. Climb to the Clouds was cancelled and I just learned that there will be no Fall Century. That means no T-shirts this year. While this is not a crisis now, it is a break in the supply chain which could have consequences down the line.

Not only will there be no addition to my collection, but I will also not know what color the shirt would have been. This is a painful departure from the past, and I wonder what my options are.

There are many custom T-shirt vendors on the Web and I could order a one-of-kind shirt for myself. I have the design skills and could make a look alike shirt that would pass for the real thing. However, this might stir envy and questioning from others who also missed getting a shirt. Now I could order a few dozen shirts and give them out to my friends so mine was not unique, but I would be creating an exclusive group within the club which is counter to my beliefs. I suppose I could order several dozen shirts and distribute them to past volunteers but that feels beyond my responsibilities. Does anyone have a suggestion for me, and don’t tell me to go shopping on Amazon.



Heat Stroke

Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health e-Zine

Heat Stroke

In 1965, I almost died from heat stroke in an unimportant local race in Arlington, Virginia. I passed out during the race and lay unconscious for a while. I am still embarrassed by the stupidity that I showed when I ignored all the warning signs as my temperature continued to climb. First your muscles are affected, then your lungs and then your brain.
• Muscles: As your temperature starts to rise, your muscles feel like a hot poker is pressing against them. It is normal for intense exercise to make your muscles burn, but hard exercise does not cause painful burning that feels like fire. Furthermore, the burning of hard exercise is relieved by slowing down, while the muscle burning of impending heat stroke does not go away when you slow down.
• Lungs: As your temperature rises further, the air that you breathe feels like it is coming from a furnace and no matter how rapidly and deeply you try to breathe, you can’t take in enough air. When you exercise intensely, you can become very short of breath, but the air you breathe will not burn your lungs. Burning in your lungs, not relieved by slowing down, signals impending heat stroke. When you feel that the air is so hot that it burns your lungs, stop exercising. This sign means that your heart cannot pump enough blood from your exercising muscles to your skin so heat is accumulating and your temperature is rising rapidly. Your temperature is now over 104 degrees F. and continuing to exercise will raise your body temperature even further so it will start to cook your brain.
• Brain: When heat stroke begins to affect your brain, your head will start to hurt, you may hear a ringing in your ears, feel dizzy and have difficulty seeing. Then you will end up unconscious. Your temperature is now over 106 and your brain is being cooked just like the colorless portion of an egg that turns white when it hits a hot griddle
. Image is from the Oregon Health Authority

During exercise, more than 70 percent of the energy used to drive your muscles is lost as heat, so your heart has to pump the heat in your bloodstream from your hot muscles to your skin where you sweat and the sweat evaporates to cool your skin to dissipate the heat. The harder you exercise, the more heat your muscles produce. Everyone who exercises, particularly in hot weather, has to sweat to keep their body temperatures from rising too high.

Risk for heat stroke is increased by:
• any pre-existing illness
• heart disease
• use of various recreational drugs such as cocaine, and some prescription drugs
• lack of fitness
• not drinking enough fluid
• exercising for extended periods without eating
• wearing excess clothing that traps heat in your body
• not listening to your body when you feel the warning signs described above

Many cases of heat stroke during exercise occur when a person suddenly increases the intensity of exercise, such as a sprint at the end of a long distance running or cycling race, or an intense run down the field in soccer.

When a person passes out from heat stroke, get medical help immediately. Any delay in cooling can kill the person, and you may need an expert to help decide if the person has passed out from heat stroke or a heart attack.

Carry the victim rapidly into the shade and place him on his back with his head down and feet up so blood can circulate to his brain. Once it has been established that the person is not having a heart attack, he or she can be cooled by pouring on any liquids you can find. Evaporation of any liquid cools. As you cool him, he may suddenly wake up and talk to you and act like nothing has happened. Don’t stop cooling him, because while he’s sitting or lying there, his temperature can rise again and he can go into convulsions or pass out again. He must be watched for several hours after he is revived.

When you exercise in hot weather, stop exercising when you start to feel any of the symptoms described above and find a shady spot to recover. Stay well hydrated, but realize that too much fluid (Hyponatremia) can also be harmful.





This article is courtesy of Dr. Mirkin and Road Biker.

In the News

WheelPeople Editors

We would like to start a new feature for WheelPeople with links to important biking news over the prior month. This would include reports on new technology, local road construction, health suggestions and other news that could influence riding. A sample news report is included, and we need a volunteer to manage this effort. Please contact editor [at] if you are interested.


Apple's newest version of iOS has new maps features including a dedicated cycling option that will optimize paths for bicyclists and even let users know if the route includes challenging hills.