October 2020 WheelPeople


President's Message - October 2020

Larry Kernan

Vote for Board Members

The polls are open from October 1st to October 15th.  We have a contested election and your vote is important. 

At the bottom of the column, I will share my thoughts on the candidates for the CRW board..

But most importantly, please log in to your CRW account and VOTE!



CRW Vice President of Diversity

I am very excited that Rudge McKenney has accepted a senior leadership position in the club.  He will be CRW’s VP of Diversity, advising the Board on matters related to diversity and acting as a gatekeeper on diversity issues.  See the full article on Rudge’s appointment in this WheelPeople issue.

Cranberry Harvest Century – Virtual meets Actual

As most of you have heard, we are running our Covid-19 Edition of the Cranberry Harvest Century from September 15th until October 15th

On Sunday September 20th, CRW volunteers set up an actual rest stop to greet riders as they came through the Mattapoisett Wharf.  Steve Carlson, Carol Carlson, Robyn Betts, Mary Kernan and I staffed the stop and it was almost like a “real” CRW event.

Francie Sparks commented:

“As a long term CRW member, I had come to see CRW rides as a given, always there, always good, but sort of expected. When the rides stopped, I was floored at the void I felt, and how much I missed them. When we get them back, I will always appreciate the fun, camaraderie, and richness of experience that CRW rides and events provide, and never again take them for granted.”

After removing gloves and donning masks, riders hands were sprayed with disinfectant.  Then they were treated to water, Gatorade, lemonade, peanut butter-filled pretzels, trail mix, Kind bars, bananas, and candy bars.

Volunteers really enjoyed chatting up the 30 to 40 riders who took advantage of this Rest Stop.

My Endorsements for Board Candidates

I am not running for a Board seat in this election.  I have finished a three year term on the Board, serving the last two years as President.  I will continue on the Board as Past President which will give me the chance to assist our next CRW President.  I have learned how many volunteers it takes to put on great cycling and social events.  Furthermore, I have observed that the best Board members are the super volunteers, those who are dedicated and give tirelessly to the club.

Therefore, I endorse, Rami Haddad, Steve Carlson and Harriet Fell for Board seats this year.  Rami and Steve are both incumbents.  Rami has served as a Board member after being elected following the resignation of Dan Gomez this past May.  Rami leads many creative rides including “Beat the Train” and overnight trips.  The Board appointed Rami to be Vice President for Communication in January 2020.  He also served as a member of our Covid Task Force.

Steve’s service to the club has been nothing less than amazing.  Over the last year or so, in addition to being a Board Member (3 years) and Executive Vice President (2 years), Steve has also held the following posts:

  • Grants Committee Chairman
  • Century Committee Member and previous chair
  • Ride Leader
  • Bylaw Committee Chairman
  • Bike Shop Coordinator
  • CRW Covid Task Force Member

We need Rami and Steve back next year to continue all their great work.

Harriet Fell is a new candidate for the Board.  Many of you know her or know her name.  She is truly a member of cycling royalty.  Harriet was one of the first Americans to ride and complete the 1200 kilometer Paris-Brest-Paris brevet.  But more importantly, she has worked tirelessly for CRW on numerous events.  In 2018, Harriet received a CRW Volunteer Award for her outstanding contributions to CRW Centuries over a period of many years.  Whenever, I’ve asked Harriet for some help, she has always been there for me.

That’s why I’m backing Rami Haddad, Steve Carlson and Harriet Fell.

Please vote!



Covid Membership Extension

Larry Kernan

The CRW Board has decided that 2020 is the year that wasn't.  We were forced to shut down group rides and social events in March just as the nice spring weather was hitting.  We are pleased that so many members stuck with the club despite the pandemic.  So, every CRW member gets a FREE year of membership and let's hope that 2021 will usher in the return of club events!

  • Existing members will have their membership extended by 12 months.
  • All memberships which lapsed subsequent to March 1, 2020, will be reinstated for one year from the date of the expiration. 
  • Any non-CRW member who joins the club between now and the end of the year will receive an extra year of membership.

We estimate the lost revenue for providing the year of free membership to be a little over $30,000.  And of course, we must continue to pay liability and medical insurance despite the lack of activities. If any member is inclined to make a donation to the club, we will be very appreciative. As you are all aware, CRW uses its cash surplus each year to fund grants to bicycle charity and advocacy organizations.  In 2020, CRW has given a total of $15,000 to Bikes Not Bombs, Mass Bike and the Boston Cyclist Union. CRW is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and your contribution is tax deductible..

We live in unprecedented times, and look forward to when we can restore our full range of ride services.




CRW Vice President of Diversity

Larry Kernan


Charles River Wheelers believes that diversity, inclusion and equity are part of its core values.  We welcome any and all persons to our membership and strive to make all members welcome at our club events.  We have created the position of Vice President of Diversity to advise the Board on matters related to diversity and to act as a gatekeeper on diversity issues.

Rudge McKenney has volunteered to take on this important role.  Here is the formal announcement:

I am very pleased to announce that Charles River Wheelers has appointed Rudge McKenney as CRW’s first Vice President of Diversity.  Events over the last several months have reminded all of us about long-standing racial issues and have shown the importance of actively promoting diversity in an organization.  A member initiative within CRW has been working for several months on these issues and this appointment recognizes the value of promoting diversity within the club.

I believe that the club could not find a better candidate to be Vice President of Diversity than Rudge McKenney.  Rudge has been a club member since the 1980s and a long time Ride Leader, coordinating the Wednesday Night Ice Cream Ride for many years. In May, when we formed the CRW Covid-19 Task Force, Rudge was an active participant and helped shape the policies and procedures that we needed to reopen CRW group rides.  Prior to his retirement, Rudge was a criminal defense attorney in Boston.

With his wealth of professional experience and his long-time association with CRW, Rudge is stepping up to take on this critical role as adviser to the CRW Board on diversity matters.  He will be a focal point for diversity and help define and enact diversity initiatives for CRW as we move forward. 

If you wish to reach out to Rudge, he can be contacted at diversityvp [at] crw.org


Cranberry Harvest Century: COVID-19 Edition

Randall Nelson-Peterman

With the pandemic still going on, our lives not completely back to normal, and group activities still restricted, the Century Committee has decided to organize a solo event for the Cranberry Harvest Century.

To participate, you should complete one of the three rides from our 2019 CHC. The ride should be done solo, with family members, or with one/two socially distanced friends.  We are asking each interested member to ride the route of their choosing between September 15th and October 15th. Upon completion, please upload your results on our CHC COVID Edition Rider Results Form to record your participation and accomplishment.

Key Information

Our Ride Information Page contains more details about important parking changes, the segment challenge, and information about our planned rest stop on Sunday, September 20th.

We also want to encourage everyone to share their photos and the personal experiences of your ride on our Facebook page.  We will select four individuals for a $50 prize. The categories are: best photo(s); the most creative, funny or inspiring story; the segment winner; and most ice cream eaten along the route (photos required)! Bonus points for selfies showing off those CRW kits!  Please let us all enjoy the fun of your ride and the stories from the road.

A few things to consider:

  • As this is an unsupported solo ride, bring adequate water and nutrition, as refueling locations may be sparse.
  • While we will do our best to scout routes, please be prepared for unexpected detours from summer construction projects. If you encounter an issue with a route, please let us know!
  • Dress appropriately, better yet pick a blue bird day!  Do we need to remind you of how the weather can change during Fall in New England?
  • Bring a spare tube and necessary tools…UBER bailouts may not be possible!
  • Comply with all COVID-19 restrictions.


Remember: When your ride is complete; post your ride to CRW's Facebook page, your RWGPS account or Strava account.  Let us know where you posted by registering your ride at CHC COVID Edition Rider Results Form (log in to your CRW account first).

We hope you will have fun on the backroads of these beautiful Fall routes! Be safe, and here is looking forward to in-person centuries in 2021!


Randall Nelson-Peterman is a member of the CRW Century Committee.




Ronald Gluck

My column this month is focused on practical tips concerning what to do in the event of an accident, who pays what, and relevant statutes related to use of roadways.  In addition, you will find a great deal of information, links included, that I hope you will find helpful as a member of the cycling community.  That information is being provided by my friend and fellow attorney Mike Chinitz, whom I represented in a bike accident case in 2019.  Mike was seriously injured when he was hit by an out of control driver but has made a good recovery.  As a passionate cyclist and Pan Mass Challenge veteran Mike has found this information helpful and he asked me if he could share it with the cycling community through my column.  I am happy to oblige. Thanks, Mike!  


What to do/not to do at the accident scene?

  • Have someone call the Police if you cannot;
  • Accept medical treatment and an ambulance to the hospital if you are injured;
  • Obtain the names and contact information of witnesses if you are able to do so;
  • Avoid discussing issues of fault if you are unsure of what may have caused the accident or if you have suffered a head injury; But if you are able to clearly tell police what happened tell the police how the driver caused the incident.
  • Obtain the driver’s ID and insurance information;
  • Take photos of the car and bike if you are able to do so.

When in an accident, who pays what?

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits:

  • The first $2,000 of medical bills are paid by the driver's insurance company. There is an additional $6,000 available for payment of lost wages, co-pays for medical treatment and health insurance deductibles.
  • The remainder of medical bills are paid by the cyclist's health insurance company. The cyclist’s health insurer is then typically entitled to reimbursement for what they have actually paid for bills from any settlement that the cyclist receives from the driver's liability insurance company.


  • If the cyclist’s health insurer is Medicare, Mass Health or an employer sponsored ERISA Plan then the driver’s insurance company must pay the first $8,000 in Medical bills which can be coordinated to account for co-pays and health insurance deductibles.
  • Property damage: An at fault driver’s auto insurer is responsible for reimbursing the cyclist for property damage if the driver is deemed at fault in the collision. Property damage includes the bicycle and any damaged clothing, safety equipment and GPS equipment..
  • Injuries: The driver’s auto insurer will ultimately make an offer of settlement for all injuries and damages suffered by the cyclist assuming the driver is found to be at fault for the collision. Sometimes there is shared fault between the cyclist and the driver and the cyclist’s monetary recovery will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. If the cyclist’s fault exceeds 50% then the cyclist will not recover for damages other than the previously described PIP benefits which are paid independent of fault. The amount that the auto insurance will pay is capped at the amount of insurance that the driver purchased.
  • Underinsured motorist insuranceAny cyclist who owns a motor vehicle has the opportunity to purchase excess UIM coverage which provides additional coverage for his or her damages if the at fault driver in the bicycle collision has inadequate liability insurance to pay for all of the cyclist’s damages. So, even though your car may be sitting in your driveway, when you or members of your household go out for a bike ride and get hurt due to another driver's negligence, your auto insurance company will provide you with very important protection. This insurance is invaluable to carry and is highly recommended.


Relevant MA Statutes

  • Your Rights and Responsibilities on the Road:
  • M.G.L. ch 90 sec 14 - No person operating a vehicle that overtakes and passes a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction shall make a right turn at an intersection or driveway unless the turn can be made at a safe distance from the bicyclist at a speed that is reasonable and proper. 
  • M.G.L ch 90 sec 14 - No person shall open a door of a motor vehicle unless it is reasonably safe to do so without interfering with the movement of other traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians..
  • M.G.L. ch 85 sec 11B - Sets forth rules for lawful operation of bicycles in Massachusetts including use of helmets, proper passing, use of sidewalks and more..

And now, from Mike Chinitz: “Bicycle Safety- Resources Every Cyclist Should Have” 

Safety Tips

Safety Gear

Bike Maintenance

      The contents of this article are available as a PDF: click the image below; then email or text the PDF link to yourself so that it is accessible on your phone if you get into an accident.










      Stay healthy and Ride safely!

      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] bwglaw.com

      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.


      Anti-Aging: 8 Tips to Ride Smarter

      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.

      By Coach John Hughes

      Baseball great Yogi Berra said, “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.”

      In my almost 50 years of riding I’ve found that mental skills are at least as important as physical fitness. Mental skills are just like cycling skills; they take practice. I work with each of my clients to learn the skills that he or she needs for success.

      As we get older despite our best efforts our physical capacity inevitably declines. By working out diligently doing all the different types of exercise we can slow this decline and if we’ve lost a lot of fitness reverse the decline. Fortunately, as we age we can improve our mental skills to help to compensate for the loss of physical prowess.

      While we were down in Boulder, CO last weekend I completed a ride I’d never done before: the Lee Hill loop counter-clockwise.  I’ve been riding the loop clockwise for over 20 years but have always been intimidated by the steep northern leg — descending it is scary, why would I ride up it?  Time to put my mental skills to work and do it!


      In the Tour de France commentators noted how relaxed Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) was the night before the big time trial when he took the yellow jersey. Last week I made a point of finishing all my work and other chores on Friday so nothing was hanging over my head. Saturday morning I practiced tai chi to completely relax. Then when I threw my leg over the top tube I was looking forward to exploring and enjoying a new route instead of worrying about what wasn’t finished at home or what lay ahead.


      Rather than just going for it I developed a very simple plan. Ride US 36 to the foot of Left Hand canyon in about half an hour and stop for a drink and snack. Ride up the canyon about half an hour to the base of Lee Hill and stop for another drink and snack. Sticking to my time splits would ensure I wasn’t tired at the bottom of the big climb. Climb for 20+ minutes to the top of the first summit. Stop, catch my breath and refuel. Descend, climb the second summit and coast home!


      I’d been doing increasingly tougher climbs all summer including Berthoud Pass (11,300 ft.). Berthoud isn’t steep but at altitude it was taxing. Riding out US 36, I thought about the climbs I’d done and became more confident I could get up Lee Hill.


      Pro riders often pre-ride part or all of a stage to get a feel for it. Just two days before my Lee Hill ride, my riding partner and I had ridden the first half at the pace I planned to ride the Lee Hill loop. The night before Lee Hill I spent a few minutes thinking about my plan, rehearsing the ride in my head.


      When Pogacar won the TdF time trial he was 100% focused on his ride. Riding out US 36 and up Left Hand I let my mind wander but when I turned up Lee Hill I focused completely on every moment of the ride putting all of my physical and mental energy into each pedal stroke. 


      Using my plan I paced myself to the bottom of Lee Hill. Pacing wasn’t a problem the first part of Lee Hill: dead slow was all I could manage. When the climb eased a bit I disciplined myself to only speed up a bit and conserve energy for the next wall around the corner.

      Ride my ride

      Riders kept passing me as I rode to Lee Hill and I let them. At age 71 I don't have to try to keep up with anyone and sticking to my plan was the key.

      Small goals

      It was daunting to think about riding from my house to the top of the north side of Lee Hill so using my plan I divided it into smaller rides and just concentrated on each leg. Starting up the climb my goals shrank. I was sure I could ride the few hundred yards to the corner ahead.  I didn’t know in detail what lay around the corner and didn’t worry about it.  Just ride to the corner.  And then to the next corner. And the next corner. And then I saw the “School bus stop” sign — I’d made it.  School buses don't stop on steep inclines!


      As I coasted home I had huge grin on my face, especially descending at 40 mph!

      All of my clients are at least 50 and several are in their 70s. Each trains hard — I see to that! — and each also works on these mental skills.  A client’s weekly workouts start with four or five 10 minute sessions a week learning to fully relax.  Then the rider practices focusing on just breathing, a useful skill to ward off distracting thoughts. Before an important ride we develop a plan analogous to mine. We divide the ride into sections, decide how to ride each section, when to stop and what to eat and drink. Building and thinking through the plan are ways of rehearsing the ride and in the process building confidence that the ride is do-able. Then I stress ride your ride. During the ride the client uses the small goals in the plan. If one of the sections seems too tough then the rider can divide it into smaller sections.

      My Lee Hill ride wasn’t epic: 17.75 miles with 1,720 feet of climbing. Using these mental tools enabled me to be successful and finish with that smile. You can also use these tools to complete your personal challenging ride.

      Here’s a related column on Anti-Aging: How to Get and Stay Motivated.

      My eBook "Gaining a Mental Edge: Using Sports Psychology to Improve Your Cycling" is the primer I use with my clients. It’s divided into six chapters of progressive lessons on relaxation, focus, using powerful thoughts and images, building confidence and managing anxiety, creating a plan and visualizing it, riding the ride and dealing pain during the ride.  Gaining a Mental Edge: Using Sports Psychology to Improve Your Cycling is only $4.99.

      My eBook "Anti-Aging: 12 Ways You Can Slow the Aging Process" has individual chapters on each of the types of exercise the ACSM recommends: cardiovascular both endurance and intensity; upper, lower, and core strength; weight-bearing, flexibility and balance. I include interviews with Gabe Mirkin (recommendations from an M.D.) Jim Langley (importance of goals), Andy Pruitt (importance of working on your skeleton, posture, balance, muscle mass), Muffy Ritz (recommended activities for older people, especially women), Malcolm Fraser (recommendations from an M.D.), Fred Matheny (importance of strength training), Elizabeth Wicks (motivation) and five other male and female riders ages 55 to 83. Anti-Aging: 12 Ways You Can Slow the Aging Process incorporates the latest research and most of it is new material not published in my previous eArticles on cycling past 50, 60 and beyond. It’s your comprehensive guide to continuing to ride well into your 80s and even your 90s. The 106-page eBook Anti-Aging: 12 Ways You Can Slow the Aging Process is available for $14.99.


      Coach Hughes has written over 40 eBooks for RoadBikeRider.




      Leader-Less Rides

      Mary Kernan


      As we head into fall, CRW is hoping to keep you riding as long as possible and doing what we can to make it interesting. To this end, we created a new ride type – a Leader-less ride. 

      What is a Leader-less ride? 

      Well, so, it’s a ride without a leader. We’ll post rides with routes and start times on the club calendar and on social media. Just show up, introduce yourself to others, find someone to ride with and agree on the rules of the ride. Then, off you go.  

      How long are the rides? Where do they start? What time? 

      We’ll be posting a variety of rides with different distances, start times and start locations so that there’s something for everyone. We’ll see what’s popular and perhaps repeat some routes over time. 

      What are the rules? 

      There are no CRW rules as this is not an official CRW ride. We ask that you stay abreast of local Covid restrictions and conduct yourself appropriately. 

      Please note that, should accidents occur, there is no CRW insurance coverage for these rides.  

      How will I know if anyone else will show up? 

      We’ll be posting these rides on the club calendar, Facebook, & Strava. Check your favorite social media site for club activities and indicate on Strava event that you’ll be attending. That’ll make it more likely that others will show up. We want to consolidate all resposes to an event in one place: Strava in this case.

      Why has the club created these rides? 

      As the Covid virus continues into the fall, CRW remains limited in what we can do for organized rides. However, we see you out there and know you’re riding by yourself, with small groups of friends, etc. We’re always looking for ways to help you find new routes and new riding partners.




      About Acceleration

      John Allen

      Smooth, quick acceleration offers a safety advantage – to get across an intersection before cross traffic arrives, and in many other situations.

      Acceleration requires only a short burst of power. Your weight, standing on the pedals, gets you started from a stop. The action is like that of climbing stairs, and if you are strong enough to climb stairs, you can accelerate briskly. There’s no need to be in peak form to accomplish this.

      Brisk acceleration is needed most frequently in stop-and-go urban riding, but it is useful whenever you cross a road in a gap in traffic, or pick up speed as you crest a hill.

      How you slow down has a major effect on how you speed up. All too often, I see cyclists struggling to accelerate in a too-high gear. Keep your cadence up, downshifting repeatedly as you slow down. Then you will always be in the right gear to pick up speed when that becomes possible, whether or not you come to a complete stop.

      Does the law require you to come to a complete stop at a traffic light? No, the law requires only that you not cross the stop line before the intersection. If you slow to a crawl before reaching the intersection, you can keep both feet on the pedals: skill at a "slow race" can help you be faster! If you do have to come to a complete stop, stop a few feet short of the intersection so you can start pedaling when you see that the light is about to change, and creep forward, ready to sprint. Photo by Keri Caffrey.

      An important advantage of an internal-gear hub is that you can downshift at a stop, so an unexpected quick slowdown or stop doesn’t get you stuck in a high gear. This advantage comes with the disadvantage of fewer drive ratios – except with a couple of very high-end products – but even with these, weight is somewhat higher and efficiency lower; also, wheel removal and replacement are more complicated than with derailleurs. All in all, I prefer an internal-gear hub with 5 to 8 speeds on a bicycle I ride in the city, derailleurs elsewhere.

      Still, with derailleurs, as long as you have clipless pedals or toe clips and straps, and you are not carrying heavy baggage on the rear of the bicycle, you can lift the rear wheel with one hand on the back of the saddle, shift down with the other hand, and spin the cranks with one foot. Usually, you want the shifting hand to be your right hand, so you are shifting the rear derailleur. But this is only for when you are stuck in a high gear. Preferably, downshift before stopping.

      Downshifting is easiest with shifters on the handlebar, as has been usual for decades now. (Older bicycles can be retrofitted too). With twist shifters or bar-end shifters, a single sweep will take you from the highest to the lowest gear, so you can shift the rear derailleur or hub gear with the right hand while signaling or braking lightly with the left hand. Combination brake-lever-shifter assemblies let you brake with both hands while shifting, but they downshift only one or two steps at a time.

      In the best gear to start from a stop, a pedal thrust, standing out of the saddle, will barely hop the front wheel off the road. Lower gears are useful for long climbs, but won’t get you going any faster from a stop. It helps for the starting gear to be easy to find. I like to have it use the largest rear sprocket, so I know that I have reached it when the rear derailleur won’t shift down any further.  

      A good starting gear is about 35 to 40 gear inches (2.8 to 3.2 meters development). A 50-tooth chainwheel and 34-tooth largest rear sprocket will give you a 35 to 40-inch starting gear on a bicycle with the usual wheel size. Using the large-large combination is heresy due to chain angle, but you won’t be in that gear for long, and it helps to find that starting gear easily when shifting down. You can get a starting gear in the same range with a 38-tooth chainwheel and 28-tooth sprocket, give or take. This combination typically uses the middle chainwheel and largest sprocket on a “mountain bike triple” setup, but there is no law against installing one on a road bike.

      As you ride, you have plenty of opportunities to get used to your shifters and practice handlebar coordination and gear choice.

      Relatively wide ratios in the lower gears (larger sprockets) work best, so you don't have to shift every couple of pedal strokes at low speeds. These days, the “more is better” syndrome has increased the number of rear sprockets to the extent that you may have to skip over gears because the steps are too small. And with one of the new 1x systems that has a single chainwheel and a pie-plate sized largest sprocket, your cadence as you soft-pedal provides the only clue that you are in the best gear for acceleration.

      I don’t have to tell most CRW members this, but to start from a foot-down stop, you stand over the bicycle in front of the saddle with one foot on the ground and the other foot already on its pedal, forward and high. Your first pedal stroke will get you into a standing position to pedal. Practice till it’s second nature to get the second foot clipped in quickly. After your first few stomps, as the cadence rises, you transition to seated pedaling and then shift up through the gears to maintain a high cadence. Work is force times distance, and so faster pedaling accelerates you quicker, as long as it isn’t so fast that your feet can’t keep up.

      At a stop sign, you are required by law to come to a complete stop, whether or not this is actually necessary. What is important is to be able to stop, and for your actions to communicate to drivers in cross traffic that you are yielding right of way. This often requires a full stop. To meet the letter of the law, though, it is fairly easy to come to a full stop and immediately restart without placing a foot down, by shifting your weight forward, then backward. – I’ve heard this called the “genuflection stop.” With practice, some cyclists learn to stay balanced at a full stop – a track stand – though on a freewheeling bicycle only if the front wheel is turned uphill. I’ll look the other way if you only slow to a crawl.

      I hope this is helpful, but I will decline invitations to drag races.

      John Allen is the CRW Safety Coordinator.



      Foliage Ride Collection

      Susan Glass

      The town collections committee is pleased to announce that we have a new Foliage Rides collection joining the town collections.  These are rides that members have found to be particularly lovely for foliage season riding, because they have many miles of colorful tree-lined roads and/or one or more spectacular views.  Most of the rides are in the northwest-of-Boston area, but we also have a few rides in Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.  That means you can plan a ride in a peak foliage area by cross-referencing to the New England Foliage map

      Many thanks to Bob Wolf, Ken Hablow, A J Gemperline, Lindy King, and Phillip Stern for contributing ride suggestions. 

      If you have a suggestion for a foliage ride, please email it to collections [at] crw.orgcollections [at] crw.org (,) ideally with a link to the route. It's never too late to add great routes that can be used in the future!

      We thank Jack Donohue for installing the cool and engaging weather image.






      The Athlete's Kitchen - Nutrition Tactics for Building Muscles

       Most athletes want to have strong muscles to be more powerful, help prevent injuries, add protection for contact sports such as rugby or (American) football, and yes, to look buff. They wonder: What can I eat for more muscle, strength and power? The standard belief is eat extra protein, but more fundamental than food is doing some form of resistance exercise. Lifting weights is far more powerful for building muscle than is eating extra protein (unless you have been eating a protein-deficient diet).

      Once you have a good training program, you can then integrate optimal fueling tactics into your sports diet.  Keep in mind the benefits of adding muscle need to exceed any potential slow-down in speed related to the weight gain. Some athletes who perceive themselves as “under-muscled” are actually already very strong and effective.

      Questions arise about the best ways to add muscle mass:
      How much protein should I eat to build more muscle?
      How many additional calories does my body need to build muscle —but not gain fat?
      Where should the calories come from: carb, protein, fat?
      When should I eat the additional calories?
      Here are the answers to those questions.

      Protein needs

       Based on research from 49 studies that included 1,863 healthy participants, about 0.7 gram protein/lb. of body weight (1.6 g pro/kg)/day is associated with the greatest gains in muscle mass (1). Eating additional protein is unlikely to offer further benefit. That is, piling your plate with three chicken breasts at lunch and dinner is a needless way to spend your food budget.

      Extra calories

      Building muscle requires energy; you need added fuel to build new muscle mass. Yet, excessive calories (even excess calories from protein) can end up as body fat, not muscle. Studies with weight-trained subjects who lifted heavy weights for at least 6 weeks and ate extra protein (but not extra calories) suggests they gained only about 2.5 lbs. (1.1 kg) new muscle (2). Not much.

      In a study with sedentary twins who overate by 1,000 calories a day for 100 days, the subjects gained, on average, about 6 lbs. (2.7 kg) of muscle and about 12 lbs. (5.4 kg) of fat. That means, for each one pound of muscle gained without lifting weights, they gained about two pounds of fat. Each twin-pair gained a similar amount of weight, but the results varied significantly between sets of twins. This suggests a strong genetic on one’s ability to add muscle (3).

      For a 150-pound athlete, the standard advice is to add about 350 to 475 calories a day to build new muscle and minimize fat gain (1). Yet, more research is needed for more precise advice, given that many factors impact calorie needs: the amount of energy-rich fat and glycogen stored in the muscle; the number of calories burned during training; the magnitude of the post-workout rise in metabolism; the fate of the excess calories (turning carbohydrate or protein into body fat takes energy); the energy cost of building and maintaining new muscle tissue; the calories burned when you overeat and spontaneously fidget more. This is a complex calculation!

      Source of the additional calories

      Carbohydrate is the primary fuel used to lift weights, so eating additional calories from carb-based grains, fruits and veggies seems a wise choice to support a training program. A hard lifting session can deplete muscle glycogen by 30-40%. Given glycogen depletion is linked with fatigue, repeated days of low carb intake can impair the ability to train hard.

      •  Consuming about 2 to 3 grams carbohydrate per pound of body weight (4-7 g carb/kg) per day is a good target for strength-training athletes. If you are doing training in addition to lifting weights, you want to target the higher amount of carbs. That means, a 150-pound rower who lifts weights should target at least 450 g carb per day. That’s 1,800 carb-cals to support both lifting and rowing. That’s no Atkins (high protein) or keto (high fat) diet!

      • Your intake of dietary fat should stay within health guidelines, which means 20-35% of total energy intake. More simply put, that’s the equivalent of some fat at each meal and snack. Your best bet is to include health-promoting nuts, peanut butter, avocado, salmon and olive oil. Do not avoid fat; a very low fat diet can reduce testosterone levels. That’s counterproductive!

      Best sources of protein

      Protein is a source of the amino acid leucine. Leucine is an important trigger for building muscle. Hence, leucine-rich proteins can maximize muscle synthesis. Animal proteins have about double the leucine content of calorie-matched plant sources. For example, 8-ounces dairy milk has 1 g leucine; soymilk has only 0.5 g. The goal is about 2.5 to 3 g leucine per meal.

      • Rather than devouring protein shakes, bars and powders, note that natural forms of protein can be more effective at building muscle. That’s because protein in food exists in a natural matrix containing other factors that impact muscle growth. Your best bet is to eat food first and rely less on processed protein products.

      When to eat

      To promote muscle mass and minimize fat gain, front-load your calories rather than eat most of your food towards the end of the day. Surround your work-outs with protein-carb combinations, particularly when doing long workouts. Examples: Yogurt & granola, turkey-cheese sandwich, beans & rice, chocolate milk.

      • Plan meals with ~0.15 g protein/lb. body weight (0.3 g/kg) every 3 to 5 hours throughout the day. For a 150-lb athlete, that’s ~25 g protein per meal and snack. That means, don’t have just plain oatmeal for breakfast; cook it in milk and add peanut butter. Enjoy eggs with that bagel.

      • One way to evenly pace your protein is to eat a meal every 4 hours, such as breakfast at 7:00ish, early lunch at 11:00ish, later lunch at 3:00ish, and dinner at 7:00ish.

      • On rest days, your muscles are busy replacing depleted glycogen stores. Eat enough to have a positive energy balance on both training and non-training days.

      Words of wisdom

      You can slightly redesign (but not totally remodel) your body. Eat well and be realistic!


      Sports Nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD counsels sports-active people in the Boston-area (Newton; 617-795-1875). Her best-selling Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook offers additional fueling tips. Visit www.NancyClarkRD.com for more information.




      1) Slater G et al. Is an energy surplus required to maximize skeletal muscle hypertrophy associated with resistance training? Front Nutr (2019), 6:131 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6710320/  
      2. Morton R et al. A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adultsBr J Sports Med. (2018) 52:376–84
      3. Bouchard C et al. . The response to long-term overfeeding in identical twinsN Engl J Med. (1990) 322:1477–82





      Eating at Night Increases Risk for Obesity and Diabetes

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

      A study of 20 healthy, normal-weight people found that changing their evening meal from 6PM to 10PM significantly increased their markers for becoming obese and developing diabetes (J Clin Endocrinol Metab, Aug 1, 2020;105(8):dgaa354). They had:

      • higher blood sugar
      • higher insulin
      • higher cortisol levels
      • reduced ability to remove and use fat from their cells

      These are all major risk factors for obesity. Eating before going to bed did not affect their ability to fall asleep. Other studies have also shown that eating before going to bed promotes obesity and diabetes (Pharmacol Res, 2017;125(Pt B):132–141), and that eating most of your food in the morning and less in the evening helps people to lose weight (J Nutr, 2017;147(9):1722–1728).

      Why Eating at Night is Unhealthful
      Eating just before you go to bed causes high blood sugar levels and increased amounts of fat to be deposited in fat cells. Resting muscles draw almost no sugar from the bloodstream and what little they do remove from the bloodstream requires insulin (Sports Medicine, Feb 2, 2018;1-13), while contracting muscles pull large amounts of sugar from the bloodstream and don’t even need insulin to do so (Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, Sept 2007;77(3):S87–S91).

      • If you do not move around and contract your muscles after eating, you increase risk for high blood sugar levels.
      • You burn the lowest amount of calories when you sleep. When you go to sleep after eating, you burn fewer calories from that food so more of it is stored as fat (Metabolism, 2009;58(7):920–926).
      • Several studies show that blood sugar levels respond best to insulin during the day and worst at night (Nat Rev Endocrinol, 2019;15(2):75–89).
      • Cortisol raises blood sugar levels by blocking the effects of insulin, and cortisol levels are higher when you are sleeping (Ann NY Acad Sci, 2017;1391(1):20–34).

      Sequence of Abnormal Blood Tests as You Become Diabetic
      Normal morning fasting blood sugar is <100 mg/dL. As you become diabetic, you develop (in order):
      • high blood sugar one hour after meals >145mg/dL
      • high fasting insulin level >25 mIU/L
      • high triglycerides >150 mg/dL (insulin converts all extra sugar into a fat called triglycerides)
      • low good HDL cholesterol, <40mg/dL (you use up the good HDL cholesterol carrying triglycerides from the bloodstream to your liver)
      • fatty liver
      When your liver fills up with fat, you are diabetic. A fatty liver does not accept the sugar driven by insulin from your bloodstream, so blood sugar remains high and you develop diabetes that causes heart attacks, strokes and death. Your doctor can determine that you have a fatty liver with a sonogram.

      My Recommendations
      The least healthful time to eat is just before you go to bed, and the most healthful times to eat are before you exercise or within an hour after you finish exercising. Exercising after eating causes contracting muscles to pull sugar from the bloodstream, which helps to prevent high rises in blood sugar. Eating within an hour after exercising also prevents a high rise in blood sugar. Your muscles can extract sugar from the bloodstream maximally without needing insulin for about an hour after you finish exercising, but this ability is then gradually lost over about 17 hours or until you contract your muscles again (J Appl Physiol, 2005;8750-7587)



      This article is courtesy of Dr. Mirkin 



      The Boston Bicycle Club, Harry Corey and the Corey Hill Climb

      Lorenz Finison

      The first four installments in this tale of the Boston Bicycle Club were published in Wheelpeople September 2019, October 2019  January 2020  and May 2020

      Previous articles in Wheelpeople told of the Boston Bicycle Club (B.Bi.C.), first in the nation. Along with the Boston-based Suffolk and Massachusetts Bicycle Clubs, they organized many cycling events in the 1880s. One popular type was the hill climb, especially up  Brookline’s Corey Hill. At first cyclists on high wheels (ordinaries) couldn’t do it at all, until Harry Corey did; then the challenge was to do it fastest; then to do it from both sides; and finally, to do it many times without resting. This is the story of Boston cyclists climbing a most challenging hill.
      Hill Climbing
      Both high wheelers and tricyclists competed in climbing steep hills. The first was an April 1882 race to the top of Chelsea’s Mount Bellingham. By 1883, hill climbing shifted to Corey Hill and both tricyclists and high wheelers challenged it – an 8.65% grade ascent of 199 feet in a length of 2,300 feet. 


      Annotated Map of Corey Hill, 1888, showing Corey Estate, Beacon Street, and Summit Avenue. http://www.brooklinehistoricalsociety.org/archives/atlas/map1888.asp


      Harry Corey dominated the hill. Corey was the twenty-year-old son of a wealthy merchant farmer. He lived with his parents on Washington street between Corey Road and Downing Street, their house still standing  at the bottom of the hill. He cycled past Corey Hill many days commuting to and from work at the Milk Street Boston importing company Stoddard and Lovering, where, by the mid-1880s, he was “busily engaged in looking after the interest of the Rudge and Hunter cycles.  And he joined  the Massachusetts Bicycle Club. Corey bested Corey Hill on May 4, 1883 on a 52-inch English Rudge bicycle weighing thirty-three pounds.    



      On July 6, another bicycle dealer/racer, William Stall, followed Corey on a Victor rotary tricycle – manufactured by the Overman Wheel Company in Hartford, showing the advance of American manufacturing. For several weeks thereafter many other cyclists attempted the feat and failed.

      Victor High Wheel Rotary Tricycle. This sold for $19,890 at the Copake Bike Auction in 2014. 


      On July 27, Harry Corey did it again, this time on an Apollo (English) tricycle. The B.Bi.C. organized an August hill climb for both bicycles and tricycles. Medals were promised for the fastest three riders and a prize for each rider who reached the top without stopping. Many still failed. And the race prompted a protest from an experienced cyclist, signing his letter to the Boston Daily Advertiser only as “C,” who complained that the prizes would tempt ill-prepared cyclists who might injure themselves.

      The Climb was popular enough among Boston cyclists (perhaps because few could do it), that the B.Bi.C. put on an April 1884 minstrel stage show in which the “six end men (a standard role in such shows) rode in on small velocipedes, all claiming they were climbers of Corey Hill.”  Greeted, no doubt, by loud hoots and laughter from the audience.

      The hill looked much different than it does today.  There was little housing on it.  Cyclists, cross-country runners, and tobogganists all used it for recreation and racing. Beacon Street and Summit Avenue, too, were very different. The roadways were not asphalted, which certainly slowed the racers. The races occurred just before Beacon Street was widened to become a boulevard, with a streetcar line down the middle. The original Olmstead landscape plan was for separate lanes going each way for commercial and pleasure vehicles, a horse-car track, bridle, and bicycle paths. All separated by elegant trees. Opposition to the expense developed. The Olmstead architects scaled it back from 240 to 160 feet and abandoned the bridle and bicycle paths – and the horse- cars were replaced with electric streetcars.

      Intersection of Beacon and Summit Avenue, 1887.

      Throughout 1883 and 1884, cyclists regularly gathered at the hill to practice their skills, and knowledge of the road (it was too soft in dry weather and thought to be best after a hard rain). Practice, and the continuing improvement of bicycle and tricycle design showed results.

      The League of American Wheelmen (L.A.W.)’s Bulletin touted Harry Corey’s long string of cycling records: “Not content with his past achievements in breaking all the records from one to ten miles (excepting two and five), which he barely missed in 1883; with the [Chestnut Hill] Reservoir record in the same year, a record which had stood for four years; with the coasting record down Mt. Washington, and the twenty-four-hour record in the same year, and with the bicycle and tricycle Corey Hill record, he now comes forward with a [24 hour] record of two hundred and three and one-eighth mile on a safety bicycle.” 

      By 1885 cyclists finally and regularly matched the Corey Hill challenge on all brands of imported and domestic bicycles and tricycles. In October, all eleven contestants made the hill, won by Stall on a Star bicycle (small wheel in front and large in back)  in 3:24:1-5.






      Star Bicycle with small wheel in front. 


      The four tricyclists who got to the top included winner John Williams, a well-known “colored” (in the journalistic parlance of the time) racer from the Dorchester Bicycle Club on a Quadrant (3:46:2-5).

      The May 1886, the L.A.W. national meet in Boston attracted thousands of cyclists to a three-day event with business meetings, politicking, banquets, and  recreational rides and races, including a Corey Hill climb, nicely illustrated by Harper’s Weekly. Walter Kendall, a Quincy dentist, bicycle commuter, and cycling activist organized the hill climb for the B.Bi.C.

      Corey Hill Climbing. From Harper’s Weekly, June 5, 1886. Courtesy Ken Liss. The Harper’s Weekly illustration appears to include a tricycle in the middle. On the left, halfway up the hill, is likely a Star bicycle, operated by a treadle mechanism, rather than a crank.

      John Williams raced again, despite being suspended by the L.A.W. board, likely for being declared a professional (the racing board at the time was adamant about keeping out hundreds of men who earned money from racing, even if in indirect ways, or having raced against a professional). Williams won by twelve seconds.  The only other tricyclist who finished got the gold medal. Nevertheless, the assembled crowd gave Williams a “very kind reception.”

      The L.A.W. Bulletin remarked on the crowd: “The entire road from top to toe was lined with cyclers, many accompanied by ladies. Little knots of wheelmen were gathered at prominent points of observation and discussed the chances of the contestants, while amateur and professional photographers reaped a great harvest….” Sadly, none of these photographs survive.

      In June 1886, Corey added to his Corey Hill exploits. As the Herald reported, he was well known as the first rider to successfully surmount the Brookline side, and had for three years tried to scale the Brighton side, much steeper and regarded as impossible. But he did it, on a Rudge bicyclette a machine looking like a cross between a high wheel and a safety bicycle, with a chain drive. For his many accomplishments, the Boston Herald, who had called him “The King of Corey Hill,” now called him the “king of both sides of Corey Hill.” 

      Corey reported from a trip to England that the high wheels and tricycles were on their way out, in favor of the new safety bicycle. It took a few years before the wave hit North America. During the late 1880s and early 1890s races included all three divisions: safety, ordinary, and tricycle. But the advantages of the safety bicycle were so great that cyclists abandoned the other modes.

      Wheel and Cycle Trades Review reported on the Corey Hill attraction for the old-timers: “The hill climbing contests were famous the country over. The man who reached the top was considered something of a marvel; his name promptly found its way into print. But the contest waned in interest, and until last week Corey Hill had not been heard of in some time.” Corey Hill was given over to the safety bicycle, and the new bicyclists made the most of it. Ten amateur riders were sent off at intervals of three minutes. The contest for the largest number of ascents without dismount in an hour was won by Robert Urquhart who finished his eleventh climb in 59 minutes.

      Harry Corey worked briefly  as “superintendent of bicycling business” with Pope Manufacturing. After his marriage in 1988, and apparently inheriting his father’s estate, he became a stockbroker. He spent the rest of his life world traveling from his Newtonville home for business and pleasure. Corey had no children and died in 1931. The extended family petered out in another generation leaving behind hardly a trace, except for the hill called Corey.

      Corey Hill still challenged, but infrequently, in the 20th century. In November 1934, Needhamite Marino Breda, an Italian immigrant bricklayer, won a race “over the Corey Hill course,” against other Boston-area locals.  The Boston Veteran Journalists Benevolent Association (really the B.Bi.C.) petitioned Brookline to permit a Corey Hill race in May 1942. The organizer, Dr. Walter Kendall, described as a “famous nonagenarian” had organized the 1886 race and had by 1942 been captain of the B.Bi.C. for 55 years. Long after that, in 1986, [was it a conscious attempt to recreate the 100th anniversary of the 1886 L.A.W. event?] a Summit avenue block party promoted a race, but the press noted nothing more. A recreational running club called the “November Project” jogs up and down both sides of the hill every Friday morning at 6:30, but cyclists are elsewhere.

      The races, hill climbs and recreational events of the 1880s put cyclists in position to ride the great craze of the 1890s with the safety bicycle. They thrived for a bit, but cycling collapsed in 1900 and struggled on until the Earth Day 1970, when the environmental movement coupled with physical health consciousness to kick off another great rise.

      Hill climbing still goes on, The Major Taylor Association sponsors downtown Worcester’s annual George Street hill climb, so named  because the famous African American sprinter used it as a training ground. And CRW’s climb up Mount Wachusett as part of the “Climb to the Clouds,” is an annual badge of honor. CRW notes that the one mile 9% struggle to the summit “is not for beginners….”

      Perhaps the Corey Hill Climb will come back. Would CRW sponsor one as a special event, like the B.Bi.C. did in the 19th Century? Perhaps limited to a single gear (of the rider’s choice so everyone can join in) to copy the ungeared high wheelers of yesteryear. And with a social gathering at the top when we get past Covid-19?

      This article provides new material inspired by books: Boston’s Cycling Craze, 1880-1900 and Boston’s Twentieth Century Bicycling Renaissance, both available from UMass-Press. Obtain a fully referenced copy of the article by sending an email to: BostonCyclingHistory [at] gmail.com

      Larry Finison is a CRW member, public health consultant, and bicycling historian.



      October Updates

      WheelPeople Editors
      CRW Anniversary  Rides
      We had a photo of the club's 30th Anniversary Ride, and Jack Donohue graciously updated that photo with the names off all we could identify. If you are a long-time member, look for yourself or one of your riding buddies HERE.
      John Allen rescued a video of the club's 40th Anniversary ride which also would be on interest to long-time members.
      Town Route Collections
      The route collections continues to grow,and there are now 16 towns. The project has been appreciated by the membership COMMENTS
      Cranberry Harvest Century Covid-19 Edition
      The club ran a rest stop on Sunday September 20, 2020, and  a few dozen riders participated.Photos

      October 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.  

      The Bikes Of Wrath
      Part of the beauty of biking is the adventures that can be had along the way. This Australian group made a documentary retracing the journey of the Grapes Of Wrath, cycling from Oklahoma to California. Enjoy the extended trailer. 5 Mins.
      Crazy Bikes
      Italian Mountain Views 
      I think we can all agree that the Italian Dolomites are a beautiful place to ride. We may just choose to do it differently than rider Vittorio Brumotti, who enjoys balancing on one inch railings. 5 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.



      Looking Back

      Brandon Milardo

      In October 1975, two noteworthy things were happening off of the bike. First, on October 16, Ed Hayes from the US Department of the Interior Bureau of Outdoor Recreation came from Philadelphia to the monthly CRW meeting to give a presentation about plans for an East Coast bicycle trail running from Boston to Virginia and linking up with Bikecentennial, a cross-country route from Virginia to Oregon.

      The second non-riding item was in the President’s Message, where all members were invited to ballroom dancing at Mosley’s on the Charles to replace the Wednesday night ride. Mosley’s is still in business today, and is considered the oldest continuously-running ballroom in the country, although these days, ballroom dancing night is on Thursdays.



      October Picture of the Month

      Eli Post

      The photo comes from a safety-minded friend who alerts towns when he discovers gratings positioned in a dangerous direction. The photo is obviously staged, but more importantly conveys a safety warning about a cyclist's worst nightmare.

      Photo by Ed Harrow, Hopkinton, MA