December 2020 WheelPeople


President's Message - December 2020

Larry Kernan

I have extremely mixed emotions as I write my final President’s Message in WheelPeople.  I am overjoyed that Rami Haddad has been elected to succeed me.  Rami is a natural leader and a great person and I am comfortable that he will not only continue to drive CRW forward but also to steer it into some exciting new directions.

As I come to the end of two years as CRW President, I am astounded how different the two terms were.  2019 sped by so fast and though I felt that I had so much to learn, the year was incredibly successful.  We had 2 very successful centuries including a very frigid, wet Climb to the Clouds.  Both events were accompanied by rousing after-parties including great food and music.  We had the first member party and annual meeting in many years and found a beautiful venue for our annual Holiday Party.  The club created an e-bike policy, distributed name tags and began a significant growth spurt in membership.

And then came 2020 – do I need to say more?  The year of Covid-19.  We shut down our rides program and cancelled our centuries.  Despite that, CRW volunteers stepped up to keep the club relevant in hard times, running a series of online workshops and webinars and taking our centuries virtual. Through careful planning and dedicated club members, our Cranberry Harvest Century was accompanied by a well-stocked rest stop on two different days.  A Covid-19 Task Force guided the club through new policies and a limited re-opening.  Club members donated $7,000 of their unused century registration fees for our grant program and CRW disbursed $17,000 to four extremely worthwhile bicycle advocacy groups.  The Board recognized the impact of a curtailed riding program on members and extended all memberships for an additional year, free of charge.  A new program curating the best rides in each town was established.  The club appointed a Vice President of Diversity to advise the club on diversity, inclusion and equity issues.  And, WheelPeople is more vibrant and full of meaty articles under the editorship of Eli Post!

Having served through these incredibly different years, I observe that one-year terms and a limitation on two such terms are not in the best interest of the club.  It really takes almost a year for a CRW President to learn the ropes.  It’s a large, volunteer-driven organization and surprisingly complex.  My recommendation is that terms of future CRW Presidents be extended to two years.  I will make these recommendations to the Board and will volunteer to help revise the club constitution and bylaws to make that happen.

As I depart as President, it’s been my pleasure to serve CRW, a club I truly cherish.  I thank the Board, the Ride Leaders and all the many CRW Volunteers who make the club function.  And, I thank the over 2600 members, a record number, who demonstrate the vitality of CRW.

I’m not going far. I will remain on the CRW Board during the coming year as Past President. I plan to assist Rami in whatever way that I can.

I wish you all very happy holidays, good health and a return to normalcy in 2021!

Larry Kernan





Rami Haddad is the New CRW President

WheelPeople Editors

Rami Haddad is the new CRW President beginning January 1, 2021 for a one year term. At its meeting in November 2020 the Board of Directors elected Rami by acclamation.

Rami has been the Club’s VP of Communications since January, was selected to fill a Board seat this past July and won a three year term on the CRW Board in the last election. He has now stepped up to play a key role in the Club’s management. Rami is a friend of biking. He was formerly a Board Vice President of Adventure Cycling, a premier bicycle-travel organization in North America.  Rami is also the Vice Chariman of the Boston Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club. He is well traveled, and has been on extended bicycle tours through the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Coast, Rocky Mountains, Switzerland, France, and Italy.

Our outgoing CRW President, Larry Kernan, calls Rami a dynamic leader and an outstanding choice to help lead CRW out of the pandemic.



Holiday Gift Challenge: You Ride We Donate

Rami Haddad

In this issue we are announcing two winter ride programs. This one runs in December.

We would like to encourage members to ride during the holiday month of December, and are providing an incentive. For every 10 miles recorded, we will donate $1 to one of the non-profit organizations listed below. We will honor up to 10,000 miles or $1,000.

If the total exceeds 10,000 miles, then we will prorate the share for each organization out of $1,000 based on the new total number of miles.

You must be a club member to participate. Join today at $15 for two years.


Members will choose to donate their funds to one of three organizations:

1. Mass Bike

2. Bikes Not Bombs

3. Boston Cyclists Union

There will also be a question to suggest an additional organization for us to consider in the future.


The event will run for the entire month of December 2020.


Each member will enter number of miles completed & choice of organization on the web form located at

You may submit the form for each ride, each group of rides, or one time for the entire month.

The form is available for club members only. No further proof will be required. This event will run on the honor system.


CRW Winter Ride Challenge

Steve Carlson

In this issue we are announcing two winter ride programs. This one starts in January and runs through March.

It is that time of the year where you think about what you will be doing during hibernation for the next 3-4 months.  In New England, it certainly is not too hard to convince yourself to stay hunkered down, stay warm and consume countless calories while exerting minimal effort clicking the remote.

Fear not, CRW has good news!  You will have an alternative by registering for our first ever Winter Ride Challenge!  The concept is simple…this is a virtual challenge where you will ride as many miles as possible, between January 1, 2021 and March 31, 2021. 

You will monitor your progress and your standing against others and we will see who has the legs, layering techniques and mental toughness to churn out the miles!  Bragging rights are given, but with CRW, there is always the possibility of a prize or two. 

I realize we have a contingent of Zwift/Peloton weenies who refuse to ride in the cold (easy..I am just kidding; I am  jealous because I don’t have one).   You certainly will be allowed to participate as we will have two waves; road riders and trainers.  The catch is the miles cannot be combined or co-mingled, and you must choose one wave or the other to keep the categories pure.

Did I mention a free shirt to the first 100 registrants*??  Yes, that’s right and look at this beauty which you can proudly wear for taking on this challenge!

  *Must ride a minimum of 150 miles to qualify for the shirt and
you must be a club member to participate. Join today at $15 for two years.





You will be guided for links to enter your rides once the challenge begins…it’s all on the honor system, so be fair so we can get a good look at all the fun, sweat and tears!  Ride safely, be COVID safe and see you on the road (or basement?)!

Please register before December 31, 2020 by clicking HERE




Volunteers Needed

CRW is run 100% by volunteers. There are currently several open volunteer positions, and we are highlighting these positions for December. Let us know if you can help make CRW a better club.

Communications Positions are open for each communication channel for one or more members. You would preferably commit for one year, spending about 2 hours per week.

· Instagram editor: post pictures collected from rides, compile stories, respond to comments, announce club updates published elsewhere, & connect with community members.

· Facebook moderator: administer tool configurations, manage member requests to join, update banner images, moderate member conversations according to communication guidelines, post announcements based on club & Wheel People updates, & connect with community members.

· Strava moderator: schedule rides & events on Strava calendar based on club calendar, post announcements based on club & Wheel People updates, & administer club members that may be ghost or spam accounts.

· Slack: moderate member conversations according to communication guidelines, administer tool configurations, & connect with community members.

· Google Groups: moderate member conversations according to communication guidelines, manage member requests to join, administer tool configurations, & connect with community members.

 Contact VP of Communications Rami Haddad communications [at]

Wheel People Newsletter: Several different skill sets are required to produce the monthly newsletter, and two positions are open.

Assistant Editor- Solicit articles, compose original articles, work with past authors and edit existing articles. Task is to make sure an article is readable, accurate and otherwise ready for publication.

Graphic Designer - provide graphic input on submitted articles. Should have knowledge about design elements and technical skills to use design software tools. Creativity is essential.

Contact Editor of WheelPeople Eli Post eli [at]



the Gluck Legal Takeaway - Shopping Delivery Vehicles: are They Sufficiently insured?

Ronald Gluck

As cyclists ride during the months of December and January, the darkest months of the year, extra safety precautions have to be taken. Yes, dawn rides involve slippery roads and dusk rides involve early darkness during commuting hours. These conditions make riding more dangerous this time of year than during the summer. But during these months of darkness and slippery roads there is an additional risk for cyclists, particularly during the pandemic: the prevalence of shopping delivery vehicles on the roadways.

 Shoppers/delivery drivers are people working hard to support themselves and their families during these difficult times. They put themselves at risk by going into public places to shop for goods for their customers. That said, the drivers are often unfamiliar with their destination points. They stop and start their vehicles searching for houses. They pull over. Then move forward. They are often driving in ordinary passenger vehicles, without signage and without additional lighting.  And they may not be well insured.  

There is no law that requires these drivers to carry particular levels of liability insurance and many operate their vehicles with the minimum limits allowed by law. There is also no law that requires the companies for whom they are driving to provide them with any liability coverage. And, to make matters worse, those companies have been known to challenge whether the drivers are even employees for whose careless driving they are responsible in the event of an accident.  They try to classify the drivers as independent contractors.  

This could have significant ramifications for the cyclist if that delivery vehicle causes an accident resulting in serious personal injuries. Lost earnings and significant out of pocket medical bills may not covered by any insurance in these situations. The cyclist can face serious financial hardship.

Whereas Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft insure their drivers with significant coverage limits while they are carrying passengers or are on their way to picking up passengers, some shopping delivery services, such as Instacart, do not insure their drivers while they are delivering goods to a client’s home. The contract that Instacart signs with the gig drivers does not include liability insurance, and as mentioned above, the driver’s personal automobile insurance policy may provide only minimal liability insurance. The question concerning limits of coverage can depend on what types of goods are being delivered and what type of vehicle is being driven. 

Delivery drivers using their own vehicles to make deliveries SHOULD carry sufficient liability limits that will protect them, and the public, in the event of an accident. Cost is a major obstacle to this. Typically, people working as shoppers are seeking extra income and are often not in a financial position to obtain extra insurance coverage that would protect them and the public in the event of an accident while they are delivering goods to people’s homes.  

There may be legislative solutions to these problems but those take time to materialize. As an example, individual states could enact legislation requiring companies, for which the drivers are shopping and delivering, to provide insurance coverage for the drivers. There would be an additional cost to the companies which would be passed on to the end user but it would be a small price to pay for the additional protection afforded to the drivers and the public. This type of legislation took hold nationally with respect to Rideshare vehicles. It would be not a reach to expand that type of legislation to Shopper/Delivery companies.  The Rideshare company Uber, which is mandated by law to provide insurance coverage for its drivers, has expanded that coverage to their Uber Eats drivers as well.  This is progress but, still, too many individuals who are shopping and delivering to homes across Massachusetts are likely driving without significant insurance coverage.

How can cyclists guard against financial disaster from an accident with one of these vehicles?  Other than taking all the safety precautions that you can and should take while riding, the answer goes back to a suggestion I made in one of my earlier columns: buy high levels of underinsured motorist coverage on your vehicle that is sitting at home while you are out riding your bike. This coverage protects you while you are cycling and essentially stands in the shoes of what should be significant insurance coverage provided by the at fault delivery driver or the company that enabled him or her to be delivering goods to people’s homes. It too is a small price to pay to protect yourself and your family from financial hardship that could result from a serious accident. The coverage is inexpensive so please speak to your insurance agent and make sure that you are properly insured.

I wish you all a healthy winter and a happy holiday season. I will be back in the spring with my next Legal Takeaway. In the meantime, enjoy riding and be safe out there! 

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.




It Fell From the Sky

Eli Post

This article is reprinted from August 2006 WheelPeople. Images were added.

We were pedaling along one of those bucolic country roads that make the Boston Area such a delight for cyclists when a loud plop sound filled the air and brought us to an emergency stop. Right in front of us, just a few feet away, a 300-foot stretch of overhead telephone cable had fallen to the pavement. It was as if King Kong himself grabbed the cable and in a fury wrestled it to the ground. We were not injured and went our merry way, but had our timing been off by seconds, the consequences would not have been pretty. Then a few weeks later, on another ride with another rider, on a different road, a squirrel fell from an overhanging tree without warning, landing just inches from us. He was as startled as we were, and scurried away.

With all the safety issues that confront a cyclist, how do you anticipate squirrels falling out of overhead trees? You obviously can't, but you must recognize that cycling is a sport where safety is paramount, and participants must be vigilant and constantly on the alert for hazards. There's more to safe cycling than remembering a few basic guidelines--it means developing a mindset that keeps the safety mission uppermost in your thoughts so that you are in fact prepared for the falling squirrel and any other mishap that might cross your path. The act of foreseeing, expecting and taking measures against possible future exposure to risk is common in sports. It's the downhill skier, ever watchful for patches of ice or exposed terrain. It's the diver who must be mindful of the hazards of the marine environment. And it's the cyclist who must never forget that he/she shares the road and that noticing potential dangers requires awareness and anticipation.

You share the road. You are riding along minding your own business on a beautiful country road and enjoying the experience. Remember that you do not have exclusive use of the roadway and that at any moment you may have to deal with an approaching motorist, cyclist, or pedestrian. Know your rights and the rights of others, and remember the simple rules. Bicyclists and motorists are both responsible for bicycle safety. Many bicycle-motor vehicle collisions are attributed to various bicyclist behaviors, such as disregarding a traffic control sign or signal, and others are attributed to motorist behaviors, such as inattention and distraction. Motorists might merge across the path of a cyclist, and even run stop signs and red lights. These actions can't always be predicted, but anticipating the possibility allows a cyclist to plan an evasive response in advance. Stay aware of your surroundings, and constantly check traffic conditions especially when changing lanes or turning onto another roadway. While you are encouraged to ride predictably and lawfully, you cannot assume that others will always obey the rules. 

Be alert! You cannot always predict when a stray animal or even another cyclist will cross your path, or when other unexpected events will require you to act immediately to avoid danger. The dog standing by the side of the road, may suddenly want to race alongside you. Anticipate events that could cause you harm and ride defensively in uncertain circumstances. Being alert means staying on top of the situation, and monitoring the area ahead of you for signs of potential danger. It means being aware that conditions could turn quickly and being prepared to deal with them. Keep your eyes moving, taking in the big picture, including scanning as far ahead as possible. If you see the potential for a bad situation to develop, plan your course of action so that, if you have to, you can act quickly and appropriately.  No ride is "risk free", but through exercising care and anticipation, you will be safer. Be a confident and watchful cyclist--alert, not alarmed.

Imperfect Situations. A ride on a pleasant spring day along a deserted country road can be a delight, but we do not have full control of the environment and must deal with changes beyond our control. Rain, for example, can come without warning and be accompanied by decreased visibility, and reduced braking. The ride may take longer than anticipated and you may suddenly be confronted with decreased visibility as night approaches. A nearly empty road starts filling with vehicles as afternoon rush hour traffic mounts. An emergency vehicle comes out of nowhere and motorists scurry for the shoulder, perhaps right across your path. Be prepared to deal with such situations and have contingency plans in case they arise. Make your own decision--don't just follow others.



Some Helmet History

John Allen

I was asked to look into how helmets came to be common, then required on CRW rides. I requested input on the CRW e-mail list. There were so many responses that I can report only highlights here.

Younger club members may need a history refresher: the first effective helmets designed for bicycling appeared in the mid-1970s. Several members who wore helmets avoided serious head injury in crashes, the news spread and helmet use swept through the club over the next few years

I am recalling that long-time CRW member Jacek Rudowski went over the hood of a car and landed on his head in the street. His story became well-known. He liked to tell it.

CRW member Doug Kline reports the following. "Eric Ferioli was hit head-on by a negligent motorist, went onto the car’s hood, and struck the windshield head-first.  I think he broke the windshield. He expressed that he was glad he had been wearing his helmet."

John Springfield noted: 

"I bought a helmet via mail order in 1974 or 1975, made by Mountain Safety Research.  It had three holes in the front that resembled a bowling ball.  I recall fellow CRW riders snickering at me when I first appeared with my MSR helmet in 1974 (or 1975). When I ordered my MSR helmet, they mistakenly mailed me 2 helmets.  I wrote them a letter requesting that they donate the extra helmet to the CRW.  It would be given away in the raffle at the annual awards banquet.  They agreed, and the helmet was won by Ed Trumbull.  Ed probably wouldn't have bought a helmet for himself, but once he got the "free" helmet he started wearing it.  A few years later he had a crash and thanked me for donating the helmet." Photo by John Kane is John Springfield riding with helmet.

My own story – I bought my first Bell Biker in 1975. On July 23, 1978, a drunk driver sideswiped me on Route 2A in Littleton, sweeping the bicycle out from under me.  The left side of the helmet’s liner was crushed and the shell was scraped. I walked away, battered and with a broken collarbone but no evident head trauma.

These were the kind of stories that drove the trend toward helmet use among CRW members.

It wasn’t as popular everywhere. A couple of members who toured in Europe in the 1980s reported that they got laughs and catcalls for wearing helmets. There were helmet holdouts in CRW as well. John Latva, as late as 1993, submitted an 11-page diatribe against helmets to the CRW Board. The late Charles Hanson resigned as ride leader in 2005 when the CRW Board instituted a mandatory helmet policy for ride leaders.

Quoting bicycling historian Larry Finison, who also responded to my e-mail:

"Sometime in the future a whole dissertation might be written on the socio-technical/cultural and marketing aspects of the adoption or rejection of helmets by a variety of bike riders."

Go for it, Larry! And here’s a nugget of research for you: The earliest helmet promotion I found in the Wheelpeople archive is in the President’s Message, in the March, 1977 issue,

More about helmet history, policies and politics is at

John Allen is CRW Safety Coordinator.



Chain Link - Membership Happenings

Rami Haddad


Happy Diwali

Diwali, Divali, Deepavali symbolizes the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance." Our destination for this ride was the park, managed by The Peace Abbey, including statue of Mahatma Gandhi and 60+ bronze plaques honoring significant pacifists throughout the world.

In short time, the cold morning warmed up as the sun broke through the clouds. Roads were very pleasant most of the day, little traffic, winding narrow roads, & sun peeking between the trees.

We stopped at Lookout Farm for mulled & hard cider too early before they opened at 11:30. Instead, we continued to Charles River Coffee for hot drinks & sandwiches.

There was a stretch of busy road before we got back on very quiet roads back to Lexington.

Copy of the route available at

Women-only Ride

We continue to gauge the interest in women-only rides. One was on Tuesday 17 November at 7:00 a.m.,  attended by a few ladies. The ride continues weekly on Tuesday morning. We expect to schedule more. Connect with others & discuss ride ideas on Slack #ride-women channel.

Intro to Mixie

A couple of veteran mixed terrain cyclists joined Phil Stern to introduce 3 newbies to the joy of getting dirt on your skinny tires. He shared the route


Route Back to Course

Eli Post

Ride With GPS has a feature pending which could save the day for you if you get lost on a ride, hit a closed road or encounter nasty road conditions. The feature may in fact be operational by the time this article is published.

The feature is “Route back to course” on mobile. This will be similar to Garmin, where if you go off course on a route by a certain threshold, you will be presented with a route option to get you back on course, which you can temporarily choose or dismiss. If chosen, that re-route would come to the foreground and  give standard navigation for that route until you meet back up with the original route. Once back on the original route, navigation would pick back up like usual. The app won't change anything about the original route, but will be presenting a new route back to course in a different color.

Anyone who uses GPS while driving will appreciate the usefulness of this feature. We look forward to seeing it operational.





Bike Thursday

Eli Post
Bike Thursday
A CRW Program offering Slower/Shorter Rides


CRW offers a wide selection of ride opportunities, and is likely best known for its weekend rides, notwithstanding the current Covid-19 curtailment. At the same time the club offers programs for sections of the membership where a different mix of route and pace is desirable. One such program is “Bike Thursday” which was initiated three years ago by Susan Grieb to offer shorter/slower rides.. Barbara Jacobs now runs the program. There are 87 members on the group’s email list, and they average 14 riders overall, but the last few rides had closer to 18 riders. This is a leader-led, no-drop, operation. Photo below shows group getting ready to ride.

Bike Thursday ordinarily runs during the warm weather season, but this year its first ride wasn’t until early August due to Covid-19 restrictions. It had 13 scheduled rides through early November, and Barbara reports that “all went smoothly” with ride leaders and riders fully cooperating wearing masks as appropriate and practicing social distancing. In fact, instead of departing as a single group, multiple leaders were used and groups of six departed at 5-minute intervals. Participants self selected their group giving the opportunity to ride at a faster or slower pace and select ride companions if desired.  The middle group usually averaged close to 12 mph so it was a great opportunity for those who cannot keep pace with the 14-20 mph rides.

The rides are announced on the CRW Calendar with the general area the ride would be happening. An email was sent to regular riders saying the registration was open. On Wednesday before the ride a notice went out to registered riders with the exact start location and the Ride with GPS link. In some cases, the ride filled up in a few hours.

The ride starts were geographically wide spread and included  Lincoln, Wellesley, Bedford, Sudbury, Newburyport, Lexington, North Reading, Chelmsford and Concord. The group takes care in checking out the routes so riders can anticipate a safe ride. In one check out case the road was being tarred and the riders had to bushwhack through the woods, but by the next week’s ride the road was perfect. At the end of the Bike Thursday rides, the group usually had a socially distant picnic, and  in a few cases it was held in the leader's back yard.  Who is that masked man in the photo?

The group has many repeat riders and there is a friendly spirit on rides. This writer led a Bike Thursday ride in Groton last year, and can speak directly to the camaraderie. We proceeded as a single group with all respecting the pace and the regroupings. At the finish we enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant. Photo above are riders on a country road, and below they are taking a beach break.

Barbara was highly complimented by members of the group. She was credited with organizing the rides so that they could resume under Covid-19, and for mentoring ride leaders who were not savvy with GPS. If you would like to join this wonderful group when it resumes riding in 2021, contact Barbara at nyder.jacobs [at]









Remembering John Kane (1942-2020)

John Springfield

John Kane, a long time member of CRW, passed away in Florida in November 2020. He joined CRW in 1972, and soon became a board member and editor of Wheelpeople.  In 1976 he originated the annual New Years Day ride from Boston Common. 

John is the fourth from the left wearing a gray sweater. The photo is from the 1976 New Year's Day Ride. 

But to many of us old-timers, he was "the" MC at the annual awards banquet.  I can still see him awarding raffle prizes to unsuspecting "winners", always adding a witty comment.

I met John in 1973 on an American Youth Hostel ride.  Back then he was known as Richard Mazeikus.   He told me about the CRW, and I joined CRW in the fall of 1973.   Besides CRW rides, I rode with John on TOSRV-East in Vermont,  several GEAR rallies, and the 1980 LAW Centennial in Newport. John was a smart guy (a Mensa member).  He was very knowledgeable of New England history, politics, and current events.  We also shared an interest in model railroads, attending a huge exposition near Springfield in the 1990's and early 2000's.

Ironically, we both shared the problem of heart disease.  His eventually slowed him down, but he kept reporting his mileage to the CRW Mileage database until last year.  He and I have been reporting since 1980.

An obituary for John appeared in a Florida newspaper.

So I'll miss you, old friend.

May the wind always be at your back.


CRW Awards

WheelPeople Editors


Each year the Board of Directors votes to determine individuals CRW should recognize for contributions they made to the club and cycling in general. Awards and Certificates are ordinarily presented to the volunteers at the annual Holiday Party in December. However Covid-19 has precluded a party so this article will serve as the presentation.

In 2013 Ralph Galen, one of the original founders of CRW, passed away and named CRW as a beneficiary in his will. Ralph was a driving force in the Boston bicycling community as well as CRW. To perpetuate Ralph's name the Board of Directors initiated the Ralph Galen Service Award to be presented from time to time as appropriate to an individual who has worked tirelessly for CRW over many years. That is, this award is for those individuals who have contributed above and beyond.

At its meeting in November 2020 the Board of Directors approved a Ralph Galen Service Award for Ken Hablow. Ken’s volunteer positions are almost too numerous to mention but include President, Vice President of Rides, VP of Publications and ride leader. Ken organized special events over the years including a multi-day ride series, GEAR, in conjunction with the League of American Bicyclists. Ken is likely best known for originating and running Climb to the Clouds for many years. He is a household name and well known to the great majority of CRW regulars.

Jack Donohue is an old friend of Ken's and observed that  "When off the bike, Ken is busy perfecting his grilling skills while quaffing his favorite brews." Eli Post worked with Ken on numerous projects and said "Ken has a business background and used his skills in solving problems and getting stuff done. He has an impressive list of accomplishments and made CRW a better club."

Larry Kernan, the outgoing CRW President, commented "Ken is responsible for the renowned 'Climb to the Clouds' event that has become a club fixture for many years.  Additionally, nobody knows the roads of eastern Massachusetts better than Ken and nobody lays out a better ride!  The Galen Award is well-earned!"




The 'A' in Adventure

Jack Donohue


There are a lot of commercial outfits with "Adventure" in their name. Going to a foreign land is adventure enough and it's nice to have someone do all the legwork and planning for you. But there's another element of adventure in setting out on your own, with no fixed destination, and winging it.

Cycle touring allows the ability for adventure but within limits. I'm not talking about the round the world on a mountain bike, across miles of muddy dirt roads, through hostile territories replete with wild animals. This is Adventure with a capital 'A', the stuff books are made of. I prefer the kinder gentler adventure, with a small 'a', that bike touring affords. Basically as long as you travel on paved roads, chances of perishing from hunger, thirst, or being eaten by wild animals is relatively low.

Some people like to have things pretty well laid out. They like to know where they're going to sleep at night, where they're going to eat, and maybe even would like a fax of the menu so they can plan what they're going to eat. The little-A adventure that bike touring affords is not for them, much less the big-A Adventure.

The self-supported tour comes in several flavors. The credit card tourers travel light and plan on sleeping with a roof over their heads each night. The next level involves carrying enough gear (sleeping bag, tent) for a bivouac in the great out of doors. In this respect, the credit card tourer is somewhat more of an adventurer, since they absolutely have to end up somewhere with lodging, while traveler type two can pretty much stop where the spirit moves them.

The adventure afforded by impromptu bike touring can sometimes raise the stress level, though. Susan came close to declaring a citizen's divorce on one trip to Ireland where we were contemplating the setting sun without having found lodgings. We did find a very nice hotel in the end, and marital bliss returned.

I'm definitely not interested in the Adventure trip, but I really enjoy the adventure part of cycle touring. It's interesting to compare the different tolerance to uncertainty in my family. Susan has less tolerance than I, and I definitely have less tolerance than my son, Colin. He and I were cycle touring in Ireland, and we found the town we were planning to stay in had a rather large festival that evening, and all the B&B's were booked. I was getting pretty upset, but Colin was taking it in his stride. And, sure enough, we rode a few miles out of town and found a very nice B&B run by a German couple.

I started a tour in Spain after an assignment there for work. I dropped off the rental car at the Madrid airport, and rode off into the sunset. I was about forty miles out of Madrid, and sunset was nigh, so I figured it was time to look for a place to stay. I had picked out one from the tourist guide, but when I got there, there was no room at the inn. Or so they said, although I did suspect that a scruffy, somewhat malodorous cyclist was not in their profile of an ideal guest. So I had pretty much convinced myself I would be sleeping in the train station, and had even picked out a bench, when I managed to find another place that had room.

Then there was the time my friend Peter and I did a bike tour of the Dominican Republic. As we were riding out of the airport, Peter was complaining of nasty noises coming from his rear wheel. Turned out to be a broken axle (Peter's idea of bicycle maintenance parallels mine, which can roughly be described as, if it ain't broke, wait till it is). I figured this was the end of the trip, since I really didn't think we were going to find a Shimano rear axle anywhere on the island. But I was wrong, we did in fact find the local bike repairman. His "shop" was more like a hut, with a tree covered with bicycle tires in the back yard. He produced a brand new Shimano hub and took it apart to sell us the axle. Not much of a businessman, but an awfully nice fellow.

Little Jack’s Corner was a column published in the CRW WheelPeople newsletter that Jack Donohue had written for more than 20 years. It is a humorous mixture of personal bicycling experiences and observations. This article is reprinted from WheelPeople June 1998. Photos were added.


Sean Connery, Dementia and Death from “Natural Causes”

Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health e-Zine
Sean Connery was a Scottish movie star who was the original James Bond in seven Bond films between 1962 and 1983. He was voted by People magazine to be the “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1989 and the “Sexiest Man of the Century” in 1999. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2000, and was honored for services in film drama with an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards, and three Golden Globes. He was brought up in extreme poverty, became a body builder to raise his self-image and used his big muscles to land his first acting roles that eventually led to movie stardom. In addition to being the first James Bond, he starred in many other movies that made him very rich and very famous. In his later years he became demented, and he died at age 90 on October 31, 2020.
Early Life and Career
Thomas Sean Connery was born in 1930 during the depression, to a father who was a taxi driver and factory worker and a mother who was a cleaning lady. He described his crib as “the bottom drawer of a dresser in a cold-water flat next door to a brewery,” with two toilets in the hall that were shared with three other families. Starting at age nine, he delivered milk from a horse cart for four hours before he went to school. His only baths were when he walked to the public baths once a week to swim, “just to get clean.”

At age 16, he joined the Royal Navy, but was discharged three years later because of a duodenal ulcer. He then worked driving a taxi, being a lifeguard at a swimming pool, doing common labor and polishing coffins. At that time he was an accomplished athlete and to improve his self-image, he lifted weights and competed in bodybuilding contests. He was now 6′ 2″ and his large muscles got him a job as an artist’s model for the Edinburgh College of Art. He didn’t make much money, so at age 21, he took a second job as a stage hand at the King’s Theater. When he was 23, one of his bodybuilding competitors told him about auditions for South Pacific, and his big muscles alone got him an insignificant part in the Seabees boys’ chorus. Eventually he worked himself up to a featured role as Lieutenant Buzz Adams. He was now hobnobbing with successful actors and learned that he had to improve on his uneducated background — he had never read a book. One of his acting friends gave him a reading list that included books written by Proust, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Bernard Shaw, Joyce, and Shakespeare. He recalled, “I went to every library in Britain, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and read every book I could.” He even took elocution lessons to try to get rid of his heavy Scottish accent.

By age 26, he was able to get acting jobs in the theater and television, and his big muscles got him the part of a boxer in a TV series. At age 27, he got his first movie role as a gangster with a speech impediment. That same year he got his first chance in a leading role in the BBC Television production of Requiem for a Heavyweight. At age 32, he starred as British secret agent James Bond in Dr. No. The movie was so successful that he made five more James Bond films from 1962–1971. He reprised the role in Never Say Never Again in 1983, and that year James Bond was chosen by the American Film Institute as the third-greatest hero ever in movie history.

Connery left his James Bond role to other actors — including Roger Moore, David Niven, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig.  He went on to star in a wide range of films, including Murder on the Orient Express, The Man Who Would Be King, A Bridge Too Far, The Name of the Rose, The Untouchables, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and The Hunt for Red October. He received the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, and at age 76, he retired from acting.

Personal Life and Death
He married actress Diane Cilento in 1962, and they had a son, actor Jason Connery. They separated in 1971 and divorced in 1973. In 1970, at age 40, Connery had met Micheline Roquebrune, a French artist, at a golf tournament in Morocco where they both won medals. After their marriage in 1975, they played golf avidly as often as they could. They remained married until his death at age 90, at their home in Nassau in the Bahamas. After he died, Micheline told the press that, “He had dementia and it took its toll on him. He was not able to express himself. At least he died in his sleep and it was just so peaceful. I was with him all the time and he got his final wish to slip away without any fuss. It was what he wanted.”

Causes of Death in Dementia
Dementia affects 14 percent of North Americans over 70, and 37 percent of those over 90 (Neuroepidemiology, Nov, 2007). Autopsy reports show that the two most common causes of death in dementia patients are bronchopneumonia (38.4 percent) and heart disease (23.1 percent), while cancer is associated with only 3.8 percent of the deaths (Eur J Neurol, Apr, 2009;16(4):488-92; J Alzheimer’s Dis, 2005 Sep;8(1):57-62). Dementia eventually causes most patients to do nothing more than sit around or lie in bed all day and night, which:
• weakens the heart to cause heart failure
• causes blood clots that lead to heart attacks and strokes.
• causes high blood pressure and diabetes to increase risk for heart attacks
• suppresses appetite and thirst so they become dehydrated and have nutritional deficiencies
• interferes with coordination so they aspirate food into their lungs, which can cause pneumonia

Natural Causes” Often Means Heart Failure
If they live long enough, virtually all dementia patients will stop moving and lie in bed all the time, which will eventually cause them to die from heart failure. When you become inactive, you lose your skeletal muscles at an alarming rate, and any decrease in activity causes loss of heart muscle until your heart can become too weak to pump blood to your brain and you die.

In 1914, Dr. Ernest Starling described what is today known as “Starling’s Law,” that strengthening skeletal muscles strengthens your heart muscle and not the other way around (Circulation, 2002;106(23):2986-2992). When you contract your skeletal muscles, they squeeze the veins near them to pump extra blood back to your heart. The extra blood flowing back to your heart fills up your heart, which stretches your heart muscle, causing the heart muscle to contract with greater force and pump more blood back your body. This explains why your heart beats faster and harder to pump more blood when you exercise. The harder your heart muscle has to contract, the greater the gain in heart muscle strength.
• The larger your skeletal muscles, the stronger your heart and the lower your chance of suffering heart attacks and heart disease (J Epidem & Comm Health, Nov 11, 2019).
• The less you exercise, the weaker your heart and the more likely you are to become diabetic (Diabetes Care, 2002; 25:1612–1618).
• The larger your muscles, the less likely you are to die of heart diseases (Am J of Cardiology, Apr 15, 2016;117(8):1355-1360).
• A study of almost a million adults with no history of heart disease followed for 10 years found that those who did not exercise were at 65 percent increased risk for strokes and heart attacks, the same rate as that found for smoking (Euro J of Prev Cardiology, Feb 10, 2020).
• A study of 51,451 participants, followed for 12.5 years, found a strong association between exercise and decreased risk for heart failure (J Amer Col of Cardiol, Mar 2017;69(9)).
• A study of 378 older adults showed that the smaller the muscles in their arms, legs and trunk, the smaller and weaker the upper and lower chambers of their hearts (J Am Geriatr Soc, Dec 2019;67:2568-2573).
• Low skeletal muscle size predicted death in people who had chronic heart failure (Cardiology, March 25, 2019).

Lessons from Connery’s Long and Mostly Healthful Life
A key to prolonging your life and preventing disease is to keep on moving. Lying in bed for many hours each day is a certain way eventually to kill yourself. Each day that you spend not moving your muscles weakens your heart until eventually you can die of heart failure. Exercise will prolong your life, but you do not have to have a specific exercise program. You just need to keep on moving for a large part of each day. It is harmful just to sit or lie down all day long. It is healthful to mow your lawn, wash your dishes, make your bed, vacuum your house, go for a walk, and participate with your friends in activities in which you are moving your arms and legs — dancing, cycling, swimming, running, nature walks and so forth.

To gain maximum health benefits from your skeletal muscles, you should include some sort of resistance exercise. See Resistance Exercise You Can Do at Home.  Since lifting heavier weights is far more likely to injure you than lifting lighter weights, I recommend that you lift lighter weights with far more repetitions. Older people, in particular, can lift and lower a lighter weight up to 100 times in a row. Stop that exercise when the muscles start to feel tight or hurt.

Caution: If you are not already doing strength-training exercise, first check with your doctor to make sure you do not have any condition that may be harmed by exercise. Exercise can cause a heart attack in a person who has blocked arteries or heart damage.

Sir Thomas Sean Connery
August 25, 1930 – October 31, 2020

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




This article is courtesy of Dr. Mirkin



The Athlete's Kitchen - Athletes, Injuries & Nutrition

The Athlete’s Kitchen - Athletes, Injuries & Nutrition

Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD Nov 2020

Athletes, Injuries & Nutrition

 Athletes get injured. It’s part of the deal. Be it a torn ACL, Achilles tendonitis, or a pulled muscle, the questions arise: What can I eat to recover faster? Would more vitamins be helpful? What about collagen supplements? At this year’s virtual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND, the nation’s largest group of nutrition professionals), several presentations offered updates on nutrition for injuries.

Pre-injury diet

You never know when you will break a bone that requires a surgical fix, get hurt in a car accident, or end up with COVID. That’s why you want to prepare your body for the worst by eating wisely on a daily basis. While you need not eat a “perfect diet,” you certainly want your meals and snacks to include at least 90% quality calories. Ten-percent fun foods are allowed! 

 If you know you’ll be having surgery for, let’s say, a rotator cuff injury, you certainly want to enter into the surgery being well nourished, with your liver stockpiled with the vitamins and minerals needed for healing. (A well-nourished person’s liver stores enough vitamin C to last for about six weeks.)  Well-nourished patients have shorter hospital stays and faster recoveries. A light-weight rower who restricts food intake or a runner with anorexia could easily be under-nourished. Be proactive; eat well every day. Pre-habilitation makes (unexpected) rehabilitation easier!

By focusing two-thirds of your plate on wholesome grains, fruits and vegetables, you’ll not only optimize your intake of vitamins and minerals, but also fiber. Fiber feeds the microbes in your gut. These microbes influence the strength of your immune system. Other foods that boost health of the microbiome include yogurt, kefir, blue and other “moldy” cheeses. In contrast, low-fiber ultra-processed foods do little to enhance gut health and immune power. Keto-athletes, take note: some (but not all) studies suggest low fiber keto diets may be detrimental to the microbiome.

Post-injury diet

Injured athletes may be tempted to over-restrict calories, believing they “don’t deserve to eat” because they are not exercising. Wrong. Even when you are on bedrest, your body burns about 10 calories per pound of body weight just for your resting metabolic rate (energy used to fuel organs such as heart, lungs, liver, brain—and just be alive). That means, if you weigh 150 pounds, you likely need about 1,500 calories for your resting metabolic rate + more fuel for your (limited) daily activity (brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc.) + 10% to 20% additional calories for healing the injury. When healing injuries, you do not want to severely restrict your intake of valuable nutrients!

On the other hand, you don’t want to over-indulge and smother your injury-related grief and/or boredom with ice cream. Rather, add structure to your day with scheduled meals and snacks. A sports dietitian (RD CSSD) can offer a nutrition rehab plan that identifies the amount of protein needed to prevent loss of lean muscle, an appropriate calorie intake to optimize  healing without gaining undesired body fat, offer suggestions for ways to boost your intake of iron and zinc (to optimize healing), and identify anti-inflammatory foods such as berries, leafy greens (spinach, arugula, kale), cruciferous vegetables (Brussel sprouts, broccoli), and anti-inflammatory fats (extra virgin olive oil, salmon, nuts).

Ruptured tendons, torn ligaments, and muscle pulls

So called “soft tissue injuries” such as ruptured tendons, torn ligaments, and muscle pulls (muscle torn off tendons) can be season-ending injuries. Preventing them from happening in the first place could save a lot of angst. Research suggests strength training (more so than stretching) reduces the incidence of these injuries.

 Speaking at FNCE, Keith Barr PhD, a researcher at University of California at Davis, explained tendons and ligaments have a collagen-filled matrix. To heal tendon and ligament injuries, Baar reports loading (stressing) them helps to increase collagen synthesis and make them stronger. For example, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) gets thicker (i.e., stronger) during a training season.

Unlike muscles, your tendons and ligaments get nourished with little blood flow to provide nutrients. Rather, fluid in connective tissue gets squeezed out when the muscle stretches during exercise; nourishing fluid then gets sucked in when the muscle relaxes. Consuming a collagen supplement 30 to 60 minutes before exercise assures having collagen-building amino acids circulating around the damaged tissue. This has been shown to enhance healing.

To create tissues that are more injury-resistant, athletes in sports that include explosive movements (basketball, track and field, soccer) might want to take collagen supplements prophylactically. Doing so may also enhance their performance. One study suggested hydrolyzed collagen during training also improved explosive performance compared to a placebo.

While research is limited (and commercial collagen products are exploding), hydro-lyzed collagen, collagen peptides, and yes, Knox gelatin all offer the amino acid glycine, needed to heal these tissues. Dana Lis PhD RD, researcher with Baar at UC-Davis, reports not all collagen supplements are created equal. Bone broth, for example, has low levels of glycine. Hydrolyzed collagen seems to be absorbed better than gelatin and tends to be more palatable.  

Lis notes vitamin C is a co-factor needed to repair damaged tissue, so athletes should consume 50 mg vitamin C (for example, the amount in 4-oz. orange juice or ½ cup of cooked broccoli) along with the collagen supplement. To date, research has not been done to determine if glycine-rich foods (meat, fish, and poultry, or lessor amounts in soy, nuts and plant-proteins) are as effective as supplements. Would eating pre-exercise chicken + orange juice do the same job? Stay tuned.

The bottom line: Don’t underestimate the power of nutrition in preventing and healing injuries!

Sports Nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD counsels both casual and competitive athletes in the Boston-area (Newton; 617-795-1875). Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook offers abundant information that can help you eat well. Visit







December 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 monthly virtual film fest. .  

An Almost Perfect Dream
There's an old biking adage that a back flip onto a trampoline is worth two front flips off of a trampoline. Ok, maybe that's not actually an adage, or even something a sane person would choose to do, but Gabriel Wibner begs to differ. 7 Mins.
10 Unusual Bikes
Staying Warm In Winter
Winter officially begins on December 21st, but if you ask your fingers and toes after a ride they might argue it's already begun. If you're planning to cycle in the cold, here are a few tips. 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.



December Picture of the Month

Alex Post
A stick caught in the rear gears while I was riding. I was going slow and noticed it right as it happened so it was not a problem. When I stopped and pulled the stick out, I realized how that could be tricky if not noticed or going fast. In fact in 2011, my dad got a stick caught in his front wheel, which jamed the wheel, and he went over the handlebars. Needless to say he required medical attention. So if you didn't have enough to worry about, you must also beware of sticks.

Photo by Alex Post