May 2021 WheelPeople


2021 Virtual Centuries

Randall Nelson-Peterman
We are excited that CRW is providing two different spring virtual centuries. The first,  North to New Hampshire, will be starting on May 1st and will run through May 31st. The second, Climb to the Clouds, will start June 1st and run through June 30th.
General information:
  • These centuries are limited to CRW members only, and all riders must register at one of the links below.
  • There is no charge to participate in a virtual century
  • Please follow CRW Covid-19 riding rules:
  • Parking is on your own. We have chosen start and stop locations that have public parking available, but we have not made any special arrangements. Please follow all posted signs and especially avoid parking in spots reserved for schools during school hours
  • Since these are virtual, we have added start and stop locations to accommodate those who want to use the Commuter Rail.
  • On specific days there will be two hosted, but scaled back, rest stops for each century. Rest stops will have food and water, but no porta-potties
  • Routes have not been scouted - you may run into construction or other detours, so please be prepared to make changes during the ride if needed
  • There will not be a photo contest, but we would love to see pictures of your ride on Instagram or Facebook. If you post pictures you will be entered in a raffle to win some CRW club gear (limited to 5 participants each month that post pictures with the tag #crwheelers)
    • Instagram: add #crwheelers in post + picture
    • Facebook: add #crwheelers in post + picture
    • Google Groups: include #crwheelers in subject line of message + picture in message
  • Be sure to report on your ride using Facebook, Strava, Instagram, Slack, or Ride with GPS.
North to New Hampshire
The May century will be the North to New Hampshire route, a CRW classic that we have not held for a couple of years. The routes start in Wakefield, MA, at either the commuter rail station to at the nearby Northeast Metro Regional High School. You will have all of May to ride the century and post your results to social media. Photo shows riders enjoying the after-ride party at the 2016 North to NH Century
Three routes that start and end at Wakefield’s Northeast Metro Regional High School, 100 Hemlock Rd Wakefield, MA:
  • North to New Hampshire 100, 63, and 50
Two routes that start and end at the Wakefield Commuter Rail stop on the Haverhill line
  • North to New Hampshire 100 T-time and 63 T-time
Rest stops
The scheduled rest stops will be held at the American Legion Park, 17 Pentucket Ave, Georgetown, MA from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM on the following dates:
  • Sunday May 2nd - 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • Saturday May 15th - 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Climb to the Clouds
The June Century will be the Climb to the Clouds route, starting at one of three locations: the Fitchburg commuter rail station or Lincoln Sudbury HS. You will have all of June to complete this century and post your experience on social media. Photo shows riders taking a break at the 2015 CTTC.
One route from Lincoln Sudbury High School: 390 Lincoln Rd, Sudbury, MA
  • Climb to the Clouds 100
Two routes from Nashoba Regional High School:  12 Green Road, Bolton, MA
  • Climb to the Clouds 63 and 50 (this allows the half century riders to hit the summit!)
One route starting in Fitchburg at the Wachusett Commuter Rail station and ending at the Concord Commuter Rail station
  • T-time (Commuter Rail)
Rest stops
  • The scheduled rest stops will be held at the Mountainside Cafe, which is at the base of Mount Wachusett and not too far from the State Park entrance at 213 Mountain Rd., Princeton, MA. Their website is: - even if we are not hosting a rest stop on the day you choose to ride, this is a great place to stop and grab a snack or lunch. 
  • Saturday June 5th - 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Sunday June 20th - 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
If you have any questions, please email the century coordinator:  century [at] ()
See you on the road!
Randall Nelson-Peterman
CRW Century Co-chair
Randall Nelson-Peterman is a member of the Century Committee.

Changes to By-Laws

Larry Kernan

I am proposing some changes to our bylaws based on my experience as CRW President in 2019 and 2020. Although this work is preliminary, I am, in the interests of transparency, reporting on the work in progress.

The most significant change that I propose is a 2 year term for President. Based on informal conversations with the Board on April 6th, 2021 we would continue to limit the President to two consecutive terms (which would be a total of 4 years). I found from my direct experience that it takes a good amount of time for the President to put together plans, budgets and staff and the term is nearly done before much is implemented. This proposal is not for my benefit nor for the benefit of the incumbent President. I do not plan to run for President again and Rami has said publicly that he does not plan to run again.

We will not rush this through without Member input. The earliest that we will put a formal proposal to the Board is at the May Board meeting. If the Board approves a new set of Bylaws, the proposed Bylaws will be published and presented to club members. There will be a two month comment period with the earliest possibility of formal approval at the July Board meeting.

I also propose merging our Constitution and Bylaws. It is very rare for a corporation to have a Constitution and ours sometimes conflicts with the Bylaws. CRW also has a set of Articles of Incorporation which are filed with the State and also regulates the way in which the club operates. If we do merge the Constitution and Bylaws, I will propose that we rescind the Constitution. This requires a 2/3 vote of club members. If we go forward with that plan, we will hold meetings and have extensive communications with members explaining what we are proposing.

This is the very beginning of this process and Board discussions have just begun on this issue. I would also like to discuss with the Board the concept of a "CRW Foundation" to handle the fund raising and charitable giving activities associated with the club. This discussion has NOT yet occurred, and we will probably table this until fall.

Click here to view set of slides that I used at a CRW Board planning meeting on April 6th. We only covered through slide 7. Remember that these slides are my proposal and do not necessarily reflect the thinking of other Board members or the feedback that I received during the planning meeting.

I would welcome any inputs that members have and I'd be glad to engage in conversation with you as well. Again, remember that this is all very preliminary.


Larry Kernan is a CRW past President, and currently serves on the CRW Board.




Guest Rides Limit

John O'Dowd

Guest Rides Limit

A bit of history here. CRW had a long-standing policy of allowing non-members on our rides, without restriction other than signing a waiver. This was a club position to show that our rides were open to the general public and providing a public service. This policy generally worked, but came to an end last year when our prior insurance carrier imposed a one ride rule for non-members. That is our current policy, and to be clear, we arrived here because of insurance restrictions, not because we believed or voted on one-ride for non-members. 

The club would like to go beyond the one ride to allow non-members more time to consider whether they wish to join the club.

  • Often a friend says “hey come with me on the ride” and the guest joins, not thinking one way or the other about joining.
  • A guest may be from out of town and possibly belong to a club elsewhere, but wants to ride with their hosts while here.
  • For some joining a club represents a serious personal commitment, and one-ride does not offer sufficient motivation.
  • We have witnessed many who join after a few rides. It’s usually after a connection to the club is developed, like making a friend or riding buddy. Sometimes it’s joining a group or achieving a personal best on a ride.
  • After-ride parties have been a fruitful recruiting opportunity.

Needless to say, there are guests from somewhere who simply do not wish to join CRW. They may not like the club or don’t want to go to the trouble of joining. It’s easier for them to just show up.

After extensive discussions with our current insurance carrier, we are pleased to announce that non-members will have the opportunity to ride twice with the club before restrictions apply.


We hope this extension serves non-members, and they decide to join and enjoy the benefits of riding with the club.

John O'Dowd is CRW Board Secretary




Deliberate Pace Rides

Edward Cheng


The club is planning recurring rides, such as Barbara Jacobs' Bike Thursday, which is an awesome ride, for Deliberate Pace riders, which is a pace of 10-12 mph.  The Lexington (Social) Revolutions is also aiming to have a group of riders at the Deliberate Pace each Saturday morning.  This latter ride meets at the same time and place and uses the same route each time, so riders will hopefully get into the habit of going on this ride and finding and making friends.

We are hoping to schedule soon, a set of rides dedicated to the Deliberate Pace.  There's a cool ride on May 23 that incorporates discussions about biking history:  Revisit the Charles:  Where the Bicyclists Played in 1895.  Rudge McKenney has a fantastic ride in the works that he'll be posting soon, solely for Deliberate Pace riders.  As this group becomes larger, we'll be able to add more rides specifically for this group.


If you want to go on a ride, just go to the website, find the ride on the Calendar, and register.  Then talk to folks on this channel and/or email, and persuade other Deliberate Pace riders to join.  Find each other at the beginning of the ride, and commit to sticking together.  Indeed, you can do this with any ride at all -- just requires a little coordination, and this group now has the tools to do so.


Barbara Jacobs has graciously agreed to be the leader of the Deliberate Pace Group.  She's a long time Ride Leader who knows her stuff (far better than the Interim VP of Rides).


The key to making this successful is for people to communicate and to make an extra effort to join the Deliberate Pace rides so that we can develop a core group of Deliberate Pace riders.


Please do not hesitate to post any other questions, or email me at edward_cheng_89 [at] or Barbara at nyder.jacobs [at]




Rami Haddad


Gravel Rides offer fun on paved and gravel surfaces, as well as maximum fresh air and minimum traffic.

Gravel roads are less trafficked, more scenic, and can be more technically challenging. They are a great change of pace if you’re used to pavement. and seeking a different experience.

You are welcome to participate in the program, meet other members interested in gravel rides, and plan the season during the Zoom call on 6 May 2021 19:00. Register in advance at



A. Gravel roads, double track, & rail trails that are made primarily of soft surface, stone dust, & packed dirt.
B. Avoid single track trails, bicycle portage, mountain bikes, roots, & rocks.
C. Wide 32–35mm tires will be most suitable. Wider 40mm tires will not be required, although may be more comfortable on longer days and bikepacking tours.
D. Many rides will require remote start either from commuter rail station around Boston or car drive to neighboring regions in New England.


We continue to build our library of gravel routes on Ride with GPS club account. Access the full list of routes with #gravel tag at

Map, stories & pictures for some of these routes are at

Share your one favorite routes with the club on any of the club forums.



The club has several forums for members to interact

Share your favorite routes, write a story from your recent trip, & invite others to join your ride on any forum of your choice.

There is a dedicate #gravel channel on Slack. Join the conversation at

We may organize some reconnaissance rides to explore new routes. They will not be official CRW club rides nor covered by insurance. They will not be listed in the club calendar. Join at your own risk to enjoy ride, explore the area, & experience a new route.



A. Program has $1,000 budget to spend for the benefit of club members.
B. Raffle custom CRW Buff neck wrap for ten of total program participants: five in July & five in September.
C. Treat participants to a drink or ice cream on a ride.
D. Social event over drinks or casual dinner for program ride leaders.



A. Attend CRW ride leader training
B. Consider leading a ride of your choice
C. Cyclocross webinar & clinic coming this summer.

Rami Haddad is CRW President.



A Ride on the Road to Nowhere: The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Tim Wilson

A Ride on the Road to Nowhere: The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

This past October I headed west with three friends for a cycling vacation on the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland.

It was a great trip that allowed us to enjoy a series of socially distant rides somewhere new before another winter closed in on the cycling season. We capped the vacation with a visit on bike to Gettysburg that was a highlight for our group of history buffs.

But the most memorable experience of the trip was the shortest stretch. The Pennsylvania native who planned our vacation had suggested a bucket list ride while we were in the area: The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened to traffic in 1940. But as was the case with many roadways around the U.S. after the Second World War, traffic outgrew the turnpike’s capacity, particularly in its tunnels. There were miles of backups caused by the tunnels where the four-lane highway became one lane in each direction. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission decided in 1968 to reroute a new section of the turnpike and abandon about 13 miles of the original road near Waterfall, in the south central part of the state.

In the more than 50 years since then, the roadway did not go to waste. It was used by the Turnpike Commission to train snowplow drivers, test prototype rumble strips, road reflectors and reflective paint, and even for military training. An abandoned turnpike and its tunnels also turned out to be ideal settings for movie scenes including some for the 2009 film, “The Road”, based on Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic book.

A conservation group bought a portion of the roadway in 2001 but nothing came of it. More recently, an organization known as "Friends of the Bike 2 Pike" envisioned making the Turnpike and tunnels part of the Bike PA Route. But for now, it’s a DIY cycling adventure route.

Being on vacation, we were up for something different that was off the beaten path. What we found was more like the sometimes badly beaten path.

None of us was quite sure what to expect. This sign at the entrance gave us a better idea:

With little running room in the small parking lot, we had to walk our bikes up a short, but pretty steep, somewhat gravelly road to the Turnpike itself. Once up there, we saw why this was a perfect setting for a movie about the world gone to hell in a handbasket. It was eerie. It was the familiar landscape of a highway but strangely silent and literally gone to seed with weeds everywhere.

One thing we knew for sure. Social distancing was not going to be a problem.

Early on, the road surface was deceivingly in good shape. What we really noticed, though, was that the turnpike had turned into a tagger’s dream. There was more asphalt with graffiti than without.

Most of the artworks were profane expressions in words and images of love and hate that would have earned a movie an R rating. We were surprised and thankful that if this crude creativity was fueled by alcohol, the artists had left relatively few containers behind.

Another surprise was the remains of road reflectors left behind from the previously mentioned testing. We knew they hadn’t been there since 1968.

About a mile and a half in we came to the Rays Hill tunnel. I made the mistake of assessing the entrance for a moment as my buddies headed in. There was a water-filled hole at the entrance that left me even further behind as I negotiated my way around it. After that I realized my bigger mistake – not having a headlight.

All I could do was focus on the blinking red light on the bike about 50 yards ahead while hollering, “Wait for me!” It didn’t help that I was on the wrong side of cataract surgery with dwindling night vision.

Thankfully, my friends waited, and we continued with me zeroed in on the taillight from about a bike’s distance behind.

Coming out of the tunnel the road headed downhill and the road surface followed. It got to the point where there was less road than cracks, holes and brush. Maybe this was where rookie drivers got their first crack at plowing a road with an emphasis on crack.  

At that point, I was toward the front of the group and started wondering if everyone was still on board with continuing. A sense of adventure was keeping me going but, in my head, I kept hearing a favorite expression of another cyclist friend: “It’s not an adventure until something goes wrong.” So far, so good, but should we tempt fate?

I signaled everyone to stop and posed the question. Do you guys want to keep going? You can judge what is says about us, but the quick response was a unanimous yes. We kept rolling.

In a stretch of just two miles we had gone from a road ride to a gravel grinder. Next up was a little single track.

Making our way along this remnant roadway, the path we took on the former westbound lanes of the Turnpike was more squiggle than line. At some point, we realized the eastbound lanes across the median were looking relatively better. Throwing caution and good sense to the wind, we weaved our way through the overgrown median weeds and proceeded on the eastbound side.

Nine miles after exiting the Rays Hill tunnel, the Sideling Hill tunnel came into view. This time we were ready for a tunnel.

Two of us had lights. Two didn’t. We paired up with the lights in front and headed in.

In this tunnel, we could see quite a bit of graffiti on the walls. And we had our first sighting of some youngsters on foot who may or may not have been among the artists responsible for the splashes of color surrounding us.

We were lucky this turned out to be the warmest day of our trip and the coolness of the tunnel was almost welcome. The Sideling Hill tunnel is 1.3 miles long and eventually there’s no light at either end of the tunnel. An arc in the tunnel designed to keep water from ponding in the middle also keeps out the light.

Coming out of the tunnel we discovered that light wasn’t the only thing the tunnel blocked. GPS signals were lost as well and in both tunnels. Fortunately, getting lost was not a concern.

It was only about a mile beyond the Sideling Hill tunnel that the Abandoned Turnpike ended, and we reversed direction. As we headed back into the tunnel, we applied another learning from the first trip through in pairs. When the two of us in the rear kept our eyes on the blinking lights in front of us, we could follow just fine. The problem was that when staring at the blinking lights we couldn’t see much else. Switching to a steady light restored at least a little of our peripheral vision.

Our return trip was a lot less unnerving. We had mastered the trick of finding a good line on the pock-marked pavement and could pick up the pace. Riding into a setting sun, we made it back to our truck without incident.

It was only the next morning that we learned our excursion on the Turnpike had qualified as an adventure. Rolling out in the parking lot preparing to head for Gettysburg, I found my rear tire was going flat. It didn’t take long to discover I had been riding with a sizeable thorn planted in the tread from one of our median crossings.

So, it turned out something had gone wrong on our Turnpike trek. But thankfully, the cycling gods had chosen to smile on us this time.

If you want to learn more about the abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike and see more photos, visit the Exploring the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike page on here:

Photo Credits
Map Abandoned PA Turnpike Map, Only in Your State
Graffiti  Abandoned Turnpike artwork, PaBucketList
Light Light at the end of Sideling Hill tunnel, Jim Bradley
Tunnel Entrance to Rays Hill tunnel, UncoveringPA
Road back Heading out on the Turnpike, Jim Bradley

Anti-Aging: 8 Exercise Mistakes Older Riders Make



You’re a cyclist in your 50s and older. Your goals are to be a good cyclist, healthy and fit for many years to come. To reach your goals, knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what to do.


1. Ignoring the training paradigm 

Training stress (physiological overload) + rest = success (improvement). As you adapt to your riding or other workload you’ll plateau unless you increase the workload. And if you don’t allow sufficient recovery you won’t improve.  See #6 below.


2. Mindset

Riders often believe they should ride a certain number of miles a week, set a goal of riding at least 30 minutes every day of the week, etc. Physiologically riding a lot of miles won’t hurt you as I explain in this column Anti-Aging Can You Ride too Much? However, riding X miles a week or Y days every week may have unintended consequences. You get fitter by stressing your body to do more than it’s accustomed to doing and then allowing it to recover. Riding stress is only one of many kinds of stress in your life. The various stresses may compound to create physical and/or psychological problems as I explain in this column Anti-Aging Too Much Stress Can Shorten Your Life. The unexpected happens in life! And you need to be flexible to accommodate these events.


3. Doing too much

My new clients come with preconceptions about training. Most of them think they should train more than they need to in order to improve. Beyond a certain volume doing more riding doesn’t make you better, although it isn’t harmful as explained above. How much exercise is too much is very individual. Basically if you’ve stopped improving then doing more won’t make you any better. However, you enjoy riding and it’s fine to ride more – just don’t expect improvement.


4. Riding the same way all the time

The first part of the training paradigm is physiological overload. If you faithfully ride 50 miles every week you’ll be proficient at riding 50 miles but won’t improve. If you always ride at 14 mph you’ll be comfortable cruising at 14 mph but you won’t get any faster. To improve your endurance you need to ride more than 50 miles some weeks (but not every week). To get faster you need to ride faster some of the time. Not most of the time — 10 to 20% of your riding time is sufficient. More fast riding won’t make you faster and may result in overtraining. I wrote this column Six Kinds of Intensity Training and explain how to decide which kind(s) of intensity are right for you. 


5. Neglecting non-cycling activities

As you age your body deteriorates in various ways unless you take corrective action in all of these areas:

  • Muscle strength
  • Flexibility
  • Balance
  • Strong bones

#2 and #3 above often don’t leave you enough time also to work out in these important areas. My eBook Anti-Aging 12 Ways You Can Slow the Aging Process includes programs to improve your endurance, enhance your power and speed, develop your muscle strength, increase your flexibility, improve your balance and strengthen your bones. 


6. Insufficient recovery

Your body only rebuilds and gets stronger during recovery, not while you’re exercising. I wrote this column on Anti-Aging The Importance of Recovery in Your 50s, 60s and Beyond. In the column I give you nine recovery tips.


7. Fads

You read about the benefits High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and it doesn’t take much time. Your buddy recommends a phenomenal spinning class. You find an 8-week plan to cycling fitness. We’re each an experiment of one. Rather than immediately adopting a program – even one I recommend – think about whether the program is optimal for the unique you. Then try it out and see if it helps. And if it doesn’t help or worsens your performance then stop! Some discomfort is part of getting fitter but if you hate a specific activity then it’s not the right one for you.


8. Nutrition before, during and after

When you exercise you burn a combination of fat — we all have enough — and glucose. Your body stores glucose as glycogen, which comes from carbs. We have limited stores of glycogen and can run out of fuel (glucose) during a multi-hour ride. Before you exercise eat a snack of about 100 calories of carbohydrates. If you’re exercising more than an hour the American College of Sports Medicine recommends consuming 100 to 200 calories of carbs per hour depending on your body size and how hard you’re exercising. After exercising eat another snack of at least 100 calories of carbs. If you’ve gone for a multi-hour ride eat more after the ride.

The bottom line is to listen to your unique body.


This article is 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. 


More Information


My column Improving Your Athletic Maturity describes five ways that you can improve your athletic maturity starting this fall.

My eBook 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 includes columns by John Lee Ellis, Elizabeth Wicks, Jim Langley, Fred Matheny, Gabe Mirkin and seven other older riders.

This article appeared in Road Bike Rider Anti-Aging: 8 Exercise Mistakes Older Riders Make - Road Bike Rider Cycling Site



May Updates

WheelPeople Editors

Adventure Rides. Several Adventure Rides have been arranged. Adventure Rides Launched at CRW | Charles River Wheelers

Town Ride collections - There will be days in May warm enough to ride and the Town Collections are available for you
Volunteer Positions. A list of open positions can be found here
Club Forums There are several forums you can use to stay in touch with your CRW friends or participate in friendly discussions.
Amazon Smile If you have an Amazon Prime account please look into making CRW your charity. Details here
Raffle Winners. We announced a membership drive in March to raffle three Road IDs. Based on selection, here are the three winners: 
Eliza Grinnell
Scott Rata
Conner Tomasello





Sliced Tire

Eli Post

In biking there are many ways that mechanical difficulties will disrupt your ride. Some are widely known like a broken cable or a worn shifter that blocks gear changing. Unfortunately I discovered a new issue to be wary of.

I got multiple flats on the same wheel. Ordinarily I may get a single flat in a season, sometimes none at all. I fixed the flat in each case and twice had to replace the tire, but after a while knew something was up.

Photo by Roy Cervantes, Grace Bicycles.

So the next flat, I took my bike and my wheel to the local bike shop for a full inspection. Turns out the brake clamp was not adjusted properly and was striking the wheel and having a slicing effect on the tire. Who knew! You can say what can go wrong will go wrong, but I have learned and moved on. However, next time I will take stock more quickly on a recurring issue.

After writing this, I wondered if others in the club had similar "unusual" breakdowns, and asked around:

John Allen, CRW Safety Coordinator. Well, there was one time when a piece of a broken glass bottle slashed a tire and I happened to be in street clothes, also carrying a jackknife. I cut off the end of my leather belt to boot the tire. Booting is when you put a piece of something in your tire so the tube does not herniate out of the gaping hole . A boot can be made with anything. A $100 bill, a $1 bill,  or a candy bar wrapper. You just need some material to keep your tube from escaping out the cut.

On the Climb to the Clouds a few years ago, a rider passed me having suffered from a bent chain link, and every three or four turns of the crank, the chain would jump forward. I called out to him and offered to solve his problem. We stopped and I placed my 6" adjustable wrench at one end of the bent link and my chain tool at the other, and straightened it out  He rode away a happy man. Gene Ho provided some pics on how to deal with a broken rear deraiileur cable on the road. Click HERE

Larry Kernan is a freshly former CRW President  In the fall of 2014, my wife Mary and I did a 3,116 mile self-supported ride across the US.  We followed the Southern Tier bike route beginning in San Diego and ending up in St. Augustine, Florida.  On Day 6, riding through the desert in mid-ninety degree temps, we passed through Hope, AZ and continued on to Salome, our destination for the evening.  We pulled into our motel ($51.65 per night including taxes) that looked even more skanky than some previous contenders.  I had been having a problem with my cleats during hot days.  Apparently, the hot weather made the cleats expand sufficiently to make it difficult to unclip.  As I came to a stop on the gravel driveway of the motel, I was again unable to unclip and performed a Keystone Cops dismount.  (OK, I toppled over).  Two Mormon missionaries dressed in black pants, shoes, necktie and white shirt hurried over to offer support.  Aside from some ugly road rash, I was relatively unscathed aside from my pride.  Like most cyclists, my first reaction was, “But, how’s my bike?”  A brake lever jutted awkwardly to the left, but that was quickly bent back in line.  And then there was my saddle, hanging from the post, the rail retention irretrievably demolished.  We attempted the usual bicycle first aid -- lots of duct tape and cable ties.

The next morning, after repairing a flat which appeared on Mary’s bike overnight, we headed off to Wickenburg, AZ.  A note from Mary’s journal: “Larry got on his bike, hoping the saddle would stay in place. He went about 50 yards down the road and shifted in his seat. The saddle flew out from under him and skidded into the street.”  After three attempts to repair the saddle, I gave up and rode the 55 miles to Wickenburg “out of the saddle”, hoping a bump wouldn’t cause me to inadvertently drop onto the seat post for a self-administered proctological examination.

Wickenburg had only a tiny sporting goods shop where I was able to purchase a child’s saddle.  Unbelievably uncomfortable, it was a major improvement over none at all.  Being frugal (Mary calls it cheap) and doing penance for a stupid accident, I passed up the opportunity to buy a real saddle the following day in Tempe.  I continued on for a full week, 362 miles on that miserable saddle before buying a decent replacement in Silver City, New Mexico!

Butch Pemstein: CRW VP for Legal Affairs, It was on a Wednesday Wheeler ride. I was the leader.  We rode in Hubbardston and Rutland and some other areas out there in the relative Boonies. We stopped after the ride at a place in Hubbardston  (now in Templeton), that specializes in Epimediums, a plant that is native to the far east but has been cultivated quite a bit here. We were in the Ware River Reservation. Coming back from the reservoir it became necessary for me to hit the brakes, Now my bike, a red Cannondale that had been well used, reasonably well maintained and fully reliable to that date, became recalcitrant: the rim on the front wheel deteriorated. Yeah, it got holes and it gave 'way, and it made me fall. I felt the rim and it was hot as blazes. After accepting condolences from some of my colleagues, and razzing from all of my colleagues, we called the MDC or perhaps they came by on a regular route, can't recall which,  who gave me a lift to the car and someone else finished leading the route.  Nothing akin to that has happened to me since, but there is always the possibility.

Ken Hablow, Originator of Climb to the Clouds. had several mishaps to report.

It was an idyllic early September cycling day. Jack Donohue, Connie Farb and I set out from Groton to arrow the hilly NH loop of the fall century. We got less than 10 miles out when Connie had a broken rear shifter cable (it is always the rear). We managed to secure the rear derailleur in a ridable gear by winding the cable around the water bottle cage to secure it. She managed to ride the few miles back to the parking lot. Jack, in the meantime, not knowing what happened, rode on. I figured several miles ahead he would realize I was not there, but noooo…. 2 miles from Connie’s mishap Jack had the same problem. He just left the rear derailleur in the small cog and we trudged back. I was bummed, it was such a nice day. The moral of the story is to replace your rear shifter cable every few thousand miles. They generally break inside the shifter and that can lead to having to purchase a new shifter.


I know a rider who carries a small amount of duct tape in his rear bag. He once punctured a tire close to home. Rather than spend the time to patch the tube he merely wrapped the puncture with duct tape – yup! around the rim and the tire, then rode home. I always carry a spare tire and 2 tubes.


As the ride leader on a CRW ride, I was the last to leave the parking lot. I came on 2 couples stopped on the side of the road. One of the women had a flat. I am not sure if none of them knew how to address the problem, or if the guys were just being nasty, but I offered. Luckily she had a new tube. I removed the tire from the rim, then by mouth blew some air in the new tube to make it round before I put it on. She asked me when I was done if I could then blow it up to 100 lbs.


It was a winter day. Jack Donohue and I were on Lost Lake road in Groton coming off route 40 heading to route 225. After the “cow gut” there is a nasty short, steep hill. Jack was behind me. I heard a God awful crack. Turns out his rear derailleur hanger broke off his old Cannondale. Neither of us had a chain tool. The derailleur just swung on the drooping chain. Jack would put the chain on the large cog and start to ride. The chain, of course, kept sliding down to the small cog, then off. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Luckily we were relatively close to his office in Westford where he could phone home for a pickup. I know he was totally frustrated, but I thought it was laughable every time the chain finally slipped off the small cog and he was pedaling at about 150 rpm going nowhere.


Alex Post is a Ride Leader who has a relatively new bike, and was not expecting major issues. "I was looking at the seatpost area in anticipation of getting a rack, when I noticed what appeared to be a crack in the paint. I had to move the bike to good light to see that this crack might even be in the frame itself. I know that riding a bike in this condition is dangerous, so I hauled off to the bike shop where it was declared a total loss. The manufacturer (Cannodale) agreed to replace the frame, but I am bummed out I will miss good riding days. On the other hand, I avoided injury. A final note of irony. I had heard that carbon fiber was subject to catastrophic failure, and decided on aluminum. Even the best laid plans can get wacky."

And then there are those who have lived through it all:



Rami Haddad


This was orignally an email to the membership. We are repeating it here to secure the widest possible circulation.


The Board seeks to refresh the club media kit of logo, colors, & font with the goals of consistent use, easy association with the club across media & gear, and recognizable clear bold lines & colors.


Logos are the face of organizations used to visually communicate our unique identity, activities, & services. Logos create a first impression of an organization and express its values. CRW has had the same logo for many years and it has served the club well. But times are changing, with new concerns and objectives. The current logo shows three riders, and we wanted to move away from an image of individual riders to a focus on the larger cycling community.


As we expanded the club's presence on social media, we found requirements to apply the logo in small icons, club profile, wide banners, & event pictures. The current logo, with its fine intricate lines & intertwined shapes, becomes distorted in smaller sizes and in many digital formats. Similarly, we wanted to produce custom club gear with a distinct color scheme, recognizable logo, & feasible manufacturing options. Intricate, complex lines in the current logo make it difficult to print, stitch, or engrave. In addition, the use of five colors in the current logo can be costly to print as each color adds a fee. Consequently, we have often resorted to being creative in slightly adjusting the logo to fit manufacturing needs, reducing the consistency of truly one logo.


A task group of graphic designers, Board members, & volunteers met over several weeks to exchange ideas, concepts, & approaches. Below are the results of their hard work. We are grateful for their time, energy, & creativity. While we understand that no design effort will please everyone, we hope all members will be excited and inspired by their resulting product.

In March we made a soft launch of a new logo to see how it worked & get preliminary feedback. It appears that the new logo has generated a generally favorable reaction so the Board is moving to the next step.


The full deck that explains the design concept is available at


We request your feedback & thoughts about this new media kit through a poll. Please take a moment to complete this form


This survey will close on Friday 30 April 2021. The Board will then vote on the new design during our meeting on 10 May 2021.




May 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. Enjoy our monthly virtual film fest.

Spring Ride
Spring riding is a great way to enjoy the blooming trees, such as the cherry blossoms in DC. I enjoyed the natural beauty on a recent ride. 1 Min.
Why We Cycle






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.



The Gluck Legal Takeaway - Spring Forward: Legislative Update and Underinsured Motorist Reminder

Ronald Gluck

Last year at this time I wrote a column about underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). This coverage accompanies all motor vehicle insurance policies in Massachusetts.  It covers cyclists and pedestrians in the household of the insured driver if they are injured when hit by a motor vehicle while cycling, jogging or walking. In my column I emphasized that without high limits for UIM coverage injured cyclists could end up in financial difficulty, if not disaster, if they were hit by minimally insured drivers.

I am starting this year's column by reemphasizing that point because I have been presented with cases recently in which cyclists were seriously injured by minimally insured drivers AND did not have adequate UIM coverage on their own vehicles to protect themselves. In some cases, the cyclists were under insured because they had not reviewed their automobile insurance policy for many years.  They disregarded renewal letters that were sent to them by their insurance companies year after year, and maintained the same levels of  underinsured motorist coverage in spite of the fact that their life circumstances had changed. They insured themselves well for liability, in the event that they injured someone with their car, but failed to buy sufficient underinsured motorist coverage that would protect them if they were seriously injured while they were riding a bike or walking across a street.  I hope that this reminder will motivate people to review their automobile insurance policies to determine whether it makes sense for them to increase their levels of UIM coverage so that if an unfortunate accident occurs, they will be protected from financial hardship.  And remember, it is inexpensive coverage. The link to last year’s column can be found below.  Please contact me if you have any questions about this type of coverage.Click here for column.

State and Federal Legislative Update

Massachusetts lawmakers have been presented with proposed legislation, which, if passed into law, would provide additional protection to bicyclists who are involved in collisions with large trucks.

“An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities” would require state- contracted trucks to be outfitted with safety sideguards, crossover mirrors, convex mirrors and blind spot decals to reduce the risk of cyclists being swept underneath the tall carriage of large vehicles.  These sideswipe truck accidents are often fatal for cyclists and pedestrians. The convex mirrors would expand the truck driver’s view of cyclists. The version of the bill proposed to the House of Representatives would also require use of backup cameras.  The bills are HD.1888 and SD.1613.

Legislation to require sideguards on trucks has been proposed in Massachusetts on prior occasions. In 2014, the City of Boston passed the first sideguard ordinance in the nation. The ordinance requires truckers with contracts with the City of Boston to equip their trucks with sideguards, crossover mirrors, convex mirrors and blind- spot awareness decals. 

These legislative proposals came about as direct result of fatalities and serious injuries in Massachusetts and other states around the country.  My involvement in several cases where this has occurred revealed a disturbing tendency of police departments which investigated the accidents to place primary blame on the cyclist. The reason most frequently given is that the cyclist put him or herself in a position where the truck driver could not see them: the trucker’s blind spot. These cases typically involve large trucks making right turns when the cyclist is on the right side of the truck. If the safety enhancements which would be required if the legislation passes were present on the trucks, and IF the drivers made use of all of them, the injuries and deaths may very well have been avoided. 

The legislation that is proposed applies only to trucks that are operating under a contract with the state.  The most effective legislation would be analogous to seat belt legislation which became federal law in 1966 and required all manufacturers to equip cars with seat belts or air bag legislation that passed in 1998 which required all vehicle manufacturers to equip cars and light trucks with airbags.       

Federal legislation has been introduced to strengthen standards intended to prevent deadly underride accidents involving tractor- trailers and straight trucks. The Stop Underrides Act would require underride guards on the sides and front of all new trucks.  Under current federal law underride guards are only required to be on the back of a truck. The trucking industry and trailer makers expressed concern previously when similar bills were introduced in 2017 and 2019 about issues such as cost and weight.  The legislation would not apply to trucks currently in existence.  It will be interesting to track this legislation during the current congressional term.  

As I have written in the past, the safest way to avoid serious injuries or worse from a collision with a truck is to stay away from them whenever possible.   Assume that the driver cannot see you. Often the trucks are not equipped with sufficient mirroring to reduce the dangers of blind spots.  In addition, truck drivers sometimes fail to properly check to make sure cyclists are not on the right side of the truck before making right turns.  Protect yourself and avoid these situations whenever possible.

Stay well and safe riding!

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.




Route Back to Course

Eli Post


When Hansel and Gretel went off route, they relied on breadcrumbs to find their way back. That didn’t end well. Dorothy had more success with ruby slippers, but they could only take her home.


Now there’s a new kind of magic available from Ride With GPS (RWGPS) that with the tap of a screen can give you turn-by turn directions back to your route.


You might ask what purpose is served by RWGPS’ new “Route back to Course”. Well, say you encounter roadwork and have to unexpectedly go off course. Alternatively, you might decide to explore unfamiliar roads, or go off course for donut and coffee or other treats and appreciate an easy way back to the route. In either case, “Make a U-turn” doesn’t cut it for directions.


Let’s see how“Route back to Course” works.

  • If you stray more than 120 degrees or 35 meters off of the route you are navigating, the software is designed to recognize that you are off course and automatically trigger an alert.
  • With the introduction of Route Back to Course, when you opt to be rerouted the routing engine immediately begins to work on developing a turn-by-turn route back to the closest point of your route. Occasionally this may mean turning around and backtracking the way that you went off course; however, the majority of the time it will mean continuing forward on a different path that will link you up with your original course a bit further down the line.
  • Rerouting decisions are based on distance and safety, with popularity as a tie breaker.
  • An internet connection (whether via Wi-Fi or a cellular network) is required to produce rerouting directions, regardless of whether or not your route has been downloaded.

A personal note here. This writer was an early adopter of GPS and used a Garmin device especially designed for biking. It was a frustrating experience. When you went off course or simply wanted to cut the ride short and head back, the instrument was unpredictable and had a mind of its own. However RWGPS has an excellent track record with its software upgrades and we are hopeful this will be a welcome addition to your navigation experience.


More technical information from RWGPS is included below for those who are interested.


On Course Point Selection:
 - The app will select the nearest point to the rider. 

 - Depending on circumstances (If there are multiple points that are all "very close", it will disambiguate them using their heading and their "delta from known position" (which is designed to catch the correct "lap")), it may take the rider's heading into consideration. 

 - We're planning on improving the selection process in a later release.


The app then navigates the user to this point:

 - It will request cycling directions.

 - It will prefer "No u-turns" if the rider is moving when reroute occurs. ( this means it may route you around the block instead of having you turn around. The app can't know how busy the street you're on is.)

 - if you rejoin the route before what the app determines is the "nearest" point, it will slice off the overlap and the final endpoint will be slightly ahead of where you naturally rejoin the route. 

 - It is possible that you rejoin and then depart before rejoining a final time on the reroute.




Egg Yolks, Cholesterol and TMAO

By Dr. Gabe Mirkin


The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study followed 521,120 U.S. adults, average age 62.2 years, for an average of 16 years and found that eating half an egg per day was associated with increased risk for death from heart attacks, cancer, and all causes ( Note #1). Each egg yolk contains approximately 200 mg of cholesterol, and each additional 300 mg of dietary cholesterol eaten daily increased risk for death from all causes by 19 percent, heart attacks by 16 percent and cancer by 24 percent. A previous study found similar results (Note #2). However, a review of 40 studies published between 1979 and 2013 found some controversy about harm from eating eggs (Note #3). Researchers analyzed 211 different papers and found that more than 85 percent reported that eating eggs raised blood cholesterol (Note #4), but there is enough controversy about whether dietary cholesterol is harmful that the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology (2013) and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines (2015-2020) did not mention lowering dietary cholesterol as a strategy to help prevent heart attacks.


TMAO, Rather than Cholesterol, May Be the Culprit
For many years, researchers have recommended that preventing heart attacks involves restricting egg yolks and all other foods that are rich in cholesterol, but there is now extensive evidence that egg yolks may increase heart attack risk by a different mechanism. Egg yolks contain lecithin and choline, two chemicals that are converted by some of the more than 100 trillion bacteria in your colon into a chemical called TriMethylAmine (TMA). TMA is absorbed into your bloodstream and travels to your liver where it is converted to TriMethylAmine Oxide (TMAO). TMAO can damage blood vessels to start plaques forming in your arteries, can increase clotting that causes heart attacks and strokes (Cell, March 24, 2016;165(1):111–124), and can damage DNA in your cells to increase cancer risk. A review of 17 clinical studies covering 26,167 subjects, followed for an average 4.3 years, found that high blood levels of TMAO are associated with an almost double increased risk for an early death (Note #5). The chances for dying increased by 7.6 percent for each 10 micromoles/L increase in blood levels of TMAO. Lowering blood levels of TMAO helps to prevent heart attacks (Note #6)


Evidence that Diabetics Should Restrict Eggs
• People who regularly consumed one or more eggs per day (equivalent to 50 grams) increased their risk of diabetes by 60 per cent (Note #7).
• In healthy men and women, no association was found between eating one egg per day regularly and risk for heart attacks and strokes, but for diabetics eating one egg per day was associated with increased risk for heart attacks (Note #8).
• In healthy men, three or more eggs per week was linked to higher levels of sugar stuck on cells (HbA1C) that measures cell damage from high blood sugar levels; and in diabetics, eating three eggs per week was associated with higher blood sugar levels and increased risk of stroke (European Journal of Nutrition, Nov 2, 2017).
• In healthy men and women, six eggs per week increased risk for diabetes (Diabetes Care, Feb 2009;32(2):295–300).
• Healthy North Americans who eat more than two eggs per week appear to be at increased risk for diabetes, but studies from Spain, France, Finland and Japan showed no increased risk for diabetes (Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Jan 6, 2016).
• A review of 17 studies failed to show increased risk for heart attacks in people who eat eggs (BMJ, January 2013). However, regular egg eaters who are diabetic suffered 150 percent more heart attacks than diabetics who ate eggs sporadically.
• Ultrasound tests showed that people who ate more than three eggs a week had increased plaques in their arteries when compared to those who ate two or fewer eggs a week, even after other risks such as smoking were ruled out (Note #9).


Comparing Eggs to Other Breakfast Foods
Sugar and other refined carbohydrates may put you at higher risk for heart attacks, diabetes and premature death than eating cholesterol and TMAO in meat and eggs. It makes no sense to replace eggs with:
• pancakes, waffles or French toast covered with sugary syrup
• many dry breakfast cereals that are made by grinding whole grains into flour, removing most of the fiber and adding sugar
• bakery products such as bagels and muffins
• sausages, bacon and other processed meats that can increase risk for cancers as well as heart attacks


My Recommendations
Your overall diet is far more important than whether or not you eat eggs on occasion(Note #10 ). I believe that most North Americans should restrict eggs to not more than three or four a week, and they should not be eaten with red or processed meats (Note #11). If your LDL cholesterol is over 100, or you have heart problems or diabetes, I think that you should restrict eating eggs (Am J Clin Nutr, 2013;98:146-59). A more healthful breakfast can contain oatmeal or other whole grains, with nuts and fruits added for flavoring. Nuts are not fattening, even though they contain lots of fat, and fruits contain healthful soluble fiber.



#1 PLoS Med, Feb 9, 2021;18(2):e1003508
#2 JAMA, 2019;321(11):1081–95
#3 Am J Clin Nutr, 2015;102(2):276–94)
#4 American J of Lifestyle Med, Dec 11, 2019
#5 European Heart Journal, July 19, 2017;38(39):2948–2956
#6 Cell, Dec 17, 2015;163(7):1585-95)
#7 Br J Nutr, Oct 8, 2020;1-8
#8 Am J Clin Nutr, 2013;98:146–159; BMJ, 2013;346:e8539
#9 Atherosclerosis, 2012 Oct;224(2):469-73
#10 (Nutrients, 2015 Sep 3;7(9):7399-420
#11 JAMA, 1999;281:1387-94

The Athlete's Kitchen - Microbes, Bones & Hot Weather


The Athlete’s Kitchen

Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD  April 2021


Do you know the bacteria in your gut can enhance athletic performance? Or the sports you play when you are a kid impact your bone health as a young adult? Or your ability to exercise in the heat depends on how well you hydrate? At the annual sports nutrition conference hosted in March 2021 by SCAN (the sports nutrition practice group of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics;, the speakers offered updates on these topics of interest.


Performance-enhancing probiotics: A new frontier?

Athletes have endurance, strength, ability to recover from injuries, and strong minds. Could those traits be connected to the athletes’ microbiome‑-those health-enhancing bacteria that live in their gut? Are the gut-brain and the gut-muscle connections in elite athletes comparable to those of non-athletes? Can the microbes of elite athletes offer information applicable to others?

To discover the impact of the microbiome on exercise performance, FitBiomics, a biotechnology company based in NYC, is studying the microbiome of top athletes, looking for performance-enhancing microbes. For example, marathon runners (compared to non-runners) have a higher amount of the bacteria Veillonella that efficiently eats lactic acid and reduces inflammation. Mice fed Veillonella improved 13% in endurance running. What if marathoners consumed Veillonella supplements? Would that help them run faster? More research is needed, but the information to date seems promising, so stay tuned! 


Parents: Bone up on bone health for your kids

Given that up to 90% of peak bone mass is reached by age 18 in females and age 20 in males, parents should encourage their kids to participate in bone-building sports. This means doing weight-bearing exercise— such as soccer instead of swimming—during early puberty. High impact sports like gymnastics and volleyball also contribute to bones with about 10% greater bone mass.


Multi-directional sports (i.e., soccer, basketball) are better for bone health than one-directional sports (cycling, swimming). The jumping, cutting, and stopping that happens during soccer and basketball leads to stronger, more fracture-resistant bones. Track and field athletes who had participated in ball sports (such as soccer, volleyball, etc.) when they were younger had 50% fewer stress fractures than their peers who had not done so. Same goes for male runners who had played basketball; they had 82% fewer stress fractures. Military recruits who had played soccer and basketball when they were kids experienced fewer stress fractures later in their lives during basic training. Clearly, we need to start early to optimize bone health!


Athletes reduce their bone mass when they restrict calories to lose weight. A smart nutrition recommendation for dieting athletes is to consume foods naturally rich in calcium, i.e., drink more dairy milk. Each cup of skim milk consumed by young female athletes reduced risk for future stress fractures in by 62%.


To help protect against stress fractures, at-risk athletes should consume at least 1,500 mg. a day of calcium + 800 IUs of vitamin D. Female military recruits who took calcium and D supplements for 8 weeks had 20% fewer stress fractures compared to unsupplemented peers. Getting adequate sleep also contributes to bone health.



Exercising safely in hot weather  

With global warming, athletes are more likely to train and compete in unusually hot weather. To effectively reduce the risk of exertional heat stroke (and death), athletes should allow 10 to 14 days to acclimatize to exercising in hot weather. During acclim-atization, the body adapts to dissipate more heat, thereby enabling athletes to perform better. Most physiological adaptations occur between days 4 to 8 of heat exposure.


During the first week of being exposed to heat, athletes should have only one training session per day. Ideally, they will have access to cool fluids during exercise (more likely to be consumed) and they will frequently take small swigs of fluid throughout exercise (preferable to gulping a large bolus of fluid all at once).






When exercising in the heat, athletes should monitor their urine for color and quantity and think WUT:

Weight: Is my morning weight lower than the day before?

Urine: Is my urine dark and concentrated?

Thirst: Am I thirsty upon awakening?


Yes answers signal they are starting the day underhydrated.


In terms of health risks, being adequately hydrated is more important than being heat-acclimatized (though being well hydrated and heat-acclimatized is ideal for maximizing thermoregulation). An adaptation to heat acclimatization is reduced sodium in sweat. Despite that adaptation, endurance and team sport athletes often fail to replace adequate sodium during extended exercise in the heat. Salty sweaters (who have gritty sodium crystals on their skin) should purposefully consume sodium-rich foods and fluids. 


Some athletes salt-load for a day or two before an event, but researchers advise against doing that. The kidneys do a good job of excreting excess sodium via urine. The additional fluid loss can be counter -productive and hurt, not enhance, performance.


Athletes should try to replace 70% to 80% of sodium and fluid lost during sweaty exercise. Knowing your sweat rate (by comparing pre- and post-exercise body weight) can reduce your risk of over- or under-hydrating. Drinking too much water is dangerous, because it dilutes the body’s sodium level and can lead to life-threatening hyponatremia.


Of all electrolytes, sodium is the biggest concern. Endurance athletes need to figure out how to replace sodium losses. Through trial and error, they can learn which salty foods taste good, settle well, and “work” for them. Pickle juice, bouillon, mustard, soy sauce and beef jerky are popular options that can be consumed both right before and during activity.



Eating fruits, veggies and whole grains will fuel your muscles, feed your microbiome, and impact your ability to perform at your best. Milk and yogurt rich in natural calcium will help keep bones strong. A sprinkling of salt can help retain water in your body. Fuel wisely, be responsible and bone up on good nutrition!



Sports Nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD counsels both casual and competitive athletes in the Boston-area (Newton; 617-795-1875). The 2020 6th edition of her Sports Nutrition Guidebook offers abundant food tips on how to eat to win. For more information, visit











Winter Ride Challenge - Results

Steve Carlson


The following report was sent to participants in the Winter Ride Challenge. The venture attracted a great many members and was a success by any measure. It will be back next year.


Good Day Fellow Winter Riders!

Spring officially started on March 20, so sadly, we felt it was time to put an end to our Charles River Wheelers Winter Challenge.  Yes, CRW’s winter is officially over!!


But what a winter we had!  Miles, Elevation, Fitness and Shots ..kind-of sums it up, right?


I am totally impressed with how this team of hardy riders responded to the challenge.  We had 220 participants with nearly everyone logging at least a few miles.  


Yeap, we burned up the road for a total of 106,478 miles.  That is 3.7 times around the planet earth!  That mileage was split up between 125 road riders at 57,733 miles and 95 trainer riders for 48,744 miles.  Trainers won the average with 728 miles per person, verses road riders with an average 583 miles per person.  


Not everyone found those flat routes, either!   We hit 3,061,007 feet in elevation gain which is equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest a total of 105 times.  Phew!!


When we announced the challenge, the club promised the first 100 registrants that signed up AND who hit 150 miles by the end of March, would receive a special edition tee-shirt.  This would give everyone a chance to ride when you found the weather windows or as your schedule permitted.  68% of the registants hit over 150 miles!!  


The member sign-up sequences and mileage were recorded.   Please click HERE to see all results and to see if you have that shirt coming your way!!   If you did not snag a shirt, please start preparing for next winter (did I say that?) and sign up earlier!  With the challenge just completed, expect the shirts to arrive in the next 3 weeks or so. Oh, I added a few random raffle winners for the lucky for you!


BTW, everyone was totally in, but I must say, Barry Nelson with 2,427 road miles and Richard Taylor with 3,877 trainer miles took top mileage honors and full bragging rights.  They will be awarded with an event coffee mug along with their tee shirts. Guys, please kick-up your feet and relax with a nice cup of joe in your glory earned it!  But, absolutely a great job by all!


I hope we can expand the outreach next year and double the involvement and the prizes, but for now, let’s be thankful winter is over.


Special shout out to David Cooper for the shirt design and Jack Donohue for the technical support!


Hope to see you on the road soon,
Steve Carlson, Event Coordinator


Steve Carlson is currently serving his second term on the Board.





May Looking Back

Brandon Milardo

May is the first month that warm days typically outnumber cold days in New England, so it’s appropriate that it would also be Bike Month. In May 1984, rides were scheduled for cyclists of varying ability, including breakfast rides in Medford and Brookline and multi-length rides from Lexington and Winchester. Bike Month rides culminated in the CRW Spring Celebration on May 20, with rides of 25, 50, and 100 miles, all starting from the Duck Feeding Area near Routes 30 and 128 in Newton.





First page of WheelPeople May 19,1984


Additionally, May 1 was the sixth group commuter ride and rally, with cycle commuters converging on Boston Common from Porter Square, Cleveland Circle, and points west and south in Lexington and Quincy. Participants were encouraged to have a banner: “signs taped to baskets or frames, small banners flying from fiberglass bike flag poles, [or] colorful clothing.”


In more whimsical news, Ed Trumbull wrote a letter reporting a positive interaction with a dog owner after an encounter with the dog resulted in a broken wind fairing: “I wrote to the dog’s owner relating the incident and suggesting it seemed reasonable for him to reimburse me for the replacement of the Zipper. Lo and behold, I promptly received a most pleasant letter apologizing for the incident and a check for the replacement cost—$50.45.”









Minuteman Bikeway in Arlington Center

John Allen


For this month’s Safety Corner, I take a look at the gap in the Minuteman Bikeway in Arlington Center. The bikeway uses the route of the old Bedford commuter rail line, which was abandoned in 1981. It ran diagonally across the two main streets in the center of Arlington. 17 years of planning and political work led by Arlington Town Planner Alan McClennen got the trail designed, funded and constructed. But no trail connection was made through Arlington Center.

Until 2017, bicyclists had two options: to ride on streets or sidewalks. Bicyclists were supposed to follow rules for pedestrians or for drivers, one or the other. Many bicyclists using the trail were and are casual bicyclists and children. The sidewalk route was inconvenient and slow, as it required crossing two sides of an intersection using pedestrian signals. The best route through the intersection for bicyclists riding in the street was not at all obvious. Most westbound bicyclists rode to the right of motor vehicles waiting to turn right. Quite a bit of chaos ensued.

In 2017, changes were made to accommodate bicycle traffic. The video embedded below shows my rides westbound through this intersection in 2013 following driving rules and in 2017 following the designated route for bicyclists.


As the video shows, I chose my route in 2013 to avoid right-hook risks. In 2017, the right-hook risk was intended to be avoided through separate traffic-signal phases for right-turning motor vehicles and for bicyclists in a bike lane. Questions for today:

  • What would you do along this route to avoid being “doored”?
  • Would you trust motorists to wait before turning right across your line of travel?
  • How would you forestall a potential right hook collision if you are headed to the far right corner of the intersection to continue on the bikeway?
  • What lane position would you take if continuing straight on Massachusetts Avenue, to avoid the squeeze experienced by another bicyclist in the 2017 video clip?
  • In choosing a route to avoid the risks I’ve mentioned, what other risks might you incur? Are they significant? How could you forestall them?
  • Does legality conflict with safety in any of these choices? (Note: it is legal for a bicyclist to use any lane, and to control it, riding in its center, if passing is unsafe. However, it is legal only to turn right from a right-turn lane.)
  • Are any of the applicable laws wrong, and if so, why?
  • Do you disagree with anything I do in the video, and if so, why?

I’ll address these questions in next month’s Safety Corner, which will also show routes in the opposite direction through the same intersection.

And to finish, I’d like to repeat a suggestion I made in the January Safety Corner. It relates directly to the questions which I have just asked. How about spending a couple of hours prepping yourself the cycling season? You or a friend might sign up for the free online CyclingSavvy Essentials Short Course. If you take this material to heart, you will know how to avoid conflict situations like the ones I describe in the video.

You might go further and consider a session where the rubber actually hits the road. There’s one in Waltham in mid-May. It covers all the issues raised in this article, and much more. Check out


May Picture of the Month

Eli Post


No your eyes aren't playing tricks. These are cyclists enjoying a beautiful spring day, but it's Washington DC ( Hains Point near the Jefferson Memorial), not the Boston area. Photo was taken in late-March and hopefully by the time you read this spring will catch up with us, and you too may be out riding

Photo by Alex Post was taken on March 30 in National Park with the road closed to motor vehicles.