June 2021 WheelPeople


Covid-19 Guidelines Updated

Rami Haddad


Massachusets is lifting many of the Covid-19 restrictions, and the Governor announced sweeping changes effective May 29, 2021. Full details are here MA governor announcement. 


We are finally moving back to normal. Most important to CRW rides is the default cap on number of permitted riders which will be 60, although the ride leader can increase this limit to 150 within his/her discretion.



Other Guidelines


A. Require all riders to sign agreement not to participate in any CRW ride if they are ill, symptomatic or had recent exposure to a person with possible contagious illness or if guidelines or rules require or suggest isolation or quarantine. If the rider cannot agree, then the rider is not to ride with CRW as it would endanger both the rider and others.


B. No coughing, spitting, nose blowing and sneezing towards others. A Rider that needs to expectorate must be absolutely sure that no one is within the minimum distance or slipstream area.


C. Riders should wash or disinfect when appropriate and not share water bottles or food.


D. Recommend (but not require) that the maximum number of riders in a group is 10.


E. Recommend (but not require) that unvaccinated riders maintain social distance and wear a mask at stops for their own protection, in alignment with CDC guidelines.


These changes are effective May 29 2021 and we hope to see you on a club ride.


Rami Haddad is President of CRW.



Climb to the Clouds Challenge - Win T-Shirt

Eli Post




We are offering a Challenge on the June Climb to the Clouds Virtual Century. T-shirts will be awarded to the first 25 riders who complete the 100 mile route between June 1, 2021 and June 15, 2021. Note the Challenge is only open to CRW members.  Members who wish to join the Climb to the Clouds Challenge should follow the steps below:












1. Click this link to join the event and be added to the event leaderboard:  https://ridewithgps.com/auto_approve/Event/149993/K9Gx2JBH2PKvijuI


2. Download the route to your phone or navigation instrument https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32799673


3. Navigate the exact route and record your ride using the Ride with GPS app or upload your ride recorded using a GPS device. All rides must be recorded between June 1st and June 15th.


4 If you ride the exact route your time will for the route will be recorded and your time will be displayed on the event leaderboard: https://ridewithgps.com/events/149993-climb-to-the-clouds-challenge/leaderboard



Even if you are not among the first 25, the route is still challenging and exciting. Note the virtual century runs all of June, but the Challenge is only June 1 to June 15. CRW will also incorporate a challenge in the 2022 Winter Ride Event and may have others in the near future.








Ed Cheng - New VP Rides

WheelPeople Editors
At its meeting of May 10, 2021 the CRW board voted Ed Cheng as the new VP OF Rides.
Ed Cheng is a long time member of CRW, having completed the Fall Century in NH twice and the Cranberry Harvest Century multiple times, as well as random weekend and recurring rides over the years.  He admits, however, that he has kept mostly to himself in the past, and blames the pandemic for causing him to come out of his biking shell.  Since January, he has been serving as the Interim VP of Rides, after having been shamelessly tricked into joining the Rides Committee on a trial basis.  "It will be light lifting," they said; "You can ease into it," they said; "Nevermind the title as the compensation is more than double what the President of CRW is paid," was the kicker. 
In the months leading to the Summer riding season, Ed has helped shepherd a number of inherited projects to completion, including: 
    With Amy Wilson and Rami Haddad, compliance with the new Insurance Policy so that all riders on all rides are insured, even on Rami's "leaderless" rides; 
    With Jack Donohue, Mary Kernan, and John O'Dowd, the design and implementation of the new Registration system that ensures that all riders and all rides are insured, and simplified the entire  waiver, roster, and disclosures system.  No more paper!
    He also stood by and watched Robyn Betts, Mary Kernan, John O'Dowd, and Barbara Jacobs train nearly 50 new rider leaders and many returning ride leaders on how to effectively plan, calendar, and lead rides.  He learned a lot from attending the session himself.
    Last, he proofread the Ride Leader Handbook authored by Mary Kernan, that not only gives ride leaders answers to their questions, but also centralizes the communication of information to Ride Leaders
Because of the work of the members of the Rides Committee, the Board has decided to remove the "Interim" from Ed's title to induce him to actually do some of the work himself.  The Rides Committee is eagerly waiting with bated breath to see if he will initiate any projects now that the inherited projects are completed.  Ed has reported that his goals for this season are twofold: (1) pave the way for CRW and its members to resume a normal calendar of rides; and (2) make sure that there's a place in CRW for riders of all different speeds and abilities. 
In Ed's spare time, he is a Litigation Partner at the law firm of Sherin and Lodgen LLP, where he represents corporations in business disputes, and attorneys in legal malpractice actions and before the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers.  He is a "lawyer's lawyer."  He is the proud father of three daughters and is gradually becoming the slowest rider in his family (his wife graciously permits him to draft her). We don't usually show bikes without riders, but Ed called his bike his "happy place", and it deserved recognition.

CRW Governance Update

Larry Kernan


The CRW Board has been considering changes to the documents which guide the governance of the club.  CRW formed a Governance Committee consisting of Butch Pemstein, Doug Cornelius, Lisa Najavits, Rami Haddad and chaired by me, Larry Kernan.  Butch and Doug are both lawyers and lent their considerable legal expertise to this effort.

Our primary motivations were to simplify the documents, combining the sometimes-contradictory Constitution and Bylaws and to change the term of the CRW President from one year to two years.  It is highly unusual for an organization or corporation to have a “Constitution” and it occasionally conflicted with the language in our Bylaws.  It was recommended that we repeal the CRW Constitution and move some of its language into the Bylaws.  The lengthening of the President’s term was driven by me, having served two terms as CRW President during 2019 and 2020.  I believe that a one-year term is not sufficient for an executive to get their bearings and accomplish their objectives especially if change or growth is involved.

Members now have the opportunity to review the proposed CRW Governance documents and have their say.  The CRW Board gave input on these changes at a CRW meeting on April 6th and reviewed the Governance Committee’s recommendations on May 3rd.  At our next Board meeting on June 3rd, the Board is expected to approve the new Bylaws, subject to a vote by CRW members to repeal the CRW Constitution.

So, now CRW members have a say.  Please review the following outline of Bylaw changes and for more depth, review the actual documents.  If you have comments, please forward them to Board members (CRWBoard [at] googlegroups.com) prior to the June 3rd meeting.  Sometime later this summer, we will invite CRW members to participate in a forum where they will have the opportunity to pose questions to the Governance Committee.  We will then conduct an election in which CRW members may approve the repeal of the Constitution (and thereby, enable the approval of the new Bylaws).  A supermajority of voters (2/3) must approve the repeal.

These are the documents that Members may wish to review:


Hopefully, this process will lead to a set of governance documents which will guide the CRW Board and Officers in their club governance for the foreseeable future.



Summary of Changes to CRW Governance Documents

  1. Rescission of CRW’s Constitution – requires a 2/3 vote by members.
  2. Three separate sections:
    1. Mission
    2. Values
    3. Bylaws
  3. Several sections of the Constitution were moved into the Bylaws
    1. “The affairs of CRW shall be administered by the Board and by the Officers as described in these Bylaws.”
    2. Duties of the Board
    3. Membership of the Board
  4. Officers of the club are nominated by the President subject to Board approval
  5. Acting and Interim President roles
    1. If the President is not able to carry out their duties due to a temporary absence, the EVP shall carry out those duties.  If the EVP is unable or unwilling, the Board elects an “Acting” President to serve during the President’s absence.
    2. If the President resigns, is removed or is unable to complete the term due to illness or death, the Board elects an “Interim” President who serves for the remainder of the term.
  6. President’s term – 2 year terms voted at November meeting in odd-numbered calendar year.
  7. Board elections are open to members in good standing as of August 31st.
  8. Officers, Coordinators and Committee Chairs serve at the pleasure of the President and Board.
  9. Board vacancies
    1. Language is added to include vacancies due to illness or death
    2. The President, if removed, remains a Board member, if also serving as an elected Board member.
    3. Missing a majority of Board meetings during the previous 12 months has been added as a possible cause for removal of a Director.  This clarifies previous language in the Bylaws and Constitution.
  10. Board meetings
    1. CRW must hold a minimum of 4 Board meetings per year
    2. There is no longer any differentiation between Regular Board meetings and Special Board meetings.
    3. Language is added to clarify that Board meetings may also be held online.  Votes may be conducted automatically.  Meetings may be called by the President or by 30% of the Directors.
  11. Removed language requiring the Club’s fiscal year to be a calendar year, but no real change is anticipated or contemplated.
  12. Language that previously existed in the Constitution about the dissolution of the club is now included in the Bylaws.


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




Rami Haddad


We've made changes to membership over the last year including deferment of dues and cancelation of Household membership. We thought it time for a general review of a few important segments of your CRW membership.



When you join or renew club membership, you now have a choice to “Please renew my membership automatically” with your PayPal subscription. Never miss any of the club rides, newsletters, adventures, & company of other members. Continue to support your favorite club every year, and as some say “Those $15 are the gift that keeps on giving!” 


Join and Donate

We will donate $5.00 to East Coast Greenway on your behalf when you join or renew membership in May 2021. https://crw.org/join


Membership Terms

Individual -1 year $15
Individual 2-years $28
Individual -3 years $40

For one year membership, a new option will appear to “renew my membership automatically”








CRW Logo Redesign Committee and Process

Jeff Dieffenbach


Dear Fellow CRW members,


With the approval of the Board, CRW President Rami Haddad has tapped me to lead a committee to run the process of updating the club logo. The graphical demands and opportunities presented by contemporary digital platforms are motivating this effort.


This communication launches and outlines a proposed logo process, beginning with a solicitation for 2–4 additional committee members to join a current group of 3. If you are interested in joining this committee, please send me a note at the email address in my signature block below. If there are more expressions of interest than available spots, I will be in the unenviable position of choosing, which I’ll do based on factors including relevant communications/communications management experience, club involvement, and diversity.


In parallel, I’m soliciting feedback on the following process (send to same email address below).

  • Jun 1: Deadline for members to submit feedback on this process
  • Committee submits final process to Board for their Jun 3 meeting
  • There are currently three design concepts
    • Existing logo with digital platform derivatives
    • Reimagined, modernized version of the existing logo
    • “Wheel/river” logo that was circulated earlier this year
  • Jun 28: Deadline for members to submit candidate logo design family (main logo and “derivatives”) per following guidelines (send to same email address below)
    • Conveys club history, diversity, and future in keeping with mission and values
    • Designs should include but are not limited to the main logo, derivatives for social media icons/badges, and versions suitable for kit/clothing/merchandise/banners
    • Employs bold clear clean lines that are easily recognized at a distance and print on multiple materials
    • Uses unique color palette different from nearby clubs; colors can be used individually or in combination; must also work as a single color
    • Remains clear in 20-40 pixel square format for digital platform usage
    • Works as photo overlay in mono color with transparent background
    • Submissions do not need to be in final artwork file format, but should be as close to final as possible; club may work with designer to create final form
  • Committee selects 3-5 candidate logo designs for membership vote
  • Jul 19–31: Window for members to vote on candidate logo designs (including option to keep current logo)
  • Committee presents winning design to Board for Aug meeting; Board reserves right to make final approval


I look forward to participating in this process and seeing the club’s thoughtfulness and creativity!



Jeff Dieffenbach
deepbrook [at] gmail.com
Joined CRW 2010



7 Bike Fit Tips for Older Riders



By Coach John Hughes


I lived and coached in Boulder, CO for 24 years. I took about 100 clients to the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine (BCSM) for bike fits by my good friend Andy Pruitt and his staff. Andy founded the BCSM. He’s the dean of bike fitters. He’s fitted riders in the pro peloton, casual riders and everyone in between.  I took one 50-year-old client to see Andy. Andy measured the client’s power output, fitted the bike correctly and re-measured the power output: five percent more power! You can read about Andy fitting one of my clients on my website.


1. Get a current bike fit

Our bodies change as we age and as a result bike fit is dynamic. In my ultra racing days I was six feet tall. Now I’m five feet 10 inches, which changes the saddle height and the position of the handlebars on my ultra racing bike and my touring bike.


Cross-country ski season is about over and to celebrate my 72nd birthday I skied 90 days. I also stretched daily. I just got on my touring bike for the first time this year. Because I’m more flexible the handlebars are too close.


2. Fit the bike to you.

Don’t try to fit your body to the bike. Because our bodies change over time your favorite bike you’ve been riding for years may no longer be the best bike for you. If you have a frame that’s about the right size you can adjust saddle and handlebars to the correct positions. If your frame is the wrong size or design then invest in a different bike. For example, a racing frame is stiff so more power is transferred to the wheels; however, because it’s stiff it also transmits more vibration and bumps from the road to you,


3. Saddle height.

The correct saddle height depends on your riding and physiology. Both your type of riding and physiology may change over time. In general, the lower the saddle height and the sharper the angle of your knees, the more power the rider has, but also the more stress on the front of the knee. A higher saddle height is better for endurance. But if your saddle is too high this may cause pain on the back of your knees. Also if your saddle is too high your hips will rock side to side as you pedal, which will increase friction in your crotch and may cause saddle sores. To check if your saddle is too high pull up your jersey or shirt so the top of your shorts is visible. Ride with someone watching you from the rear. The top of your shorts should be a stable line. If each side rises and drops as you pedal then your saddle is too high. If one side drops more than the other then you have a shorter leg on the side that drops more and you’ll need a shim in your shoe.


4. Saddle choice.

One rider had a very light racing saddle on his bike and complained his butt hurt. Andy pointed out that with a more comfortable albeit heavier saddle he could ride more, have more fun and get fitter.


Most of your weight should rest on your sitz bones. The width of the sitz bones varies among riders. If your saddle is too narrow or too wide your weight will be on your crotch – you know how that would feel. Good bike shops have a tool to measure the width of your sitz bones as a guide to choosing a saddle.


A lightly padded saddle may help; however, too much padding increases friction in your crotch and may result in saddle sores.


I wrote a column about 10 tips to prevent saddle discomfort.


5. Handlebars position.

If your handlebars are too far from the saddle or too low you’ll be stretched out on the bike. You may be more aero; however, the stretched position often causes neck and shoulder pain. The next time you ride pay attention to which position of your hands on the handlebars is more comfortable for your upper body. If it’s most comfortable with your hands on the top of the bar near the stem or on the curve just outside the top, then your bars are too far away and you need a different stem. The most comfortable position should be with your hands on top of the brake hoods.

I wrote this column on 4 things to do to prevent upper body fatigue.


6. Gearing.

No matter how diligent you are, your legs are less powerful now than 10 years ago. In my 20s my bike had 52 and 42 tooth chain rings and a five speed 14-24 freewheel. In my 30s and 40s my ultra racing bike had 53 and 39 tooth chain rings and an eight speed 12-28 cassette. In my 50s I changed to triple chain rings to get lower gears and a nine speed cassette. Now in my 70s it’s time to retrofit smaller chain rings.


7. E-bike.

If lower gears don’t allow you to ride comfortably or on the kind of terrain you’d like to ride it may be time for an e-bike — I’m considering one. I wrote this column on Anti-Aging: e-bikes, fun and fitnessBob Wolf acquired the electric bike shown, and did his first ride on it May 1, 2021.


Where to Get a Bike Fit

Trainers and mechanics trained at the BCSM by Andy Pruitt founded Retül, which does bike fits and advises on equipment. Bike shops around the world have personnel trained by Retül.

Here’s a good column on What’s the optimal cadence?


More Information

Stop Cycling’s Showstoppers A showstopper is anything that interferes significantly with your riding. My 65-page eBook has 10 chapters about how to prevent showstoppers and what to do if one of them afflicts you. In addition to bike fit and comfort on the bike, I cover proper training, optimal nutrition, environmental issues (heat, cold, rain, wind), ailments (cramps, indigestion, heartburn, nausea and diarrhea), riding techniques and injuries. Stop Cycling’s Showstoppers is a workbook. Each chapter includes a checklist for you to evaluate your riding and what you need to work on.


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 7 Bike Fit Tips for Older Riders - Road Bike Rider Cycling Site



Rich Taylor is Retiring

Eli Post


Paying tribute to someone is a deeply personal act and is generally reserved for those who have significantly affected your life.

Tributes usually mark a special event, which brings us to Rich Taylor, who is very much with us, but will no longer lead CRW rides. For health reasons, Rich had to reluctantly withdraw as a CRW ride leader, but his volunteer work and impact on the club will not be forgotten. We are presenting the memories of those who crossed paths with Rich over the years. He will read this, and we hope the gift of words from his friends will show him how much he means to us. 


“Rich was seminal to my riding career. I owe him a lot.” -- Bob Wolf



“Rich has long been a friendly, welcoming face in CRW. He was always an enthusiastic leader on the Thursday night fitness rides out of Hanscom and always eager to greet and help new riders. But my most memorable ride with Rich was a long ago CRW Spring Century, probably around 2000. I had a goal then to average 17 mph and I was just barely at that toward the end of the century, when I was starting to tire. Maybe 10 miles from the end there’s a long hill and I was falling back from the group I was with. Rich hung back with me and pulled some, but more than that, he gave me great encouragement and moral support. That was just what I needed to muster the will to push just a little harder and I made my goal, which I credit entirely to Rich! “The two of us have talked about that ride a number of times in the years since, as it left an impression on both of us. Rich is a memorable guy to a lot of people. -- Connie Farb



“I can’t remember when I actually met Rich. He was always there – leading, creating, mentoring, coaching, and being a friend. “Rivers of the Sudbury River was a favorite, and Rich cancelled it one year in early spring because, as he said, it was ‘Bridges Under the Sudbury River.’ Rich always planned ride lengths to accommodate all levels, all riders. He had huge turnouts on those beautiful early spring days. Rich was famous for recommending and doling out Skittles for energy while biking. Most of all, I’ll never forget how Rich came back to cycling after a bad crash at the start of the Honey Pot ride on Oak Hill coming into Harvard about eight or 10 years ago. It was so scary and messed up that day. I was floored when I saw videos of the holiday party only three months later with Rich dancing! He had had collapsed lungs, multiple clavicle and shoulder fractures, etc. Just an amazing amount of work to heal. Then Rich of course got back on the bike as soon as he could! What a role model for all us who’ve ever been injured on the bike, or otherwise, to work back to what we love to do - ride. “Well, Rich. I hope we see you on rides, even if you aren’t going to be leading any longer.” -- Ellen Gugel




“I don't have any notable ride experiences with Rich, but I did work for him, painting and carpentry, and he was always personal and friendly.” -- Fred Kresse


"Even if you don’t know Rich Taylor personally, you’ve seen him out riding during the season. He logs thousands of miles, always wearing his distinctive sun protection of white sleeves and leggings. When I spot him, I always shout out a hearty “Hi, Rich” and he responds with a kindly “hello”, with no idea who I am, indistinguishable from other cyclists. I’ll email when I get home, letting him know it was me and he’ll apologize for not knowing, ever the gentleman. 


When I started riding in the 1990s, I was the lucky beneficiary of paceline training on the Thursday night ride out of Hanscom. I don’t remember who did the instruction, but in conversations with Rich, I’m sure it was him. A few years ago, I took on the role as VP of Rides for CRW and was lucky enough to again come under his tutelage. Rich would sometimes pull up next to me during rides or email me privately with suggestions or concerns, guiding me as I learned the job and functioning as an additional set of eyes for things I did not notice. 

For years, Rich led the Bridges of the Sudbury River ride, with his carefully curated routes and meticulous arrows. I can still picture him standing on a step stool in front of Crosby’s Market as he gave the ride talk, waving a poster board with a sample arrow. His voice would easily carry across the crowd but Rich wanted to be sure everyone could hear. 


A few years ago, Rich led a group of riders on the Cranberry Harvest Century. I rode with them for a few miles at the start of the ride, then left the group as their ride was more lackadaisical than I would have liked. I spotted them again at the Mattapoisett rest stop and Rich asked if I would rejoin as they were in need of some fresh legs. I was reticent but agreed. From the rest stop to the end of the ride, I shared pulls with one of the most disciplined pacelines I’d seen all summer. Rich, ever the teacher, had once again worked his magic in a single ride. 


The club has been lucky to benefit from his guidance for all these years. If you see him on the road, be sure to say hello and he will surely respond." Mary Kernan



“I saw Rich as one who worked diligently for CRW and always had its best interest in mind. He came to my house to personally deliver a get-well card signed by a large gathering of CRW members shortly after my clavicle fracture and I was so appreciative that he took the initiative to do that. We had a nice chat while he was there, and my wife sent him home with a bunch of cookies.” -- Fred Newton


“Rich is one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to ride with. He is a great ride leader as proven by the large crowds he attracts to his rides. He gives good pre-ride talks. His rides always have excellent arrows. I'll certainly miss his rides.” -- Joe Repole 


A friend who was leaving Boston, gifted me her ancient road bike.  It sat in my basement for a while, and then on one sunny day I decided that this was going to be my new form of exercise. Same friend told me about Charles River Wheelman, but I frowned because I wasn’t ready for spandex and climbing hills.  But after a few trips out on my bike, I had second thoughts as I was able to get through some carefully chosen non hilly rides. 


On my first ride with CRW, I was nervous, intimated by said spandex and lots of skinny muscle bearing legs.  Yikes, what have I done!  It was a 30 mile ride and I didn’t know which was worse, trying to keep up with the group, socializing with serious bikers or potentially getting off my bike to surpass a hill. I was cycling along, about to start a major hill, when I let out a groan of nervousness (I thought quietly to myself).  I heard a voice ‘on your left’ followed by ‘you can do it’.  I looked and there was my first encounter with Rich Taylor, biker extraordinaire.  I said thanks for the encouragement.  I reached the top and there was Rich waiting for me to make sure I was ok.  I said something like ‘is this supposed to be fun’.  We rode the rest of the ride together chatting nonstop. 


Fast forward 15 years, and Rich is still encouraging and supporting me.  I’ve been on many of his rides, and to say that they are the best arrowed rides is an understatement.  His knowledge of the area is amazing, often pointing out architectural wonders and funny historical stories. 


I  consider Rich to be one of my closest friends.  He’s super smart, kind, genuine and loves a good laugh. We have since shared many a bike rides together.  I still continue to groan up those hills, and Rich is still there encouraging me all the way.  I got lucky that on my first CRW ride, I met the best guy and best friend a gal could ask for. If you ever see Rich on the road, say hi.  Don’t let those serious bike clothes, sleeve covers and fancy bike be a deterrent to connect.  You won’t meet a better person.  Paula O’Sullivan


“Rich always took ‘new’ riders under his wing so to speak and would coach them in pace-lining and group riding. But he also had a special club to which I belonged: the broken collarbone club. And he sure had a number of them (broken bones) himself! “After my crash in 2013 where I broke my collarbone, Rich gave me this bike shirt with a skeleton motif. I love wearing it on Halloween rides and most recently, when I did Cycle Zydeco in Louisiana 3 weeks ago, it became a favorite for the crazy, party bike tour that it was! Rich always did a terrific job with leading interesting rides. He will be missed.” -- Pat Schindeler


"Over the mountains of New Hampshire, Rich coached myself and my girlfriend on cadence and other aspects of riding, and made it very enjoyable. On top of which, he’s one of the kindest people I know" --Alex Post


"Rich is unrivalled in the kindness he shows fellow cyclists whether he's ridden with someone for years or it's a stranger he encountered randomly while riding. A bonus on any ride for me is coming around a bend to see his unmistakable lanky profile on the road ahead. He can always be counted on for a cheery comment that makes you glad you got on your bike that day. We would all do well to be like Rich and approach every ride as an opportunity to meet new friends." -- Tim Wilson



“Rich is a dear friend. He loves people, and as you can see from the tributes, has been willing to do the hard work it takes to build relationships. I can’t keep up riding with Rich any longer, but we frequently get together socially. He made many friends over the years, and I am fortunate to be one of them.” -- Eli Post  


Rich is shown leading a group on a century ride.












Emily Vigeant Joins the Adventure Program Leadership Team

Steve Carlson



Our Adventure Program is in full swing for 2021!  Seven adventures were opened in mid-April for registration: our first trip, the NYC adventure is in the bag and what a great time we had!  Four other trips  are booked full and the remaining two are getting very close to capacity!   It is wonderful to see all the newly introduced CRW Ride Programs doing so well.  The enthusiasm continues strong which breeds hope that the offerings will remain a staple within the club for years to come.  


Success not only comes from our great CRW members participating in these programs, but also relies on the coordination and leadership of the vital few….our volunteers!


Emily Vigeant has recently joined me in the leadership of our Adventures Program.  While new to CRW and relatively new to biking, her involvement and enthusiasm has already bonded her with the club and so many of our riders.   You likely have already seen her ride postings and riding tips on our Slack communication channel.


Hopefully you will get to meet her on the road soon (she seems to be everywhere), but until then, please get to know a bit about her CRW and riding passion with this brief introduction.  



Emily joined CRW in early 2021 after what she terms her “Forrest Gump Year.” Although she’d cycled casually around the city in the past, Emily says was never really a cyclist.


Last April she began riding the same 16-mile loop every day for months. Not trying to go faster or farther. No bike shorts, no cleats, no clipping. She didn’t carry a repair kit or spare tube, nor did she know how to use either. She was just riding to ride.


Somewhere along the way she just kept riding. She has no idea exactly when or how it happened, but a year later she’s logging 150-200 miles per week and completed / co-led her first century ride – CRW’s Mirror Century – at a 15.4 pace over 7,711 feet of elevation.


But, Emily says her biggest achievement was planning her first adventure tour, a week-long ride across Florida, which she did solo in February after dreaming it up on New Year’s Day. On the tour, she finally fixed her first flat and had her first bike crash. With that behind her, Emily now sees Murphy’s Law as part of what makes adventures meaningful.


Next on her docket is CRW’s Providence to NYC adventure in May, which she’s getting a head start on, riding from Boston to the Providence with a few CRW members who are extra adventurous. In June, she’ll co-lead CRW’s Summit to Sea, an epic adventure that will take riders up and down Mt. Greylock before crossing the state to Provincetown in three back-to-back centuries. In addition to many more CRW adventures Emily plans to join, she’ll be dipping her toes into gravel riding. And, outside of the club, Emily is squeezing in two other tours with the Adventure Cycling Association – one ME/NH tour and a trek across Death Valley.


When I asked Emily her thoughts on CRW so far, she said, “I’d never ridden in a group and figured CRW would be stereotypical roadies and pace lines. And I was fine with that. I definitely did not expect to discover a slew of adventurers I’d ride with every week and a program to support us. Hands down CRW has made my 2021!”


When Emily isn’t cycling, you can find her working from her Cambridge apartment in what has become more of a bike garage than an office! She is currently a Marketing Director for a Canadian company that manufactures industrial PPE. Prior to that, she held leadership roles in marketing and investor relations in venture capital firms.


Emily is a Boston native who grew up just outside the city. She’s been a long-time city dweller since attending Northeastern University for her bachelor’s and Emerson College for her master’s.


I would like to recognize Rami Haddad to getting us where we are to this point and I am excited to welcome Emily as I look forward to her help to get the program to the next level.


To learn more about the Adventure Programs Click Here

To sign up for a 2021 Adventure see our web page for dates and full ride details: crw.org




Walden Pond Remembered

Eli Post


You learn a lot when you snoop around on the club’s Google Group. In this case, it’s a bit of fascinating history of one of our better known local landmarks. The discussion started when Rami Haddad, CRW President, went on a trial run around Walden Pond in Concord, to explore an “abandoned race track” in Wright Woods.

There is a tiny loop there that was once used for bicycle racing, although as Larry Finison, who has written about bicycle history in the Boston area, points out while “there were bicycle races as part of the Knights of Columbus celebration at the Concord fairgrounds in 1899 and 1900, there were mainly horse races on the track.”


There is a collection of Walden Pond remembrances here and we include a few from long ago. It was clearly a different time and the Pond played a large role especially for those who grew up in the Concord area.

My mother would take me down to the railroad track side of Walden where the old railroad pavilion used to be. That's how I learned about the pavilion that was there about 100 years ago built by the Fitchburg division of the Boston & Maine railroad to keep their trains running on weekends. They would run excursion trains out there packed with people and there was a dance hall and swimming and boats to rent and everybody had a very good time. It finally burned down. 

As small boys we used to explore the neighborhood on our bicycles when I suppose we were probably ten or twelve years of age and then we would wander into the woods. One of the places where we wondered was the woods across the railroad track from Walden Pond and here we discovered straight wooden structures which appeared to be somewhat dilapidated swings and rides, possibly merry-go-rounds and presently we discovered a cinder track. On inquiring from my father I learned that these were the remains of a sort of amusement park and that Walden was something like the Revere Beach of Boston in those early days. The cinder track was used for foot races according to father's recollection although not for horse races or anything of that sort.

The pond was certainly well used by Concord people. Many of us who could bicycle would go down. And then later on as older teenagers and young adults we would certainly drive down. Quite often we would go to "the point" even then because we liked the swimming over there and it was always much quieter.

Our Sunday School classes would take the streetcar to Thoreau Street and then hike down to Walden for our picnics. There was a hot dog stand at the beach run by Fred Hart, but in general Walden wasn't a developed area. Nor was there much emphasis put on Henry David Thoreau as today. My mother would tell me of the big picnic grounds, including an 1892 picnic of Chinese people, the trains on the sidings and the drownings.

The picnic grounds included a dance hall and a railroad station and was at the opposite end of the lake from the beach along the railroad tracks. They had bathhouses constructed over the water so that the people went into the bathhouse to enter the water. There was a ladies bathhouse and a men's bathhouse. This recreation area was used until forest fires destroyed the railroad station and the dance hall, and gradually the picnic grounds were given up. Huge crowds used to come out from Boston on special trains to spend the day at Walden. There was a refreshment stand but people had to bring their own liquor.

The unlicensed sale of liquor was a community problem a century ago and Town Meeting and the selectmen annually wrestled with the struggle between prohibition and anti-prohibition forces. Louisa May Alcott was a strong proponent of temperance and succeeded in organizing a militant local Women's Christian Temperance Union that showed their influence at Town Meetings on whether licenses for the sale of liquor should be issued. Walden Pond was a gathering place for prohibition rallies and clashes with the opposing forces were inevitable and sometimes violent consequences.




Wright Woods  https://www.concordland.org/land/wright-woods 

Walden Pod Remembered Concord Oral History Program -- Walden Pond Remembered. | Special Collections | Concord Free Public Library (concordlibrary.org)




Rami Haddad


Slack is a messaging app that allows members to join discussion groups for specific topics or to message other members directly. Conversations are entered into channels depending on the topic. Below is a description of all channels available today. Join the club on Slack using special invite code.


Here's a description of all channels available on Slack. Join the conversation at https://www.crw.org/content/slack 


* #10-12mph: deliberate pace at 10–12mph. Organize and coordinate rides.
* #adventure: Adventure Riding is a ride that encompasses one or more overnight stays. The rides will include interesting destinations, and likely involve routes and roads you have never done. There is one goal—to have fun and create everlasting memories!
* #club-governance: news, policies, administration, & club governance
* #devo: performance-oriented members, regardless of fitness level. Join to share with like-minded hammerheads.
* #gear: bicycles, devices, apps, trainers, & accessories. Exchange gear, barter, sell, & buy.
* #general: not sure where to post the message? Start here
* #gravel: ≥32mm tires
* #health: fitness, training, nutrition, stretching, & ice bath
* #help-use-slack: ask any question about using Slack
* #mtb-fat: mountain biking, fat, dirt, single track, snow, sand, & everything in between
* #opt-outside: fitness activities when not on bicycle: run, trail run, swim, & extended days in the mountains
* #random: anything goes
* #ride: just ride
* #ride-leader: connect with fellow leaders, plan, assist, & share tips
* #ride-virtual
* #women: discuss & plan women rides, topics, gear, events, & training plans

Lack of Sleep Linked to Risk for Dementia

By Dr. Gabe Mirkin


Researchers in the Whitehall Study followed 7959 British men and women for 30 years, with data on their sleep habits collected at ages 50, 60 and 70. They found that those who slept six hours or less per night had a 30 percent increased risk for dementia, compared with those who slept seven hours or more (Nature Communications, April 20, 2021;12(2289)). Other studies have also shown that short sleep duration is associated with increased risk for dementia (Aging Clin Exp Res, 2019;31:309–320; J Am Med Dir Assoc, 2019;20:1480–1487, e1485).


How Lack of Sleep Could Increase Risk for Dementia
Not getting enough sleep can turn on your immune system to increase production of tissue-damaging chemicals called cytokines (Biological Psychiary, Sep 15, 2008;64(6)). Increased levels of these cytokines are associated with increased risk for inflammation that damages your brain and nerves (Neurobiol Dis, 2012;48:348–355), to increase risk for dementia. This can be seen after just one night of sleep deprivation (Arch Intern Med, 2006;166(16):1756-1762). Many studies show that inflammation causes arteriosclerotic blood vessel damage (Nature, 2019;566:383–387), brain tissue damage in Parkinson’s disease (Ann Neurol, 2021;89:293–303), and increased B-amyloid, a sign of brain damage in Alzheimer’s disease (JAMA Neurol, 2013;70(12):1537–1543).


My Recommendations
Check with your doctor if you have significant sleepiness during the day, chronic snoring, frequent leg cramps or tingling, difficulty breathing during sleep, chronic insomnia, or any other major symptom that interferes with your sleep.


I do not recommend taking sleeping pills. They can help you fall sleep at night, but they tend to lose their effect as you keep on taking them, and they have many serious side effects (Sleep Disord, Dec 9, 2015; 607148).


If you are not getting seven or more hours of sleep each night, try these tips from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:

• Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature. Have a comfortable mattress, pillows and bedding.
• If electronic devices such as a TV, computer or smart phone are keeping you awake, remove them from your bedroom.
• Try to be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
• Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol in the evening. Finish dinner at least three hours before your bedtime and do not snack.
• Get plenty of exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.



The Athlete's Kitchen - Sugar Substitutes: Good, Bad, Ugly?


The Athlete’s Kitchen

Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD  May 2021


Today’s athletes are confronted with a plethora of foods and beverages containing low- or no-calorie sweeteners (LNCS): Diet Pepsi, Halo-Top ice cream, Gatorade Zero, Nuun. Questions arise:

Are these products a better option than their sugar-containing versions?
Will they help you lose weight?
Are they safe?

Should athletes eat them or avoid them?  The goal of this article is not to recommend for or against LNCS sweeteners such as Equal (aspartame), Sweet ‘n Low (saccharine), and Truvia (stevia), but rather to offer science-based information to help you decide whether or not they are safe to include in your sports diet.


 Background info

The 2020-2025 US Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that we should limit added sugars to less than 10% of our daily calories. The average (i.e., unfit, over-fat) American consumes about 270 calories (17 teaspoons, 13% of total calories) of added sugars a day. Soft drinks, other sweetened beverages, cookies, candy, and desserts are common culprits. For a sedentary person who may require 1,800 calories a day, 10% of calories equates to 180 calories (45 g) of added sugars a day that displace wholesome foods. Given that exercise enhances our ability to metabolize sugar, active people are less likely to end up with health issues (prediabetes, type 2 diabetes) related to sugar consumption. For them, added sugars can be a useful source of muscle fuel. Ideally, the sugar comes surrounded with nutrients, such as a post-exercise recovery chug of chocolate milk.


 Today’s competitive athletes often select their foods more wisely than the “average” American. Their hope is to not only enhance performance but also reduce their risk of injury and invest in their longevity. For an athlete eating more than 3,000 calories a day, the guideline of less than 10% of total calories from added sugars equates to 300 calories (75 g) of added sugars a day. That leaves plenty of space for some sugary sports foods and treats, if desired.


 Athletes’ bodies tend to readily use sugars (they appear in the blood as glucose) to replenish depleted muscle glycogen stores. During long, hard workouts, sugar-filled gels and sports drinks can enhance performance. So why would an athlete want to choose a Gatorade-Zero, Nuun, or Propel with LNCS? Well, if weight-conscious, NLCS can help athletes save a few calories (though doing so while exercising can hurt performance). With meals and snacks, swapping a can of sugar-sweetened soda for a diet soda ideally allows the athlete to enjoy 150 more calories of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits or veggies. (We know what often happens, however. The saved calories go towards cookies. Ha!)


 Are foods sweetened with LNCS a way for athletes to have their cake and eat it too? The media has certainly painted a halo of horror on LNCS, leading many to believe they are mysterious chemicals, contribute to obesity, and bolster one’s sweet-tooth. Are they really bad for you? Let’s take a look at what science says.


Aren’t they nothing but (scary) chemicals?
All foods are made of chemicals: carbon, oxygen, nitrogen. Aspartame (brand names are NutraSweet and Equal) is made of two amino acids that taste 200 times sweeter than table sugar. You need very little of it. The powder in the blue packet is mostly a harmless filler that keeps the few molecules of sweetener from getting lost in the packaging.


Are they safe to consume?
 Sugar substitutes are among the most highly studied ingredients out there. The FDA, WHO and other global health organizations have confirmed the safety of these products in doses well above the amounts commonly consumed by humans. Studies which reported a link to cancer were done with animals given absurd amounts of no- or low-cal sweeteners and are not relevant to humans in real-life.


That said, the FDA has established Acceptable Daily Intakes (ADI) for these sweeteners. ADI is the amount of a LNCS a human can consume every day during their life —with a built in 100-fold safety factor below which no adverse effects have been seen. For aspartame, the ADI equates to 107 of those little blue packets a day (19 cans of diet soda every day of your life). So yes, some athletes could overshoot the ADI—but it’s highly unlikely!


Do low- and no-calorie sweeteners lead to weight loss?
 LNCS are one tool in a dieter’s toolbox. They can help dieters lose weight IF they displace calories the dieter does not replace. One athlete told me he lost 30 pounds in a year just by trading in his lunch- and dinner-time can of Pepsi for Diet Pepsi. That one simple change shaved off 300 calories a day that he did not replace. That said, research indicates people can easily compensate for the calories by eating more of other foods…


Do low- and no-calorie sweeteners lead to weight gain?
No. People who drink diet soda are more likely to be over-weight, but diet soda did not cause the weight gain. Rather, people who live in large bodies are more likely to use LNCS to save some calories.


Don’t these sweeteners trick the body into thinking it’s getting sugar—and trigger a spike in blood glucose, followed by a crash, and hunger?
 Well controlled, randomized studies indicate the answer is no. Nor do LNCS make people feel hungrier. Some animal studies have shown that LNLCS might increase appetite, but those studies were conducted with large amounts of LNCS that we would never consume. This has not been replicated in humans.


Do no- or low-cal sweeteners have a negative impact on the microbiome?
Questionable research with mice who consumed very large amounts of saccharin suggests it might impact the microbiome of rodents. But no conclusive evidence to date indicates LNCS negatively impact the human gut microbiome. Stay tuned.


The bottom line
We are all born with an innate desire for sweet tastes, starting with breastmilk! We have many options for satisfying that sweet tooth in good health.


Sports Nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD counsels both casual and competitive athletes in the Boston-area (Newton; 617-795-1875). The 6th edition of her Sports Nutrition Guidebook (2020) can help you eat to win. Visit NancyClarkRD.com.

 For more information:
Joan Salge Blake RD PhD with Hope Warshaw RD, Certified Diabetes Educator


Laviada-Molina H, Molina-Segui F, Pe ́rez-Gaxiola G, et al. Effects of nonnutritive sweeteners on body weight and BMI in diverse clinical contexts: systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev 2020; 21:e13020

Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Use of Nutritive and Nonnutritive Sweeteners




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 NancyClarkRD.com.











June 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.

Grand Canyon Biking Brumotti Style
When Vittirio Brumotti bikes the Grand Canyon, it may be difficult to balance simply watching while seated in a chair. But for him a cliffs edge seems to be a relaxing way to fully enjoy the scenery. Mins.
Top 5 Road Bikes






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.



June Picture of the Month

Eli Post


June is prime riding time and many of you are anxious to get out and ride after a long, cold winter. You should have your bike ready to roll and positioned so you can just hop on and ride. Here is one solution.


Photo by Alex Post was taken on April 26 in Brunswick, MD, a town by the C & O Bike Path.




June Updates

WheelPeople Editors

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

Town Ride collections - There will certainly be days in June warm suitable for riding and the Town Collections are available for you www.crw.org/route-collection-panel-page
Amazon Smile If you have an Amazon Prime account please look into making CRW your charity. Details here https://www.crw.org/content/amazon-smile