July 2021 WheelPeople


President's Mid- Term Report

Rami Haddad



The photo is from a ride on Cape Cod, Sunday 13 June 2021, near Highland lighthouse


The easy part at the beginning of my term in January 2021 was to set the agenda for the year, published in Wheel People https://www.crw.org/content/thirty-first-president

Much of it focused on connecting with our members to build a strong community.


And for the most part, energetic and active members of this club far exceeded my expectations. They are the creative energy behind our programs, the inspiration for other members to join, and the source of new leadership.


How are we doing toward the goals I aspired to at the beginning of the year? I grade each.



Everywhere I look on our social media channels, the numbers are decisively in a positive trend. More members connect daily than ever. They work together to share ideas, coordinate rides, and build a friendly community.


When I hosted the Climb to the Clouds rest stop on 5 June 2021, some 54 members stopped by, and I recognized probably 50 of them. Not because we had met before in person. Rather, because I have interacted with them virtually during COVID year on our social media channels.


I have also been fortunate to enjoy company of many members on the adventure trip to NYC, tour of Cape Cod, ice cream in Boston, T-time from Alewife, Devo challenges of Mighty Squirrel, and local Rooster rides.



Club membership is more dynamic than ever. I regularly receive encouraging comments about obvious presence of diverse community on most of our rides this year, supported by diverse set of ride programs:


  • Alewife & Boston hub rides already taking strong hold with active participation
  • Cultural celebrations for Diwali, International Women’s Day, historical tours, Major Taylor, & others
  • Support styles of riding for Adventure travel, performance oriented Devo, Women-only, gravel, social "party" pace, & many others


Meanwhile, we have failed to support new diverse volunteers to climb the leadership ladder. Suddenly there is extra scrutiny about unwritten qualifications for volunteers that do not belong to the inner circle. That will not be healthy for longevity of the club nor its support for the needs of our diverse community.


I encourage members to apply for leadership positions. You can probably do better than me. Step forward. This is your club. Contact André Wolff, Executive Vice President, to learn more at evp [at] crw.com.



We started several programs to award members on Climbing Challenge, social media posts, ride challenges, and matching donation programs. More programs are coming during the entire year, with custom club gear as awards.


We need to introduce similar programs for leaders: awards and social events. Our leaders are the cornerstone for all our rides. We need to work closely with them to keep a full calendar while we develop incentives that keep them excited to volunteer.



We launched many program ideas at the beginning of the year. More than half of them are working well, enjoyed by members, and believe will continue improving. And as the saying goes, you only need to win 51% of the bets you make. Granted not all of them are working perfectly—changing the logo was one humble example. But that is not the point. Rather, we have done well in learning from mistakes made and adjusting accordingly.



This was mostly self-assessment, prone to bias. I ask members to send me their feedback about how we are doing to president [at] crw.org



Rami رامي 拉美



Online Registration

Amy Wilson


As we go into the full riding season the calendar is filling up and the Covid restrictions are all but gone! However our online registration system, which has been well received by our insurance company, remains. We’ve had questions about why online registration persists, as many enjoyed the free-wheeling process of old where you just showed up.

Most important, our insurance company requires ride registration. If there ever was a claim, it provides documentation that the rider was in fact on the ride with CRW.

Registration also helps our ride leaders as well as riders who can now see who else is on the ride. It helps the ride leader gauge  how many are going to show up for the ride as well as their riding speed and provides contact information. Riding speed  is important for ride planning and logistics and safety.  Many CRW riders say they like seeing who is on the ride and how large a crowd is anticipated. It also allows us to check membership status.

There is more on the website about our insurance. It protects our Club, the ride leaders and riders and there is some supplemental medical insurance available. If you have any additional questions, please contact amybarnumwilson [at] gmail.com (Amy Wilson), CRW Treasurer. And remember, our ride capacity has increased post Covid and you can sign up on the day of the ride.

I must add a personal note here. It is amazing to me that the club not only survived Covid but is now back in action. This did not happen automatically but is the result of hard work and talent. I extend thanks to Rami Haddad, Ed Cheng and our ride and adventure leaders, all of whom played a key role in restoring the ride program. As mentioned, the online registration for rides will continue post-Covid. The online registration system development happened quickly thanks to our amazing webmaster and programmer, Jack Donohue who in many ways is a silent hero of CRW. He is quietly working on all CRW programs and his creativity to develop new systems and workarounds is truly amazing. 



Avoid Cycling Injuries with These Tips



By Coach John Hughes


Your legs make about 5,000 revolutions each hour you ride! In one study of 518 recreational cyclists an astounding 85% reported at least one non-traumatic injury in a year. The affected joints were:




  • 48.0% neck of which 31% required medical treatment
  • 41.7% knee of which 11.5% stopped cycling for an average of 42.8 days
  • 30.3% low back of which 2.7% quit cycling.



What can you do now to be one of the 15% who doesn’t get injured? In The Cyclist’s Training Bible Joe Friel writes, “An athlete should do the least amount of properly timed, specific training that brings about continual improvement.” What does this mean in practice?


One Overload at a Time

You get fitter by asking your body to do more than it’s used to doing and giving it time to recover. It responds to this overload by getting stronger. You can overload your body in five ways:

  1. Increasing Frequency — Increasing the number of days that you work out
  2. Increasing Duration — How long you work out.
  3. Adding Volume – How many hours you work out, the result of #1 and #2.
  4. Increasing Intensity — Riding harder.
  5. Changing Modalities — Changing to riding from strength and cross-training workouts

Each of these adds training stress. To be safe change only one of the five at a time.



You build fitness slowly and progressively. Three rules of thumb:

  • Week to week increase your weekly volume by 5-15%.
  • Month to month increase your monthly volume by 10-25%.
  • Year to year increase your annual volume by 10-25%.

Change Training Modes

This winter you may have been doing strength training. In the spring as you increase your riding you should also reduce your strength training to one moderate session a week to maintain your strength gains.


Train Correctly

Spring is the time to build your aerobic base, not power and speed. This means riding at a conversational pace. For more see my column on Aerobic Base Training.


Stay in the Small Ring

When I started riding in the 1970s the Italian Olympic Cycling Training Manual said I should ride at least 1,000 km on my fixed gear to build my base before doing any harder riding. If I didn’t have a fixie, then I should ride at least 1,000 km in the small chain ring. Riding a fixie is hard on the knees. It’s still good advice to ride 1,000 km (625 miles) in the small ring before shifting up and riding harder.



Brent Bookwalter, who raced for a decade with BMC, advises that if you have a choice between an extra 20 minutes of riding or spending that time recovering, use it for recovery. (VeloNews, June 2015) Remember that your body gets fitter if you overload it and allow it to recover.


Bike Fit

A poor bike fit can also cause an injury that may cost you time off the bike. Knee problems often result from a saddle that is the wrong height and/or too far in front of or behind your bottom bracket. Neck and low back pain often are caused by bars that are too low and/or too far from the saddle.


Bike fit is dynamic. Your correct fit changes over time with your fitness, especially flexibility, and type(s) of cycling you enjoy. Andy Pruitt is the founder and retired director of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. He’s fit pro teams as well as average roadies. I’ve taken dozens of clients to get a bike fit — one increased his power by 5% with just a proper fit. Andy Pruitt on Bike Fit on my website describes how he does a bike fit.


Strengthen Your Core

Your upper body should be supported by your core ,which should be strong enough so that your hands rest lightly on the bars like you are typing. A strong core is the key to avoiding neck, should and back pain as well as numb fingers


The surface muscles you use for crunches run up and down your abdomen; similarly the surface muscles you use for arching your back run up and down your back.  Below the surface muscles are the core muscles, the transverse abdominis (located on each side of the naval) and the internal and external obliques (extending diagonally from ribs to pelvis). These muscles form a girdle around your core, hold your back in neutral and provide a stable platform to anchor your leg muscles. You want to activate and train the core muscles that run around the abdomen, not the surface muscles that run up and down. There’s a two-part article on my website on Core Strength for Cycling. Each part has a progressive program of 10 exercises to strengthen your core


Cover Your Knees

The circulation of blood around your knees is poor and when it’s cool outside circulation is worse, resulting in knee pain and possible injury.  It’s easy to spot the pro racers training around Boulder, Colorado:  they wear knee warmers even when it’s in the 60s


More Information

My eArticle Spring Training: 10 Weeks to Summer Fitness describes in detail eight key training principles and seven physiological improvements brought about by base training, improvements that don’t happen if you don’t train correctly. I explain the importance of varying your training intensities to get the best results and how to gauge intensity. I include six tips to improve your recovery. I conclude four different 10-week programs. They range from a program for riders who’ve trained for 4 – 6 hours this winter up to riders who’ve trained 10 – 12 hours. The programs are also designed for riders with different goals for 2019. The 26-page Spring Training: 10 Weeks to Summer Fitness .


Coach John Hughes earned coaching certifications from USA Cycling and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. John’s cycling career includes course records in the Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200-km randonnée and the Furnace Creek 508, a Race Across AMerica (RAAM) qualifier. He has ridden solo RAAM twice and is a 5-time finisher of the 1200-km Paris-Brest-Paris. He has written nearly 30 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training and nutrition, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach John Hughes. Click to read John’s full bio.



Ride with GPS - Google Tilt

Eli Post


Ride With GPS (RWGPS) has a new feature which enhances navigation (rather than facilitating it). You can use Google's Tilt feature in satellite and hybrid maps to view images at a 45˚ angle, creating a significantly improved 3D-like route planning environment.


The video displays some of the dramatic 3D opportunities this feature offers.


More informtion is available at the company press release https://ridewithgps.com/news/5312-route-planner-gets-improved-satellite-im



Adventure Riders Take-On New York City!

Eli Post


Adventure Rides is a new CRW ride program which has taken off due to the invention and hard work by Steve Carlson. What better way to look at what’s happening with Adventure Rides, than to report on one of the events.

On May 21-23 the Adventure Ride group organized a trip to New York City. We will briefly describe it so you can see the care and imagination that went into the planning and execution of the trip. The group took commuter rail to Providence, then biked the 100 miles to Hartford (stayed overnight), biked another 36 miles to New Haven and then took the commuter rail to NYC. In the Big Apple they took in must-see sights of the Charging Bull, the Fearless Girl and the 911 Memorial while riding bike paths and along city bike lanes.  Bright and early on Sunday they biked in Central Park and climbed Bear Mountain. There were 14 riders plus two ride leaders (Steve Carlson and Rami Haddad). The estimate cost for the 3 days / 2 nights was approximately $300.

The Fearless Girl in bronze joined the photo shoot, but was not on the trip nor any of the rides!

Let’s hear what the riders had to say:

"Fantastic at all levels. Great team and great leaders."

"Great group, great rides.  Broken spoke and another flat on my tour de Manhattan today."

"What an amazing adventure!"

"Fantastic at all levels. Great team and great leaders. It was great to put in so many epic rides with such a good group, and get to meet many CRW members off the saddle."

And the ride leaders also had a say:

"I never had any part in making this trip fun. I believe it is always the participants, positive attitude, fun spirit, love of the adventure that make these trips. And whatever positive contribution the leaders made, then I credit that to my good partner Steve"

"Rami, aww you are the best adventure partner!  Love the enthusiasm and all the help you gave me! You riders were the best! Enjoyed riding with each of you and meeting you. You set a high bar!"


There is still time to join, and create an adventure of your own. A report on the status and availablity of other Adventure Rides is included in the Update article in this edition.


There are a lot of interesting photos from the trip. Steve made a collage to give you a sense of the riding, and adventure the group encountered.







Riding in a Group is Back

Eli Post


Like most of you I was on self-enforced isolation during COVID. My riding in particular was virtually all solo, but I got by. In the past few weeks, however, I have begun riding with friends who, like me, have been vaccinated. This experience has given me a fresh perspective on group riding.

When getting together with others wasn’t an option, I was ok riding on my own. Sure, I missed the company of other cyclists, but I enjoyed being out on the road and the fresh air running by my face still felt good, even with a mask on. Little did I realize that going back to group rides was going to be an adjustment.

Some of my first group rides this spring were my routes, so I was leading, and out in front. From that perspective things looked like they had for the past year. But when you’re leading, you must be more aware of who is behind you and that took some getting used to.


When I felt others closing in, I instinctively sped up a bit to ensure “social distancing.” Hard to believe how quickly what was a strange new concept a year ago had evolved into a norm, even on the bike. The result was less of a pace line and more of conga line to the tune of an accordion.

Even though there was no one ahead of me, I was aware when the other riders were closing in, and sped up a bit. I realized that “pace” was a prominent aspect of riding in a group. I also came to appreciate the luxury of being a lone rider. On a group ride, you are aware of others and act accordingly.  When riding alone, I didn’t have to point out hazards to others and my thoughts would wander. I might slow down to take in the scenery, which is great. But I also found myself stopping for a phone call or checking my email. I have a new appreciation for the fact that those kinds of “urgencies” are readily dismissed on a group ride.

Then there are the social aspects of riding, and I don’t mean post-ride. Biking, as most of us know it, is not a team sport, but on the road in a group, there is the camaraderie of a team. I had forgotten how pleasant it is to chat about nothing in particular on a ride. It makes the miles go by quickly and enhances the ride experience. I also realize my average speed is higher when riding in a group. Just another example of how we all benefit from working together and supporting each other. That’s a lesson we can all take from COVID.

You are all members of a bike club, so I don’t have to sell you on the wonders of group riding. Now that the social distancing measures and stay at home orders have been relaxed, our ride calendar is filling up. So, this is the time to resume your riding, get a real workout, maybe make new friends or sharpen your riding skills. See you on the road.


Tim Wilson edited this article.



Riding cross-country at 70

Tim Wilson

Riding cross-country at 70 – It can be done

If you’re a member of this or any other bike club, there’s a fair chance you have given thought to – if ever so briefly – a cross-country bike ride.

There’s no shortage of reasons not to do it. A frequently cited reason is being too old after putting it off for years. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

A picture containing person, sky, outdoor, bicycleDescription automatically generatedA pair of Rhode Islanders had thought about it for years and finally got around to it this spring, after they had both turned 70. 

Thom Deller and Rich Kerbel pedaled 3,437 miles starting April 20 in Seaside, Calif., on Monterrey Bay. They completed their Bay 2 Bay Bike Ride on June 6 in North Kingstown, R.I., on Narragansett Bay. Over the course of their 48-day odyssey, they came to be known as the Bay 2 Bay Boys.

“There’s a certain amount of, well, romance isn’t the word,” Thom said, in recalling how the two first considered the trip. “You start thinking, ‘that would be great,’ but you don’t think of the other things.”

And in the transition from dreamy idea to real-life adventure, there most certainly are a lot of “other things” involved.

Rich and Thom have been riding together for 12 years, since working together for the city of Providence. Rich is retired after a career as a municipal administrator in multiple locations. Thom is a municipal planner, currently working in Central Falls, R.I.

Longer rides are something the duo has only been doing for the past 10 years or so. In Thom’s case, getting into cycling was prompted in 2008 by an orthopedist who advised he start strengthening his knees or plan for getting them replaced. Thom opted to buy a road bike.

The two friends have done multiple charity rides. Rich’s biggest trip was the weeklong AIDS charity ride in 2019. Since spending part of the year in Seaside, Calif., starting in 2012, the cross-country trip was on Rich’s mind. With his wife Claudia’s blessing, he started mapping out a route in 2016. “We just decided it made sense to ride home,” he chuckled.

In 2015, Rich and Thom started talking about riding cross-country and Rich plotted out the route in 2016. After a yearlong COVID delay, all systems were go in spring of 2021.

In the months before setting out, they read everything from Adventure Cycling and Bicycling magazines to books others wrote about their experience. One book, “Old Men Bicycling Across America,” left Rich less than impressed. The author set out with no route plan and rode without a helmet.

“It was an OK read, but I came away saying, ‘boy that guy was dumb,’” Rich said.

One decision on the trip was easy to make. They would not travel self-supported and had no intention of camping.

“At 70 years old, I wanted to sleep on something comfortable at night,” Thom said.

And that’s what produced the trip’s true heroine, Rich’s wife, Claudia. She drove every way of the route, at the ready to come to their rescue and in some instances backtracking 50 miles or more.

“The stuff she did is incredible,” exclaimed a greatly appreciative husband.

Early on, Rich and Thom discovered just how fortunate they were to have Claudia’s support. They quickly learned some of the bike routing programs they relied on did not differentiate dirt or gravel from paved roads, necessitating on-the-fly rerouting. “That was a killer for us,” Rich said. He estimated that in the first few days they rode an extra 10 miles as a result.

A person standing next to a bicycleDescription automatically generated with low confidence

Detours and longer days were no fun for Thom, who was not able to get in as much on-road training as Rich. “The first 10 days were difficult,” Thom confessed. The altitude and hot weather made things even tougher as he tried to ride himself into shape. 

There was also the matter of keeping in mind they had a long road ahead of them without getting overwhelmed.

“Going down one of the first steep hills in California, I started telling myself, ‘you just started this trip. Slow down,’” Thom remembered, noting he made sure to keep his speed on downhills below 40. 

But eventually, they found a rhythm. 

“It seemed to me,” Rich said, “after lunch I was always stronger.” He took motivation from seeing Thom’s energy, telling himself he better get some energy of his own.

And Thom saw that putting on the miles was paying off. “I was surprised how good I started to feel compared to the beginning.”

They also developed a routine off the bike. After dinner each night, Thom would spend about two hours doing the detailed routing for the next day while Rich worked on the blog. 

Even as they settled in, riding across the Southwest, including the Mojave Desert presented challenges.

“In the desert, I had to occupy my mind,” Thom said, explaining they faced miles and miles of a landscape that rarely changed. Added to that were stiff headwinds slowing them to 7 or 8 mph. “If I didn’t occupy my mind, I was going to get depressed,” he said.

Despite the struggles in the West, the boys did have some fun and a few laughs.

“Watching cows run across a field made me laugh,” Rich remembered. “They are not slow like people think.” He also enjoyed the scenery in New Mexico.

It was heading into New Mexico after crossing the Continental Divide that Thom experienced one of the moments that made him smile. As he passed the St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School in Thoreau, a group of teachers and kids outside the school started waving and cheering. It picked up Thom’s spirits and he later made a donation to the school. 

Rich remarked that while they had some fun, “this wasn’t an enjoyable thing you do like wine tasting.”

Both riders came to recognize that, in some respects, their trip was not just an adventure, it was a job. “My job everyday was getting up and getting on the bike,” Thom said. That approach got them through the Midwest in places like Kansas where the scenery was not the most inspiring and the weather was problematic. A couple of men wearing helmets and standing next to a signDescription automatically generated with low confidence

The weather was a reason they only made detailed plans one day at a time. While they had a schedule that they were trying to keep to, it became apparent flexibility was a key. Some days they would cut short and Claudia would transport them to the planned overnight accommodations. The next day she would bring them back to where they had stopped, and they would set off again. In the end, due to weather and giving their bodies a break, the 48-day trip included six rest days. They were lucky to avoid any major mechanical issues that could have added to delays.

While rest days gave their bodies a break, they had to find ways to do the same while on the bike. They learned to move their hand positions around and find a “sweet spot” for their butts after four or five hours. It was the foundation to staying comfortable in the saddle – that and 2-1/2 tubs of chamois cream they used liberally.

It turned out Illinois was a real sore spot for the Bay 2 Bay Boys. Almost every road they traveled in the Land of Lincoln was paved with concrete that featured expansion joints.

“Those expansion joints were brutal,” recalled Thom with a wince.

As they pedaled east, each of the boys had meaningful milestones that told them they would make it.

“For me crossing the Mississippi was a huge deal,” Rich said. “That was the psychological halfway point for me.” 

For Thom, his nose told him when they were getting closer to familiar territory, even when it was a long way off. 

“I still remember getting into Kansas smelling what I remember as a kid,” said Thom, who grew up in farm country in Pennsylvania. Things smelled more like home when they got to New York and Pennsylvania, where Thom was able to stop by his high school.

That kind of sightseeing was rare on the trip and the boys had few unforced detours.A picture containing text, ground, outdoor, signDescription automatically generated

“Somebody said to us, ‘smell the roses,” Rich said. “We weren’t on a sightseeing trip,” he pointed out, but added, “It doesn’t mean you don’t smell the roses.”

Thom concurred, saying “you need to keep your mind open to the opportunity of what you’re doing.” He said that “exhilarating and excruciating” are the two words that best describe their experience on the trip. 

The issue of age was something that never arose for Rich and Thom.

“If we had done it with 30- and 40-year-olds who were in decent shape it would have been depressing,” Rich said. But that wasn’t something they had to deal with. “I didn’t think 70 was a big deal,” he stressed.

As they got closer to home, they had some of the tougher legs of the trip. On their last three days, they covered 307 miles with 13,294 feet of climbing. The next to the last day of the trip was the toughest for Rich with heat and the hills. “That day had me psyched out in my head,” he said.

On the final day, Rich was concerned that the excitement of getting home might tempt them to start too fast, but they resisted the temptation thanks to some very tired legs.

The last 20 miles of the trip in Rhode Island were somewhat symbolic for the pair. Much of the route was on the West Bay Bike Path that they both had a hand in getting developed as part of their jobs.

The Bay 2 Bay Boys were greeted as conquering heroes as they arrived in North Kingstown on the blistering hot afternoon of June 6 and dipped their tires in Narragansett Bay. Fittingly, their friends handed them each a cold Narragansett beer. A picture containing outdoor, sky, water, bicycleDescription automatically generated

Would these two recommend others to follow in their pedal strokes across the country?

“If it’s on your bucket list, yes,” Rich said emphatically. “But don’t force yourself to do it.”

Thom recalled the response of the 13-year-old granddaughter of one of Rich’s friends when she was asked why these two would do it: “Bragging rights.”

Thom called the trip a “once in a lifetime adventure” that many doubted they could pull off and who were amazed that they did. And while they were at it, these two raised more than $3,500 for the American Diabetes Association.

All along the way they had lots of folks rooting for them. Their blog had 215 followers and 11,970 views by the time they finished.

“We’re very glad we did it,” Rich said.

If you are interested in learning more about the Bay 2 Bay Bike Ride, check out Rich and Thom’s blog at https://bay2baybikeride.blogspot.com/



The Gluck Legal Takeaway - The Importance of Traffic Cameras in Establishing the Truth: A Video Speaks a Thousand Words

Ronald Gluck


The Importance of Traffic Cameras in Establishing the Truth: A Video Speaks a Thousand Words

In our society we hope that people will tell the truth when they are at fault in a collision.  A lot depends on it.  I recently became the lawyer for a cyclist, whom I will call John, who was involved in a serious collision with a tow truck.  The cyclist never fares well in that sort of a collision and this was no exception. 

By way of back ground John is a man in his mid -thirties who commutes to and from work on his bike.  He does not own a car.  He is the married father of two children and he is the primary wage earner in his family.  He cannot afford to be out of work.  On the date in question, he was riding his bike to get his second Covid vaccine. It was a beautiful day.  He was riding in the bike lane.  Suddenly a tow truck to his left swerved into the bike lane and knocked John off his bike and onto the roadway where he lay seriously injured.  He was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The police did not come to the hospital to speak with him.  The police did, however, speak with the tow truck driver and adopted his version of the collision which was completely different from what John told me over the phone.   John was not provided with the opportunity to give his version of the collision to the police department before the police report was written.  

Two weeks after the collision I obtained the police report which contained, and adopted as true, the tow truck driver’s version of the collision.  The report stated that the tow truck was stopped on the bike lane for three minutes, flashers illuminated, waiting for traffic to clear so that the driver could pull over to the right to get in position to tow a car.  Suddenly, the driver claimed, the tow truck was hit by a bicyclist causing the cyclist to fall from his bike onto the roadway.  

When I shared the report with John, he became distraught.  Not only was he was seriously injured and disabled from work for at least six months, but to make matters much worse he was being blamed for causing the collision meaning that he would be unable to obtain compensation for his injuries, out of pocket medical bills and lost earnings.  His family would be in financial trouble.  According to the police report there were no witnesses who came forward and identified themselves as having witnessed the collision.  It would be John’s word against the tow truck driver’s word and the police had already adopted the driver’s account of the incident which put John in an inferior position in trying to prove the truth as he knew it.

I retained a private investigator to scour the area for any video camera that would have captured the collision.  He spent two days in area going store to store, business to business, parking lot to parking lot searching for a camera that might have the evidence we were seeking.  He found nothing.  He had one more place to check: the police department.   He found a helpful clerk who checked the traffic light cameras in the area and found one clip that he said might contain the collision. He sent it to me.  As I watched the 20 second video John come into view riding his bicycle in the bike lane. Then the tow truck came up on his left and swerved into the bike lane hitting John and propelling him violently onto the roadway.   He was seriously injured.

I sent the video to John. He watched and then cried.   He felt vindicated. He knew that although he would be unable to work for a long time due to his injuries, and would likely have permanent damage from his injuries, he would eventually recover compensation that would help his family avoid financial disaster.

Then I called the police department.  I requested that the video of the collision be sent to the officer who had “investigated” the collision and written the report.  I was told that it would be done.  I intend to follow up to make sure that the record is corrected.

In this case, the presence of a camera at the intersection will mean the difference between a family suffering financial ruin and not.   The tow truck driver should be ashamed of himself. His employer should consider disciplining him at the very least.  His operation of the truck in causing the collision was careless and unfortunate. But people make mistakes and those can be forgiven. However, lying to the police and putting another person’s family in peril is reprehensible. 

I had my first conversation with the tow company’s liability insurer the other day.  At first the adjuster said that her review of the police report confirmed that the driver was not at fault and they would be denying liability.   I then told her that I had the video of the collision that told a different story and revealed the truth.  She asked me if I would send it to her.  I said I would do so on one condition… that we stay on the phone while she watched it.  She agreed.  I sent it to her and waited patiently while she watched the 20 second video. I then heard the adjuster exclaim ”oh my G-d”.  Her visceral and honest reaction to the video demonstrated just how clear the driver’s responsibility was for causing the collision.  The truck’s insurance company has reversed its initial position on the case and accepted liability.  The case will ultimately be resolved in favor of my client.  His family will be spared financial ruin.   Thanks to the camera!

Stay well and ride safely.


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

Note:This is an ongoing case, and we are unable to share the video at this time

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.




Age Groupings in the Club

Eli Post


In June on the Climb to the Clouds virtual century, I worked the one-day rest stop and made contact with a group of riders I don't ordinarily see. CTTC is a challenging route, and attracts younger, stronger riders. While those riders don't necessarily represent a cross section of the club, the incident triggered my interest in the age grouping of riders in the club. I was curious about this matter, and with Jack Donohue's (CRW Webmaster) help was able to download a file of members by age.


First a word about the file. In the original file there were 2605 names. Many did not have age data and some were clearly in error. For example, we had a few members over 100 years of age. In any case I deleted those names and ended up with 1664 entries. I don't know if my deletions skew the results.


Here are the results, and you can reach your own conclusions. Mine are;

  • More than half the club is over 50. Biking is a sport that works for older athletes.
  • Only 11.5 % of the club is under 40. We have a way to go attracting younger folks








You Can’t Be Too Fit

By Dr. Gabe Mirkin






This article is courtesy of Dr. Mirkin https://www.drmirkin.com/

Article You Can’t Be Too Fit | Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Health (drmirkin.com)


Dramatic results in a study from the Cleveland Clinic show that:

• You can’t be too fit: Elite athletes who do tremendous amounts of exercise have a much lower risk of dying than non-exercisers.
• Exercise is healthful: Not exercising is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes or heart disease. The vigorous exercisers had nearly a 500 percent reduced risk of death during the study period, compared to the non-exercisers (JAMA Network Open, Oct 19, 2018;1(6):e183605).


More than 120,000 patients, average age 53, were given an exercise stress treadmill test between 1991 and 2014 and were followed up at the Cleveland Clinic. The researchers used the stress test results to classify their fitness level as low (the bottom 25th percentile), below average (25th to 49th percentile), above average (50th to 74th percentile), high (75th to 97.6th percentile), and elite (above 97.7th percentile). By January 1, 2018, 13,637 of the participants had died.




The study results were overwhelming. The more fit a person was, the less likely he was to die. There was no limit to the increase in benefits from improving fitness to very high levels. The elite athletes had an 80 percent reduction in risk for death during the study period. The greatest differences were seen among patients who had high blood pressure in the high and elite groups compared to those in the low fitness group. The lead researcher concluded, “We found that there was no ceiling for benefit . . . with no toxicity at the higher end.”


Can Extreme Amounts of Exercise Be Harmful?
This new study counters the findings of earlier studies on elite athletes that suggested they are at increased risk for irregular heartbeats, increased arterial plaque size or thickened heart valves.

• Even though master athletes may be at increased risk for irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation), they can still benefit from continuing to exercise. Compared to non-exercisers, they appear to be at reduced risk for suffering from serious side effects such as clots. See Irregular Heartbeats in Senior Athletes and Exercisers.


• Elite athletes may be at increased risk for larger plaques in their arteries than non-exercisers, but narrowing of arteries by plaques does not cause a heart attack. Heart attacks are caused by plaques breaking off from arteries, and exercise helps to prevent heart attacks by making plaques more stable and less likely to break off. See Exercisers Have More Stable Plaques.


• Vigorous exercisers may be at increased risk for thickened heart valves, but compared to non-exercisers, athletes with thickened heart valves still have stronger heart muscles so that they are less likely to suffer heart failure. See Exercise to Prevent a Heart Attack


Exercise Reduces Inflammation
Aging is associated with inflammation, an overactive immune system. Your immune system is supposed to kill germs when they attack you, but as soon as the germs are gone, your immunity is supposed to dampen down. However if your immunity stays active all the time, it attacks you in the same way that it kills germs. It can punch holes in arteries to cause plaques, break off the plaques to cause heart attacks, destroy your DNA to cause cancer, cause various auto-immune diseases and so forth. As you age, inflammation increases to cause loss of muscles and bone, osteoarthritis, loss of cell function associated with aging, and other harmful effects. Exercise helps to dampen down inflammation, and thus helps to prevent diseases and prolong life. One study of 111 women, ages 65 to 70, showed that replacing 30 minutes of sitting time with the same amount of time in light or moderate exercise very significantly reduced markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein and fibrinogen) and diabetes (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, July 2018).


Intense Exercise is More Beneficial than Casual Exercise
This new study agrees with many earlier studies that have shown greater benefits from vigorous exercise than from low-intensity exercise:
• The SUN Study on 18,737 middle-aged people showed that those who exercise intensely have half the rate of heart attacks as those who did the same amount of exercise less intensely (Am J of Cardiology, Sept 11, 2018).
• Increased time spent exercising intensely gives adolescents a healthier metabolic profile than more time spent just exercising (PLOS Medicine, Sept 2018; 15 (9): e1002649).
• Vigorous exercise is associated with a much lower rate of metabolic syndrome and diabetes, compared to low-intensity exercise (American J of Prev Med, April 2017;52(4):e95–e101).


My Recommendations
I think everyone should have a regular exercise program, and it is never too late to start. See How to Start an Exercise Program. Do not start an intense exercise program until you have spent several months exercising at a casual pace.


Socialization usually improves the length of time, intensity and enjoyment of exercise, so it is best to join a group, exercise with your mate, or do your exercise regularly with friends (Am J Alzheimer’s Dis Other Demen, June 2014; 29(4): 372–378).


CAUTIONIntense exercise can cause a heart attack in a person who has blocked arteries or heart damage. Check with your doctor before you start a new exercise program or make a sudden increase in the intensity of your existing program.




Marshall “Major” Taylor Celebration Ride

Rudge McKenney


On July 11, 2021, CRW will offer the Marshall “Major” Taylor Celebration Ride to its members and guests. This is the first CRW Diversity Ride of the year to be followed by a ride in August recognizing Kittie Knox, the first African-American female member of the League of American Wheelmen. For those who do not remember, Major Taylor was an African-American professional cyclist who lived in Worcester, MA during his racing years. He won many national titles and in 1899 won a World Championship in sprinting. 


Thanks to the dedication of the cycling community in Worcester, MA, Major Taylor is now recognized for his achievements as a world class athlete. 


In honor of Major Taylor, several names of ride participants will be drawn from those registered for this ride and awarded official Major Taylor Cycling Jerseys.


Register for the Major Taylor Ride







Rudge McKenney is CRW Vice-President for Diversity








July 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.

Fastest Cyclist On Earth - The 184 mph Woman
For a normal person, 20 mph feels fast, and 30 mph feels very fast. But in 2018 Denise Muelller-Koronek became the fastest human ever on a bicycle, at a Jaw dropping 184 mph. Working as a team by drafting behind a dragster in the Bonneville salt flats, Denise shows it takes nerves of steel, ambition, and just the right kind of crazy. 20 Mins.
One Hour Cycling Speed Record
If you prefer to set a world speed record at a more relaxed pace, you can compete in the hour challenge. Simply bike for an hour, and cover just under 30 miles for women, or just under 34 for men. Of course you don't get a wind shield on this one, and you'll have to maintain an enormous power output the entire hour. Nonetheless, it sounds like the more sensible of the two options. 18 Mins.


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



July 4th

WheelPeople Editors

There are lots of ways to celebrate July 4th, but this team outdid us all. Photo by Alex Post taken at RAGBRAI



Where Have All the Arrows Gone

Eli Post


Younger riders and those new to the club may not realize that we used to mark the rides. That is, we “arrowed” rides marking turns with distinct symbols on the road surface.


There were three arrows at each turn: a warning arrow, an arrow to mark the actual turn, and finally a confirming arrow after the turn. CRW was known for its arrowed rides as all other bike clubs only marked special rides or marked none at all. The arrows offered relief from the tyranny of cue sheets and, more importantly, provided seamless navigation. A whole generation of CRW riders depended on arrows to navigate routes.

 Arrowing a ride with multiple routes was time consuming and demanding, but for some ride leaders a labor of love. There was a feeling of accomplishment seeing your route marked on the pavement. You knew that but for your spray can artwork, innumerable lost souls would have never found their true path.

Alas, arrowing came to an end with the advancement of technology. GPS navigation proved to be reliable and certainly less demanding on ride leaders. GPS use got off to a slow start as you needed a dedicated, somewhat expensive instrument, and only a few technology-oriented riders signed on for the service. When cell phone apps became available, GPS use truly came of age, widespread use was adopted and technology reigns supreme.

Despite their utility, arrows had been becoming problematic. Some towns banned them outright as blemishes on their immaculate asphalt. Other municipalities put in place onerous restrictions that made some cyclists feel they were being told to get lost, quite literally.

To the uninitiated, arrows do appear to be some kind of bizarre graffiti. The photo above shows a popular intersection where multiple rides intersect and arrows are plastered all over the pavement. Can you guess the intersection, and which ride each arrow belongs to?

There remains the question of what became of the old arrows that were painted on roads in numerous towns in the Boston area. With all of CRW’s routes taken into account, there must have been thousands of arrows painted at any one time. We think most succumbed to the ravages of time, weather, and wear from automobiles, but some were covered over by roadwork and survive today, buried under fresh pavement.


Just what will future generations make of the markings when archeologists of the day dig up these roads. Will they think they were the work of ancient civilizations, that used the markings to find their way around? Will they confuse CRW arrows with other road surface markings used to provide guidance and information to drivers and pedestrians, and conclude the arrows delineated important traffic or safety regulations?


We won’t be around to set the record straight, so we should provide a guidebook to explain the club’s work. This will ensure the art of arrowing is appreciated, and prevent confusion. We must document the club’s massive arrow work and explain its purpose. We should provide a key to deciphering what could be viewed as ancient scripts.


A CRW guide to our arrows could serve as the Rosetta Stone of roadway hieroglyphics for our descendants. Without such documentation, our arrows would be an “undeciphered writing system” which is a written form of language that is not understood. We can’t let that happen.


Many undeciphered writing systems date from several thousand years BC and have proven difficult to decipher. In some cases, archeologists question whether the symbols actually constitute a writing system at all. Generations of CRW ride leaders painted arrows, and we want them to be accepted within the scientific community. Our dedication and hard work to provide direction cannot be lost to the asphalt grinder of history.


The ariicle was edited by Tim Wilson.


Safety Corner, July 2021

John Allen


The weather has opened up, the pandemic is winding down, or at least more of us are vaccinated, and the increase in bicycling during the pandemic seems to be holding for now.


I am hearing reports though about how motorists are supposed to be more reckless than they were before. Bicyclists will always talk about how badly motorists drive, but a rational response is always situational awareness and defensive driving on your bicycle. Best practices are counterintuitive to anyone who grew up with the common perceptions that usually revolve around staying out of the way. Safety often requires assertive positioning on the roadway-- to be visible, to discourage motorists from taking chances on passing in a too-narrow space, and to have room for an evasive maneuver, if that is necessary.


Example: on May 15, in midafternoon  a Saturday with substantial traffic, a group of cyclists in one of my courses  took on downtown Waltham. The video embedded here records some challenges which this ride posed.



You may ask, about much of the video, “where is all that traffic that John just mentioned?” Well, actually you see a lot of it coming the other way – but very little behind.


Why? There will usually be little traffic when turning right or left on a green light. It is often useful to wait and not turn right on red, for that reason. Wait just to the left of right-turning cars so they can pass on your right.


The satellite view in Google Maps is a great tool to help figure out how route selection and traffic-signal timing can make bicycling more pleasant.The ride shown has a left turn, a right turn and then a left turn, each of them on a green light. And also – motorists traveling between the same start and end points could take a different route, continuing straight at the first left turn in the video, and turning left a block later, requiring only one turn and further reducing the traffic volume on the bicyclists’ route.


The video tells the rest of the story.


John S. Allen is CRW Safety Coordinator, a certified CyclingSavvy Instructor and League Cycling Instructor and author of Bicycling Street Smarts.



The Athlete's Kitchen - Sports Nutrition Nuggets from The American College of Sports Medicine


The Athlete’s Kitchen

Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD June 2021


Sports Nutrition Nuggets from The American College of Sports Medicine


The American College of Sports Medicine (www.ACSM.org) is a professional organization with more than 17,400 members who are doctors, dietitians, psychologists, exercise physiologists, and other health professionals who work with athletic people. At ACSM’s 2021 Annual Meeting in June, members shared their knowledge and latest research. Here are just a few sports nutrition highlights that might be of interest.


Underlying mental health issues. When athletes get injured, underlying mental health issues often get unmasked, including depression, eating disorders, and anxiety about body image, Injured athletes express fears about getting re-injured, gaining undesired weight, and losing their identity. (Who am I am if not a soccer player???)  The sport culture is finally acknowledging mental health issues and destigmatizing therapy. For example, mental health information booths and counselors will be available at the Tokyo Olympics. That said, the 6 months after the Olympics can be more stress-filled than pre-Olympic stress and anxiety…


Inadequate protein. As people age, they need less food and often eat less protein. Inadequate protein can lead to loss of muscle and strength. The weakest third of older people are likely to die sooner than the strongest third. Make sure you, your parents, and grandparents stay active!!!


Older muscles (as compared to younger muscles) have reduced anabolic (muscle building) response to a protein-rich sport diet. Even with a strong protein intake, seniors do not get the same muscle-building response as seen in younger individuals. Seniors want to include at least 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal plus lift weights. Consuming (dairy or soy) milk or yogurt with each meal is a simple way to boost protein, plus provide the calcium needed to reduce bone demineralization and help keep bones strong.


Ketogenic diet. Science has shown that, during exercise, athletes who eat a high fat ketogenic diet burn more fat than carb-eaters do. Burning fat requires more oxygen than burning carbs (muscle glycogen, blood glucose). That’s a disadvantage for keto athletes. Research with keto racewalkers showed an 8% performance difference between the keto group (they got slower) and the carb-eaters (who got faster). Grains, fruits and veggies are performance enhancing! 


Protect bones.If you are restricting your food intake to lose body fat, you are simultaneously losing bone density. To protect bones, dieters want to eat protein-rich foods in each meal. This boosts growth factors that build muscles (along with resistance exercise). Muscles tugging on bones stimulates bones to stay strong.


Male cyclists often have weaker bones than runners, in part because they are not doing weight-bearing exercise. Bone loss has also been seen in NCAA male basketball players—as much as 6% bone loss in a year. Why? The decline might be related to calcium lost in sweat. Hence, athletes who sweat heavily might be wise to consume more calcium-rich foods. Chocolate milk for a recovery drink?


• Intermittent Fasting. Dieters who are Intermittent Fasting commonly skip breakfast. Breakfast skippers tend to be less physically active; they do not lose more body fat than breakfast eaters. No harm in fueling up for an active day!


Changes in body fat. Whether you are a collegiate athlete, a CrossFit fan, or a gym rat, you can experience similar changes in body fat. No one exercise setting is superior to another. Hard work creates the desired results, regardless of where you train.


Global warming means outdoor athletes will be spending more time exercising in the heat—and that can take its toll on performance. To beat the heat, try pre-cooling your body by draping a towel dipped in ice water around your neck. You can also put ice packs on your thighs for 20 minutes. Dropping your body temperature can help you perform better during subsequent exercise.


Heat stress.To reduce heat stress, you can also cool yourself from the inside out by consuming ice slurries before and during exercise.  


Consume enough fluids. Even national-level male soccer players can struggle to consume enough fluids. On Day One of urine testing, 90% of the players were significantly dehydrated. None were well hydrated. Continuously monitoring hydration status nudged the players to drink more fluids. If you are exercising in the heat, be sure to drink enough so that your first morning urine is not dark and smelly!


Have water readily available. Elementary school children at a soccer camp trained for two hours in the morning and again in the afternoon. In the morning, the fluid station was set up beside the pitch.  The kids drank too little. In the afternoon, the kids each brought a personal water bottle inside the pitch. They drank enough to replace sweat losses. That simple change helped safeguard these 2nd and 3rd graders. All summer athletes should have water readily available.


• Eating disorders Parents: Keep your eyes open for eating disorders in your young athletes. Among 2,109 middle school runners (1,252 boys; 857 girls), 1.5% reported a clinical history of eating disorder, or they met the criteria for elevated dietary restraint. Compared to the “normal” eaters, the restrained eaters were more likely to skip meals (68% vs 6%), follow a vegetarian diet (55% vs 13%) and use dietary supplements (84% vs 25%). They also reported running slower and recovering slower. Youth athletes should be taught to focus on fueling to grow and perform, and stop skimping on food to be lighter or leaner.


• Sports supplements. Not all athletes respond to ergogenic (energy-enhancing) sports supplements in the same way. A study with beta-alanine suggests differences in benefits were related more to sleep habits, motivation, nutrition, and training schedules – and less to the supplement itself. Hence, athletes are more likely to respond positively to a supplement if they create supportive lifestyles. No amount of supplements will compensate for an erosive lifestyle.


Spirulina is a popular supplement that has been shown to have antioxidant and performance enhancing properties. A study that involves muscle-damaging exercise suggests spirulina supplementation (6 grams/day) did not offer any benefits in terms of muscle performance or recovery from muscle damage.


Eat wisely. To my dismay, nutrition is not always the winning edge. In the past five years, numerous track & field world records have been broken—not because of better nutrition but rather a new style of shoes that reduces effort. Regardless, keep eating wisely and fueling well!



Sports Nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD counsels both casual and competitive athletes in the Boston-area (Newton; 617-795-1875). Her best-selling Sports Nutrition Guidebook can teach you how to fuel well and feel good. Visit NancyClarkRD.com








Revisit the Charles: Where Cyclists Played in the 1890s

Lorenz Finison


This is a ride report of a CRW ride held on May 23, 2021. Larry Finison and John Allen were the leaders

We left from the Duck Feeding Area across from the Marriott Hotel (formerly Norumbega Park where cyclists picnicked and played in the 1890s). We got a good start of 20 riders, the COVID limit for us, including at least 10 riders from the Alzheimer’s Association. John Allen recruited them to join CRW and register. They were a great addition, many new to group riding. John gave the safety lecture, and some geological insights about the Lakes District around us! We cycled leisurely along the river to stop and talk about the Horsford Tower, and then on to the site of Bicycle Park, built in the 1890s. Many famed racers visited this track and the League of American Wheelmen featured it in a national meet.


A biracial Boston “scorcher,” Kittie Knox won a bicycle costume contest there July 4, 1895, witnessed by thousands of cyclists. A few booed her as  she rejected the long skirt and drop frame or perhaps there was some racial animus. Reports differed. But she persisted. We did a little archaeological exploration around the concrete foundations of the old grandstands. 


Then on to the old Waltham Watch Company and view the concrete pilings of dance hall Nutting’s on the Charles in the river; to the 1890s site of the Waltham Manufacturing Company bicycle plant; then on to a famed bicyclists’ picnic ground, Forest Grove, and  back to Norumbega Park.


In the 1890s this Norumbega Park facility accommodated over 1,200 bicycles, to store your own while at play, or to rent.

There we visited  the old boat house and the remnants of the  police station atop it with its panoramic view  of the Charles  and its hidden coves. We were eager to see the old jail cells on top of the boat house (where miscreants could be held for all manner of indiscretions including “canoodling”) but we were a week too early to see the jail cells due to COVID restrictions.

Then, on to the nearby Riverside Depot site, along the Worcester-bound B&M rail line. This was a central point in the 1890s and beyond for multi-modal transportation, including for cyclists. The only remnant of the Depot is a tunnel under the B&M line, and we climbed the steps out of it with our bikes.

CRW and Alzheimer’s Association riders cross over the bridge.

Then, on to the  “pony truss” bridge crossing the Charles at Riverside Park, and some talk about the many old boathouses on the river (obliterated by the hurricane of ’38) and the magnificent athletic grounds bulldozed through by Route 128 and the Turnpike.  Finally, we visited Pine Grove in Newton Lower Falls and saw the remnants of the electrified Ping Pong rail line that ran back and forth from Riverside Depot, and the half-finished rail trail there (the abutters don’t want it finished, of course). We returned to the Duck Feeding Area just in time to greet a few drops of rain. We will do it again.




Bike Store Closing

WheelPeople Editors


We don't know any more than what's included on their website, but we note the loss of Harris Cyclery in Newton. The store has served our community for seventy years. Around the world people knew Sheldon Brown for his extensive knowledge and documentation of bicycle technical issues. 


CRW Safety coordinator John Allen writes:
Bicycle repair and maintenance Web site Sheldonbrown.com got its start when Sheldon worked at Harris Cyclery. We are very grateful to Harris Cyclery for its support over the years. But, since 2010, sheldonbrown.com (except for the /harris pages) has floated its own boat, through online advertising. Harriet Fell is a CRW member who was married to Sheldon for 28 years. She owns the Web site, and I am its technical writer and editor. We don't know yet what other affiliation we may find, or whether we'll go it alone, but you may rest easy. www.Sheldonbrown.com is not going away. Ride your bike, and feel free to visit the site for help keeping it in top shape.
News reports







References Harris Cyclery



July Updates

WheelPeople Editors

Diversity Rides - In July there will be a ride honoring Marshall “Major” Taylor.  Major Taylor was the first African American cyclist to be awarded a World Championship Title in the sport.  In August there will be a ride honoring Kittie Knox.  Ms. Knox was a bicycle racer and the first African American to be accepted into the League of American Wheelmen.


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

Town Ride collections - There will certainly be warm days in July 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





July Picture of the Month

WheelPeople Editors

The Bidens were caught on bikes. While we don't know the extent of their riding, we feel this is good for the sport. And they come with sag wagons accommodating armed agents. This would be the safest ride in America.


Photo from Boston Globe June 4, 2021