October 2021 WheelPeople


CRW Votes - 2022

WheelPeople Editors

CRW Votes!

The time is upon us to vote for our new CRW Board members who will begin their terms in January 2022. We have four open Board seats. Three seats are full three-year terms and the fourth is for the completion of an existing seat. 


The Board does a lot of work behind the scenes to set the policy and direction for the Club.  We’re all volunteers and taking about a minute to cast your vote will let the candidates know that you appreciate their willingness to contribute their time to the Club.


Each CRW member will get 4 votes and you must be a club member (and logged into the website) to vote.


There are 12 candidates and their nomination statements can be viewed here CANDIDATE STATEMENTS - 2021 CRW BOARD ELECTION | Charles River Wheelers


Voting will be held from October 1st to the15th with final results published on the website and in the November WheelPeople.  Please be sure to vote by going to this page:  https://www.crw.org/content/board-election-voting-2021 Note that voting begins October 1st, not before. Your vote will be heard!


You must be logged in to your CRW account to vote.  If you have any problems logging in, please contact the CRW Membership Coordinator, Barry Nelson, at membership [at] crw.org (subject: Voting%20Problem) .







Note that there are 12 candidates for 4 positions.


Ed Cheng

I am throwing in my hat into the ring to join the CRW Board - and hopefully, that hat won't be thrown back at me!
 Although I have been an intermittent member of CRW for years, my involvement since last year escalated, as bicycling became one of the few permissible social outlets during the pandemic.  I am grateful that CRW managed to organize group rides earlier than any other club in New England, and CRW's efforts provided me the opportunity to break the social isolation by riding with, and meeting other members.   I would like to give back to CRW.
I joined the Rides Committee at the beginning of this year, hoping to learn to be a Ride Leader and to learn the ropes of the committee. I'm still a bit dizzy from what happened next as I accidentally became the VP of Rides for CRW shortly thereafter.  Lucky for me, the former VP of Rides stayed on as did the other members of the committee (thanks, Mary, John, and Robyn. We have since added Megan and André G.) This year, we focused on: (1) Ride Leader training; (2) getting the club back to normal pre-pandemic levels of rides; and (3) making the club welcome to members of all experience and speeds. As a Board Member, I would be in a position to continue this work, normalizing CRW's activities after a profoundly abnormal time of social restrictions.  I believe that we have made substantial strides towards filling the rides calendar and reviving a lot of traditional CRW rides that could not take place last year.  The work continues. In addition, CRW made many changes to its programming this year, adding Development, Gravel, Adventure, and Women's rides.  As a Board Member, I would work on strengthening these new programs and ensuring that they are well organized and continue to attract riders. 
 I can't resist making this pitch, but I organize the occasional Lexington (Social) Revolutions ride.  If you can, join us, as we have groups for all different abilities and a distinct social mindset.


Doug Cornelius

I remember my first CRW Climb to the Clouds ride in 2005. I didn’t think I was going to make it. With the encouragement of CRW riders around me, I did finish. That was also the year of my first Pan Mass Challenge ride. I appreciate the long history of CRW and its great collection of regular rides and routes. I also really enjoy the new rides and programs which have helped me fill the void of not riding my regular bike commute during the pandemic. I’ve enjoyed meeting new friends and riding companions. I’d like to continue giving back to CRW.


I’m currently working with CRW’s century committee to help plan the Cranberry Harvest Century. Earlier this year, I worked with the board’s governance committee on its governance review. I’m also a ride leader and my most recent ride was the new “How About Them Apples”
route. I’ve been active with the Devo program and was the first winner of the highly coveted CRW-Devo polka-dot socks.


I’ve served on several non-profit boards and local government commissions, so I have a wealth of experience with governance and service. I’m currently on the board of MassBike. I’d like to find ways to harness the advocacy and education of MassBike with the recreational cycling of CRW to get more people cycling, make cycling safer, and have more people cycling with joy.


Erik D’Entremont 

I am Erik D’Entremont a CRW member since 2017 when I rode my first century with friends with the CRW to New Hampshire and back. Since then I have enjoyed the new friendships of  CRW members on great rides like the Climbs to the clouds, Harvest Century and many others. This year I became a ride lead for CRW, leading many rides including Hyannis to Provincetown 62 mile tour that started with a train ride and ended with a ferry back to Boston. I have enjoyed leading multiple rides with CRW and meeting new members each year. The CRW ride lead program has grown with so many great options and I look forward to more.


I also have participated in the PMC as a rider, and the MS CCG continue riding with CRW as an active triathlete Training for CT half Iron, Patriothalf, Lobsterman and Boston Tri, taking first place in men’s over all Agua Bike.


I would like to continue my passion with cycling on the encouragement of the current CRW president, Rami and many other CRW board and CRW members. As a board member I would contribute to the legacy of CRW with the traditions of CRW members, governance and momentum from the current board. I would also enjoy the contributing to expanding the ride offerings for all cycling enthusiasts. I would also advocate membership diversity and inclusion with membership growth and guided evolution of CRW. Please consider me as your next board member. Lets Ride!



Harriet Fell

I have been a member of the CRW since 1976 and joined right after I was one of the first Americans to complete the 1200 kilometer Paris-Brest Paris event.  I was active in the club in the late 70s and early 80s, often leading rides with my late husband Sheldon Brown.  For the past 6 years, I’ve come back to cycling (over 5,000 miles a year) and have increased my volunteer activities, working on many club events including centuries and intro rides.  In 2018, I was thrilled to receive the CRW Volunteer Award for my work on CRW Centuries over a period of many years.  
Cycling has been very important in my life and I’d like to turn my focus to helping others enjoy it as much as I have. In joining the Board, I would like to encourage the club to become more family oriented and to bring a renewed focus to cycling safety issues, possibly running classes in local schools. I would like to offer some slower rides with ice-cream stops for people with babies on their bikes or with kid-back tandems or for preteen children riding solo as a way of attracting younger couples to the club.  Sheldon and I often brought our kids on club rides.  I am delighted to see so many new things happening in the CRW.  As a board member, I would work hard to help support  the new types of rides and social events that the club is now sponsoring.







André Gutiérrez Marty 

My name is André and I’m looking to support the club as a Board Director. I joined CRW in July 2020 and have since ridden about 3000 miles in great company. The club’s impact on me extends past the fantastic adventures on my bike to the lasting connections I’ve made off the saddle. I became inspired to give back to the membership by scheduling weekend rides, planning a multi-day adventure spanning Massachusetts, serving as a member of the rides committee, and leading the Hubs Program. I’m grateful that ~100 members have attended my rides and am optimistic that they’ve all formed meaningful connections like the ones that I treasure now. Having enjoyed rides as a member and planned rides as a ride leader, I now hope to support both members and ride leaders by serving on the board. 


My experience volunteering for the rides committee, leading rides, and now managing the club’s RidewGPS account shows my commitment to the club and will inform my strategy on the board. I look forward to advancing the club’s mission to connect cyclists of the greater Boston area through fun and recurring rides, unique adventures, and new initiatives. I’m excited to continue growing the Hubs program with the goal of reducing financial and logistical barriers to ride participation for Boston-based members, helping our club be a more inclusive community. As a Board Director I will invest in the club membership to increase spontaneous and meaningful connections that lead to great riding across New England.


Harold Hatch

I have been a member of CRW since I began cycling in 2015. Since then I’ve enjoyed all the club has to offer including century rides, adventure travel, and exploring local roads through CRW’s substantial route collection. In wanting to give back more to the club this year I started leading my own rides, which posed unique challenges in 2021. Early this year I joined the COVID-19 committee to help set club policy to keep our rides safe during the pandemic. More recently I also joined the Century Committee and have helped to plan the Cranberry Century, one of our major events this year. I’ve gotten to meet many new people who enjoy cycling as much as I do, and it’s been great to push each other to new limits in a fun and friendly atmosphere. While I’ve met many CRW members this year, I know it’s only a fraction of the 2,500+ club members. I hope to continue to get to know more of you, and to learn what you love about cycling. Cycling means many different things to different people and I want to hear from more members about what’s important to them. I would like to help members build programs based on their own interests, which may not be well represented currently. One area I’m particularly interested in working on this winter is expanding our virtual rides program. I hope to convince those skeptical that indoor riding can actually be fun, social, and good for fitness.


Martin Hayes

Hi, I’m Martin Hayes and I am running for the board.  I began cycling in 2019 to prepare for the Pan-Mass Challenge and have been on my bike ever since. I was introduced to CRW as part of the DEVO climbing challenge this winter and within a couple of months, I was leading rides on hilly new routes like the Mirror Century and Century in the Shade.  Since the spring I’ve created a collection of 12 new routes out of Pepperell, adding many scenic rides extending into southern New Hampshire. 

As a member of the board, I would like to champion the growth of CRW’s presence on virtual cycling platforms such as Zwift, Sufferfest, and RGT.  I would probably not be a part of CRW had it not been for the virtual riding options offered last winter, so I appreciate the value of greater online visibility for recruiting new members and extending the camaraderie we all love about CRW throughout the year.   

This is a large and diverse club with a terrific history, and I’d like to help us continue growing as a club where members can share their passion for cycling year-round.  






Amy Juodawlkis

I started cycling in Atlanta in the 1990’s, where I learned to out-sprint porch dogs and got caught in thunderstorms of biblical proportions. Back in MA, my riding suffered due to family commitments and injury. I’ve gotten my cycling mojo back... and a gravel bike that is making my road bike jealous.

I joined CRW in 2020. My first ride was a women’s ride. I was thrilled to find it so welcoming and friendly. In June 2021, I became a ride leader. I currently lead two weekly rides (Praline Croissant and Battle Road Gravel). I am an active volunteer for the club as the Gravel Program Leader, as a member of the Women’s Program Committee, and for the October Century. I also manage the CRW sock and water bottle swag inventory.

I love that the social aspect of cycling is front-and-center in CRW, and I am gratified that the Battle Road ride is a favorite for midweek socializing. Going forward, I want to create and lead rides that encourage socializing on and off the bike, expand mixed-terrain options, and introduce ‘gritty city’ rides to the calendar.

For a club, communication is so important. If elected to the Board, I would work towards getting more members on Slack, because it has been invaluable to me as a new member . I would also work to bring in members of all riding levels, and to show them just how friendly a bike club can be.

PS : Juodawlkis is pronounced ja-DOLL-kiss




Larry Kernan

I’m very happy to run for the CRW Board once again.  I have been very involved with CRW activities and leadership for many years:

  Member of CRW since 1995
  Board Member – 2018 – 2020 and currently as Past President
  President of CRW – 2019 – 2020.  For a synopsis of my term, please see President's Message - Dec 2020
  CRW Treasurer – 2017 and 2018
  Century Coordinator Chairman – 2017 – 2019
  Ride Leader – many years
As I look back at my two years as CRW President, I am astounded by how different the two terms were.  2019 was incredibly successful, with fantastic centuries and a packed ride calendar. And then came 2020 – the year of Covid-19. We shut down our rides program and cancelled our centuries. Despite that, CRW volunteers stepped up to keep the club relevant. It was my pleasure to serve CRW, a club I truly cherish. I am indebted to our Board, the Ride Leaders and all the many CRW Volunteers who not only made the club function but flourish.

I look forward to continuing my involvement with CRW’s leadership.  My goal is to continue CRW’s great tradition of excellence as the premier road (and now, gravel) club in New England.  I want CRW to be welcoming to all riders and to make CRW events fun and exciting.




Richard Levine

I have been a CRW member for 20 years. I have been active in the club. In the past I’ve been a CRW board member, a member of the Finance Committee, and the VP of Finance. I am a regular on the weekend and many of the recurring rides. A goal of mine would be working with the Rides Committee to help revitalize the weekend ride program.  One thing I would bring to the CRW board would be an institutional knowledge of CRW’s history and how it should be run.


I get a lot out of being a CRW member and feel that volunteering my time will help the club continue to run well into the future.











Eli Post 

I have been involved in managing the Club for many years. I am currently a board member, ran the ride program for several years, led multiple rides, was century chair, was a major contributor to WheelPeople and served as President. Most recently I am serving as Editor of WheelPeople.  I believe I’ve helped make rides a more satisfying experience and CRW a better club. I wish to continue my service if re-elected to the board. The Club faces several challenges in the years ahead as it transitions from the limitations imposed by Covid, and I feel my experience will help facilitate that transition.























Emily Vigeant

This time last year my longest ride was 16 miles. I started cycling during the pandemic on a borrowed mountain bike. No goals. No gear beyond a helmet and one water bottle. By the time I joined CRW, my longest ride was 50 miles, I’d completed a 270-mile solo tour, and I finally bought a road bike and basic gear. But CRW will always be where I really became a cyclist.

My first CRW ride was a 30-miler last March. Since then, I’ve logged over 5,000 miles, ~80% of them with CRW. Before March, I only rode solo. I couldn’t imagine keeping up with real cyclists.

I’ve heard this fear countless times since joining CRW. Fortunately, our club has many members who go out of their way to help other riders. They provide opportunities, encouragement, advice, and connections that turn hesitant newbies into lifelong cyclists.

With CRW support, I completed my first of many metric and imperial centuries, participated in and led adventures and sufferfests across New England, started a series of 5 am rides for early risers, and began co-leading our adventure program. None of this was planned. It happened because of members who were inclusive, volunteering their time and knowledge to welcome me while also making me a better cyclist.

Not everyone wants to bikepack or ride sufferfests like me. But we’re all here looking for something we can’t provide ourselves.


I’d like to be elected to the board to help create and maintain opportunities for others to make the most of their riding, whatever that means for them.




Change to Cranberry Harvest Century

WheelPeople Editors

The following message was sent on September 24, 2021 to registered riders for the 2021 Cranberry Harvest Century


Dear Cranberry Harvest Riders,

We are disappointed to announce that the Town of Middleborough will not allow the club to use the Nichols Middle School as a start & finish location for the Cranberry Harvest Century. The Chief of Police and Board of Selectmen have cited concerns about safety and lack of general benefit to the Town of Middleborough.

Because this unexpected decision just occurred, we do not have other options for this key part of the ride. We will cancel the 2021 Cranberry Harvest in-person century.

Instead, we will hold a virtual challenge all day on Sunday 3 October 2021.

Volunteers will be at the following locations to meet and greet you with food & hydration supplies:

  • Mattapoisett Wharf (public rest rooms available)
  • Myles Standish State Forest headquarters (public rest rooms available)

The rest stops will be stocked with generous servings of:

  • Cold brew Starbucks coffee
  • Cliff energy bars, shots, & gels
  • Scratch hydration mix & chews
  • Cape Cod potato chips
  • Vermont meat sticks
  • Oreos variety pack
  • M&Ms variety pack

A virtual challenge means that you will ride a route of your choosing by yourself or with friends. We will offer:

  1. Multiple distance routes ranging from 50–100 miles
  2. Multiple starting locations from Kingston & Myles Standish state park
  3. Multiple options for using MBTA commuter rail for public transport

Route options available are:

  1. 52mi from Kingston https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37597549
  2. 77mi from Kingston https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37597115
  3. 101mi Century from Kingston https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37597300
  4. 58mi from Myles Standish https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37596928
  5. 70mi from Myles Standish https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37596891

We are making minor edits to these routes. Expect final copies to be available on Thursday 30 September 2021.

We will not have any start or finish activities. Parking is on your own at one of these locations:

  1. Kingston MBTA Station, 134 Marion Dr, Kingston, MA 02364. Total parking spaces: 1,030. Daily fee on Sunday: $2.
  2. Kingston commuter train schedule available at https://www.mbta.com/schedules/CR-Kingston/timetable Weekend pass is $10.00.
  3. Myles Standish State Park near College Pond. Daily parking fees MA residents $8 & Non-MA residents $30.

You must have the wrist band that you collect from Myles Standish rest stop. We will also provide a $2.00 refund for parking at the Kingston MBTA station.

Alternatively, you may request a refund for the ride from century [at] crw.org. The deadline for requesting a refund is the end of Monday 27 September 2021.


CRW Century Committee and Board of Directors




Jersey Recall

Eli Post


We are recalling the CRW jersey. One of our members was attacked by a swarm of bees. He had an unknown allergy to them, and had to be hospitalized. He is now stable but the seriousness of his medical condition has prompted us to take heed and reluctantly recall all jerseys sold since 2016. This will be a major expense for the club but member safety is paramount and we are offering  a full return of the original payment. The Club has sold several hundred of the jerseys over the years, and this is no small task.

Bees and wasps see in a slightly different spectrum than humans, and instinctively perceive certain colors as a threat, but are drawn to other colors, particularly white or yellow. The current jersey design features yellow as a dominant color and the rider appears to be a big, attractive flower which the bee or wasp will come to pollinate.

It turns out that the color of clothing that one wears will directly influence an individual’s chances of getting stung by a bee or wasp. They also tend to associate various colors with their favorite foods. This is particularly true of bees when they see a color which reminds them of flowers. They might even head back to the hive to essentially rave about the amazing field of flowers they stumbled upon. They also ask why anyone would believe all this nonsense about a recall, when they could be out riding on scenic New England country roads.



Be Good to Your Chain

Jack Donohue


You've probably encountered fellow riders touting the pleasures of riding in all kinds of weather. They lie.  No one likes riding in the rain.  But if you ride long enough, despite your best efforts you will inevitably find yourself in this situation.


When you're done with the ride, the first thing you think of is getting dry.    After a warm shower and dry clothes, you're good.  You will suffer no lasting damage.


You tend to forget your faithful steed that carried you through this mess.  Fact of the matter is that you will dry, but there, alone, in the garage, your poor bike is silently rusting.  Rust is a phenomenon common to carbon steel.  No worries, you say, my bike is made out of space age materials that don't rust. This is generally true except for one key component: your chain. 


If you leave your wet bike unattended, you will inevitably come down to it the next day to find an orange patina on the chain, i.e., rust.  Here's what I do to avoid this.


The first thing is to put the bike in a stand and spin the pedals backwards vigorously.  This will fling off most of the surface water.  I spin the wheel 100 times, not for any good reason except we engineer types like counting things.  Next I wrap a paper towel around the chain and spin it again.  Our former house cleaner used up half a rain forest's worth of them each cleaning day, so being a frugal Yankee (New York Yankee that is) and environmentally conscious I would fish them out of the trash when she left.  Consequently, I have a lifetime supply of slightly used paper towels.  Applying the quicker picker uppers will give you a pretty good idea of just how dirty your chain is (or was), before your ministrations).


The Coup de Grace is giving your chain a blow dry.  For this I use an old hair dryer of Susan's.  Set it on high and blast away for a while.  Ideally you should do this until the chain is warm to the touch but I usually don't have the patience. 


You're not quite good to go yet.  You've got most of the moisture off by my now, but it doesn't take much for rust to rear its ugly head.  What I do now is lube that chain.  You can use WD-40.  This is not really a lubricant, I'm told the WD stands for "water displacement" which is what you want. Using a real lube is good to keep things spinning, but will collect dirt.  You want to get the lube into the links, but try to get rid of the excess on the chain plates (more paper towels).


If you let it go too long (which I usually do) you will find an accumulation of crud on the derailer pulleys.  I had one that was so bad you could barely see the pulley teeth.  To fix this, put a knife on the pulley and spin backwards.  You should put some newspaper underneath to catch the nasty black crud projectiles.  This is very satisfying.


Do this religiously and your chain will thank you.


Anti-Aging: Riding Smarter As You Age Part 1



By Coach John Hughes

Although you may be able hold off slowing down for years, at some point aging will catch up with you. Here are tips on ways both on and off the bike you can compensate for the physical loss.


Marginal gains. Sir David Brailsford is the general manager if the UCI World Team Ineos Grenadiers, formerly Team Sky.  The team was launched in 2010 with the goal of winning the Tour de France with a British rider within five years, a goal which was reached in just two years when Sir Bradley Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France, becoming the first British winner in its history. His teammate Briton Chris Froome won the 2013 Tour de France, achieving the team’s primary goal twice within the five-year time period. Froome went on to win seven grand tours: four editions of the Tour de France, one Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España twice.


Brailsford recognized all the riders in the peloton were superbly fit and just training wouldn’t suffice to reach their goal. Brailsford came up with the concept of marginal gains. If they broke down everything they could think of that goes into racing success, and then improved each by 1%, they would get a significant increase in performance when they put them all together. In addition to training with power, scientific recovery, improved nutrition, and team tactics, Brailsford included teaching the riders how to wash their hands so there was less illness and even training with the riders’ personal pillows so they’d sleep better.


Marginal gains and you. I specialize in coaching older riders for several reasons. First, you are more interesting than riders in their 30s. In order to improve older riders need to do many different things, not just ride more. I apply the concept of marginal gains tailored to each client. By applying the concept of marginal gains to your riding you can improve your performance on the bike. Part 1 of this column has tips on training. Part 2 will have tips on all the other things that go into improving.


GoalsBrailsford set goals to define the program. If you have specific ways you want to improve or specific events you want to do, then setting goals is important. I wrote this column on Setting goals as you get older. If you want to stay healthy, slow aging and enjoy life then you don’t need specific goals.



I’ll start with the aging process generally.

 Cycling good for 50-year-olds. Responding to a reader’s question I wrote this column. Is cycling good for 50 year olds?


Retirement. Many RBR readers are still working.  Here’s a column on what to do before retirement to begin slowing the aging process.  What to do before retirement

Growing older in your 50s. This column Growing older in your 50s explains that physiological aging occurs in two ways:

  • True aging – age-related changes that will happen to all of us inevitably.
  • Pathological aging – a result of changes in the environment, genetic mutations, accidents or how we choose to live.

True physiological aging is not caused by any single factor but by an aggregate of causes. Fortunately, fitness helps to maintain peak performance and prevent premature aging.


What is aging? Chronological age? Do you really feel as old as your birthdays imply?  Prospective age and life expectancy? These are about your future; chronological age is about your past. Your physical and mental capacities are also quite relevant. This column explains more about How old are you really?


You’re only as old as you think83-year old Joe Shami, of Lafayette, CA climbed Mount Diablo in 2018 for the 500th consecutive week. The base of Diablo (3,849 ft.) is at sea level about 40 miles east of San Francisco, CA. Most of the 11-mile climb averages 8 percent. “The wall” the final stretch to the top is 17-19 percent. I wrote this column on 14 lessons we can learn from Shami. You’re only as old as you think


Loss of fitness. Responding to two readers’ questions I wrote these columns:

  • Janet asked, “Is there a well-known relationship between how long it takes to build a level of cycling fitness vs. how long it takes to lose it?” I wrote this column How fast do you lose fitness in your 60s.
  • Keith asked, “About five years ago I climbed back on a bike and, using Strava, I steadily improved but for the last couple of years I’ve pretty much plateaued – my Strava segment times reflect that. Where do I go from here? I feel if I don’t try and improve properly I will steadily decline.” I responded with this column A 73 year old asks is it all downhill from here?.


Myths. Perceptions, preconceptions and myths about aging and exercise abound. Good news! Most of them aren’t true! This column debunks 7 training myths.


Exercise mistakes. I wrote these columns on 8 exercise mistakes older riders make and More on exercise mistakes older riders make


Training rules. Okay, there are myths and mistakes.  What should you do? Here are 14 Training rules for older cyclists.


How much training is too much? One training myth is exercising too much is unhealthy. Another myth is that more exercise is the key to improvement. Almost every new client rides too many miles when we start working together. I reduce the volume and mix in appropriate intensity rides and true recovery rides. Here are three columns:

Base training. Base endurance training is the essential foundation of cycling. Unfortunately, many riders don’t get enough miles in their legs before trying more challenging rides. The results often are frustration, not finishing rides and even injuries. I’ve written two related columns:

Train effectively. By training effectively you can slow (and even reverse in some cases) the effects of aging. You can train effectively if you follow nine training principles. Here are two columns on how to apply the training principles using 53-year-old and a 69-year-old as examples:

Training weeks. This column explains different training weeks based on how many years you’ve been riding, your annual volume and your longest rides. Optimal training weeks.


Resistance training. Resistance training will improve your performance on the bike and slow and even reverse the atrophy of your muscles.  Here are two columns:


  • Bruce asks about resistance training in the off-season. This column explains why it’s important and gives you a dozen different leg exercises. Resistance training for older roadies.
  • The American College of Sports Medicine recommends some year-round resistance training. I wrote this column on 4 essential resistance exercises, which you can do at home with minimal equipment.


Full body training. As we age endurance, power and strength start to decline; however, you can control the rate of decline as explained in the above columns. You also start to lose balance, flexibility and bone strength. This column explains what to do about those Full body workout for older riders.


Inadequate recovery is one of the biggest mistakes riders make. As we grow older recovery becomes more important.

Ride less recover more. You don’t improve while you are training; you only improve if you give your body time to recover.  Here are three columns:

Stress. Your body doesn’t differentiate between training stress and other kinds of stress: a challenging assignment at work, family issues, moving, illness, etc. Too much total stress isn’t healthy and it considerably reduces the effectiveness of training.  I wrote this column on Managing stress.


I hope all of these tips help you to improve.  Don’t try to change everything at once. Pick the most important factor you can change and work on it for four to six weeks until it becomes a habit. Then continue factor by factor working on marginal gains with each factor. In part 2 I’ll write about non-training factors including equipment, nutrition, riding techniques, aches and pains on the bike, motivation and mental toughness.


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 - Surface Types

Eli Post


In New England, we generally take road surface for granted. Our roads are paved, and mostly in good condition. However in planning a route you might encounter a gravel or dirt section, and now Ride With GPS makes it possible to identify those sections in advance. You don’t want to be caught off guard, but always want to be prepared for the road ahead.

The demo route shown below has a stone-dust path between mile 3 and mile 4. It is shown as a dotted red line, and the elevation profile is also marked.



Ride with GPS offers three surface type categories:

  • Paved – Paved surfaces include asphalt, concrete, and chip seal. Paved surfaces are shown as a solid line.
  • Unpaved – Unpaved surfaces include gravel, dirt, and natural/unimproved trails. Unpaved surfaces are shown as a dashed line.
  • Unknown – When there is insufficient data available about a surface it will show up as unknown. Unknown surfaces are shown as an outlined white line.

If you know a surface type to be incorrectly categorized — ex: paved when it is in fact a gravel road — you can manually edit the surface type as you plan your route.

This is a tool only available in the web route planner.

To manually edit surface type on a route:

  • Select the section of the route you’d like to edit in the elevation profile
  • In the Selection Tools menu, click Change Surface
  • Click Paved or Unpaved > Change Surface
  • Save your route

More detailed information on surface types is here Surface Types | Ride With GPS Help. RWGPS notes that "surface type data is only available for about 10% of all roads so it's pretty sparse," but you can sugget surface updates at  https://ridewithgps.com/help/edit-routing-data#Contribute 









Sleep Improves Athletic Performance

By Dr. Gabe Mirkin








Sooner or later, every serious exerciser learns that after a hard workout, they feel sleepy and need to go to sleep to recover. Older people may need even more sleep after intense exercise than younger people. A recent review of 37 studies recommends that competitive athletes and serious exercisers should consider napping 20 to 90 minutes every afternoon . One study recommended that athletes training near their limits should try to nap 90 minutes, because increased quantity and quality of sleep helped athletes improve performance .
• Basketball players who extended their sleep to 10 hours a night ran faster in half-court and full-court sprints, and improved shooting for both free throws and three-point shots by nine percent .
• Swimmers who napped swam faster in races, improved their reaction times to diving off the blocks and turning times, and increased kick stroke rates .
• Varsity tennis players improved the accuracy of their serves when they increased sleep duration by nine hours per week .
• A short afternoon nap improved endurance performance in runners who regularly slept less than seven hours a night.


How Does Sleep Help You Recover?


If you don’t get extra sleep when you do prolonged intense exercise, you don’t recover as quickly and are at increased risk for injuring yourself . Nobody knows why prolonged intense exercise makes a person sleep longer and deeper. We don’t even know whether sleep is necessary primarily for healing of your brain or your muscles or both (Front Physiol, 2014 Feb 3;5:24). It is most likely that you sleep longer and deeper to help damaged muscles heal from exercise. Athletes who suffered from sleep deprivation improved their athletic performances and had decreased muscular-oxidative damage after napping regularly after lunch 


The soreness and burning you feel during prolonged intense exercise is a sign that muscles are being damaged. A muscle is made up of thousands of muscle fibers just as a rope is made of many strands. Each muscle fiber consists of a series of blocks called sarcomeres that fit up against each other end-to-end, at junctions called Z-lines (diagram). The soreness that you feel with prolonged endurance exercise is caused by damage directly to the Z-lines. When this happens, the muscle can no longer contract with as much force. The muscle gets stronger when you cause damage at the Z-lines and then allow the damage to heal.


Damaged muscles heal faster while resting, and the best way to rest your muscles is to sleep. The damaged muscles start healing by a process called inflammation that turns on your immune system. The damaged muscles release two cytokines, called interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha, that make you feel sleepy and prolong the time that you normally sleep. During sleep, your brain produces growth hormone that stimulates muscle and bone repair and growth.


Top Athletes Must Sleep for Recovery


Tour de France cyclists race for many hours day after day. They all know that the first thing to do after finishing a stage is to eat and drink copious amounts of foods and fluids to supply them with the nutrients necessary to help their muscles heal from the tremendous abuse, and then to lie down and try to sleep as much as they can before their next day’s race. (Photo by Rudge McKenney. Riders resting after a ride)


Athletes who have jobs that require manual labor cannot compete at their best in endurance sports. Top endurance athletes either have no other job or work in jobs that allow them to sit all day long. Just standing or walking can delay muscle recovery from hard training. When I was training for marathons I had frequent injuries, probably because my medical practice kept me walking from room to room to treat patients when I should have been lying in bed to allow my muscles to recover.


My Recommendations


You will not reach your full potential in an endurance sport unless you are able to sleep long hours and do not have a job that requires you to move about much of the day. Endurance training requires spending lots of time sleeping and resting your muscles. Nobody really knows exactly how sleep helps you, but it appears that the older you are, the more sleep you need to recover from the muscle damage of vigorous exercise.


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

Article Sleep Improves Athletic Performance | Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Health (drmirkin.com)



The Athlete's Kitchen - Male Athletes & Eating Disorders


The Athlete’s Kitchen

Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD October 2021

Male Athletes & Eating Disorders


Guys, do you know that eating disorders are not just a woman’s issue? An estimated 8% of male athletes, as compared to 33% of female athletes, have pathological eating disorders that can damage their physical and mental health. This includes anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and compulsive exercise. Another 19% of male athletes likely have sub-clinical disordered eating behaviors. If anything, these estimates are low because eating issues in males can be challenging to identify. Many go undetected and untreated, as demonstrated by new research published earlier this year (1).


 Male athletes live in an environment that can easily trigger disordered eating. Triggers include:

• immense pressure to look a certain way to perform well
• social media’s idolization of the “perfect physique”

• incessant comparison of oneself to others

• a competitive nature and drive to be better than others.

The end result: some male athletes resort to extreme behaviors in their attempt to be able to control their body shape and size. They do extra training and become extra vigilant about their food intake. It’s not uncommon for one athlete to observe another who eats restrictively and start to wonder. “If he cuts out XXX (sugar, red meat, white flour, etc.) maybe I should too…” Somehow, eliminating XXX becomes the path to becoming a better athlete—and the athlete starts down that slippery slope into a full-blown eating disorder. It can happen so easily, quickly, and unknowingly.


Social pressures:

Advertisements and social media teach men they should look lean and muscular. But no one teaches them the images are photoshopped. Or that some of the male models use performance enhancing drugs to help them look so buff. As a result, male athletes tend to suffer in silence with their concerns about their bodies, which they may perceive as “flawed.” After all, real men don’t talk about this stuff with others. Hence, they may believe they are the only ones who eat less and exercise more to fix their flaws. They may not even realize their behaviors are abnormal. Don’t all serious male athletes live on salad to be lighter, leaner, and (supposedly) better? Turns out, that is not the key to success.


Why do eating disorders take root in men in the first place?

An eating disorder gives a sense of control. While an athlete cannot control his genetics or his coach’s opinion of him, he can attempt to control his food, exercise, and weight. Given the (incorrect) belief the lighter athlete is the better athlete, competitiveness can take hold. A vulnerable male can feel compelled to do whatever it takes to reach a performance goal or a target weight. Unfortunately, one athlete’s extreme dieting can become another athlete’s motivation to become even more extreme. (“If Joe skips breakfast to lose weight, I should skip breakfast and lunch….”) The male sporting environment embraces and rewards extremes. Extreme behaviors can bring desirable results initially – as well as praise. (“Our #1 runner is the healthiest eater on the team”) Positive comments from others are validating, confidence-boosting, and perceived as a positive sign that their efforts are paying off. That is, until the body starts falling apart. (Athlete + too much exercise + too little fuel = injuries, sooner or later)


If a male athlete hears a negative comment (such as, “Looks like you’ve gained some weight… ?”), he might feel the need to work harder and go to extremes to correct the problem. While eating less and training more might look like discipline and dedication to the sport, the extremes can destroy one’s quality of life, to say nothing of dramatically increase the odds of getting a stress fracture, tendonitis, pulled ligament, or other injury associated with underfueling and/or poor nutrition.


Seeking help

Research confirms that few male athletes readily seek treatment for their eating disorders. They may believe they are not “sick enough” to justify getting help. They are likely unaware of the risks they are imposing on their physical and mental health. Most are unaware that their thoughts or behaviors are disordered.


Many males have no one to talk to. This leads to suffering in silence. If a male athlete does try to talk about his experience to a teammate, the teammate might express disbelief and have little understanding of what the athlete is talking about. This can lead to embarrassment and shame.  It’s shameful to not only have an eating disorder—Isn’t that a woman’s issue?—but also to want a body that’s slim (not muscular, as society preaches).  It’s easier to try to hide their eating disorder rather than share their personal issues.


Other male athletes don’t even know they have a problem because they have been performing well (to date) and no one seems concerned about their extreme dieting and exercise behaviors. They just get praise for how dedicated and disciplined they are. These positive comments must mean the behaviors are working and paying off (in the short term). But injuries will inevitably ruin the dreams.


• In a survey of eight men with eating disorders, only four sought help—and that was when the physical and mental costs of restrictive eating outweighed the benefits. One subject reached out for help after he passed out on the side of the road during a long run. Others acknowledged the loss of sexual interest/function (side effects of under-fueling), and the heightened anxiety, depression, and extreme fatigue just weren’t worth it anymore.


What can we do to minimize eating disorders?

Male athletes need to be educated about:

• fueling wisely to enhance performance and health;

• the benefits of staying away from social media sites that focus on super-fit bodies (To compare is to despair);

• the benefits of training appropriately (not compulsively).

Coaches, trainers and sports medicine professionals also need to be educated about warning signs of eating concerns (skipping team meals, complaining about body fatness, avoiding carbs). Just like a torn ligament, an eating disorder is an injury—a mental health injury. Male athletes deserve to be able to comfortably seek help instead of suffering alone and in silence.




1) Freedman, J, S. Hage, and P. Quatromoni. Eating Disorders in Male Athletes: Factors Associated with Onset and Maintenance. J Clin Sports Psychology 2021



Sports Nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD counsels both casual and competitive athletes in the Boston-area (617-795-1875). Her best-selling Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook can help you learn to eat wisely and well. Not a book-reader? Enjoy her online workshop at  NancyClarkRD.com









Parking Protected or Parking Hidden?

John Allen


So, I saw this on the CRW Slack channel.

“Sign the petition for a protected bike lane on Charles St. A two-way, parking-protected bike lane on Charles Street in Beacon Hill would benefit everyone by making the street safer for all road users (pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers), driving more patrons to local businesses, and reducing carbon emissions. It would also complete a vital link…"

I agree about the vital link. Charles Street is one-way from Charles Circle (at the Longfellow Bridge) to Beacon Street. In the other direction, cyclists could cross to the Esplanade and use the Paul Dudley White path, or take Storrow Drive – it has a sidewalk – or to go over Beacon Hill past the State House and down Bowdoin Street. All these options are long and inconvenient.

Delivery-truck double parking is common on Charles Street. Larger view from Google Maps, https://goo.gl/maps/mwxidmQ4t7WrtdjP9  . 


So, yes, there is a gaping gap in Boston’s bicycle route network. Not only that, Beacon Hill residents have cleverly arranged that streets are one-way toward Beacon Street, same as Charles Street. Nobody would prefer them over Charles Street, which is three lanes wide and table-flat.

But, what amounts to a good solution to this problem? As your Safety Coordinator I’ll ask, what would a two-way, “parking-protected” bikeway protect against, and what would it not protect against? I’m going to give a few examples so you can decide for yourselves.

American Cycletrack shows the intersection of  the separated bikeway on 15th Street, Washington, DC with K Street NW in the evening rush hour. The first two videos on this playlist are of rides on the same cycle track. They illustrate some additional issues.

I shot video of my own ride on such a bikeway, on the Boulevard de Maisonneuve, Montreal, 2008. I had to cross the Boulevard to a temporary bikeway on the other side to pass a construction site. I nearly collided with a pedestrian and a turning car. The bikeway was too narrow for me to overtake slower bicyclists when there was oncoming traffic. My average speed was under 5 miles per hour.

A recent review of crashes on a two-way separated bikeway in Columbus, Ohio is rather alarming.

The official name for such a bikeway is “separated bikeway,” a descriptive term, unlike “cycle track” and which doesn’t leap to a conclusion about safety like "parking protected". Such bikeways do have their place if they can be wide enough and have few intersections.

While cyclists fear rear-end collisions, they are rare on Boston streets. Most urban bicycle crashes happen due to crossing and turning movements. These bikeways complicate them and require more of them. The bikeways in the videos are not really separated. They intersect with numerous streets.

The rationale for building such bikeways is generally to promote bicycle use. But understanding and accounting for how crashes happen is necessary to make this promotion reasonably safe,

There is also no substitute for bicyclist skill and situational awareness. When approaching an intersection on a two-way separated bikeway, you need to slow and look all around for conflicting traffic.

I would support a one-way contraflow bike lane on the uphill side of Charles Street, and traffic-calming measures to slow with-direction traffic. The street would then operate like a conventional two-way street, except that only bicycles could travel in one of the two directions. This is still going to be a hard sell. With the amount of delivery-truck double parking on Charles Street, it would be reduced to a single travel lane unless parking is removed from one side. And parking would have to be removed from one side so bicyclists and motorists aren’t hidden from one another approaching itnersections.

What do you think?

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




October Picture of the Month

WheelPeople Editors

There are many joys connected with biking, and one of these is experiencing unusual or exciting or beautiful sights along the way. These riders spotted a waterfall and did not hesitate to stop and appreciate its magnificence.



































Shaquaga Falls by the Catherine Valley Trail in upstate New York