January 2022 WheelPeople


President's Message

Edward Cheng
 If you have not yet heard, I am the incoming President of Charles River Wheelers.  I'd like to thank the Board for electing me as President for 2022-2023, though I suspect that the vote had more to do with the fact that I ran unopposed than any personal merits or qualities that I may believe that I have.  I would also like to thank my two immediate predecessors, Rami Haddad and Larry "16" Kernan for bringing us through the pandemic intact.   
    For 2022, I would like to focus on: 
        (1) Unifying the club and making sure that we are all pulling in the same direction.  Everyone shares the goals of exciting rides, making friends and having fun on their bikes.  
        (2) Continuing to reinvigorate the rides calendar as well as strengthening the new programs.  Due to the pandemic, participation in our weekend rides fell off, and we will take steps to reinvigorate our traditional Sunday club rides.  We will also work to continue and strengthen the expansion of the range of rides and programs available to members.  I did my first "adventure" ride in 2021 and loved it!  I look forward to trying gravel rides and a hub ride too.
        (3) Ensuring that there is a place in CRW for riders of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.  I have heard too many anecdotes from people that they did not feel welcome on CRW rides.  We will work to create a fun and welcoming atmosphere with efforts such as on-boarding programs and assistant ride leaders for different speed riders.
    I look forward to working with the Board, Officers, Volunteers, and Members to achieve these goals and to make CRW better than ever.

CRW Winter Challenge 2022

Harold Hatch



Looking for some motivation to keep riding through the winter?  Want a chance to earn some swag while you're at it?  Join a winter challenge!  We are offering a number of formats this year, focusing on both outdoor and indoor rides. While you are welcome to “mix and match” activities through the season, to earn the reward you will need to fully complete the goals of at least one challenge.  Each format has slightly different rules. Those completing the challenge will be entered into a raffle to win either a pair of wireless earbuds (indoor challenges) or a packable rear fender (outdoor challenge).  For those ambitious riders, feel free to complete several (or all!) challenges, for additional chances to win(one prize per person)!  The challenge begins January 1st and runs through March 31st.  


Go here to log activities https://www.crw.org/content/winter-challenge-2022-form You must be a logged in member to use it.  It will fill in your contact information.  


Details on how to participate in each challenge and point of contact for any questions are below.  For those not on Slack, please feel free to email any questions to haroldhatch [at] yahoo.com (Harold)


Outdoor rides:

(Harold Hatch, haroldhatch [at] yahoo.com)  This one is the most simple.  Just sign up for any CRW ride offered on the ride calendar during the time period. Road, gravel, MTB, Fat bike are all eligible.  We will continue to post regular group rides, with some special events as well.  Want to ride a century each month through the coldest, darkest, months?  Sign up for Phillip Stern’s Winter challenge and earn some true winter cycling bragging rights! The Women’s program will host themed rides in February and March, as well as the weekly Friday ride, the Praline Croissant.  A minimum of 3 rides are needed to complete the challenge







(Martin Hayes, contact via Slack)  Smart trainers that connect to Zwift providing resistance feedback have made riding indoors more engaging than ever before.  Join your friends online, chat on Discord, and stay fit during the shorter days of winter with group rides, sprint competitions, or rubber band workouts where no one gets dropped. We’ll keep a healthy offering of CRW rides on the calendar as well as recommend public rides and workouts to join. Join the CRW club on Zwift (optional) and accumulate 25 hours of activity to complete the challenge.








(mary.kernan [at] gmail.com (Mary Kernan))  If you're a Peloton user, there are some great ways for you to participate in this challenge and connect with others from CRW. To begin, add #CRW to your Peloton profile and use Slack #ride-indoors to share your Peloton screen name so that others can follow you. Are you going to be doing a live class? Post to Slack and encourage others to join you. Looking for some structure? Try one of the Peloton Challenges (we suggest 'Build Your Power Zones') and let friends know what you're doing. You can also check out pzpack.com and use their free membership for some great options. Log 25 rides to complete this challenge.  Note: warm up and cool down rides are not eligible.









“Unplugged” trainer with videos:

(Amy Juodawlkis, contact via Slack):  No Zwift of Peloton membership? No smart trainer? No problem! Get on your “dumb” trainer and meet up with one or more CRW members via Discord on your phone, tablet, or computer (easrphones with integrated microphone provide the best sound for everyone). Screen share workout videos, movies, scenic ride videos, or just chat (add background music using the Hydra Bot). Once you set up your Discord account, join the CRW Devo server (https://discord.gg.dAzPJVca). We will post some organized meet-ups in the CRW calendar, but feel free to find people to ride with via CRW Slack.  When it’s time to ride, join the Unplugged Rides voice channel and get pedaling!  20 activities will complete this challenge











Prizes will be awarded by raffle for those who qualify.  Raffles will be held live in mid-February, mid-March, and at the end of the challenge.  You will be entered into each drawing you qualify for until you win a prize, then your name will be removed from further drawings

A person riding a bicycleDescription automatically generated with medium confidence



CRW 2022 Board

WheelPeople Editors


The 2021 CRW Board election is now history, but the work begins on 1/1/22 for our newly constituted board. We would like to introduce them so you better know who governs the club. We start with Harriet Fell, and will introduce other members in future issues. 


In her own words:


I was a professor at Northeastern University from 1971 until I retired in 2015.  I started there in math but left the math department in 1982 to help start the College of Computer Science.  I joined the CRW in 1976 but I rode relatively little during the years of working and raising kids.  I came back to club rides when I retired and had time to get out on the road.  I really like to ride from my house so I mostly do club rides that I can cycle to and from.  My favorite routes when I ride alone are centuries from home (in Newtonville, MA) to the summit of Mount Wachusett and back and to Riverside Rhode Island and back.  Other than cycling, I like to draw and do watercolors and I play classical guitar trios every Friday morning.


My spouse was Sheldon Brown who died in 2008.  His website sheldonbrown.com is well known to cyclists and John Allen and I continue to update and maintain the site.  Sheldon and I had two children Tova and George and Tova is the mother of Sailor who is named in honor of Sheldon who loved to sail and sing sea chanteys.


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 plan to work hard to help support  the new types of rides and social events that the club is now sponsoring.



Bike Repair/Maintenance Video Help

Eli Post


A bulb went out in my car, and it wasn't immediately apparent how to access it for replacement. I thought there might be an instrructional video and consulted YouTube. I was impressed with the wide selection, and more importantly that I could find a video that exactly matched my car make, model and of course the body part. However this is a bike club, not a car club, but I suspected there were instuctural videos for bike repair that would be of interest to the average member. In the same spirit that I was prepared to change a bulb in my car, but not overhaul the engine, I looked for videos that covered repair and maintenance the average rider might undertake.Here's what I came up with.


The videos are embedded on this page for your convenience, and click the arrow in the middle of the image to view. However if you wish to view full-screen, then click the "Watch on You Tube" lower left of the image.


How to Lubricate Your Bicycle Chain



How to Find the Right Saddle Height


How to Adjust the Brakes


How to Fix a Flat Tire


How to Pump Up Your Tires


Wrapping Handlebar Tape


Adjusting a Rear Derailleur


How to Wash Your Bike


Removing the Rear Wheel


How to Remove a Tight Tire


We thank Alex Post and Joel Arbeitman (President of the Ashland Bike Club) for contributing to this article.



Year-End Mileage Reporting for the Hangin' In List

Jack Donohue
The "Hangin' In" list includes members who have reported their mileage for at least five years.  To be included in the list, you must submit your year-end mileage through December 2021.  It doesn't matter if you didn't ride in December, we can only know that the mileage in the database is your total for the year if you enter it for December.  Just log in to the website, go to the mileage page by clicking the mileage link on the Members Only menu tab,and enter your miles for the month or zero if you didn't ride, or just enter your total for the year.  The statistics will be compiled from the current data on January 5, so you need to enter your mileage before that date.
The ins and outs of reporting mileage to CRW is explained HERE.

Cross-Train for Fun and Fitness this Winter



By Coach John Hughes


By the time I reached my riding goals for the year, and with winter looming, I was tired of riding. We can ride all winter around Boulder, but it’s riding on the plains and – to me, at least – rather boring, and often not in ideal conditions. I prefer to cross-train through the winter anyway, still riding occasionally but not exclusively, so I turned my sights to something else I enjoy.

Cross-country ski season was only six weeks or so away. I started working on both lower and upper body strength. I did balance drills, since good skiing results from shifting my weight fully from one ski to another. I kept riding for endurance and climbing local hills for power.


As much as I love XC skiing, though, even during ski season I do technique drills on the trainer for no more than half an hour at a time to maintain my muscle memory.


No matter which of the numerous non-cycling activities you like to do to round out your off-season workout regimen, cross-training in the winter delivers myriad benefits to your cycling and overall health. Even if you live in a climate that allows you to ride year-round, taking a break from full-time riding and working some other activities into your routine is still a good idea.


Myriad Benefits of Cross-Training

Build Endurance: Numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11 in the list of options below build general endurance that will translate well to cycling next spring.


Increase Leg Strength: Numbers 2, 7, 8, 11 and 12 are all good options for building leg strength.


Maintain Strong Bones: Numbers 4, 5, 6 and 9 all generate enough impact to help keep your bones strong.


Develop Good Balance: Numbers 1, 4, 8 and 9 all require more balance than riding your road bike.


Mental, Psychological ‘Refreshment’: Finally, don’t discount the benefits of taking some time off the bike and doing something different in terms of rejuvenating your mental and psychological well-being. Spending more time with your family, spouse, friends – and rebuilding your excitement and desire to ride in the new season – are absolutely worthy goals. In fact (keep reading) they’re primary goals in my own off-season regimen.


Why I Cross-Train

I’ll keep skiing until sometime in March and when cycling season starts I’ll have:

1. Had a fun ski season with my wife, who doesn’t ride.
2. Great endurance from multi-hour skis.
3. Strong quads and glutes, the primary cycling muscles, from skiing uphill.
4. Great aerobic capacity from many days of skiing at altitude.
5. Fresh excitement for riding, rather than feeling a bit worn down mentally from riding in crappy conditions or needing a break and not taking one.

Numbers 2, 3 and 4 are “cross-training” and benefit my cycling. However, Nos. 1 and 5 are the most important reasons I do something different than riding all winter.


Plenty of Cross-Training Options

If riding this winter is for any reason more of a chore than a pleasure (nasty conditions, desire for more family time, need for a mental or physical break, HATE the trainer), then try one or more of these activities:


1. Mountain biking. Because of the constantly changing terrain, this requires different physical and mental skills than riding on the road. If you pick a suitable trail or path, this can also be a family adventure.


2. Hiking. This, too, can be a great family activity, with the distance and pace geared to the whole family. Pack a lunch, extra warm clothing and explore a different environment. Carrying your pack will also help to build leg strength and stronger bones. If you have knee trouble, get a pair of walking poles to help with your balance, particularly while descending.


3. Walking. No local trails? Plan a walk through new neighborhoods to a café and then take a shorter route (or the bus!) home. Walk after dinner with your significant other (and take the dog), which will give you more time to talk together than if you were grinding away on the trainer alone.


4. Social dancing. For those of us over 50, weight-bearing activities are important for strong bones, and cycling doesn’t do it. Even at a full sprint, the load on your leg bones is less than walking! And you can have fun with your partner!


5. Walk/jog. If you like to measure your progress, this is the activity for you. Start by walking 5 minutes, running 1 minute, walking 5 minutes, running 1 minute, etc. Keep cutting down the walking time and increasing the running time.


6. Running. Already a runner? Look for new places to run, perhaps on trails instead of asphalt. Enter a few low-key events.


7. Snowshoeing. For those of you who live in the snowbelt, this is just like hiking except you strap on snowshoes, which can be rented at many sports shops. Cheap backcountry XC ski poles will help you keep your balance. Snowshoeing is hard work because you’re lifting the snowshoes with every step and may have the added resistance of fresh snow – which adds to the beauty and enjoyment! Carry a pack with more warm clothes and a hot drink for winter comfort and also to help develop leg strength.


8. Cross-country skiing. In Colorado both roadie and MTB racers cross-country ski in the winter because it carries over so directly to cycling. When we get a good snow we ski in North Boulder Park. If it snows in your area you can ski, even if you don’t have a ski area with groomed trails. Carry a pack with more warm clothes and a hot drink for winter comfort and also to help develop leg strength.


9. Team sports. Basketball, racquetball and other 2-person or team sports are good ways to up the enjoyment factor while getting a good workout. When you move, you move fast, so these really get your heart rate up there and build leg power; however, because the action is intermittent they don’t do as much for endurance as the activities above.


10. Swimming. Moving through water gets your heart rate up, improves your flexibility and can be very relaxing. However, because it doesn’t really work the primary cycling muscles, use it to complement the above.


11. Aerobic exercise equipment. Gyms have all kinds of aerobic exercise devices besides stationary bikes (such as treadmills, elliptical machines, rowing machines, etc.). My knee was crushed years ago so I can’t even jog. To get ready for ski season I’ll get on the treadmill (another word for monotonous) and do a pyramid. Every minute I either increase the speed or the incline until I can’t go any harder, and then I’ll work my way back down the pyramid the same way. Almost all gym machines have built-in programs you can use to change the pace and avoid the boredom.


12. Strength training. The above work on aerobic and muscular endurance, but aren’t intense enough (unless you go really hard) to develop muscle strength, the necessary precursor to building power in the spring. You don’t have to go to the gym; with the right exercises you can use primarily body weight. My website has a two-part Strength Training Program for both lower and upper body, written with Coach Dan Kehlenbach, and a two-part Core Strength Program. To complement these I recommend a Stretching Program, which is also on my website.



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.






The Athlete's Kitchen -Oats for Athletes


The Athlete’s Kitchen

Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSJanuary 2022


Oats for Athletes

As you may recall from nursery songs, Mares eat oats and Does eat oats—and so do many athletes. (The song is actually Mairzy Doats.) Questions arise about oatmeal:


Is oatmeal beneficial for athletes?  Are steel-cut oats better than quick-cooking oats? Does oatmeal really “stick to your ribs”? And for some, “Why would any athlete even want to eat oatmeal?? It’s so gluey … yuck!  Let’s take a look at what you might want to know about this popular sports food.


    Oatmeal (aka porridge in parts of the world) refers to de-husked oats (groats) that have cut into small bits (steel-cut) or steamed (to soften the groats), then flattened with rollers (rolled oats). Regardless of the way the groat is processed, all types of oatmeal are 100% whole grain and offer similar amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. What differs is the cooking time, shape (rolled or steel-cut), texture (chewy or smooth), and whether or not they are all natural or fortified with B-vitamins and iron.


     Which type is best? The answer depends on your taste preference and available cooking time.


Steel-cut oats take 20 to 30 minutes to cook. They have a chewier texture than rolled oats. Some athletes use a crockpot to cook them overnight. Despite popular belief, steel-cut oats are nutritionally similar (not superior) to rolled oats.


Old-fashioned oats (rolled oats) cook in 5 to 10 minutes and have a firm texture. They can be eaten uncooked with milk, like any dry cereal, or in the form of muesli or overnight oats.


Quick-cooking oats are ready in a minute on the stovetop. Because they are rolled thinner than old-fashioned oats, they cook quicker and have a smoother texture.


Instant oats cook quickly in the microwave. They are pre-cooked, rolled thin, dried, and then rehydrated to be eaten.  They can be fortified (or not) with B-vitamins & iron. Some flavors are sugar-laden and perhaps best saved for dessert?


Benefits from eating oatmeal

• Oatmeal is one of the most affordable whole grains, perfect for hungry athletes on a budget. At least half your daily grains should be whole grains. Oats for breakfast give you a good start to reaching that whole grain goal for the day.


• Oats are a “safe” choice for a pre-event meal. They are low in certain fibers (referred to as FODMAPS) that send some athletes to the porta-toilets.


• Oats contain a type of soluble fiber (beta glucan) that makes cooked oats gluey—but can be beneficial for endurance athletes. Beta glucan slows the absorption of carbs over 2 to 3 hours, helping you feel satiated for a long time. Hence, oatmeal sticks to your ribs; it’s a good pre-exercise choice for sustained energy.


• Beta-glucan helps reduce the risk of heart disease if you eat oats in the context of a heart-healthy diet. To achieve this benefit, the daily target is 1 cup dry rolled oats or ½ cup dry steel-cut oats most days of the week.

The rolled oats photo is from the cupboard of the
WheelPeople Editor who is an oats fan.


• Oats have about 5 grams protein per ½ cup dry serving. A good protein target for breakfast is at least 20 grams, so cook the oats in 1 cup milk (dairy milk, 8 g protein, or soy milk, 7g protein) and stir in 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or ¼ cup of nuts (8 g pro), and you’ll have a super sports breakfast!


• Fortified oats offer extra iron, a mineral important for athletes who do not eat red meat. A packet of plain Quaker Instant Oatmeal offers 40% of the DV for iron; regular oats offer only 6%. Read the Nutrition Facts label for information on iron in the oats you buy.


• Oats have some fiber, but only about 4 grams per serving (1/2 cup dry rolled oats, 1/4 c dry steel-cut oats). Given the daily fiber target is 25 to 38 grams (achieved by only 10% of women and 3% of men), oats make a small contribution—but more fiber than if you were to have just eggs for breakfast.


• Oats contain an antioxidant called avenanthramide (AVA).  AVA can reduce the oxidative stress created by vigorous exercise. New research hints pre-exercise oatmeal might have a protective effect that could potentially reduce inflammation and muscle damage. Stay tuned.


• While naturally gluten-free, oats are often processed in a factory that also processes (gluten-containing) wheat. If you have celiac disease, you want to make sure you buy gluten-free oats (Bob’s Red Mill Oats, Quaker Gluten-Free Oats).



How to boost your oat intake

• Oats are versatile. You can cook them in water—or preferably in milk, to add protein, calcium, and creaminess. The suggested ratio is 1 cup (8 oz) of liquid for each half-cup rolled oats or ¼ cup steel-cut oats.


• For a savory option, cook oats in broth, season with soy sauce, or top with sriracha. Or add some cheese and spinach when cooking, then top the oatmeal with a poached egg.  


• As an athlete, you lose sodium in your sweat, so don’t be afraid to make oatmeal tasty by sprinkling on some salt. A quarter teaspoon salt per ½ cup dry oats really helps change the bowl of glue into a yummier breakfast.


• Add sweetener, if desired, to make the oatmeal taste even better—honey, maple syrup, raisins, chopped dates. These extra carbs offer fuel for your muscles. According to the US Dietary Guidelines, 10% of daily calories can come from added sugar. That’s perhaps 200 calories (50 grams) of added sugar for an athlete—guilt‑free!


• Don’t have time to cook oats in the morning? Make overnight oats the night before! There’s no wrong way to make overnight oats. In a 16-ounce glass jar (such as a peanut butter jar), combine ½ cup old fashioned oats, ½ cup milk, ¼ cup Greek yogurt, fruit-of-your choice (banana, berries), and optional add-ins, such as chia seeds and maple syrup. Refrigerate at least 2 hours for the oats to soften, if not overnight.


• Add rolled oats to a recovery shake or fruit smoothie for a thicker texture, as well as for more carbs to refuel your muscles.


• Bake with oat flour (blenderized oats). The Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe (see below) from my Sports Nutrition Guidebook is a good pre-exercise energy booster and fun way to boost your oat intake. Enjoy!



Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Muffins (Gluten-free)


This healthy-ish muffin is made with oat flour (rolled oats pulverized in a blender or food processor until they look like flour). The recipe can pass for either a muffin or a cupcake. It’s yummy for fueling up before and/or refueling after your workout.


2 eggs

3/4 cup (180 ml) milk

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter, preferably all-natural

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup oat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 cup (dark) chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (180° C).

2. Prepare 12 -muffin tin with a light coating of oil or use paper baking cups.

3. Mix together in a medium bowl, the eggs, milk, oil, brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla extract, oat flour and baking powder. Stir well.

4. Fold in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips into batter.

5. Add batter evenly into the 12-muffin tin.

6. Distribute the extra 1/4 cup chocolate chips evenly to the top of each muffin.

7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.


Yield: 12 muffins

Total calories: 3,000; 250 calories per muffin; 27 g carb; 7 g protein; 13 g fat


Recipe courtesy of Kate Scarlata RD, author of The Low FODMAP Cookbookwww.KateScarlata.com




Sports Nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD counsels both casual and competitive athletes in the Boston-area (Newton; 617-795-1875). Her Sports Nutrition Guidebook can help you eat to win. For more information about her books and online workshop, visit NancyClarkRD.com.






Exercise with Flu or a Cold

By Dr. Gabe Mirkin








Should you exercise when you have a cold or the flu?


Most doctors allow their patients to exercise when they have a cold, as long as they don’t have a fever and their muscles don’t hurt when they exercise. However, it’s probably better to stop exercising altogether when you have an infection. You risk injury if you exercise when your muscles hurt at rest or when you start to exercise. When muscles are damaged, they release enzymes from their cells into the bloodstream and they fill with blood from broken blood vessels. One study reported markedly increased muscle damage during relatively minor exercise during an infection, with blood tests demonstrating increases in muscle enzymes and ultrasound tests demonstrating hemorrhage into the muscles.


You also should not exercise when you have a high fever. When you exercise, your heart has to pump blood to your muscles to supply them with oxygen. It also has to pump blood from your muscles to your skin where the heat is dissipated. When you have a fever, your heart has to work extra hard to get rid of extra heat. Furthermore, some viruses that infect your nose and throat can also infect your heart muscle. The combination of the extra work and an infected heart muscle could cause irregular heart beats. You won’t lose much conditioning unless you take off for more than a week.

Checked 12/1/21



This article is courtesy of Dr. Mirkin https://www.drmirkin.com/
Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More

Article Exercise with Flu or a Cold | Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Health (drmirkin.com)



Future of Safe Bicycling

John Allen


What is  the future of safe bicycling going to look like? I don’t have a crystal ball, but some trends are becoming clearer, and they are not all happy.

A major trend is the increasing popularity of e-bikes. To keep up with the crowd, some aging CRW members have taken up riding e-bikes. A friend in Florida tells me that she is getting just as much exercise on her pedal-controlled e-bike as she used to, only she rides farther. In hot weather, she gets her exercise with a stronger cooling breeze blowing at her.

I am most concerned about urban and suburban bicycle use for transportation. Bicyclists have generally in the past gained speed as they also gained skill. My Florida friend rode for many years before retrofitting her longtail cargo bike with a motor, but not everyone comes to an e-bike that way. Also e-bikes tend to be heavy and less maneuverable than pedal-only bicycles. On e-bikes with throttle control, starting and stopping require special skills to coordinate pedaling, braking, motor power, and balance. Low skill and higher speed on an e-bike are not a good combination.

Bike lanes on Boston-area streets lined with parked cars are almost all in the door zone. An opening car door will fling a bicyclist out into the roadway. Bicyclists have died this way, going under an overtaking truck or bus. Six other crash types besides dooring – the merge-out, walk-out, drive-out, sideswipe, left cross and merge-in, result from riding too close to the parking lane.

Campaigns for safety are mostly directed toward motorists, to take more care when opening their doors. Bicyclists who don’t know better assume that rear-end collisions must be the worst danger, though they are very rare on urban streets. It’s hard to convince bicyclists that there is little risk from motor vehicles which they can’t see, lacking eyes in the back of their heads. Bicyclists are led to assume that the door zone must be the safest place on the street, or governments in their wisdom wouldn’t install them. But crash statistics have confirmed the dangers of the door zone, and the trend is to place the bike lane between parked cars and the curb, hiding bicyclists and motorist out of sight of each other. The profile of crash types changes: no more rare rear enders, but more problems with crossing and turning, walk-outs and drive-outs.

The Massachusetts Department of Recreation and Conservation views its mandate as for park access, and is working to reduce the number of lanes on its parkways, though they are used for transportation. Hammond Pond Parkway in Newton is to be reduced from a four-lane speedway – unattractive fo bicycling – to two lanes – probably still adequate for the motor traffic, but with shoulders too narrow to be comfortable for bicyclists. There is to be a shared-use path alongside. On its way to the Chestnut Hill Mall, a major trip endpoint, the parkway goes down a steep slope where bicyclists can easily reach 30 miles per hour without pedaling, A path there can’t be kept clear of ice in winter. It might better be repurposed as a luge run.

All in all, we are getting more bicycling infrastructure  that might be suitable for people who ride at 8 miles per hour in good weather, while e-bikes capable of going 28 miles per hour become more and more popular.

One promising development that can relieve some of the problem is automated collision avoidance in motor vehicles. When this technology has matured, it will almost entirely eliminate rear-end collisions. That can increase compatibility with slower vehicles. But still there is no substitute for roadway width so faster vehicles can pass slower ones. Intentionally reducing usable roadway width so it no longer allows this, whether by dividing it up or simply narrowing the roadway – is going to pose some real problems with today’s faster bicyclists, and these problems will unfortunately increase as the use of e-bikes increases. If a narrow roadway prevents the give and take of road space, bicyclists, including e-bicyclists, are likely to be increasingly forced to use separated infrastructure which will be inadequate to handle their numbers or speed safely. That is one of my main worries about bicycling as I look to the future. 




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



January Updates

WheelPeople Editors
Town Ride collections - Hopefully there will likely be days inJanuary warm enough to ride and the Town collections are available for you www.crw.org/route-collection-panel-page
HANSON WINTER SUNDAY RIDE - Runs every Sunday throughout the winter months and is another opportunity to ride off-season.
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