February 2022 WheelPeople


A Message From the CRW president

Edward Cheng



I am delighted to pen my first President's message to the club.  First, I would like to acknowledge and thank my two immediate predecessors, Rami Haddad and Larry Kernan, who led us through the first two years of the pandemic.  Without their leadership, we would not have our club today.


The Board met early January and approved the appointment of an excellent slate of officers.  Returning officers are Amy Wilson as Treasurer, John O'Dowd as Secretary, and Butch Pemstein as VP of Legal Affairs.  New officers are Emily Vigeant as Executive VP and Mary Kernan as VP of Rides.  Mary will be leading the charge to reinvigorate our weekend and recurring rides programs, especially our traditional Sunday club ride.  Emily will work on strengthening and expanding our newer ride programs, including our Development, Women's, Adventure, Gravel, and Hubs rides.  I will do my best to keep out of their way.


We also have a strong roster of program coordinators and recurring ride organizers who are excited to plan and lead our rides starting this Spring.  Look for their names as we roll out our programs as the weather warms.


Meanwhile, our Winter Riding Program is off to a great start with Zwift rides, unplugged trainer rides, and even outdoor rides taking place every week.  If you want to ride with other club members, check our calendar!


I look forward to working with the Board, the Officers, the Coordinators, Ride Leaders, and Volunteers to make 2022 a great year.  I especially look forward to meeting as many CRW Members as I can.  Don't hesitate to introduce yourselves to me with a smile and a hand shake (or better yet, a draft for me to follow on the road).



CRW Financial Budget with Spending Guidelines for 2022

CRW Board


January 9th kicked off the CRW’s 2022 Year with the Board of Directors meeting to discuss a financial review of 2021, the preliminary budget for 2022, along with other club matters.


With the continuing evolution of the club into new programs and ride related initiatives, the Board felt it was important that spending guidelines be adopted and published for the membership to further the understanding of financial approvals contained within these initiatives.


Please note below highlights from the budget and these new guidelines, as well as links to the documents in their entirety.


2022 Preliminary Budget Highlights:


*Revenues of $47k -primarily from membership dues of $37k and century profits $10k

*Expenses of $46K -primarily from club insurance of $9.8k, charitable donations $10k

                                -membership and leader appreciation spending of $18.6k


Please review detailed preliminary 2022 budget here Again, note that the budget is preliminary and many details have yet to be worked out.


2022 Discretionary Spending Guideline Highlights:


Discretional spending is distributed across various initiatives and individuals within the club to help foster an enjoyable club experience.  This is done to the benefit of all who participate. The club encourages participation in any or all activities of interest.


             * $50 is within the discretion of Program Coordinator.

             *  $51-$250 requires approval from the EVP or VP of Rides

             *  $251-500 Requires approval from the President

             *  $500 + requires board approval


Other requirements:

            * When club gifting/treats are included in a ride/activity, they must be calendar/email
              posted for awareness of all members

            Maximum cost effectiveness should be employed

            Gifted club merchandise will be open to club wide raffles and Program Event’s
              giving shall not be based on participation, raffles encourage.

           * Repetitive treat spending is not encouraged

           * The centuries program will have latitude beyond the guidelines due to their uniqueness.


Please read the detailed Spending Guidelines here



CRW 2022 Board Profile

Larry Kernan


This is part of a series of profiles on CRW Board members. We would like to introduce them so you better know who governs the club. 

My Background

I grew up in Baltimore and came to Boston in 1972 to attend MIT receiving a Bachelor Degree in electrical engineering and a Master Degree in EECS.  I went on to Harvard Business School to get an MBA.

I then worked in the financial services industry for many years. Relative to my CRW work,  I had the opportunity to sit on over 20 boards of directors for public, private and non-profit entities.

The most exciting aspect of my career was making the first major investment in Keurig in 1995 which at that time had just 2 founders operating in a small office in the old Waltham Watch Factory.  I became Chairman from 1995 until 2002 and continued on the Board until 2006 when Keurig was sold to Green Mountain Coffee.  Today, the Keurig coffee system is ubiquitous in the US.

My Life Today

I’m happy to say that I’m now retired and really enjoying life.  I have been married to Mary Kernan for over 20 years.  As most of you know, Mary is also a cyclist and has been very active with CRW, both as a Board member and as Vice President of Rides.  I have two children – Peter is a marine biologist in Perth, Australia and my daughter lives in Salem, MA and works for the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation.  To complete our household, we have Covie, our pandemic puppy, who is an Australian Cobberdog.  She recently gave birth to 9 pups.

I love to travel, cycle, hike and play competitive bridge.  It’s even better when I get to combine those activities.  Mary and I have done some truly epic bicycle trips which include:

  • 4,145 mile 10 week self-supported trip from Revere Beach to Anacortes, WA on the Northern Tier Route, as well as other self-supported trips from Vancouver to US/Mexican border on the Pacific Coast Route,  and a trip from San Diego to Jacksonville, FL on the Southern Tier Route.
  • Trips through Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, New Zealand, and North Macedonia, where we were under-prepared and finished bloody and bruised.
  •  Miscellaneous cycling trips in Italy, France and Alaska
  • Domestic trips including RAGBRAI, Ride the Rockies (3 times), Cycle Oregon, PacTour Desert Camp and numerous other US-based cycling trips.


My Involvement with CRW

I joined CRW in 1995 when I bought my first road bike.  In 1995, I also met Mary, rode my first PMC and did my first century.  When my hectic career began to wind down, I became much more active with CRW.  In 2017, I was recruited to be the CRW Treasurer and I was elected to a Board seat beginning in 2018.

In 2019, I stepped into the CRW Presidency, and I was reelected to serve in 2020 as well.  2019 was a great year to be part of the CRW governing group.  The Board was extremely active, the centuries were well-attended and well-received.  The Devo program was launched.  The Ride Program was robust.  I launched the President’s Ride which included both a lovely ride and a picnic at my home which was a great social event.

And then came 2020…  Covid struck and the club had to quickly figure out how to run a ride program in the midst of a pandemic.  We formed a Covid Task Force including ride leaders and doctors to formulate club policy in a hurry.  CRW decided to extend all memberships for a year to make up for lost riding opportunity.  2020 also marked the death of George Floyd and CRW needed to figure out how the club should show its recognition of the critical issues of diversity and inclusion.  The Board appointed a Vice President of Diversity to advise the Board and to work with the community.  In other words, 2020 was a year of great challenges.

In 2021, I stayed on the CRW Board as Past President and this past October, I was re-elected to a two year term.  I am pleased that Ed Chang is our current leader and I plan to continue to offer my support for new club initiatives.

There are so many great programs still in their infancy at CRW.  Gravel Rides, Adventure Rides, etc.  I participated in two of the Adventure Rides last year and I encourage others to join us for the 2022 program.

The Bottom Line

I love to ride and I love good food and wine.  So anytime, I can enjoy both, life is good.



9 Tips for Eating and Drinking During Winter Bicycle Rides



By Coach John Hughes


We have snow in the mountains! I live in Boulder, Colorado, and I love long cross-country ski outings. I also enjoy riding outdoors even when the temps are in the 20s. How do I keep fueled? First, I know my nutrition requirements:



Caloric Requirement

For rides of more than an hour in temperate conditions, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends consuming every hour 0.3 gm (1.2 calories) of carbohydrate per pound of body weight (0.7 g per kg).


For a better guesstimate, use this table, which assumes that you are riding a road bike without a lot of extra gear on a flat road with no wind and not drafting.





Approximate Calories Needed While Riding

Average Speed (mph) Calories / Lb. / Hr. Average Speed (km/h) Calories / Kg/Hr.
12 2.5 19.3 5.6
13 2.8 20.9 6.2
14 3.1 22.5 6.8
15 3.4 24.1 7.4
16 3.7 25.7 8.1
17 4.0 27.4 8.9
18 4.5 29.0 9.8
19 4.9 30.6 10.7
20 5.4 32.2 11.8


Example: If you weigh 150 lbs and ride at 15 mph, then you burn about 150 x 3.4 = 510 calories / hour. If you weigh 70 kg and ride at 24 km/h you use about 70 x 7.4 = 518 cal. / hr. These are guesstimates – rounding, you burn about 500 calories / hour. You’ll burn more going uphill and fewer spinning downhill. On my website you can download a Calorie Estimator spreadsheet to estimate total calories for a ride based on the length of ride, total climbing, riding speed and your weight.


In colder weather, add 10% to 20% to your caloric burn rate.


For rides lasting more than several hours, you should consume every hour about 1/2 of the calories that you are burning, primarily from carbohydrate, with a bit of protein and fat.


Your body can store limited amounts of glycogen (from carbohydrate), enough for a few hours of hard exercise. When you run out of glycogen you hit the wall and your legs feel dead. Your brain also needs fuel and can burn only glycogen. When you run out of glycogen, you bonk and your brain feels fuzzy. Even if you start eating carbohydrate immediately when this happens, recovery takes time. You can probably suffer through these on a summer ride, but running out of glycogen in the winter can make for a very long, unpleasant outing.


Hydration Requirement

While your caloric requirement increases in the cold, your hydration requirement decreases because you aren’t sweating as much, although you still need fluid. Some physiologists used to think that the hydration requirement increased in the cold because you are exhaling moist, warm air; however, metabolizing glycogen (from carbohydrate) releases H2O, which more than offsets the water vapor exhaled. In the winter you may be tempted to drink less than in the summer because bathroom breaks are harder when you are wearing multiple layers. Don’t. Follow this rule year-round: drink to satisfy your thirst.


According to the table above, I’m burning about 500 calories per hour riding and probably about the same XC skiing. How do I do get these calories in cold weather?


Eat Breakfast

I start with a breakfast of mostly carbohydrate to make sure that my stores of glycogen are full. I eat multi-grain bagels or toast or cereal or oatmeal, fruit, and non-fat yogurt (for a bit of protein). I might eat an egg (poached or boiled, not fried) instead of the yogurt. I usually eat several hours before I start exercising and then wait for the day to warm up.


Eat a Snack Before Exercising

Since breakfast was a couple of hours before I throw my leg over the top tube or click into the skis, I eat a carbohydrate snack of several hundred calories. Also, research shows that it will be easier to maintain or lose weight if you eat the same number of total calories spread across three meals plus snacks instead of just three regular meals.


What to Eat

Sports nutrition products such as bars and gels offer no performance advantage; however, they may be more convenient than real food. Bars that taste good when they are 80° F (27° C) may be unpalatable at 32° F (0° C). As it gets colder, you may want to change what you eat. I often take food that’s crunchy whatever the temperature: granola bars, crackers or pretzels, dried fruit, perhaps with a few nuts. I like to eat banana bread, oatmeal cookies, fruit newtons, soft bagels with peanut butter and jelly, boiled salty potatoes and the occasional gel. Bananas are also good early in a ride but get brown in the cold.


What to Drink

In the summer I usually carry a bottle of sports drink and a bottle of water. I make my own sports drink, which is quite similar to commercial products but much cheaper:

  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) orange juice
  • 12 teaspoons (50 g) sucrose (table sugar), glucose or maltodextrin (a starch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.2 ml) salt
  • Water to make 1 quart (0.95 L)

In the winter I use hot water and in my second bottle I carry tea sweetened with honey.


Carrying Nutrition

You need to protect your food and drink from the cold; however, you also want them accessible. The more you cover up your nutrition to keep it from freezing, the harder it is to eat and drink! Over a wool long-sleeved jersey I wear a thermal vest or jersey with a windproof front and pockets in the rear where I can keep my food protected from the wind. Over these I wear a windbreaker or coat with a two-way zip—by unzipping the lower part I have easy access to my pockets. If it’s colder, I carry the food in my jersey pockets under the heavy jersey.


Carrying Fluid

For fluids, if it won’t be too cold I carry a couple of insulated bottles, the kind designed to keep fluids cold. I fill them with warm drinks: sports drink and tea with honey. If it was colder, I used to put each bottle inside a heavy wool sock before putting them in their cages. I now have a couple of steel Stanley thermoses that fit in my bottle cages, which are available on-line. Their design works well for cycling; it takes one finger to depress a button to open the valve, allowing you to drink one-handed.


If it will be even colder, I wear a small hydration pack under my coat or even under my thermal jersey. Mine has an insulated hose. You can get a bladder with an insulated valve as well; I just blow back into mine after drinking so that there’s no water in the valve to freeze.


Eating and Drinking Regularly

Eating and drinking regularly is important year-round for a fun, successful ride. It’s easy in the summer. You pull out a bottle or something from a jersey pocket and drink or eat on the bike. When it is colder and wetter, your nutrition may be less accessible, but you still need it! You may be wearing heavy gloves, which make it hard to grab food. I wear thin glove liners under my winter gloves so that my fingers are more dexterous but still have some protection if I remove a glove while riding.


If it’s too hard to eat on the bike, then you need to stop to eat. I coached a MTB racer who enjoyed events like the Iditabike, well over 24 hours of biking (and hiking) in the snow. He learned that he needed to stop every 20-30 minutes to eat and drink or he’d bonk.


Some days riding on the plains in Colorado with the wind chill, it’s too hard to try to eat on the bike. I stop, face away from the wind and eat and drink something. On longer rides, I eat like I do on a bike tour. In addition to hourly snacks, I stop every few hours to go inside a store or café to get something hot to eat and drink and to warm up. Some riders do laps from the house so they are never more than an hour or two from hot chocolate and a warm-up!


In the winter, you should be doing base training, the classic long slow distance, so follow these tips, take your time to eat and drink, and enjoy riding outdoors instead of grinding away on the trainer!


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 40 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training and nutrition, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach John Hughes. Click to read John’s full bio. Article appeared in Road Bike Rider 9 Tips for Eating and Drinking During Winter Bicycle Rides - Road Bike Rider Cycling Site






Hangin' In List

Jack Donohue


The "Hangin' In" list includes members who have reported their yearly mileage for at least five years (details HERE),


In 2021, Cory had slightly more miles than Melinda but Melinda was on the bench for seven weeks after knee surgery.  


Pamela is still racking up the elevation and now has a Go-Pro to prove it.


No members of the century club (100 mile rides each month of the year) this year, but we have a few members of the metric century club (100km rides each month of the year): Bruce Ingle, Greg Stathis, Rick Savage, and Joe Repole, formerly Joe Century now Joe Metric.


The 10K Club (10,000 miles or more) is getting smaller with Melinda, Cory, Pamela. Good job!


As a group, we dropped off a bit from last year, logging in 329723 miles versus 357429 last year. Thanks to all who contributed.


Here are the 2021 details:


Name Miles M C
Cory Maxemino 12422 10  
Melinda Lyon 12281    
Pamela Blalock 11151 10 2
Doug Cornelius 9506 11 7
Bruce Ingle 9312 12 4
Greg Stathis 9140 12 1
Ed Olhava 9060 2  
Jack Donohue 8903    
Neal Schuster 8255 9 3
Maria X. Noya 8097    
Lindy King 7833    
Marc Baskin 7635 11 4
Steve Robins 7622    
Doug Cohen 7238    
Guillermo Munoz 7072 7 2
Rick Savage 6675 12 3
Joe Hagan 6318 9 2
Jerry Skurla 6240    
Harriet Fell 6069 7 3
Lisa Weissmann 5406 6 1
Jim Goldberg 5383    
Joe Repole 5356 12 1
Arthur Berg 5100 2  
Mark Druy 5003 10 2
Frank Aronson 4579 7 2
David Wean 4537 1  
John Zicko 4435 4 1
Jessica Piwowarski 4408 8 4
Butch Pemstein 4156 3  
Joel Bauman 4095 2 2
Jeffrey Zaveloff 4078 7 1
Erik Husby 4031    
David Cooper 3665 8  
Paul Corriveau 3625    
Ed Hoffer 3550    
Paul Gafford 3530    
Bob Wolf 3515    
Ken Hablow 3345    
John O'Dowd 3303 6 3
Bruce Larson 3221 4  
Clyde Kessel 3209 5  
Margaret Primak 3100    
Ed Pastor 3052    
Bill Arduser 2969    
Alexis Alicea 2731    
Douglas Chin 2716 2 1
Brian Corr 2696 3 2
Richard Taylor 2667 1  
Dave Jordan 2662    
Cynthia Zabin 2566    
Gary Williams 2558 1  
John Springfield 2544 1  
Richard Panciera 2465    
Paul Piselli 2458 6  
Fred Newton 2441    
Peter Brooks 2367    
Henry Marcy 2351    
John Allen 2257 1  
Douglas Bajgot 2139 2 1
Jean Orser 2065    
Barbara Gaughan 2063 1 1
Gardner Gray 2062    
Cynthia Chin 2046 2 1
Denise Banach 2025 1 1
Rudge McKenney 2004    
Marlene Heroux 1971    
Daniel Ostertag 1783 2 1
Roy Westerberg 1754    
Pete Knox 1727    
Barry Slosberg 1724    
Michael Burka 1664    
Brian Kersanske 1614 2  
Jeff Luxenberg 1359    
Albert Reuther 1239    
Dan Tyszka 1001    
Mike Hanauer 806    
John Loring 683    
Arne Buck 433    
Bill Widnall 312    
Robert Burkhardt 290    
TOTAL 329723

M = One or more metric century (62 miles) each month

C = One or more century (100 miles) each month


Now for the moment you've all been waiting for (drum roll), the 2021 Hangin' In List:


Name Years Average Miles Total Miles
Melinda Lyon 37 14877 550452
Jack Donohue 40 10114 404552
Pamela Blalock 28 10704 299699
Bruce Ingle 27 8494 229343
Dave Jordan 32 6403 204884
Paul Corriveau 30 6100 182986
Ken Hablow 31 5851 181366
Joe Repole 36 4840 174226
Lindy King 14 10613 148586
Steve Robins 19 7668 145688
Pete Knox 30 4655 139659
Peter Brooks 30 4580 137407
David Wean 25 5144 128612
Doug Cohen 27 4726 127595
Marc Baskin 22 5602 123239
Richard Taylor 18 6721 120976
Jean Orser 27 4467 120609
Ed Hoffer 32 3277 104849
Butch Pemstein 20 5008 100167
Cynthia Zabin 22 4359 95905
Mike Hanauer 40 2255 90191
John Allen 34 2384 81057
John Springfield 42 1926 80879
Bob Wolf 13 6091 79187
Erik Husby 15 5043 75646
Frank Aronson 18 4063 73140
Lisa Weissmann 19 3835 72859
Jeff Luxenberg 41 1724 70667
Henry Marcy 18 3555 63992
David Cooper 11 5507 60582
Clyde Kessel 12 4923 59081
Harriet Fell 17 3173 53933
Bill Widnall 24 2221 53301
Greg Stathis 7 7198 50383
Neal Schuster 10 4931 49313
Rudge McKenney 17 2741 46601
Mark Druy 11 3918 43100
Jeffrey Zaveloff 5 7775 38877
Bruce Larson 9 3676 33084
Joel Bauman 9 3486 31373
Ed Pastor 9 3477 31293
Fred Newton 9 3256 29308
Gardner Gray 8 2972 23774
John O'Dowd 7 2929 20502
Arne Buck 9 2266 20391
John Loring 28 717 20066
John Zicko 5 3173 15867
Roy Westerberg 6 2423 14537
Douglas Chin 6 2405 14430
Douglas Bajgot 6 2370 14221
Cynthia Chin 6 1679 10071


We've got three new members this year, welcome Clyde Kessel, Jeffrey Zaveloff, and John Zicko. John Springfield again takes the prize for hangin' in the longest.




Jack Donohue

This article originally ran in WheelPeople in November 2010

Throughout history, species have followed a course of evolution. Life forms have started from the primordial ooze, and risen to become investment bankers (some would disagree that this was an evolutionary process). And throughout history, scholars have studied this progression. One wonders how scholars several centuries hence will chronicle the evolution of VeloMan.


VeloMan is descended from the species Homo Sapiens, but that is where the resemblance ends.


Veloman's head is usually encased in a protective carapace. Occasionally there are members of the species seen without this, but evolution being what it is, their survival is in doubt.


Veloman is a biped, though his usual stance is hunkered down over the handlebars, so can't really be called a homo erectus. His feet are not unlike cloven hooves, containing clips to rigidly attach to pedals.


He is not unlike a marsupial, except he has multiple pouches in the back, not for carrying young, but food to consume. Food consists of hard bars containing nuts and berries. Unlike other species, he does not forage for nuts and berries himself but obtains them from others. He also consumes a semisolid mass of sugary material, known as "goo." These are apparently sufficient to sustain life over long migrations. There is a hump-backed variety so named for a dorsal pouch for carrying water.


His mating rituals are difficult to understand. He sports beautiful multicolored plumage, but seems to avoid females, preferring to associate with other alpha males.


He is known to travel in herds, sometimes 30 or more specimens. The weaker of the group, unable to keep up with the herd, are left for dead.


Just as fish have evolved a set of gills and sleek profile to cut through the water, Veloman has adapted to present an aerodynamic profile while running with the herd. He has adopted a position not unlike the praying mantis with arms close together to allow him to reduce wind resistance.


All in all, Veloman is a highly evolved species and should replace inferior ones. Assuming of course velo man does not become extinct and be replaced by Roller Man.



Riding in the Snow

WheelPeople Editors



Most of us hang up our bikes when it turns cold, and wait out the winter months until warm weather returns. There are some however who brave the cold and make biking a year-round sport.

You will recall we had a snowstorm in early January, and much of the Boston area came to a standstill. However, a group of hardy riders got out to ride. CRW member Phillip Stern shared some photos when he and a few friends “hit the Fells.” As of this writing he was planning a second ride in the snow. Winter does not have to be a stay at home season, and you may wish to join Phillip the next time.



















The Athlete's Kitchen - Nutrition for Competitive Athletes


The Athlete’s Kitchen

Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSS February 2022


Nutrition for Athletes

Most athletes love to win! Many factors impact your ability to perform at your best. Some factors are out of your control, such as heat, humidity, wind, altitude, terrain or playing surface, as well as the time of the event, amount of time between events, and perhaps jet lag. But nutritional factors are in your control, including what, when, and how much you eat. Simply put, to perform at your best, you need to know how to eat well enough to fight fatigue and be strong to the finish.


To address the how to eat to perform at your best issue, I looked to the highly respected sports nutritionist Louise Burke PhD. researcher at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. Here are some key points from her journal article on Nutritional approaches to counter performance constraints in high-level sports competition. This information might inspire you to consult with a registered dietitian/ board-certified specialist in sports dietetics (RD CSSD) who can help you optimize your sports diet.




• Carbohydrate is a fundamental source of energy for your muscles. It is stored in your muscles as glycogen. Glycogen depletion (“hitting the wall”) is linked with fatigue.
• Carbohydrate is also a fundamental fuel for your brain.
Carbohydrate in the blood, known as blood glucose, fuels the brain so it can focus on—and respond quickly to—the task at hand. To optimize athletic performance, you want to maintain adequate blood glucose levels during exercise, as well as start intense exercise with fully loaded muscle glycogen stores.

• Blood glucose gets supplied from your liver as well as from the banana, toast or other form of sugar or starch (carb) you eat before and/or during exercise. Some athletes avoid pre- and during-exercise carbs, fearing it will create intestinal distress. The better path is to train you gut to tolerate foods and fluids. By experimenting during exercise sessions with a variety of carbs (dried pineapple, granola bar, diluted juice) and/or a variety of flavors and brands of commercial products (sports drinks, gels, chomps, etc.), you can learn which fuels settle best. Choosing a variety of carbohydrates can increase the rate they are absorbed and might reduce the risk of GI distress. Having a well-tested fueling plan is helpful.

• Training enhances your ability to burn fat, and it can be further enhanced by adapting to a keto (high fat, very low carb) diet. Given fat stores are essentially limitless, a keto-adapted endurance athlete (theoretically) should be able to perform very well without having to consume additional carbs during exercise, reducing their risk of intestinal upset from drinking/eating during a race. Sounds good, but this theory doesn’t always work. Research shows that keto-adapted athletes can maintain their performance of moderate intensity exercise but experience a performance decline during real-life high intensity competitive endurance events. That’s in part because burning fat, as compared to burning carb, requires more oxygen and at high intensities, such as a break-away to the finish, oxygen supply to the muscle becomes a limiting factor.







Brain function

• Athletes need a well-fed brain to help them concentrate and make wise decisions. A well-fed brain can also help keep you motivated to exercise at a hard pace. To feed your brain, you want to embark upon exercise being well fed, with blood sugar in a normal range (blood sugar can drop overnight) and not be fasted and running on empty. Eat before you exercise!

• Caffeine is known to reduce the brain’s perception of pain, effort, and fatigue (even in athletes who regularly consume coffee). The recommended dose is 1.5-3 mg per pound of body weight (3-6 mg/kg) but one size does not fit all. Experiment to find the dose that’s best for your body.

• Athletes can consume caffeine via gels, caffeinated energy bars, pre-workout supplements, caffeine pills, and coffee. The problem with coffee is the variability of the caffeine content, which makes it hard to identify a specific dose.

• Some performance enhancers do not need to be absorbed into the body to offer beneficial effects. For example, simply rinsing the mouth with a sugar solution/sports drink (and spitting it out) stimulates reward centers in the brain, allowing you to work harder and enhance your performance.

before a short, intense effort, such as a power-lift or a 30-second cycling sprint.

• Rinsing the mouth every 5 to 10 minutes with a menthol-containing solution creates a perceived cooling effect that can help to increase power or speed during prolonged exercise in the heat. But be careful. If you feel cooler—but actually are not cooler, you might over-extend yourself and end up slowing down prematurely.

• Anti-cramping agents such as pickle juice, capsaicin, or spicy tastes might be helpful for athletes who experience muscle cramps. These pungent tastes are thought to “distract” the nerves involved with the cramping muscle and reduce the severity of the cramp. (More research is needed.) 








• You want to be sure you are optimally hydrated before you start competing. Your first morning urine should be light-colored, not dark and concentrated.

• Whether programmed drinking (according to a plan) is better than drinking as desired, according to your thirst, depends on your sport. For example, a marathon runner can develop a large mismatch between sweat losses and fluid intake. A 10-K runner is less likely to become severely dehydrated.

• The suggested goal is to lose <2% of your body weight over the course of the event (3 lbs. for a 150-lb. athlete). In lab-based research, a loss of >3% of body weight (4.5 lbs.) is linked to reduced performance. In real life, many athletes’ motivation to win over-rides the negative effects of being under-hydrated. Questions remain unanswered: Could underhydrated athletes have performed better If they were better hydrated? Or does being lighter due to dehydration offer an advantage? Stay tuned. Sports nutrition is an evolving science.


  Reference: Burke, LM. Nutritional approaches to counter performance constraints in high level sports competition.  Experimental Physiology Nov 2021




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.






February 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.


How To Pedal - Cycling Technique
Several tips for efficient cycling such as core strength, cadence, upper body position, and more. 5 Mins.
Top Racing Moments
Competitive racers are always looking to squeeze out a little extra edge, as illustrated by these notable clips from elite events. 6 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.



Exercise to Boost Your Immune System

By Dr. Gabe Mirkin








A review of 54 studies found that a regular exercise program strengthens the immune system, increases antibody response to vaccinations, and reduces risks for community-acquired infectious disease by 31 percent and death from infections by 37 percent in various populations (Sports Medicine, April 20, 2021). It does this by increasing IGA antibodies in all body cavities and CD4 T cells that help to kill invading germs. Even a single hard bout of exercise appears to enhance immune responses to vaccination in both younger and older individuals (Brain Behav Immun, Jul 2014;39:33-41). Many studies show that people who exercise regularly have higher antibody responses to vaccinations (J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2002 Sep; 57(9):M557-62). Aging progressively impairs your immunity, but the most active elderly patients have the highest protective immune responses (Ann N Y Acad Sci, 2002 Apr; 959():117-27).


Exercise Reduces Risk for COVID-19 Complications
Regular exercise can substantially reduce the risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, or death, according to a study from the UK (Brit J of Sprts Med, Apr 14, 2021). A self-reported physical activity study of 48,440 adult patients found that those who did not exercise were at:
• 2.26 times the risk of hospitalization
• 1.73 times the risk of ICU admission
• 2.49 times the risk of death from COVID-19
Not exercising was the third most important risk factor for COVID-19 death, after being older than 60 or having had a previous organ transplant. Not exercising was way ahead of smoking, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer as risk factors for death from COVID-19. The authors recommend, “Walk 30 minutes a day, five days a week at a moderate pace and that will give you a tremendous protective effect against COVID-19.”


How Exercise Can Improve your Immunity
This year, researchers discovered that walking and running transmit pressure on bone surfaces along arteriolar blood vessels into the bone marrow. This promotes the growth of new bone cells to strengthen and thicken bones and secrete a growth factor that increases the numbers of B and T lymphocyte cells that attack and kill invading germs (Nature, February 24, 2021;591:438-444).


Inactivity slows the formation of new bone and lymphocytes. Another review found that exercise reduces the loss of immune function associated with aging (J Sprt and Health Sci, May 2019;8(3):201-217). A study on mice showed how exercise helps to strengthen your immune system (Sci Rep, November 6, 2015;5:16364). When germs get into your body, you produce certain cells and proteins that attack the germs and try to kill them. When you exercise vigorously enough to damage muscle cells, your body uses these same cells and proteins to help heal your muscle cells. Exercise that is vigorous enough to damage muscles stimulates the same immune cells that heal muscles to help your immunity respond to and kill invading germs. If your immune system stays active all the time, the same cells and proteins that kill germs can attack your own cells. This is called inflammation.


When you are exercising properly by taking hard workouts to strengthen your muscles followed by easy workouts to allow your muscles to heal, you are also strengthening your immune system. When you damage muscles with hard exercise, your immune system uses the same white blood cells and proteins that attack and kill germs to start the healing process, so vigorous exercise turns on your immunity in the same way that an infection does. Then to keep your immune system from being too active and using the same chemicals to damage you, you produce anti-inflammatory chemicals to dampen down your immunity. A proper training program of vigorous exercise followed by easy workouts strengthens your immune system by turning it up and down.


Listen to Your Body
After intense exercise, you should expect to feel sore because of the muscle damage, which is good for you. If you do another intense workout when you are trying to heal, your body senses that you are causing further damage. Your body reduces the same white blood cells and proteins that you use to kill germs and heal damaged muscles.
• Try to alternate harder workouts with easy recovery ones on consecutive days.
• If you are training properly, expect to feel sore every morning when you wake up. If your muscles feel better after a 5-10 minute warm up, take your planned workout.
• If you don’t feel better during your warm up, go home because continuing to exercise will only increase your chances of injuring yourself.


How Much Is Too Much?
Exercise increases your ability to kill invading germs, unless you exercise too much (Front Immunol, Apr 16, 2018;9:648). If you keep on pushing your limits and exercising through muscle soreness, you turn on your immune system to heal the damaged muscles. Your immune system can be so highly activated that it eventually causes inflammation, which can damage organs throughout your body (J Amer Ger Soc, Aug 2004;52(7):1098-104).


Muscles are made up of hundreds of thousands of individual fibers. To make muscles stronger, you have to damage them. That means that you exercise more intensely on one day, damage your muscle fibers and feel sore on the next. Then when they heal, they become larger and stronger. You can tell that you are damaging a muscle by the burning you feel in the muscles during exercise, and the soreness you feel in that muscle on the next day. If you take an easy workout when your muscles feel sore, your muscle will become stronger. If you take an intense workout on sore muscles, you can tear them and become injured. The healing of muscles damaged by intense exercise is governed by your immune system:
• The exact same cells and cytokines that kill germs initiate the healing process.
• When you feel sore after intense exercise, your immune system goes into high gear to heal the damaged muscle tissue.
• If you do another intense workout when you still feel sore and are trying to heal, your body senses that you are causing further damage, so it reduces the amount of white blood cells and proteins that initiate muscle healing.
• Your body reduces your immune reactions because if your immune system stays active all the time, it can attack your healthy tissues in the same way that it attacks germs. This can lead to the many “auto-immune” diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.


My Recommendations
A regular exercise program strengthens your immune system to help protect you from disease. However, too much exercise can cause inflammation that may impair your ability to kill germs. When your muscles feel sore, take very easy workouts or take the day off.



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 to Boost Your Immune System | Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Health (drmirkin.com)



Epic Bicycle Bloopers

Eli Post

Over the last several months in our Film Festival series, we've brought you videos of amazing feats that are beyond the grasp of ordinary mortals. For example, Vittorio Brumotti crossing on a bridge tressel is over the top, and both scary and daring. We don't suggest that any of you undertake these challenges, and perhaps a video of those who try stunts and fail will sober up anyone foolish enough to try.



February Picture of the Month

WheelPeople Editors

Pedaling the mounted bike causes a small propeller to rotate. The propeller is on an arm that extends into the water when in use. These boats are available by the Potomac River in Washington, DC. Let us know if there are any in the Boston area.


It won't always be this cold, and a ride over a lake or river would be pleasant. Again, when it warms up.


Photo by Alex Post taken along the Potomac River.




February Updates

WheelPeople Editors
Town Ride collections - Hopefully there will likely be days in February 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
Winter Riding Challenge The Challenge is on until March 15. Details are here CRW Winter Challenge 2022 | Charles River Wheelers



Best way to Ride Here?

John Allen

I thank my friend Pamela Murray for  this photo from a from a sub-24-hour overnight bicycle tour in  North Carolina.

Is this photo OK?  I’m asking you.

Well, the weather could be nicer.

But also, the first question you might ask is “would I ride here?” That is up to you, certainly, but then you may have no choice to get from point A to point B. CRW lays out its rural ride routes to the extent possible on quiet, scenic roads. But these often have to be linked by short stretches on multi-lane highways. You might ask then:

  • Is it safe?
  • Is it rude?
  • Is it legal?

There are many examples like this on CRW rides. And some are more challenging then the one in the picture, for example Massachusetts Route 117 at Route 495 in Bolton, on the Climb to the Clouds ride, with the on- and off-ramps.

Let’s get one of my questions out of the way. Yes, it is legal. The North Carolina shoulderless divided highway in the photos is not limited-access, and it is open to bicyclists.

In Massachusetts, the rule is that bicycling is allowed on all public ways except limited-access and express state highways, where posted. Sometimes, though, signs are posted improperly, and you have to think for yourself. (Example: a ramp from Route 30 to Norumbega Road in Weston also leads to Route 128, but the "no bicycles" sign is ahead of where the ramp splits. I have led many CRW rides down that ramp.)

Enough with that. To refine the questions I asked earlier, what is the safest and most polite way to ride here?

  • Should the group split up and ride one by one?
  • Should they be riding single file, close to the right-hand curb?
  • Or are they doing what is pretty much best, given the conditions?

What do you think? Would you be concerned about your safety riding here? Which of these options might make you feel safest? What additional measures might make you feel more confident?

Please feel free to send me your comments. You'll find my e-mail in the Contacts list on the CRW Web site. Next month, I'll respond and give my own answers. I'll give you another spoiler for now: yes, it is reasonably safe, if done right.



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