December 2022 WheelPeople


President's Message December 2022

Edward Cheng

I am penning this shortly before Thanksgiving, and in the spirit of that holiday am thanking all who make CRW the wonderful club that it is.


I would like to thank the members of the Board who are completing their terms:  Rami Haddad, Mary Kernan, John O'Dowd, and Steve Carlson.  They have each served the club not only as Board Members, but also as officers and just plain leaders of CRW.  Collectively, this group has spent hundreds of hours working for the club in a variety of ways.  If you bump into any of them on your rides, please take a moment to thank them. I would also like to congratulate and welcome the new members of the Board: Amy Juodawlkis,  Eli Post, Erik Dentremont, Mark Nardone, and Barbara Jacobs.  They have already been working hard for the club with their efforts ranging from organizing centuries, to the Bike Thursday Ride, to the Gravel and Women's Programs, and to the production of WheelPeople.  I am confident that Amy, Eli, Erik, Mark, and Barbara will be great additions to the Board and that we will enjoy working together.


 I am also going to shamelessly steal credit from the Board for recognizing our CRW Volunteers of the Year.  


        Lyda Budrys, for helping build the Women's Program;

        Eugene Ho, for tirelessly finding new roads and trails for our rides;

        Martin Hayes, for leading the Development Program and the Winter Program; and

        Amy Wilson, for being a long time Board Member and Treasurer.


They received this message from the Board:  "The CRW Board at its meeting of November 13, 2022 approved a volunteer award to you in recognition for your contributions to the club. We are an all-volunteer club and could not operate without dedicated and committed people like you. In further recognition for your efforts, we will provide you with a new CRW club jersey when the store opens in Spring '23."  They each received a nifty certificate that they can print and frame as well.


Speaking of CRW club jerseys, thanks to the efforts of Keren Hamel, we have an official CRW club jersey with new logo and colors.  They arrived last week and there have already been sightings on the road.  We will open the store again in the Spring for members to again order and show our club spirit!  


We had an excellent return this year of our fully supported Cranberry Harvest Century, led by Larry "16" Kernan, Susan Grieb, Erik Dentremont, and Mark Nardone.  We had over 400 riders enjoying three rest stops and a splendid post-ride party organized by Mary Kernan.  We had volunteers step forward to run the rest stops, drive the SAG Wagons, run the party, move and set up equipment, and even attend local town meetings!  It was a joy to witness this all come together and run smoothly. The weather even cooperated for a perfect day of riding.


Last, but not least, CRW returned to the road this year with countless rides posted by our Ride Leaders both during the week and on weekends.  Our Ride Leaders are tasked with planning, scouting, and leading our rides, which are the fundamental point of the club.  The club ordinarily gifts the Ride Leaders annually. This year, we ordered riding gloves in club colors for our Ride Leaders, which have arrived (but are awaiting distribution) The next time you are on a ride, please take a moment to thank the Ride Leader for their contribution..


I close by wishing everybody safe travels, Joyous Holidays, and a Happy New Year.  Thanks for coming out for the rides this year, and hopefully for even more riding in 2023.


Kindness of Strangers

Eli Post


This story has a few lessons, but the kindness of a stranger made my day and I hope you are as fortunate when/if you need help.


I made my way to the last lot on a local bike path. Without any break, I turned around to go back on my route. However, about 3/4 mile later I came upon a tree that had fallen across the trail. It was a big tree that smashed the adjacent wooden fences, and occupied the entire width of the trail. My first reaction was that luck was on my side, as I was not under the tree when it fell. I was not in the wrong place at the wrong time. But then I realized I could not get my trike across. There were large and small branches on the ground in a messy pattern. The trike could not be rolled. It weighed 45 pounds and was too heavy to carry across. Now here is when "the kindness of strangers" came into play. A guy on a bike arrived at the fallen tree crossing and said "Can I help". I explained my predicament, and he proceeded to pick up the trike (2 feet off the ground) and carry it across. He said his work required lifting heavy stuff and my trike was no big deal.


I called 911 and the operator said I was in error as no one was injured, but she would forward the message. When I got back to my car, I saw a town guy who said they were on the case but had to bring in heavy duty machines to remove the tree.


I suppose we face risks each day from the moment we step out of bed.


Let me know if you have a "kindness of a stranger" incident, and I will report on the stories in a future issue.

More text and photos after the photo below.



I returned to the "scene of the crime" 24 hours later, and the path had been cleared. My compliments to Milford Parks Commission. We made contact with them, and they responded: 


Hi Eli,

The police did call me and I sent a few workers to make path passable. Please feel free to email or call number listed below with any other concerns you may come across while using the bike trail. Be assured we are working daily to make trail safe and clear of any hazards and welcome the help of public users to inform us when things go wrong.

Glad no one was hurt and that there were people willing to help you.

 Jim Asam
Milford Parks and Recreation
Department Administrator

You can see from the photos that it was a big tree that caused damage, and there was a lot of work done to clear the fallen branches. Fortunately no one was injured.


Winter Ride Challenge

John O'Dowd


Winter is coming, but that's no excuse to kick back on the couch and binge watch Netflix. CRW is throwing down the gauntlet (or cycling glove)! How many miles can you ride over the next four months. (Dec. 1st to March 31st)? The goal is 1700 miles, the distance from the Mighty Squirrel brewery to Key West, FL. Along the way we've picked some sunny, sandy milestones to measure your progress against:

      Surf City, NJ: 310 miles

      Virginia Beach, Virginia: 580 miles

      Myrtle beach, SC: 870 miles

     Daytona Beach, FL: 1260 miles


Members Only

This is a "members only" event. Mileage can be accumulated starting December 1st by riding indoors or outdoors, and will be recorded by accepting the Strava challenge.


To join the challenge, register HERE and follow “Martin Hayes (CRW)” on Strava.


If you are not on Strava you may enter your mileage by manually typing it in HERE 


Honor System

Note that this contest is on the honor system so please be truthful about actual miles ridden. Finally, on Saturday April 1st (no fooling!) join us for a beach party at the Mighty Squirrel.  Those who make it all the way to Key West are entered in a raffle to win a CRW cycling cap!


So stock up on the sports drinks, you have a lot of pedaling to do!


C&O Canal Trail

Alex Post



This past summer three of us rode from Pittsburgh to DC, over 6 riding days and combining the GAP (Great Allegheny Passage) trail, and the C&O (Chesapeake and Ohio) trail. Last month I reviewed the GAP trail portion, and this month will continue on to the C&O, shown in grey on the map below. 



The C&O trail is 184 miles long, and most riders do it in 3 or 4 ride days. It parallels the Potomac river, and from 1831 to 1924 was used to transport agricultural and other goods. Ox and mules used “tow path” along the canal to pull the canal boats, and this later became the bike path. The path surface is stone dust or dirt road, and has almost no road intersections at all, making for an uninterrupted and relaxing ride. 


There are free hiker/biker campsites along the trail roughly every 5 miles, great for bike packing. Note that most of these are not far accessible, although a few are. We did a mix of camping and and other accommodations, and we had a car with us, that one of our group would drive on a given day. This meant no one got to ride the entire trail, but we had added flexibility for transporting gear or adapting to poor weather. 


The first night we stayed at Lock 70 schoolhouse, a re-purposed school, complete with a full basketball gym for use, and meals at the cafeteria. 


The 3100 foot Paw Paw tunnel may initially look like a railroad tunnel, but in fact would carry the canal boats through. 

There are many nice river views along the trail. 


There are 74 locks along the trail, which would raise or lower the boats as they came through. 



Much of the trail feels remote, and wildlife abounds.


Riding along the dirt trail.


Bill’s place in Orleans is worth stopping for a beer or bite to eat, and in fact is the only place for 15 miles in either direction. The ceiling is covered in signed dollar bills.


The canal has several aqueducts, when in operation they were filled with water, and the canal boats could cross over rivers and streams. Essentially a river crossing another river.


Ice cream break at the unique Buddy Lou’s in Hancock MD. 


Another view of an old canal lock along the trail.


The second night we camped at McCoys Ferry campground, and visited the nearby Fort Frederick State Park, a pre revolutionary fort. 


There are numerous pawpaw trees along the trail, and the fruit is edible when it ripens in the fall, and taste like a mix of banana and mango.


Another water view along the trail.


The Bavarian Inn, with a brewery, is a great stop, as is nearby Shepherdstown, which has good restaurants and accommodations. 


The town of Brunswick has a good brewery in a fire station, as well as Beans in the Belfry, in an old church and pictured below. 


The third night we stayed in one of the old historic lock-houses, a unique experience, but also note there is no electricity, water, or AC. 


An example of a stone dust portion of the trail. Generally speaking tires 30mm or wider are recommended. We didn’t have any significant rain, but with heavy rains wider tires could become important.


Whites Ferry, which shuttles cars across, is the last of its kind, and itself is not currently operating pending a land dispute. But there’s still a general store and great place to stop for burgers and beer.


Almost the entire trail is heavily wooded, which provided great shade for the hot summer days, as well as the occasional obstacle.


Near the end of the trail in Georgetown, that canal is still filled with water, and the national park runs canal boat rides.


At mile marker 0, we’ve reached the end! Hopefully we’ll catch you out there next time!



C&O Canal National Historical Park, US National Park Service

Great Allegheny Passage  Excellent all around resource for both GAP and C&O trail. They also publish a printed guide

C&O GAP info Another good resource 

Canal Quarters  Accommodations in lock houses


Little Jack's Corner Redux

Jack Donohue








This is the story of “dazed and confused” meets “seduced and abandoned” => “confused and abandoned.”

There are several splinter groups that have formed within CRW. Somewhat less complimentary would be to say they are barnacles on the good ship CRW. One such group is one that I am especially fond of in my retirement, since they are retirees, self-employed, and other ne’er-do-wells who manage to sneak out for a ride at 10AM on weekdays. One of their more endearing features is the “no drop” policy (more on that later). The leader maps out a very pleasant ride, prepares a GPS route that everyone downloads, and away we go. There is also a lunch stop, somewhat more civilized than many of my other riding groups where lunch consists of scarfing down an energy bar when you had to stop to pee anyway. But I digress.


So I was on one such group ride, and things were going fine. We had a group of nine, we all stayed together chatting, life was good. I should mention that I had recently mastered my GPS after several years of ownership, so as long as I could follow the little purple line, I had a reasonable chance of returning home. The first warning sign was when our leader led us off the purple line. Turns out I had downloaded the wrong route. I suspected the reason was there was a different lunch stop than usual and this was to go there. But I had strayed from my purple line and felt somewhat adrift. But as long as I could keep the leader in sight, all would be well.




We had lunch then set out. The leader started out, I followed, then somehow got in front. Looking back there were several riders following me, then several riders turning around and I realized I had gone astray. My first thought was I could continue on and go around the set of buildings which seemed to be where they were headed. But I realized this wasn’t a Sure Thing, so I figured I better turn around like everyone else. This moment of hesitation was enough for the entire crew to vanish. I wandered around the strip mall some more figuring I’d run into them, but it was not to be. You have to realize that I have no sense of direction. Once I was off the GPS route, I could have been in darkest Africa in terms of finding my way home. In fact, there is an urban legend, that I will neither confirm nor deny, that I once rode past my house. My navigation skills are very akin to a rat in a maze. Putting it mathematically, if there are N possible directions to head in, I will try N–1 before finding the correct one. The accompanying picture illustrates the point.

My first reaction was surprise, I kept expecting to see the group around every wrong turn I made. I knew it was a “no drop” ride but I didn’t realize it was a “point Jack in the wrong direction, then slip away” ride. I assumed someone would eventually realize I was missing. I imagined the ensuing conversation. I suspect someone proposed the theory that Jack, like Fleetwood Mac, went his own way. Anyone who knew me well, and that consisted of most of the riders, would realize that this was impossible, since I had no idea of any way never mind my own. I can only imagine someone suggesting I had been abducted by aliens, and the group deciding to go with that instead of wasting time looking for me.

So here I was in a strip mall in darkest Africa with no idea where I was. I couldn’t follow the purple lines since we had long since left them. Fortunately my GPS has a bread crumb feature, i.e., it shows you where you have been in a light blue line. So, I could use that to backtrack until I got back to the route. Of course, my GPS being a cheap one, the track has no indication of which direction you’re going. Didn’t really matter, either direction would get me back home. So I managed to get back to the route, and against all odds, followed it in the correct direction. Of course, by this time everyone else was long gone, but I did eventually find my way home.


This article originally appeared in WheelPeople in August 2014. The image of assembled riders was added.






Bike Paths: East Bay Bike Path, E.Providence, RI

Eli Post



All of the Club's rides are on public roads. We are blessed with many beautiful country roads making for unlimited ride options. However, sometimes you might wish the comfort of routes free of cars where you can relax and enjoy the scenery. Bike Paths serve this purpose, and we are going to feature them in this and subsequent issues. We begin with one which has spectacular views and it is a favorite of this writer.


We note that CRW doesn't promote bike path rides as groups riding fast present a safety hazard to other trail users. However, if you are on your own or with a few friends, a bike path ride can be very satisfying. They offer safe riding and broaden your cycling opportunities.They definitely have something positive to offer. Also, something a little different every once in a while can be refreshing, and finally you may not be comfortable on roads with traffic. 

Photo by Alex Post


The East Bay Bike Path begins in East Providence and heads south to Bristol, RI which is just north of Newport. The parking lot for the ride start is reached by plugging  "74 Veterans Memorial Parkway, E. Providence, RI" into your navigation app.

If you’re a fan of bike paths with great ocean scenery, no hills and no cars to contend with, this ride’s for you!  This might well be the best bike path in New England.


The total round-trip is just under 32 miles but it’s almost totally flat.  It's worth traveling a few miles on the roads to reach the spectacularly scenic Colt State Park where you will be treated to some really great water views.  Note that, as of this writing, two of the bridges are closed and you will be forced to detour.

You can get some take-out food and then eat on the boardwalk along the water.  All of the places listed below are within easy walking distance from where we suggest you eat. 

Papa Joe’s Wrap Shack (567 Hope St – 401-253-9911)
Tong Phoon Thai (382 Thames St – 401-396-9225)
Portside Tavern (444 Thames St – 401-396-5149)
The Beehive (10 Franklin St – 401-396-9994) – no phone orders (online or in-person)



We thank the Ashland Bike Club for the route and for the links to eating spots.




Ride with GPS - Routes in Map View

WheelPeople Editors

If you have an extensive route library, Ride With GPS now offers a Map View of your library.


Your entire route catalog is now available in detailed and interactive Map View. There is now a "show map" button on your route/ride page. After clicking on the interactive map, you can search by keywords or start locations to visually access your entire lineup of routes.The map-forward interface provides immediate reference for your entire catalog. You can identify any planned route or subset of routes by panning and zooming within the map. Also filter by distance, elevation, date range, archival status.


Explore your routes in Map View by toggling the "Show Map" button on your routes page. Numbered clusters representing groups of routes, which are expandable by clicking the icons, displaying the routes contained within, and eliminating the need to hunt for specific route variations. Hover over the green Start icons or specific routes within the result cards to highlight the corresponding route on the map.



The Athlete's Kitchen - Athletes with Eating Disorders


The Athlete’s Kitchen

Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSS December 2022


Helping Athletes with Eating Disorders


An estimated 30% to 60% of female athletes struggle with food, as do 10% to 33% of male athletes. Many of these athletes believe they are not “sick enough” to seek treatment. Others are too ashamed to ask for help. And some believe getting treatment will hinder them from reaching athletic goals.

They fear:

  1. they will gain weight, and any added weight will impair their performance.
  2. they will not be able to participate in training or competitions during treatment, hence will lose status with their team; and
  3. they might displease their coaches and teammates. 


But the questions they want to ponder are:

What do you think your future will look like with the eating disorder?

Are you satisfied with your current quality of life?


 At the October 2022 Food and Nutrition Expo and Conference of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the nation’s largest group of nutrition professionals), sports nutritionist Page Love MS RD CSSD ( of Atlanta and psychologist Ron Thompson PhD of Bloomington IN (rthomps2 [at] addressed the topic of Athletes with Eating Disorders. They shared insights from their years of professional experience. This article passes along some of their words of wisdom and offers insights into why some athletes struggle with food, body image, and weight issues. and hopefully will nudge athletes’ friends, family, and loved ones to encourage these athletes to seek help.


• When dieting goes awry and eating disorders take hold, relationships and quality of life suffer, to say nothing of longevity as an athlete. Athletes with eating disorders (ED) can easily believe they have more reasons to keep the eating disorder than they do to give it up. Eating disorders can distract from difficult emotions; offer a source of power and control; give a sense of security; provide an excuse for anything and everything; sustain an identity; offer a way to be angry, self-abusive, special, rebellious, and competitive inside and outside of sport.


• Given many athletes with EDs are in denial of the seriousness of this mental health disease, Dr. Thompson has asked his clients, “Do you realize that people with your disorder sometimes die?” Indeed, athletes can—and have—died from eating disorders, often via suicide. Looking from the inside out, an athlete’s life can feel very stress-filled, despite the athlete appearing happy, bubbly, and “just fine” on the outside.


• Ideally, food should be one of life’s pleasures, as well as an enjoyable source of energizing fuel that enhances performance. If you stop eating at mealtimes just because you think you should, or because your allotted portion of food is all gone (but you are still hungry), you might want to ask yourself a few probing questions:

--What are your food rules and nutrition beliefs that restrict your food choices and portions?

For example, do you forbid yourself to eat second helpings?

--What percent of your time do you spend thinking about food and weight? 

Thinking about food includes shopping for food, preparing food for yourself and others, reading cookbooks or other food- and diet-related publications, binge-eating, purging, and thinking about how much you ate at your last meal. When the answer is “I spend way too much time thinking about food; it dominates my thoughts”, you likely have a problematic relationship with food and are living in a state of hunger. That’s no fun, and also limits your ability to fully recover after a hard workout, heal the micro-injuries that occur during hard workouts, and perform optimally. “Normal eaters” think about food as they appropriately get hungry before a meal or snack.


--Do you enjoy eating socially with friends and  teammates?

Or do you avoid such situations?

--Are your food allergies and intolerances real?

Or are they convenient excuses to avoid certain foods? 

--Ladies, do you currently have regular menstrual periods?

Amenorrhea—loss of menses—can be a sign of under-eating, to the point of disrupting normal body functions.

--Gentlemen, are you experiencing reduced sex drive?

Loss of morning erections can be a sign of under-eating, to the point of disrupting normal body functions.

--Does your family have a history of eating issues, dieting practices, and/or mental health concerns?

If yes, how have those issues influenced your food habits?


• Chronically underfed bodies can end up “hibernating,” with slowed metabolic processes. Symptoms related to inadequate fueling include fatigue, lack of energy, dehydration,  anemia, frequent injuries, amenorrhea, stress fractures, and “weird” eating habits. These are all good reasons to seek help from a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition (RD CSSD). The referral network at can help you find a local RD CSSD).


• Most of my clients report, “I know what I should eat. I just don’t do it.” Given today’s confusing food environment, any athlete with nutrition questions and weight concerns would be wise to meet with a sports RD to learn how to overcome barriers that limit optimal fueling. Don’t let (self-imposed) shame or embarrassment stop you. Eating “right” is not as simple as it once used to be.


• All food can fit into a balanced sports diet—even fatty foods. Athletes should consume at least half of their calories from (preferably nutrient-rich) carbohydrate, and at least 20% of calories from (preferably health-promoting) fat. A fat intake less than that increases the risk of inadequate energy intake.


• If you live in Food Jail and consume a very repetitive but “safe” diet, a sports RD can help you expand your menu so you can consume a wider variety of nutrients. If you want to try to do this on your own, start by making a list of your fear-foods (foods you are afraid to eat because they lack nutrient-density or because you deem them to be “fattening”). Challenge yourself to include at least one food each day into your meals and snacks, starting with the easiest and ending with the hardest foods. With time, you’ll be able to enjoy social eating with your friends and teammates.


• Notice that other athletes look forward to, let’s say, a special holiday gathering like a New Year’s Brunch—but you don’t because the foods will be way too fattening or you’re afraid you’ll end up eating way too much. Other athletes can eat holiday treats; why can’t you? Your body is not different from everyone else’s and will not “get fat on you.” The problem isn’t the food or your body, but more likely your self-imposed food rules.


• Few athletes will ever achieve a perfect body. Please don’t measure your self-worth as an athlete by your body weight or size. You may be an athletic person, but you are also a human, like the rest of us, and are excellent the way you are.




Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD  counsels both fitness exercisers and competitive athletes in the Boston-area (Newton; 617-795-1875). Her best-selling Sports Nutrition Guidebook is a popular resource, as is her online workshop. Visit for info.


Nancy Clark, MS RD CSSD Sports nutrition counselor Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 6th Edition (Books, presentations, blog) Twitter: @nclarkrd Office: 1155 Walnut St., Newton Highlands, MA 02460 Phone:617-795-1875 "Helping active people win with good nutrition." Secretary, Professionals in Nutrition for Exercise and Sport (PINES) 


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





Anti-Aging: Five Exercises to Prevent / Help Lower Back Pain



By Coach John Hughes


“It is estimated that 15% to 20% of adults have back pain during a single year and 50% to 80% experience at least one episode of back pain during a lifetime.” National Library of Medicine

Athletes aren’t immune.  Researchers compared groups of elite athletes and moderately active people and were surprised to find half of each group had low back pain (LBP) and that the causes were similar.  Those with LBP all had stiff backs and lacked control over the movements of their spines. Frontiers of Neuroscience

Regular exercise, increasing your core strength, improving specific muscular control and increasing your flexibility will help you avoid to LBP.


1. Regular exercise

A meta-analysis examined 25 different studies of the effectiveness of different prevention strategies to reduce the incidence of low back pain.  The meta-analysis found “moderate-quality evidence that an exercise program can prevent future LBP intensity.” British Journal of Sports Medicine






2. Core strength

Wearing a back brace can help to prevent or deal with LBP. Your core muscles surround your spine to stabilize your torso and they work the same way as an external back brace. However, if you just wear a back brace then your core muscles get weaker.

We tend to think of our core muscles as our abdominals and that developing six-pack abs will prevent LBP. The core muscles are underneath your outer abs and back muscles. Your transverse abdominis is a deep muscle that wraps around your midsection like a corset. Your multifidus is a muscle that lines your spine. It has a series of extensions that wrap each individual vertebra, similar to the way your bicycle chain wraps a cog. Improving the strength of your transverse abdominis and your multifidus is key to avoiding LBP. I wrote this column on:







3. Muscle control

In addition to a strong core you need fine motor control of the muscles that move your spine. You want the muscles to move your spine and to move your body around your spine the right amount; moving too far or too little may cause pain. Dynamic balance exercises train your body to control your muscles to move correctly. Static balance is standing on one leg. Dynamic balance is slowly lifting one leg, slowly moving the leg away from the body, slowly lowering that leg to the floor, shifting your weight and slowly lifting the other leg. Tai chi and Pilates both provide isometric exercise to strengthen your core. They also use slow movements to improve your dynamic balance. I describe different balancing exercises in this column:



4. Unanticipated instability

Even if you develop a strong core and work on your dynamic balance, you still risk of LBP.

Unanticipated changes in direction / load can cause back pain. Your core provides the stable platform for your other muscles to work correctly. Anticipating you’re about to walk down a flight of stairs, you instinctively tighten your core muscles to stabilize your spine and anchor your hip and leg muscles. But what if you aren’t paying attention and unexpectedly step off a curb. Or someone jostles you. These can result in LBP

2017 study tested the effectiveness of random functional perturbation exercises on LBP. The exercises included reacting to variable and unpredictable disturbances. The group which did this type of therapy reduced LBP by 35% compared to the control group, increased muscle strength by 15-22% and reduced trunk stiffness by 13%.

Mountain biking on single track, hiking on a rough surface, playing pickleball and similar activities cause you to react to something you can’t completely anticipate. Over time these improve your muscular coordination and control.







5. Flexibility

A stiff trunk is one of the contributing factors to LBP.  As you get older you naturally get stiffer unless you work on your flexibility. I wrote this column on:

In addition to these five factors, bike fit, cycling technique, other things can also contribute to LBP as I explain in this column on:




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.  


My eBook Anti-Aging: 12 Ways You Can Slow the Aging Process includes chapters on how to meet the American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendations on aerobic, high intensity aerobic, strength training, weight-bearing exercises, balance and flexibility. I include sample weeks and months for different types and amounts of exercise. I give you plans to build up to 100 km and 100 mile rides. I include a plan to increase over two years your annual riding from around 4,000 miles (6,500 km) to over 5,000 miles (8,000 km) per year. You can easily modify the plans for different annual amounts of riding. I discuss the importance of recovery and how to gauge if you are getting enough recovery. I combine the different kinds of training into programs that balance training and recovery. The 106-page eBook is available here Anti-Aging: 12 Ways You Can Slow the Aging Process 





Looking Back: Ride With GPS Clinic

Eli Post

Those of you who have been with the club for a while, will remember that we used to mark the roads for our rides (called arrowed rides) and you navigated by following the painted markings. Along came GPS, and all that  fundamentally changed.


Ride With GPS, Strava, and their predecessors have made the learning experience easy for most, but it wasn't always so. Ten years back this month we held a GPS clinic hosted at the Ride Studio in Lexington (also a piece of history). The evening was put together by Bob Wolf and he arranged to have Zack Ham (a Ride With GPS co-founder) available by Skype.You can see by the photo that the audience was captivated by the then new technology. We now take GPS for granted and assume a GPS route is available for every ride the club posts, and we can navigate with the route on our cell phone. But you should not forget that most of us lived through a technological revolution.


We chatted with Bob Wolf, the event organizer. He was "happy to have been part of a first step" and remembers "getting some pats on the back" for running the event. When he looked at the photo he said his hair used to be brown and he still has that shirt. Yes it was ten years ago, but also another time as club rides have moved with the technology.


The image is from December 2012 WheelPeople. Bob Wolf is on the lower-right wearing a brownish shirt.

The Spirit of the Law

John Allen


The traffic law makes very clear and unambiguous statements, but the letter of the law can’t cover every possible situation. There are also situations it does cover, but might cover better. In these cases, the spirit of the law has to rule. Let’s look at a few examples.

Stop signA stop sign requires two actions: stopping – before the crosswalk if there is one, and then yielding right of way. But a building, vegetation, parked car, etc., may block the view of the cross street, so it is necessary to stop again in the crosswalk to check.

A pedestrian who would like to cross may appear while a driver – it could be you on your bicycle – is blocking the crosswalk. There is another vehicle behind. You can’t back up.. So the pedestrian has to yield.

A driver is backing out of an angle parking spot. The adjacent parking spot to the right is occupied, so the driver can’t see whether traffic is approaching. The approaching  traffic could be you on your bicycle. The driver in the parking spot is required to yield. But that driver’s only workable option is to back out very slowly so you can yield.

In these two situations, among others, the applicable law simply doesn’t work. The problem is deeply rooted in the nature of reality: people don’t have x-ray vision.

Now for a couple of less deeply rooted but still very real situations:

Traffic law in the USA usually permits bicyclists to ride on the left side of a one-way street if it is two or more lanes wide. New York City, notably, has placed bike lanes on the left side of multi-lane one-way avenues where buses travel on the right side. This avoids bicyclists’ and buses’ “leapfrogging” one another.  But what about one-lane, one-way streets?

Part of my favorite route into downtown Waltham from my home is on a one-lane, one-way street with parallel parking along the right side. Riding a few feet from the left curb, I can safely allow motorists to overtake. I also have a good view ahead at intersections and driveways, without parked cars blocking my view. Other options would be to ride on the right side in the door zone of parked cars – not a choice I’ll make – or to ride nearer the middle, and then motorists’s can’t overtake. I’ll control the travel lane when necessary, but in this case it isn’t.

Another situation: a narrow road has a double yellow line down the middle and the motorists have to merge into the next lane to overtake slow vehicles, including bicycles.  Almost all motorists learn with experience to treat this law with a grain of salt. Several states including nearby Maine have amended their laws to allow motorists to cross the double yellow to pass bicyclists, recognizing that passing distances are much shorter when passing slow vehicles.

These two problems – one-lane, one-way streets, and crossing the double yellow – reflect problems where the law itself is unnecessarily rigid. Reasonable people have bent the law in the interest of safety, courtesy and convenience.

But all of the problems I have described have one thing very much in common: Only caution and courtesy resolve them.

Interacting with other road users is like a dance, and the rules of the road are the rules of the dance. If you make a mistake in ballroom dancing, you might step on your partner’s toes (or vice versa). You might have to take special care if your partner is inexperienced. Out on the road, the consequences can be much more serious.  

In situations which the traffic law does not address very well, the reasonable fallback is to adhere to the spirit of the law, applying caution, good judgment and courtesy. Everyone encounters these situations at one time or another. Very few people are so rigid-minded as to be sticklers for the letter of the law in these situations – and that includes police.

There’s a fine line though between exercising your right to use the road and rudeness to other road users.  Where this line stands is commonly misunderstood as it applies to bicyclists. Example: with the double yellow line, you often have to exercise your legal option to ride away from the right edge to discourage motorists from making unsafe passes. Your safety is more important than a motorists' convenience.

And also, at least here in Massachusetts, hardly anybody, bicyclist or motorist, comes to a full stop before the crosswalk unless yielding right of way is necessary. For you as a bicyclist, it is less convenient to stop. It is important though to make it clear that you will yield by at least slowing to a crawl. But only do this if you haven't reached the stop line yet. Yielding maintains respect for bicyclists, which is already in short supply.

So, please don’t get carried away with the observation that the law can’t cover every situation. Only depart from the letter of the law when actually necessary!

Stop sign image: by Bidgee - Own work, CC BY 3.0,


John Allen is CRW Safety Coordinator
Cycling Savvy Instructor
League Cycling instructor
Author, Bicycling Street Smarts
Technical Writer and Editor,



Calcium and Vitamin D Pills Do Not Prevent Fractures

By Dr. Gabe Mirkin



Calcium and Vitamin D Pills Do Not Prevent Fractures

Researchers agree that movement and exercise help to slow down the inevitable loss of bone with aging that increases risk for osteoporosis and fractures. Most studies show that maintaining normal levels of vitamin D and getting your calcium from food also help to prevent fractures, but almost all studies show that calcium pills by themselves do not help to prevent osteoporosis or fractures . The same may apply to vitamin D pills. Studies show that high-dose vitamin D pills offer no protection against bone fractures or osteoporosis in middle-aged and older adults, regardless of factors such as sex, age, and race.

Two research reports, one reviewing 59 studies and the other reviewing 50 studies, found that neither calcium pills nor foods rich in calcium prevent bone fractures . An editorial in the same journal issue states that in light of the strong evidence that extra dietary calcium does not prevent fractures, it is very puzzling that many medical and public health organizations still recommend taking calcium pills. Perhaps it is because of data showing that starting to take calcium pills before age 35 may help to reduce fracture risk  and starting to take calcium in later life may be too late to protect bones. The message is that most people should start to exercise and keep on moving at a young age. When you are older and already have developed osteoporosis, it may be too late for calcium and vitamin D to prevent many of the fractures associated with aging.

Potential Side Effects of Calcium Pills
The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends 1200 mg of calcium each day for people over 50, an unreasonably high amount at any age. The United States Preventative Services Task Force has presented the more evidence-based recommendation that post-menopausal women should not take daily calcium supplements.

Because of heavy advertising, many people believe that any amount of calcium is good and that it will cause no harm. However, too much calcium in pills can have dangerous side effects. Excess calcium can accumulate in:
• arteries to increase heart attack risk 
• kidneys to increase kidney stone risk 
• the stomach to cause acid rebound and increased risk for acute stomach ulcer bleeding 
• the colon to cause severe constipation and increased risk for pre-cancerous colon polyps 

Calcium in foods does not cause high blood calcium levels, but calcium in pills can cause high blood calcium in susceptible individuals, which can cause nausea, vomiting, confusion, and seizures. Calcium from pills can also bind to other drugs, such as antibiotics or osteoporosis medications, to prevent them from being absorbed into your bloodstream, and can reduce the benefits of drugs such as calcium-channel blockers and beta blockers.

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
• Aging
• Being thin or having a small body frame
• Being white or Asian
• Excessive alcohol intake
• Family history of osteoporosis
• Smoking

Food Sources of Calcium
Women ages 19 to 50 should consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day, and the target for women over 50 is 1,200 milligrams per day. Food sources of calcium include almonds, oranges, dried figs, soybeans, chick peas, beans and other legumes, dairy products such as milk and yogurt, and green vegetables such as kale and spinach.

Exercise to Strengthen Bones
Women who sit for more than nine hours a day are 50 percent more likely to have a hip fracture than those who are less sedentary (Am J Public Health, April 2014;104(4):e75–e81). Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging and weight training can help to slow bone loss.

My Recommendations
More than 54 million North Americans have osteoporosis, which causes more than 30 percent of women over 50 to have bone fractures. In the United States, more than 12 billion dollars are spent each year on supplements that are largely unregulated so there is no way to know whether they are effective or safe. Calcium supplement advertising is notorious for its cure-all promises and unsupported claims. If you have osteoporosis or have evidence that your bones are fragile (a fracture with little or no trauma), check with your doctor. The best non-prescription ways we have to strengthen bones are:
• exercise against resistance (lifting weights or using strength-training machines), and
• weight-bearing exercise such as walking, running or dancing.
To keep your bones healthy, do not smoke and avoid being around smokers, restrict alcohol, and get enough vitamin D (blood levels of hydroxy vitamin D over 20 ng/mL). Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D.



This article is courtesy of Dr. Mirkin

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












December Updates

WheelPeople Editors
Town Ride collections - The Town collections are available for you
Amazon Smile If you have an Amazon Prime account please look into making CRW your charity. Details here
Bike as Art  We previously reported on bikes used as art in various places in the northeast section of the country. We are updating that list with bike art closer to home. In Milford, MA there is a parking lot with an entrance to the bike path consisting of a stunning gate decorated with fabricated bikes. The gate design was serendipitous rather than outright planned. The trail planner told us he asked the contractor to make a gate with no other direction, and this resulted in a delight for all who visit and park there.

Winter Riding We wanted to remind you that CRW is open for business all year, and we have an active winter ride program.


December Picture of the Month

WheelPeople Editors

You may not celebrate Christmas on a bike, but we know someone who does. This photo was featured in December 2021, but it is a classic and deserves repeating.


Photo by Jack Donohue taken in  Carlisle, MA