January 2023 WheelPeople


New Year's Day Ride

WheelPeople Editors


Every club has its traditions, and CRW has many of it's own. Our famous New Year's Day Ride is planned for Sunday January 1, 2023. What better way is there to clear the mind and body in the crisp air of downtown Boston? The ride visits many historic sights from Charlestown to Castle Island. It's a classic ride and a fine tradition. It's also a wonderful start to the New Year. The photo is from January 1, 2012 and we don't want the snow on the ground to discourage you. Here's the ride announcement.




Here's a photo from January 1, 2020 showing riders stopped in front of the USS Constitution, a further indication of how special the New Year's Day ride is.


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 2022.  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.

What’s the Route Like

Eli Post


Most of you use Ride With GPS. I know this from direct experience. I last led a club ride in 2021, and did not hand out a single cue sheet. There were over 100 riders and all had the route on their cell phones or GPS devices.

Nevertheless, we want to remind you that referencing the route map before the ride can be useful for a variety of reasons. The maps offer a strategy for acquiring advanced knowledge about a route.

The map itself allows you to view the route and zoom in for details of specific segments. You have a choice of a classic road map or satellite view.  For even greater precision, you can also use Google "street view"You can use the map to familiarize yourself with the route, plan a shortcut, or arrange to hook up with friends at a designated location. On the left is the classic map view of the route.


The elevation profile lets you know in advance how hilly the ride is and whether it is to your liking. The referenced route is the Natick 38 which is scheduled for Sunday January 8, 2023. It has 1649 feet of climb over 37.9 miles, which is 43.5 feet of climb per mile. The route's steepest grade is also provided. Taking the two factors together can forewarn hill haters about whether a given route is right for them. You will quickly learn what level of hilliness works for you by comparing the ride data and your ride experience on different rides.


In satellite view you can determine whether the route is on country roads or built up commercial areas or a combination of both. And you can spot food breaks and other rest stops.


You may wish to print out the cue sheet for back up purposes, although the cue sheet can also be seen on your phone if you don't like carrying paper.


A version of this article appeared in WheelPeople January 2013.


The Athlete's Kitchen - Sports Nutrition Podcasts


The Athlete’s Kitchen

Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSS January 2023


Thanks to the Internet, we have abundant access to high quality, science-based nutrition podcasts. We also have access to a lot of questionable nutrition information. To help guide your nutrition education options, I have identified a few credible podcasts that focus on general nutrition, sports nutrition, dysfunctional eating, injury recovery, and other topics of interest to athletes who strive to improve their performance. In these podcasts, you'll find trustworthy information about what, when, and how to fuel your body for optimal sports performance, good health, and high energy.


While you are spinning, running, walking the dog, or washing dishes,  I hope you enjoy listening to these podcasts (some of my personal favorites). They offer an amazing opportunity to learn (for free!!!) from some top-notch researchers and clinicians.





Podcasts focused on daily nutrition topics

 SoundbitesRD.com/podcast hosted by Melissa Joy Dobbins RD. Posted twice a month; about an hour long.

 Melissa is among the first dietitians to jump into podcasting. She now has recorded more than 226 episodes and has thousands of listeners. Her information is popular with dietitians and the general public alike. You'll learn about all things related to your daily diet, with a focus on current food topics and controversies. Melissa does an excellent job of delving into the science, psychology and strategies behind good food and nutrition. A few examples of topics covered include:

• Body Image and Your Relationship with Food

• The Science of Sweetness

• Difference Between Animal Welfare & Animal Rights







Spot On! Podcast hosted by Joan Salge Blake RD. Posted twice a month; about 30-45 minutes long.

 Joan teaches nutrition at Boston University. Hence, her podcast is geared towards college students, but is of interest to everyone. Joan’s lively, engaging style will hold your attention. She interviews top experts who offer accurate and practical health and wellness information on a variety of current topics and trends, including:
• What Really Is a Sustainable Diet?
•The Latest on Food Allergies
• Do You Need to Beef Up on Protein to Bulk Up?









Podcasts focused on Sports Nutrition

The Long Munch – Nutrition for Runners, Cyclists & Triathletes  hosted by two Australian sport dietitians: Stephanie Gaskell has a special interest in gastro-intestinal nutrition and Alan McCubbin researches hydration and sodium for endurance sports at Monash University. Posted weekly, about an hour long.

To familiarize yourself with the rich variety of topics addressed on The Long Munch, I suggest you listen to the Birthday Year in Review You’ll hear a 3-5 minute summary of each weekly podcast. You then can go back for more in-depth information by listening to the episodes that interest you. Sample topics include:
• Should I get regular blood tests? If so, what should I test for?

• How much sodium should I replace during exercise?

• Are sports drinks and gels bad for my teeth?






Performance Nutrition Podcast  hosted by Dr, Marc Bubbs ND, CSCS. Posted monthly; about 60 minutes long.

 Marc is Director of Performance Nutrition for Canada Basketball. In his podcast, he connects you with leading experts from around the globe and discusses nutrition topics related to performance. A sampling of topics:
•Nutrition & Training for Stronger Tendons & Ligaments

•Impact of Dehydration on Teams & Endurance Athletes

• The Misunderstood Science of Metabolism










Nail Your Nutrition Podcast hosted by sports dietitians Marita Radloff RD & Sarah Schlichter. Posted weekly; about 60 minutes long.

Given the podcasters are athletes and moms, as well as  registered sports dietitians, they handily address a variety of topics from many perspectives, such as—
• Nutrients of Concern for Plant-based Athletes

• What my Eating Disorder Took from Me

• Taper nutrition for the marathon










Podcasts offering support to athletes struggling with food, injuries & life.

Voice in Sport hosted by Stefanie Strack, former athlete and advocate for advancing women in sports. Posted weekly, about 45 minutes long.

  Stef interviews women who have excelled in sports, asking about their journeys. Her guests share untold stories on topics rarely discussed, such as their struggles with body image, dysfunctional eating, mental health, and nutrition. Young athletes will find hope and inspiration from this podcast by listening to how these women survived their tough journeys. Listeners will learn they are not the only ones having a hard time transitioning from high school sports to collegiate teams to pro sports. Sample episodes include:

• Andi Sullivan, soccer pro, talks about how she built confidence and improved her mental approach to sports.

• Elyse Kopecky, author of Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow, shares her experiences as a runner facing many injuries.

• Allie Ostrander, 3-times NCAA champion runner, shares her journey with disordered eating.



The Catalyst Health, Wellness and Performance  Coaching Podcast
Hosted by Brad Cooper. About an hour long.

Heath coach Brad Cooper interviews best-selling authors, world-renowned researchers, elite athletes, and respected coaches in an engaging format. The overall focus is on wellness; the varied topics will expand your self-care plans. A few episodes I really enjoyed:
• Conflict: Why We’re Trapped and How to Escape

• Redefining Rich: Keys to True Wealth

• Our Hungry Brain: Why We Choose Junk and How to Change










The Injured Athletes Club hosted by mental skills coach Carrie Jackson and health/fitness journalist and runner Cindy Kuma. Posted weekly; about an hour long.
Part of being an athlete includes being injured (boohoo). That’s why these two athletes joined forces to create a community that offers support and hope to help make the recovery journey easier. They interview athletes who have recovered from injury (and also injury after injury after injury…) Topics include—

• Surviving setbacks

• Recovery from RED-S

• Expanding your identity


     I hope you find this list of easy-listening podcasts to be educational, helpful for enhancing your athletic performance and well-being, and hope-filled for facing the challenges presented to athletes of all ages and abilities. Listen-up!  



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 NancyClarkRD.com for info.


Nancy Clark, MS RD CSSD Sports nutrition counselor Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 6th Edition www.nancyclarkrd.com (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) www.PIINESNutrition.org 


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.





Exercising in Cold Weather

By Dr. Gabe Mirkin




Cold weather is associated with an increased incidence of heart attacks. The majority of cold weather deaths are associated with elevated blood pressure and increased clotting to cause heart attacks and strokes. If you have heart or lung disease, you are far more likely to die in cold weather than in the heat. Even a short-term drop in air temperature in the tropics is associated with increased heart attack risk.


Researchers collected data for 384 locations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, and USA, and found that 7.3 percent of deaths from 1985 to 2012 were due to cold weather while only 0.4 percent were due to hot weather . A drop in temperature is far more lethal than when it rises too high . Any drop in air temperature can trigger a heart attack in susceptible individuals.


How Cold Weather Can Cause Heart Attacks
• Cold temperatures cause your body to produce large amounts of adrenalin which constricts your arteries to raise your blood pressure and to make your heart beat faster. If you have damaged arteries or heart muscle, your heart can start to beat irregularly and you can die.
• Cold thickens your blood and makes it more likely to clot. A clot can shut off blood flow to the heart to cause a heart attack.
• Cold causes the liver to make more fibrinogen that increases clotting .
• Cold raises blood cholesterol levels.
• A drop in body temperature weakens your heart muscle, and people with weak or damaged hearts can go into heart failure and die. Winter also deprives many people of sunlight and vitamin D which weakens the heart muscle.


How Cold Weather Can Damage Your Lungs
Almost 20 percent of North Americans have exercise-induced asthma, which usually is caused by breathing dry cold air, not by exercise. When these people breathe dry cold air, the muscles around the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs can constrict to make them short of breath. Exercise-induced asthma can occur in people who do not have asthma otherwise. It affects almost 50 percent of elite cross-country skiers, ice skaters and hockey players. Exercise-induced asthma is far more common in winter athletes than in those who compete in the summer. Dry cold air also increases risk for common winter infections such as colds or influenza, which cause inflammation that can damage arteries to increase risk for heart attacks.


Tips for Outdoor Exercise in Cold Weather
• If you have heart disease, your doctor probably will recommend that you should not exercise outdoors in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Exercising in cold weather can cause chest pain in some people who have no problems when they exercise in warm weather. When cold wind blows on your face, your heart rate slows down. This decreases the blood flow to the heart and can cause pain in people with blocked coronary arteries. While freezing your face slows your heart, freezing your fingers makes your heart beat faster. Cold hands will not cause chest pain, but a cold face can.
• Air is an excellent insulator, and layering clothes traps air. Wear a silk or loosely-woven polyester inner layer that wicks sweat away from your body. Loosely woven wool or synthetic-fiber sweaters or vests are a good middle layer because they trap insulating air and wick moisture to the outside. The outer layer material should be tightly woven so it blocks the wind; a waterproof rain jacket can perform this function. Nylon and Gore-Tex are outstanding because they can be extraordinarily light and still block the wind. Winter jackets do not need to be heavy, they just need to provide insulation and a barrier from wind and rain.
• You feel cold most in your fingers, ears and toes, so be sure to cover these areas. During World War II, gunners on bombers complained bitterly about frozen hands, ears and toes. Special insulation was added to their gloves, hats and boots, and they stopped complaining, but they suffered frostbite on their necks and chests. They had unzipped their jackets because they didn’t feel cold.
• To help keep your hands warm on cold days, wear mittens that do not let wind or water in. The single compartment of mittens retains heat better than gloves that have separate compartments for each finger. If your hands still feel cold, swing your arms around rapidly from your shoulders with your elbows straight. This motion imitates a centrifuge that will drive blood toward your fingers and open up the blood vessels in your hands. You can buy single-use hand heating packets such as “HotHands,” online or in sporting goods stores, and rechargeable warmers are also available.


You should never develop frostbite because you get plenty of warning. Get out of the cold if your skin starts to burn or itch. Your normal skin temperature is a degree or two below the internal body temperature of 98.6 degrees F. When your internal body temperature starts to drop, your brain tries to preserve heat by sending a message to the nerves in your hands and feet to close the blood vessels there. With decreased blood flow, the skin temperature of your hands and feet drops rapidly. When your skin temperature reaches 59 degrees Fahrenheit, your brain sends signals to open up blood vessels in your hands, causing your fingers to turn red, burn and itch. This is called the “hunting response” and is normal. You should get out of the cold immediately when your hands or feet turn red and start to itch and burn. If you don’t get out of the cold, the blood vessels in your hands and feet will close down again and the temperature will continue to drop even more rapidly to below freezing. You will suffer frostbite and may lose your fingers and toes. More about Frostbite


Raynaud’s Phenomenon
People with Raynaud’s phenomenon have their hands turn white and hurt when they are exposed to temperatures below 60 degrees because their blood vessels do not constrict as norml blood vessels do. The blood vessels to their hands do not open as soon as their skin temperature in their hands drops to 59 degrees F and their hand temperature drops rapidly toward freezing. They often hurt also when they put their hands in cold running water. Researchers at the Army’s Research Institute of Environmental Medicine had Raynaud’s sufferers sit out in the cold with their hands immersed in warm water six times a day. This caused blood vessels in their hands to open while those elsewhere in the skin closed down. The people who were tested were able to be out in the cold without feeling pain in their hands after eight sessions done every other day.


The blood pressure drugs called calcium channel blockers, such as Nifidipine, can help to treat and prevent Raynaud’s phenomenon (Rheumatology, November 2005). Another option is nitroglycerin ointment that is used to treat angina. When applied to the forearm, it opens blood vessels leading to the hands. Check with your doctor to see if these prescription medications might be appropriate for you. More on Raynaud’s Phenomenon


Hypothermia is a severe drop in body temperature. If you dress properly and exercise vigorously enough, it shouldn’t happen to you. Your body sends you signals as your temperature starts to drop. With a one degree drop in body temperature, your speech can become slurred. This, in itself, is not dangerous, but it serves as a warning that you are losing more heat than your body is producing. To protect yourself, you can produce more heat by exercising harder or you can conserve heat by adding more layers of clothes or seeking shelter.

With a drop of three degrees, you will find it difficult to coordinate your fingers. Seek shelter immediately. When your temperature drops five degrees, you won’t be able to walk and may fall and not be able to get up. Then you may not be able to get out of the cold and your body temperature will continue to drop rapidly and you can die. If your clothes are wet, your temperature will drop even faster. Take the warning signals seriously. If you have slurred speech or difficulty using your hands, take immediate action or you may not get another chance.


My Recommendations
If you suffer from heart or lung disease, you should be very careful about exercising in cold weather. Breathing dry cold air constricts arteries and increases clotting to increase heart attack risk, and constricts bronchial tubes to reduce oxygen intake through the lungs. When the tempeature drops, people with known heart disease or lung disease are safer exercising indoors where they can breathe warmer air.




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












Winter Riding- 2023

Eli Post


Most of you have hung up your bikes for the winter ahead. After all, biking is for warm weather and why risk getting frozen or even the “what am I doing here” feelings as your bones freeze. However we believe winter biking is cool. Read on if interested.


A great deal has been written about this subject, and rather than reinventing the wheel, I will reference websites that provide content on what to wear, winterizing your bike, and the psychology for preparing for the cold. 



REI provides tips for winter riding, and minimizes product links. A good general info article.



This has personal anecdotes that you might find interesting and comforting.



A university provides useful basic tips.



More hints from the perspective of a food delivery agent delivering in the winter.



One of our favorite websites is close to home, and has good advice for winter riding.





I was a fan of winter riding, but age has caught up with me, and my tolerance for cold weather has all but evaporated. I don’t wish to live in the past, but I can fondly remember my winter rides, and do so with one of my poems:


It’s gotten colder, winter is here
Friends are in Florida, I should be there
It’s too cold to ride
The low-temps are my guide
To keep off the road
As my cold hands showed
I was in for a bad episode
Of a frosty frozen mode
But the roads are calling me
And you would agree
To have compassion
As riding is my passion

I risk getting frozen

As I am one chosen
To ride rain or shine
But I will be fine
Riding is divine.



Winter Riding Videos

WheelPeople Editors


We have reported elsewhere is this issue of WheelPeople on winter riding. It's not easy to promote because of the discomfort involved but it has its fans and is a viable sport you can engage in during the winter months. That said, we thought some videos might help you decide or provide hints if you do ride when it is cold. Winter is arguably the most challenging time for riding a bicycle but with the right approach and setup it doesn't have to be so bad.


This is a good place to start as the narrator offers basic winter riding tips.


More basic tips.



Wearing the right clothing is essential for winter riding. This video shares the rider's experience with clothing to keep you warm.



You must use different riding techniques when riding on ice or snow. You don't want to slip and here are hints for staying upright.


Here's a list of mistakes that are often made.


More tips for warm fingers.


The narrator offers her favorite tips to get the most out of your winter riding. This is the first of our videos to offer advice from a woman's perspective.



Anti-Aging: 8 Tips for Facing Winter



By Coach John Hughes


Are you grumpy anticipating winter with even less daylight and colder weather? Wondering if you can ride outdoors a few more weeks before putting the bike on the trainer? Concerned you’ll develop the done-laps condition when your belly done lap over your belt?


I’m writing a series of columns about winter activities:


  • Endurance riding
  • Riding outdoors
  • The value of intensity workouts
  • Making the most of time on the trainer
  • Cross-training
  • Auxiliary fitness activities
  • Fitting activities into a busy day
  • Nutrition
  • Weight management

1. Motivation

When you got out of bed this morning did you think, “This morning I’ll do a fun ride on the trainer?” Or, ugh, “I’ll do it later.” Were you looking forward to your stretching and core exercises? Or did you think “how boring?” Did you think, “I get to do my strength training?” Or, “That’ll hurt.”


Tossing your leg over the top tube for an outdoor ride in the summer is fun (unless it’s raining.) Getting and staying motivated in the winter is harder.


Ask yourself why you exercise in general (not just in the off-season). Here are some possible reasons:


  1. Overall good health to enjoy life and do things with your family.
  2. Longevity to enjoy your grandkids.
  3. Personal fitness.
  4. Endorphins.
  5. Achieve personal goals.


Then ask yourself how exercising in different ways in the off-season helps you to achieve the above. You can choose various activities as means to these ends, not as “shoulds.” 


Choose small, specific goals.  For example, doing aerobic activities at least four days a week totaling at least 2:30 hours. Playing with your grandkids most weekends. Increasing your leg strength by at least 10%.


I wrote this column on Anti-Aging: How to Get and Stay Motivated


2. Variety

You’ll have more motivation if you do a variety of activities rather than just grinding through the same workouts every week. You’ll also do more for your overall health and longevity.

Your body is an interrelated set of muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and bones.  To age optimally you need to pay attention to all of these.


3. Activities for your full body

How to care for your entire body is explained in the recommendations of Physical Activity for Americans, 2nd ed. [US Department of Health and Human Services, 2018] and Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults. [American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). 2009]


In sum these are the recommendations:


Aerobic activity: At least 30 minutes most days:

  • 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or
  • 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or
  • An equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.
  • Additional health benefits result from even more moderate-intensity aerobic activity than then 300 minutes (5 hours) a week.


Muscle strength training

In addition to aerobic activity all adults should do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity involving all the major muscle groups. The improvement in, or maintenance of, muscular strength is specific to the muscles used during the activity, so a variety of activities is important. These should include legs, hips, chest, back, core, shoulders and arms.


Balance activities.

Practicing balance increases your ability to resist forces either within or outside the body, e.g., unexpectedly stepping off a curb or being jostled in a crowd. Balance exercises are important to improve activities of daily living, to reduce the risk of falling and to reduce the risk of injury if you do fall.



Older adults should maintain the flexibility necessary for regular physical activity and the activities of daily living. Stretching is effective in increasing flexibility.


Weight-bearing exercise

The principle of overload applies to your bones just like it does to your muscles. If you overload your bones, they at least maintain bone health, reducing the risk of weaker, fragile bones. The greater the load, the stronger the bones get.

The recommendations in detail are explained in this column:  Anti-Aging New Exercise Recommendations


4. Consistency

You know the adage use it or lose it.  Unfortunately the “lose it” part happens even faster as we age. The “use it” part becomes more important the older we get.  The recommendation for aerobic activity is 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.


Consistency is easy in the summer but takes more will power in the winter.  Here’s an easy way to be consistent.


5. Aerobic exercise snacks

You don’t need to do 30 minutes of continuous aerobic exercise most days.  A small study tested the effects of exercise snacks on improving fitness. The study used 24 healthy but inactive college students. Twelve continued their normal activities and 12 climbed three flights of stairs (60 steps) as fast as they could using the handrail for safety. The total climb took about 20 seconds. They repeated the climbs two more times during the day for a total of just one minute of climbing.  “By the end of six weeks, the exercisers had increased their aerobic fitness by about 5 percent. They also showed improvements in leg power and could generate more power while cycling.” The usual caveats apply: this was a very small study of college students, not older adults.


6. Multi-component physical activities

Note the title is “physical activities” not “exercises” because multi-component activities are more like activities of daily living than exercise programs. A simple example is using free weights instead of machines for strength training. Exercise scientists recommend squats.  (New York Times The Power of the Squat) Squats with some sort of load (a backpack with canned goods, holding containers of kitty litter, dumbbells, a barbell, etc.) are simultaneously strength training and weight-bearing. Split squats and lunges also work on balance. In addition to your legs, squats train your core and your upper back, help maintain the flexibility, stability and function of your hips, knees and ankles and work on your balance.


7. Other exercise snacks

You can also exercise in small bites of the other recommendations of the ACSM:

  • Muscle strength training: My column Anti-Aging: 4 Essential Year-Round Home Resistance Exercises provides exercises for your legs, core, upper body and upper back, which take about 20 total minutes. You can do the exercises without any special equipment. Before breakfast you could do a set of push-ups for your upper body and rhomboid pulls for your upper back; in the evening bird dogs for your core while watching television and then split squats while brushing your teeth.
  • Balance: My column Anti-Aging: Why Practicing Balance Is Important has a progressive set of exercises starting with standing on one leg and then standing on one leg while rotating your head and then while moving your arms. You could easily do these while standing in line at the grocery store. Walking in a line, heel to toe also improves your balance, which you could do walking to or from your car.
  • Flexibility: My column Anti-Aging: Flexibility in 30 Minutes a Week gives you nine key stretches to do for 10 minutes three days a week. During each of those darn commercials you could do a stretch or two.
  • Weight-bearing: The activities in this column can be mixed in throughout the day:  Anti-Aging: 9 Weight-Bearing Activities for Strong Bones. Climbing stairs is a good weight bearing activity. Descending stairs loads and strengthens your bones more because of the impact of your foot landing on the lower step. The various leg strength exercises are also weight bearing.

8. Routine of activities

A planned weekly routine may help you to do all the different kinds of activities: Monday, Wednesday and Friday you ride the trainer. Monday – Thursday evenings you do your stretching and core while watching TV. Or a routine may get boring. My friend Muffy Ritz says exercising is like making chocolate chip cookies.  You need all the different ingredients in the correct quantities. But you can mix the ingredients in any order. And be careful not to over-bake them


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 





Bike Paths: Minuteman Commuter Bikeway

Eli Post


Last month we initiated our bike path series and we continue with a long time favorite, the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway, which has been called America’s Revolutionary Rail Trail. It is one of the most popular and successful rail trails in the United States. Folks enjoy it for healthy recreation and also for transportation. It provides freedom from congested traffic in the northwest Boston suburbs. It is also an historic route which captures the opening salvos of the American Revolution. The rail-trail roughly traces Paul Revere’s midnight ride in April 1775 to warn local militias about advancing British troops. This video captures the history of the Trail, and you get to meet club member Tom Fortmann, proudly wearing a CRW jersey. Tom is a co-founder of the trail. The histories of both railroad and bikeway are described in the Lexington Historical Society's
Living History: The Lexington Branch, from Railway to Bikeway, 1846-2018 and the slides from the presentation may be found here.


The Trail runs from the Alewife T Station in Cambridge through Arlington and Lexington, and ending in Bedford at a former railroad depot. The Trail is collectively managed by the four towns it passes through. It is 10.3 miles with only about 300 feet of climb making for a flat and easy ride. Look here for large map of the trail.

This 1954 photograph shows a steam locomotive passing under the Lexington Center Depot’s train shed. Today, the Minuteman Bikeway passes through this railroad structure. Photo courtesy of Mystic Valley Railway Society. Passenger train service ended in 1977 and the photo below is from 1984.





The rail-trail uses a corridor first laid out in the 1840s for the Lexington & West Cambridge Railroad, which later became the Boston & Lowell Railroad in 1870 and the Boston and Maine Railroad in 1887. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) bought the line in 1976, shutting down passenger service in 1977 and freight service in 1981. The Minuteman Bikeway opened in 1993. Trailside displays tell the history of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. One of the first is in Arlington (named Menotomy in Colonial times), where you’ll learn about the Battle at the Foot of the Rocks located just a couple of blocks off the trail.


About two miles later in Lexington, you’ll pass the 183-acre Great Meadows, followed by the Tower Park picnic area—both sites of Revolutionary battles—-and Munroe Tavern, used as a British headquarters during the conflict.  At mile six you'll pass Buckman Tavern—headquarters of the Lexington Minutemen—facing Lexington's Battle Green, where the "Shot heard 'round the world" was fired on April 19th, 1775.


The trail can be congested with bicyclists during morning and evening commutes and with pedestrians on weekends and lunch hours. Restaurants, pubs, markets, and bike shops are located close to the path. The trial welcomes cyclists and walkers alike. They co-exist nicely. Expansion plans to extend the bikeway westerly along the Reformatory Branch Trail to Concord (and eventually to reach the north-south Bruce Freeman Rail Trail) were regrettably voted down by the Bedford Town Meeting in November.

The trail on a crowded day.











A view on a sunny day.

A bridge over Route 128/I95

Arlington station when it was in use.

We thank Tom Fortmann for his assistance, especially with historical references.


On Your Left

Eli Post


This article originally appeared in WheelPeople in January 2013. The "fall century" which is referenced was held in 2012. The photo and addendum were added.

Two riders collided on the Fall Century. The rider approaching from the rear called out “on your left” as is the custom, but regrettably the rider in front turned quickly left, and the approaching rider suffered serious injury. It seems likely that the overtaken rider was complying with a perceived command to “go left!” We’ve heard other examples when riders interpreted “on your left” as a command to move to the left. We have concluded that “on your left” may not be the best warning when passing others. The phrase “passing” or “behind you” seems less likely to confuse someone than is “on your left”. The key is to provide an audible warning without startling the rider. A sudden shout from behind (regardless of the words used), when the rider has no idea anyone is in the vicinity, is likely to startle. Trouble is if it’s not loud enough, they won’t hear the warning. What we believe works best is to repeatedly say “passing” every few seconds, starting from well behind the rider and continuing until you are alongside the rider. That way, they are less likely to be startled by a sudden noise right behind them, but are also able to hear the warning as you get closer.

Try to say “passing” in a very friendly voice. This tone is much easier to capture when saying “passing” than when saying “on your left”, which tends to sound harsh. The “on your left” convention works when you know the person well, that he/she understands and won’t be startled. Otherwise we suggest that you slow down and maintain a wide distance when passing cyclists (or runners, walkers, etc.). Again, some people become frightened and, as happened on the century, may even move to their left.


Addendum by John Allen, added December 2022:

I agree with this advice, 100%. My home is just uphill from the Brandeis University campus, and when returning on my bicycle, I often encounter the leaders of tomorrow, solo or in groups, on campus paths. Passing them, I call out "bicycle behind you" as many times as necessary to get their attention. Often I have to wait for a group to merge right so I can pass. Sometimes I meet students head-on, looking down at their cell phones. and I call out "heads up.."  In either case -- and on any shared-use path --  slowing, checking that I have the attention of people I am passing, and keeping enough passing clearance to evade unpredictable maneuvers are also important.

A bicycle bell is usual in European countries where crowds of bicyclists ride for daily transportation. It is required by law in New York State -- a law honored most often in the breach. A bell may be regarded as more polite than a verbal alert, but then it has only a single message: "bicycle is here." -- which reliably and promptly brings the intended response only where that is ingrained in local custom. I'd install a bell if it were the norm where I ride, but then also my voice can be much louder. Your mileage, on that count, may vary.



January Picture of the Month

WheelPeople Editors


There is a thin layer of snow on the ground as this is written, a bleak reminder that winter is here, and that our time biking is limited. The rider ( my son Alex) is on a ski bike at a resort in New Mexico.


Learn more about ski biking:

What is Ski Biking? - 303 Magazine

SkiBiking 101 (americanskibike.com)



Photo by Eli Post 







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