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WheelPeople Articles

  • 2023-08-20 10:35 AM | Anonymous

    By Nancy Clark

    At the May 2023 American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting (ACSM;, more than 3,000 sports medicine professionals and researchers from around the globe gathered to share knowledge. Several sports nutrition presentations offered updates that might be of interest you. Here are summaries from a few of those presentations.


    Body Composition:
     Historically, sports teams would routinely have their body fat measured, with the data posted for all to see. Many athletes experienced intense pressure both internally and externally to have a lean physique. Often, the measurements were not even used to assess for extreme leanness and under-nutrition.

    • Today, we know that athletic performance is not dictated primarily by an athlete’s percent body fat but rather by volume of training, mental state, adequacy of sleep, and sufficient food intake—among other factors.

    • Today’s recommendations state measurement of body fat should only be done if 1) the athlete consents, 2) the measurement is done in private by a trained measurer using the most reliable method for that particular athlete, 3) the information is discussed in confidence with the athlete and health care team, and 4) the mental and physical health of the athlete is top priority.

    • Athletes, please understand you will perform better if you focus on getting stronger and gaining power, as opposed to restricting food. If the cost of losing body fat is having to train for long periods of time with poorly fueled muscles, your performance will suffer and your risk of injuries will increase.


    Ultra-Processed Foods and Athletes

    • About 95% of athletes enjoy ultra-processed foods (UPFs) such as instant oatmeal, boxed mac ‘n cheese, chips, etc.. The average American consumes about 60% of total calories from UPFs; they are readily available, easy to prepare, have a long shelf-life, and can save time.

    • What do athletes need to know about UPFs? First, let’s define what they are: UPFs contain substances that are rarely used in home cooking—emulsifiers, thickeners, protein isolates, etc. You’ll find those substances in breakfast cereals, energy bars, fruit yogurts, commercially baked breads, and many grab-and-go foods that busy athletes commonly consume.

    • UPFs also include sport drinks and protein powders. They are not only convenient, but also digest easily. During extended exercise, when athletes need quick and easy carbs, a gel, chomp, or sports drink can easily do the job. Energy bars can effortlessly get tucked into pockets. While a swig of maple syrup or a banana can be equally energizing, UPFs are generally easier to deal with.

    • In the general population, UPFs are linked with obesity. The more UPFs consumed, the greater the risk for weight gain. In a carefully controlled study with menus matched for carbs, protein, fat, fiber, and palatability, the UPF-menu led to weight gain. The UPF-eaters consumed about 500 additional calories a day when compared to when they ate from the whole foods menu—and they gained about two pounds in two weeks. Yikes! Why did that happen? Are UPFs easier to overeat because they require less chewing? Can be eaten quickly? Are super-tasty so you want to keep eating more of them?

          The answer is yet to be determined. Until such time, your better bet is to consume homemade foods whenever possible. The less packaging in your grocery cart, the better for your waistline (most likely) and if not, the better for the environment (less trash in landfills).

        That said, balance & moderation pave a prudent path. There’s a time and a place for UPFs. If you have a low protein intake, grabbing a protein bar on the run can help you hit your 20-to-30-gram protein target for the meal. If you consume little red meat, an iron-enriched breakfast cereal like GrapeNuts can fill that gap. For traveling athletes, carrying bars, gels, and carb-based recovery drinks are “safe” (uncontaminated). Safety matters!



    • Muscle is constantly being broken down into amino acids and then rebuilt into new muscle tissue. Resistance exercise, such as weightlifting, stimulates the synthesis of new muscle during the 24-hours post-exercise. Including ~0.15 grams high-quality protein per pound of body weight (0.3 g/kg) per meal maximizes muscle protein synthesis. That comes to about 20 grams protein for a 120-lb (54.5 kg) athlete and ~30 grams for a 180-lb (82 kg) athlete. Athletes can easily  consume that amount in (chocolate) milk, eggs, or tofu.

    • Protein’s food matrix, with all the bioactive compounds that accompany the amino acids in natural foods, has a positive influence on the muscle-building effectiveness of the amino acids. For example, eating a whole egg, not just the egg white, more effectively builds muscle tissue. Hence, your best bet is to choose protein rich foods in their natural state, such as nuts, yogurt, tuna, beans & rice, etc. Whole foods are preferable to the protein isolates in powders and bars.
    • Including protein at each meal and snack also offers benefits. Many athletes eat too little protein at breakfast and lunch, then devour 2 to 3 chicken breasts at dinner. They’d be better-off enjoying eggs along with oatmeal at breakfast, lentil soup with the lunchtime-salad, and peanut butter with the banana for afternoon snack.

    • Vegan athletes can indeed consume adequate protein if they are responsible. A vegan meal with just pasta and greens doesn’t do the job. How much protein from plants is enough? The goal is ~1 gram plant-protein/lb 
    (2.1 g/kg) body weight per day. For a 120-lb (54.5 kg) athlete this comes to about 30 grams  per meal plus 10 to 15 grams in each of two snacks.

         The information on food labels tells the grams protein/serving, as does a quick google-search (protein in ahlaf-cup of hummus). Don’t be among the many athletes who comment “most Americans consume way too much protein” and make little effort to replace chicken with enough beans. A big dallop (1/2 c)  of hummus with 8 grams of protein does not equate to the 35 grams of protein in a small (4-oz) chicken breast. Vegans, educate yourself!


    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."

  • 2023-08-20 10:26 AM | Anonymous

    By WheelPeople Editors

    As a member of any organization, you want to have your preferences known to the
    managing authority. That’s the case whether you want more exciting menus at
    organization dinners, learning opportunities for beginners, or events in your area. And
    it’s well known that successful businesses listen to what customers are telling them.
    The goal of a volunteer organization such as CRW is not profitability. Our mission is
    primarily serving our members and consequently understanding their needs. The best
    way to do this is by listening to what you tell us. We, of course, ask questions, conduct
    surveys, and get specific around certain issues.
    Ironically, during informal conversations, a member may raise an issue or make a
    request and we reluctantly must respond “no, we don’t do that.” But the response to
    issues raised or requests made doesn’t end with the “no.” Getting this input helps us
    define changes in how we go about planning our rides.
    Over the past few years, for example, we’ve made changes to our century rides in
    response to rider feedback. This includes additional and earlier water stops and much-
    appreciated iced Gatorade on brutally hot days. We’ve also run introductory group rides
    for those new to the club and follow-the-leader rides periodically. Several times a
    season we host after-ride events so riders can socialize.
    We can’t accommodate all requests, however, and probably the single most frequent
    “no” response is in regard to restrooms at ride starts. We try to have restrooms available
    at starts when we can but here the costs and more the logistics work against us.
    Club leadership actively seeks your point of view, which is vital to our overall success.
    Feel free to contact us via
    with any suggestions or concerns as to how we
    go about our business. But please keep in mind, we are not a business. In any case,
    your opinion can only lead to improved member satisfaction and a better club for all of

  • 2023-08-17 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    By Coach John Hughes

    My club had a party for anciens et anciennes (veterans) of Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) as well as rookies. I talked with nine old friends, some dating back to the 1990s, now all in their 60s and 70s.  I had moved from Boulder to the mountains and hadn’t seen some of my cycling buddies for years. I was interested to learn after their PBPs what kind of cycling they do now? 

    I was one of the first Americans to complete PBP back in 1979. PBP is 1200 km (750 miles) long and you have to finish in under 90 hours including all your time off the bike. So you don’t get a lot of sleep. I’ve finished PBP five times as well as the Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200 and the Rocky Mountain 1200.

    To ride PBP you have to complete a series of qualifying brevets with time limits: 200 km (124 mi.) in 13:30; 300 km (187 mi.) in 20:00; 400 km (249 mi.) in 27:00 and 600 km (373 mi.) in 40 hours. I have ridden the brevets multiple times and it was fun to reminisce with my fellow riders.  Remember the brevet it hailed so hard we had to crawl under a parked semitrailer? Remember riding the 400 km at 2 a.m. still a couple of hours from the finish? Remember riding all night on the 600 km and watching the sun rise?

    Ted is still a very strong rider, but his interests have shifted. He has a place in the mountains and enjoys all day rides on a mix of gravel and pavement. He’d gone backpacking earlier this summer and last weekend volunteered to build a couple of bridges in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

    Mary and Stan live on a steep gravel road in the foothills above Boulder. Their downhill commutes to Boulder are relatively easy and their return commutes get their attention. They enjoy riding with friends up into the mountains above their house. Mary now coaches cyclists and Stan works for a company making bicycle parts.

    Bill didn’t make the party — he was riding across the United States with his daughter and his wife driving the RV in support.

    Joe still loves riding and organizes our Rocky Mountain Cycling Club’s brevets. He’s a strong climber and hasn’t lost much speed climbing a single canyon out of Boulder, but his age starts to show on a multi-canyon climb. Joe enjoys taking photos and posting illustrated stories on Facebook.

    Jack and I rode many brevets together. On our ride today we reminisced. We miss the camaraderie of riding brevets and the sense of accomplishment when we finish. We agreed we’re glad we don’t have to spend 10s of hours a week getting in shape for the brevets. Jack still loves multi-hour rides and the sense of freedom – all he has to do is ride his bike, he doesn’t have any other responsibilities. He also volunteers as a mechanic in a not-for-profit bike shop.

    I enjoy our two to four hour weekly road rides but to be honest I have more fun — and get a better workout — on my mountain bike. On it I’m cruising through the curves, come around a corner and there’s a 10 meter stiff climb. Shut up legs … I did it!  At the top there’s a corkscrew descent, which I walk down. I don’t want to risk a broken bone. And my wife and I have started kayaking, an activity we enjoy together. We don’t try to kayak fast and aren’t breathing deeply on the water but when we get ashore we’re amazed at how tired we feel. And there are no drivers texting instead of watching out for cyclists.

    Brian and Betty are going to Paris-Brest-Paris. He’s finished PBP twice; this PBP on their tandem will be a new adventure. They’re strong riders on their tandem with many ultradistance rides under their wheels. They’re going not for a personal best or bragging rights but to enjoy the camaraderie of the multi-national groups and the fun of riding through the French countryside and small towns. I told them, “Just keep pedaling.” to which he responded, “Just keep the wheels turning.”

    Coach Hughes PBP 1999

    I write these columns and coach a few clients to keep in touch with the sport and to share what I’ve learned in over the 40+ years I’ve been riding. I get great satisfaction out of my riders’ finishes, especially older rookies. I spare them my mistakes: One brevet I made the mistake of loosening my seat bolt, raising my saddle a bit, tightening and snapping the bolt. I bought a roll of duct tape, taped the seat post to the seat tube, the seat post slowly slipped down and every 25 miles I’d retape it. Unless essential never change anything on your bike during an event!

    About training, Greg LeMond said, “It never gets easier, you just get faster.” As one ages, serious training never gets easier and, unfortunately, eventually one gets slower.

    My nine friends and I have recognized how we’re changing both in body and mind as we age. Rather than just grinding ourselves into the ground trying to ride like we did 10 years ago, we’ve made conscious choices about how to continue cycling, adding other physical activities we enjoy and how to stay in contact with the sport.

    The 8,000 participants in the 2023 PBP can choose three different starting groups with time limits of 80 hours, 84 hours and 90 hours. For example, the solo riders in the 90 hour group start this Sunday August 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. guaranteeing they’ll ride all night. They have to finish by 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Thursday August 24. Bonne chance et bonne route. (Good luck and safe journey)

    My eBook Stop Cycling’s Showstoppers is about prevention. I address all of the things that can go wrong and interfere with a ride. I explain how to avoid issues involving equipment, nutrition, weather, ailments, injuries, discouragement, and more. In addition, this eBook is a valuable primer on topics such as riding comfort, training and riding skills. Stop Cycling’s Showstoppers is a workbook to help you diagnose and prevent problems. The 65-page Stop Cycling’s Showstoppers is $14.95.

    My eBook Anti-Aging: 12 Ways You Can Slow the Aging Process has chapters on the training principles to build endurance, how to gauge intensity, cardiovascular endurance exercise and recovery. I include plans you can easily modify for different amounts of riding. One plan increases over two years your annual riding from around 4,000 miles (6,500 km) to over 5,000 miles (8,000 km) a year. I give you plans to build up to 100 km and 100-mile rides. I discuss the importance of recovery and how to gauge if you are getting enough recovery. The book 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 combine the different kinds of training into programs that balance training and recovery. The 106-page Anti-Aging: 12 Ways You Can Slow the Aging Process is $14.99.

    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 over 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.

  • 2023-07-20 7:19 PM | Anonymous

    By Alex Post

    Last month we reviewed the Most Epic Climbs in the US , and now this month we expand to the world. There are of course numerous rides that could be included, but here we’ll follow the list created by the nicely done, which focuses on cycle climbing. This is purely their subjective opinion, but includes among other things, the length, vertical gain, average percent grade, and scenery.

    The details for each of the 10 rides can found here.

    Death Road, Bolivia

    38.7 miles, 11,624 ft gain, 5.5% avg grade

    I’ve seen pictures of this road before, with cars barely fitting along the cliff edge. But a bike, an easy fit! 12,624 feet of vertical gain though, not as easy. Combined with the beautiful jungle scenery, Pjamm ranks this as a truly exceptional and epic ride.


    Punta Olimpica, Peru

    28.9 miles, 6,958 ft gain, 4.5% avg grade

    In addition to the physical challenge, this climb is described as stunningly scenic, with mountains, glaciers, and lakes. 

    Passo dello Stelvio, Italy

    14.8 miles, 5,972 ft gain, 7.6% avg grade

    With 48 hairpin turns, it’s considered one of the most famous climbs in the world, and has been featured numerous times in the Giro d’Italia race.

    Wuling Pass East, Taiwan

    54.3 miles, 11,239 ft gain, 3.5% avg grade

    Starting at near sea level, up to over 11k foot altitude, Wuling Pass is considered the second longest climb in the world, second only to Mauna Kea

    Mauna Kea, Hawaii

    42.5 miles, 13,755 ft gain, 6.1% avg grade

    According to Pjamm, Mauna Kea is flat out the hardest climb anywhere in the world. A mind boggling ascent of 13,755 feet. Starting at the ocean and at the top having 42% less oxygen in the air. 

    Alpe d'Huez, France

    8.7 miles, 3,543 ft gain, 7.7% avg grade

    Considered the most famous climb in the world, it’s been featured 32 times in the Tour de France. It’s 21 dramatic hairpin turns have a beautiful mountain backdrop.

    Hwy 27 - Atacama, Chile

    21.4 miles, 7,410 ft gain, 6.5% avg grade

    At over 15k foot altitude, this is the highest paved pass in the Americas. I’m the high Andes desert with little vegetation, it’s described at dramatically beautiful. 

    Al Jaadah Pass, Saudi Arabia

    7.7 miles, 5,777 ft gain, 14.3% avg grade

    With a brutal 14.3% average grade, Pjamm ranks this as the second most difficult climb in the world, second only to Mauna Kea HI. 

    Gotthard Pass, Switzerland

    7.8 miles, 2,858 ft gain, 7% avg grade

    The most famous pass in Switzerland, it has connected northern and southern Switzerland since medieval times. A couple miles of it is still cobblestone.

    Pikes Peak, Colorado

    24.2 miles, 8,007 ft gain, 6.1

    One of the most iconic climbs not just in the US but the world, Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs is a long steep climb averaging 6.1%, and if not counting the couple small descents, it averages 7.9%.

  • 2023-07-20 5:02 PM | Anonymous

    By Eli Post

    Last month we reported on the new bridge over Route 2 in Concord. It is now open for business, with freshly poured lanes, and a joy to traverse. Join this rider in experiencing the Route 2 bridge.

    You can view the traffic on Route 2, and depending on what time you ride, you might see a traffic jam, and be glad you are not in it.

  • 2023-07-20 1:43 PM | Anonymous

    By Eli Post

    There are risks in any active sport. You can get hit by a bat or a ball, slide on an icy spot into a tree, or get caught in a pothole or smashed by a car. We don’t know how biking safety relates to other sports, but we do know that some of our friends are involved in accidents and get injured. Not to our surprise, we learn that a broken bone, or whatever, doesn’t discourage most folks from getting back on the bike, which is the point of this article. We review the accident stories of CRW members who were injured but continued riding and put their past injuries aside when they recovered. Reading this article may cause you to question the wisdom of some of the authors as there is a fine line between courage and foolishness. Finally, stories matter, and change how you think about issues. We hope these stories encourage you to keep biking if you have a spill and are even injured.

    Pamela Blalock

    I am always surprised when folks ask how I was able to get back on the bike.  What's the alternative? Not riding is simply not an option.  

    I've had a few setbacks in recent years. I get back on the bike because it brings me joy, pure and simple.  (Photo is Pamela relaxing with her cat)

    It started in 2013, when I was hit by a truck. I was visiting my dad in NC and had gone out for a quick morning ride. An inattentive driver hit me from behind. Luckily, I was riding a fixed gear bike and was thrown clear. When the truck tire hit my rear wheel, the pedals stopped moving, but I kept going. Good thing or my left leg would have been crushed. I broke several vertebrae and ribs. A surgeon who had ridden down the same road a few hours earlier before, put rods and screws in my back to stabilize things.  

    The next day as I started to process what had happened, I spent a split-second wondering if would be able to get back on the bike. I had to wear a back brace for several months and as a result lost a lot of core strength. But I started walking right away and was soon walking 6 to 10 miles a day. I started riding a stationary bike at PT and have photos of me smiling on the bike.  

    I've never been one who enjoys riding indoors, but I got a stationary trainer and set my fixed gear bike on it. I rode it lots over the next few months.  I got out of the brace just after Christmas, just in time for snow and ice to present an additional challenge. But then a mild spell came in January, and I headed out one day for a spin up and down the bike path. And it felt good. Bob Wolf accompanied me on my first road ride and thanks to having no memory of the collision, I had no PTSD. What I felt was the simple pleasure I have always taken from riding a bike.  

    I've had a few setbacks since, with cancer, shoulder replacement and a few broken collarbones. The bike is always there and my source of strength for each recovery. 

    Bob Wolf

    In November 2022 I crashed on my own when turning right and landed hard on my left side.  I have no memory of what happened so don’t know what caused the spill. Injuries included concussion, vertigo, broken collar bone, plus other more minor trauma.  I saw 7 doctors for 10 conditions and am still in recovery.  I’m now happily riding with friends. Despite all my medical issues, I never thought of not getting back on the bike. (Photo shows Bob with his precious grand-daughters)

    Author’s Note. Bob is a good friend, and I visited him at home several days after the accident. Although he slipped and fell without contacting an automobile, his injuries were severe. I can’t think of a medical term to use, but I will try my best to describe his injuries as I perceived them. They don’t exist separately and the collection in one body was scary. It is a credit to Bob’s courage, determination, and positive thinking that brought him back to biking.

    Eli Post

    It was the Spring of 2011, and the two of us started out in Brookline, and were heading to Lincoln. My friend was ahead of me and made the light at Center Street in Newton. I remember the light changing and crossing Center Street, but the rest was blank until I found myself on a stretcher being loaded into an ambulance. My son arrived the next day and we put together the scenario. A twig got caught in my front wheel, locking it up. I flew over the handlebars and suffered a partial shoulder tear, and cracks in my cervical spine. I’ll spare the gory details, but one incident is revealing. The surgeon came by my hospital room with his medical team. He patiently explained my medical condition vertebra by vertebra and advised that surgery was not warranted but that I would need to wear a massive neck brace for many months. He spoke for several minutes, was serious in tone, and concluded his exhaustive medical analysis by asking if I had any questions. Without thinking, I blurted out “When can I get back on the bike”. His head dropped in utter astonishment, and he never responded.

    Fred Newton

    My accident was so unlikely to happen again, say less than one in a million, that it was easy for me to rationalize continuing riding. (Top photo is Fred out of rehab,and bottom is on a ride three months later.)

    Back in March in 2017 I was on a small group ride on a windy day when a small piece of tree branch fell and bounced into my front spokes, sending me over the bars and landing square on my back. Immediately I couldn’t move either leg, and a friend had to release my feet from the pedals. I was taken to Lahey and after about an hour I regained some movement in my left leg. After a laminectomy and metal rod insertion for fractures of thoracic vertebrae 3 & 4, I regained some movement in the right leg, but was left with a permanent 50% loss of strength due to spinal cord compression. 

    I went home with a back brace and walker, but after a few months I got on my indoor exercise bike and by fall I was able to do a 17-mile road ride with a friend and I did well but was 3-4 mph slower. I was stable for 4 years, but old age creeped up on me and I got an e-bike the spring of 2022. Love it and having as much fun as ever!

    Author’s Note. Fred is a friend, and I visited him at Whittier Rehab in Southborough. He was wearing a monumental back brace and was not able to lift a leg. It was as if his brain could not talk to his legs. I feared he would not be able to walk. However, I was delighted to see Fred return to biking after months of rehab, exercise, and old-fashioned determination. It is truly miraculous that Fred conquered his injury.

    Rich Taylor

    I was on a club ride in 2012 when the disaster struck. I was in Harvard, MA on a long downhill when the front wheel came off my bike. We don’t know what caused this mechanical disfunction, but the consequences were severe. I lost control of the bike and went over a rock wall. My injuries included 12 broken ribs, puncture of the lungs, and a broken shoulder bone. I had to be air transported to the UMass Hospital in Worcester. There was a medical doctor on the ride who stopped and rendered aid. I was in the emergency room for 2 days and in the hospital for 10 days, when they took me to a rehab facility where I spent another week, before recovering at home. In total it took three months to recover. You ask why I didn’t call it quits. I love biking and it would take more than some broken bones to make me stop.

    (Author's Note: Rich is a dear friend, and I visited when he was at UMass Hospital. I thought I was on a movie set as he had all sorts of tubes with multi-color liquids surrounding him. I could not tell which were connected to his body nor whether the liquids were from within him. Needles to say, the picture was of a man with elaborate medical support, and Rich underplays how serious his condition was. I was happy to see him back on the bike, and we recently rode together.)

    Barbara Martin

    Greetings Eli, thank you for this survey of those of us who have had biking accidents and their consequences for our lives going forward.  (Photo shows Barbara with her son after his run in the Boston Marathon) 

    I was within the first 10 miles of an 80-mile ride and was in the lead of a smaller group of friends starting a descent of a smallish hill when I saw a dog owner with his dog on the sidewalk on my right. The dog was straining hard on the leash, and I remember (the last thing to remember till I was in the ambulance moaning about the pain in my lower abdomen) saying to myself, “Oh I hope he can hold that dog”.  

    Needless to say, he was not able, and the dog must have come at me resulting in me crashing.  Elizabeth was the first on the scene and the others followed quickly.  They too found me moaning but seemingly coherent enough to say to them, “I best get up and lay down off the road”. (Again, no memory of this). 

    At the hospital in Worcester, I was evaluated, and it was discovered I had 2 cracked ribs and a dissected descending aorta (only months later did I find I had fractured my pubic bone).  Only 4 months later did I realize that the impact of the accident had stretched the ligaments that support all my female organs to the point that for the last 3 years I have suffered with prolapse of all female organs with the consequence of needing major surgery.  While the specialists say this condition is due to 2 pregnancies, there is no question that it is a consequence of the accident.  

     Thankfully I can say that I have healed from the injuries (including the stretched ligaments which are, strange as it seems to both my doctors and friends, feeling like they are regaining their strength and elasticity).  Only time will tell how thorough that recovery will be. 

    I always knew the accident would not prevent me from getting back on my bike and I was blessed with a body that knows how to heal itself to allow me to fulfill this resolve.

    Frank Hubbard

    This will be a difficult post. It essentially resolves the benefits of riding varied routes with other people. My last accident was dramatic, but I cannot recall the specifics. I was on a training ride in preparation for the July diabetes ride, but I have no memory of the accident or for several days following the ride. I had a fractured leg but also a fractured spirit. At the time, I did not see a path to return to biking. As I progressed in rehab, I focused on improving my walking and dreamed of a return to swimming. Only with time did I begin to realize that riding with friends and getting out every day was essential to my recovery. I hiked, swam, and did indoor biking but I missed the socialization provided by group riding. I finally analyzed the facets of my riding style that were problematic and realized that if I were willing to return to riding, I would have to accept the risks. If I remained sedentary however, I would lose part of my social identity. The choice was simple.

    Dr. Marc Baskin (Dr. Marc Baskin, MD, is affiliated with Boston Children's Hospital)

    I was in New Hampshire on a CRW ride and was riding in front of the main group. The road ahead was bearing to the right I went to the left side of the lane and signaled as our route showed a left turn. A panel truck that had been behind me, moved out into the passing lane, and then swerved into my lane striking me on the left side and throwing me to the right. I was knocked unconscious for a short time and had a shoulder injury, and eventually recovered.  My impression is that the panel truck, when it went to pass saw an oncoming car, and that they could not see me initially, because the road ahead was bearing to the right.  I assume this caused the driver of the panel truck to move back into my lane striking me. Although it was a scary event, cycling is my main sport and I really enjoy it, so I went back to riding.

    Dom Jorge

    My accident occurred on June 19, 2021, when I hit a pothole that I hadn't seen. Although I did not lose consciousness, others told me that I continued to talk to them the entire time, I don't remember anything after flying over the handlebars until I was in the ambulance on the way to Emerson Hospital. I was told that I was moved to the local fire station where the ambulance picked me up. Ken, who I was riding with, took care of my bike.

    After multiple CT scans it was determined that I had a pelvic fracture and a cracked sternum, as well as abrasions and deep contusions. They told me that no surgery was necessary and that everything would heal naturally in time. That evening I was transferred to the MGH trauma center at MGH Boston as Emerson does not have a trauma center. Also, my PCP and other physicians are at MGH.

    I spent 2 nights at MGH before being released on crutches to my home. They estimated an 8–10-week recovery period. I received at home PT 2-3 times a week for about 5 weeks. 

    My wife spent a lot of time taking care of me and the only reason I thought about not riding again was so that I would not put her through the ordeal again. But she was very supportive of my returning to riding, and I resumed riding in mid-August, first with a few stints on my trainer & then back on the road.

    I had no hesitancy in going back to riding as I missed riding with my cycling friends. I have not suffered any PTSD and have continued riding since then with no adverse effects.

    That's it. If you would like any further details, feel free to let me know.

    Ken Hablow

    October 2005. I was arrowing the Rosy Cheeks ride for, and with, Connie Farb. We were coming down Littleton County Rd. just before the friendly Crossings Hostel. Connie was behind me. A dog ran out from the right, which I did not see until it was too late to slow or make maneuvers.  I remember hitting the dog, then getting airborne. My next memory was lying on the side of the road with the EMTs asking which hospital I wanted to go to, Ayer (NOT!) or Emerson. I spent 3 days in the ICU after having a CT scan. I had; 6 or 7 cracked ribs, a cracked scapular, a fully torn left rotator cuff, and a cracked pelvis. “Cracked” is the operative word since nothing required surgery, except for the rotator cuff. I spent 2 full weeks in the orthopedic ward of the hospital. There was daily PT and OT. They would not release me until I could walk up and down 3 steps. It was the cracked pelvis that kept me immobile. It was several months before I could get back on a bike, and about 6 months of outpatient PT. the objective was always to get back on the road, which I ultimately did. There was never a doubt that I was going to do that, cycling is too addictive.

  • 2023-07-20 1:37 PM | Anonymous

    By Nancy Clark

    The American College of Sports ( is a professional organization for sport science researchers, exercise physiologists, dietitians, doctors, and athlete care-providers Each year, at ACSM’s Annual Meeting, more than 3,000 sports medicine professionals and scientists from around the globe gather to present their latest research. At this year’s meeting (May 30-June 2, 2023, Denver, Colorado), a lively 10 Questions / 10 Experts session hosted by Professionals in Nutrition for Exercise and Science (, a global organization for sport nutritionists) addressed some current hot topics. Below is a summary of the key points that might be of interest.

    Continuous Glucose Monitors

    Continuous glucose monitors (CGM) can help athletes determine the best fueling tactics to maintain their blood glucose levels within an energizing range and ideally reduce needless bonking. This can be very helpful during endurance exercise such as long runs or cycling events. Unfortunately, CGMs have yet to be perfected for athletes. The monitors can easily get dislodged from the body and some studies show a >15% failure rate. The sport of cycling has banned CGMs during races, but many cyclists use them during training to learn how to “read” body signals.

    Pre-sleep protein

    While extra evening protein is unlikely to offer a winning edge, it also will not cause harm, nor will it convert into body fat. Research to date shows that pre-sleep protein simply allows another opportunity to meet daily protein goals. More research is needed to determine if consuming pre -sleep protein will help enhance muscle recovery, tissue repair, sleep, or performance.

    Free amino acids and bioactive peptides

    When compared to the protein in whole foods, free amino acids are slightly less effective for muscle protein synthesis. Consuming protein within its natural food matrix is best. Plus, free amino acids taste terrible (although they have improved over the years).

    Bioactive peptides (2-3 amino acids linked together) are available to purchase but they lack research to validate any potential benefits. Why bother…?

    Bicarbonate supplementation

    With high-intensity sports, sodium bicarbonate might offer a 1% to 2% improvement in performance. The standard dose is 0.3 to 0.5 g/kg body weight; the higher the dose, the greater the increase in performance—as long as the athlete can tolerate it. Capsules that bypass the gut help resolve gastro-intestinal issues, and potentially sodium bicarbonate encapsulated in a gel may help even provide further protection from side effects. Another option that bypasses the gut is sodium bicarbonate in the form of a lotion. The athlete applies it 20 minutes before high intensity exercise. The lotion feels nice, but the specific dose that actually gets absorbed is unknown.

    The lightest athlete is the best athlete

    While lighter and leaner “works” to a certain extent to enhance performance, the cost of being too light and too lean can take its toll. The less food an athlete consumes, the less protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, and minerals the athlete consumes. This can hurt performance and recovery, while enhancing the risk of getting injured.

    A study with elite race walkers reported no performance benefits (nor detriments) among the dieting athletes in a training camp who lost about 4.5 lbs (2 kg) the two weeks before a 10K race. The dieters and the non-dieting control group both carb-loaded in the 24-hours pre-race. They both performed similarly, with no significant benefit gained by having lost weight pre-race. Ideally, athletess should fuel well to support optimal performance, instead of diet to be lighter.


    Despite popular belief, hungry athletes who consume a sports diet rich in quality carbohydrate do not “get fat” nor become diabetic. The advice to limit carbs might be appropriate for unfit people, but fit athletes preferentially metabolize carbs and convert them into a winning source of muscle fuel.

    Iron supplements 

    Iron supplements are better absorbed at 6:00 a.m. than 11:00 a.m.. Therefore, taking iron first thing on an empty stomach appears best. That said, iron is known to contribute to stomach upset, and some athletes cannot tolerate iron if taken without food. For them, the best time to take iron is either prior to, or 30 minutes after exercise, before the post-exercise elevation in hepcidin (a hormone that hinders iron absorption) triggers a negative effect. If an athlete takes an iron supplement two hours after a hard exercise session, the elevated hepcidin concentration can reduce iron absorption by about 36%.

    Sustainable sports diets
    To perform well, athletes need access to good food and clean water, both of which depend on a healthy biosphere. We all need to honor the global dietary guidelines that integrate the 
    UN Sustainable Development Goals. To living a sustainable lifestyle means: eat adequate, but not excessive, protein; consume at least one-third of protein from plants, minimize food waste (for example, after team buffets, take home leftovers for the next day’s lunch), eat locally-grown foods (to reduce transportation emissions), and choose foods with minimal and bio-degradable packaging. (No Styrofoam!) Ann athlete does who advocates for a sustainable environment not need to be vegan but does want to be mindful about dietary choices.

    Do vegetarians have a reduced risk of chronic disease because they eat less red meat—or eat more plants? Uncertain. Plants are rich in phytochemicals (reduce inflammation), dietary nitrates (improve blood flow), and many other performance-enhancing nutrients. A vegetarian diet imparts no obvious benefits (nor detriments) for athletic performance. Meat-eaters looking for a path towards vegetarianism can honorMeatless Monday ( and enjoy a plant-based diet with smaller meat portions the rest of the week. Small steps can indeed have an environmental impact!


    BORG (Blackout rage gallon) drinking, in case you are not familiar with this trend, is a mixture of water, alcohol, sweet flavorings, and electrolytes (which supposedly offer the hangover remedy) in a one-gallon plastic jug. The concoction is popular on some college campuses, easy to drink, and easy to overconsume. An ounce of alcohol takes about one hour to breakdown; too many ounces can hinder training and performance, as well as sleep. BORG drinking is only good if the other team is doing the indulging…

    -- 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)

  • 2023-07-20 1:33 PM | Anonymous

    By John Allen

    Preferred routes for CRW rides are on scenic, lightly traveled rural roads, but almost every ride must include connecting segments on numbered highways.  As CRW's Safety Coordinator, I stress that riding these can be safe, if not necessarily pleasant. 

    On July 12 Harriet Fell and I led a Wednesday Wheelers ride that did not take the planned route all the way, due to repaving of Peakham Road in Sudbury. Most of the group instead road Route 20 for two miles through South Sudbury, an important two-lane highway with a constant flow of traffic when we rode it, including truck traffic. The narrow shoulder tapers down to nearly nothing in a few places.

    We first rode through the South Sudbury commercial district. Crossing and turning traffic are the main challenges here. The main think to remember here is to avoid being hidden to the right of slow or stopped vehicles The shoulder may be tempting in allowing bicyclists to continue moving, but every driveway and street to the right poses the risk of a left-cross or right-hook collision with a vehicle you are passing on its right, or a left cross collision with one it hides from you. The image below, from Google Street View, shows the intersection at Union Avenue, with the potential for both of these crash types.

    Passing waiting vehicles on their right would expose a bicyclist to both of these hazards – a couple of my companions did. By jumping the queue, they were putting themselves in conflict with motorists who might turn right and would not have seen them. I am pleased that nobody passed the large box truck which was the first vehicle waiting – and which did turn right.

    I merged out from the shoulder, into line with waiting vehicles, and only merged back to the right after crossing the intersection. This may seem counterintuitive, but it is safer – defensive driving.

    Once traffic got moving, riding on the shoulder became safer. A motorist overtaking at speed would have to slow before turning right, so I’d have a warning to slow and get behind the vehicle. Overtaking motorists also prevent oncoming vehicles from turning left.

    Farther west, approaching Wayside Inn Road, entrances are few and traffic speeds up. This is the type of situation where the risk of the much-feared overtaking collision becomes significant. But situational awareness and strategic lane positioning can prevent these.

    Like many CRW members, I use a rear-view mirror. It is a game changer. On a two-laner like route 20 where the shoulder disappears, I’ll ride far enough from the right edge that, again, overtaking motorists’ merging left demonstrates that they have seen me. On a shoulderless multi-lane road, I can control the right-hand lane, and with glances into my mirror, check that every overtaking vehicle has changed lanes to pass. It is always necessary to turn the head when merging left: the mirror shows what is behind, not what is next to me. But the mirror is invaluable to help me time when I can merge safely, and it allows me to be continually aware of what is happening back there. If it is unsafe for a motorist to pass, I’ll hold out my left arm, palm facing the rear. When it is safe, I’ll merge back to the right. The key to safety here is active two-way communication.

    Some safety tactics - like merging left in both situations I have described - may seem counterintuitive. But they work by removing uncertainty and eliminating surprises. They increase both safety and confidence.

    I am a CyclingSavvy instructor and recommend the free CyclingSavvy Club Rider Essentials course, online.  It also covers in-group communication and protocol.  I have a workshop scheduled, with two or three options for a Zoom session, as well as on-bike sessions on September 23rd.  You may contact me, at or 781 856 4058, for further information.]

  • 2023-07-20 12:01 PM | Anonymous

    By Doctor Gabe Mirkin

    This aricle is courtesy of Dr.Gabe Mirkin MD

    If you want to become stronger and faster and have greater endurance, you need to exercise on one day intensely enough to damage your muscle fibers and feel sore on the next day, and then train at reduced intensity for as many days as it takes for your muscles to heal and the soreness to lessen. Then you take your next intense workout. Knowledgeable athletes in most sports train by stressing and recovering because:

    • You can’t make a muscle stronger unless you damage muscle fibers. You can tell you are exercising intensely enough to damage them if your muscles feel sore the next day.
    • You can’t improve your maximal ability to take in and use oxygen unless you train intensely enough to become short of breath.
    Even if you are not a competitive athlete, you can gain greater exercise health benefits by adapting to the same stress and recover program. It will make your heart and skeletal muscles stronger and increase blood flow to your heart.

    The faster your muscles recover from an intense workout, the greater your improvement. The key to training is to speed up your recovery so you can take your next intense workout as soon as possible. Anabolic steroids, the banned performance-enhancing drugs, improve athletic performance in part by helping muscles recover much faster from hard workouts, but they also increase your chances of suffering a heart attack in the future.

    How Muscles Become Stronger
    Muscles are made up of thousands of fibers just as a rope is made of threads. Each fiber is made up of blocks called sarcomeres joined end to end at the Z-lines like a line of bricks. Muscles contract only at each Z-line, not along the entire length of a fiber

    Intense workouts cause muscle damage, which can be seen as bleeding into the muscles themselves and disruption of the Z bands that hold the muscle sarcomeres together. Significant increases in muscle strength and size come only with workouts intense enough to break down muscle Z-lines and cause inflammation. When muscles heal they become stronger and larger.

    Avoiding Injuries During Intense Workouts
    To avoid injuries, first warm up for 10 or more minutes by going at a slow pace. Then pick up the pace by running, skiing, cycling,or jogging until you start to feel a burning in your muscles or start breathing hard, usually after about 5 to 30 seconds. Then slow down. When you have completely recovered your breath and your muscles feel fresh again, start your next interval. Alternate picking up the pace and slowing down for full recoveries until your legs start to feel stiff and then cool down by exercising at a slow pace for at least 10 to 15 minutes. You can help to avoid injuries as long as you listen to your body when it tells you to reduce the intensity of your workout. Non-competitive athletes avoid injuries best when they use intervals lasting less than 30 seconds and back off each interval when they feel their muscles just starting to burn.

    Recovery Days
    Most athletes in endurance and strength sports exercise on their recovery days and do not plan to take many days off. However, on recovery days, they work at a markedly reduced intensity to put minimal pressure on their muscles. If you develop pain anywhere that gets worse as you continue exercising, you are supposed to stop for that day. Active recoveries on easy days at low intensity make muscles tougher and more fibrous so your muscles can withstand harder intense workouts on your intense days.

    Almost all top runners, cyclists and weight lifters do huge volumes of work, and most of it is on their less-intense recovery days. The stresses of intense workouts are extreme; the recoveries take a long time and are done at low pressure on the muscles. Top endurance runners run more than 100 miles per week, cyclists do more than 300 miles per week and weight lifters spend hours each day in the gym.

    Research to Improve Training Methods
    New training methods are developed by athletes and coaches. Then when these athletes win competitions, scientists do studies to show why the new training methods are more effective. The literature is full of conflicting reports, but most athletes do more than 85 percent of their training loads less intensely on their recovery days. One study showed that runners recover faster by taking a relaxed swimming workout 10 hours after high intensity interval running, rather than just resting (International Journal of Sports Medicine, January 2010). In another study, runners recovered strength and power faster after a marathon by resting for five days compared to those who ran slowly (Journal of Applied Physiology, December 1984). Active recovery should be of limited intensity that does not interfere with the healing process (Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, June 2009).

    Recover Faster by Sleeping
    Athletes in intense training recover faster by getting off their feet after they finish their hard workouts and not even walking until it is time for the next day’s recovery workout. Every athlete who trains for competition in sports that require endurance learns sooner or later that after exercising long and hard, you fell sleepy and have to go to sleep to recover, and older people may need even more sleep (JAMA, 1997; 227: 32-37). Intense exercise damages muscles, which causes your pituitary gland to produce large amounts of human growth hormone (HGH) that helps repair injured tissues, and you produce the largest amounts of HGH when you sleep.  A ninety-minute recovery nap after you exercise also improves your ability to reason and think (Sleep, April 12, 2019;42(1):A71–A72).

    Recover Faster by Eating Immediately After Intense Workouts
    Eating a high-carbohydrate meal within one hour of intense workouts hastens recovery (Int J Sprt Nutr and Ex Metab, 2010;20:515–532; J Sprts Sci, Jan 2004). Adding protein to that meal hastens recovery even more (Sports Science Exchange, 87:15, 2002; Physiologie Appliquée, Nutrition et Métabolisme, February 2008). Taking caffeine-rich foods and drinks such as coffee or chocolate may help muscles replenish their stored sugar sources faster (J of Applied Physiology, 2008;105:7–13). Drinking lots of fluids is also necessary for a faster recovery (Journal of Sports Sciences, January 2004). As long as the post-intense-exercise meal contains lots of protein and carbohydrates, it doesn’t matter what you eat (Am J Clin Nutr, Jan 2017; Med Sci Sports Exerc, Oct 2008;40(10):1789-94). Fast foods such as French fries, hash browns and hamburgers helped athletes recover just as quickly from hard workouts as sports nutrition products such as Gatorade, PowerBars or Clif Bars (International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, March 26, 2015). Add salt on hot days or if your muscles feel excessively fatigued or you develop cramps (Can J Appl Physiol, 2001;26 Suppl:S236-45).

    Why You Need Protein as Well as Carbohydrates after Intense Workouts
    The soreness that you feel 8 to 24 hours after an intense workout is caused by a tearing of the muscle fibers at their Z-lines. The fastest way to get muscles to heal is to have your body produce lots of insulin and also provide a supply of protein to repair the damaged tissue. Insulin drives sugar into cells to be used for energy, and it also drives protein building blocks called amino acids into the muscle cells to help them heal faster. Eating protein-rich foods immediately after intense exercise helps cyclists recover faster so they can ride harder for several days after an intense workout (Physiologie Appliquée, Nutrition et Métabolisme, February 2008).

    Don’t Take NSAIDs to Relieve Muscle Soreness
    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can block gains in strength and endurance (PNAS, June 27, 2017;114(26):6675–6684; Med & Sci in Sports & Ex, April 2017;49(4):633–640).  The processes that heal damaged tissue in your body use the same immune cells and chemicals that fight infections. Certain prostaglandins that heal damaged tissues are the same prostaglandins that cause muscle soreness. These prostaglandins can hasten healing of muscles damaged by vigorous exercise by increasing production of stem cells to replace damaged muscle cells. They also increase endurance by increasing blood flow to damaged muscles, widening blood vessels and increasing the ratio of blood capillaries to muscle fibers. Taking NSAIDs hinders this process and can prevent the gains in endurance that you would expect to get from your exercise. Earlier studies showed that taking NSAIDs can reduce the gains in endurance from aerobic exercise by restricting the ratio of blood capillaries to muscle fibers and decreasing the number of strength fibers in muscles (J Physiol Pharmacol, Oct 2010;61(5):559-63).

    My Recommendations
    • Before you start a program of interval training to improve your endurance, you should have exercised regularly for many months, be in good shape and not have any health conditions that can harm you.
    • Try to set up your exercise program so that you take a hard workout that damages your muscles so they feel sore on the next day. Then take easy workouts until the soreness goes away, and then take your next hard workout.
    • Immediately after an intense workout, eat whatever sources of carbohydrates and protein you like best. I eat oranges and nuts immediately after I finish an intense workout to help me recover faster for my next workout.
    • When you are training properly, your muscles can feel sore every morning. If they don’t feel better after a 10 minute warm-up, take the day off.
    • If you feel pain in one spot that does not go away during a workout, stop that workout immediately. Otherwise you are probably headed for an injury.

    CAUTION: Intense exercise can cause a heart attack in a person who has blocked arteries or heart damage. Check with your doctor before you start a new exercise program or make a sudden increase in the intensity of your existing program.

  • 2023-07-20 11:00 AM | Anonymous

    By EliPost

    Most spectatotor sports have championship games like the World Series in baseball or the Superbowl in football. Cycling has no such event. One engages in the sport for the exercise, the pleasure of riding, and in the case of club rides for the companionship. Nevertheless the Tour de France Is a signature event in cycling. While recreational cyclists like us do not enter the Tour, the event serves to demonstate the feats you can accomplish on a bike.

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