August 2021 WheelPeople



Edward Cheng


There was a heat stroke incident in June on a Club ride, and the rider required hospital care (he is out of the hospital and recovering). The heat stroke occurred on a hot day in a remote location, but the good news is that the rider was not alone.  Others helped with communications, administered first aid, and arranged for evacuation. Based on this experience, we want to formalize some measures that worked in that situation for rides that take place in remote locations. 


The first principle is that riders have to take responsibility for their own safety - be aware of your limitations, food and water, clothing, the weather, and your equipment.  In addition, the Rides Committee approved safety guidelines that apply to all remote rides, no matter the program or ride surface. The full set of guidelines can be viewed HERE.


We recommend you read the guidelines, but here is a summary:
  • The participants should be divided into groups by pace, and riders having difficulty and can stop and wait for the next group;
  • When a rider needs help, the group will assist in requesting such help, and remain with the rider until they reach a location where he or she is safe;
  • If there is no mobile signal, the group should try houses with possible emergency contact options. Also request help from passing motorists when available;
  • Adverse weather should cancel the ride;
  • A shorter option should be available if possible.

Ride safety is paramount, and our work on this issue will continue to include other contingencies which might arise on remote rides.We would like to hear from you if you've had ride experiences related to safety on remote rides. You can use the "comment" feature below.


Ed Cheng is VP Rides.




Jeff Dieffenbach


The Logo Design Oversight Committee has organized a "call for design" with regards to a new CRW logo. Full details are in the link referenced below. You are asked to email artwork to Jeff Dieffenbach at deepbrook [at] no later than Monday 9 August 2021.Full Submission Details:


A logo captures the mission and values of an organization. It creates an identity and helps make CRW unique in the biking world. A logo matters and should help to set us apart. If you have graphic design talents or strong design opinions, we would like to hear from you. Help us make this a better club.

Jeff Dieffenbach is Chair of the Logo Design Oversight Committee









CRW Grants

Amy Wilson


CRW has had an active grant program for many years. The club felt that excess income should be devoted to worthy causes that support biking. We are not alone in this regard as other bike club also support outside causes.


We are fortunate that our centuries generate excess income, and that one of the club’s founders remembered us in his will. Donating of course benefits the recipient organizations themselves, but it also reinforces CRW’s sense of obligation and it’s duty to serve the broader biking community. Finally, we hope that our giving inspires other athletic clubs to do the same.


We have been able to support a wide range of organizations. Some like the Bruce Freeman group actually build trails, and many of you ride on those trails, and now you know your club helped build them. Other organizations like Livable Streets actively support biking causes. Some play a unique role: Bikes Not Bombs makes bikes available around the world: Cycle Kids teaches schools kids about biking. All in all, our grant program has made a contribution to biking interests in the Boston area, and we hope you share our pride in this accomplishment. Since 2014 close to $75,000 has been donated to worthy causes.


We are always looking for additional organizations to support to spread the wealth of CRW funds, there are so many worthy bicycle-related organizations so please feel free to contact any member of the Board with new requests for either a traditional grant or challenge.


Amy Wilson is VP Finance

Alphabetical by Organization 2014 2015 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Total
Adventure Cycling           300       300
Bikes Not Bombs                   5,000 5,000         5,000 191 15,191
Boston Cyclists Union                       5,000 5,000 89 10,089
City of Boston 5,000                 5,000
Cycle Kids                                 5,000 5,000             10,000
Cycle through History   1,146 1,146             2,292
East Coast Greenway Alliance                 635 635
Friends Bruce Freeman Rail Trail   10,000               535 10,535
Livable Streets                        3,000 4,000 4,000       11,000
Mass Bike                                     2,500   5,000 720 8,220
Ride of Silence           300       300
Worcester Earn-a-Bike                 1,000       1,000
Total 15,000 11,146 11,146 3,000 4,000 8,100 5,000 15,000 2,170 $74,562

Group Rides

Eli Post


Now that traditional rides are being restored it seems timely to take stock of why they exist in the first place. After all you don’t need a group if you want to ride. Biking is not like baseball where you need others to play the game. However, cycling is a surprisingly social sport. While it may not be a team sport, on a group ride people support each other as they do on a team. The shared experience amplifies the individual experience.

A collective experience is clearly more rewarding than an individual activity. The social sciences tell us that people feel a sense of energy and harmony when they come together in a group over a shared mission. On a group ride people make friends easily with no thought of where someone is from or what they do, other than they ride a bike. Group rides make it easy for people to share their thoughts leading to great conversations. Covid forced us to stay at home and avoid large crowds, and reminded us that when we all behave with the well-being of others in mind, the ride is better for all. The Covid restrictions are ending, and we can fortunately start resuming a more normal lifestyle including group rides.

This may be preaching to the choir as you are all members of a bike club, but group rides have much to offer. Beyond the camaraderie there are safety considerations, skill development and demonstrably better performance.

CRW offers daytime group rides on Wednesdays and Thursdays if you can ride during the week, evening rides for those busy during the day, and weekend rides are starting to appear. As of this writing August 2021 offers several weekend rides.

It’s time to get out and ride, and CRW can help you enjoy a sense of community with its wide ride offerings. Many folks rediscovered their bikes during Covid, and we hope all join the club's group rides and enjoy all they have to offer.

The opinions here are strictly those of the author who has a long volunteer history with the club including running the ride program for several years. Tim Wilson helped edit.




How to Avoid Bonking while Cycling



By Coach John Hughes


Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver hammer came down on her head.

”Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver hammer made sure that she was dead.”— Paul McCartney


McCartney said, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer was my analogy for when something goes wrong out of the blue.” (


That’s bonking!  You’re riding along under a blue sky and all of a sudden your brain feels like mush. You’ll be depressed and discouraged and may also feel anxious, irritable, or confused.


Or your legs suddenly can’t turn the cranks.  This is hitting the wall. You’ll feel extremely weak and tired and you may feel dizzy or light-headed.


Both of these occur for the same reason: running out of glucose for fuel.


A showstopper is anything that makes a ride very difficult and may cause a DNF (Did Not Finish).


A Little Physiology

You are always metabolizing a combination of fat and glucose even when you are sleeping.  The more active you are the higher the proportion of glucose you are burning.  Riding below your anaerobic threshold (AT), also called lactate threshold, about 50% of your energy is coming from glucose and 50% is coming from fat. Above your AT the major source is glucose although you are still burning fat. The harder you ride above AT the more glucose per minute you are burning.


Glucose is stored in the body as glycogen. Your body can store about 1,800 calories of glycogen. (1,400 in the muscles, 320 in the liver and 80 in your blood) How much you store depends on your body size and your fitness. 


Your body has about 100,000 calories of energy stored as fat, an unlimited supply of fat.  Even the skinniest pro has enough body fat to fuel a long race.


If you are riding at 15 mph (24 km/h) you are burning about 4.5 calories / lb. / hour (10 calories / kg / hour). If you weigh 150 lbs you are burning about 675 calories / hour, about half from glucose (338 calories) and about half from fat (338 calories).  You have 1800 calories of glucose stored as glycogen so burning 338 calories of glucose per hour you’ll run out of glucose in about three hours.


If you are riding at 20 mph (32 km/h) you are burning about 7.5 calories / lb. / hour (16 calories / kg / hour). If you weigh 150 lbs you are burning about 1,125 calories / hour, primarily from glucose and you’ll run out of glucose in about 90 minutes!


Your brain can only burn glucose for fuel and when you run out of glucose that silver hammer comes down.  At a moderate pace your muscles are burning about a 50 / 50 mix of fat and glucose. When you run out of glucose you only have half as much fuel and you hit the wall with dead legs. To compound the problem the metabolism of fat for energy requires some glucose so even your fat stores aren’t providing much energy.


Note that protein provides only about 5% of the energy for the working muscles, although it is important for rebuilding muscle damage after a ride. If you run out of glycogen your body can produce glucose from protein by a process known as gluconeogenesis, which is inefficient, i.e., the metabolic conversion of protein to glycogen requires more energy than just converting glycogen to glucose.


Bonking Prevention

Endurance training helps defer bonking and hitting the wall in two ways.  By riding at a conversational pace over many rides your body will shift to metabolizing more fat and less glucose thereby sparing glucose. (This doesn’t mean you’ll lose weight. To do that you need to consume fewer total calories than you are burning.) Endurance training also increases your muscles’ capacity to store glycogen by 20 to 50%. If you’ve been doing endurance exercise for years both of these adaptations have taken place but if you’re a relatively new roadie you can improve your fuel mix and your storage capacity with endurance riding.


These adaptations only postpone the silver hammer but don’t eliminate it.


If the gas gauge on your car starts to approach empty you get more fuel and the same applies to riding.  Rather than running out of fuel you need to start refueling during your ride.


Glycogen comes from carbohydrates, which include fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and legumes as well as the sweets, pasta and bread that we normally think of as carbs. Healthy carbs should provide 60 – 70% of the calories in your daily diet.


American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends consuming 25 to 60 grams of carbs (1 to 2 ounces or 100 to 240 calories) per hour after the first hour of exercise. This is sufficient for several hours of exercise. If you are riding for three hours or more start eating carbs in the first hour. If you are relatively small or exercising lightly 25 grams / hour is enough. If you are larger or riding at a moderate to fast pace eat up to 60 grams / hour.


Note that the recommendation is for carbs only. Gels and some sports drinks are 100% carbs; however, bars are a mix of carbs, protein and fat. Fruit and vegetables are100% carbs while carbs are only part of other foods.


The ACSM recommends up to 60 grams per hour of carbs because this is the maximum amount of one kind of carb (glucose or sucrose or fructose or maltodextrin) you can digest per hour.However recent research shows that eating a combination of types of carbs can increase your ability to digest carbs. You can digest up to 90 grams per hour (2 to 3 oz. or 240 to 360 calories). Test subjects who consumed a mix of glucose and fructose could digest more every hour than subjects who just consumed glucose. They digested more per hour because the different types of carbohydrate used different intestinal transporters. Consuming a mix of carbohydrate reduces fatigue, increases endurance and may result in reduced gastric distress. Some sports bars and drinks are made from several types of carbs — read the label to see. Or you could eat a couple of cookies and a piece of fruit.


Lab tests have shown no performance difference among carbs ingested in liquid, gel or solid form, assuming that each substance has the same caloric value. Further, sports products have no performance advantage over regular food. One of my clients was a nurse, and after consultation with the doctor for whom she worked, she raced the Race Across AMerica on pancake syrup instead of spending money on sports gel!


Sports drinks and gels are easier to consume than solid food; however, you can ride just as well on food from the local grocery. Real food is cheaper and tastier. The key is to read the labels so that what you are buying and consuming is composed primarily of carbs




More Information

The principles and recommendations for eating before, during and after a ride apply to all roadies. These are explained in my eArticle Nutrition for 100K and Beyond. Although written for roadies riding 100K and farther, all roadies can learn from it. I show you how to calculate how many calories per hour you burn. I compare the nutritional value of bars, cookies and candy. Both Peppermint Patty candy and Fig Newton cookies have a higher percentage of carbs than any of the sports bars! I also discuss hydration and electrolytes.  I conclude by discussing what you should eat every day to ride your best.  My 17-page Nutrition for 100K and Beyond is just $4.99


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 nearly 30 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training and nutrition, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach John Hughes. Click to read John’s full bio.



The Gluck Legal Takeaway - Bicycle vs Bicycle collisions: Is there liability?

Ronald Gluck

Most cyclists are careful riders. Some aren’t.  They take risks and sometimes endanger the lives of others.  Are these risk -taking riders liable for their careless and sometimes reckless actions? The short answer is yes.   This is not to say that an injured cyclist would choose to pursue a case against the individual who caused the collision. But what if the incident caused serious injuries, major loss of earnings and surgeries? It may be something that individual may want to consider.

Under these circumstances one critical question is whether the careless cyclist who caused the injuries is insured by a homeowner’s or renter’s liability policy. If they are, then there is a source from which the injured cyclist can collect fair and reasonable compensation without causing financial hardship for the at- fault cyclist. These liability policies provide protection for the liability of policy holders when they are riding their bikes, so long as they are not riding in the course of their employment.

The legal analysis begins with the fact that cyclists have a legal duty to use reasonable care in the operation of their bicycles.   The question that arises in these cases is whether the actions of the offending cyclist crossed the line from reasonable to unreasonable by virtue of the manner in which they operated the bike under the circumstances existing at the time of the incident.  That often leads to varying opinions as the standard is somewhat subjective. In some cases, expert opinions are needed to assist in establishing what the standards are for reasonable operation of a bicycle. In other cases, the manner of operation is objectively and clearly unsafe and no expert opinion will be required to prove that the cyclist violated that legal duty to use reasonable care when operating his or her bicycle.

In some cases, the careless cyclist is a teenager or a young adult who still lives with his or her parent(s). If the parent(s) own a home then it is highly likely there is a homeowner’s policy that will cover the actions of the young adult who caused the collision.  The parent will not be liable for the damages suffered by the insured cyclist because the careless cyclist was not their agent at the time of the incident but the insurance policy covers the actions of their child who is still living in their household.  Following this analysis, the personal assets of the parent(s) are not at risk or obtainable in the case brought by the injured cyclist.

An exception to this analysis may be found in the context of an organized bicycle race or event. In these situations, there is often a waiver of liability that all participants are required to sign in order to participate in the event. These waivers are typically legal and binding, preventing the injured cyclist from pursuing a case against the organizers of the race or event for any failure to use reasonable care in the operation and or planning of the event.   Whether the waiver also prevents a claim against a fellow cyclist who was participating in the event is a question that is answered after a review of the waiver form.  That said,  most waivers in these circumstances preclude claims against  all participants, sponsors,  and cities and towns where the event is taking place. 

It is important to note that the mere happening of an accident with another cyclist does not, in and of itself, give rise to any liability on anyone’s part.  Accidents can happen in the absence of carelessness or recklessness. 

Ride safely and enjoy the rest of the summer!

If you have questions about a particular incident or more generally about the subject matter of this column, feel free to contact Ron Gluck at gluck [at]

Ron Gluck is a founder and principal at Breakstone White and Gluck in Boston. Throughout his 35 year legal career Ron has represented seriously injured individuals in a variety of cases including cycling accidents involving catastrophic injury and wrongful death. Ron is a CRW member.




A New Adventure Ride To Bristol and Providence Rhode Island

Steve Carlson



This is a local ride for bike explorers with a choice of two starts – Newton or Westborough, with the two groups meeting up mid-way in Woonsocket, Rhode Island then on to Bristol and back over two days.


Ellen Gugel and Harriet Fell have organized this adventure for the weekend of September 25 and 26, 2021


Much of the ride is on various bike paths and the route is essentially flat. The destinations are Bristol and Providence Rhode Island, including an overnight stay in Providence. Daily distances are 50-80 miles mixed with the viewing of historic points of interest.


Bristol is a beautiful seaside town and the East Bay Bike Path ranks high for charm and delightful views. This is an adventure that captures scenic bike paths with historic places of interest.



Complete Trip Details including estimated costs BristolAdventureRideTemp_2021.docx (


Registration for Trip Backroads and Bike Trails to Bristol | Charles River Wheelers (




Ride with GPS - New Ride Screen Options

Eli Post

Ride With GPS (RWGPS) has redesigned the route and ride screens in the mobile app to incorporate some popular features (segments, photos, elevation profiles) and some snazzy new ones (likes, climbs, ride recommendations) so that from one screen, you can easily access everything you need.When you open a route or a ride you will see a whole lot more than just the route map,including photos, an elevation profile, and quick access to navigation or the ability to edit in the mobile route planner.

What is particularly useful is that you can see climbs that are on a route or ride.However, you will have to find your own way, and decide which features you want to keep front and center.


References:New Mobile Ride and Route Screens (



Dealing With Wildlife

Eli Post


Biking, like any outdoor sport, has its dangers. We share the road with automobiles, and in New England we also must be wary of the road surface itself.

What is not more generally reported on is the living, breathing dangers you can encounter. And that doesn’t mean motorists or other cyclists.

You may not have to be wary of the lions, tigers and bears that Dorothy and her friends feared, but there are other threats you could face from the animal kingdom.

Dogs may be “man’s best friend” but run-ins with Fido are frequently the cause of accidents. The most common occurrence is to be riding along and a local dog comes out of nowhere and gives chase.

It is best to stop and dismount with the bike between you and the dog. Shouting “go home” might do the trick. I was once on a ride with a friend, and a dog came after us. In a confident tone he shouted “get off the couch” and the dog came to an abrupt stop. I believe the dog heard this comment before and recognized he was dealing with a dominant party who might be on the verge of punishing it.. Reminding Rover who is the boss may be to the key to making a dog behave.

There are also dogs on leashes with an owner not paying attention. Either he or she is not holding the leash tightly enough or it is one of those long ones giving the dog ample room to stray into your path. In those situations, all you can do is slow down when approaching and be prepared for evasive maneuvers.

This article was inspired by two successive close encounters I experienced on a bike path the other day. A squirrel crossed directly in front of me and I didn’t think much of it. But a moment later a deer emerged from the bushes. The deer and I stared at each other, and after a few seconds he went his merry way.

While it’s impossible to predict animal encounters, you should be aware of risks while in their habitat, which these days can be almost anywhere. If you are riding in a forested area, of course, you are more likely to encounter a wandering animal, and you should be scanning the road ahead.(Photo shows geese blocking the bike path. Photo by Eli Post)

In addition to potential dangers, some creatures just don’t buy into sharing the road. Ever come across a gaggle of geese hogging the road, desecrating the pavment, and oblivious to all around them? And don’t get me started on the slow-moving trains of turkey friends crossing the road. Those are the days you wish Thanksgiving was just around the corner. (Photo by Alex Post shows the author making way for a turkey crossing the road.)


If you have further interest in how wildlife can interact with cyclists, this video will interest you, Watch Video


This article benefited from expert editing by Tim Wilson.













WheelPeople Editors


On Sunday July 11, the club ran a Major Taylor celebration ride.Many members of the Urban Cycling Club celebrated with CRW.


For those who do not remember, Major Taylor was an African-American professional cyclist who lived in Worcester, MA during his racing years. He won many national titles and in 1899 was awarded a World Championship in sprinting. The ride passed through Needham Heights, the turnaround place for Taylor's first race in the Boston area:  a Dedham-to-Needham 10 mile road race on Patriots Day, 1896.


On the July 11 ride, several participant's names were drawn at random to receive Major Taylor Cycling Jerseys. This was the first CRW Diversity Ride of the year to be followed by a ride in August recognizing Kittie Knox, the first African-American female member of the League of American Wheelmen. (Photo at ride start by Rudge McKenney)











CTTC T-Shirt Challenge

Eli Post


The Club ran a virtual century during June. It was the Climb to the Clouds routes, one of the more challenging set of routes in the Club’s library. For the first two weeks in June we also ran a T-shirt challenge offering custom, commemorative T-shirts for the first 25 riders to complete the 100 mile route. The event was based on a Ride With GPS (RWGPS) feature which allowed members to register  for the event, and it would then automatically record the ride on a leaderboard. It looked like an easy event to administer with the first 25 winners neatly recorded in one place. Not so!

Unbeknownst to us, the RWGPS feature required you to do the designated route exactly or else it would not record on the leaderboard. Some of our members skipped a short loop in Harvard Center, and many, as they always did, rode from home. Alas these folks were not recorded, and it took endless email exchanges to straighten this all out. This is not a complaint. It was a delight dealing with a group of dedicated riders.

We decided not to rest on a technicality, and awarded shirts to all who had essentially completed the route. We ended up with 33 winners. These are the winners who all completed one of the more challenging routes the club offers: Alex Nelson, André Marty, Beatriz Prado, Beth Rosenzweig, Chip Krakoff, Craig Perini, Dan Ginsburg, Don Lee, Doug Cornelius, Elliott Kozin, Erik Sobel, Guillermo Munoz, Hunter Wood, Jim Pearl, Joel Malaver, John Meyer, Larry Kernan, Marc Baskin, Marco  Munoz, Mark Nardone, Martin Hayes, Mike Blackwell, Nicholas Schmid, Paulo Lopes, Richard Brown, Robert Crane, Robyn Betts, Siddhant Benadikar, Stephen Ryan, Steve Carlson, Steven Delaney, Wing Chow

The shirts were shipped to the winners in early July, and as one recipient said " Wow!! Super nice tee shirt.". We feel this program was a success and hope to offer similar challenges in the future.





Snack on High Fiber Foods

By Dr. Gabe Mirkin






This article is courtesy of Dr. Mirkin

Article Snack on High Fiber Foods | Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Health (


The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that daily consumption of starchy snacks made from flour was associated with a 50 percent increased risk of death from all causes and a 44-57 percent increased risk of death from a heart attack (J of the Am Heart Assoc, Jun 23, 2021;0:e020254). This study of 21,503 North Americans, with 149,875 person-years of follow-up, also found that lunches based on refined grains were associated with a 44 percent increased risk of cardiovascular death. In contrast, eating fruits, vegetables or dairy was associated with a 34 percent reduced risk of death from a heart attack, and eating a vegetable-based dinner was associated with a 23 percent reduction in heart attacks and a 31 percent reduction in deaths from all causes.


The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study found similar results (Brit Med J, Feb 3, 2021;372:m4948). This study followed 137,130 participants in 21 countries for 16 years and found that eating more than seven servings of refined grains per day was associated with a 27 percent increased risk for early death, 33 percent increased risk for heart disease and 47 percent increased risk for stroke. The study found no harmful effects from whole unground grains.


Fiber to Control Weight and Lower Risk for Type II Diabetes
There is no debate in the scientific community that people should eat lots of plants that have not had their fiber removed. A review commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) of 185 prospective studies and 58 clinical trials, covering 4600 adults, shows that for every 8-gram/day increase in dietary fiber, there was up to a 31 percent decrease in deaths from all causes, a 30 percent decrease in deaths from heart attacks, a 22 percent reduced risk of stroke, and a 16 percent reduced risk of diabetes, colorectal cancer or breast cancer (Lancet, Jan 10, 2019). See More Fiber from Whole Foods is Better


Fiber is millions of sugars bound together. All carbohydrates are single sugars or combinations of sugars; for example, glucose is a single sugar, and sucrose or common table sugar is a double sugar. Starch contains thousands of sugar molecules bound together, while fiber’s millions of sugars are bound together so tightly that you cannot break them apart in your intestines. Only single sugars can pass from your intestines into your bloodstream, so the double, triple, and other combinations of sugars and all starches must first be split into single sugars before they can be absorbed. These reactions occur so rapidly in your intestines that most starches cause rises in blood sugar that are not much lower than those from single sugars. Frequent high rises in blood sugar increase risk for type II diabetes


Humans cannot absorb fiber in their upper intestines because they lack the enzymes necessary to break down fiber into single sugars. Therefore, fiber passes unabsorbed in the intestines to the colon where bacteria do have the enzymes to break down some of the fiber. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber cannot be absorbed and passes from your body in your stool, helping to prevent constipation. Colon bacteria are able to break down soluble fiber into short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that reduce inflammation, helping to prevent diseases and prolong lives. SCFAs lower high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high insulin, and high blood pressure, and help to prevent heart attacks and strokes by reducing the risk for forming clots. A healthful diet includes large amounts of the foods that contain both types of fiber — fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and other seeds.


Why Whole (Unground) Grains are Healthful
Whole grains are seeds of grasses that are as hard as little stones, so they have to be cooked or ground up before you can eat them. Each whole grain (seed) has three parts: bran, germ and endosperm.
• The outer coating of whole grains, called bran, is a rich source of fiber.
• The germ (a tiny bump at the bottom of each seed that would grow into a new plant if sprouted) contains vitamins, healthful fats, phytochemicals, minerals and other nutrients.
• The endosperm is the starchy inner part of the seed that would be the energy source for the baby plant.


When whole grains are cooked, chewed and swallowed, the starchy inner part of the seeds is digested very slowly and does not cause a high rise in blood sugar. However, when grains are ground into a powder (flour), the starches are quickly digested and broken down into single sugars, which can cause high rises in blood sugar.


When mills grind whole grains into flour, they usually strip away the bran and the germ, saving only the starchy endosperm. They remove the germ because it is full of fat that hastens spoilage. Ground whole grains with the germ left in can be kept on the shelf only for a short time, while flour that has had the fatty germ removed can be kept for years. So most foods made from flour are very low in vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients, and no matter how many vitamins they add back in, it is not the same healthful food. See Is It Really Whole Grain?


My Recommendations
The most healthful snacks are whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, and snacks made from whole grains. Particularly if you are trying to control your weight, are diabetic or have a problem with constipation, I recommend that you use whole (un-ground) grains instead of products made from flour, even if the label claims that they are “whole grain.” See Diana’s simple instructions for cooking whole grains and her many delicious, easy recipes.



Safety Corner, August 2021

John Allen


Massachusetts is famous, or perhaps notorious, for its rotary intersections. Some date back to the construction of Metropolitan District Commission (now Department of Conservation and Recreation) parkways in the early decades of the 20th Century. A few rotaries are recent and apply the design elements of the modern roundabout, with deflection at entries and exits to slow traffic.

Rotaries are well-known to achieve smoother traffic flow and greater throughput than signalized intersections, but there are also disadvantages. Motorists’ yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks is on the honor system, and there is often not enough honor.  Also, with no traffic signals to organize traffic into platoons, the wait can be long when turning from a side street onto a street which leads away from a rotary

Be glad that you are a bicyclist rather than a pedestrian as you approach a rotary. Negotiating for the best lane position on entry to the rotary makes travel through the rotary easy. Unless you are leaving at the first exit, go to the inside. In a single-lane rotary, control the lane or even merge toward its left to allow motorists to exit on your right. In a two-lane rotary, you want to be in the inside lane until you approach your exit. Traffic is slower at the inside, because the curve is sharper, and no vehicles will cross your path, because there are no exits at the inside. You must yield to traffic in the rotary when entering it. Be careful that entering traffic is yielding to you as you exit.

The video embedded below illustrates the basic principles, at a small rotary in Waltham. My friend, CyclingSavvy student Ian Whiting, recorded the video in a course where I was one of the instructors, this past May.  If you are interested in checking this out where the rubber hits the road, I plan to have another course in the fall.


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




Adventure Rides in New York City - Continued

Eli Post


Last month we ran an article about the Adventure Ride trip to New York City. A wonderful video of the trip arrived too late for publication, and we present it to you now. We thank André Gutiérrez Marty for the VIDEO. It captures a fantastic adventure that blended scenic country roads with the excitement of a buzzing city, all in one weekend.


We recommend that you watch the video. Even if you read the article last month, you can re-experience the trip and appreciate how much the participants enjoyed it. Keep in mind that all the riders are CRW members, and it could be you on that trip, and in the video.


Screen shot from the video showing riders going over the George Washington Bridge.



The Athlete's Kitchen - Weight Loss is Hard


The Athlete’s Kitchen

Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD July 2021

Why Can’t I Lose Those Last Few Pounds???


“I can’t lose weight like I used to. I must be eating too many carbs”

“Do you think a keto diet is a good way to drop a few pounds?”


Judging by the phone calls I get from potential clients, an increasing number of athletes of all ages are complaining, “Why can’t I do something as simple as shed a few pounds???” They are frustrated and at a loss about what to do to lose undesired body fat.


Speaking at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (June 2021;, Kevin Hall PhD explained that fat loss is far from simple. Dr. Hall works at the National Institutes of Health. His laboratory investigates how metabolism and the brain respond to a variety of changes in diet and exercise. His research has helped identify the complex mechanisms that regulate weight.


Weight loss is not simple

You’ve likely heard, “A pound of fat equates to 3,500 stored calories. To lose one pound of body fat a week, you can simply knock off 500 calories a day—or burn off 500 calories more than usual, or some combination of the two.” Hall explained the “simple” approach to lose weight just doesn’t hold true. Chronic dieters would have shriveled up and disappeared by now. Not the case. 


Weight loss is not simple because our bodies adapt to “famines” by conserving energy. When food is scarce, be it a famine or a diet, the body conserves energy (metabolism slows, spontaneous movement lessens) and simultaneously appetite increases. Hence, eating less (dieting) takes persistent effort. The greater the energy deficit and the greater the weight loss, the greater the increase in appetite. Losing weight can becomes more and more challenging. Hence, most athletes (and people) end up unwilling or unable to sustain for a long time a diet with a calorie reduction of 25%. For a typical female athlete who maintains weight at about 2,400 calories, that’s an 1,800-calorie reducing diet. Based on my experience, athletes inevitably self-imposed a 1,200 – 1,500 calorie reducing plan. No wonder their diets fail! The stricter the diet, the hungrier the dieter, the bigger the backlash. The dieter devours way too much ice cream, too many cookies, chips…


The bottom line: People who diet tend to get heavier. Learn how to eat competently by working with a registered dietitian (RD) who specializes in sports nutrition (CSSD).


Is keto the answer?

So often I hear frustrated athletes ask, “What if I just do keto (or Paleo or another trendy diet) for a bit and then go back to eating “normally?” Ha! When dieters have managed to successfully lose weight, they can’t go back to eating like they used to eat. These dieters need fewer calories to support their lighter body. For each kilogram (2.2 lb) of weight lost, a dieter requires about 25 fewer calories less per day. Hence, dieters who lose 10 kg. (22 lb) need about 250 fewer calories per day to maintain their new reduced weight. Unfortunately, appetite-regulating hormones nudge them to want to eat more than that. This gets to be a tiring fight, and most folks lose the battle of the bulge.


The bottom line: Preventing weight gain in the first place is far simpler than trying to reclaim a former physique!


Are carbs the problem?

What if you could lose weight by cutting carbohydrates but not calories? Diet gurus have promised this for years, as do today’s keto supporters. Anti-carbers claim high-carb diets lead to excess insulin secretion, hunger, excessive eating, and fat gain. Low-carb diets are touted to reduce insulin, hunger—and promote easy fat loss.


 Not so simple. Despite popular belief, simply knocking off starches (bread, pasta, grains) and sugary foods does not guarantee fat loss—unless it creates an energy deficit. That is, eliminating a serving of rice from dinner can knock off 200 calories. But does the hungry dieter then indulge in a pint of sugar-free ice cream or a keto-bomb? The carb-free = calorie-free attitude easily wipes out the deficit created by cutting out carbs.


Hall’s research (1) does not support the carb-insulin theory that carbs are fattening. He closely monitored subjects in a metabolic ward who ate as much as they desired of high (75%) carb/high-glycemic diet designed to spike blood glucose and trigger high levels of insulin. The subjects did not gain body fat. In fact, every single subject eating the high carb/high insulin/low fat diet ate, on average, about 700 fewer calories/day less than  when they ate the high fat/low carb/low insulin keto diet.  


The bottom line: Carbs are NOT inherently fattening. (If carbs were fattening, then people in Asian countries who eat bowlfuls of rice would be obese. Not the case.)


If carbs aren’t fattening, what is?

The increase in obesity in the US correlates well with the increased intake of ultra-processed foods. Hall is pointing his finger at foods such as Oreos, soda, instant ramen noodles, chicken nuggets, etc. He has researched the impact of two weeks of an ultra-processed convenience food diet vs. two weeks of a homemade, natural foods diet. (2) The menus were very carefully designed to be equally tasty. The subjects reported no differences in pleasantness between them. They ate as much as desired.


With the ultra-processed diet, the subjects consumed ~500 more calories a day compared to the unprocessed diet. They gained weight during those two weeks—and lost weight (without trying to do so) with the unprocessed diet. Because both diets offered the same amount of sugar, carbs, and fat, those nutrients did not drive the weight change.


 What’s going on? Hall is currently looking at why ultra-processed foods easily lead to weight gain.


The bottom line: Until we know more, your best bet is to limit ultra-processed foods. Fret less about sugar/carbs, and more about the processing. Somehow, find time to prepare meals. As a parent, please teach your kids to cook. Hopefully you’ll all enjoy the eat-well, stay lean diet!



Sports Nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD counsels both casual and competitive athletes in the Boston-area (617-795-1875). Her best-selling Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook can help you learn to eat wisely and well. Not a book-reader? Enjoy her online workshop at


1. Hall, K. et all. Effect of a plant-based, low-fat diet versus an animal-based, ketogenic diet on ad libitum energy intake. Nat Med 2021 Feb;27(2):344-353

2. Hall, K. et al. Ultra-processed diets cause excess calorie intake and weight gain: An inpatient randomized controlled trial of ad libitum food intake. Cell Metab 2019. 30(1):67-77.








August Updates

WheelPeople Editors

Diversity Rides - In August there will be a ride honoring Kittie Knox.  Ms. Knox was a bicycle racer and the first African American to be accepted into the League of American Wheelmen.


Adventure Rides. Several Adventure Rides have been arranged. Adventure Rides Launched at CRW | Charles River Wheelers


Google Tilt - In July we ran an article about a new Ride With GPS feature call Google Tilt. It turns out the feature is only available in the planning mode, not while riding or viewing a completed route. We thank Tom Fortmann for doing the research. He reports that " it works in New York City, Boston, and Lexington.  Continuing west, it stops working at approximately Hanscom Field.  Going north it keeps working up to the Merrimack River and northeast from there to the New Hampshire line.  South from Boston, it works as far as Brockton."






Amazon Smile If you have an Amazon Prime account please look into making CRW your charity. Details here





August Picture of the Month

WheelPeople Editors


We don't know if these riders are resting after a challenging ride or are taking it easy on this sunny day. Whatever, we give hats off to their finding a beautiful spot to relax.


Photo by Alex Post was taken on June 16, 2021 along the Potomic River in Washington, DC..




Bruce Freeman Rail Trail

WheelPeople Editors

The photo of the work on the pedestrian/bike bridge over Route 2 shows the last steel beam in place. The bridge will connect the trail in Acton to the 2.5 mile section in West Concord. When this section is completed the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail from Lowell to Powder Mill Road in Concord will be 15 miles long.