Charles River Wheelers

May Ride and Event Recaps

2024-05-30 2:32 PM | Anonymous

3rd Annual Spring Swap Meet & Rides, May 5th

By Jerry Skurla

Both riders and bargain hunters enjoyed a fine spring day for the 3rd Annual Spring Swap Meet & Rides in Lexington on May 11.  

Almost 50 riders turned out to ride. Kudos to Lindy King, who led the 10 am ride of 38 miles, and Mary & Larry Kernan,  co-leaders of the 25 mile ride that rolled out at 11 am.  Both groups arrived back at Harrington Middle School just as the Swap Meet was opening at 1pm.

A vintage Fuji bike brought by Greg Stathis found a new home, numerous basements and garages now have more space, and many folks found valuable gems on the extra long "Free Stuff" tables.

Ron Cater and Jerry Skurla transported all unclaimed items to the Bike Connector in Lowell, MA, where they will so find new homes.

Paceline Clinic

By Julie Stephenson and John O'Dowd

CRW held a paceline clinic Saturday, May 18 at the MBTA overflow parking lot in Lincoln. The clinic was led by CRW members/Northeast Bicycle Club (NEBC) instructors Ed Kross, Mark McMaster, Colete Trenchard, and Julie Stephenson.

These four leaders have been racing for many years, and know the advantages of working a paceline under tense and speedy conditions.  Mark initiated the Introduction to Bicycle Racing Clinic at NEBC back in the 90's, and Ed took over some years later. From those clinics, NEBC gained some great racing talent, some of which went on to race at the National level. 

Fortunately, earlier rain stopped before the clinic began. Ed explained some fundamentals about pacelining and gave tips and examples from his own experience. He had a few people form a line and the group walked through how a paceline works. People had a chance to ask questions. Participants were asked to focus on being in the paceline, maintaining a consistent distance between themselves and the person in front of them, signaling before turning, slowing down or stopping, and pointing out potholes or road issues.

Nine participants were divided into two groups. Ed and Colette led one group and Mark and Julie led another.  Colette and Julie rode at the front of their respective groups and Ed and Mark rode beside the groups to offer tips and feedback. Groups then started to rotate in a paceline formation with the front person coming off of the front after instructed to do so by Ed and Mark. This was repeated a number of times, with Ed and Mark making sure there were no cars approaching and that it was safe for people to rotate. 

Everyone was progressing well so participants were instructed to come off the front of the paceline when they felt it was safe to do so after at least 30 seconds in the lead position, then coast to the back of the line. This exercise was repeated and feedback was given as needed. Around noon the groups joined up again, and everyone had an opportunity to ask more questions in a discussion format. 

No matter the level of experience, formal instruction in any sport is always helpful to the participants, and also to the instructors. CRW is working to offer members more clinics like these to improve riding skills and safety.

North to New Hampshire Century

By John O'Dowd

A persistent cold drizzle could not stop determined CRW members and volunteers from making the North to New Hampshire century event on May 19 a success. Riders and volunteers were at the start bright and early to kick off the event.

New this year was the all-digital check in process. No more paper! Volunteers checked in riders with the press of a button. Also new were the rubber wristbands with the emergency sag number. Gone are the paper wristbands which required a volunteer to put on. Veteran volunteers said they never had check-in go so smoothly.

This year we had seven led groups of various distances and speeds. Larry Kernan, Clyde Kessel, Barbara Martin, Peter Sliker, and Keren Hamel/Tsachi Avrahami all led groups. One of our newest ride leaders, Melissa Quirk, stepped up and led a group, too. Our Devo program coordinator, Andre Wolfe, led a “power group” doing the 100-mile route at a blinding 21+ mph pace!

Another great new feature was mechanical support at the start, courtesy of Bikes Not Bombs’ head mechanic Sterling Storm.

Century coordinator Mark Nardone brought his ultimate support vehicle, the “Grendel”. This huge Mercedes camper carried more equipment than any SUV could ever hope to, AND provided a canopy and some rocking tunes!

Out on the course, the Groveland rest stop was single- handedly crewed by veteran CRW volunteer Bill Haynes. Maudslay State Park rest stop was crewed by Tim Wilson, Gail Walker, and Jim Iannone who reported their rest stop was the envy of an adjacent road race. Finally, the Georgetown rest stop, run by Mellissa Desouza and Micheal Lonetto, kept shivering wet riders fueled and encouraged to cover the last 25 miles.

Century coordinator Erik D'entremont trucked in amazing Hearth Pizza from Needham, which was quickly handed out to our hungry riders by Barbara Jacobs and Ted Nyder, along with the cool gear medallion to symbolize their victory over the hostile riding conditions.

Congratulations to the two women (pictured below) who rode their first Century at the N2NH Event. What an accomplishment!


Our last rider rolled in after 4:00 and finished off the pizza. Foul weather cannot stop committed CRW riders and volunteers!

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