Charles River Wheelers

WheelPeople: Your Bike Club Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest Charles River Wheelers news, events, and rides. Our WheelPeople newsletter is tailored for current and prospective members seeking bike-related updates, expert advice, and cycling inspiration. Don't miss a beat – join our vibrant community today! Access our archived issues here.

WheelPeople Articles

  • 2023-10-20 7:26 AM | Anonymous

    By John O'Dowd

    Hello ride leaders!

    It’s almost time for our annual ride leader thank you party! Time to celebrate all the rides we led (or tried to lead) and the new friends we’ve made this year! We will have delicious food from Blue Ribbon BBQ and yummy vegetarian treats as well.

    And of course, a nice selection of beer and wines.

    If you need another reason to party with your friends, CRW wants to reward your efforts with our new CRW socks. These are an exclusive gift to our ride leaders; no one else gets them but you! It’s just a small token of our appreciation of the work you do to make this club a success.

    Here are the details:

    When: Sunday November 19th

    Where: The Lexington Depot, 13 Depot Square, Lexington, MA 02420

    Time: 5:00 pm for drinks and appetizers, 6:00 for dinner

    And of course, behind every great ride leader stands their spouse/partner, and we want to thank them too for sacrificing their time with you to lead rides. So feel free to bring them along!

    How: Register for this event like you would a ride. When registering you can add a guest - scroll to the bottom of your registration page and check off that you are bringing a guest.  

    Sign up today! Seating is limited! Don’t miss out on this once-a-year extravaganza!


  • 2023-09-20 7:57 PM | Anonymous

    To celebrate my 75th birthday, I decided to head to the upper Midwest.


    Early September would be a good time to start.

    The summer heat should be over by then.

    And, there are no mountains or steep hills.

     

    I started at the border of Manitoba and North Dakota, and then headed south.

    I quickly crossed over the Red River, and I spent the rest of the trip in Minnesota.

     

    For the first several days, I was pushed along by a wind from the north.

    However, the settlements were very small, leaving few places to eat or drink.

    Sugar beet farms stretched for miles and miles. (Picture is Early morning on Central Lakes Trail)





     

    I was averaging 50 miles per day, but on day 4, I pushed myself to ride 75 miles.

    I had planned to stop at mile 45, but with the help of a tail wind, i arrived at 12;30.

    The next motel was 30 miles away, so I foolishly kept going.

    Needless to say, I was tired when I arrived in Wahpeton, North Dakota.

     

    By the next day, the tail wind turned into a head wind! ( Picture is Royal Canadian Mounted Police statue)

    The next motel was 60 miles south, so I decided to head east.

    There was a motel only 30 miles away.  I needed an easy day.

     

    In Fergus Falls, I noticed a bike trail, the Central Lakes Trail.

    I usually am not a fan of bike trails, especially those in big cities.

    But this trail was relatively unused.

    Once out of Fergus Falls, I rarely saw anyone for 25 miles!

    Straight, flat, wide, and sometimes tree-lined, I became a rail trail fan.

     

    After 50 miles, the Central Rail Trail became the Lake Wobegon Trail. (Picture is road sign Entering Minnesota after crosing the Red River.)

    This combined trail went about 125 miles.

    Only near the end at St. Joseph did the bike traffic pick up.

     

    I had no predetermined route on this trip.

    But as I approached Minneapolis, I figured it was time to rent a car and head home.Downtown Ad, Minnesota

     

    After the bike trail ended, I picked up part of the Mississippi River Trail (MRT).

    Some of this trail was a bike trail, and part was on roads.

    But it often ran right next to the river, offering spectacular views.

     

    After 8 days of small towns, I started entering the Minneapolis suburbs.

    My map app sent me down roads with bike lanes.

    However, my phone started losing power, and it had the only directions to the airport and my rental car.World's Largest Catfish, Wahpeton,North Dakota

     

    So I had to stop at a Dairy Queen where a kind young man charged my phone.

    Once back on my bike, I knew there was only ONE way that a bike could get to the airport.  It involved a bike trail that went through a wooded area, parallel to a major highway.  The only way to the airport was to take a bridge across the highway.

     

    So, here is where things got "interesting".

    Without warning, the bike path was barricaded for repairs!

    And as I looked at my phone for another route, I realized that the phone was almost out of power. Yikes!

    So I backtracked, hopefully to find another route to the airport.

    It was then that I spotted another bicyclist, pondering his paper map. (Picture is The City Restaurant in Ashby, Minnesota )

    I asked if he knew of another route to the airport.Another diner - Avon, Minnesota

     

    "Nope. There's only one way.  You have to get to THE bridge."

     

    We were both in the same predicament. 

    But he said, maybe we can walk our bikes through the construction?

     

    Another diner - Avon, MinnesotagranSo off we went, walking around the barricade.

    Luckily, the dirt track was short and packed enough to ride.

    We stopped and discovered we were both long-distance bike riders.

    It was a great ending to a fun trip.

     

    Just as I made it to the airport bridge, my phone died.

    Somehow I found the rental car counter in a maze of buildings.

     

    On the long drive home I stopped to visit old friends in Chicago and Michigan.

     

    All and all, the weather was good (no rain), and my grandchildren now have proof that Grandpa John can ride a bike a long way...

     

    For a daily journal, click here: 

    https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Grandpa75


  • 2023-09-20 5:59 PM | Anonymous

     I hope that everyone had a great summer.  We're now into the Fall riding season, the time to enjoy the changing colors of the trees and the cool weather. A shout out to our VP of Rides, John O'Dowd, the Rides Committee (Mary, Julie, Barbara, Herman, and Megan), and our Ride Leaders, for making sure that out calendar has been full of interesting weekend and recurring rides. Century season is also upon us, and we have the terrific Cranberry Harvest Century coming soon.  Be sure to sign-up for one of the three distances - a little something for everyone.

    Meanwhile,  the Fall also means that it's time for our annual elections.  We have four Board openings this year, so there are opportunities if you have interest in helping to run the club.  We have three terms ending in the usual course, and our wonderful colleague, Harriet Fell, will be stepping down at the end of the year before the end of her term because she has moved to California.   

    Let me know if you have any questions (edward_cheng_89@yahoo.com) or look for the announcement for our zoom meeting where Board members will be available to answer questions to help you decide whether you want to run.  If there's anything that you would the club to do better, being a member of the Board will put you in the position to effect change!

    As I'm recovering from the rupture of my Achilles tendon and starting to ride again, I hope to see you on the roads!


  • 2023-09-20 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    By Coach John Hughes

    My recent column My 1979 1200 km Paris-Brest-Paris described 7 of my mistakes including nutrition mistakes.  Here’s a follow up on other nutrition mistakes, many from my own experience.

    1. Not testing food

    One of my Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) mistakes was not testing my planned nutrition before the big event. In addition to eating at the control aid stations, I’d planned to eat primarily sandwiches with crusty French bread during PBP. I developed mouth sores and couldn’t tolerate the crusty French bread. Although it would have been logistically difficult, I should have tried eating primarily French bread sandwiches on an all-day training ride or at least subsisted on them for a couple of days at. Before your next big event test your nutrition on a training ride to be sure it’s easy to digest and works well for you. 

    2. Not eating carbs

    I laugh every time I remember this. In the 70s I rode the Mt. Lassen National Park Double Century whose motto was “Where a sags a drag.” We were on our own to buy food en route.  The first stop was a bakery – yum.  The second stop was a mountain general store – cookies and chips. The third stop was the park camp store, with a limited selection.  I had sardines, which I normally liked. Yuck. They didn’t give me much energy and were hard to digest.

    Eating While Riding: Is Sugar a Bad Thing?

    • Why bakery sweets are okay; avoiding the sugar rush and crash.

    3. Not eating regularly

    Because I couldn’t tolerate the French bread and didn’t find anything else I liked, I didn’t eat much on the 50 to 100 km sections between aid stations so the sections felt longer and longer. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends depending on how big you are consuming 25 to 60 grams of carbs (100 to 240 calories) per hour after the first hour of exercise. Note that the recommendation is only for calories of carbs.

    4. Bonking

    On the Lassen DC I bonked. Another embarrassing case was the Colorado Triple Bypass. The ride was 120 miles over Juniper Pass (11,140 ft.), Loveland Pass (11,990 ft.), and Vail Pass (10,560 ft.). I didn’t eat at the base of Loveland so I wouldn’t be climbing with food in my stomach. I made it to the top and then it was a long hungry ride down to a mini-mart. I’ve written two related columns:

    Anti-Aging: Preventing Bonking and Hitting the Wall,

    • Importance of glycogen from carbs; how to conserve glycogen while riding.

    Preventing Bonking with Daily Nutrition

    • Daily nutrition and chronic glycogen depletion.

    5. Sports electrolyte drinks provide all you need

    Ah, the memories. In the 70s and 80s we knew we needed to replace electrolytes. E.R.G. (Electrolyte Replacement Drink) was the only option and it tasted terrible. Then Gatorade came out, which was better. However, I since learned the sodium in Gatorade and most similar sports drinks is only about half the sodium per liter as in your blood, not enough. Here’s a better option:

    An Effective and Low-Cost Homemade Sports Drink

    • It’s tastier, has more of the electrolytes you need and costs much less than a commercial product.

    6. Overhydration

    If a rider dilutes the concentration of sodium in the blood too much it can become a dangerous condition called dilutional hyponatremia, which may progress to Exercise Associated Hyponatremia (EAH). With EAH the body starts to retain fluid, rather than urinating it out. Because the body is retaining fluid the body started to bloat. The brain tries to swell but can’t because it is encased in the skull. If too much pressure builds on the brain it can become fatal. This column explains more:

    Anti-Aging: Why “Drink Before You’re Thirsty” is Dangerous

    7. Underhydration

    On the other hand becoming significantly dehydrated will affect performance. The operative word is “significantly.” On hot stages the pros can’t drink enough to stay hydrated even with the domestiques shuttling bottles. However, the pros can still climb hard and sprint fast. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking enough so you don’t become more than 2% over- or under-hydrated.  If you weight 150 lbs your weight shouldn’t increase or decrease more than 3 lbs. For more information:

    Anti-Aging: 5 Signs You May Be Dehydrated

    Learning from the Pros: Heat and Hydration

    • Why they overheat (it’s not just the sun); what they drink; how they deal with dehydration.

    8. Sports nutrition is better

    The Power Bar wasn’t invented until 1986. When I started riding in the ‘70s,  I had to figure out my own sports nutrition. I was a backpacker and took Logan bread on my backpacking trips, a dense bread full of dried fruits and nuts. I tried it on the Mt. Hamilton Challenge. Dense meant hard to digest. Next I tried Pepperidge Farm cookies, which were tasty and the package fit well in my jersey pocket. I tried Power Bars and other products, which I didn’t like. Bagel and jam sandwiches were better. Research supports my choosing real food:

    What’s the Best Food for Cycling?

    • Research on regular food vs. sports nutrition; recommended ride nutrition including both sports products and real food.

    Learning from the Pros: Cycling Nutrition

    • Breakfast; during the stage; fueling the sprint; fueling the time trial.

    9. Caffeine drinks dehydrate

    I raced the 1996 Race Across America from San Diego, CA across the south to Savannah, GA. I finished in 11 days 15 hours including all my time off the bike. I used caffeine tablets to stay awake and keep moving; however, I had no problems with dehydration despite the heat. My crew was rationing the caffeine. The last day I asked for a tablet with 200 mg of caffeine. Still falling asleep. Another 200 mg. Still sleepy. They finally allowed me another 200 mg. Suddenly I could feel spiders crawling through the blood vessels in my arms. Everything in moderation. I explain more in this column:

    Caffeine and Hydraton

    • Caffeine and performance; caffeine has a minimal diuretic effect.

    10. Recovery nutrition

    In the 70s and 80s I did two week camping trips on my bike in the California mountains.  One evening I’d camped on the west side of Sonora Pass and another man rode up and joined me. Before he unloaded his gear he started eating Wheat Thins and offered me some, which were very tasty and salty. From the label one serving (16 crackers) provided 22 g (88 calories) and 230 mg of sodium. The original ones also had 5 g (45 calories) of fat. I’ve switched to the low fat ones which I keep in my car except during bear season — don’t want to tempt one to break into my car. Here’s more:

    Recovery Nutrition for Cyclists

    • Recovery nutrition for endurance; role of protein for older riders; timing of recovery nutrition.

    Ask the Coach: Best Recovery Food and Drink

    • Replacing glycogen and electrolytes; good sources of each.

    Experiment of One

    I make recommendations based on the professional literature, my coaching experience and my personal experience.  My recommendations are general; however, each of us has different tastes. Experiment to learn what is optimal for you.

    Related columns

    Anti-Aging: Nutrition, part 1: Daily Food and Drink

    • The different roles of carbohydrates, proteins and fats and healthy choices.

    Anti-Aging: Nutrition, part 2: Supplements: Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants

    • Four key vitamins and minerals when your over 50; the role of supplements; detailed recommendation daily amounts of all vitamins and minerals.

    Anti-Aging: 7 Nutrition Myths

    • Simple carbs are bad; hydrate or die and five other myths.

    Ask the Coach: What Should a Beginning Cyclist Eat and Drink, pt. 1?

    • Why choose carbs; which carbs are best.

    Ask the Coach: What Should a Beginning Cyclist Eat and Drink, pt. 2?

    • Which drinks are best and why.

    Nutrition for Performance

    • The physiology of energy production; what to consume for rides of different lengths.

    My eBooks

    Eating and Drinking Like the Pros I talked with racers, coaches and cooks to learn what the pros eat and translated this into information every roadie can use. I also give you 12 recipes to make your own sports nutrition. The 15 page Eating and Drinking Like the Pros is $4.99.



  • 2023-09-20 3:47 PM | Anonymous

    By Eli Post, Board Secretary

    CRW Elections for four Board Members are coming up. This is a second mailing regarding the election. There were technical issues in the first mailing, and we decided to restart fresh.

    There are 9 Directors on the CRW Board and the Past President serves in an ex officio role for one year after his or her term.  Each year, CRW members elect 3 directors for a 3-year term.  A director is allowed to serve no more than two consecutive 3-year terms. 

    Board of Directors meetings are held every two months in odd-numbered months.  One of those meetings is anticipated to be an all-day planning meeting. 

    In this election, there are four open Director seats to be filled.  The three top candidates will serve three-year terms from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2026. The fourth in line will serve the remaining time of a recently resigned Director.

     

    This is the process for Election of the Board:

    ·         Any member may submit his / her own name as a candidate for the current Board vacancies, not later than Saturday September 30th.  Each candidate may submit a statement of 250 words or less, including a single photo, to be disseminated to the membership and included in the ballot.

    •     Submit your nomination and statement to https://www.crw.org/forms and select “Board Candidate  Statement.” We created this form to help manage the election and provide consistent results. However, if you find the form daunting, you can send me the statement/photo directly elipost@comcast.net
    •   The statements and voting procedures will appear in early October. Unless you are applying for the CRW Board, there is no action to take, at the moment, but be prepared to vote.
    •      Election of Directors shall be by electronic ballot transmitted to all members. CRW members in good standing as of August 31st are eligible to vote. Votes of the members shall be confidential. Voting shall be allowed from Monday October 2nd and continue through the following Thursday October 5th.  The Secretary shall verify and publish the results no later than the second Sunday of October.
    •   All eligible CRW members may vote once for up to as many candidates as there are openings on the Board
    •     The names of the newly elected Directors will appear in the November WheelPeople.


  • 2023-09-20 3:11 PM | Anonymous

    By Doctor Gabe Mirkin

    This article is courtesy of Dr.Gabe Mirkin MD https://www.drmirkin.com/

    Staying hydrated may slow the aging process. NIH researchers followed 11,255 adults for 30 years and found that compared to those who didn’t drink enough fluids, those who stayed well-hydrated:
    • aged more slowly,
    • lived longer, and
    • were far less likely to develop chronic diseases such as those of the heart, lungs and kidneys (EbioMedicine, January 02, 2023). These findings were first presented August 27, 2021, at the European Society of Cardiology Congress.

    How Not Drinking Enough Fluids May Shorten Your Life
    Studies in mice found that lifelong water restriction increased the blood sodium levels by five millimoles per liter and shortened their life spans by six months, which equals about 15 years in humans (JCI Insight, Sept 5, 2019;4(17):PMC6777918). Not drinking enough fluids can raise your blood levels of sodium salt that raises blood pressure to increase risk for arterial damage.

    Blood levels of sodium can be used as an indicator of levels of hydration or dehydration. All of the people in the NIH study had “normal American blood levels of sodium” from 135 to 146 millimoles per liter. So the researchers looked at those on the high end of “normal” (above 143) and found that they had a 20 percent increased risk of premature death than people with sodium levels below 144. Those with sodium levels of 145-146 were 50 percent more likely to show signs of physical aging. Those who had blood sodium levels between 142 to 143 were also at increased risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, heart failure, stroke, chronic lung disease, diabetes and dementia.

    Precaution on These Findings
    This study does not prove that drinking more water prevents chronic disease. It is more likely that the people with high normal blood levels of sodium have much higher sodium levels when they are stressed, such as during exercise or exposure to hot weather, and therefore are being damaged by normal body stresses that would not have damaged them otherwise. Severe dehydration can also cause kidney damage.

    How Much Water Should You Drink?
    The CDC says that the average U.S. adult drinks more than five cups of fluid a day. No solid research supports the often-recommended “drink eight glasses of water a day.” The National Academies of Medicine recommend six to nine cups of fluid per day for women and eight to 12 for men, but this also is not supported by good research because fluid requirements vary tremendously depending on the person and the conditions. You get 27-36 percent of your intake of fluids from the food that you eat, and low fluid drinkers do not compensate by eating more water-rich foods (Nutrients, Oct 14, 2016 Oct;8(10):630). I believe that you should drink when you are thirsty and have at least a glass of fluid with each meal, and then probably some more several times during the day. If you have any health problems, you should check with your doctor for recommended fluid intake.

    Problems From a High-Salt Diet?
    A high-salt diet increases risk for high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and premature death (Kidney Int Suppl, Dec 2013;3(4):312-315). High blood pressure affects 108 million adults, increasing risk for heart attacks, the leading cause of death in the United States. Low-salt, plant-based diets dramatically lower both high blood pressure and markers of heart muscle damage in just four weeks (J Am Coll Cardiol, Jun 2021;77(21):2625-2634). In one study, salt restriction lowered systolic blood pressure by less than 5 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by only 2.5 mm Hg (JAMA Intern Med, 2014;174(4):516-524). However, the subjects in that study were already on a high-plant diet which, by itself, can lower high blood pressure because plants contain potassium and a high-potassium diet can counter some of the harmful effects of taking in too much salt (JAMA Pediatr, June 2015;169(6):560-568). You should be on a high plant, low-processed food diet that restricts meat. A review of 85 studies, following participants for up to three years, found that low-salt diets were associated with significantly lowered blood pressure (Circulation, Feb 15, 2021).

    My Recommendations
    Chronic dehydration can damage your cells and appears to increase risk for premature aging. Dehydration and the typical high-salt North American diet increase blood pressure risk to increase risk for heart attacks, strokes, kidney and other organ damage and premature death. I recommend that you:
    • Drink a glass of water with every meal, and more fluids throughout the day or whenever you are thirsty.
    • Eat lots of vegetables. They contain potassium which will counter the effects of taking in too much salt.
    • Restrict processed foods that often contain added salt; check the labels.

    The healthful low salt, high-potassium diet I recommend includes (per day):
    • Up to 8 servings (1/2 cup cooked or equivlent) of whole grains
    • At least 5 vegetables
    • At least 5 fruits
    • Up to 3 servings of plain yogurt or cheese (optional)
    • 2 servings of seafood per week (I recommend that you avoid meat from mammals)
    • Beans or legumes (no limit)
    • A few handfuls of unsalted nuts or snack seeds
    • A few tablespoons of olive oil (optional)

    Many cases of high blood pressure can be controlled with a high-plant, low-salt diet and other lifestyle changes that include:
    • trying to exercise every day
    • maintaining a healthful weight
    • avoiding alcohol
    • avoiding smoking and second hand smoke
    • keeping blood levels of hydroxy vitamin D above 30 ng/mL


  • 2023-09-20 2:52 PM | Anonymous

    By John Allen

    What should you do if a police officer pulls you over when you are riding your bicycle?

    A Waltham resident was riding his e-bike early Sunday morning, September 17, when he got pulled over by a Waltham police officer. This cyclist knows to stay out of the door zone of parked cars. And this year’s amendments to the traffic law clarify that cyclists may use the entire lane as needed. Motorists are now allowed to cross the centerline to pass bicyclists when safe. Unfortunately, the officer believed that a bicyclist should always keep right to allow motorists to pass in the same lane. The cyclist was running front and rear video cameras on his bicycle and recorded the entire encounter. He shared the videos with me, though he wishes to remain anonymous. I have synchronized the videos and added narration and text comments. The video is here:


    The cyclist is writing a letter to the Waltham Chief of Police and I’ll be showing the Chief the video. Except for the misunderstanding, I think that both the cyclist and the officer handled the situation pretty well. Keeping the discussion polite and cooperative is most likely to lead to a positive turn of events. There's more than one type of safety to consider in an encounter with a police officer.


    The encounter raises a few more issues which I highlighted in my comments:

     the importance of indicating that you are recording – which applies to you also if you are a motorist with a dashcam.
     how Massachusetts traffic law is disorganized and confusing, no favor either to public safety officers or to citizens. (Look in vain in the Statutes for rules applying to traffic lights: they are separately in the ordinances of the 351 cities and towns, State Highway, Massport and Department of Conservation and Recreation regulations...)

     that several motorists including the officer committed minor violations of the letter of the law, and they are generally taken to be normal. Crossing the double yellow line; rolling stops at stop signs... What do you think of the riding? How the cyclist and the police officer handled the situation? Those minor violations? What would you do if you found yourself in a similar situation? It’s worth thinking ​about because it could happen to you, and it might create an opportunity to improve the climate for bicycling in your community.

    Comments are welcome. I might respond to them with the article, or next month. 



  • 2023-09-20 1:48 PM | Anonymous

    By Nancy Clark

    Of all the questions athletes ask me, “What about sugar…?” is at the top of the list. You likely have been bombarded with messages that sugar is evil, feeds cancer, causes obesity, ruins health, and should be avoided at all costs. Yet, athletes also hear that sugar fuels muscles during exercise, is the main ingredient in commercial sports foods, and enhances recovery from hard workouts. Let’s look at some sugar myths and misconceptions, as well as new technology that can measure your personal response to sugary foods.

     

     Is sugar addictive?
    No. While sugar lights up pleasure centers in the brain, sugar is not an addictive drug like cocaine. Sugar cravings can often be curbed by preventing hunger. Hunger triggers cravings for sugary foods and the urge to overeat. Hungry athletes can easily devour a lot of gummy bears or Oreos in the blink of an eye.

         If you believe you are addicted to sugar, do this experiment: rearrange your eating patterns to enjoy a king-sized high protein breakfast (3-egg cheese omelet + Greek yogurt + fruit + granola) followed by a satisfying protein-rich lunch (peanut butter & banana sandwich + glass of milk), and you will quickly notice your afternoon and evening sugar cravings dissipate (that is, unless you are eating to manage stress and smother feelings—as opposed to enjoying food for fuel).

     

    Is sugar fattening?
    No. Excess calories of any type are fattening. Many athletes tell me that despite eating only “healthy” foods (i.e., no sugary sweets), they are not losing weight. They could simply be swapping 100 calories of gummy bears for 100 calories of grapes or 100 calories of nuts. No calorie deficit there.

    Take note: the conversion of excess calories of sugar into body fat is actually a tough conversion (as compared to the conversion of excess calories of dietary fat into body fat). Sugar often comes with fat (cookies, ice cream, chocolate) Hence, overeating gummy bears could be less fattening than overeating fatty chips. (But first, curb the urge to overeat sugary-fatty foods by enjoying a king-sized breakfast!!!)

     

     I’ve heard sugar feeds cancer cells. Should I avoid sugar to reduce my risk of getting cancer? No. Sugar feeds all cells, not just cancer cells. Giving sugar to cancer cells does not make them grow faster, nor does depriving them of sugar curb their growth. A diet rich in fruits, veggies, and whole grains reduces the risk of cancer—even though these foods all end up as sugar in your blood. (Yes, all grains and plant-foods—“carbs”—digest into sugar.) Sugary foods can be linked to obesity, and obesity can be linked to cancer. Cancer patients who are prescribed prednisone as part of their treatment may need to limit sugar because the medication can elevate blood sugar, but that is a different story.

     

    Does sugar cause diabetes?

    No. Diabetes-Type 1 happens when the pancreas makes inadequate insulin to transport sugar out of the blood and into the muscles. Diabetes-Type II happens when the muscles do not respond normally to insulin. This often happens with people who are overfat and underfit. In comparison, most athletic people maintain normal blood glucose levels.

     

    Should athletes be concerned about “sugar spikes”?
    Generally, not. After you eat any type of carb (fruit, veggie, grain, sugary or starchy food), your blood sugar (blood glucose) will rise as the sugar moves from your gut into the blood stream. Blood glucose gets used by brain, muscle, liver, and organs. This “spike” is normal, and the body has a complex system of checks and balances to keep it within a normal range (>70 and <180 mg/dL)-After hard exercise, a spike in blood glucose is a normal physiological response.


    Will monitoring my blood sugar level help me perform better?

    Some endurance athletes are measuring their sugar levels with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). The device is sort of like a fuel gauge that can help them figure out if they are under-fueled. This knowledge might inspire athletes who under-eat to fuel better to perform better, but we need much more research to validate this hypothesis.

         Most research with CGMs has been done on people with diabetes. They need to know if their blood glucose is too low (causing shakiness and hypoglycemic sweats) or too high (causing damage to tiny blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys and other organs—with long-term complications of organ failure and blindness, among other health issues). For them, CGMs can be health-saving, whereas for athletes, the data is more of a matter of curiosity.

     

    How does a CGM work?

    The athlete sticks on the back of the arm a small circular patch (a sensor) which has a very thin filament that painlessly goes under the skin and measures glucose between cells. The sensor connects to a cell phone app that handles the data. The technology can help validate if fatigue is related to low glucose and inadequate fuel.

         While a CGM can help you learn about your body’s response to carbs, listening to your body’s messages—not looking at numbers on your cell phone—is the better way to go. Simply pay attention to how you feel: Are you droopy? Edgy? Unable to focus on the task at hand? If yes, you are likely low on fuel and your glucose is low.

     

    I enjoy technology: heart rate monitors, sleep trackers, GPS watches. Where can I buy a CGM?

    Search online or go to a drug store. Two popular brands are FreeStyle Libre and Dexcom. SuperSapiens.com offers abundant info.
         Before FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) nudges you to jump on the bandwagon, my advice is be sure this would be a smart choice for you. Some athletes feel driven to obsessively monitor their glucose levels. They can easily feel stressed and become glucorexic
    . CGMs are best used for one to two weeks by athletes who have a specific performance problem they want to resolve, such as, why do I bonk 15 miles into a 26.2 mile marathon?A CGM can identify a need to adjust food intake. Will this enhance performance? Stay tuned for more research with athletes!

     

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

     

     


  • 2023-09-20 11:06 AM | Anonymous

    By Randolph Williams

    Member feedback has been invaluable for refining the code of conduct draft into a version that upholds our shared values while allowing members to feel comfortable being themselves. The following summary was issued by club president Ed Cheng earlier this month, and the WheelPeople editors felt it was informative and worth repeating in this article.


    Dear CRW Members,

    Thank you to everyone who took the time to review the proposed code of conduct and provide feedback. We appreciate you sharing your thoughts, which will help us refine the code of conduct to serve our community best.

    Members have until September 24, 2023 to comment on the code of conduct. Here are the answers to the top questions raised so far by the membership:

    Why is a formal code of conduct necessary? Has there been bad behavior that prompted this?

    While not in response to any single incident, we have had several situations this year where having clear expectations and a process in place would have been helpful. Establishing some reasonable guardrails proactively will aid the club. This is not unusual for nonprofits and bike clubs.

    Some language, like "inappropriate behavior" seems vague. Will this be defined more clearly?

    We appreciate the concern and will be guided by a “reasonable person” standard when evaluating potential misconduct, not a strict interpretation of vague terms. The intent is to address egregious behaviors that a reasonable person would deem offensive or harmful.

    What are the procedures for enforcing the code of conduct if violations occur?

    The Board will investigate credible reports of misconduct and determine outcomes by 2/3 vote. Responses could range from verbal warnings to membership suspension, depending on circumstances. The process will aim to be reasonable and measured.

    Is there an appeals process if a member feels unfairly penalized?

    There is not a formal appeals process outlined in the code of conduct. However, members are always welcome to provide feedback and context if they feel a situation merits additional Board review.

    Does the code restrict casual conversation or allow for minor mistakes?

    The code is focused on clear cases of sustained egregious misconduct, not policing every minor remark or misstep. The Board will exercise reasonable judgment.

    What behavior violates "conduct that reflects poorly on the club"?

    The code aims to address sustained discriminatory, dangerous or blatantly unethical conduct, not casual remarks made in frustration. Examples could include intentional aggression or violence, willful vandalism, or repeat harassment after warnings.

    Does wearing bike attire like Lycra shorts violate the code?

    No, the code does not aim to restrict wearing common cycling gear. Inappropriate attire refers to sustained displays containing profanity, hate speech, or graphic nudity.

    How will you handle differences in opinion on what's offensive?

    A “reasonable person” standard will be used, considering whether most would find the behavior clearly inappropriate, not just one offended individual. Context of remarks and intent vs impact will be weighed.

    What constitutes obscene language?

    The use of discriminatory slurs and derogatory remarks would qualify. Isolated profanity out of frustration would not on its own violate the code. A pattern of hostile, aggressive cursing could warrant review.

    Do minor traffic violations violate the code?

    Safety is paramount, but momentary stops or benign traffic violations during rides will not trigger code enforcement. Sustained, willful illegal or reckless behavior could warrant review.


  • 2023-09-01 11:09 AM | Anonymous

    By Randolph Williams

    Member feedback has been invaluable for refining the code of conduct draft into a version that upholds our shared values while allowing members to feel comfortable being themselves. The following summary was issued by club president Ed Cheng earlier this month, and the WheelPeople editors felt it was informative and worth repeating in this article.


    Dear CRW Members,

    Thank you to everyone who took the time to review the proposed code of conduct and provide feedback. We appreciate you sharing your thoughts, which will help us refine the code of conduct to serve our community best.

    Members have until September 24, 2023 to comment on the code of conduct. Here are the answers to the top questions raised so far by the membership:

    Why is a formal code of conduct necessary? Has there been bad behavior that prompted this?

    While not in response to any single incident, we have had several situations this year where having clear expectations and a process in place would have been helpful. Establishing some reasonable guardrails proactively will aid the club. This is not unusual for nonprofits and bike clubs.

    Some language, like "inappropriate behavior" seems vague. Will this be defined more clearly?

    We appreciate the concern and will be guided by a “reasonable person” standard when evaluating potential misconduct, not a strict interpretation of vague terms. The intent is to address egregious behaviors that a reasonable person would deem offensive or harmful.

    What are the procedures for enforcing the code of conduct if violations occur?

    The Board will investigate credible reports of misconduct and determine outcomes by 2/3 vote. Responses could range from verbal warnings to membership suspension, depending on circumstances. The process will aim to be reasonable and measured.

    Is there an appeals process if a member feels unfairly penalized?

    There is not a formal appeals process outlined in the code of conduct. However, members are always welcome to provide feedback and context if they feel a situation merits additional Board review.

    Does the code restrict casual conversation or allow for minor mistakes?

    The code is focused on clear cases of sustained egregious misconduct, not policing every minor remark or misstep. The Board will exercise reasonable judgment.

    What behavior violates "conduct that reflects poorly on the club"?

    The code aims to address sustained discriminatory, dangerous or blatantly unethical conduct, not casual remarks made in frustration. Examples could include intentional aggression or violence, willful vandalism, or repeat harassment after warnings.

    Does wearing bike attire like Lycra shorts violate the code?

    No, the code does not aim to restrict wearing common cycling gear. Inappropriate attire refers to sustained displays containing profanity, hate speech, or graphic nudity.

    How will you handle differences in opinion on what's offensive?

    A “reasonable person” standard will be used, considering whether most would find the behavior clearly inappropriate, not just one offended individual. Context of remarks and intent vs impact will be weighed.

    What constitutes obscene language?

    The use of discriminatory slurs and derogatory remarks would qualify. Isolated profanity out of frustration would not on its own violate the code. A pattern of hostile, aggressive cursing could warrant review.

    Do minor traffic violations violate the code?

    Safety is paramount, but momentary stops or benign traffic violations during rides will not trigger code enforcement. Sustained, willful illegal or reckless behavior could warrant review.



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