Charles River Wheelers

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WheelPeople Articles

  • 2023-08-21 9:41 AM | Anonymous

    By John Allen

    For this month’s Safety Corner we’ll check out a modern design, a roundabout. (I have previously posted, a Safety Corner article about riding through a small rotary intersection in Waltham. Scroll down for it in the August, 2021 Wheelpeople.)        

    Massachusetts has a few modern roundabouts, though most circular intersections here are old-style rotaries (called traffic circles in other states). I shot the video in this article in Montreal, Quebec while on a bicycle tour with a friend.    

    The location in the video, FYI. Have a look at the video and then I’ll follow up with some comments. You can also go direct to the video  URL: https://vimeo.com/363968280


    Roundabout on the Île-des-Soeurs (Nuns' Island) Montréal, QC, Canada. from John Allen on Vimeo.

    This link is to the location in Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/p5aUVsz4SWspCvwZA


    A circular intersection maintains smoother traffic flow and has more capacity than an intersection with traffic signals. Modern roundabouts have deflection – the entrances are curved. Also, there is typically a truck apron at the center: a large truck’s left rear wheel(s) must go up onto the truck apron for it to travel straight through or turn left. These features slow traffic down, increasing time for drivers to negotiate right of way and reducing the severity of crashes.

    Roundabout proponents like to stress the advantages, but there are also some real problems. Because traffic flow exiting a roundabout is constant, gaps where traffic in cross streets nearby can cross or enter are fewer. Unless drivers are conscientious about yielding at crosswalks, pedestrians have a harder time at roundabouts than at signalized intersections. In a two-lane roundabout, driver are supposed to yield to traffic in both lanes and go immediately to the inner lane to go straight through or turn left. Drivers must then cross the outer lane when exiting from the inner lane. These issues have led to quite a bit of confusion and to increases in crash rates.

    Quebec is very set on the idea that bicyclists should not have to ride in line with motor traffic, though that inevitably results in more crossing and turning conflicts.  Fortunately, traffic was light as I checked out this roundabout. I first rode around on a sidepath. A motorist was approaching at only one crosswalk, and yielded to me.

    I also rode around in the roadway. That is shorter, and faster, and easy going because, as I noted earlier, motor traffic is slow. Except when preparing to exit, I kept to the inside, where traffic, and there are no entrances or exits. The video reveals that two sides of the roundabout were originally two-lane, with the issures I have mentioned. Striping a gore (no-drive zone) next to the center island in one leg reduced it to one lane, at least in theory – you’ll notice that the paint is worn – and I rode over the gore myself. Bad me. But I avoided a potential conflict with an entering vehicle!

    CRW Safety Coordinator John has a CyclingSavvy course coming up in September – you may check it out here.

     



  • 2023-08-20 6:23 PM | Anonymous

    By Doctor Gabe Mirkin,

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


    Dramatic results in a study from the Cleveland Clinic show that:
    • You can’t be too fit: Elite athletes who do tremendous amounts of exercise have a much lower risk of dying than non-exercisers.
    • Exercise is healthful: Not exercising is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes or heart disease. The vigorous exercisers had nearly a 500 percent reduced risk of death during the study period, compared to the non-exercisers (JAMA Network Open, Oct 19, 2018;1(6):e183605).

    More than 120,000 patients, average age 53, were given an exercise stress treadmill test between 1991 and 2014 and were followed up at the Cleveland Clinic. The researchers used the stress test results to classify their fitness level as low (the bottom 25th percentile), below average (25th to 49th percentile), above average (50th to 74th percentile), high (75th to 97.6th percentile), and elite (above 97.7th percentile). By January 1, 2018, 13,637 of the participants had died.

    The study results were overwhelming. The more fit a person was, the less likely he was to die. There was no limit to the increase in benefits from improving fitness to very high levels. The elite athletes had an 80 percent reduction in risk for death during the study period. The greatest differences were seen among patients who had high blood pressure in the high and elite groups compared to those in the low fitness group. The lead researcher concluded, “We found that there was no ceiling for benefit . . . with no toxicity at the higher end.”

    Can Extreme Amounts of Exercise Be Harmful?
    This new study counters the findings of earlier studies on elite athletes that suggested they are at increased risk for irregular heartbeats, increased arterial plaque size or thickened heart valves.
    • Even though master athletes may be at increased risk for irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation), they can still benefit from continuing to exercise. Compared to non-exercisers, they appear to be at reduced risk for suffering from serious side effects such as clots. See Irregular Heartbeats in Senior Athletes and Exercisers.

    • Elite athletes may be at increased risk for larger plaques in their arteries than non-exercisers, but narrowing of arteries by plaques does not cause a heart attack. Heart attacks are caused by plaques breaking off from arteries, and exercise helps to prevent heart attacks by making plaques more stable and less likely to break off. See Exercisers Have More Stable Plaques.

    • Vigorous exercisers may be at increased risk for thickened heart valves, but compared to non-exercisers, athletes with thickened heart valves still have stronger heart muscles so that they are less likely to suffer heart failure. See Exercise to Prevent a Heart Attack

    Exercise Reduces Inflammation
    Aging is associated with inflammation, an overactive immune system. Your immune system is supposed to kill germs when they attack you, but as soon as the germs are gone, your immunity is supposed to dampen down. However if your immunity stays active all the time, it attacks you in the same way that it kills germs. It can punch holes in arteries to cause plaques, break off the plaques to cause heart attacks, destroy your DNA to cause cancer, cause various auto-immune diseases and so forth. As you age, inflammation increases to cause loss of muscles and bone, osteoarthritis, loss of cell function associated with aging, and other harmful effects. Exercise helps to dampen down inflammation, and thus helps to prevent diseases and prolong life. One study of 111 women, ages 65 to 70, showed that replacing 30 minutes of sitting time with the same amount of time in light or moderate exercise very significantly reduced markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein and fibrinogen) and diabetes (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, July 2018).

    Intense Exercise is More Beneficial than Casual Exercise
    This new study agrees with many earlier studies that have shown greater benefits from vigorous exercise than from low-intensity exercise:
    • The SUN Study on 18,737 middle-aged people showed that those who exercise intensely have half the rate of heart attacks as those who did the same amount of exercise less intensely (Am J of Cardiology, Sept 11, 2018).
    • Increased time spent exercising intensely gives adolescents a healthier metabolic profile than more time spent just exercising (PLOS Medicine, Sept 2018; 15 (9): e1002649).
    • Vigorous exercise is associated with a much lower rate of metabolic syndrome and diabetes, compared to low-intensity exercise (American J of Prev Med, April 2017;52(4):e95–e101).

    My Recommendations
    I think everyone should have a regular exercise program, and it is never too late to start. See How to Start an Exercise Program. Do not start an intense exercise program until you have spent several months exercising at a casual pace.

    Socialization usually improves the length of time, intensity and enjoyment of exercise, so it is best to join a group, exercise with your mate, or do your exercise regularly with friends (Am J Alzheimer’s Dis Other Demen, June 2014; 29(4): 372–378).

    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.


  • 2023-08-20 5:52 PM | Anonymous

    Amazon Smile If you have an Amazon Prime account please look into making CRW your charity. Details here https://www.crw.org/content/amazon-smile

    Comeback Club Last month, we reported on members who had an accident and were injured but went back to biking. We called them the Comeback Crew. We missed some riders, but we have enough people to start a CRW Comeback Club, and those mentioned in the article can become founding members. The Club, however, is intended to be inclusive, and it is our fond hope that no one else qualifies. We would be pleased if we didn’t hear about any more accidents, and wish you all safe riding.


  • 2023-08-20 12:12 PM | Anonymous

    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 info@crw.org 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 us.


  • 2023-08-20 10:54 AM | Anonymous

    By Eli Post

    We engage in pleasantries in our normal life. That’s what civilized people do. That practice also extends to bike riding. Perhaps the most common courtesy is saying “passing on your left,” so those ahead of you know you are approaching from behind and coming their way. This is not only courteous. It is also a simple way to avoid collisions.

    There are other commonly used courtesies, which all apply to group riding and make us safer on the road.

    Communicate when Slowing or Stopping: It may not be apparent to those behind you that you are slowing down or even stopping. You must call out “slowing” to avoid a pile up of riders. Signaling this will make a difference between a safe stop and a dangerous situation. The signal is to call out “slowing” or “stopping” and raise one hand fingers flat.


    Indicating a Turn: Those behind you need to know in advance when the group is turning. Whether it’s a turn on a city street, or even a fork in the road. Raise your hand to shoulder height and point straight-arm in the direction of the turn. It’s best to initiate the signal well in advance of the turn. This courtesy should also be extended to motorists for your own good


    Pointing out a Hazard, Pothole or Debris: When approaching a hazard such as a large pothole, extend your arm and point at it, calling out “hole” or whatever the hazard. This call is for deep holes that can swallow a wheel, and not for merely rough pavement. and not for merely rough pavement.



    Alerting Riders to Tracks and Speedbumps:

    Some speedbumps are particularly large and call for a warning. Tracks are especially dangerous if they cross your route at a severe angle rather than perpendicular.


    Warning of Oncoming Hazard: This is a warning call that is in the eye of the beholder. You see a large truck coming in your direction. It is wide and fills if not overlaps the lane. You signal to move right so no one is in the path of the truck. Again, the call is only to alert riders to hazards that could startle or hit them. This can come into play on particularly narrow roads.


    Calling Car Back or Car Up:

    This warns of a car approaching from behind or coming toward the group from ahead. The more critical is “car back” so riders know to move to the right. This call comes from the back of the group, and depending on the numbers of riders, must be repeated so riders more forward hear the call. “Car up” can be important on narrow, winding rural roads where riders may be riding in the middle of a travel lane.


    All Clear:

    We do not recommend the use of the “all clear” call. Conditions change in an instant. Cars going 60 mph cover a lot of ground in seconds. It may be “clear” for you or the person directly behind you, but someone down the line who hears it, could be in danger from approaching vehicles.


    This article was edited by Tim Wilson



  • 2023-08-20 10:35 AM | Anonymous

    By Nancy Clark

    At the May 2023 American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting (ACSM; acsm.org), 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!

     

    Protein

    • 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 NancyClarkRD.com for info.

    -- Nancy Clark, MS RD CSSD Sports nutrition counselor Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 6th Edition www.nancyclarkrd.com (Books, presentations, blog) Twitter: @nclarkrd Office: 1155 Walnut St., Newton Highlands, MA 02460 Phone:617-795-1875 "Helping active people win with good nutrition."



  • 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
    info@crw.org
    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
    us.


  • 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 pjammcycling.com, 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. 

    https://pjammcycling.com/zone/216.Most-Epic-World-Climbs



    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.


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