Cycle the Seacoast Charity Ride

On May 1, 2011 there is a one-day, multi=route charity ride out of Portsmouth, NH (great riding up there!) to benefit the American Lung Association.

There are three route options: 25, 50 or 100 miles. All have panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and historic homes and villages along the Seacoast. All ages and experience levels are welcome. Fundraising minimum of $250 required ($125 for ages 7-17).

Photo credit: drocpsu

10th annual George Street Bike Challenge

Spring is here and summer will come before you know it. Have you set any goals for this season? This looks like a fun event to try.

Now in its 10th season, the George Street Challenge, run by the Major Taylor Association, will take place on July 24, 2011. Find out all the details on the event website. And check out this 1:10 YouTube promo video:

Wells Ave racing starts in one week

The Boston Road Club’s Wells Ave training race series has been going on since 1981 (30 years! wow!). It’s a criterium race series that is geared to help new racers get into the sport and seasoned racers sharpen up for the season. And to stay sharp – the series continues every Sunday through the season into September.

Races are broken out into different categories, competing along a 0.8 mile circuit in Newton with wide corners. “D” racers (juniors and women) go first at 8:30AM, followed by “C” racers (novices) at 9:00AM. Each of these races is 12 miles long, or 15 laps.

At 9:45AM and 10:45AM, the “B” and “A” racers compete in 24-mile and 32-mile races, respectively. These races are for more serious and seasoned racers, and you’ll even see local pros in the “A” race from time to time, sharpening up their skills.

Racing is a great workout. You’ll likely never push yourself as hard as when you’re competing – even if you have no chance of winning. And even if you drop off the back, racing can be a great incentive for workouts. After all, you can come back the next Sunday and test yourself again for improvement.

The 2011 season starts on Sunday, March 13th. Check out the full details on the Boston Road Club website page on Wells Ave Racing.

Photo credit: thisisforever

Learn to race, even if you’ll never race

The Northeast Bicycle Club (NEBC),  a developmental club with a variety of programs and events for riders of all ages and capabilities, is putting on their annual bike racing clinic.

It’s a great program that features two off-bike discussion sessions in March, and four on-bike clinics out at Fort Devens on Saturdays in April.

The “graduation” exercise is participation in an actual bike race, on a short and safe course in Newton, the Wells Ave racing series run by Boston Road Club.

Even if you’ll never race

Even if you have no intention of racing, this clinic is a fantastic way to learn to appreciate the sport of bike racing, and to seriously upgrade your skills for safe and fun riding in groups or with clubs.

Check out what is covered:

  • Bike handling: Cornering; pacelines & double pacelines; riding in close groups; incidental contact.
  • Racing skills: Sprinting; time trialing; climbing and descending; starting and finishing.
  • Tactics and strategies: Road racing as a team sport; applying team strategies and tactics in race situations; using the race course and your strengths to your advantage.
  • Training and equipment: Periodization and specificity; training effort zones; racing bicycles & equipment; maintaining and performance tuning your equipment; proper bike fit.

The instructors are great – patient, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about the sport and educating riders. The price is cheap, too.

Find all the details on BikeReg here:

And hurry! Registration closes on March 18th, but this class tends to fill up quickly.

Photo credit: spunkinator

CYCLE Kid’s Second Annual Spin-A-Thon

This looks like a great way to work off some Valentine’s Day treats and help a good cause.

This Sunday, February 2oth at Wellbridge Athletic Club in Cambridge from 12:00 – 4:00PM. It looks like a fun event with a lot of residents pitching in to help expand the CYCLE Kids program.

Find out more details about the event here: CYCLE Kid’s Second Annual Spin-A-Thon!

and more about CYCLE Kids here:

Crack o’ Dawn riders not flustered by tough winter

Not so long ago, I posted with admiration for many downtown Boston riders (and riders all over Massachusetts) who brave it out through the winter. Especially a tough winter like this year.

Check out this report from WCVB-TV (a 1:48 video clip) on the Crack o’ Dawn riders – up and out at 5:45 AM all winter, logging 500 miles per month. Wow. That’s great. And they’re also supporting the Pan Mass Challenge.

That sort of extreme training is not necessary to make it through the PMC, but it’s great to see that these riders are out on the road, undeterred by winter weather. At one point in the interview, Bruce Kalow says that he’s ridden in temps as cold as “minus 3.” Brrrrr…

You can find more info on the Crack O’ Dawn riders at their official website.

The race to the Harpoon ride

The Harpoon Brewery to Brewery (or “B2B”) Ride is a New England Classic. It’s tough and fun. A serious commitment for serious cyclists. And when you’ve done it, you feel a sense of achievement (and you get free beer and a t-shirt to memorialize the event).

It’s been a couple years since I’ve done the ride, here’s my post on the 2009 B2B Ride to give you a feel for some of the details. The good folks at Harpoon have continued to tweak and evolve this ride, and they continue along that path this year. The ride is not for the faint of heart, yet it’s always sold out. Alumni get first dibs at registering in subsequent years, but now they’ll have to register appropriately via the new electronic measurement system to verify that they’ve completed the ride, and at the pace they signed up for.

And even then, alumni status does not guarantee entry after this year:

Along with other qualifications, alumni status will be considered very favorably for ride admission.

You can get the entire low down on the event here: Harpoon Brewery to Brewery Ride

Registration opens next Tuesday, February 15th. Good luck on getting into the event. And if you get in – good luck with the ride!

It’s not just about the bike

Along with the renewed commitment to making/keeping this an event for serious cyclists, Harpoon is raising the bar on the charity aspect of the event:

$100 minimum donation, split evenly and paid directly to these two charities:

  • 50% of your donation will go to The Jim Kenary Brain Tumor Research Fund at Dana Farber Cancer Institute
    • 50% of your donation will go to Team Psycho’s Elite Development Fund, 3 athletes are training to qualify for the 2012 Olympics!
    • MTB or fixie, you have my admiration


      Boston is getting slammed by weekly snowstorms this winter. Total snowfall is approaching the height of Shaquile O’Neal – and he’s 7’1″! And, it’s only February 2nd…

      Many riders persist in commuting to work, or working, throught it all. I’m impressed. In some ways, it seems to me that these are the folks who have their priorities in order. They’re active outdoors while many of us cower from the storms (and complain).

      Hats off to you, Boston area snow riders.

      A great holiday gift for the cyclist in your life

      Tis the season for a shameless plug…

      Available at most local bike shops in Massachusetts, several Visitors Centers, and all the major bookstores – or even online if you have a little more time before your holiday gathering…

      Road Biking Massachusetts is a compilation of forty great routes of varying lenghth, terrain and difficulty. Each route includes a detailed description, turn by turn directions, and a complete and detailed map.

      The forty routes in Road Biking Massachusetts are divided into four categories according to degree of difficulty. These classifications are subjective, taking into account the combination of distance, road grade, and bike-handling skills necessary to negotiate the full tour. Each route’s name indicates its relative degree of difficulty.

      Rambles are the easiest and shortest rides in the book, accessible to almost all riders, and should be easily completed in one day. They are usually less than 35 miles long and are generally on flat to slightly rolling terrain.

      Cruises are intermediate in difficulty and distance. They are generally 25 to 50 miles long and may include some moderate climbs. Cruises generally will be completed easily by an experienced rider in one day, but inexperienced or out-of-shape riders may want to take two days with an overnight stop.

      Challenges are difficult, designed especially for experienced riders in good condition. They are usually 40 to 60 miles long and may include some steep climbs. They should be a challenge even for fairly fit riders attempting to complete them in one day. Less experienced or fit riders should expect to take two days.

      Classics are long and hard. They are more than 60 miles and may be more than 100. They can include steep climbs and high-speed descents. Even fit and experienced riders will want to take two days. These rides are not recommended for less fit and experienced riders unless they are done in shorter stages.

      Click Here to Buy Now!

      Happy Holidays!

      Fells trail plan debate continues

      “A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” — Duke Ellington

      On September 20th, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation will unveil it’s latest version of plans for the Middlesex Fells. As can be seen in this recent article, the debate between various users of the urban park has re-heated and all are curious to see what the DCR has in store.

      Most people I’ve encountered in the Fells have been pleasant and respectful, whether they are hiking, walking a dog, or riding a bike. Sure, some hikers litter, some unfriendly dogs are unleashed, and some bikers are rude, but that is by far the exception rather than the rule. Hopefully the DCR will come up with a good plan that will increase enjoyment and usage for everyone, and if there are more responsible people in the park, hopefully less incidents like this will occur.

      Photo credit: donjd2