REI Clinic on 9/14/06 in Reading

Charity Ride Survival Guide with Tom Catalini
9/14/2006 7:00 PM

Join Tom Catalini for an interactive discussion on preparing for and riding in a charity cycling event. Tom will share the tips and tricks he has learned over the last seven years in riding the largest cycling fundraiser in the country, the Pan-Mass Challenge. Training, equipment, fundraising, and group riding skills will be covered, along with any other topics of interest to the group. The talk will be a great value to those preparing to ride in a charity event for the first time, as well as to more experienced riders.

Tom is the author of Road Biking Massachusetts, a Falcon Guide book of 40 cycling routes in Massachusetts of varying degrees of distance and difficulty.

Location: REI Reading
Contact: REI Reading Customer Service
Cost: Free
Registration Required? No.

REI Web site link

2006 Pan Mass Challenge

This year’s PMC reached a new level with Friday night’s star-studded opening ceremonies, a revised fundraising goal, and perfect weather.

Having Greg LeMond join the ride was fun for us cycling fans. No entourage or fanfare, definitely a man of the people. He was very accessible and rode an easy pace in the pack. I spoke to many who rode alongside the cycling legend while he mingled with everyone and pedaled along. Greg was also very visible at the rest stops, lunch stop, the cookout at Mass Maritime Academy and on the dance floor of the party ferry back to Boston.

Billy Starr revised the fundraising goal based on early results. He expects us to reach 25 million dollars for the Jimmy Fund, which would be great.

As for the ride itself, the weather was ideal. Sunny clear, not too hot. We had a lot of fun seeing old friends from PMCs past and meeting new ones along the way. The stories, presentations, and people of the event somehow manage to tear at your heartstrings yet leave you inspired and uplifted. It is truly a unique event. I’m already looking forward to next year’s ride!

2006 PMC Stats Report:

Current fundraising: $16m = +37%
Current heavy hitters: 602
Registered Riders: 4,661
Off the line: 4,273
Reg. Volunters: 2,571
2-day riders: 3,342
1-day riders: 931
Male/Female: 60/40
Average Age: 43
Avg. Yrs in event: 4.7
Sturbridge start: 2,550
Wellesley start: 1,702
States participating: 36
Foreign countries 7

Boston Globe OpEd peice by Billy Starr

Worcester Street Named After Major Taylor

Worcester officials renamed a major road to be the “Major Taylor Boulevard” in honor of one of the state’s greatest athletes. See the Boston Globe article here. You can learn more about Major Taylor at the Major Taylor Association’s site here and the George Street Challenge for Major Taylor here. The George Street Challenge is a time trial up one of the steepest roads in Worcester, a favorite training hill for Major Taylor. It is run ever year, and ran just the other day on July 23rd. 21 year old David Flyn took top honors this year with a time of 23:13. See more results here.

See comment for details on this year’s Major Taylor Century ride, taking place on 9/24/06!

Tyler Hamilton Verdict

Boulder, Colorado Feb 11, 2006 Olympic Champion cyclist Tyler Hamilton received the final verdict from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today. He is very disappointed to learn charges he received a homologous blood transfusion during the 2004 cycling season were upheld. Per CAS, “the appeal filed by Mr. Hamilton against the award dated 18 April 2005 rendered by the AAA Panel is dismissed”

Hamilton steadfastly maintains his innocence and has gone to great lengths to clear his name. He endured nearly seventeen months of arbitration and media scrutiny with the same characteristic fortitude that has made him popular as an athlete.

Mr. Hamilton’s defense criticized the test methodology used to try to detect homologous blood transfusion (transfusion of blood from another person). He argued the test lacked proper validation, was rushed into use and did not meet the standards of the scientific community. As a result, he maintained the conclusions of such a test could not be trusted.

Well respected experts cited inconsistencies within his test data that could only be explained by technical error or flaws within the methodology. Test results from the Athens Olympic Games failed to type Mr. Hamilton’s blood correctly and generated biologically impossible results. In addition, they are not in agreement with test results generated three weeks later at the Vuelta Espana (Tour of Spain) that formed the basis for the doping charges in this case.

The decision reached by CAS prohibits Mr. Hamilton from returning to professional cycling until September 22, 2006. In addition to looking forward to returning to racing, he will continue to defend his integrity and fight for improvements within the anti-doping system.

Statement from Tyler Hamilton: “Based on my devastating personal experience over the last year and a half, I am committed to fighting for reform within the anti-doping movement. I do support the anti-doping mission and USADA, however the current system has failed an innocent athlete and needs to change.

Out of respect to fairness and the rights of all athletes, there should be clear separation between the agencies that develop new tests and those that adjudicate anti-doping cases.

Credible, independent experts, not those who funded or developed the original methodology, should be charged with properly validating new tests.

I don’t believe any athlete should be subjected to a flawed test or charged with a doping violation through the use of a method that is not fully validated or generates fluctuating results.

I will also continue to support the formation of unions to help protect the rights of athletes. My goal is to keep other athletes from experiencing the enormous pain and horrendous toll of being wrongly accused.”

More information on the Tyler Hamilton Verdict

Tyler Hamilton Foundation
Deirdre Moynihan
Executive Director

Organizations and Web Sites

New England Bicycle Racing Association’s (NEBRA) mission is to preserve and improve competitive cycling in New England. Here you’ll find the latest news on bicycle racing in Massachusetts and throughout New England. The site is a hub of information for promoters, clubs and racers.

MassBike’s mission is to serve and protect the interests of the bicycling public in Massachusetts; promote the bicycle as a healthy, enjoyable, efficient, and environment-friendly means of transportation and recreation; promote a physical geographic context and vehicular traffic environment that enhance these qualities and ensure the safety of transportation by bicycle; and
help more people adopt the bicycle for transportation and recreation.

The Boston Cyclocross Association is dedicated to the promotion of the cyclocross tradition and way of life. Through instructive clinics, social events, and competitive races, Boston Cross seeks to build a community of cyclocross enthusiasts of every skill level from seasoned professional to supporters-club “cyclorazzi”. is the site to register for area road, offroad, cyclocross, recreational and other cycling related events. You can sort and filter events to help find what you’re looking for. is the home site of the New England Velodrome, just north of the border in New Hampshire. A great track racing resource. Check out the web site for more deails, and check out this link to the Google satellite image of the track.

Massachusetts Cycling Clubs

Northeast Bicycle Club (NEBC)
Founded in 1957 by a small group of racers intent upon promoting and growing the sport of bicycle racing in Greater Boston, NEBC has outlived equipment fads and life-style changes, persisting as one of New England’s oldest racing clubs. The founders’ success is evident today in the proliferation of opportunities which range from a full calendar of Citizen races to national caliber competition such as the Fitchburg and Killington Stage races.

Charles River Wheelmen (CRW)
Charles River Wheelmen (CRW) is a group of active cyclists who get together for weekly rides and frequent social events in the Boston area. Their main objective is to provide a high quality year round recreational ride program with a friendly, social atmosphere. CRW rides are open to the general public. The rides start from various locations around the Boston area including the North Shore, South Shore and Metro West. With more than 1200 members there are enough riders of different abilities and interests so you can ride at any pace and still enjoy friendly company.

Boston Road Club (BRC)
The Boston Road Club has been in existence for over 20 years and has been conducting the Wells Avenue Training series non-stop since its inception, where the BRC has provided racers a training ground for both the most experienced racer to the utmost beginner for many years. This has been accomplished by providing for at least 3 level of races during the Sunday morning ritual at Wells Avenenue as well as through clinics of various types and levels.

CCB International
CCB is a racing team/club started on the north shore of Boston in about 1979. It was started by a group that included Jeff and Cindy Joiner, Larry Myers and British ex patriot and former pro bike racer John Ireland. The original thought was that the club be an elite team with very limited membership. This rapidly changed over the years because there was so much growth of enthusiast cycling in the region that more and more enthusiasts (and not racers) joined. The club continues to this day as an elite racing team coupled with a group of enthusiast cyclists… some of whom race and some who do not. Most club rides are in an energetic racing style, though.

North Shore Cyclists (NSC)
The North Shore Cyclists (NSC) is a recreational bike club which draws its membership primarily from the North Shore area of Massachusetts. Most NSC bike rides are routed along the back roads and shorelines north of Boston. In addition to our scheduled weekly rides, the club holds cookouts, weekend excursions, and special rides (including our century in August). The NSC’s 200 plus members span the spectrum from beginning cyclists who join to learn more about the sport to advanced cyclists who participate to be challenged by fast paceline riding. Regardless of skill level, NSC members share the desire to have fun, to cycle safely, and to meet other people who enjoy cycling as much as they do. Bring a friend, if you wish, because ALL RIDES ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Fitchburg Cycling Club / Longsjo Classic
The Fitchburg Longsjo Classic is hosted by Fitchburg Cycling Club, anon-profit organization run by volunteers, who donate enormous effort and endless hours simply for the love of the race. From the core race committee to course marshals to caravan drivers to set-up and clean-up crews, we are dependent on the talent and energy of these individual volunteers to successfully run the race. Over the many years, the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic has developed a reputation as an excellent, well-run event characterized by a n extraordinarily warm community welcome.

Seven Hills Wheelmen
The Seven Hills Wheelmen is a recreational group for adults in the Worcester, Mass., area who enjoy bicycling and other outdoor activities. Bike rides are for all abilities and are not competitive. Off-season activities include hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and snow shoeing. There are activities scheduled almost every Saturday and Sunday, year-round, and some weekdays and holidays too.

Nashoba Valley Pedalers
Founded in 1978, NVP is a club of recreational, fitness and touring riders located in the Nashoba Valley area. NVP is primarily a road club, but also offer off-road rides and weekend trips. NVP offers rides for all abilities, from 10 miles to 100 miles. In the off-season, members offer occasional walks, hikes and cross-country skiing.

Minuteman Road Club (MRC)
The Minuteman Road Club is a cycling / multisport club located in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts. The MRC has been in existence since 1985 and is organized to provide a structure by which it’s members may participate in cycling and multisport activities, either competitively or recreational. MRC athletes compete in United States Cycling Federation (USCF) cycling, National Of-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) mountain bike, and regional / national Multisport (du/triathlon ) events. Approximately 40% of MRC member base competes actively in these events while the balance is comprised of recreational cyclists.

Northampton Cycling Club (NCC)
The Northampton Cycling Club is a Northampton-based organization dedicated to the growth and development of cycling in and around the Pioneer Valley. The club is open to riders of all abilities and interests, both competitive and recreational.

Franklin-Hampshire Freewheelers
Franklin-Hampshire Freewheelers sponsors organized bike rides each week during the riding season (roughly April thru November). Prospective club members are welcome on all FHF rides. Many of of the club’s rides are held in the Franklin and Hampshire counties of western Massachusetts (hence the name), but the club also has rides through other areas of Massachusetts as well as southern Vermont and New Hampshire, and northern Connecticut.

Berkshire Cycling Association
The Berkshire Cycling Association (BCA) is a grassroots bicycle racing club. Based in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, the Club has over 250 members, many scattered throughout New England and nearby New York. Membership ranges from serious amateur racers to hardcore tourists. BCA’s primary focus is to promote bike racing and increase participation by women and juniors in the sport.

Cyclonauts Bicycle Club
is based in Springfield. Established in 1965 to promote and active interest in cycling, Cyclonauts is not a racing club. Cyclonauts attempts to offer rides to satisfy the various riding abilities of their membership with a bicycling season that runs April through October.

Essex County Velo is a nonprofit, volunteer organization whose mission is to enhance the opportunities for members to enjoy the numerous benefits derived from the simple, youthful act of riding a bike. Membership and alumni cover a broad range of the cycling community and interests. Some ECV members are avid and committed competitors, from junior to masters levels that represent the “blue and white” as members of teams and individually, in events around the region. Essex County Velo is also about enjoying the abundance of scenic roads, wooded trails and seaside vistas with a fun and supportive group of riders that promote safe and courteous cycling.

The Mass Bay Road Club was organized in 1975 for the purpose of promoting all forms of cycling, to develop junior and senior racers for local, national and international competition and, to conduct a series of tours for riders of all abilities, on and off road, throughout the year.

The Sharon Road Bike Club meets regularly on Sunday @7:30am at the Unitarian Church in Sharon. They are advid cyclists who do this for fun. Rides are 30-40 miles and average 17-19MPH. The club also features 4 time trials. If you are interested in joining, just show up one Sunday. Membership is absolutely free.

The Monsters In The Basement is a small, but ever-growing cycling club based in West Concord with an expressed goal of inclusiveness. They have three groups of riders to accommodate different speeds of riders:
Spinsters: 18-20 mph, Cranksters: 16-18 mph, and Spokesters: 15-16 mph. All rides depart from “The Chicken” (i.e. the White Hen Pantry) in West Concord at 7:30 AM on Saturdays and usually one or two other times during the week (arranged via email by ride coordinators).

The Cycling Club of Martha’s Vineyard is a new club started in 2007 to provide local and seasonal cyclists a network to meet for training, racing, education, and fun on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Cyclists of all levels and a variety of disciplines (road, mountain, cyclocross, etc.) are encouraged to participate.

The Book

Road Biking Massachusetts: A Guide to the Greatest Bike Rides in Massachusetts (Road Biking Series)

Massachusetts is magnificent for cycling. You don’t have to look very far to find an active cycling group for guidance and companionship, interesting sites to visit, or appealing terrain to navigate. Challenges abound among the mountains of western Massachusetts and the hills of central Massachusetts, and of course the abundant seacoast of Eastern Massachusetts.

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!

MassBike Wins Bike/Ped Liasions at MassHighway

From Mass Bike:

Is there a dangerous pothole you ride by on a state road? A bicycle detector
at a traffic light that doesn’t work? A rumble strip that’s hazardous to
bicyclists? MassBike has been working with MassHighway to set up a procedure
for reporting and correcting these hazards. MassHighway has just appointed
bicycle/pedestrian liaisons at all their district offices, thanks to the
efforts of Commissioner Luisa Paiewonsky. If there is a situation on a state
road that concerns you, please contact the appropriate liaison for your
district to report it. The liaisons are:

District 1: Thomas Galvagni, (413)-637-5700
District 2: Meryl Mandell, 413-584-1611 ext. 251
District 3: Cordis Thompson, (508) 754-7204
District 4: Jeff Cullen, (781) 641-8300
District 5: Pam Haznar, (508) 824-6633

To determine which district your town or city is in, click here

"Wired To Win" a big dissapointment…

Why bother? This film was orginally designed around Massachusetts native Tyler Hamilton and followed him throughout his epic 2003 Tour de France ride. They chose the right guy to follow that year.. broken collar bone, mountain stage win, 4th place overall.. talk about wired to win, pushing through the pain, etc…

However, due to his testing positive for blood doping at the 2004 Olympics and the 2004 Vuelta, they COMPLETELY REMOVED him from the entire movie. You notice him in a couple of shots, but his name is never mentioned… And, they replaced the story of his ride with a hodge-podge, diconnected story about Jimmy Casper, and Baden Cooke’s Green Jersey win.. and threw in the middle some stuff about Lance Armstrong… In order to do this they replaced the IMAX footate of Tyler with standard footage that appeared tiny and out of place on the big IMAX screen. To try to pull the story together, they went back and re-enacted many, many scenes… what a joke.

All they needed to do to address the doping issue with Tyler was to add on a segment about the positive tests and resulting appeals, and maybe introduce some science on performance enhancing drugs and the testing process… That would have made for a far more interesting movie.