Saturday, April 24, 2010

Turtle Pond Circuit Race

I've been on trial on Martha's Vineyard for the last 3 weeks, living in a hotel room and eating 3 meals a day in restaurants.  The trial went extremely well, but between trial prep and trial, I've barely been on the bike for about a month now.  Thus, expectations were low for the Turtle Pond race.

It was a beautiful day for racing--sunny skies and warm.  We rolled out at 9:15 a.m. for 4 laps on an 11 mile circuit in Loudon NH.  I'd never raced at Turtle Pond before and I'd been told there were a couple of "short" rolling hills.  Based on this description I figured I could fake it for a couple of hours.

The neutral start took us to the top of the first hill.  As we went up the hill I was getting a bad feeling--10% grade and it seemed to keep going and going.  This did not bode well.  The remainder of the course was rolling hills, as described.  There was one hill on the backside that was noticeable but not too bad.  The last 1-2 miles of the loop was basically downhill and very fast.  My plan was to be at the front at the base of the bigger hill so I could fade back and still be in contact at the top.  By the third time up, I was feeling the leg cramps coming on and I knew trouble was brewing.  I lost contact on the 4th time up and pedalled squares for the rest of the race.

Not a great result, but good to get out there.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bicycling Safety Summit--Boston Bikes Press Release

Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced the city’s first-ever Bicycling Safety Summitat 5:30 PM on Wednesday, April 21 at Boston University’s Morse Auditorium. The Summit will gather area bicyclists and high-ranking city officials to discuss ways of improving safety for everyone who uses Boston’s roadways. The Mayor’s announcement comes in the wake of a third recent bike accident and ahead of Boston Bike Week next month.
“This is about the need for a shared, common respect amongst everyone who uses Boston’s roads,” said Mayor Menino. “We have to come together and recognize that everyone is responsible for keeping our roadways safe and that we all have the right to safe passage through our beautiful city. We can start by fulfilling the personal responsibility of wearing a helmet.”
Mayor Menino has ordered the Boston Police Department (BPD) to immediately launch a focused enforcement effort aimed at both cyclists and motorists in an effort to assist them to better share the road. Officers will more proactively seek out and fine for safety violations committed by those on a bicycle and those operating a motor vehicle. This effort will include the strict enforcement of Massachusetts laws dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian safety. The BPD is also researching the possible implementation of an enhanced reporting mechanism to document all accidents involving bikes.
Two years ago Mayor Menino developed Boston Bikes to increase cycling safety around Boston through the use of marked bike lanes and various educational campaigns. Since, Boston has seen much improvement including:
  • the installation of 15 miles of bike lanes with another 20 slated for this year;
  • the publication of the first-ever Boston Bikes map;
  • the installation of more than 500 bike racks;
  • the formation of the Boston Bikes Advisory Board designed to advise city officials on how best to implement proven safety measures such as dedicated bike lanes;
  • and the passage of a city ordinance making it illegal for cars to be parked in bike lanes, the enforcement of which will be heightened by Boston Transportation Department ticket writers.
In light of the recent accidents, however, city officials encourage people to:
  • Visit the Boston Bikes fanpage on Facebook or join the Boston Bikes Twitter feed to learn more about the program and share concerns about specific roads in Boston;
  • Call the Mayor’s 24-hour Hotline at (617) 635-4500 if they notice a safety concern that needs immediate attention including roadway obstructions like potholes or debris;
  • Visit the Boston Bikes homepage at to receive updates on the Cycling Safety Summit;
  • Visit to register for classes on bicycling safety conducted by MassBike on April 22, May 6 and May 19 at City Hall;
  • Wear a protective helmet at all times when riding a bike (helmets can be bought for $5 at the Boston Medical Center gift shop);
  • Come to the Bicycling Safety Summit on Wednesday.
In response to the three recent serious crashes in Boston and in cooperation with the City of Boston’s new bicycling safety initiative, MassBike has scheduled additional bicycling safety classes in Boston in April and May. This is a great opportunity to learn the secrets to safe bicycling, for new and experienced urban riders alike.  The classes are FREE and open to the public, but pre-registration is required by emailing or calling 617-542-2453.
Intro to Bicycling Skills, (a classroom session, 2 hours Free):
Evening classroom session (off-bike) covers bike-safety principles, bicycling laws, guidelines for riding in traffic, and more. You must take one of these classes before you can attend our on-bike classes.
Cost: Free
Intro to Bicycling Skills: Thursday, April 22, 6-8pm
Intro to Bicycling Skills: Thursday, May 6, 6-8pm
Intro to Bicycling Skills: Wednesday, May 19, 6-8pm
Intro to Bicycling Skills
Boston City Hall, Room 937
1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201
Enter at corner of Broadway and Third
Nearest T stop: Government Center on Green and Blue Lines; Haymarket on Orange Line.
Enter at Congress St. after 5:30pm, take elevator to 9th floor, then follow signs.
MUST RSVP for this class by emailing or calling 617-542-2453
Click here to donate $15 to support these classes
MassBike is proud to work with the City of Boston on its bicycling safety initiative.

RIP Lino Gastaldello

Lino Gastaldello purchased the Willier brand with his brother in 1969 and rebuilt it into one of the premier names in the sport.  He was killed while out riding his bike near his home in Italy.  Lino will be remembered as the president of a great Italian company but as a family man and a devotee of cycling.