Sunday, December 30, 2007

Late Season Rides

With the weather as warm as it was over the weekend I'm curious if anyone ventured out on a ride? The roads were certainly clear enough for it, when it warmed in the middle of the day. So if you rode, either this weekend or earlier in the week, kindly tell us about it and where you went. We'd love to hear the details! (Hallucinations on the trainer in the basement don't count!)


Latest Poll Results

By the looks of the few votes on the poll this week it was a quiet week for activity on the blog. A holiday week will have that effect. Keeping the trend going I'm posting the results here:

2 people said they had been naughty this past year and
2 people said they had been nice.

It's Sunday and time for a new poll. Check it out on the side. ------>

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Only 85 days until spring!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Poll Results

In the event you were not following the training poll as it neared the end, here are the results. Out of 14 votes this is how they broke down:

2 of you said that you'll be hanging out on a stationary bike.
1 will be rolling on the rollers.
3 will be spinning in class.
3 will be stubbornly biking outside.
5 will be doing diddly squat.

I must apologize to Bryan who showed up late to spin class this morning. I had originally told everyone 9:45 a.m., because that's what I remembered from last year. But looking closer at the board it reads 9:15 a.m. (Don't worry Bryan, I missed my first Sunday class for the same reason!)

So if any of you are planning to participate in spin classes at Lifestyles, you can click here for the list of fitness classes, then click on Portland or Scarborough for the class schedule.

With the predicted weather this week being above freezing, perhaps the roads will clear enough to see a few people out on the roads next weekend. Wouldn't that be nice?

Merry Christmas!!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Couple New Products

As I was reading my weekly edition of RoadBikeRider I came across a couple neat, and assume new, products today. I know some of you also use to log your miles. There is another site called CycliStats that provides downloadable software that is quite thorough in the information you can log. More so than some of the other sites I've seen. And it's compatible with Polar H/R Monitors for those of you that own them, which can make entering your data here much easier instead of manually entering your data on multiple sites.

The purchase price on the software is $49.95 but you can sign up for a free 30-day trial of the product. I'll probably sign up for the free trial in the spring but if anyone uses this currently, or signs up for it in the near future, please check in with us and let us know what you think of the product. If not I'll give you a full report when I try it in the spring. (Only 11 weeks from Sunday until Daylight Savings Time!)

The other cool item is called The Sky Mounti Inclinometer. It's a lightweight gauge that mounts on your handle bars and it fits to the handlebars very easily and works like a carpenter's level. The price makes it affordable for a stocking stuffer, if you haven't finished your shopping yet.

Now while this items is lightweight, inexpensive and I feel the desire to own one, I think to myself how much would I really use it?

My issue is that on the steepest climbs where I want to know the gradient I'm too busy suffering up the darn hill to look down at my handle bars to check my heart rate monitor on bike computer, let alone trying to sneak a peak at the level to determine the grade. I suppose it would be good for those seated climbs like Streaked Mountain, Pinkham's Notch and Evan's Notch, but for the short, really steep climbs I probably wouldn't look at it.

However, don't let me deter you from purchasing one. I can see how it would be a fun little thing to have mounted on the bike. Not to mention all the inquiries you'd receive from having one. And if you do purchase one, please let me know so I'll be able to ask you what the grade was on that last climb, once I'm done catching my breath....


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Trek Team

We know there are a few members of the club that have signed up for the Trek Across Maine or intend to sign up. It's been Tracey's goal to establish a team for The Trek this year. So if any of you that have signed up, or are likely to sign up, want to join this team, email me or Tracey so we can gauge the interest.

It makes sense to have a Trek Team meeting after the first of the year to discuss possible team names, potential sponsors, team jerseys and fund-raising ideas. We need a minimum of 5 people for a team and all are welcome, even non-club members, so feel free to pass this information along to others if you feel it appropriate.

We will post the details about the meeting here so you don't have to commit now if you don't want to. We just thought we'd get the ball rolling and get you all thinking about it.



Sunday, December 16, 2007


So, it is a snowy day and I am sitting on the couch. New Year's is approaching and I need some help. I am feeling a little "doughy" of late and need to lose some weight before I am seen out on the road again in spandex (sorry to all of those who see me in spandex in spin class). I was wondering if anyone out there might like to join me in a bit of a weight loss "competition". Friendly competition of course (as we are no longer the "competitive"CCP)! I know most of you out there have no need for this, so you can disregard this posting.

Here is my plan: I get a group of people who want to join me. We start by putting in $10 each. Competition runs Monday January 7 until the end of April. Weekly weigh-ins that will be reported to me (honor system please) each Monday. Winner is the person who has lost the greatest % of body weight and that person gets the money at the end. The more people, the bigger the prize. I can keep track and email out the weigh in totals each week, if folks so choose. If needed, we can have "code names" if you dare not put your name next to your weight!

Email me at if you are interested!


Snow Poll

Out of 17 votes, here are the results of last week's poll:

6 of you said you loved the snow, lending to the Christmas spirit;
only 2 were neutral about it and making the most out of it;
and 9 of you dislike it, wishing for a bike ride on snow-free roads.

As I type this post today we are receiving yet another snow storm. Most of us are off the roads and into our winter training programs, though I'm hearing reports of seeing a few riders still out on the roads. Our next poll asked what you plan to do for your winter training. The poll will be up for a week and we hope you'll take the time to vote.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Patrick "Pat" Cushman -RIP

Patrick Cushman- rest in peace
This announces the death of a person we knew as a Maine road bike rider. Patrick "Pat" Cushman died cross country skiing on a Maine trail today. Pat’s death was just reported to me by Rocky Clark. Rocky, just this past Wednesday, cross country skied with Pat in the Portland Riverside area. Pat was in god shape on Wednesday and Rocky mentioned that he asked Pat to hold it back a little.
Pat was with us on various Monday and Thursday CCCP night rides. He prominently wore a PVC kit. Pat was of slight build and a proud rider. I know he had some bike races in his past.
Pat for the past three years, at least, rode the Loon Echo Century in the western and White Mountains of Maine. Pat was pressed for time during this year’s September Loon Echo ride, and I know he rode with the front riders, and at some point rode alone and ahead to finish.
During the 2006 Loon Echo ride Pat and I conspired/convinced a group of nine riders to turn back in the heavy rain at the Waterford stop. We turned, the nine of us, and stopped and shared coffee and food at a Bridgton café, leaving gallons of water on the floor of that café. I distinctly recall the fun I had with Pat on that wet ride back to the Shawnee Peak park lot. Finishing up with 45 plus miles, sopping wet, realizing that a wet ride was enough, we convinced each other that we didn’t need the 100 miles, in the rain. That we were smarter riders, and wasn’t that what is all about; riding smart.
My first ride with Pat was in 2005, again at Loon Echo. I did a break away at the start on Knight’s Hill road, he came up behind me, and told me I was riding well. He looked familiar, we exchanged names, and we rode on. On that 2005 Loon ride, I met and rode with Rocky, Kris Clark, Greg Fisher and Pat. Up until that Echo ride I was mostly a solo rider; had done very little group riding. The pacing was fun and I was convinced I knew Pat, but didn’t know how. At mile 85, going through the Fryeburg flats, my memory opened up. Pat and I had coached T Ball together ten or twelve years earlier, when both our sons were of T Ball age.
Rest, Pat, in peace.

Spin Spun and Spanked

The twin sirens of Dana and Tracey finally cajoled me into a spin class at Lifestyles, on outer Warren Avenue in Portland. I attended this past Sunday’s class and the following is my impressions of that momentous athletic event.
For the price of two Geary’s summer ales at Forest Gardens, you get a day pass into Lifetsyles, and access to the arcane world of spinning. The twin sirens tried their best to convince the desk attendant to let me in for free: you know, first time guest, etc. The desk attendant was about to do so, until I mentioned that I knew the owner, was a category one professional cyclist, and to get him over the edge, was the new spin instructor. What ensued was not pretty; let’s just say I haven’t experienced this much tension since the Cuban Missile Crisis. The attendant finally agreed to sell me a day pass, after I apologized. He did, however, hand me a free towel. It was the size of a loincloth, appeared to be used, and I was forced to give it up as I was leaving Lifestyles; once again an apology was involved, and with this exit incident I was on my own, Dana and Tracey had already left.
After the unexpected encounter with the admissions folks, my hosts, Dana and Tracey, then had us do some sort of performance art work. We all three had our backs to a hallway wall, and then pretended to sit down on an imaginary bench. This was a timed event. We were so convincing that another gym member, after apparently spending much too much time on a treadmill, proceeded to join us, and promptly hit the ground. Another apology was involved, and I had another stressful encounter with the desk attendant. I recommend this performance art work next be performed at Forest Gardens; after a doble of summer ale. The barkeep at Forest will be much more understanding should there be any misunderstandings. I have yet to say "I’m Sorry" at the Forest Gardens, no matter what I might have done.
My prior concept of a spin class are the Coach Troy/SPINeRVALS VCR tapes I’ve played in my basement while astride my old aluminum Trek, positioned on a trainer. Coach Troy is merciless on these tapes with his endless attempts to get me out of the saddle. I don’t have the most ideal set up in this basement My Trek attached to the trainer is not the most stable exercise device. On a couple of impressionable occasions I have ridden the Trek right off of the trainer and found myself zooming thru my basement into a concrete foundation, with Coach Troy sounding off another five minute out-of-saddle interval. The other memorable occasion was when the entire unit flipped over while I was peddling out-of-the-saddle. Trek bike, trainer, and me still on bike, all on our sides, me still making peddling motions; once again Coach Troy took no notice, and Coach Troy could be heard in the background, while I was trying to extricate myself from the overturned mess. On many occasions, Ruth would hear me emerge from the basements depths, puzzled as to why I repeating the Sgt Bilko refrain, "Make the bad man stop."
Our bad man, er coach, was "Paul". Paul is a rider I have encountered on various road rides in the Portland area. Paul is a good person in real life, but let me explain. I rode the Trek Across Maine this past June with an out of state rider whose favorite riding verb was "to spank"; for example, "We spanked that hill" or, worst still, "I spanked you on that hill". I thought it was wonderfully descriptive.
Spinning is a lot like spanking, and Paul is the spanker, and we are his spankees: try these conjugations, I got spanked, she got spanked, we got spanked, they got spanked.
During this spanking/spinning you will encounter the following;
1. The bike units will not topple over, and there is no way the bike will suddenly careen away into the mirrored walls. These things are solid and you can get out of the saddle with the utmost confidence.
2. The entire session was performed with lights off, in semi- dark and utter anonymity. Coach Paul tried to convince us on many occasions that we weren’t adjusting the tension knobs enough. If I couldn’t see him in the dim light, I figured he couldn’t see me. He had the burden of proof on this one, and I am innocent, until proven guilty. I know my spin bike law. Anyways, let him try to ID me from that crowd. I blended right into that mix of 18 females and three males. But who’s counting.
3. The bike monster had more moving adjustable parts than my 20 speed, dura ace, compact crank, Madone outdoor bike. I’m bringing a tool kit next time, and my home mechanic repair stand. I’m tooling and customizing that baby, and starting at least 24 hours in advance of class. Kris Clark promises to help me; you know, a pit crew member.
4. The disco lights, while not used, lent a real ambience to the spin room: this was further heightened by the mirrored walls. If I hadn’t been sweating so much, I could have convinced myself I was dining and dancing in the great room of a Portland western promenade mansion.
5. How to describe the music? About 40 minutes into the 45 minute session I determined that the music alternated, every other minute, between energetic, hard energy music, and down tempo lethargic recovery dirge. One particularly memorable musical interlude had Rammstein style German heavy metal, over laid with someone whistling the theme music to Mayberry R.F.D. I know that this is improbable and was most likely a result of hallucinations brought on by my exceeding my prior record of time spent on a biking apparatus indoors.
6. The electric floor fan. God bless Dana. She commandeered the most revered object in that spin room, the large floor fan. She set it up like she owned it, and placed it right beside our spin units. Pure genius. I would have given up the spin bike for that floor fan; if forced to choose. I would have run in place, in the semi dark, and forced Coach Paul to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that I was not on a spin bike during the spinning class. Remember, Coach, I know my spin bike law. No fan, then the law of the jungle applies, spin that Guns N Roses side about living in the jungle.
7. Post spin you are encouraged to stretch, with lights on, and drape various parts of your body across the spin bike frame. At one point the ankle/feet of one of my legs were suspended over the handle bars of the spin bike. What resulted required my personally apologizing to every member of the spin class as they were leaving.

As I was exiting the Lifestyles park lot, I kept repeating that old Sgt Bilko line, "Make the bad man stop." But was the bad man "Paul", or that unforgiving desk attendant? Heck, though, I’ll be back. I like pain, I ride road bikes. Must admit, no apologies needed on a road bike outdoors; well, not as many.
Join me next week when Dana and Tracey take me to a yoga class; this time they get me in the building without a day pass, via a side exit door. The side door, however, is near the weight training area, and some muscle men with grotesque biceps deeply resent my intrusions. More apologizes, and this time a visit to the Maine Medical Center is in order. Oh well, yoga would have been fun. Next time I’ll pay for the day pass, cheaper than ER at Maine Medical.

© 2007 R B Boisvert

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Meeting Minutes - 12/06/2007

Well, the Politburo met tonight at The White Heart on Congress Street. In attendance was:
Rocky Clark, Russ Boisvert, Bryan Lewis, Kris Clark, James Tierney, Richard Hutchins and Dana McEwan.

Discussion items were as follows (Note, I'm only putting the cycling items discussed. There was plenty of other discussions, and laughs, but they would be inappropriate for this blog. Next time you'll just have to join us yourself for those sorts of conversations.)

1.) Kris has signed the club up through the League of American Bicyclists for liability insurance for group/organized rides throughout the year. He made this decision after finding out that The Bike Coalition of Maine no longer offers this type of insurance. There are also benefits for Club members to join this organization on their own for as little as $15.00/year. If you'd like more information, you can check out their website or email Kris at

2.) We talked about organized rides for next year. We want to continue with the special monthly rides and will determine them at a later date.

Since we have gotten such an overwhelming turnout for the late in the season Sunday rides, we are choosing to continue with these rides in 2008. We'll meet at the shop at 10am, as we have done in the past, and the ride might be predetermined by a rider that wishes to lead it or it might be a route/distance determined the day of the ride by the riders that attend. (On a side note, Kris told us that the highest number of riders that participated on a CCCP ride this year was 49 on a Thursday night ride. That's awesome! This only reinforces the Community aspect of our new name!)

Additionally, I am going to start up a women's ride Tuesday nights from the end of May to the first of September. This ride will be tailored to the women that like to ride but don't want to ride at a high pace level but would enjoy the camaraderie of a group ride. So tell all the women in your life that like to ride and that are looking for a bit slower pace than all you hardcore velophiles keep.

These new rides will be posted on the Bike Coalition of Maine's site and calendar.

3.) Kris brought up the question of how we are all going to stay in touch over the several cold snowy months ahead of us before we can all convene again for some biking. There was some talk of people coming up with some suggestions or throwing out some ideas to get together. For example, if you want to host an event some place, perhaps a winter outdoor event, feel free to let us know and give us all the details and we'll get the word out!

4.) The consensus is that the blog is working very well in sending out news and information to members and non-members alike. Kris wants to eventually start posting the newsletters here. Great idea Kris! This way people can make comments and all can see the comments. So make sure you bookmark this site or you can add this to your homepage tabs and check back on a regular basis. But don't worry, you won't miss out on a newsletter posting. We'll still send you an email notification about the newsletter posting with a link for easy access!

5.) It appears that the same sponsors will stick with us for 2008. So a big THANK YOU to all of them who support us! And by doing so it allows us to plan on the same logos for the club kit. Richard is working on slight restyling the jerseys and we hope to place the order sooner for 2008 in hopes of having them for the White Mountain Memorial Day ride and also for those of us who participate in the Trek. (Stay tuned for more Trek information soon!) There will be an announcement going out as we approach the order time to find out who wants club kit, what pieces and what sizes. Sounds like there will be jackets and bibs as well as jerseys, and possibly even sleeveless jerseys for the women if we have enough interest.

6.) James Tierney is planning on participating in a couple races in 2008. He'd like to know if there is anyone with a USCF license or anyone interested in purchasing one and joining him. He's just looking to have a little fun at a few local events and have a small club presence. Russ is interested in joining him as well. So feel free to email James for more information:

So now you are up to date with the topics from the meeting. You only missed a few drinks and some laughs, and most at Russ's expense. Russ is such a good sport! Next time we hope you'll be able to join us!



Wednesday, December 5, 2007

CCCP Politburo Meeting - December 6th!

For all you members checking his blog, there is a meeting at the White Heart on Congress Street, Portland Thursday, December 6th at 6:00pm. Hope to see as many of you as possible there.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Best Christmas Gift EVAH!

If you are stumped on what to give the velophile in your life for Christmas, consider a great looking CCCP Jersey. They are only $10.00 for members ($15 non) and you don't have to drive to the mall to purchase it! You can find them right at Back Bay Bicycle. Roll it up and stick it in their stocking if you'd prefer not to wrap it. But you might consider buying two - one for them and one for you. Because if you make the mistake of trying it on, you might not want to take it off - it's that comfy!!
Also what better stocking stuffer than CCCP stockings, alright bike socks. You can never have too many socks. Only $6 ($9 for non-members)

Happy Holidays!!


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Frame For Sale

Hi all- I'm selling my blue 60cm Motobecane frame. Includes carbon fork, seapost, stem and bars. Price $300.00. I can be reached @ 650-2292. Rich

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What should Santa bring you for Christmas?

Since the previous "Why I Ride" poll worked so well, I thought we'd make this a regular feature. Tracey thought this one was fitting for the season. So here's the question:

What should Santa bring you for Christmas and why?

Now, we all assume you are cycling fanatics like yours truly, and you have a list a century-ride long of cycling items that you'd love Santa to put under the tree. So tell us, what is it that you desire and why do you deserve it? Perhaps a new Assos jacket on those rides when Jack Frost is nipping at your, er, nose. Many of you might have a new Cervelo R3 SL at the top of your list so you can float down the Fore Street cobbles like Stuart O'Grady toward his 2007 Paris-Roubaix victory. Or perhaps a Power Tap so you can train like the Dickens in hopes dropping everyone like Michael Rasmussen over Dutton Hill. (But let's hope you aren't wishing for a little EPO or Testosterone patches 'cuz we all know DOPERS SUCK.)

So whether you've been naughty or nice, and if you are a CCCP member it'd better be the latter, tell us what you wish for. We can't promise Santa will deliver, but it's always nice to dream!

Happy Holidays!


PS I already have my gift from Santa, and by Santa I mean Don. I've been riding my sweet Ibex since August 25th. It doesn't exactly fit under the tree but it fits me to a tee!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

News From The Back Of The Pack

Another great ride, but the colder weather is making the numbers dwindle by just a few. There were about 10 of us for this Sunday's ride. Paul led us out Route 25 into Gorham and down 237 to Rt. 35. We followed this into Windham, crossed 302 and went down Falmouth Rd to Babbidge. About 40+ miles again, though a few folks did break off due to time constraints.

I, as usual, followed the group from a comfortable distance, feeling like I belonged on the Island of Misfit Toys. I think I was built with something missing - oh that would be Fast Twitch muscle fibers! Nobody wants a "Charlie in the Box"/Charlie on the Bike!

There was talk of stopping at Dunkin Donuts in Windham. I (according to Russ) was starting another Revolution in that I informed the group that I would continue on as stopping was only going to make me freeze up instantaneously. Somehow, however, I had a lot of followers, including Russ to be the first one to agree. Group consensus was no coffee and onward ho!

Our numbers dwindled off as we rode through Portland, everyone making their way back home. I know for me, the thought of a warm shower, my heater, something warm to eat and/or drink and a comfy sofa were all calling my name - LOUDLY! As I walked in the door to my place, I realized I was kind of hungry so I decided to finish the rest of an open Clif Bar I had started in Standish somewhere. I then realized that it was awfully hard to eat as it was mostly frozen! Sometimes I do have to ask myself, "Why do I ride?". The answers still stay the same... Whether we are diehards or crazy, not sure. At least on this ride, we had an elderly gentleman salute us and then declare "Ride On" as we rode past. And, as we were on the homestretch, another woman out cleaning up the leaves in her yard, stood up and started clapping and cheering us enthusiatically as we rode by. What a welcome home!

So, feel free to make more comments about this ride, or at least continue to tell us "Why I ride"!


Saturday, November 24, 2007


A big thanks to Kris for including the blog site address in the latest newsletter. If you are checking out the blog for the first time we say WELCOME! and hope you like the way we are delivering news and points of interest to you. Please remember to keep checking back regularly for updated information about ongoing rides, winter training, or just fun cycling postings in general.

Comments are not only welcome but encouraged. It's a much more interesting blog when people are involved and commenting. Remember, you can post a comment "anonymously" without having to sign-in, but please post your name in the comment section so we'll know who you are.

If you have something to post, feel free to email me ( with the information and I'll get it up ASAP. You can either compose it yourself and I'll copy/paste it to the blog or you can give me a general idea and I'll write something up for you.

Hope to see you on a Sunday ride soon!


---(_)/ (_)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks

Not sure if any of you receive the RoadBikeRider newsletter every week or not. (If you don't, click on the link to the right every Thursday for the newest edition.)

I really like Scott Martin's "articles" every week. They are usually pretty comical but this one is a bit more on the serious side. I'm copying and pasting his posting below for everyone to read. You might be like me and be thankful for these same things. But if there are other things you are thankful for, cycling related of course, please tell us by commenting.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Scott's Spin:

Thanks a Lot

Here in America we're celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow. That's when you eat marshmallow-filled Jell-O salad, decorate your house in orange and brown, and figure out how to do a 2-hour ride when you should be home hanging the relatives. I mean, hanging with the relatives.

And it's a time for giving thanks. So it seems like an appropriate moment to do that for something really important -- besides the abundance of marshmallows and the theft of a continent from Pocahontas.

I'm talking, naturally, about our sport. Here's my list of cycling things to be thankful for:

  • I'm thankful to be healthy enough to ride.

  • I'm thankful that I've found a sport I can do the rest of my life.

  • I'm thankful that my life could be longer because I ride.

  • I'm thankful for all the great friends I've made through cycling.

  • I'm thankful for all the wonderful places my bike has taken me.

  • I'm thankful that my sport requires me to buy so many cool toys.

  • I'm thankful that cycling happens to be good for the planet.

  • I'm thankful for all you cool RoadBikeRider readers.

  • I'm thankful for surviving another year of distracted drivers, potholed streets and clueless pedestrians.

  • I'm thankful that I can eat as much as I want on Thanksgiving, knowing that I'll ride it off soon enough.

  • I'm thankful for all the cycling advocates who fight for our rights.

  • I'm thankful for the small amount of mechanical aptitude cycling has forced me to acquire.

  • I'm thankful for the flat tire I'm bound to have tomorrow, which will turn my 2-hour ride into a 3-hour escape and get me home just in time for turkey.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Revolution was not Televised

To paraphrase Gil-Scott Heron, "CCCP changed it's name, and the revolution will not be televised."

I note that the CCCP blog site now identifies itself as "Community Cycling Club of Portland." Of more import was Tracey's reply to the lone commuter that we encountered on Sunday's ride. We were at a group standstill at the ominous crosswords of Ross Road, and the road running from Old Orchard to the Cascades. The commuting rider wanted to know what CCCP stood for. Tracey offered "Community Cycling Club of Portland." No one objected, no one spoke up for the old competitive canard. Tracey spoke, no cameras were present, the old CCCP is no more; the new Community Cycling Club of Portland emerges from its ashes. I propose a granite memorial at that very corner commemorating the untelivised revolution- Tracey emerges as the new Lenin, and we all watch our backsides.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Four Great Sunday Rides in a Row!

Another great Sunday ride today. Well, for most of you. Kinda sucked for me. I guess I should have just stayed home to nurse my sore legs and recover from the race yesterday. But alas, my pride got in the way and figured I could manage the ride.

Thanks to Tracey (and Russ) for such a great 50-mile ride. The rides across the ET sections through South Portland and across the marsh in Scarborough were delightful at a casual pace. The road to Camp Ellis and Ross Road were picturesque country roads will little traffic.

The ride was a first for a few of us - I had never been over the marsh via the ET and Kris had never been to Camp Ellis. We also have a few newcomers, including a very interesting man that leads bicycle tours in Thailand, so this was their first ride with our club. Was it a first for you in any way? If so, tell us by commenting!

I have posted photos from today's ride and last Sunday's ride on Flickr. Today's photos were great with a group photo taken at Camp Ellis. But my favorite is the photo above. For me this picture epitomized these rides: a friendly ride that includes a stop at a coffee shop to refuel/recaffeinate and a chance to chat and catch up with our fellow bikers, in addition to talk about who might want to lead the following Sunday's ride.

And that was the discussion today - the ride for next weekend. Paul has agreed to lead the ride and will be thinking about the route. For any questions regarding the ride, feel free to call Paul at Back Bay Bicycle (773-6906). We will meet at the shop on Sunday at 10:00 am and wait for directions/information about the ride. (And with Paul leading you can bet there will probably be some climbs involved. He's a little billy goat. I'll make sure I'm super rested and properly recovered before Sunday!)

Let's hope this sunny weather continues and people continue to show up - still riding with about a dozen riders each weekend, which is truly remarkable! Feel free to pass on the word by telling your friends and fellow club members in the event they are for some strange reason not in the loop.

If you can't wait until Sunday to ride, Kris said they are still riding Wednesday afternoons at 1:00pm from Back Bay Bicycle. The weather at this point looks very good for Wednesday's ride, with temps in the low 50's and sunny. (I'm so glad I'm on vacation this week and able to ride Wednesday.)

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone and hope to see you Sunday!!


---(_)/ (_)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Why You Ride...

There is a fairly new cycling magazine on the stands called Road Bike Action Magazine. I picked it up when it first came out and enjoyed it so much I bought a membership, which was pretty inexpensive. In this magazine there is a section called “Why I Ride”, which is great fun to read. So, Tracey suggested we start our own “Why I Ride” string on the blog. So here it is! Please comment by clicking below. And if you care to post your name, please do so in the body of your post, otherwise we won’t know who you are.

So I’ll start:

I ride because I’m addicted to the bike culture. I started riding in the spring/summer of 2006 and got hooked. Hey, there are worse things to be addicted to!

Now it’s your turn. Tell us why you ride!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Beach Cruiser Ride, Sunday, Nov. 18, 10am

I was hoping to lead a ride this Sunday, Nov. 18th. Let's call this one the "Beach Cruiser". We will start at Back Bay Bicycle, as usual, around 10 AM. We shall proceed across the Casco Bay Bridge, possibly picking up the Eastern Trail and following it down to Scarborough, to Old Orchard to Camp Ellis and back. It is a nice ride and flat. We can take a poll to see if folks want to cross over the Scarborough Marsh on the Eastern Trail. It is a great and quiet stretch, but made of a surface similar to the Back Cove path so it is obviously not paved. It is manageable on a road bike, but I understand if some folks don't want to do this. The other option unfortunately is Route 1, but perhaps it won't be so bad in a pack of riders.

I have been encouraged to lead this ride, though I have to say if it is snowing, raining or won't hit freezing by mid day with a cold stiff wind and no sun, you can count me out! Watch the blog for updates if the weather is questionable. Feel free to email me with any questions at


Tracey Merrill

Updated Sunday Spin Class

Hi All!

As I entered the gym (Lifestyles on Warren Ave, Portland) this morning at 5:30 for my morning spin, not that I make a habit of the morning classes but since I was awake I figured I drag myself out of my warm bed to sweat it out on the bike, I noticed that they have now added the Sunday spin class back to the schedule. This class is only a 45-minute class from 9:45 to 10:30am. If you find yourself unable to be out on the bike on a Sunday, for whatever reason, consider participating in this class. You don't have to have a membership to participate in this class. If you want to just do the Sunday class you can pay the $7.00 for a day pass to participate in this class. And if you decide to do other cardio or weights, your day pass will cover that too. Give it a try, you might like it! Keep in mind that this Sunday class is instructed by either Paul Niehoff (of SMCC who many of you might know) or Julie, who are both cyclists. If they can do it, so can you!!


Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Great Sunday Ride

Once again we had a great ride today. We are averaging about a dozen riders for these rides, a pretty good turnout this late in the season. (And Kris said that there were 6 for the Wednesday ride.)

It was a bit windy and even though it was chilly, the sun really helped. Not to mention the stop for coffee at Maine Coffee Roasters in Yarmouth. I propose that we make a coffee stop mandatory during these chilly rides! What do you think? (Please comment by clicking the comment link below. Make sure you include your name in the body of the message so we'll know who you are when commenting.)

I mentioned the posting the link for the blinker product that is sold in England, so click HERE to see it.

So we are looking for suggestions for next week's ride. Anyone want to propose a ride and lead it, or co-lead it? Russ suggested a ride to Saco, Camp Ellis, and back through Old Orchard Beach. He said it's about a 40 mile ride. Perhaps we can ride this if no one else has any other suggestions. )Feel free to make a suggestion through the comment link below or email your suggestions to either me or

I've posted pictures from today's ride to the Flickr page so check them out! If anyone has any cycling photos they would like to upload, pleased email me and I'll give you the necessary information to do so.

Have a great week! Fingers crossed for another sunny, but less windy Sunday!


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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Girls Only - Lead a Ride from The Bike Shop

Matt from The Bike Shop is looking for female volunteers to lead an all girls' ride on Sundays departing from The Bike Shop.

One of the biggest reason's for a special ride for girls is that the girls from Islamic families are no longer allowed to ride with boys. The girls themselves have asked for an all-girls ride, so that they too can ride. There will be other non-Islamic girls as well. As guides, we must be culturally sensitive even though we may find aspects of Somali Islam unfair if not just plain wrong. He recommends reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel for a good understanding of what it is like to grow up a girl in Somalia.

Feel free to join on a Saturday morning (10AM) ride to get a feel for what a ride entails. This Saturday will not be too soon.

Rides will leave the Shop on Sundays at 1:30 PM. This allows time for girls to return from religious school which they have on both Saturday and Sunday. Do not expect vigorous exercise -- most of these girls have very sedate lifestyles. The weather will be cool if he can get this going this fall. In the cold weather they generally ride to a cafe for cocoa and a cookie. These girls will greatly enjoy exploring Portland and finding different cafes.

Two guides should go out on each ride. He will have a meeting Thursday next week (11/15) 6pm at the Shop to pencil in a schedule for a few weeks. (The Shop is located at 51 Mayo Street, Portland.)

This a great opportunity to help girls get active and introduce them to the larger world around them. For more information you can email Matt directly at:


Another Sunday Ride!

Tour de Cousins Island:

Sunday 10AM, Nov 11 from Back Bay Bicycle.
Fearless Leader: Russ Boisvert
Approximately 34-35 miles.

Follows Rte 1, and/or Middle Road and/or Rte 88 and then zooms down to Little John and over Cousins Island bridge.

Little John loop is no more then 3/4 mile loop, narrow road, homes close to the road, very, very short "wall" that may be steepest grade in Cumberland County; all has the flavor and ambiance of a European village.

No heavy duty pace predicted. Russ plans on riding a Century to Concord, NH on Saturday, weather dependent, and will not be returning to Maine, in a sag vehicle, until late Saturday nite. He's asking we don't expect much from him. He'll give directions while others pull. (Sounds a bit like Santa giving directions to the reindeer, doesn't it: "Now Richard, now Tracey, now Rocky and Patrick. On Bryan, on Robert, on Dana and Derrick. To the top of the hill! To the top of the wall! Now sprint away! Sprint away! Sprint away all!)

Santa/Russ can be reached at or 774-4209 for last minute changes or confirmation.

See you Sunday!


Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Here is an interesting bit of information on crosstraining from a newsletter I receive from CTS. Chris Carmichael is one of the premier trainers in the US and he has some great tips that he’s willing to share with the masses, either in Bicycling Magazine or through the emails.

I’m sure that many of you are like me and “it’s all about the bike”. But sometimes we need to do a bit of crosstraining to be more effective on the bike. And now that I’m back in the gym I vow to work on the crosstraining a bit more and take advantage of the classes and equipment the gym has to offer.

So I hope you all take advantage of the off season to get back on your feet, so to speak, and try some other forms of exercise. And if any of you find yourself at spin class with us on Monday nights and can spare an extra hour after, feel free to join us for Yoga class. It really is a good way to stretch after the grueling 45-minutes on the bike!


Wednesday Rides

As Kris mentioned in his recent email, there will be a group ride on Wednesdays at 1pm leaving from Back Bay Bicycle for anyone that can make that fit into their work schedule. These rides will continue for as long as the weather holds and there is interest - and we know there is interest. No one wants to give up the last bit of outside cycling, myself included. The ride will be 20-30 miles at a moderate pace. Call Kris for more information. (W: 773-6906 / H: 775-0356)

Ride on!


Monday, November 5, 2007

Cycling Links

If this is not your first time viewing this site then you will notice the links to the right of the blog postings. I've added these but if any knows of others that would be beneficial to have, please let me know.


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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Weekend Rides

It's been a while since I've posted anything to the blog. But no more. Here's some information to update all of you and I'll work on updating this on a regular basis.

First I'll start by mentioning how great the CCCP party was. A big thank you to Kris and Cindy for hosting. It was a very good turnout.

I'd like to thank everyone who joined me for my birthday ride. It was the best birthday ever. But I'm sure that in mid to late October people were just looking for an excuse to ride. Fine by me - the more the merrier!

We are on a roll with some organized weekend group rides. We are averaging around a dozen riders for various routes. Last weekend we traveled to Brunswick in some pretty stiff wind for coffee in Brunswick. Today we rode through Westbrook and into Scarborough to attack Mitchell Hill. Well, some attacked, I just survived. I should get a t-shirt for that, eh? Thankfully the weather has cooperated, at least on Sundays, and we are hopeful to keep this trend going.

With the mid-week group rides finished for the season due to the return of EST, it's time to start thinking about the winter training. Tracey and I have signed up at Lifestyles and will be at the first spin class Monday night. Click here for the link to Lifestyles Fitness Center if you are interested in joining us. Keep in mind you always have the option of just popping in on a class or two as your schedule allows for a nominal fee.

Finally, feel free to email me if you have something to post here on the blog. I'd be happy to copy/paste something in or write it for you. Also, comments are always welcome!

If you haven't had a chance to check out the CCCP flickr site, you can do so by clicking here. There are pictures from group rides, weekly rides, and the end-of-season party. Enjoy! (And if anyone has any photos to post, email me and I'll give you the password to upload photos. It's pretty easy!)

Ride on!


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Streaked Mountain/Buckfield Roubaix

Thanks to James for leading us over Streaked Mountain and thanks to all of those who showed. It was a great day as you can see by the photos posted HERE.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Yarmouth Bike Race Ride

Russ, Geoff, Greg, Tracey, James, Patrick and I enjoyed a great ride to the Yarmouth Clam Festival Bike Race Sunday. The weather was perfect for a nice casual ride. Many of us needed a recovery ride after the long, hilly Lobster Ride & Roll Century ride. HERE are some pictures from our ride there, and more pictures HERE from the mens race and HERE from the womens race, thanks to my husband, Don.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Hello Everyone. Thanks for checking out this blog site. I've posted the pictures of The Bike Shop Ride today to our flickr account. You can click HERE to see them. It was a great event and hopefully will become an annual event. They raised $1700.00!! That's so awesome and will be money well spent!


1st Post!

Hello everyone! We just got back from the Very, very successful fund raising ride at Bug Light. What a perfect day for a ride. Dana took a bunch of pictures and will be posting a link soon so that everyone can see them.