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