Sunday, July 16, 2023

VermontStrong: Support the Green Mountain State

It's no secret that I love Vermont. I love the riding and the landscape, but it's the people that give the Green Mountain State such a great vibe. Well, parts of Vermont got destroyed with the recent floods. I'm sure you've seen the new footage from places like Ludlow and Montpelier. I'm hundreds of miles away from the devastation but my spirit is there with the people. 

If you're interested in helping, here are some resources:

Or you can buy gift cards from some of the local businesses to give them a cash boost for now:

Know of another way to help? Another resource? Another business to add? Let me know!

Friday, July 7, 2023

SafeTrails: Feel The Heat

It’s been a hot summer, and climate scientists predict that the season is going to continue to get hotter and hotter every year. Here in New England, we’ve typically had our share of “hazy, hot, and humid,” days, but we’re seeing more; although other parts of the country (Hello Texas), and the world (Hello China) are suffering more than we are. That being said, the heat here CAN still be dangerous and it’s often the temperature combined with humidity that causes problems.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Central Vermont Cycling Tour

Ah, the good old CVCT. This was one of the earliest gravel rides Jean and I did, back in 2016. We had actually signed up in 2015, but the weather was so torrentially bad, it was cancelled. Anyway, fast forward through a pandemic and other stuff, seven years later, and we're back.

It was a great weekend of camping with our friends Liz and Dan at one of our favorite campgrounds, Lazy Lions in Graniteville, VT.  Clean, quiet, and nearby trails to walk the mutts, what more could we ask for?

Saturday, June 24, 2023

SafeTrails: Ticks in New England

Let’s face it, ticks suck. Figuratively and literally. It seems like every year the news features stories that claim "this will be the worst year for ticks," and every year, we ARE seeing more and more.

Unfortunately, they’re part of the outdoors, and while New Canaan Nature considers them “a strong and important link in the food chain,” I’d personally be happy to see them gone.

But, they're not going anywhere, and thanks to the effects of climate change (warmer winters with less snow), we will keep having "the worst year," over and over. Especially with the fact that ticks can be active any time of year when the temperatures are above freezing.

I think plenty of people are aware of Lyme disease and at least know some of the symptoms, but Lyme is just one of several diseases that can be spread by ticks in New England.

Let's first dive into the different ticks found here in the northeast (data from

Monday, March 27, 2023

NEMBA’s Philip Keyes Leadership Summit

Got to head down to Cape Cod to check out NEMBA’s Philip Keyes Leadership Summit, March 24th-26th.

Just under 100 participants from nearly all of NEMBA’s 33 chapters got together to discuss strategy and how to ensure the success of the organization and mountain biking in general, and of course, ride.

After some energetic opening remarks from Nicole Freedman, NEMBA’s new executive director, the brainstorming began

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Boning Up

Getting older has never been billed as being fun, at least not once you get past that magical age of ”21” (which was so, so, long ago).

But, just like trying to keep an old car or an old bike up and running, our older bodies (or sbould I say "classic") need more maintenance as time goes on. Here is yet another article that discusses the importance of weight and strength training as a way to stave off osteoporosis and osteopenia. 

The reality is, exercises like cycling, and swimming, just don’t cut it when it comes to bone strength. The more you stress the bones, the stronger they will become, providing you have adequate nutrition with calcium and vitamin D.

Friday, December 30, 2022

How a Trail is Born

When you are blasting down a trail, enjoying the flow, or struggling up a climb that seems to go on forever, do you ever wonder how that trail came into being? If so, check out Trails Don't Build Themselves, as part of the MTB 101 series, and wonder no more.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Bay Circuit Trail (Just a Taste)

I was at a trail building workshop recently and one of the questions that was presented to us was, “what’s your favorite trail?” 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

What is Mountain Biking?

What is mountain biking? Definitions may vary, but see how I unpack the different types of riding in this new series MTB 101... class is now in session.

Monday, September 5, 2022

First Aid Kits Only Help If You Bring Them With You

Yes, the same "crash photos" 
seen in a previous post.
I used to carry a first aid kit when I went riding but I had gotten out of the habit. I mostly stopped wearing a hydration pack, and without one, I limited my *stuff* to the bike necessities: tube, CO2, multi-tool; and a couple of water bottles. My recent ride that went a bit sideways made me rethink this approach. 

Let's face it, it's inevitable that you or one of your riding compatriots is going to crash. Hopefully there will be no serious injuries and all you'll get is a good story and a good laugh, maybe make it on to #fridayfail on But, someday, something more significant might happen so you should probably be ready.

In my mind, being ready requires two things: knowledge and supplies. I do happen to have a fair bit of medical knowledge, but until research is done to determine if oak leaves are better for packing a wound over maple leaves, I'd prefer some good old fashioned medical supplies.

If you don't have much medical knowledge, I strongly encourage you to take a first aid class, especially if it can be geared towards the outdoors. You should also take a CPR course and a Stop the Bleed course.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Frontenac Secteur SUD National Park Adventure

It’s not common for a 30 mile gravel ride to rise to the level of needing a story about it, but this one does. This ride wasn’t a ride, it was a journey, an experience, a shit show. A shit show that I got to enjoy with my lovely wife and our two friends, Liz and Dan.

I’m typically tasked with finding and leading rides (or hikes) whenever we travel. I do have a reputation for taking my wife and our friends on rides that are a *bit* harder than I might advertise, or with a wee bit more climbing than mentioned. That’s part of what I do, but I HONESTLY don’t set out to do it. This just sort of happens, there’s “one more hill,” or we’ve only got “a few more miles to go.”

Anyone who has tried to find a ride hundreds of miles from home knows the challenges associated with choosing loops purely based on GPS tracks. Be it TrailForks or RideWithGPS, it’s caveat emptor when you download that GPS file and hit start.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

ECGA Gravel Goodness

On Saturday July 30,  Noah Leavitt and Dan Tieger, along with some other folks, worked with the Essex County Greenbelt Association to host an informal gravel ride starting in West Newbury.

The roughly 25-mile loop included a mix of road and off-road accessing Maudslay State Park, the Martin Burns Wildlife Management Area, the abandoned J.B. Little Road, trails around the Indian Hill Reservoir, and some quiet paved roads.

About 30 riders set out in multiple groups broken down by an estimated average speed. I tried to go back and forth between everyone, but the fast riders were long gone. That being said, I was able to snap a bunch of shots of the majority of the participants, and from the smiling faces, it seemed like everyone was having a good time. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Muddy Onion 2022

I love bikes, Vermont, and hills, and the Muddy Onion gravel ride combines all three. This has been one of my favorite gravel rides since "gravel rides" were a thing, and after being on hold for the past two years because of the 'rona, it was great to be back for this early season test of fitness. 

Rolling out of Montpelier, the Muddy Onion offers two route options, 21 and 39 miles, the latter with about 3500 ft of climbing. I chose the 39'er, as did Jason G and Glen G, and in total there were about 697 other riders lined up with us on Saturday morning.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Gran Prix Beverly Cyclocross

You can tell by the fact that you can't see any 
riders behind me how far out front I am...
Thanks Jen Carter for the pic!
So there it was, my triumphant return to cyclocross racing. And, by *triumphant* I mean I didn't die. About 10 years ago I was racing quite a bit, but it's been a while since I worried about which side I needed to pin my number on or obsessed about tire pressure. Okay, I NEVER obsessed about tire pressure, but you get the point. 

With the race happening in my proverbial back yard, I had to do it, lack of training or semblance of fitness be damned. In fact, the entirety of my "training" for the race consisted of the one-lap pre-ride I did shortly before the start. 

If you want to skip past my ramblings and see some pics of my teammate/work colleague/bro, scroll below, but if you want to subject yourself to a tiresome description of the course, read on.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Kill Your Lawn, Grow "Weeds."

Over the past few years, my view of lawns has shifted from just apathy to total disdain. 

I've never been a "lawn guy," I've never really cared enough to dedicate much time, effort and resources to my grass. Sure, I *tried* and had done some stuff... watering, fertilizer, de-thatching, aerating, overseeding, etc, which, when I actually list it out, seems like a lot, but I was only barely interested and didn't do all of these things often enough or consistently. My lawn's appearance matched my efforts, but it was usually "good enough," and I was fine with that. The weeds were green, the grub patches weren't too bad, and I had better things to do. And while I wasn't a dedicated grass guy, my OCD made sure that what I did have was usually neat and clean.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Beverly Bike Park?

I've been kicking around the idea of a bike park somewhere in Beverly.


Exactly where? Who knows.

How big? Dunno.

When? No idea.

But, all things start with an idea, so if you're interested, please fill out this short form.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Battle of the Blowers vs Bloviators

It's that time of year to start the leaf blower battles. The autumn leaves are down, trails are covered and the debate rages as to what is better--"clean" or "natural."

I say there is no universal right or wrong approach, but generally I favor groomed trails. 

In fact, for the most part I don't think leaf removal adversely affects trails and more likely may confer benefits to trail users.

Before you load your aspersions and invectives in a flaming bag to hurl at me, let's lay out some facts or at least some informed opinions that I'll use to make my case.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Poultry Power

It started innocent enough. Jean's friend in NH asked if we wanted chickens, and of course the answer was, "yes!" They gave us a small coop and all we needed to do was build an enclosure and get a permit from the city...

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Arizona Adventures

I’ve never been one to shy away from biting off more than I can chew, so when Glen tossed out the idea of a one day epic 100-mile ride along the very remote Arizona Trail, I was in. I even started to train for it, but then, well, life got hectic, and “training” turned into drinking lots of coffee hoping that it would be a suitable replacement for proper sleep, diet, and exercise. 

It wasn’t.