AMC Boston Chapter



2014 Backpacking and Cycle Touring Workshop (Note taking version here, right click to save)


AMC Worcester Chapter Bike Rides are open to non-members as well as members. Helmets are required, as well as water and flat repair equipment. You are required to read and sign a release

Weekday show and go rides start at 6 P.M. and last 1-1.5 hours at the average speeds below, followed by optional dinner at local spot. No registration required, but contact leader with questions. Tuesdays rides are rated EASY and Thursday rides INTERMEDIATE.

Ride Categories:

  • INTRO: no one left behind (suitable for beginners)
  • EASY (for average riders with solid experience): 10-12 mph
  • INTERMEDIATE (for stronger riders): 13-15 mph
  • ADVANCED (for very strong riders): 16+ mph.

Ride Leaders Needed! If you are interested in becoming a bike leader for the chapter, please contact our Bicycle Committee Chair at

Non-AMC Events (Sponsored by the Seven Hills Wheelmen)

Favorite Rides, Tire Maintenance, and Training Techniques


Bicycle Touring Info


Tire Maintenance

  • After putting on a new set of tires, switch them around after the first thousand miles or so. They will wear more evenly, because the back wheel wears much quicker than the front.
  • In general, inflate the tire to its recommended maximum and check it once a week. The less tire meeting the road, the less surface exposed to debris.
  • If transporting a bike inside the car during warm weather, deflate tires so they won't heat up and explode.
  • Watch out after heavy rains. Washouts can disturb glass and other debris that has been forced to the side of the road by car traffic.
  • If you ride over a suspicious road surface, it's worth stopping to check whether the tire picked up anything. More experienced riders simply keep riding and reach a gloved hand behind the brake pads and let the tire run against the glove to pick up any debris that might've stuck. The trick with doing this is: don't look down and be confident of your riding ability.
  • Bunny-jump potholes, train tracks, and branches if possible, or at least get off your seat if impact with a pothole can't be avoided to take weight off rear tire.

On-The-Road Tire Repair

  • Take the tire entirely off the rim because it's easier to check condition of the rim and tire with the two completely free of the other. You can keep one side of the tire bead on the rim in the interests of a speedier fix.
  • Check the tire for remnants of debris that might have caused the flat. If you don't find any, be suspicious. It's worth taking the time to try to pump up the flatted tube to try to locate the hole. If it's on the outside circumference, then it probably was a nail or glass, but if it's on the inside circumference, it could be a spoke tip protruding through the rim strip or a snake-bite-type puncture caused by an impact. Try to be somewhat confident that you know how it went flat before putting in the new tube. There's nothing more frustrating than going flat again because you weren't careful!
  • Make sure to center stem in the rim hole so that it's perpendicular. A slanted stem is more apt to get torqued on hitting a pothole.
  • Pump up the new tube a bit so it fits into tire better, then let air out as needed when you put it on the rim.
  • Ease the tire and tube on carefully. Be careful not to pinch the tube. Always double-check that the tube isn't getting squeezed between side of rim and tire bead. This mostly matters for the last couple of inches.
  • Don't screw down stem nut tight. Back it off a couple of turns so there's a little play in it, again in case of a pothole impact to avoid the base of the stem getting too stressed.
  • TIP: If the tire has a big hole, you can use a folded dollar bill as a tire shoe to keep the tube from forcing itself through the hole.


Training Tips

  • In general, try alternating between hard and easy days. Light efforts for recovery, hard day of intervals to build power and endurance. It's like weight-lifting, on the hard days you slightly tear down the muscle, then give them an easy day before the next hard effort to repair themselves and become stronger. If you get out 3-4 days a week, you can have productive workouts that improve your fitness for riding.
  • Don't not do a ride because you don't think you'll have the allotted hour or two hours to do your normal distance. Even a half hour of steady riding is worth doing. Depending on your goals, you can get a productive workout in 30-45 minutes.
    With intervals, you want to improve, not only your ability to work hard (the On segment), but also your ability to recover efficiently and completely (the Off segment).
    After a ten-minute warm-up, you can do alternating sets of timed intervals. As soon as your cylcometer hits ten minutes into the workout, go hard for 3 minutes, then give yourself 2 minutes recovery. Go hard again at the fifteen minute mark for 3 minutes, then 2-minute recovery time again and continue this pattern for as long as you have time available.
  • On another hard day, make the intervals 4 minutes long, with a 1-minute recovery. Or do a couple of 8-minute intervals with 2-minute recovery. Always give yourself enough time to recover between intervals. If you're still huffing and puffing when it's time to go hard again, then you're not rested enough. Either give yourself another minute to rest or don't go as hard on the next intervals.
  • It takes a little time to figure out your best speed and intensity for the timed intervals. For example, the 3-minute intervals can be harder than the 4-minute interval because you have more time to recover with the shorter intervals before going again.
  • Another good training technique is to find a hilly route and do all the hard work during the climbs, but recover on the downhills and flats. It's really good for building your power and hill-climbing technique. A variation on this is to do hill repeats, climbing the same hill a few times, each time setting a goal of trying to do them all at the same speed or by not dropping into single digits for rate of speed.
  • Give yourself a 5-minute cool down or at least don't go home and sit on the couch. Try to be a little active after the ride so your muscles don't tighten too soon.
  • On the following recovery day, go out easy, keep the chain on the small front chain ring, and spin. Gets the blood flowing through the muscles to wash out lactic acid build-up and facilitate recovery. An active recovery day is better than taking a day off.


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