The Mighty Cooked Tomato and Bicycle Commuting

Tomatoes lose some of their vitamin C when they’re cooked, but heating, processing, or crushing boost their antioxidant power. Cooked tomatoes are a good source of a carotenoid called lycopene – a strong antioxidant that may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease,  some types of cancer and macular degeneration. It’s the lycopenes in tomatoes that gives them their bright red color. You won’t get as many of them if you eat sliced tomatoes. A drawback of eating canned or jarred tomato products is getting a high dose of sodium. To avoid the additional salt try cooking your own tomatoes or buying a low sodium version.

I’m absolutely thrilled that cycling season is in full swing here in the north east! I even bicycled to work one day this week! I’ve promised myself that, weather permitting and a with warm enough temperature in the AM, I will ride to work three times a week. Monday morning I set out for the 15 mile trek at 6:45 and arrived at my place of employ with a few minutes to spare. The rack and commuter bag worked well but I’m going to be leaving the laptop at work as often as possible. That weight along with my lunch and change of clothing made the back of the bike a bit heavy.

The Monday morning ride plus 23 miles after work today gives me 54 miles so far for the week. Bicycling with my husband this weekend will put me over 100 miles. I should be hitting my 100+ miles per week goal now though the summer months.

I am passionate about cycling and consider myself in training for my yearly trek across the state of Massachusetts during the first weekend in August; the Pan Massachusetts Challenge. The PMC is a challenging two day 192 mile ride beginning in the south central Massachusetts town of Sturbridge. Saturday morning at 5:30 AM we start by traversing 40 miles of grueling hills right from the start. The route then flattens out considerably for the remaining 72 miles and ends in Buzzards Bay, at the western entrance of the Cape Cod Canal, where we spend the night at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.


Day 1 Sturbridge to Buzzards Bay 112 miles

Off to an early start Sunday morning beginning with the long climb over the Bourne Bridge at sunrise. The view of the rising sun reflecting off the ribbon of the Cape Cod Canal is a sight to behold and well worth the early wake up call.



The Bourne Bourne Bridge spanning the Cape Cod Canal

But is it ever hard to sit on that seat the next day. Our route takes us down the length of scenic Cape Cod. Through quaint towns, along fishing inlets and over dunes. We will witness many breathtaking ocean views. Still, that 80 miles does NOT go quick. Cape Cod is hilly. Long rolling hills winding along highways, back roads and bike paths and finally through a five mile stretch through the sand dunes of Provincetown signaling the finish is near. At last we arrive at the Provincetown Inn. The bike goes on a truck. I pick up my backpack and head to the shower tent. Clean and refreshed and wearing something other than spandex, I join some friends for lunch in the food tent. After a bite to eat we stroll the mile long Commercial Street of Provincetown, which is mainly pedestrian traffic, to the wharf. There we will board a ferry for the 3 hour trip to Boston where my bicycle, my backpack and my ride await me. I live for this weekend every year.



Day two Buzzards Bay to Provincetrown 80 miles

This year will mark my 11th ride with the PMC. Over the last 11 years, to date, I have raised $51,345 for cancer research and care at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute. My goal this year is to raise 10K. I join 5,500+ other cyclists who, like me, are dedicated to funding a cure for cancer. Together our goal for this year is to raise 40 million dollars. If you would like to consider sponsoring me, this link will take you to my fundraising page.

Thanks for reading my blog and have a great weekend!

Ride on!


Massachusetts Bike Laws for Riders and Motorists

I had two great weekend rides with my husband and a first for this year; an evening ride! Saturday was a 32 mile very windy ride. With a northeast wind we headed out in a southwesterly direction keeping that stiff wind to our side. Riding 15 miles in that direction we did an about face and headed northeast. Now the wind came from the other side. It’s not possible to ride a 32 mile loop and not go directly into the wind at some point but we managed to keep it to a minimum.

Sunday was cooler with a light east wind off the Atlantic. We rode 33 miles around the reservoir; our typical Sunday ride.

With today’s afternoon temperature reaching 73 and a light workload, I managed to get it done a little early and had time for a 23 mile ride after work/before supper. My first of the year! PMC training is nearing full swing!

I am often surprised at how close vehicles come to us while on our bicycles. Seriously, who is in such a hurry that they’d risk running down a bicycle because they don’t want to wait until it’s safe to pass? I knew my state had laws established but never took the time to look them up and see exactly what they say. Here’s what I learned:


On a bicycle in Massachusetts you have these rights

  • You may ride your bicycle on any public road, street, or bikeway in the Commonwealth, except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting bikes have been posted. 
  • You may ride on sidewalks outside business districts, unless local laws prohibit sidewalk riding. 
  • You may use either hand to signal stops and turns.
  • You may pass cars on the right.
  • If you carry children or other passengers inside an enclosed trailer or other device that will adequately restrain them and protect their heads in a crash, they need not wear helmets.

On a bicycle in Massachusetts your responsibilities are

  • You must obey all traffic laws and regulations of the Commonwealth. 
  • You must use hand signals to let people know you plan stop or turn.
  • You must give pedestrians the right of way.
  • You must give pedestrians an audible signal before overtaking or passing them. 
  • You may ride two abreast, but must facilitate passing traffic. This means riding single file when faster traffic wants to pass, or staying in the right-most lane on a multi-lane road. 
  • You must keep one hand on your handlebars at all times.

In a motor vehicle in Massachusetts your responsibilities are

  • Motorists and their passengers must check for passing bicyclists before opening their door. Motorists and their passengers can be ticketed and fined up to $100 for opening car or truck doors into the path of any other traffic, including bicycles and pedestrians. 
  • Motorists must stay a safe distance to the left of a bicyclist when passing. Motorists are also prohibited from returning to the right until safety clear of the bicyclist.
  • Motorists must pass at a safe distance. If the lane is too narrow to pass safely, the motorist must use another lane to pass, or, if that is also unsafe, the motorist must wait until it is safe to pass. 
  • Motorists are prohibited from making abrupt right turns (“right hooks”) at intersections and driveways after passing a cyclist. 
  • Motorists must yield to oncoming bicyclists when making left turns. The law expressly includes yielding to bicyclists riding to the right of other traffic (e.g., on the shoulder), where they are legally permitted but may be more difficult for motorists to see.
  • Motorists may not use the fact that bicyclists were riding to the right of traffic as a legal defense for causing a crash with a bicyclist.


And there you have it. Motorists must pass at a safe distance. If they are unable to they must wait until there is opportunity to pass safely. This does not mean if there is oncoming traffic on a narrow road that it’s ok to squeeze by in a rush to get home say what? five seconds earlier? Please folks, share the road!

PMC 2014 is less than three months away. I’ll soon be mailing, emailing and handing out fundraising requests. PMC is a two day 192 mile bike-a-thon raising money for Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund. Over 5,000 cyclists participate each year. I am required to raise $4,300. To date my total is $1,446. Last year I raised over $8,000. My goal this year is $10,000. Would you consider sponsoring me in my 11th ride with the PMC? You can do so by going to and my ID is JS0126. You can also “Text to Give to My Ride” which means donors can text PMC JS0126 to 20222 to donate $10 to my ride. You must reply “Yes” to the confirmation text message. You can do this up to 5 times from the same phone and the donation will appear on your cell phone bill.

Thanks for reading my blog. Ride and drive safe!