Bicycling Magazine: Early Research Suggests That Masks Don’t Hinder Your Performance. A new study shows that working out while wearing a mask won’t sabotage your fitness goals…
Sunday morning started out cold but by ride time it warmed up quickly and most riders were peeling off some layers before they got on their bikes. The nice November weather brought out plenty of riders and we were able to form groups A through C. We ran into strong headwinds on the ride out but cruised home with the wind at our backs. The ride was definitely the highlight of the day since we had to watch the Giants beat the Eagles when we got home 🤬!
Unfortunately COVID-19 is spiking again so the TE Board of Trustees has asked all riders to sign an electronic release prior to leaving the lot. As the virus is likely to be with us at least for the immediate future, we’re asking riders to download a QR scanner onto their phones to make sign-ins easier. For late-model phone OSs, iPhone 11 (2017) and Android 9 & 10, you can simply use the phone’s camera to sign in. For earlier models you can download a QR app from your app store.
The weekend had a somber start as Team Members attended the Memorial Service for David Bennis on Saturday. Family members shared many fond memories and we got to hear about Dave’s pre-Team Evesham days. His memory will live with Team Evesham for years to come as he was such a big part of our organization and the local cycling community. This coming Sunday, we will have a special route planned starting from TAUNTON FORGE SHOPPING CENTER at 9:00am and ride past The Bennis House to show support for the family.
This past Sunday proved to be another one of those weather days… Scott D, Lisa and myself conversed many times about the ever-changing radar, if we would be able to ride, and if we should shorten the route we had planned. We took a gamble and decided to do the long route as rain wasn’t expected until after 1pm. As usual the weather apps were WRONG, and we got the trifecta – cold, wind, and rain – with about 3 miles left in our route….
We took that gamble because we wanted to remember another member of the cycling community, Ian Cameron. He was taken from the earth too young due to cancer. He was an employee at D&Q and a huge supporter of Team Evesham and local cycling. Each year Team Evesham has put together a Memorial ride in Ian’s memory along with Cynergy Cycling and Summit Cycling.
So join your Teammates this coming Sunday at 9:00am from Taunton Forge Shopping Center as we embark past The Bennis House and on to our ride.
As I walked out of my house kicking myself for not warming up the car on this frigid Sunday morning, all I could think was, “It’s too cold for this.” I sat in the Rastelli’s parking lot with the seat warmer and heat on and I looked at the temperature…37 degrees. “It’s too cold for this.” More and more teammates showed up and I got out of my warm car donned in numerous layers. “It’s too cold for this.”
We had a smaller group than in the past few weeks; many probably had the same thoughts I did. But once we got going and started chatting with our friends, laughing and smiling, the cold didn’t matter anymore. I’m glad I didn’t give into my creature comforts. Scott Downie once again gave us two awesome, scenic routes and we had a great ride. The lessons I learned today? Go anyway. Don’t let the cold get to you. The connections you’ll make with your friends will always be worth it.
In life, it’s not where you go, but who you ride with.
This Saturday, join us at the memorial service for our friend, Dave Bennis to celebrate his life. It will be held at the Marlton Field House from 2-4pm. [NOTE: Please be considerate to the health and safety of those around you when you attend. It is imperative that we all wear masks and maintain a social distance of 6 feet or more.]
Sunday, Oct 25th, we will host the Ian Cameron Memorial Ride to remember another friend who touched so many lives. We’ve invited our fellow cyclists from Summit and Cynergy to ride with us that morning. Please join us at Rastelli’s.
See you next week!
This past week Team Evesham suffered a great loss when Dave Bennis passed away suddenly at his home. Dave was 78 years old and had enjoyed a Team Evesham Ride earlier that day with Teammates and coffee with friends afterwards.
Dave was an integral part of Team Evesham for many years. He was not only a ride leader, he was a Founding Board Member, past Vice President and a team mentor to so many cyclists in the club. His internal and behind the scene work for Team Evesham will never be forgotten.
Dave’s Cycling Advocacy stretched well beyond Team Evesham. He sat on the board of the American Cancer Society Ride and helped to better that event to what it is today. Besides that ride Dave was also a board member for the Move For Mental Health Ride, The Urban Promise Ride and The Bike For Bancroft Ride.
Dave helped mentor many youth in cycling. He was a mentor to Team Evesham Member Sami Sorid and helped her with cycling and to develop and promote her own charity ride the Move For Mental Health. He also worked with Teammate Kurt Comber to earn his cycling merit badge in Boy Scouts to help him Achieve Eagle Scout. Dave also worked with youth in Urban Promise.
This past Sunday, we had over 45 Teammates join us to ride, along with several team members and friends that attended solely to honor our departed friend and teammate, Dave Bennis. Team President Scott Santos offered some words of remembrance for Dave followed by a moment of silence in his honor. Following the moment of silence teammate Dave Dilks played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes for friends, family and teammates.
On a final note, a common thought among teammates even in our stunned and saddened state of learning of Dave’s passing was that we all found some solace in the fact that on the last morning of Dave Bennis’ life he was able to do something he really enjoyed, ride his bike. Rich Bernstein and Ross Polinow led the Friday ride that morning and will tell you first hand that Dave rode strong like the inspirational 78 year old that we all knew and admired.
Dave will always be in our hearts and never forgotten!
More about Dave
David Henry Bennis, 78, of Medford, NJ, died at home on Friday, October 9, 2020.
Dave grew up in Point Pleasant and started his professional career at 15 years old when he worked at Jenkinson’s on the boardwalk. He graduated from Monmouth College in 1965 with a BS in mathematics and went on to work for Reliance Insurance Co. in Philadelphia while residing in Cherry Hill.
He was subsequently hired by RCA as a computer programmer and worked there for 17 years. He was part of the team responsible for the 1976 Presidential election coverage produced by NBC television. This was the first time tv stations televised election results on the large color coded maps.
While living in Medford, he was then recruited by North American Philips to run their U.S. Data Center, commuting by bus every day to their headquarters in New York City. Finishing his career at DecisionOne in Malvern, PA, retiring in 2010.
Dave rode into retirement when he joined the Team Evesham cycling club reviving his passion for riding. As a team member he donated his time on their Board, served on charity bike ride committees, led rides, provided route maps, welcomed and mentored all newcomers to the club and sport. He became their ambassador for safe cycling at the local and state levels, including advocating for bike lanes and cycling information in driving manuals. The new NJ driver’s manuals now include instructions for driving safely past cyclists.
Throughout his life his interests ranged from amateur photography, including a basement darkroom, woodworking in his garage shop, skiing, watching tennis, the Eagles and 76ers, sailing on the Chesapeake, and listening to music. Warren Zevon was for putting lights on the Christmas tree, of course, Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant for Thanksgiving and Coltrane or Brubeck were his choices when cooking dinner.
Being well informed, each morning he read two newspapers and checked the news online. He enjoyed reading about history and science fiction, though he enjoyed gourmet food and fine wine, his favorite dinners were pairing beer with either pizza or Doritos and he loved desserts. His love for his family was never hidden, spending any time he could with his grandkids riding waves in the ocean or just talking and he treated everyone he met with dignity and respect.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Judith DiBiase Bennis, their daughters, Jill, of Germantown, MD, and Donna of Hockessin, DE., his sister, Diane Biel Kupisioski of Cream Ridge, NJ, and by the four grandchildren who called him Papa/Johnson, Alex, Elias, Hunter and Chelsea, along with his nieces and nephew.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Mathis Funeral Home in Medford, NJ.
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of David H. Bennis, please visit our Tribute Store.
Dear friend and tireless advocate. Details forthcoming
Hey Team Evesham!
This past Labor Day Weekend we had some beautiful weather for cycling. As the days get shorter and the end of summer gets close (by my dismay) the weather is becoming ideal for cycling. We had another new route created by Scott Downie that took us on some familiar roads with a different path to get there. We hope that you had some time to rest this labor day, and of course do a lot of cycling!
This weekend also marked the start of the virtual Foster 100. Some riders have already gotten their mileage in and are complete! Don’t forget our Team Evesham organized Foster event will be this coming weekend September 13th, or possible the 12th depending on weather. Please keep an eye on our website, emails, and Facebook for last minute adjustments. As of now Saturday looks to be a better day! We have a fantastic route planned for you that is just about complete and will be posted by Friday. This multi-loop route will bring us back by the start for those that have already gotten some of the mileage in. We will be starting from Ott’s Greentop in Berlin where we can enjoy some hard earned social activities after our ride! We thank everyone that is participating in the Foster 100 and making this such a fantastic event. Don’t forget your new Foster 100 Jersey!
We will still be holding our regular team ride from Rastelli’s on Sunday, weather permitting. Check our website for last minute updates.
Looking forward to seeing you all on the road this weekend for the Foster 100 event!
We have not done a ride recap in a while… I can’t give a good reason why, just life and cycling this year have been different. We know why this is, (The C Word) and it has affected everything we do. We have been riding in smaller groups, “socially distancing.” Meeting in different zones of the parking lot, not having a mass start with announcements, etc. Heck there really hasn’t been too much to talk about other than COVID and cancelling charity rides, and Team Evesham events like the Grill and Chill and Welcome Back events. Heck, I really miss the good ole days when we had announcements and everyone got to see everyone else at the start, and we talked about upcoming events. Hopefully in time to come things will clear up and we can go back to that.
Today was different and it sparked my desire to write a quick recap (or not so quick) about our ride. Route master Scott Downie plotted a course for us to the north… starting from Lumberton to get us further into the Columbus area and some different roads. I forgot that we didn’t have start zones set up there. Also with the need to make a few quick announcements about the route, well, we had to gather at a distance again like the good ole days! What a feeling it was to be together with all of our pace groups. I know, not the safest thing, but we kept our distance. Being so used to not having announcements I failed to give a shout out to Nick Liermann and the upcoming Foster 100! Sorry Nick… and by the way, we are still planning a Team Evesham Joint Ride for the Foster 100 on September 13. We have had some route challenges, but it’s coming. So, we made some quick announcements and off we went towards Columbus!
What a great route it was, new roads, some hills, long straightaways and some new riders that had recently joined to spice things up in the A Group.
I want to thank the Ride Leaders that stepped up to lead today, they did an awesome job today. Mark Thornton lead our A Group, Scott Downie led our B+, Maurice Finnerty and Michael Gibbs led the Long B, Brad Davis and Carrie Salsbery led the Short B, Ross Polinow and Dennis Dahms lead our C+ group, and Jimmy Sweet and Chris Seip lead our C group. Yes that is correct and not a typo, Jimmy Sweet is back from an injury and led our C group, I’m sure Chris kept him in check.
If you are planning on riding the Foster 100 with us keep an eye on the website, email and Facebook for details for September 13, with a possible rain date of Sept 12. Details to follow as we finalize the route. We are planning to leave from Ott’s Greentop in Berlin and have a double loop route, one approximately 65-70 miles and the second the remainder of the 100 to complete the Foster ride requirement.
Thanks for joining us and we look forward to many more rides this year, socially distanced starts or otherwise!
COVID-19: A cyclist’s guide, part 2. What we’ve learned.
Jason Gallagher, PharmD, FCCP, FIDP, FIDSA, BCPS
It has been a few months since I wrote about COVID-19 for Team Evesham, and after receiving a few questions on a ride today I thought I would provide an update. Reading my original post led me to reflect on both the massive changes that have happened in our society and on how much we have learned about SARS-CoV-2. One change that has happened on my side is that I’ve been appointed to the guideline panel for the treatment and management of COVID-19 of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, which I only mention because it keeps me in touch with new therapies as they are developed. I am not writing on their behalf.
Since I last wrote, New Jersey has experienced a horrific toll from COVID-19. In the US, New York City was affected most severely, and in NJ the northern counties had a much worse experience than we did in South Jersey. As of now though, we’re in pretty good shape – much better than the majority of the US.
As of mid-July, at Temple, we have had >2,600 confirmed cases of COVID and treated more than that, because 20-30% of people with likely COVID did not have positive tests (for 2 reasons – the test is not very good, and there were shortages). Philadelphia has over 24,000 cases as of 7/19. I have seen this first-hand, treating patients with COVID, including many who died. I’ve also had several friends and colleagues who were infected and recovered. Pennsylvania is dealing with an increase in cases now that needs addressing, but they are still in better shape than in the spring.
What we know
We have learned that the spread of COVID is primarily respiratory – coughs, talking, singing, and even breathing spread disease. Contaminated surfaces appear to play a smaller role than first thought. There is a lack of evidence for transmission by food, mail, sweat, or other bodily fluids. There is a debate about how exactly the virus is transmitted by the respiratory tract, which in public health parlance is a debate about “aerosol” vs “droplet” spread. Why does it matter? Aerosols stay in the air for hours, go through or around many masks, and can spread many feet from where they start. Droplets fall to the ground after a few feet- where the “6-feet distance rule” comes from. There is evidence on both sides of this issue, but in my interpretation it seems that it spreads as a combination of both, but is likely either primarily spread from droplets or short-distanced aerosols. Reasons include the increasing evidence that masks prevent transmission and may even protect the wearer from others (this is being looked into now), and that the infectivity is not as high as “true aerosol” spread with something like measles. A couple recent cases illustrate this. In one, infected people on an airplane wearing masks did not spread infection. In the other, two infected hair stylists wearing masks took care of >130 customers also wearing masks and nobody else was infected (the first stylist infected the 2nd).
Either way, what matters practically is that the virus is spread efficiently indoors in close quarters and poorly outside and at a distance. Increasing evidence that masks work well – even homemade ones – to block transmission and possibly even prevent acquisition is fantastic news.
There is a debate about how much disease spread comes from asymptomatic people, but there is no debate that it exists, and may be substantial. This is another area where semantics block effective messaging, since some people who are asymptomatic when they infect others ultimately develop symptoms later, and WHO doesn’t consider them asymptomatic in that case. What matters though is that not only can people with no symptoms spread infection, we know that they are probably most infectious during this time. That is very bad news and makes spread difficult to control. It is also why masks or face shields need to be worn all the time to prevent transmission between people. There is no ‘safe’ person unless you know everything about their contact history and their contacts’ contact history, etc.
Risks related to COVID-19 can be broken into two categories: risks for acquisition, and risks for mortality. The acquisition risks are logical and come from what I mentioned above – close quarters. If we are on a ride and you stop close to me at a light, I’m moving away – it’s nothing personal. This is also why the demographics of COVID-19 infection are changing. The average age of COVID+ patients has dramatically dropped in the US- young people are now the largest group of new cases in many states. This has brought the mortality rate down, but may be a temporary effect as they go on to infect older people.
Factors that increase the risk of death are things you have heard on the news. Age is the strongest risk factor – consistently, older people die at much higher rates than younger patients. It is really dramatic. Below is a graph from the UK showing the chance of death from COVID in the general population – not in people who are infected, but in everyone – as the pandemic progressed. This pattern has been seen over and over in studies.
Other risk factors include male gender, chronic illnesses, cancer, diabetes, immunosuppression, and others. High blood pressure and asthma do not seem to be the risk factors that they were first thought to be. Also, none of the medications that were originally concerns (“ACEIs, ARBs, and NSAIDs”) have turned out to be.
With many viruses, there is a “dose effect” (the trade word is “inoculum”), where a higher amount of “dose” of virus leads to worse disease than a lower inoculum. Personally, I think this is likely with COVID-19, but it is a difficult thing to prove. It is another reason why wearing a mask is important though, because even poor masks will decrease the amount of transmitted virus.
On the treatment front, there is good and bad news, depending on your perspective. Hydroxychloroquine has been extensively studied now and is a failure. That is a shame, because it is cheap, well-tolerated on the whole, and widely available. But it doesn’t work, and not a single randomized study has shown anything positive with it.
Two therapies have shown to be effective and are now recommended. Remdesivir is an antiviral that has modest effects. It was the first drug to show anything positive for COVID-19 and shortened hospital stays in a study from 15 days to 11 on average. Dexamethasone is a steroid that has been shown to decrease mortality in hospitalized patients – the first therapy shown to do that in a controlled study. However, note that both of these drugs are for hospitalized patients with severe disease, and steroids seem to make COVID worse if they are given to the wrong patients, so don’t ask for them from your doctor.
There are other therapies being studied, but they are mostly for hospitalized patients with severe disease. I’m afraid I don’t see anything useful coming for outpatients – where most people are treated. Also, in general, we do not have good therapies for acute viral infections. There is no miracle drug like penicillin coming for COVID. If you hear about anything new (or old) found to be a cure, be skeptical.
This is the good news. Vaccine development is happening much faster than I expected, and under Dr. Fauci’s proposal, the government invested in several of them “at-risk”, so they are being developed as they are being studied. That means that they are working on producing vials of vaccine for us at the same time they are figuring out if it works, not waiting to see success first. The risk is financial – if it doesn’t work, there will be billions of dollars of worthless vaccine lying around. Normally, companies do not take this risk, but the government assumed the risk by guaranteeing purchases. It should shave many months from the time from approval to availability.
There are many vaccines being developed – over 150 the last time I checked. At least 4 are deep in development, and one may even be available by the end of the year or early next year. The NYTimes has a great site tracking this: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html?searchResultPosition=4.
Vaccines are tested in thousands of people before they are approved so they show safety and efficacy. They may be like the flu vaccine and not be perfectly effective, but even if they blunt severe COVID to make it moderate COVID, that is a victory (and they may be more effective than that). We are fortunate in that several of the vaccines being studied were already being worked on for other coronaviruses (SARS and MERS), so some of the technology was already developed and they just changed the target to SARS-CoV-2.
There is no data at all looking at the interaction between bicycling and COVID-19. With rates where they are in NJ now, I feel comfortable in group rides. People breathing as they ride will likely disperse any virus quickly into low concentrations that don’t worry me, but nobody has studied this. I believe that the greatest risk of transmission for our club is at the beginning and end of rides, at rest stops, and when we stop and congregate. We need to keep our distance in these scenarios – it is important.
Looking ahead – One man’s opinion
The state of viral spread in the US is grim right now, and now increased deaths are starting to follow increased cases, as it usually takes a few weeks to die from COVID. It is not true that increased testing is the reason we are seeing more cases, though it is true that it reveals more of them. You can tell that testing doesn’t explain rising cases for 2 reasons – the percentage of positive tests is increasing (it would go down if testing explained everything), and the hospitalizations and now deaths are increasing also.
It is a sad state of affairs, and it was preventable. New Jersey is proof. As bad as the news of record daily cases in the US is now, it is still reversible. The shortage of testing in March and April meant that far fewer cases were identified, so the wave of infections in NY, NJ, Philly, etc may actually have been even worse than Florida, Arizona, and Texas are seeing now. But those northeastern states shut down to prevent transmission to a greater degree than is occurring now, and that is worrying.
Personally, I think it will take mass vaccination to get past COVID-19. I am very encouraged by the data that I have seen with three of the vaccines being developed, and I would sign up in a second for any of them right now. I hope that our current climate does not prevent effective vaccine use by the public, though I am concerned about this. To me, this is an easy equation. Any vaccine that gets approved will be much less harmful than COVID-19, a disease that kills 1 in every 100-200 people it infects, and that I have seen kill people my age (43). I’m not counting chickens yet, but at least there are some good looking eggs!
Hi Team Evesham Teammates!!
This past weekend we had many riders participating in the Foster 100, including myself for the first time. The Foster 100 is one of our promoted Charity events of the season. Nick, the event promoter, calls this “a Charity Ride like no other” and I have to agree. Riders stay together in “platoons” with the spirit of no rider left behind. These platoons are much like our ride groups on our Sunday rides with a leader keeping riders together and organized. They had some amazing rest stops and the after party at the Aviation Museum in Wildwood was fantastic!
This coming weekend is another cyclists’ favorite event – the MS City to Shore. Many Team Evesham members will be participating in this event including a team called Kelly’s Hero’s. Kelly’s Heroes is named for Kelly Comber who suffers from MS. Kelly’s husband, Kevin Comber, is a long time Team Evesham Member and put this team together to honor his wife and help support the MS society. We wish all of the MS City to Shore riders a fun, safe weekend of riding.
As promised on social media, stay tuned for Team Evesham Non-Cycling Apparel. We will Have Polo Shirts, T- Shirts, Ball Caps, and Fleece sweatshirts available to order at the end of this year. The polo shirts are modeled below by our Board of Trustees…
Lastly, Save the Date! Team Evesham’s Annual After Holiday Party will be Saturday, January 25th from 6-10. Stay tuned for more details!