Race Recap: Island Lake XC

May 25, 2016

We had a solid showing at the Island Lake mountain bike race this past sunday. With a race roster of Joshua Hall, Nate Benke, Phil Huyghe, Erik Huyghe, Jake Samborski, Melissa Seymore, Mark Boden, and myself, I think it is safe to say this was one of the best turnouts O2 has had at an MTB race. Not to mention we had Mike Dega, Chris Wanely, and Mary Raftery show up as part of the support squad. The O2 tent was set up in prime location and my better half Becky helped me cart our grill out to make sure every one was fed after the race.

As for the racing, there was some good, some bad, and tons of exciting. Josh took 4th place with Nate in 6th in the Men’s Expert 30-39 race. This is a tough field and Josh’s second Expert class race. After listening to him worry about making the jump to Expert all winter, I think we can put the speculation to rest, the man is fast! Nate’s 6th place finish was also a strong result, especially in a field with the likes of Jeremy Merz and Eric Langley.

Jake Samborski originally came to hang out and support the team, just getting cleared from a broken bone in his foot that has had him off the bike for the past month. At the last minute he decided to register and race in the single speed class. Unfortunately for him, he blew his tire at the start and fell down. To make matters worse, the racer behind him ran over his head! Jake stayed and hung out for the rest of the day, collecting 4 stitches above his eyebrow on the way home.

Mark Boden, the Huyghe’s and I raced sport class in our respective age groups. I took 5th in the 19-29 race, I feel like I could have contented with the lead group but the race for the podium ended in the first two miles. One particular racer decided to actively and aggressively block any passing attempts in the first 2 miles of single track… his attempts proved fruitless because we were eventually able to pass and he ended up in last place. These antics gave the lead group of four a hefty gap on the rest of the field. I tried my best to chase them down, not knowing how many people were even in front of me. I’ll take the top 5 result with a smile given the circumstance. Erik Huyghe took 7th in the 30-34 race. I don’t know how Mark and Phil did because the results still haven’t been posted online but I know they gave it their all in field that is generally known for being large and competitive.

One big highlight of the day was Melissa Seymore in the women’s sport 19-39 race. New to mountain biking she was debating racing beginner or sport. She decided on sport… and ended up taking 1st place. Way to go Melissa! With good results in cyclocross, road, and now MTB, she is proving to be quite the asset to any division of our team.

After the race we all hung out and grilled some food and drank some ice cold beers, all generously provided by O2. So if any of you Island Lake racers or hanger-outers see Mark Cahn or any other board members, be sure to extend a thank you for giving the MTB team a budget this year. I want to extend a thank you of my own to anyone who came out on Sunday. Getting good showings like this is exactly what I want to accomplish as MTB race captain. If you missed the race/party I plan on doing something similar at the Addison Oaks race in the fall.

Keep the rubber side down,

Alec L – MTB Race Captain


Tip of the Week (2016-1)

May 19, 2016

Tip of the Week, 2016, number 1

If your answer to the following question below is “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall” the advice is: You probably need to change your chain!

The question is: When did you last replace your chain?!

So when do we replace our chains? Several seasons ago I sent out a general survey to our local ride groups asking the general question: “When do you replace your chain?” We had an interesting and generally thoughtful array of responses. The general consensus is that we should probably all be changing our chains more frequently than we do. Riders reported that they changed as frequently as 1,500 miles to 3,000 miles with many taking a quantitative approach to changing the chain. The final suggestion is that it is ideal to check the chain with a chain checker which is a simple device (several on the market) such as the slide tool from Park which for a 10 speed chain it is time to replace the chain when it measures out at 0.75. A new 10 speed chain will measure about 0.50. For an 11 speed chain the scale is moved down I understand to 0.50 as the time to replace it. One can physically measure the chain in lieu of using a chain tool but I’ll keep this discussion simple.

So why change a chain frequently? It is often put forth that replacing a bike chain is analagous to changing the oil in a car and the reason is to prevent undue wear and tear from frictional forces on the engine or in this case the other parts of the drivetrain from wearing out prematurely, specifically the rear cassette and the chain rings up front.

It is really quite remarkable to me even after all these years that a metal chain elongates to the extent that it does but they do! So what contributes to chain wear? Well, riding hills puts more frictional stress on a chain especially if you push a hard gear or “mash” on the pedals. Larger riders compared to petite riders should in particular stay on top of checking their chain. Spinning easier gears will generally get you more miles per chain. A clean drivetrain will perform better and wear less as well. Clean your chain frequently especially if after a rain day or a dusty route and lubricate the chain frequently as well. Experienced riders will suggest at least once a week. Riders who sprint will push a chain causing it to stretch as well. Even single speed riders need to check their chain frequently, perhaps even more than on a standard road bike, because the single speed set-up puts wear on the bike since there is only a “hard gear” when climbing.

The term chain-stretch is actually a misnomer. What happens is that wear occurs in each bearing/pin of the chain from friction caused mostly by dirt and grit. As the chain gets dirty it acts as sandpaper would and causes wear on each link of the chain. Multiply that wear by the average number of links of about 110 and the result is a chain that gets longer. In effect chain-stretch means the distance between the links have gotten longer which contributes to wear on your cassette and chain rings as well. The metal does not stretch but the bearing holes elongate.

So why bother changing a chain frequently? Just check out the prices of chain rings and cassettes. While a Dura-ace chain may cost $45.00 a Dura-ace cassette may cost over $200.00. If you stay on top of replacing your chain you will go many thousands of miles further without replacing the cassette or rings. When you replace your chain you will be amazed how it makes your bike ride smoother and easier. If you don’t change the chain frequently you will incur undue wear particularly on the rings of the cassette you find yourself in most frequently, in my case the 14 or 15 tooth gears. When it wears out you may get a skip and the trick it to replace the chain so that when you do there is no skip along the cassette or perhaps a drop from the big ring to the smaller ring when you are in a semi-crossover gear. [By this I mean, for example, the big ring in the front and a bigger easier gear in the rear.] We want to eliminate phantom shifts which are more likely to occur when the chain is worn and/or the gears of the cassette are worn as well. A phantom shift is when the gear changes without a concerted effort. It can be disconcerting, even risky, especially if in a climb or in a race scenario.

E.J. Levy
Directeur Sportif

Special thanks to Philip Huyghe for his significant contributions to this article

2016 Woodward Loop Ride

Sunday,  June 26th will be the 8th Annual Spring edition of the Woodward Loop Ride. This ride is a fundraiser for Michigan Youth Cycling, a scholarship charity for young riders and racers.  This is a two part ride, with a route and fun for nearly everyone.
The ride starts from Downtown Birmingham at the corner of Old Woodward and Maple Roads. The first loop heads out at 7:30 am and travels north to Pontiac, around the Pontiac Loop, formerly called Widetrack Drive, and back to Birmingham.  The ride pace is 18 mph, which is brisk as the route is an elevation gain to Pontiac. Once we get to St. Joseph Hospital, riders are welcome to pass the ride leader and ride back to Birmingham at whatever pace they wish.  The ride leader will sit in for riders staying at 18 mph or whatever pace is needed.  Riders who suspect that an 18 mph pace is a bit much are welcome to join in but can easily turn back and head south just by crossing at the median.
Once back in Birmingham there will be a very short break but we will regroup and join up for the 8:30 am start to Detroit. Ride Pace is about 16 or 17 mph but the road south is also slightly downhill to the City. We will head to Hart Plaza for our commensurate photo opportunity. Then strong riders will break off and head to Belle Isle for a fast lap (or two?). The rest of the riders will head north and most likely take a stop at Avalon Bakery.  We will head north most likely on what I call the “inland route” which heads onto Hamilton and Pontchatrain and back.  Stay with the ride leader. Routes have little traffic but there is some traffic.

Suggested donations of $20.00 are appreciated.  Functioning road bikes are suggested with spare tubes etc.
I look forward to riding with you again this year!
EJ Levy
Directeur Sportif

Cogs and Kegs

May 9, 2016


Cogs & Kegs, Presented by Powers Distributing
MIU Men’s Health Foundation
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Birmingham, MI

Partners for the event: Powers Distributing, Griffin Claw Brewery, Germack, American Cycle & Fitness, Wolverine Cycling Club, Team O2/Cadieux Bicycle Club, and the Astellas Professional Cycling Team.

This should be a fun evening with members of the Astellas Pro Cycling Team. Bikes and Beer for a good cause. The ride will start and finish from Griffin Claw Brewing Company.

A Casual ride (read “not a hammerfest”) with the Astellas guys, then here will be a post-ride celebration hosted by Griffin Claw Brewery that will include a raffle, Q&A with the Astellas Professional Cycling Team.

Supports MIU Men’s Health Foundation.
$30 registration includes a beer and a waterbottle.

Get the details and register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cogs-kegs-presented-by-powers-…

Bonus Ride for Volunteers!
Vounteers will have the opportunity to ride with members of the Astellas Team earlier in the day in a volunteer only ride. Sign up to volunteer (https://www.cognitoforms.com/MIUMensHealthFoundation/MIUMensHealthFoundationVolunteerForm)

See you there!

Strong Team Showing at Willow TT

May 2, 2016

Team O2/Cadieux had another great showing at a local race, this time at the Willow Time Trial.

Rodney Eaton Jr First place men’s CAT 4-5
Anthony L Bruley 4th place men’s CAT P123
Nick Zendler 3rd place men’s P123
Matt Konyn 3rd place men’s 35+
Brian Wachlarz 6th place men’s 35+
Tom Wamsley 7th place men’s 35+
James Reid 1st place men’S CAT 3-4
Josh Evans 7th place men’s CAT 3-4
Luis Chacon 6th place men’s 45+
Michael Dega 8th place men’s 45+
Ken Vernier 9th place men’s 45+

Nick, James, Jeremy, Rodney

The 35+ and 45+ men’s categories were VERY competitive!!
Let’s give these guys some major kudos!!