Bike MS Ride Summary

by Erich Meier

In 2008, I participated in my first event after a work-out partner raved about his experiences and then began soliciting donations from family and friends. This is when I found out that my uncle’s wife, Jennifer, had been diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) after having bouts of leg numbness, but was not yet ready to share her diagnosis. The first event went great, but left a feeling that I should be doing something more!

After participating in all 4 Michigan Bike MS events on multiple occasions, I ventured out to do the Vegas Challenge (NV), Bike to Jack and Back (TN), Coastal Challenge (CA), etc. with some great friends and have adopted the goal of doing an Bike MS event in every state. The locations chosen are always awesome and are only surpassed by the people that you meet during the event.

During the Coastal Challenge (Santa Monica to Santa Barbara), I met an amazing woman named Audrey. Audrey is the team captain for Team Audrey’s Heroes (TAH), which is the BP150’s (TX) largest friends & family team. Audrey was diagnosed in 2007 after numerous tests and being told that she was too young and cute to have MS, but she did. That following year 4 O2 members joined TAH for the BP150, which is an amazing event that attracts approximately 13,000 riders annually.

It is event camaraderie that keeps me looking forward to each event, but it is the people, like Jennifer and Audrey, that keep me passionate about the events.

In 2017, my state tally reached 15 through participating in the following events: Country Roads (WV) that starts at the historic Greenbrier Resort, Deception Pass Classic (WA) along the PNW Coastline, and Cycle the Silver Valley (ID) near the retired silver mines.

While each ride has been noteworthy, I am more thankful for those that have joined me over the years, their friendships, and the lasting memories that were created.

2018 will hold new routes, states, and adventures. I intend to do 3 or 4 new Bike MS rides. Please feel free to contact me at

Strong Team Showing at Willow TT

The Cadieux Bicycle Club 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!!

Weekend race report Willow TT/Kings Day

Great racing both days with some really solid teamwork on Sunday in Holland. The great times that we had at the time trial show that our team is strong even in the early season. Results below.

Kings Day Crit
Cat 3
2nd Alex Huyghe
11th Brian Wachlarz

Willow Time Trial
Cat 3
1st Alex Huyghe 29:28
2nd Matt Konyn 29:35
3rd Tony Bruley 30:08
5th Mike Dega 30:33
13th Claus Meyer
6th Doug burcicki 31:19
Eddy Merckx (standard road bike)
2nd Derrick OBrian 33:32
Cat 4
12th Jeremy Meyersieck

Waterford training race report.

Our 4/5 and elite team both did great today at the Waterford training race. James Hill and Chuck Morgan got 3rd and 4th in the C race. The rest of the team blocked.

The Elite team controlled the A race. Came in with a plan to get someone in the winning break. Ended up getting Mike Dega and Brian in the break. Mike got 4th and Brian got 6th. Great team work by all blocking and covering.

The 2013 Fifth Annual Woodward Loop Recap

The Fifth Annual Woodward Loop Ride brought together the largest number of riders ever for this event since its 2009 inception which was the 100th Anniversary of Woodward Avenue being paved.  A total of 170 riders participated in the Loop ride.  90 of the riders started out from Biggby Coffee in Birmingham on Old Woodward & Maple at 7:30 and headed out on the “first” start, riding north to Pontiac and around Wide Track Drive, also referred to as the “Loop.”  Thanks to Kristen J. for her directions around a couple of minor road issues near the tracks south of Downtown Pontiac. Everyone made the north climb of 350 feet without incident and managed an average speed of 18 mph.  On the route back south, the ride leader opened the gates and most of the riders took up the relatively downhill course back to Birmingham on the nearly car-less Woodward at speeds of 28 mph and faster.

Arriving in Birmingham prior to 8:30 and having traveled about 17 miles with 500 feet of climbing, the first wave of riders were greeted by an additional 80 riders who were planning on the trip to Detroit and a view of the Detroit River. Despite construction on Woodward from 14 Mile to Webster where we were riding on one of the two open lanes, not one automobile passed us in the construction zone!  From there it was clear sailing to Detroit.  The roads were smooth, traffic nominal, and several riders, including David Hicken and Ron Rich, facilitated ride leadership to pace the riders to Detroit.  Passing Palmer Park, strollers in short skirts waved hello and many pedestrians and those sitting on the curb cheered us on!  We passed Albert Kahn-designed buildings and headed past Comerica Park without having to detour as we did last year. On to Hart plaza. Russ St. John brought a group of riders from Grosse Pointe to join in and we had a huge group in front of the “Broken Rim” sculpture at Hart Plaza and a nifty photo opportunity.  Scott Kroske took some great photos as did many other riders.  Danny Klein commented, “Man this is a fun ride!” Mark Cahn could not let go of a smile all morning.

From there, about 40 riders split off for a fast tour of Belle Isle and most did two laps.  The bulk of the riders headed north on Woodward where we turned west onto Adams then north again onto Cass.  We rode north toward Wayne State University and stopped at Avalon Bakery for a trail cookie or other snack.  The ride delineated itself with several groups and paces upon the return.  Everyone sat in and the routing was back up Third to Chicago Blvd., across to Hamilton and north to Palmer Park near the Detroit Golf Club.  Our group took 7 Mile to Warrington and north, working our way to Livernois. Despite a bit of construction at 9 Mile, we continued through pleasant Pleasant Ridge.  We took Drayton west which becomes Oak Park Blvd. to Manistee, then north to Northfield and west to Scotia.  Leaving Oak Park we rode through Huntington Woods and onto Beverly Hills and to Birmingham.  The final mileage count was 56.4 miles with 900 feet of climbing.  It is a bit up hill from the Detroit River it seems!

Michigan Youth Cycling gained well over $1000.00 on the generosity of the riders, and special thanks goes out to Joe, Rose, Biancha, and the staff of Biggby Coffee for supporting our ride, tolerating our sweaty jerseys and for again making a generous contribution to MYC!

For those of you who would like to contribute you can do so in cash or check to me and I’ll deliver it to MYC or go to the website: and you can do so by mailing in a check or go online.

Thanks to all the o2/CBC riders who came out and supported this fun event.  Racers and casual riders sharing the route that links the communities along Woodward Avenue like “pearls on a string” reinforces the idea that we are all members of one large community – and that a bike friendly community is a friendly community.

Activities Director

2013 Cherry Roubaix Road Race (45+)

Jim Ignash (1) and Mike Dega (4) rock the podium at the 2013 Cherry Roubaix in the Masters 45+ Road Race.

The 45+ group produced great results at the 2013 Cherry Roubaix Road Race. The course is 23.3 miles per lap with the masters race completing 3 laps. The start-summit finish line is high atop Sugar Loaf Mt.  I thought I would share what I observed during the race that gave O2 the victory.


It was decided during a pre-race meeting that Mike Dega was going to be the aggressor, a roll that the Team agreed could lead to a stage victory.  Dega committed himself to a roll of extreme effort that would lead to victory – or an all-out bonk.  No rest, no draft, just mental and physical pain.

Lap 1

The race took off with a more relaxed pace, but of course, Team Hagerty sent a “flyer” off the front to create a break.  The field did not react, letting the rider ride solo within view.  I moved myself to fourth position watching for any moves from Craig Webb of Team Hagerty or Tom Linck of Leadout Racing, who Mark Cahn and I thought were the two strongest riders in the field.

At about the halfway mark into the lap, Dega and a second rider made their move to bridge to the leader.  I was extremely happy to see that the peloton let Dega go and that he was able to drive the break out of our site.  This was an aggressive move that required guts and an all-out commitment for victory.

At this point our team plan was running according to script. 

Lap 2

Cahn and I were doing everything we could to slow the peloton.  C. Webb seemed to be content with his teammate working with Dega in the break, however T. Linck, and Newton Cole, a new rider with Burnham Racing from Chicago, were growing uneasy.  They began trying to increase the speed of the peloton; however the rolling hills made it tough to get anything organized. 

A rotation did form, so I put myself into 5th position making it difficult for a large number of riders to participate.  At this point C. Webb was still content sitting in, while T. Linck was expending a lot of energy pushing the 4 rider rotation. 

Half way into the lap, the rotation began to break up and the peloton slowed.  At this point, N.Cole decided to make a strong move to bridge to Dega’s group.  M. Cahn anticipated the move and latched onto Cole’s wheel.  While the peloton was still recovering, N. Cole and M. Cahn met up with Dega to create a five rider break out of the peloton’s site.

At this point, I thought “Checkmate”, but C. Webb and T. Linck had other ideas.

Lap 3

At the beginning of lap three, I could tell Webb was getting nervous. The break was still out of the site and he only had one team member against two O2 team members.  He shouted out to his supporters on the side line for the time gap.  It was more than two minutes. 

Then the fireworks began.  On the next few hills, Webb destroyed the peloton with some hard attacks.  After catching his wheel, I looked back and all we had was T. Linck.  Webb and Linck began their rotation, while I grabbed wheel.  (Being experienced bike racers, both of them knew I had no interest in contributing to the effort, since my teammates were in the break.) 

Three quarters into the lap we looked ahead and Webb saw his teammate was dropped from the break with only a short distance to the finish.  Alarmed, Webb began asking everyone he could for the breaks location.  On the course’s second-from-the-last major climb, Webb was told that the gap was only 29 seconds. 

I moved ahead of Linck and Webb during the climb, since I noticed that they were feeling the effects of their efforts.  (This was where I made a big mistake and corrected it quickly.)  Looking at the pain in Linck’s face I got soft and told Webb “If you catch the break, I’ll give you the win… just don’t make me look bad”.  WOW… What did I just do???  I’ve done this in the past??? If Cahn finds out, I’m toast!  I quickly slowed on the hill and told Webb,” I need to race for the win… game on”.  He smiled.

On top of the climb, Webb and I distanced ourselves away from Linck.  Webb attacked on the decent, and that’s when I looked up and saw Dega, Cahn and Cole.  CRAP!!!  We were coming hard and Webb had new life.  When we caught the group, Webb slowed, Linck was able to hook on, and I moved to the front.

At the front, going into the last climb to the finish line, I looked into the eyes of Cole and said “you’re going to be a problem aren’t you”. He smiled.  Not knowing how my teammates were feeling, I increased the tempo during the first of the two stage climb.  I looked back and saw Cole trying to close the small gap I created.  At the crest of the first stage, I increased my tempo again and noticed that I was not going be caught.

Knowing that my daughter, Eva, was watching at the finish, I threw in some theatrics by pumping my fist.  She thought it was great, my wife rolled her eyes, and I just smiled, since Team O2 just executed another strong team finish and victory. 

Results: 1) J. Ignash, 2) C. Webb, 3) N. Cole, 4) M. Dega, 5) T. Linck, 6) M. Cahn 12) N. Laughton

West Branch Road Race

We had a great day of racing Saturday. Our team was one of the most well represented teams there with a total of 11 racers in 4 categories. Out of those 11 racers, we had 4 on the podium and many others in the top 10. There was some great teamwork throughout the day and even more team support.

The Flahute of the Day goes to Jerry Gase who, despite having rear derailleur problems before the race, raced anyhow. Basically he rode up one of the hardest hills you will find in a race with only two gears (big chain ring or small chain ring). Jerry was leading the pack up the big hill a couple of times so that he could stay in the race. Everyone that knew he only had two gears was impressed with how well he was doing. He finished 10th out of a field of 30 with riders who all had way too many gears to choose from.

The runner-up to the Flahute of the day was Peter Vajda who, despite losing the pack at the beginning of the second lap, rode out the rest of the race solo.

James Ignash was able to take the top step of the podium in the Masters 45+ race with a solo breakaway. With the help of his other teammates sitting on wheels and holding back the group, he was able to finish 2 mins 20 seconds in front of second and 5 mins ahead of the the other chase group.

Riders’ Placings

Road Race
1st James Ignash 45+
2nd Paul Skorupskas Cat 3
3rd Mike Dega 45+
5th Alex Huyghe Cat 4
6th Tony Bruley 35+
10th Jerry Gase Cat 3
16th Peter Vajda 45+
20th Derek Delzer Cat 3

5th Derek Delzer Cat 3
7th Doug Burcicki Cat 3
8th Dave Hicken 45+ (Also 23rd in Cat 3)
14th Paul Skorupskas Cat 3
20th Jerry Gase Cat 3
21st Nigel Mullis Cat 4

It would have been nice to see more Cat 5 racers at the races. It looks like the criterium only had 3 riders in it period. We didn’t have any Cat 5 racers in any of the races this weekend. West Branch is one of the best races that we have in the state – hopefully we can get more people out next year.

Overall, we had a great weekend and there were solid results for our team. I look forward to racing next weekend at Mt. Pleasant and hope to see a lot of people there. I know many people will be doing Michigan Mountain Mayhem on Saturday but there is still a Crit on Sunday.

2013 Frankenmuth Road Race Report (Cat 3)

By Paul Skorupskas

Cooling down post race with the entire crew (Doug is not pictured since someone had to take the photo).

For the Tour of Frankenmuth, the CAT 3 team brought six racers (Derek Delzer, Chris Matthews, Doug Burcicki, Jerry Gase, Brian Wachlarz and myself [Paul Skorupskas]) to the start line to be one of the largest teams – if not the largest team – represented in the field. This group added three racers to the mix compared to those that represented the team at Cone-Azalia included our newest addition to the racing club in Brian Wachlarz.

Having such a large presence in the race meant that we would be on the attack throughout. This gave us two distinct advantages in that we didn’t have to worry about chasing down any groups off the front since we tried to always be represented in the breakaway groups and it let some of us rest up for later in the race while everyone else was busy chasing down the attacking moves.

The race started with Brian immediately jumping out front and forcing the group to start chasing immediately. Anyone that has ever raced with or against Brian knows that this is typical of his aggressive and team-oriented racing style. The first lap was filled with moves being made by us and other teams, and we did a very good job of ensuring that all moves were covered very well. Doug, Jerry, Brian, and Chris certainly made our presence known in the first half (plus) of the race. You know you’re doing your job when you hear comments from other racers in the group like: “that move doesn’t have a chance – [Team] O2 isn’t in there”.

Midway through the first lap, there was a hiccup with a marshall not being present at one of the key turns, causing most of the peloton to have to regroup and turn around to eventually get back on course. It seems that this happened in more races than simply ours, but was corrected on the further laps. The real pitfall with missing this turn is that it caused us to mix with 35+ field. Fortunately after 2 laps of us passing in and out of the 35+ field, a few crafty racers assembled our field and we as a race group agreed to neutralize ourselves for 3-4 mins giving our race enough of a gap with the 35+ race group so that both races could finish alone in their respective final laps. It was great to see a lot of people on different teams work together to self correct and neutralize the group to allow for a good finish to the race… and what a finish it turned out to be.

The entire race was a battle of little moves trying to get away, but on a pancake flat course with no wind and several determined teams, everything was getting pulled back before much of a break could ever materialize. That was until an unattached rider began to creep off the front about 6-7 miles from the finish. At first it didn’t look like much, but before long, in what turned out to be a very cunning move, a racer stealthily created about a 15 sec gap for himself and it was looking like he might have some staying power. At this point I wanted in at a chance to get away and join him up front. I was in good position in about 10th wheel to put in a little attack and work on bridging up to him. Before long I had cut his lead in half and was looking good, but a quick look back and I realized that I was bringing quite a few others with me, luckily including Derek Delzer. I made a decision to ease up and right on queue Derek jumped and made short work of the remaining gap solo while I, and my chase group, slowed. The peloton caught us, but now we had Derek with another strong rider off the front in perfect position to stay away. Derek and the unknown rider were able to stay away until just before the final turn, but long enough to put Derek in perfect position in the turn. With the group together going into the final turn, Derek was able to sprint for second. I worked to get 5th position in the final corner and settled for 6th at the line. The rest of the team also had strong results (see below) especially after the work that was done earlier in the race.

2nd – Derek Delzer
6th – Paul Skorupskas
21st – Jerry Gase
23rd – Chris Matthews
24th – Doug Burcicki
28th – Brian Wachlarz