Spare CHAINge

Search your pockets, check the couch cushions and look under the seat of your car. I am going to share a secret with you that will lower your overall risk on a bike, prevent unnecessary trips to the dentist, improve your shifting, and keep the drive train on your bike happy.

All is takes is some spare change to replace the chain on your bike, something you should do several times a summer. 


Pennies for Performance

It never fails, as soon as my bike starts making noises that I cannot fix with half a turn of the derailleur barrel adjusters, it is the chain. Sometimes under power, my chain will go over the 53 tooth chain ring making a dangerous situation….again, the chain. When my rear derailleur feels sticky, or is excessively noisy, it is the chain. Rarely does it have to do with cleanliness or lube. 9/10 times it is stretched, and needs replacing.

The thing is, we as racers should be a much more meticulous bunch. The bike is a variable that is easily eliminated from the list of things that can prevent success. If you take care of your bike and body, a win comes down to racing, the way it should be. We hear even the smallest squeak and tear the whole bike a part. The risks are greater when you are putting out 1000watt attacks and a chain is cheap insurance.


Drive Trains are not Cheap, chains are

I liken it an oil change in a car. It is cheap to do and prevents unwanted major repairs in the future. It guarantees top performance and is easy to do.

Here are the Benefits. 

  • Smooth Shifting
  • Prevents excessive wear on other drive train parts
  • Less likely to break, less likely for you to loose teeth
  • Makes your cassette(s) and front chain rings last longer
  • Keeps your bike looking professional and shiny

Here are the Costs

  • Spare Change – a good chain should only cost you about $40.00 from your local retailer. I am a big fan of KMC Chains.

New Cassettes cost upwards of $200. New Chain Rings can set you back even more. If you follow the plan laid out below, you can prevent replacement of both of these components and ride with more piece of mind.

  • Replace your chain every 1.5 months or 1500 miles or…..
  • Keep two chains on hand and rotate them every two weeks. Keep the second one clean and lubed and ready to be changed frequently.
  • Clean your chain every couple of rides. Road sand/salt instantly attaches to a clean and lubed chain. You can’t avoid it. Clean it and lube it often. It takes 5 minutes, just do it.


Prevent this, keep your chain clean

Happy Riding,



Plan for Rain

I could live in the Mojave Desert and see rain 1 day out of the year and feel slighted as a cyclist. That’s just the way it is for me. I like the sunshine and love the feeling of warm air on a long ride. But, this is New England and even more specifically, Vermont. I have never seen the lake as low as it is which is obviously indicative of a dry summer. However, it seems that I have been preparing for rain on each of my rides as if it were not. Those that look forward to TNW! and GMBC Practice Crit knows what I mean. It still rains, and will do so at the exact same minute I decide to step out for a ride.


With a plan, it is no big deal. I went for a ride today with friend and Pro Training partner Adam Carr. The plan was to ride easy, get coffee, and then ride home. Perfect. But, we both procrastinated by hitting refresh on our Facebook and Twitter feeds and stepped out to darkening skies. Thankfully, I had a plan.


Castelli Sottile Jacket
I packed my Castelli Sottile Rain Jacket and stepped out to prep my bike. Today was an easy ride but I still wanted to make sure the bike was in top shape. I just rebuilt my headset and I wanted to keep the fresh feel protected. I smeared a bit of ProGold Cycle Grease on the bottom junction of the head tube and fork crown to keep water out of it. I figure this would be easy to wipe off later. I also used the same grease on my chain. No I was not headed out for 6hrs of racing but still, no need to run the chain dry and decrease its life when prepping with grease only took 30seconds.

We all ride with fancy phones these days so protecting it in a bag of sorts is a great idea. GMBC and Local Motion had some Smartphone sleeves made up last year with Group Ride Etiquette printed on them and I never leave home with out it. Sweat and rain are the same thing so I like to keep my phone safe.


Local Motion Phone Protector

I did make an error on the ride. I went out with dark tinted Oakleys and Adam had clear. It got dark quick on our ride and I took off my glasses to see. Well neither of us had fenders so I had to opt for Winooski Road Goop in the face. Yuck. Clear would have been the way to go.

Returning home, I instantly cleaned the bike. I know, not a shocker. I wanted to get all the grit off the rims, brake pads and drive train. It only took a few minutes to do and with the aid of an air compressor the bike was new again.


S-Works Shoes on the Boot Dryer

I changed out of my kit and put the S-Works shoes on a boot dryer to prevent stink. All in all it was a good ride. Sure I got wet but my gear was no worse for wear. I am not one of the lucky Euro Pros who has a “rain bag” but I had a plan salvaged a great ride.



Body – rain jacket, chamois cream, and a warm weather embryo for the legs

Bike – grease on chain, grease on headset, and a desire to clean it when you get home

Gear – clear lenses, phone protector and headphones you do not care about.

Post Ride Plan – wash gear, dry shoes, hot shower.

*as a coach my only other piece of advice is to put a hydration solution n your bottles. You end to drink less when it rains but you get every bit as dehydrated. Make sure you have something that tastes good and forces you to take on the necessary fluids. 

Getting REAL for GMSR

Just like cool people say…its about to get real. Well folks, it has gotten real. The local scene is in full prep for GMSR as one of the best races in the country heads to our backyard. GMSR is always bittersweet just like any other hard race but for racers who live near the fabled climbs of APP GAP and imagine the energy of the Burlington Crit, preparation is the key to conquering this beast.

I can recall when Labor Day weekend only consisted of the Mad River Road Race and the Burlington Criterium. Each was epic, but separate. I vividly remember braking a pedal in the last turn of the crit as a CAT 3 in perfect position to win. I recall watching my good friend and teammate Matt Morrell win the same race a year later and always being jealous of what it might feel like.

So like many New England Racers, local teams have been prepping for GMSR for months. This past weekend, members from the 1K2GO-Onion River Sports Cycling Team, Burris Logistics, GMBC and Ekoi-Gaspessian Pro Adam Carr took to the courses for some recon. We did it in style proving that support cars are a great idea. Team Dad Charles Owens volunteered to drive the team Audi filled with spare wheels, water and Metaball Energy Snacks. With 30 people taking to the road, flats were bound to happen.

1K2GO Coach Mike Burris and Bruce Bell


Prepare to embark


Getting ready to rock

Happen they did! We had two flats along 116 and a broken wheel descending App Gap. The sun came out with a vengeance and people realized that they were consuming more fluid than planned. Having water in a team car meant less stops. It also meant keeping hydrated with your personal choice of solution and forcing more down the hatch! We adhered to the ‘eat often and early’ principle because we had it on hand. Local racers got a taste of how nice it is to have support for food, mechanicals and being able to get paced back on to the group. No one had to sacrifice their ride due to mechanicals since we were prepared to handle them.

A nice tight group up Hinesburg Hill


Pacing back after a flat



All in all it was a great recon of the GMSR Road Race Course. The support that Charles provided was tremendous and it is safe to say that everyone benefitted from the long, hard ride.


Hey VT Riders, lets do it again soon!


Brook Anderson


Bruce Bell


Mie Owens and Josh Saxe


Recovering at the Car


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Ben Coleman 88th Overall at Leadville!

Killing it in Leadville! That’s where.

Where is Ben Coleman?

Where is Ben Coleman?
by 1K2GO-Onion River Sports on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 5:27am ·
Your changes have been saved.

Here is where he will be on August 11th!






Follow him on the 1K2GO-Onion River Sports Facebook Page


Also, if he can still feel his hands, subscribe to his tweets by following

@haydocktor AKA Ben Coleman


Ben is no joke on a Mountain Bike. I had the (dis)pleasure of folowing him for 5 hours at an endurane event and he was so smooth on the rough stuff. Leadville is no match for his technical ability! Ben has also been smart about his preparedness for Leadville. It is a hard race at altitude and he is as prepared as he could be!

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