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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,



Inspire Physical Therapy PART 2

Inspire Physical Therapy PART 2

by 1K2GO-Onion River Sports on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 4:17pm ·

If you are following the series we spoke about building the perfect race car with light parts, fast engines and sometimes…a slipping transmission. Well to keep the analogy alive, Race Cars Crash. Now what? How do you get back in the race without missing valuable time. TIme on the bike is the same. When coaching athletes, the goals is to balance efforts with recovery. With a perfect combination of the two, you see performance gains. As athletes, we all need time off. We have families and we have jobs so we plan our training very specifically. A missed week of workouts can be planned for but what if you are forced off the bike by an injury. Gains stop being made and you have to take a few steps back.

By recruiting the support of a Physical Therapist, injuries can not only be prevented, but they can also be managed. Now, I am no doctor and I do not condone pushing an injured body into more damage but if you can find a way to minimize your down time with out further injury..awesome.

Team Racer and Director Bobby Bailey is a pure race car. He admits that he does not like riding his bike as much as he likes racing it. He can’t quite figure out cruise control and if he enters into a race, he tries to go as hard as possible. THis is not an uncommon mentality amongst elite athletes but sometimes it gets you into trouble. Here is what happened to Bobby.


I actually came into the sport of cycling by way of the dirt. I was a motocrosser who got into Mountain Biking for fitness. Thankfully, somewhere along the line came road racing and I moved over to that full time. I used to be a god bike handler but as I became more and more specialized on the road, my Mountain Bike skills diminished. But, if I enter a race, I can make myself cross-eyed from the effort even though my single track skills are limited.


I race at Catamount the other night on the infamous(to me) YELLOW course. Its more like a trials competition that turns into a bike race. Its all single track so I should have known better. But alas, when the race went off, I tried my best to get to the front. This means hitting and elbowing rider, bike, and terrain. On the last lap I was following fast guy Chris Hamlin when I whacked my shoulder into a tree going pretty fast. The force of big body going forward and little shoulder gong backward made for a slight separation. I finished the race but the pain was coming my way. The next day I woke up sore and bruised.

I am in the middle of a build cycle. My intensity is good and after a successful campaign at a 4 stage race, I am trying to get the most out of my body before resting. Time off for me is not really an option. I am also chasing local glory and I am trying to compete in as many GMBC TT’ as I can. They are great training and I want more records.

I called up Ollie at Inspire Physical Therapy to discuss managing the pain in my shoulder. His first advice was to not pick fights with trees. Nonsense. Since I already made that choice, I just wanted to be able to get into my aero position on my Specialized SHIV and go fast. He suggested Ice and Tape.

Ollie met me at the TT and took a look at my shoulder. OTher than the abrasion on the outside of it, the separation was not that bad. It would be sore for a few days but I was good to go as long as I could get on my bike. He suggested tape to hold the shoulder in place and add stability. With the tape in place, my shoulder took a more natural position and I was able to ride a good time. Ollie taped me up in a way that made my TT position comfortable. I did not PR or set a record but I did damage control and I was able to hit the marks on my very specific training plan.  I am still wearing the tape 24hrs later and the should feels rested and well supported. I am headed out for a ride with little concern thanks to Ollie.


Oliver Hall. He gets it.


Ollie, taping up BB


Ollie and BB


Ouch, yep thats the spot


TT Positions, not comfy with a bum shoulder.



Inspire Physical Therapy

 4 Kellogg RoadEssex Jct, VT 05452(driving directions)

Phone: (802) 876-1000Fax: (802) 876-1029


Inspire Physical Therapy PART 1

Inspire Physical Therapy PART 1

by 1K2GO-Onion River Sports on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 3:46pm ·

Sick Bike! Sick Wheels! Sick Coach! Sick Body??….

So you have done the off season work. The winter was kind and the trainer was bearable. You spent countless hours online researching the best parts and even bought them unbenounce to the spouse. You planned your race season on TrainingPeaks and your coach pushed you further than you have even pushed before.  Your new kit is aero and light and the foundations of your best ever season were laid.

Bike Racing can be like building a race car. You pick and choose the shiniest parts because you want to look good and go fast. You put your money in places that are immediately obvious like the engine, the wheels and the paint job. It’s all fun right? But what about that piece thats under the car?? What about the transmission. Even with all the power going through the tuned engine, you are not moving forward if the transmission is slipping or if the engine loses its tune. All the bling in the world can gain the envy of your friends, but it is not going to help you on the race course.

Ok, so comparisons and cliche’s aside, what are we talking about. We are talking about spending upwards of $10,000 on a bike only to not be happy riding it. We are talking about getting the most out of your body when things fall out of balance or when an old injury rears its ugly head.

Enter 1K2GO-Onion River Sports team sponsor Inspire Physical Therapy. Oliver Hall, a bike racer and PT, know all to well what happens when you neglect your body parts. Things continue to work, but with proper care, he proves that the body can work better.

Michael Hopwood is a team racer. He is older than 50, but he has the physique of a much younger athlete. He is coached by 1K2GO SPORTS and he is a very powerful bike racer. But, like so many, putting power that he has in his engine to the ground sometimes comes with pain and suffering. This is the kind of pain and suffering that we do not volunteer for, its the kind that the body provides against our will. But Michael has lived hard as a ski bum and wants to feel the gain with out the pain. As a performance cyclist, the pain should come from the workouts, not the knees or quads. Here is Michaels assessment of the work that he is doing with Ollie at Inspire Physical Therapy.



For two cycling seasons I have struggled with quad pain that flares up when racing begins and the intensity ramps.

Bobby suggested meeting with Ollie and having him assess what is going on and see if I can avoid the trouble.

As Ollie pointed out, the body are very complex and weakness in one area is often compensated for in other areas. Under stress, those areas are forced to work beyond their limits and you have pain or injuries. In my case my he feels my glutes and hips are weak and forcing my quads to compensate.

He had me go through a series of seemingly simple exercises and I felt like the 20 pound weakling – I couldn’t do them some of them at all. Ollie was patient trying multiple ways to get me to feel the muscle he was trying to work. Much harder than it sounds. He sent me home with some exercise homework which I did for the next week though they didn’t seem as hard at home so either I was getting better or not doing them right.

In the second appointment this week he saw that I had gained some strength/control already through the exercises. Now he had me walk and noticed there was a pronounced (to him anyway) tilt of my body that was again forcing my right quad to do more work. Interestingly a couple of years ago another ride commented how I wasn’t perfectly in alignment when riding but I didn’t think anything of it.

He had me practice some more exercises to help move me back in alignment and get the pressure off the quad. Now more homework until the next appointment. 


Mike came in complaining of lateral quad pain when biking at higher intensities. He had the same problem last year, especially when climbing or pushing big gears. He has not had any traumatic injury and his hip and knee did not show any signs of injury when we evaluated him. The biggest finding was his mechanics – when Mike bikes he finds his knees are always very close to the crossbar. Taking it a step further: when he walks his knees point in, especially on the R, and his feet point out, his R shoulder is much lower than his L and his R calve is about an inch larger than his L. If you look at the photographs of Mike’s legs you will notice with the single leg squat how his R knee points in more than his L. This is why he is feeling more symptoms on the R. Basically Mike is a little knock-kneed and as such all the muscles on the outsides of his knees/thighs are tight. He has effectively put himself in a position that selectively overloads his outer/lateral quads and underutilizes his glute max (butt muscle) especially on the R. We started working to get Mike to find his R glute max with non-weightbearing exercises and found that his R leg started to shake just by having him externally rotate his R hip/thigh up against gravity – he needs much more glute control than this to bike well! At his first visit I had him squat down and hold for about 20 seconds – his outer quads immediately took over and were sore. After a week of working on his R glute max he was able to perform the same squat, but this time feeling his medial quads working. He still needs to strengthen his R glute max much more and make it become more active with biking, but this is a very good step in the right direction! Our goal is to work his R glute max to bring his R upper and lower leg into alignment so that there is no twisting about his knee and no shortening of his R lateral quad. We’ll keep you posted on progress!


Some Pics of the work they are doing!




(802) 876-1000


A Matter of Life or Death

A Matter of Life or Death

by 1K2GO-Onion River Sports on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 12:38am ·

This title is best explained by a story. This is a true story of what happens when you have to live with fear that something you eat, could kill you or leave you violently ill.

Ever walked into a convenient store during a long ride to re-fuel and thought the world is your oyster!?? I have. I rarely drink soda or eat things like candy bars but when I am 4000calories in the red, and I have a green light to eat what I want, I walk the aisles of that convenient store with reckless abandon. This is because I do not have to carefully select what I can eat. I pick for taste and energy…and that’s it.

But imagine doing that same thing with a Nut Allergy. First of all, how do you even prepare for a 5hr ride or a race with out products that might contain nuts? It would be hard. Then, in the middle of the race…what kind of food do you reach for to top off the fuel stores? 99.9% of the products out there ‘may contain traces of nuts’. So here you are, an athlete, and you are already at a disadvantage. Now…what happens if you bonk? When faced with the challenge of quickly re-fueling, what do you choose?

All this stems from a recent race I attended. A Rider was lead to my car by a team member in need of some serious calories. He had cracked hard during 12mile TT and was pretty much cross eyed from the lack of energy. My teammate asked me if I had any METABALLS. I of course had a trunk full and offered it to the bonked rider.

My first thought was…how does one get so bonked on a 12-mile ride? The rider refused my METABALL offering stating that he was allergic to nuts. It all made sense to me then. The rider was bonked most likely due to lack of safe food choices. So, when in doubt, don’t eat. But this is not easy when you ask your body to do heroic things on a bike. I explained to the rider that the product was Nut-Free and designed for people with severe nut allergies. I was not getting through. The rider stared at the METABALL for what seemed like 5 minutes as I explained that it was OK to eat. I could see the fear in his eyes knowing that he NEEDED to eat, but KNOWING that his throat could swell shut if I was lying.

Finally, the rider opened the package and ate the METABALL. I can eat one of these in 2 bites but the rider nibbled on it like corn on the cob. He was waiting for an allergic reaction that never came.

It was right then and there that I was proud to be sponsored by a company that ‘gets’ it. METABALL makes products that work for athletes. They taste great, proved sound nutrition, fuel up your body and are conveniently packaged. That’s for us people who can eat any thing. For the athlete that cannot eat Nuts, Metaballs taste great, provide sound nutrition, fuel up your body and are conveniently packaged. See the difference? There isn’t one and thanks to METABALL, allergic athletes get to enjoy all the same things a non-allergic person does because this product is designed with that in mind.

If you know anyone who has Nut Allergies, please share this with them. 


Thanks for Reading!


Patriot Half Iron, E. Freetown, MA 16 June 2012 by Dave Connery, Team Member and 1K2GO Coach

The Patriot is a big race down just south of Boston. Run in cranberry country, it attracts a big field from suburban Boston run in a gorgeous area that has great roads and a nice lake swim. Since this is a website with a lot of cyclists, I’ll break this report down for the cyclists and triathletes to both understand.

Cyclists: I woke up early and made my way to the race…
Triathletes: Woke up earlier than expected with race day excitement. Breakfast was a 24oz jar of applesauce, blueberry greek yogurt, a bar, and some electrolyte blox and then out the door.

Cyclists and Triathletes:
The day dawned with good weather. A little breeze was blowing and there were whitecaps on the lake. These calmed down, but waves that were 1-1.5 foot were out there. As I got ready, I started to pump my tires up, and I couldn’t get the pump to overcome the valve spring… I unscrewed the valve extender, and long story short, the valve unscrewed as well and is now permanently living inside my 808. No worries, when you go up to speed, it stays put on the outside. But still, it was un-nerving to have this happen. What is important about this? Adam Myerson has a great blog about arriving to a race early…I did so while annoying, I had plenty of time to still get setup.

Cyclists: I swam, got wet, and then got out of the water and took off my wetsuit.
Men 40-44 were in the 3d wave after Elite Men/Women. I have been working hard on swimming lately, but it was not apparent with the waves. They were crashing over you as we swam out, but I got into a rhythm after about a 1/4 mile of the 1.2 miler. For me, the swim is about getting through it, I had no issues with breathing and getting water in my mouth, but at 34 minutes, I was 6 minutes behind the leaders, 93rd swim split.

Out of the water and into T1. I was a little slow getting things on, but out in just over 2 mins with a long run out of the transition. I was riding with one bottle and the second cage was housing food/tire repair.

Cyclists: I rode a solid upper tempo pace, 254W for 56 miles
Out on the course, calculators had shown me that I should ride 250-260 W for this distance, so I was shooting for 270 to average around there. On course I ride with a Garmin 310 XT for all three events on my wrist, but in the bike I keep my powertap computer on the bars displaying instantaneous power all the time. The Garmin tracks 3 mile power average to see the current trends. I mention this because I came out of T1 again, thankful to be alive and AMPED. I was riding 310 W! I kept backing it off to get into a rhythm of 270 and it took about 4-6 miles to get there. The course has a fair number of turns, but is very flat. With the wind, and the turns, you had to be careful with the crosswinds blowing you sideways much more so than last year. For food, I ate 1/2 bar right away, then two gels, one at :30mins, the other at 1:30. In between I munched a sleeve of Margarita ShotBlox to fight cramps. I dropped one gel, but it didn’t seem to matter that much with the blox. I exchanged bottles on 3 of the 4 chances and really felt like I was drinking on or a little below target. But towards the end of the bike, I really needed to pee. More on this later. Anyway, as the bike progressed, I rode through all of the womens field and caught alot of the first wave at 8 minutes ahead. As I rolled through the second lap, I began to catch folks from the latter waves starting their bike. Some Top Gun jetfighter handling through crowds, but not that bad at all. On the second lap, a chocolate lab the size of Bobby Bailey lined up on me and came after me. I just thought “if I swerve on the aero bars, I am going to go down…” I decided to hold the line, keep pedaling and see if I could get past. He brushed my leg, but did not get his nose in the rear spokes. 5 seconds of terror and no problems!

Finished up the bike, 2:15. I would later find out that this was the fastest split of all. 3 mins ahead of a guy that ran a 2:14 half marathon, and 5-6 minutes ahead of the leaders. Yes!!!! Never a good idea to shoot for winning the bike split, but here they have a prize for it!

Into T2, quick change and out on the course. I really had to pee, and ducked into the portapotty…WOW!!! I peed solid for over a minute! Guess I drank a lot…but it was crossed with the extra salt I took and the caffeine in the gels…

Cyclists: we are now running, no need to pay attention, but the run was roughly twice as long as S. Greenbush TT….but you are on foot.
Out on the road, first mile was 7:25 with the pee stop, then I settled into a series of 6:20-6:40 miles through mile 5. Then a pair of 6:50-6:55s for 6/7. At Mile9 I ran a 7:11. This was a little drag of a hill, and well, it was mile 9. Here I made a vow to shorten my stride, quicken the turnover and keep it sub 7. Based on how tired I was at this point, it really worked. 10/11/12 were 6:56-7. Then, for mile 13 I started to really get that “THIS IS ALMOST OVER” feeling and picked it up running a 6:36, and finishing up with a 1:29.37. Split was 17th, but I am making more and more progress on this run. Last year I was 1:32 at this course, after a debacle of a 2:16 ride. This was the first time I went sub 1:30 at the end of a 70.3. Total time was 4:22.47, good for 5th overall, and 2nd in the 40-44. I ran with the winner of my age group for about 5 miles and then he continued to run 6:30s and disappear over the horizon.

Great combo of bike run here at this race, just need to take a few minutes off the swim and a sub 4:20 is possible.

After the race, driving home was pretty brutal. Had to stop every 1 hr and walk around. But, the first 10 steps were just so painful. Everyone would look at me like I was going to fall down in a heap! However, it was worth it after the 6 plus months of preparation for this, including a complete reconstruction of my run training, going back to a more traditional training plan with longer intervals, tempo runs and long runs.