Cadieux Bicycle Club

 
The club was founded on February 12, 1965, at the Cadieux Cafe. Founding members were Robert "Bob" Devos, proprietor of the Cadieux Cafe, Frank Van Laeken (Bob's brother-in-law) and Al Roels, a former bicycle racer. Being of Belgian descent and residing in a predominantly Belgian neighborhood on Detroit's east side, their goal was to stimulate interest in bicycling (especially racing) among the local population. A license was obtained from the Amateur Bicycle League of America and an organization was formed to promote a local race and to train young racers. The first race was run on Belle Isle in 1965, directed by Adolph Linclau, a former bicycle racer and bicycle shop owner. The race was dedicated to the memory of Gerard Debaets, a former world-class bicycle racer who won a variety of major races in Belgium, and also was victorious in 6-day races in the United States and Canada. Gerard's brother Michel had a glorious career in racing as well, and was active in the Cadieux Bicycle Club for many years. In the years that followed, the Debaets Race was held at Chandler Park in Detroit, except in 1983 and 1984 when the race was held on Washington Boulevard in downtown Detroit. The race is currently run on the streets surrounding the Cadieux Cafe, and is one of the oldest races in the United States. After Bob Devos passed away on February 24, 1978, the race was renamed the "Debaets-Devos Memorial Race." In the years prior to his death, Bob was tirelessly involved in the promotion of bicycling and Belgian culture. With a racing background on the roads in Belgium, he was a frontrunner in the advancement of bicycling in the United States.