Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
August 2007

BTR Criterium Bike Race on Tap for August 11

The next big event on KBC’s seasonal bicycling schedule is the WMU Business, Technology and Research (BTR) Criterium Bike Race on August 11. The WMU BTR Park is located at the corner of Parkview Avenue and Drake Road. KBC is a “gold” sponsor of the event.

Criterium bike races are held on looped, closed courses, so they make for good spectator viewing and exciting racing. Unlike a linear, point-to-point race, where riders pass by on the roadway only one time, criterium races go for a number of laps. Racers must negotiate tight turns and pass by spectators time and again on their way around the course. The BTR course is 1.1 mile in circumference, with 3 - 90 degree and multiple sweeping turns. The length of each race varies with the category, with Elite Men 5 racing 25 minutes plus 2 laps, and Pros going 90 minutes plus 2 laps.

There are a number of categories for men and women, Juniors, kids, Pros and Masters 35+ in age in the BTR race. So if you’d like to try your hand at criterium racing this is an excellent opportunity to do so without having to undergo much of a drive. Information on the race categories and links to an application can be found at: https://www.sportsbaseonline.com/Item.aspx?item_id=1806. Registration fees are between $25-$30 per race. Prize money is awarded in each category - $3,500 in all.

If you don’t feel like racing but would just like to see a fun, exciting event, bring the family and celebrate technology with the Kalamazoo community at the Business, Technology, and Research Park on August 11. The racing starts at 8:00 AM. There will be a Block Party atmosphere around the start/finish line, and food venders from local restaurants, music from WMU’s student radio station, a sponsor expo, and podium ceremonies will all contribute to the fun!

You can also help insure that the BTR Criterium Bike Race thrives by putting in some time volunteering at the event. Race Directors Greg Lawford and Rick Updike are looking especially for help at the registration tables. You could work for a shift and then take in the racing afterward… It’s fun to be involved in a big “happening” like this, and you’ll run into all sorts of people you know.

For more information on the BTR Criterium Bike Race, and to add your name to the list of volunteers, please contact Rick Updike: rupdike@plainwell.org, or Greg Lawford: greg.lawford@stryker.com.

Social Directors Name Date of Anniversary Ride and Party

KBC Social Directors Renee Mitchell and Jelania Haile have named Saturday, September 22, as the date of the club’s annual Anniversary Ride and Party at the Kal Haven Trailhead on 10th Street. The starting time is 10:00 AM. More details about this event will follow in next month’s PedalPress. But mark your calendars now for this ride and party…

President’s Letter, August 2007

I want to start out by thanking everyone who helped with the KalTour. The beautiful weather and mild temperatures certainly contributed to the above average attendance of around 350 folks riding. Mike Krischer and Dave Bishop along with many volunteers made this event a success. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club also thanks the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department and the Kalamazoo Amateur Radio Club for their assistance. Thank you all!

The next big Kalamazoo Bicycle Club event is the BTR bike race on August 11. The BTR bike race is a criterium race around WMU’s engineering school in the BTR park off of Drake and Parkview. A criterium race is a bike race around a short course at high speeds. To spice things up there are preem laps where the victor gets valuable swag as a reward. The criterium format is spectator friendly – you will see the riders more than once. There will be a full day of racing so please come out to enjoy a great day at the races. Invite your friends. Food will be provided by Water Street Coffee and Bogies.

Volunteers are needed for this event to assist with set up, registration, traffic control, course marshalling, take down, and other activities. Volunteers are needed from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm; first shift would be from 6:30ish to noon and second shift would be from noon to 5:30. From my experience last year there is AMPLE opportunity for volunteers to watch the races. Please contact Rick Updike at rupdike@plainwell.org or Greg Lawford at greg.lawford@stryker.com to get more information. Volunteers get a free event T-shirt.

Be careful on the chip and seal. It looks like the Wednesday night routes are the ones most affected by this annual event. It looks like the VanBuren County roads are firming up but the Kalamazoo County roads still have loose gravel to contend with. Please slow down, stay off of the loose gravel, and keep the rubber side down when you are on new chip and seal surfaces.

Attention all tandem owners!! A number of stokers have asked about partnering with captains. If you have a tandem and you would be willing to share the tandeming experience with a new stoker, please let me know.

Mike Boersma

Monthly Meeting Minutes

Present at the July 10 monthly meeting were Paul Bruneau, Zolton Cohen, Mike Berry, Jelania Haile, Elaine Naegele, Dick Nivala, David Jones, Mike Krischer, Victor Van Fleet, Mike Boersma, Kathy Breese, Paul Pancella, Eric Turkaleski, Tom Keizer and Jim Kindle

This meeting started with a presentation from Eric Turkaleski, Independent Living Specialist at Disability Resource Center of Southwest Michigan. Turkaleski spoke about the Great Lakes Independence Ride – “IRide” – being promoted by Disability Resource Network Michigan. Information on the IRide tour is available elsewhere in this issue of the PedalPress.

KBC Treasurer Tom Keizer submitted the monthly Treasurer’s report:

  • Income = $1,511.43
  • Expenses = $1,986.85 for the month of July
  • Checking account balance = $3,519.33
  • Savings balance = $2,080.44
  • Certificate of Deposit amount = $12,685.77

KalTour Director Mike Krischer reported on plans for road painting, route changes and other details pertaining to KalTour.

A motion was made, and passed, to offer SAG riders at KalTour a reimbursement of 20 cents per mile in order to defray the current high cost of gasoline. Amid some dissent, it was decided that this expense incurred during the running of KalTour should be reimbursed, and might induce volunteers to step up to staff this traditionally hard-to-fill position.

President Mike Boersma read Brad Fry’s Team KBC report. It noted that Team KBC member Jamie Clark had placed 2nd in the 40km State Individual Time Trial. In addition, Fry mentioned that plans for the August 11, 2007 BTR bike race are progressing, and that a request for volunteers at the event would be sent out at a later date.

KBC Database Manager Paul Bruneau reported that he is now “co-owner” of KBC’s YahooGroup along with Larry Kissinger. Bruneau will now be able to add members to the YahooGroup independently.

Bruneau also proposed that KBC in some way subsidize seasonal Kal Haven Trail passes for members. He reported that the idea originated with Joan Orman, as a way of offering another “perk” to members. After some discussion on how such a program might be administered, vote on the motion was postponed until more information can be obtained from the Van Buren Country Road Commission (operators of the Kal Haven Trail). Zolton Cohen will get in touch with the Special Operations Officer at VBCRC and report back next month on how passes might be purchased at a discount, or distributed if the motion carries.

Boersma reported that he has been contacted by several people who are looking to ride as stokers on tandem bicycles. He will look into creating a “tandem matchmaker” list for publication in a future issue of the PedalPress.

Zolton Cohen reported on efforts to acquire a copy of the club’s insurance policy from either the League of American Bicyclists or American Specialty Insurance Company. He has been told that a copy will be sent soon. Cohen will then have a member of the club who works in the insurance industry review the policy and create a report detailing what the policy covers.

Jelania Haile gave a final Bike Camp 2007 report. According to an exit survey, Campers liked the camp and felt it gave good value. She and fellow Bike Camp Committee member David Jones said that several Camp attendees were riding regularly on club rides. Victor Van Fleet asked how many people from Bike Camp 2006 had opted to sign up for KBC membership again this year. Paul Bruneau will generate that data for a future meeting.

Haile also stated that the annual Anniversary Ride and Party will take place on Saturday, September 22 this year. More details of this event will be revealed as the date grows closer.

The meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM.

Next meeting: Tuesday, August 14, 7:00 PM, YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo.

Respectfully submitted, Zolton Cohen, in lieu of Chris Haddock, KBC Secretary

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions


August Birthdays

Stephen Barnes * Nic Bishop * Aimee Brooks * Linda Bruneau * Alex Clothier * Kim Cummings * Bill Figeley * Douglas Freeland * Joe Gasperson * David Jones * Austin Kucharski * Daniel Lambert * Melania Marquardt * Diana Rankinen * Jeff Robertson * Fred Royce * Jennifer Schmitz-Weber * Tyler Stevens * Julianna Stewart * Ivan Stoychev

New Members

Gabor Antal * Lyn Brown * Heidi Butler * Maere Butler * Rodney Butler * Kim Cummings * Dan Hoff * Barbara Lee * Peggy Marcelletti * Charles Martell * Tony Masullo

August Expiring memberships

Lee Anderson * John Avink * Shawn Busby * JW Harper * Dave & Jennifer Hauschild * Alta Herman * Dale & Ruth Krueger * Gary Mattox

Renewed memberships

Kathryn Breese * David Hageman Family * Larry Kissinger * Harriet Swanson * Rick Whaley * Jack Bley * Mike Berry Family * Sandy Blix * Suzanne Cooper * Dan Traugott

KalTour 2007 A Big Success

Mike Krischer and Dave Bishop, KalTour Committee members, report that KBC’s largest event, KalTour, was a success on Sunday, July 22. Approximately 350 riders participated in riding the Tour’s routes, including many Bike Camp 2007 members. There were about 140 pre-registrations; the remainder registered on the day of the ride.

Krischer asked several volunteers to write their impression of the Tour and their activities in it. Krischer’s own account is as follows:

Early morning at KVCC: I arrived at sunup (around 5:45 AM). Jim Kindle, Dave Bishop, and Terry O'Connor were there by 6:00. Everything went smoothly as soon as I called KVCC security and convinced the officer to let us into the building. Perhaps the supervisor who was woken up by a 6 AM phone call to confirm our arrangements was not as pleased.

It was chilly, in the 50s, until the sun started to move up. As soon as we had the tables set up around 6:45 am, riders were ready to grab the maps and start riding. By 7:00 Kathy Breese, Barbara Lee, and Lee Shadduck were busy checking in riders and asking them if they wanted a kazoo, frisbee, or key chain. That it was turning into a beautifully clear day with temperatures headed toward the 80s certainly contributed to the crowds.

During the early going most riders grabbed the century map, and I explained that the decision point between the 100 mile and the metric century routes occurred 45 miles into the route. I was also impressed by the number of riders who said that they had bicycled to the starting point.

Two big groups left at 9:00: a 31 mile group and a fast ride group on the metric century. After 9:00 people kept asking for the shorter ride maps, and around 9:30 the supply of 31 mile route maps was gone. Making do with what we had, I marked up the 62 mile maps to show the route. As the family ride group started assembling around Marian Barnes, I headed out to Lawton, stopping first at the Briar Patch SAG stop to pick up my supplies.

Lawton Park Sag:The Lawton Park SAG is at mile 67 on the century route,

22 miles after the Briar Patch SAG. Getting to the park shortly before noon, I spent my first 20 minutes trying unsuccessfully to get the spigot on one of the water jugs before deciding just to pour from the jug. I mixed some Gatorade and, since

I don't care for the stuff, I asked the first rider to tell me how it tasted.

Driving out to the SAG, I had hoped I had something to read in the car since I expected to have only a few scattered customers. However, once the riders started coming they kept coming. I rarely had a quiet moment between pouring water, scooping ice and mixing Gatorade (the taster actually liked my last batch!). Even when I thought I was done, the riders still kept coming. Finally, the last few left around 2:45PM. Most were experienced cyclists, but a few mentioned that they are doing their first century. That's about all I saw of the ride since the Briar Patch was a quiet place when I showed up at 3:30, and the blueberries are all gone when I got back to KVCC around 4:30.

Dave Bishop writes:

At this point, I do not know the total number of riders. But judging from the activity around The Briar Patch SAG stop, I would say the attendance was up from last year. The weather was perfect for the day and there was always a breeze blowing out of the west.

I heard many comments from the riders, including a couple who missed out on the food at Timber Ridge. They were more than forgiving when they found all the goodies at our SAG. We started out lazily as the first few riders trickled in, grew to a frenzy as the century and 100K riders arrived, and then slowed down to a reasonable pace as the other ride distances showed up.

The Subway subs were a hit as usual and the assorted fruit and cookies were also appreciated. No one lacked for refreshments. The Briar Patch remained open late as there were several late starters for the century ride. Those who rolled in late were very grateful to see us still there. The last rider to depart had ridden his bike in from Battle Creek to do the century and then rode back to BC. He finished as we were packing up.

I was most impressed with a group of four riders, all of whom were friends. They were the next to last to leave and were pretty well done in, but game to go on after a rest. We passed them in the truck as they were rapidly making their way up the first hill on Eight Street. It was great to see and made me wish I had ridden with them. And lastly, there was one woman who just couldn’t make it through the rest of the ride and was very grateful that I gave her a lift to KVCC.

I would like to personally thank Jason, who was our day-long bike support from Breakaway Bicycles in Portage, Dick Nivala and Zolton Cohen for giving up some riding time in favor of helping me at The Briar Patch. And also my wife, Diane, for making an emergency run for Gatorade powder, cups, and bread.

Also, a big thank you goes to Paul Bruneau for his efforts at Timber Ridge. I am sorry for the complaints he had to endure about the lack of food, but we had no idea that he would be that busy. Finally, special thanks to Mike Krischer for all the work he did in making sure that we had a great ride! He was truly dedicated to it.

Paul Bruneau writes:

Report from Timber Ridge:

I arrived at KVCC at about 6:45ish to pick up my stuff, which went fine. I got to Timber Ridge at 7:23. Britt, from the Timber Ridge ski patrol (and co-founder of the Chain Gang!), arrived at 7:45, which had me a little nervous, but that was plenty of time as it turned out. If not for the ski patrol letting us use their building and being there to open it for us, we would have a very poor SAG stop, I can assure you.

Even though the SAG is only about 24 miles into the 60 and 100 mile rides, the riders always seem famished when they get there. I ran out of bread first, then Gatorade, then bananas, leaving only grapes and water for the later arrivals. I think last year I was given some cookies but this year there weren't any. I think I could have used 7 loaves of bread, and an additional 1/3 to 1/2 box of bananas to supplement the full box I had, and probably 2 large cans of Gatorade instead of 1.

Some riders grumble about the shortages, and while I can understand their concern...it is only 24 miles! When I am riding a century, I don't even stop until 50 or 60 miles in, if then, so part of me finds their frustration to be a little ridiculous. But considering the price of bread and bananas I would say in the future we should buy some more.

Everything else went fine. I was given some toilet paper in my supplies, which turned out to be very good since the three bathrooms at the ski patrol were almost out.

Jelania Haile writes

It was a perfect day to ride. We had plenty of volunteers at the rides' end at KVCC--people to help distribute goods to other sags and help with whatever we needed . The massage therapists were back under the trees, being both more away from the food tents and yet more visable. We played music this year,and also 'rang in' the riders from their ride, thanks to Elaine Naegele's cowbell. Even the most tired rider perked up and smiled at the sound of cheering and the bell. Barb Lee, a new bike club member was invaluable in serving out sub sandwiches,and helping with the slicing of the watermelons and dishing out the blueberries from Husted's market. Being there for the riders was ALMOST as much fun as doing the ride, and as always, the leftover food went to the Gospel Mission.

KBC President Mike Boersma writes:

Here are my experiences from the KalTour: I arrived around 9:00 AM. Around 0930 I, along with John – don’t have a last name - (a KBC member and a member of the radio club) left in one of the Sheriff Department's vehicles to provide SAG service to Loop 1 (Timber Ridge). After stopping at Timber Ridge we were informed by several riders that a rider had taken a hard fall near the intersection of 29th and 6th Avenue. We headed there and found the rider along with two partners. The rider had significant abrasions on the right side of her body from the chip seal gravel. We picked up the three of them and returned them to KVCC.

After dropping off the wounded rider we headed back to Timber Ridge to sweep the route. We picked up a rider with a mechanical at Timber Ridge and continued to sweep the route. There were no additional problems.

In the afternoon we swept Loop 2 (Lawton) and part of Loop 3. There were no problems.

We should thank the radio club volunteers and the KCSD (we had the use of 2 KCSD vehicles plus the radio trailer for "free."

Mike Boersma

For those of you who rode in KalTour and are reading this, all the aforementioned parties – especially Mike Krischer and Dave Bishop – deserve our thanks for volunteering their time putting on this great KBC event. It is a tremendous amount of effort; the planning and organizing take the better part of a year. Helmets off to all who rode, and special kudos to those who worked on KalTour…

August Ride Schedule


The Monday Ride at Texas Drive Park will consist of at least 4 ride groups, which should provide a pace to suit riders of all abilities:

  • 15-20 mile group at 12-15 mph, led informally by a number of riders. This group may include participants in Bike Camp, and may be led by Paul Bruneau.
  • 25-30 mile (Recovery and paceline) group at 17-18 mph, led by Zolton Cohen and Doug Kirk
  • 25-30 mile group at 20-22 mph, led by Joan Orman
  • 25-30 mile group at 22+ mph, led informally by a number of riders

The 15-20 mile group is generally recommended for new riders.

The 25-30 mile groups will typically ride the same route in the early part of the season. KBC recommends the 17-18 mph Recovery and paceline group for more experienced riders who are new to the club, those wishing for an easy spin on flat roads, or anyone interested in learning how to ride in a rotating paceline. Participation in the paceline in this group is not mandatory. This ride is very steady and consistent, and one of the club’s most popular ride groups. Depending on the number of riders who show up, this group may be broken into two smaller groups.

The 20-22 mph group is recommended for more experienced riders who want to ride faster, and on hillier terrain.

All riders who want to push the pace can do so in the 22+ mph group.


The Tuesday Night Time Trial series is up and running for 2007, with the Barnes Family and Team KBC/Little Caesar’s managing the time trial again this year. The ten mile route will be the same as in years past. Start location is at the Pavilion Township Hall at the corner of Q Ave and 28th Street. The TNTT runs on the first and third Tuesday of the month. Sign-in time for the TNTT is 6:15. The start takes place at 6:30.


The Wednesday ride meets at the Kal-Haven Trail Parking lot on 10th Street. Remember that if you drive to the trailhead and park in the parking lot you must display a Kal Haven Trail parking pass on your dashboard. Parking passes are issued with the purchase of a seasonal or daily trail pass. Those passes are available for purchase at local bike shops, Gazelle Sports, and at the trailhead itself when a staff member is attending the caboose.

KBC plans to offer 5 ride groups:

  • 13 – 15 mph group, led informally by a number of riders
  • 30 mile group at 19-20 mph (the Quarter-Fast Ride), led by Ron Gauthier, John Olbrot and others
  • 30 mile group at 22+ mph (The Half-Fast Ride), led by Zolton Cohen
  • 46 mile group at 23+ mph (as yet unnamed), led by Doug Kirk
  • 46 mile group at 24+ mph (the regular Hammerfest), led by Jeff Hamilton and others

The 13-15 mph group decides the route at the ride start.

The 30 mile groups typically ride the same route. The 19-20 mph Quarter Fast group will try to be steady at the pace indicated. The 22+ Half-Fast group will likely break up into smaller groups.

The regular Wednesday night Hammerfest starts at the Kal-Haven Trailhead Parking lot at 6 PM throughout the summer. The pace of the ride is typically greater than 24+ mph and the route goes to Bloomingdale and back (about 46 miles). Since the route is well known to most of the regular riders, no maps are available for this ride. This group is typically large (more than 15 riders) and consists of racers and other experienced riders. Typically, there is no designated ride leader. The group usually fragments into smaller groups and the riders often times do not finish together. This ride is hard and is not suitable for inexperienced riders. Some riders can expect to be dropped from the main group.

This year, a new Hammerfest-like group may form, as yet unnamed, and will be led by Doug Kirk. This group will cover the same route as the regular Hammerfest, but at a pace a mile or so per hour slower. The emphasis in this group will be working together in single and double pacelines to share the workload, following KBC riding rules.


Women’s Morning Ride – Would you like to meet other women in cycling? Join Renee Mitchell and Jelania Haile for a women’s-only ride on Thursday mornings. Meet at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC- south-west parking lot by the tennis courts) at 10AM. The pace will be 15-16 mph with a distance of 20-25 miles.

The Thursday Night Ride, led by Elaine Naegele, is a nice and easy social ride and has a loyal following. It starts at the Texas Drive Park at the regular KBC ride start times. Riders of all riding abilities are welcome. The pace is typically 15-17 mph and distance is 20-25 miles.


Notice: The Friday ride now meets in the parking lot at the new high school, 1/2 mile east of Galesburg, at the corner of 37th Street and M-96.

Due to road construction and lack of interest in establishing a new, southern route, the Tour de Gull route, which goes from Galesburg up and around Gull Lake, has been resurrected.

The pace of the main group varies depending on who shows up, but is usually in the 20-22 mph range. Members interested in riding the route at a 17-18 mph pace are encouraged to attend this ride and get the ball rolling on a new group.

KBC’s Special Weekend Rides:

Mark your long-range calendars for some special weekend rides this summer. Several rides are being planned for the summer months.

  • Tentative - August 12, The 10th annual Ride Around Kalamazoo County (100 miles)
  • The 36th KBC Anniversary Ride, Saturday, September 22, 10 AM (16-40 mile routes)
  • The 4th Fall Ride (~40 miles)

The date for the Fall Ride is not firmly established yet. If you have comments about the above-mentioned rides or have suggestions for other rides, contact Ride Captain Knute Jacobson at hkj@jasnetworks.com.

Note: The August 12 Ride Around the County special weekend ride may have to be canceled if no one volunteers to lead it. Please contact Knute Jacobson if you can lead a special weekend ride.

Note: Some of the special weekend rides may have to be canceled if no one volunteers to lead them. Please contact Knute Jacobson if you can lead a special weekend ride.

Impromptu weekend rides can happen anytime the weather is suitable and someone is willing to organize them. If you’re interested in being informed of these impromptu rides, send KBC Ride Captain Knute Jacobson an email to get on the impromptu ride contact list: hkj@jasnetworks.com.

Ride Captain’s Report

Special Announcement

We continue to look for a leader for the Annual 100 Mile Ride Around the County, tentatively scheduled for Sunday, August 12th. If you are interested in leading this ride, please contact Knute Jacobson at hkj@jasnetworks.net.

Unless someone steps forward to lead this ride, we will not be able to offer it this year.

KBC Friends:

First of all, apologies to any of you who have tried to contact me via email over the past three weeks. I’ve been away on vacation—and when I got back, I noticed that a few responses I had sent to some of you regarding weekly rides had bounced back. I hope you’ve been able to get the info you needed from other sources.

To my knowledge, all our weekly rides continue to go well, with good attendance at most. I’ve heard that another ride, in roughly the 15-16 mph range has been added to our Wednesday evening offerings—which is great. Monday night also offers quite a range of ride options, with some rides particularly suitable for those just entering, or re-entering the sport.

The Friday night Tour de Gull route is back in full swing—except that the road commission has forced us to take a detour or two. Typically 20 or so riders take part, and the average pace is 21mph or more.

I wasn’t able to ride the KalTour myself, but hear it went well. Thanks to all who worked so hard to make it a success! The 2nd Annual BTR Criterium is coming up as well. There is always a need for volunteers. Greg Lawford is the person to talk to if you’d like to and are able to help. Greg says he’s mainly in need of volunteers at the pre-race registration.

KBC members continue to do well in local, regional, and even national races. And from my point of view, it’s just awesome to have pros from the Priority Health Cycling Team show up on our rides from time to time!

If you personally are interested in racing, the BTR Criterium would be a good place to start, or just to spectate—riders will be flying by every two and one-half minutes, as the course is an oval.

Finally, as the proposed Ride Around the County is scheduled for the same weekend as the BTR Criterium, unless someone steps forward to lead this ride, it won’t happen this year, as many of us will be tied up with other responsibilities.

As always, let me know if you have questions or suggestions. I promise to try to answer them promptly.

Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

Inaugural “I-Ride” Announced for August 16

During the July KBC meeting, Eric Turkaleski, Independent Living Specialist at Disability Resource Center of Southwest Michigan, handed out literature highlighting a new bike tour in the area. The “Independence Ride,” or “I-Ride,” is a one to four day tour between Holland and Ann Arbor. It starts on August 16 and ends August 19. Tukaleski explained that the I-Ride raises funds for Disability Network/Michigan members.

I-Ride routes cover approximately 50 miles per day on paved roads; lunch and snacks are provided along the way. Overnight lodging, including meals, is provided for multi-day riders. At the ride’s conclusion, transportation back to the starting point for riders and their bicycles is available.

For more information on I-Ride, contact I-Ride coordinator, 731-971-0277, irid@aacil.org, or www.IndependenceRide.org.

KBC Insurance Update

As a follow-up to recent queries about KBC insurance, a copy of KBC’s policies has been sent to the club. Discussion will take place at the next KBC meeting about how to get information about this perk of membership out to members.

Editor’s Letter - Tour de I Don’t Know What

First off, a big welcome back to our old friend, Axel Kleat, who sent in one of his excellent missives – this one on Big City Riding. His thoughts on bicycling, exercise and the world in general are always welcome at the PedalPress. You’ll find his article near the end of this newsletter.

Next, my niece, Hayley Teich, a newly minted doctor now working at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City, sent in an article on adding ICE to your cell phone. I reworked it to add to this issue of the PedalPress. ICE stands for “In Case of Emergency,” and it’s a good thing to add to the “numbers” section of your cell phone. I’ve done it to mine; you should do it to yours. It can give emergency responders critical information on who to contact should you have an accident.

Tour de I Don’t Know What…

Stage 18 of the Tour de France has just finished and I don’t know what to think about professional cycling anymore. The news came down last night that Michael Rasmussen, the race’s yellow jersey leader and winner of Stage 17, had been removed from his team – and thus from the Tour de France – for lying to his team leaders about his whereabouts earlier this year. Professional cyclists are tracked during the off-season for the purpose of administering doping control tests. Rabobank, Rasmussen’s team, decided to remove him not only from the Tour, but also dismiss him from the team.

All this on the heels of Astana’s Alexander Vinokourov’s (and his entire team’s) removal from the Tour due to Vinokourov’s alleged blood doping prior to his win in a previous mountain stage. At this writing, two other racers have also been removed from the Tour as the result of alleged elevated testosterone levels. One, Cristian Moreni, admitted his guilt; his entire Cofidis team withdrew after the finding. Patrik Sinkewitz, of Team Mobile, also tested positive for elevated testosterone levels prior to the Tour.

Reaction from sports media outlets has been swift and severe. Some have said that, at this point, professional wrestling has more credibility than professional bicycling. Others state that professional cycling is now dead, and that sponsors will rapidly begin pulling their support of major events (some of which is already beginning to occur).

Talk on KBC rides about the Tour has been varied. I’ve heard everything from a conspiracy theory that the French lab doing the testing is going to keep on eliminating the top cyclists until a rider from France stands on the podium, to a sad shaking of heads over what a travesty such a beautiful sport has become.

Even the TDF’s commentators are divided on the subject. Bob Roll said, barring any more revelations, that this is indeed cycling’s darkest hour. Phil Liggett, on the other hand, opined the complete opposite – that this is cycling’s finest hour. His stance is that it proves that cycling’s governing bodies are taking the threat of doping very seriously and are proving that they are not afraid to remove highly classified and highly regarded riders. This, Liggett insists, is all in the interest of trying to send the message that the sport has begun to turn the corner in terms of getting the riders to race “clean.” Liggett also contrasts the conduct of cycling’s officials to those in other professional sports, such as football, basketball, and baseball, where doping allegations have been largely, and perhaps purposefully, overlooked over the years.

I’d like to think that Liggett is right. Cycling’s officials are now painfully aware that their sport stands on the top of a huge precipice. It can fall into an abyss of continued doping and suspicion of doping, or it can revive itself by cracking down as hard as possible on the offenders. It seems to be doing the latter in an effort to save the sport.

It won’t be easy or inexpensive. Dopers have the advantage in this contest. Labs can’t test for substances that they don’t know exist. And the stakes are so high – fame and fortune await the winners of bicycling’s top races – that there is great incentive to gain advantage over one’s rivals in any manner possible. So this will be an ongoing struggle.

But it’s worth the fight. The TDF is the most exciting athletic event I’ve ever seen in all my years of watching and participating in sports. The end of Stage 17 this year, as lesser riders slowly peeled off the peloton and left exposed the miniscule group of top contenders as they raced for the summit finish, was riveting. Each of them was giving all he had in order to conquer not only the others in the race, but the effects of gravity and thin air as well. Pure sport. Nothing subjective there at all. No “style points” or low scores from the judges; it was all about who reached the finish line first.

That’s as good as it gets, in my opinion. You don’t see things like that every day. Sports has the ability to awe and inspire, and this was a shining example. At the end of the day though, it was devastating to learn that one of the group involved in that exciting race (Rasmussen) was removed from his team because of possible connections to doping. It left me disheartened and cynical about what the next days will bring. But, in the end, I’m also hopeful that this is the worst of it; that teams and individuals realize that a new day has begun for professional cycling. And hopeful that the loyal sponsors and fans of the sport will give it another chance so it can live another day.

Zolton Cohen, KBC Newsletter Editor

Bad Dog Registry

If you’ve been bicycling for a while chances are pretty good that at some point you’ve been chased by a dog. In most cases these incidents don’t amount to much. You raise your pedaling tempo and shout for the dog to “Stay!” You squirt water from your water bottle, the dog gets tired or loses interest and that’s that.

However, the outcome can also easily turn from a simple annoyance into something far less benign. Several years ago, KBC’er Rob Nicey was taken down by a dog that ran out into the middle of a peloton on County Road 388 on the Wednesday night Half Fast ride. Nicole Newman had a similar experience on a KBC weekend ride. And in this year’s Tour de France there was very dramatic footage of two separate incidents of riders colliding with dogs that had wandered out into the road. In the first occurrence, although the rider tried to brake, the collision folded his front wheel and fork and he catapulted over the handlebars. In a later stage, Sandy Casar went flying onto the pavement at high speed after his collision. Fortunately, he was able to recover sufficiently to win that day’s stage.

The truth is that loose dogs can be a hazard to bicyclists. Now some states are taking action against dangerous dogs – canines that attack not only bicyclists but also pedestrians. The state of Virginia recently put up a dangerous dogs website registry, similar to a sex offender registry, that identifies dogs that a judge has determined are a risk of attacking again. The dogs’ owners and their addresses are listed as well. A New York Times article on dangerous dog registries is available at: here.

At present Michigan has no such registry. Is this something you’d like to see in our state? If so, it might be worth contacting your state legislators about…

KBC Bike Racing Results Compiled by Joe Kucharski

Superior Bike Festival - Criterium (Road), 06/22/07-06/24/07

  • Cheryl Olson, 4th Women
  • Darryl Dolby, 26th Men Cat 4-5
  • Alvin Nordell, 16th Men Cat 1-3

Superior Bike Festival (Road), 06/22/07-06/24/07

  • Josh Tarrant, 2nd Men Cat 1-3
  • Mark Olson, 4th Men Cat 1-3
  • Zach McBride, 10th Men Cat 1-3
  • Alvin Nordell, 11th Men Cat 1-3
  • Darryl Dolby, 20th Men Cat 4-5
  • Cheryl Olson, 4th Women
  • Jeff Nault, 31st Citizen Male

Superior Bike Festival - Circuit (Road), 06/22/07-06/24/07

  • Cheryl Olson, 3rd Women
  • Josh Tarrant, 2nd Men Cat 1-3
  • Alvin Nordell, 12th Men Cat 1-3
  • Mark Olson, 18th Men Cat 1-3
  • Zach McBride, 19th Men Cat 1-3

TK Lawless Time Trial (Mountain), 06/24/07

  • John Meyers, 3rd Elite Men
  • Adam Kammers, 1st Sport Men 19-29
  • Chris Putti, 9th Sport Men 35-39

Wolverine Time Trial – State Championships (Road), 06/24/07

  • Paul Jacobson, 3rd Boys 15-16
  • Kathy Kirk, 2nd Women Cat 1-3
  • Doug Kirk, 12th Men Cat 5
  • Jamie Clark, 3rd Men Cat 4
  • Knute Jacobson, 9th - Masters Men 50-54
  • Paul Raynes, 10th - Masters 50-54
  • Monica Tory, 1st - Cat 4 Women

Dexter Criterium – State Championships (Road), 06/30/07

  • Jeff Hamilton, 4th Men Cat 1-2
  • Zach McBride, 14th Men Cat 3
  • Brad Fry, 9th Men Cat 4
  • Cheryl Olson 10th Women Cat 1-3
  • Mike Birmann, 6th Masters Men 45+
  • Taylor Birmann, 1st Junior Men 15-16
  • Paul Jacobson, 6th Junior Men 15-16
  • Zach McBride, 1st Junior Men 17-18
  • Rudy Peterson, 1st Junior Men 10-12

Boyne Challenge Cross Country (Mountain), 07/07/07

  • John Meyers, 6th Elite Men
  • Mike Jones, 3rd Expert Men 40-49
  • Stephen Barnes, 2nd Sport Men 15-18
  • Darryl Dolby, 2nd Sport Men 40-44

Common Crit (Road), 07/15/07

  • Cheryl Olson, 4th Women Cat 1-3
  • Brad Fry, 25th Men Cat 3&4

Maillot Jaune (Road), 07/21/07

  • Jeff Hamilton, 16th Men Cat 1-2
  • Alvin Nordell, 33rd Men Cat 1-2
  • Josh Tarrant, 37th Men Cat 1-2
  • Zach McBride, 2nd Men Cat 3
  • Mike Jones, 4th Men Cat 4
  • Greg Lawford, 6th Men Cat 4
  • Brad Fry, 10th Men Cat 4
  • Darryl Dolby, 35th Men Cat 4

ICE on Your Cell Phone for Emergencies, from Hayley Teich, MD, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, New York.

Many of us carry a mobile phone with dozens of names and numbers stored in its memory. But who knows – other than ourselves - which of these numbers belong to our near and dear ones?

If we are involved in an accident or have a heart attack and the people attending us get hold of our mobile phone, they won't know which number to call to inform our family members. Yes, there are many numbers stored but which one is the contact person in case of an emergency?

For this reason, it’s a good idea to have one or more telephone numbers stored under the name ICE (In Case of Emergency) in our mobile phones. It is simple and an important method of contact during emergency situations. Just store the number of a contact person, or person who should be contacted during emergency, as ICE (meaning In Case of Emergency).

This idea was thought up by a paramedic who found that when he went to the scenes of accidents, there were always mobile phones with patients, but the emergency responders didn't know which number to call. He thought it would be a good idea if there was an internationally-recognized name designated for this purpose. In an emergency situation police, emergency service personnel and hospital staff would then be able to quickly contact your next of kin by simply dialing the number stored as "ICE."

For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3, etc.

Adding ICE to your cell phone is a very simple act that could save your life.

Big City Riding By Axel Kleat

When my father decided to undergo open-heart surgery in downtown Cleveland recently, I knew I’d be spending several days there cooped up primarily at the hospital and hotel with my mother. Clearly, I’d develop cabin-fever unless I figured something out.

Dear old Dad, who has a pretty good understanding of his son’s two-wheeled addiction, gave little cause for optimism. “Lousy pavement, too many cars, scary neighborhoods,” he opined in dour, ‘trust me, I’ve been there and seen it’ tones, adding that the hotel has a good, indoor workout facility with all sorts of fancy machines. My brother, who’d visited there recently, sounded no better--predicting flat tires, bike-theft, or worse. And besides, he added, where are you going to put a bike in a big-city hotel?

Actually, over the years I’ve learned that nearly all motels and hotels allow bikes in guest rooms, especially if one makes any effort to impress the staff that you aren’t the sort to trash the place. So I figured that they’d just have to figure out what to do with me and my bike. Isn’t the concierge supposed to do anything he can to make my stay pleasant?

Five minutes of web-surfing taught me that there was a bike path of some sort that followed the Lake Erie shore for a ways, and that was good enough for me. I rounded up the mountain bike (good for curb-hopping and the worst pavement, and with tires less likely to succumb to shards of urban detritus,) some Lycra and threw it all in the car.

And am I ever glad I did. True, one must approach big-city riding with some circumspection, and that generally means asking a few likely-looking locals where to go. It also means making one’s initial foray into urban wilderness at a low-traffic time, like really early in the morning—which worked out well since Mom would be sleeping and no hospital visiting is allowed at that time of day anyway.

When I asked two young guys who worked at the hotel how I ought to get to the lakeshore on a bike, I was pointed to a beautiful, tree-lined parkway that turned out to be less than ½ a mile away and wound down a lush ravine all the way to the lake. The entire two-mile ride was a big park. The road lead past two different horticultural gardens and made me wonder what I’d find if I rode the upper edge of the ravine. Several graceful, arching stone bridges passed overhead along the way. Truly as beautiful an urban ride as one could imagine.

At the bottom, the bike trail was impossible to miss. Partly on sidewalks and partly on roads, it went for miles in both directions along Lake Erie. Go west, young man, I thought, and soon passed an enormous city-owned marina full of very expensive holes in the water into which well-funded folks were clearly pouring lots of money. After that came a huge power-plant with a huge mural on the side depicting porpoises cavorting under water (Lake Erie?). Next up: a medium-sized airport—right on the lakeshore—part of which appeared to be used as an automobile racecourse.

Then I really got lucky. All of a sudden there was the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! Giant guitars and images of icons like Hendrix and Morrison visible from outside through giant plate-glass windows. Larger than life Fender Stratocaster guitars stood on the sidewalk outside. Not open at 7:00 in the morning, but now I knew where it was.

Next came the Cleveland Browns football stadium; then it was the old freighter docks. Run down for sure, but really interesting to poke around in, and totally deserted so early in the day. By then I’d been out an hour and a half, sometimes riding hard but mostly just poking around, and it was time to head back.

Next day I tried the lake shore trail to the east, where it was entirely on Lakeshore Drive, and soon found myself passing one multi-million dollar mansion after another. Enormous estates—some castle-like, many ivy-covered—on several-acre tracts of heavily forested land, often with gardens that would certainly require full-time maintenance. Trust me folks, there is nothing around here to compare with these places, and they went on for miles. And the only people I saw were out walking their dogs.

In fact, I kept finding great little places to ride the entire 5 days I was there. I saw all sorts of interesting and beautiful stuff, and didn’t have a single close call of any kind. And that’s the point: If you want to, you can find good places to ride almost anywhere. You may need to be a little creative, but you can do it. The web is a great resource. Go to the city or state website and look for a transportation department or a bicycle club. I’ve found that bike shops are almost always very helpful—either themselves or by giving the name of someone who knows the area.

Maybe the riding won’t be as good as around here, but for a few days, it doesn’t have to be. Trust me, riding my mountain bike down Lakeshore Drive and Martin Luther King Parkway in Cleveland a couple of times is definitely better than yet another run down 12th Street. When traveling, if there’s any chance you’ll have the opportunity to ride, I say go ahead and throw in your bike. There’s no better way to take in what’s out there.

Shop Notes

Alfred E Bike

320 East Michigan, Kalamazoo, (269) 349-9423

Billy’s Bike Shop

63 East Battle Creek Street, Galesburg, 665-5202

Breakaway Bicycles

185 Romence at Westnedge, Portage, (269) 324-5555, www.breakawaybicycles.com

Custer Cyclery

104 North Augusta, Augusta, 731-3492

Gazelle Sports

214 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, (269) 342-5996,

If you rode the KalTour, you received a Gazelle Sports coupon for $5 off any purchase of $40 or more in your packet. If you missed the KalTour, you missed a great ride, but you're in luck on the savings! Bring in this page for $5 off any purchase of $40 or more at Gazelle Sports!

  • Offer expires 8/31/07
  • One coupon per purchase
  • Not valid with other coupons, discounts or on past purchases

GAZELLIAN, please use SKU 47088.


4813 West Milham, Portage

Announcements: Prosport - Corner of 12th and Milham across from Wedel's. Open 10-6 Daily, 9-4 Sat. Nineteen years serving Kalamazoo bicyclists. Guaranteed two day service. Friendly and knowledgeable. Ride over soon.

Team Active

22 W Michigan, Battle Creek, 1-800-841-9494

Village Cyclery

US 131 in Schoolcraft, 679-4242

About Bicycling and the PedalPress

Important: Riding a bicycle is an inherently dangerous activity. There are risks of injury or death. You could ride over something and fall, or get hit by an automobile or strike or be struck by another bicyclist. There are many other dangers to bicycling as well.

While nothing can eliminate all risks associating with bicycle riding, to minimize the danger, make sure you and your bicycle are in good riding condition. Know the rules of the road and also of the group you’re riding with, and ride in a manner consistent with the protocols of that group. Always wear a bike helmet, use bike lights if riding in the dawn, dusk or dark, and consider purchasing and riding with additional safety equipment such as reflectors and rear view mirrors.

The KBC PedalPress comes out on or around the first of each month.

If you have an article or a notice that you want to go into the PedalPress, please email it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of the month before its intended publication.

For example, if you’d like an article to be published in the March edition (distributed on or around the first of March), have it to the newsletter editor (contact information is in the “Contacts” section at the end of this newsletter) by the 20th of February.

KBC Contact Information

KBC Officers

President Mike Boersma 269-720-1409
Vice President Jim Kindle 269-382-8053
Secretary Chris Haddock 269-624-5418
Treasurer Tom Keizer 269-382-4737

Other Important KBC Folks

Database Manager Paul Bruneau 269-343-6016
Newsletter Editor Zolton Cohen 269-344-0200
Ride Captain Knute Jacobson 269-629-0093
Social Director Jelania Haile 269-345-1274
Social Director Renee Mitchell
Safety and Education Chair Victor VanFleet 269-375-7691
Web Site Bob Paksi

KAL Tour

Director Michael Krischer
Director "Super" Dave Bishop 269-679-4522