Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
January 2008

Recovery Party Date Approaches!


KBC's annual Recovery Party will be held on Saturday, January 19th, 2008, at the home of Megan, Fred and Rebecca James 5220 Ridgebrook Drive in Portage from 7-10 P.M. Ridgebrook Drive is located south of Kilgore Road, between South Westnedge and Lovers Lane, west off of Woodmont Drive. A huge ‘THANK YOU!’ goes to the James’s for their willingness to host the Recovery Party for a 3rd year in a row.

Social Directors Jelania Haile and Renee Mitchell will make chili (both meat based and vegetarian) and have beer, wine and soft drinks on hand. Cricket Howard, purveyor of the popular Recovery Red Beer he provided at the last several KBC Recovery parties, will unfortunately be unable to either attend the party or brew up a batch of the libation. However, Jim Kindle and Heather Haydo stepped into the breach. They played hooky from work one day and whipped up a batch of Kindle’s “Road Kill Ale” to provide sustenance for thirsty party-going bikers. There will be some commercial beer on hand as well.

We ask that you bring a dish to pass. To avoid 'too much' of a good thing, we suggest that if your last name begins:

  • A thru H - bring a salad
  • I thru R - bring a dessert
  • S thru Z - bring an appetizer or bread

Local bike shops are contributing schwag to give away at a raffle, and there will be a slide show of KBC events. Volunteers to help set up or clean up would be appreciated, and can call Jelania (345-1274) or Renee, (329-7061). Every member of KBC and spouses/friends are welcome to attend. This is a great opportunity to reconnect with your cycling buddies and share great food and company.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, January 19th, 2008 and we look forward to seeing you there! :)

January 2008 President’s Letter:

Bicyclists only want bike trails, or so I am told. For the past several years I have gone to meetings of the Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study, a Federally-required planning organization in Kalamazoo. The importance of KATS is that it generates a 20 year plan for transportation in Kalamazoo County. Road projects cannot receive federal money unless they are in the plan. Part of the transportation plan includes planning for bicycle transportation in the county.

KATS has three committees. A citizens committee, of which I was a part; a technical committee, consisting of area traffic engineers; and a policy committee, consisting of local elected governmental officials from Kalamazoo Counties cities, villages, and townships. Folks on the technical committee for the most part see bicyclists as an interesting engineering challenge – with the right road surface, lane painting and signs all bicyclists can be safely integrated into almost any local road. Many folks on the citizens committee represented local neighborhood and environmental groups and saw bicyclists as being good for solving traffic and air-quality problems. However, there were a number of folks on the policy committee who believe that “normal” bicyclists really only want separate bike trails, and that bicyclists who want to use the road are a Lycra-clad fringe element. My impression is that the further an elected official lives from the City of Kalamazoo or Portage, the greater likelihood that he or she would have this belief. These folks disregarded the input that I provided and watered down parts of the long range plan.

Bike trails are wonderful community assets. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club and its members support the Kal Haven Trail and Kalamazoo Valley River Trail. However, the great majority of KBC rides take place on roadways. Almost everyone in the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club also drives a motorized vehicle on the roadways of Kalamazoo County. The taxes that you pay when you fill up your gas tank, purchase new tires, or register your vehicle go to support road construction and repair. As a bicyclist and a motorist I value well designed, safe roads.

Fear is one of the obstacles that we face as bicyclists. We fear crashing. We fear being hit by cars. We should not have to fear that the folks who we elect to make decisions regarding issues near and dear to our hearts will disregard us as a fringe element. 2008 is an election year and we get to make choices about who represents us and who makes policy on our behalf. The greatest upgrade that you make for your bike this year could well be deciding who represents you in local, state and federal government.

Mike Boersma, KBC President

Monthly Meeting Minutes

KBC’s monthly meeting took place on Tuesday, December 12, 2007. Paul Bruneau, Tom Keizer, Jelania Haile, Zolton Cohen, Rick Whaley, Larry Kissinger, Mike Boersma, and Elaine Naegele were in attendance.

Treasurer Tom Keizer reported that there was

  • $114.35 in income in November
  • $618.09 in expenses
  • $3,856.95 in the club’s checking account
  • $2,085.25 in savings
  • $12,858.53 in the Certificate of Deposit

Jelania Haile, of the Bike Camp Committee, announced that the committee is updating the flier with a goal to have it printed in January and distributed to local bike shops

The club’s annual Recovery Party will take place at the home of Megan and Fred James on Saturday, January 19th at 7 p.m. Zolton Cohen will bring a slide show of photos from 2007 KBC events; Jelania will ask Victor Van Fleet to bring his screen. Arrangements are being made for some homebrewed and commercial beer, as well as other beverages. More information on the Recovery Party is available at the top of this newsletter.

Zolton Cohen reported that Bob Paksi has agreed to be the club’s webmaster for another year.

Database Manager Paul Bruneau renewed the web hosting service for the KBC website for another year, at the cost of $83.00. KBC jerseys can still be ordered from the website.

David Jones sent President Mike Boersma an email noting that there is a minimum of 10 participants required to hold a League Cycling Instructor training session, at $800/person. Jelania Haile and Jones will meet to discuss how to gather a quorum; participants are required to be members of the League of Michigan Bicyclists

Paul Bruneau and Zolton Cohen reported that the free trial membership program is on track and will be rolled out in early January. People who purchase a bike at a local bike shop will be eligible to receive a free one year membership to KBC. Shops participating shops are Breakaway Bicycles, Alfred E. Bike, and Village Cyclery. Bruneau will have 200 fliers printed for each bike shop to start out; Cohen will distribute them to the shops.

Mike Boersma reported that there is a desire on the part of the League of Michigan Bicyclists to have at least one person from every bike club in Michigan attend a one day event in Lansing on Saturday, March 29, 2008 from 10a.m. to 4 p.m. Boersma plans to attend; Jelania Haile and Elaine Naegele indicated that they are also interested in attending

Mike Boersma asked members if there was any interest by KBC members to participate together in off season activities. Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain, recommended to Boersma, via email, that the club sponsor a pre-season ride meeting. Boersma asked all to contact him if there are any other suggestions.

Mike Boersma reported that he has a League of Michigan Bicyclists DVD available - What Every Parent Should Know About Bike Riding – geared toward parents of elementary age children. Boersma said the DVD could be used by someone making a presentation about bike safety. Contact him if you would like to view it.

Due to the changes in Daylight Savings Time, the club’s riding season will start during the week of March 10, 2008.

The next KBC monthly meeting is scheduled for 7 PM, Tuesday, February 12, 2008, at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. There will be a special presentation on “Randonneuring,” given by Holland, Michigan bicyclist Alan Becke at the start of this meeting. See article below for more details. All club members are invited to attend this, and every, meeting.

Elaine Naegele, KBC Secretary, and Zolton Cohen, KBC Newsletter Editor.

Randonneruring 101 Topic of February KBC Meeting

At the start of the Tuesday, February 12, 2008 KBC monthly club meeting, held at 7 PM at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo, Alan Becke, a long distance cyclist from Holland, Michigan, will present a 30 minute talk and PowerPoint slide show entitled “Randonneuring 101.”

Randonneuring is non-competitive long distance cycling. The presentation is about 30 minutes long, and was well received recently by the Macatawa Bike Club.

Becke completed a full series of brevets and rode the "Paris Brest Paris" event in 2007. He lives in Holland but works in Kalamazoo.


The electronically-distributed 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, zcohen@ameritech.net, 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 by the 20th of February.

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions:


New members:

Mike Vander Meulen

January Expiring memberships:

Laurie & Ron Doering * Chris Haddock * Kevyn Raynes Family * Lori Ross

Renewed memberships:

None this month

Ride Captain’s Report

January Ride Captain's Report

Well, it was nice yesterday! The roads were relatively clear, and the temperature was in the mid-40's. Not too bad a day for a ride, all things considered. Today is a different story! It's 18 degrees as I write, and, with the 35 mph winds, the weather service says it feels like zero! A great day to stay inside! No doubt there will be many more such days through January, into mid-February, at least. Here are a few suggestions for those who have made new year's resolutions to stay fit in the off season.

  1. Don't feel bad about giving your body a bit of a rest from the rigors of summer training. Getting enough rest in the off season is a key to a successful upcoming season. A change of training routine also provides an opportunity to recover from certain types of repetitive use injuries or aggravations. I personally have been fighting a nagging problem with my neck.
  2. Whatever you chose to do, if your primary sport is cycling, try to incorporate a good bit of weight-bearing exercise in the off season. Cycling, especially at a competitive level, can actually lead to calcium depletion over time. Weight bearing exercise (or actual weight-lifting) can help counteract this.
  3. Remember that many outdoor winter sports make a great complement to summer cycling. These include cross-country skiing, ice skating, and walking with ski poles. Snow shoeing is another great aerobic activity, and just plain old walking does the body lots of good. Walking hills can be even better.
  4. Some people also like going to the gym. I wore my heart rate monitor last time I played basketball with my sons, and was amazed how much it looked like it does on a typical Tour de Gull.
  5. Finally, there's always the indoor trainer--or spinning classes at a fitness club. Some KBC members help lead these classes. The advantage of spinning classes is the fellowship. The advantage of the indoor trainer is that you can stay right at home. For me, cycling.tv makes riding my indoor trainer bearable. Cycling.tv has a free service, and a premium service that costs $50/year. The video quality is good on both; better on the premium service. They cover most of the major European classic races, and some cyclo-cross as well. The cyclo-cross seems appropriate, because the courses often look snowy, just like the ground does here.

These are just a few suggestions. I personally find that it's easier to start up again in the spring if I've maintained some basic fitness over the winter. Plus, as we all know, regular exercise is a great stress reliever, and it can get us outside to enjoy the sunshine when we get it.

Hope to see you all at the recovery party. Best wishes for a great 2008!

Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

A Bike Stolen; An Opportunity to HelpBy Jeff Newman

In the past, the KBC has sponsored bike repair days for troubled teens, helped find a needy child for someone that wanted to donate a bike to a child, and other more singular and personal good deeds for people outside the KBC. I think another opportunity has arrived.

In the Sunday, December 16, 2007 Kalamazoo Gazette, section B, bottom (article link at bottom of email), columnist Jeff Barr wrote an article about an autistic woman, Lori Barber, whose bike was a functional part of her life, allowing her mobility, exercise and freedom. That 3-wheeled trike was stolen back in August, and the organization Alive After Five has been trying to replace the bike, but has run out of funds to do so.

I'm requesting that all members of the KBC consider making a small donation to cover replacing the bike and getting it customized by an occupational therapist for this woman's needs. Replacement costs on the bike run between $300 and $1000, customizations included. If the KBC organization would like to make an organizational donation, that would send a nice positive message at a time when others might need to hear it. If members were to show support as well, it would doubly show our support for the cycling community at large, and the various needs and uses that people find for cycling beyond the fitness and entertainment value.

Our family will be donating $100 to this cause. My company will be matching that amount as well. We're not asking that you match that amount. But any small donation you can offer would, I'm sure, be greatly appreciated. Any additional funds not needed for this specific replacement would be used for funding other bikes for other people with disabilities in the area.

Donation contact information:

Alive After Five AM-BUCS Kalamazoo Gazette Reporter
Donna Whitcomb Jeff Barr
372-0174 388-8581
dwhit831@aol.com jbarr@kalamazoogazette.com

Read the Article or here.

Editor’s Update: The following Sunday, December 23, 2007, Kalamazoo Gazette columnist Jeff Barr provided an update on the response to his original column about this situation. He reported that nearly $2,000 had been raised to help get Ms. Barber a new bike, and that 4 bikes had been donated to the program.

According to Barr, “The money will go toward buying bikes for the disabled, and the donated bikes will be given to those in need. An 11-year-old autistic boy is one lucky recipient; he'll have a shiny, new bike waiting for him on Christmas morning.”

He goes on to say, “Every year, corporate donors join forces so Alive After Five can give bikes to disabled people in need. This year, the group gave away 10 bikes, but the coffers were empty when volunteers heard of Lori's plight.

Cross Training Opportunity – Kalamazoo Cross Country Skiing

As Ride Captain Knute Jacobson points out in his Ride Captain’s report above, the weather outside is too cold, windy, snowy and icy for bicycling outside. He also recommends some cross training during the winter. And there is an ideal opportunity for that in the form of cross country skiing – right in downtown Kalamazoo.

For the past several years, members of a group called the Kalamazoo Nordic Skiers (many of whom are also members of KBC), have been grooming Milham Park Golf Course for both classic (inline) and skate skiing. Whenever sufficient snow falls, there is an approximately 2 mile trail groomed around the perimeter of the course. The best part is that you can ski on it any time, day or night – and it’s free of charge.

If you would like to ski at this venue, feel free to do so. Park in the lower golf course parking lot on Lover’s Lane only (not in the upper lot by the clubhouse). You can access the groomed trails by slipping between the rails of the white vinyl fence that separates the parking lot from the golf course. Follow the ski tracks from there…

We ask you to not bring dogs or walk on the trail, and also to respect the facility. It’s a privilege to be able to use this great piece of land for skiing, and we want to foster good relations between the Kalamazoo Nordic Skiers, the Parks Department that owns it, and the golf management company that runs it.

The groomed ski venue at Milham Park Golf Course is an “unsupported” facility. The course clubhouse is not open to skiers and there are no bathrooms available at the site.

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,

Announcements: Hurry into Gazelle Sports for our End of the Year SALE! It's going on now and runs 'til the stuff is gone. Great discounts on outdoor apparel, running apparel, soccer stuff, socks and MORE! In fact, check it.... ALL Smartwool socks are just $9.99!!! WOW!


Keith Little has moved ProSport to:

4323 W Michigan Ave

Kalamazoo Mi 49006-5810

It is the building in front of the Ample Pantry. Smaller shop full of stuff. Same fast service. David Middleton, IDSA

Team Active

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

Village Cyclery

US 131 in Schoolcraft, 679-4242

Bicycling Safety Disclaimer

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.

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