Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
October 2008

October 2008 President's Letter

The days are getting shorter and the leaves are turning color. The KBC riding season will continue through at least October 31, the last Friday before daylight savings time ends. Please keep abreast of the changes in ride times. Please also dress for these later season rides as brilliantly as the leaves in the area – bright colors are much easier for motorists to see. Please also use lights. Make it a point to be seen.


Keep an eye open for rides under the lights on the Kalhaven Trail


As the ride season tapers off, it is time to start thinking about some of the off season activities of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club. Bike Camp, the KalTour, the BTR race, the Recovery Party, the Anniversary Ride, and the pre-season ride meeting all occurred because KBC members invested their time and energy into planning and executing these events. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club needs your ideas and your energy to remain the vibrant organization that we are. Please consider working on one of the committees that plans and organizes these events.


If you have ideas on how the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club can do a new activity that advances the purpose of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club, please let the board know. Ideally a plan will address the who, what where, when, and how much money will be needed. The most precious asset that the KBC has are its volunteers (many of whom volunteer for more than one activity), so if you can identify new folks who are willing to volunteer for this activity so much the better. The more detailed a plan is, the more likely it will be adopted.


The time between November and March is the time to plan next year’s events, so please get involved. The KBC needs YOU!


In similar fashion, all of the KBC leadership positions will be voted on at the November meeting. Please consider running. Perhaps the most important position at the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club, the Pedal Press editorship will be opening up. Everyone in the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club benefits from the Pedal Press as this is the common denominator in the club. Please consider running for election, volunteering for an appointed position, or becoming the Pedal Press editor.


Mike Boersma, KBC President

KBC Member Wins National Championship

KBC member John Meyers was part of a 4 man team that won the 30+ Masters Championship at the Wisconsin America’s Dairyland 24 Hours of 9 Mile in Wausau, Wisconsin on August 2 and 3, 2008. The “Michigan Masters” team rode 326.6 miles, with John riding 85.2 of these miles. Since this was a National Championship event, this means that John is a National Champion. KBC congratulates John on this achievement, a first for a KBC member.

KBC Member Honored as Oldest Rider on the Five Day UP DALMAC Ride by Terry O’Connor

Kalamazoo Bicycle Club member Pastor Dale Krueger was recognized during the fourth evening of the 5-Day Upper Peninsula DALMAC bicycle tour as the oldest rider. Pastor Dale will be 77 on December 1, 2008. Mark your calendar and send him a birthday card and congratulations on his successful accomplishment! The youngest riders were three ten-year-old boys. Other KBC riders on the UP tour included Al Cergol and Deb Grey. What is the DALMAC? The Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw City (DALMAC) Bicycle Tour celebrated its 38th Anniversary during the last week of August 2008. The tour, which is organized by the Tri-County Bicycle Association, is centered in Lansing. DALMAC encourages bicycling and safety, contributes hundreds of thousands of dollars to bicycling related groups and activities, and promotes a good time. A picture of Dick Allen, the Michigan legislator who started this ride, with Pastor Dale is shown in this newsletter and on the club website KalamazooBicycleClub.org under "tales." Check it out.

The 5 UP route Pastor Dale and I took is a 400-mile tour with 500 riders that leaves MSU on Wednesday, August 27 to Shepherd High School (73 miles); Thursday to Lake City (85 miles); Friday to Central Lake (66 miles); Saturday to Pellston (69 or 98 miles); and Sunday to De Tour in the UP (80 miles). About 500 other riders are at the same time on four other routes; a scenic Five-Day ride that follows the "Tunnel of Trees" through Goodhart to Cross Village; a Four-Day East ride; a Four-day West ride; and a Four day Quad Century, which the "strong boys and girls" make a hundred miles seem easy! Trust me that extra 20 miles each day places a new meaning on "pressing the flesh." For us, the highlight of the 5 UP ride was the Sunday morning ride across the Mackinac Bridge. Only those riders in the 5 UP ride had this annual privilege of riding over the bridge. We could ride at our own pace anytime between 8:00 and 10:00 A.M. Pr. Dale and I began our crossing at 8:15 A.M. The sun was shining on the beautiful blue Straits of Mackinac, and there was no wind. Having cycled over the bridge on previous times with 500 riders in a peloton going dangerously slow in an accordion exchange of fast and slow and in high winds and limited visibility, this 2008 crossing was an outstanding experience.

What are my comments on the ride? When packing, I once again took too much stuff. Of course the excellent weather of 58 to 85 degrees eliminated the need for the cold weather gear. The camping at high schools puts you back in touch with nature. If you are modest forget the showers, which are barely warm, if not on the chilly side. Also, if you are a coffee drinker expect to get weaned quickly because high school girls who do not drink coffee usually make the coffee! When the food is catered by a catering company on some days, it is reasonably tasty. But when the meals are prepared by volunteers at the school, they end up being a bit bland; i.e., plain corn, precooked burger and potato salad. In fact, at one breakfast stop we did not have ketchup to wash down the powdered eggs. Security is not an issue on the DALMAC. Locks for high-end road bikes are not needed, hallways are lined with phones and chargers in the evening and your fellow riders are just as concerned as you are about safety and having a good time without worries. As far as I know, there were no serious injuries among the riders. And yes, you have to stand in line for food and potties. Bad hair days are to be expected. So just hurry up and wait!

It took us five days of cycling to reach DeTour. Then, our bicycles were loaded onto trucks to be transported back to MSU. The riders in our group were given box lunches at 6:00 PM and we got on five charter buses for a comfortable six hour ride back over the Big Mac to Lansing. Upon arrival about midnight we took a few minutes to load our bicycles and luggage in and on my car, and by 1:15 A.M., we were back home in Kalamazoo. Five days up and seven hours back. Looking at a Michigan road map, I am totally amazed that bicycles can be ridden safely and without much interference with traffic so far north. The many volunteers who make the DALMAC a wonderful experience were so gracious and helpful. And DALMAC is a bargain at $250! You better plan to sign up in February 2009 for the 39th Annual. You might even meet Dick Allen or ride with Pr. Dale.

KBC riders at the MSU start of DALMAC 2008. Terry O'Connor, Al Cergol, Dale Kruger and Deb Grey

Dick Allen and Pr. Dale waiting for breakfast

Pr. Dale takes a break after successfulling climbing THE WALL

Dale and Terry sfter crossing the BIG MAC

Monthly Meeting Minutes

KBC’s monthly meeting took place on Tuesday, September 9, 2008. Mike Boersma, Jim Kindle, Elaine Naegele, Tom Keizer, Rick Whaley, Mike Krischer, Jelania Haile, Terry O’Connor, Renee Mitchell, David Jones, Zolton Cohen, and Victor Van Fleet


Mike Boersma welcomed everyone to the meeting and Tom Keizer provided the Treasurer’s report. A $161.74 donation will be made to the Kalamazoo Valley River Trail, which is one half of the net profit from the KalTour.

Mike B. reported in Knute Jacobson’s absence that there have been problems with the Friday night group riders cycling through some intersections without stopping. (Post meeting note: This has been less of a problem lately.) The October evening rides will begin at 5:30 P.M. 


Mike B. reported that the BTR race went well and that there was roughly the same number of riders as last year. He is hopeful that WMU will sponsor the event again next year.


Renee Mitchell reported that the Anniversary Ride will be held on September 20 at 10:00 AM, and the details about the ride were published in the September Pedal Press.


Jelania Haile, David Jones, and Renee reported that 7 KBC members took the Road 1 class that was held in August and all successfully graduated. A summary of this class was published in the September Pedal Press. Future courses will be offered based on the interest of club members and the public at large. 


Zolton Cohen proposed that the August minutes in the Pedal Press that discussed the removal of the Webmaster by the Executive Committee be revised. A few proposals and a lively discussion took place about how information concerning the removal of a volunteer who holds an appointed position should be communicated to members at large. A few different suggestions for revising the minutes were discussed, but it was decided to leave the minutes as they were. David was appointed by the Executive Committee to fill the position of the Webmaster for the remainder of the year.


Victor Van Fleet commented on the continuing need to remind KBC members and the riding public in general to wear bright reflective clothes and to use lights while cycling when it is twilight or dark. Mike B. pledged to continue to remind KBC members about safety, as he did in the September Pedal Press President’s letter.


Renee reported that the Portage Bikeway Color Tour will take place on Sunday, October 12 from 2:00 to 3:30 P.M., with a 6 and 11 mile ride. She inquired whether anyone would like to assist her with helmet fitting and to represent KBC at this event. Mike B. suggested that Renee provide details for the KBC e-mail group and the October Pedal Press and ask for volunteers to assist her.


The next KBC monthly meeting is scheduled for 7:00 P.M., Tuesday, October 14, 2008, at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. All club members are invited to attend this, and every, meeting.


Elaine Naegele, KBC Secretary


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, fswhaley@comcast.net by the 20th of the month before its intended publication.

For example, if you?d like an article to be published in the November edition (distributed on or around the first of November), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of October.

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions

Active subscriptions: 261

New members

Mike Berry Family • Suzanne Norton

August Expiring memberships

Gabor Antal • Kathryn Breese • Lyn Brown & Dan Hoff • Rodney & Heidi Butler Family • Suzanne Cooper • Alan Dahl • Daniel Goldberger • Sherry Gordon • David Hageman Family • Larry Kissinger • Barbara Lee • Peggy Marcelletti • Paul Marquardt Family • Charles Martell • Tony Masullo • Jim Ross • Stephanie Sabin • Harriet Swanson

Renewed memberships

Lee Anderson • David Hapman • Joe Kucharski Family • Ralph & Emily Freed • LeMoin Shadduck • John Idema • Connor Loftus


Submitted by Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

LCI Corner

LCI Corner - Dawn, Dusk, Visibility and Staying Warm

I was originally planning on writing about visibility at dusk. With the days getting shorter, many of the Club rides will be ending at dusk. Those of you who ride to and from home to the club rides will be probably be riding in very low light conditions. It is important that we as cyclist make ourselves as visible as possible to other motorist on the road.

This means we need to have a good light system and retro-reflective clothing. At the minimum as a cyclist we need to have a white front light and rear red light on our bikes. If you haven't looked at bike light systems in the last couple of years, I encourage you to take a look. With the maturity of LED technology, many bike lights have gotten smaller, brighter, and less expensive, all with a longer run time. These are all thing that matter to most cyclists. One word of advice on the rear light: try and find one that blinks randomly. It has been shown that a tired or drunk human will focus on and follow a steadily blinking light.

Retroreflective clothing is clothing that will reflect back any light that hits it. Think about the logo or white stripe on your seat bag. The coolest thing about this technology is that it able to be subtly inserted into a garment. I have seen a jacket that has a mottled look to it in normal conditions, then when it is hit with a light source, like head lights; it reflects the light back to the source. This is great for a commuter who wants a subtle garment to wear into work, but to still wants to be seen by traffic. I mention the retroreflective clothing because once the sun has gone down it is getting chilly after our rides. This could be a great reason to get yourself a new jacket.

Finally, at dawn with school underway, watch out for kids riding to school. When I was walking my dog last week, I saw two kids riding to school, both were dressed in dark clothes. They were both riding on the right side of the road, but they were hard to see. Parents, if your children ride to school, please make sure they are visible. A blinky light on a backpack can help a driver see either a biker or walker in the morning.

David Jones

League Cycling Instructors: Please email us with any questions about cycling safety:

  • Jelania- Jelania
  • David- David
  • Renee- Renee
  • Ride Captain's Report

    There’s not much to report this month, except to thank those who helped organize the Anniversary Ride, and to report there was also a good turnout for the Fall Color Ride - we just about finished the 3 dozen donuts and two gallons of cider.  

    It's been a great season, with one special KBC ride left, the Cyclo-Cross Clinic on the afternoon of Sunday, October 12. Come out and ride, or come out and watch! It's a fun event. It will take place at St. Timothy Church in Richland.

    My thanks to all the ride leaders who have led this year's rides. You do a lot for the club, and help us all enjoy our great sport.

    As the days shorten, please remember we start our October evening rides at 5:30 P.M. sharp, and it's wise to bring at least a tail-light, especially if you're one who does our longer rides.

    Best regards,

    Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

    Editor’s Letter – A Tale of Two Tours (Plus One)

    September usually isn’t either the best or worst of times, but it was a pretty good time to do some bicycle tour riding. So, what follows, in the back-to-school tradition of the “what I did over my summer vacation” essay, is my “what I did over three consecutive Sundays in September” essay. Fortunately, since I’m typing this, I won’t be graded on my penmanship.

    The Vineyard Classic, September 7 – Paw Paw, Michigan

    I’ve done the Vineyard Classic more often than any other tour ride in Southwest Michigan, and because this was my first time riding this tour since 2003, it was like getting reacquainted with an old friend. I had planned to ride the 60 mile route with Doug and Kathy Kirk and whomever else they could round up to ride with them, but, for once, I was too efficient in my riding preparations. I was ready to ride at 8:15 A.M., 45 minutes before their planned start. So, choosing not to wait around, I started my ride alone.

    A couple miles later, I was passed by two riders, one wearing a Caisse D’Espargne cycling team jersey and shorts. I quickly ascertained that this was not Alejandro Valverde and my keen powers of observation were confirmed by the fact that they only pulled away from me very gradually. As a result, I was able to see them in the distance almost until we got to the first SAG stop in Lawrence 20 miles into the ride. Non-Alejandro and his friend left Lawrence about 30 seconds before I did, and, once again, I kept them in my sight most of the way to Decatur, the next SAG stop.

    Because my stop in Decatur was brief, I got the jump on N-A and F, but a few miles later, they stormed past with two other riders in a paceline. I assumed that this would be the last that I would see of them, but the other two riders were doing one of the shorter routes, so soon I was treated to what by now was a very familiar sight in the distance. And then, a few miles later, a strange thing happened. They started coming back to me with N-A a few yards behind F. “Non-Valvarde’s cracking!” I thought in my best Phil Liggett voice, and I got within 50 yards of them, but then they started pulling away again. So, for the last 15 miles of the ride, I yo-yoed about 100 to 200 yards behind, unable to close the gap. It was just as well, since I found that I actually enjoyed being the greyhound to their mechanical rabbit.

    After the ride, I took advantage of the post-ride massage, the effects of my post-KalTour ride massage having worn off, and then I drove home, beating the start of the Wine and Harvest Festival parade. A good ride (except for the three cars who sped passed me going downhill on a well worn road on their way to the flea market on Red Arrow Highway; who knows what fabulous bargains they would have missed had they arrived 30 seconds later), a well marked course, some good food, and, of course, an opportunity to almost beat an almost Tour de France rider.

    The Cereal City Century, September 14 – Battle Creek, Michigan

    “Hmmm, this might not be such a great idea,” I thought, as I drove through the pouring rain to Battle Creek, particularly since I had not pre-registered for the ride, and would not be losing any money if I were a no-show. But, the power of inertia can be strong, so 30 minutes later, I found myself in downtown Battle Creek, anyway.

    When I arrived at the registration area, there were only a few other riders around, all looking about as pleased with the weather as I was. I had planned to do the 100 mile route, but having heard the forecast that it was going to be raining even harder in the afternoon with possible lightning, I decided to opt for the 62 mile route, hoping that I would be done by noon. So, off I went in search of soggy adventure.

    The 18 miles to the first SAG stop weren’t actually that bad; it was only a light rain. During this time, I passed 4 other riders, so I at least knew that I was not out there alone. However, it started raining harder during the next 13 miles to the lunch SAG stop (with good turkey sandwiches) in Marshall. There was one other rider at the stop and 2 others arrived just as I was leaving. It began to rain a little harder after I left the SAG stop, so a few miles later, it was with less than complete joy that I realized that I needed to consult what turned out to be my soaking wet, useless map, because I had gone off course. I ended up backtracking all the way to Marshall, to discover that I had missed the right turn arrow about 100 yards after the SAG stop, and had continued straight and west instead of north. I had thought that the interstate I had crossed over was I-94; it was actually I-69. And, as a reward for this week’s not so keen powers of observation, by the time I got back to Marshall, it started pouring.

    For the next 20 miles, the weather alternated between a steady rain and a pouring rain. Since I had now become consumed with worry about riding off course, I carefully approached every intersection and side road, searching for arrows, not a particularly easy task with rain splattered glasses and arrows sometimes found at the bottom of a puddle. During this time, I also passed one of the riders whom I had passed earlier; unlike me, she managed to stay on course. This turned out to be the last cyclist I saw during the ride. By the time I got to the last SAG stop just outside of Pennfield High School, I had ridden 60 miles and the rain was in one of its steady modes. After fortifying myself with an 8 ounce can of Mountain Dew (a rather unusual, but satisfying SAG stop liquid refreshment), I began the last leg of my journey into the Heart of Wetness, a leg that was interrupted after about a half mile by a flat.

    If there is something less enjoyable than putting a new tube in a tire in the rain, it is putting a new tube in a tire in the rain and having the tip of the valve snap off when you get the tire back on the rim and begin to pump air into the tube. So, I took out my second spare tube and repeated the process, but this time, fortunately, without the snapping off part. I now realized that if I got another flat, I was going to have to patch my tube, but being the rainwater gauge is half full type of guy that I am, I knew that if this occurred, it was going to be easy to find some standing water to help me find the leak. Still, I didn’t relish the prospect of doing this, so I now had another reason to be worried during the rest of the ride.

    It took me over a half hour to change the tire, so I don’t think I’d have a bright future as a NASCAR pit crew member, but my timing was still pretty good, as it started pouring a few minutes after I started riding, a pouring rain that lasted until I got back to downtown Battle Creek a little before 2:00 P.M. (so much for a noon finish), having ridden 71 miles. Then I drove in the pouring rain back to my house, where I proceeded to get soaked yet again – this time under a shower head.

    Even though this ride wasn’t exactly the high point of my bicycle touring life, it could have been a lot worse. First, the temperature was in the upper 60s, it was a warm rain, and I was never chilled, even during the time I was changing my tire, and even though I was only wearing a short sleeve jersey under a vest and shorts with no tights or knee warmers. All of the 7 cyclists that I saw during the ride were wearing rain jackets or tights and usually both and I figure that they must have gotten overheated. Second, once you’ve gotten poured on for a couple of minutes, you’re not going to get any wetter and you get used to it quickly. Still I’ve got to wonder how many cyclists actually did this ride and how many actually registered on the day of the ride besides me.

    The Leelanau Harvest Tour, September 21 – Maple City, Michigan

    I’ve ridden in Leelanau County a couple times on my own, so I knew that it was a scenic place to ride, and I thought it would be nice to ride there again. So, with the promise (which was fulfilled) of good weather, I put the bike in the car Saturday afternoon and drove a couple hundred miles north to Traverse City where a motel room with my reservation on it awaited.

    The next morning, I drove to Glen Lake High School, where I began the 100 mile ride shortly after sunrise. The ride got off with a bang, up to Inspiration Point, the inspiration presumably being of the form “Gosh, I’ve just ridden up a humongously long, steep hill, and now I’ve got only 97 miles to go!” However, that proved to be the steepest hill of the day, although there were many hills throughout the route. Being the white-knuckled descender that I am, the downhills weren’t all that enjoyable, but I found myself more in my element riding up the numerous long gradual uphills (the three steeper uphills during the last 10 miles of the ride excepted). It was also the case that the scenery was great, as I knew it would be, with nice views of the sand dunes, the Grand Traverse Light House, and Lake Leelanau, among other sights. I’d say that only about 5% of the leaves had turned, however, so this ride was a bit too early for good leaf peeping.

    Other items of interest concerning this ride included the fact that the course was marked with color coded flags instead of painted arrows, which were easier to spot, but more vulnerable to vandalism, not that this occurred. The SAG stop at 49 miles was at a particularly pretty area, overlooking Lake Michigan. The pasta lunch after the ride also hit the spot, and it would be nice if more tours provided something substantial to eat at the end of the ride. Then, I drove back to my motel room, where I celebrated my ride a few hours later with another turkey sandwich, fries, and a Coca-Cola in a brewpub in downtown Traverse City. (I know, I’m a Wildman.) The next morning, I topped off my visit to the area with a 47 mile ride to the Old Mission Lighthouse on the Grand Traverse Bay peninsula, before checking out of my motel room and heading back to Portage, where I mowed my lawn instead of doing the Monday night ride.

    So, how did I spend the next Sunday? Why, I reseeded some of the bare patches in my lawn. Much as he may want to, a man can’t always live the glamorous bicycle touring life.


    Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

    Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

    This may come as a big surprise, but November and December aren't very active bicycling tour months, so there is nothing to report.

    Classified Ads

    New Ad: For Sale: Early '60's Schwinn bikes, Men's Collegiate 5 speed, Women’s Breeze 5 speed, all original including Schwinn tires! No rust, chrome is immaculate! Some paint blemishes. Collectors would love these, I'd rather sell them to someone local. Call Mike at 385-0196.

    Tri-bike, Titanium LiteSpeed Catalyst, 56 cm frame, aero bar shifters, 105 Shimano components. $800. Call Mike at 327-0387.

    Rockymountain 56cm Solo 30AC, aluminum and carbon (rear-triangle). The bike has 105 10-speed components throughout and Easton EC90SLX carbon fork (330gr); wheels are Richey DS Pro. The bike is in great shape with less than 500 miles on it. Looking to get $1200 or best offer. Call Jeff at 269-965-3560.

    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,

    Announcement:  Gazelle Sports is partnering with Soles4Souls™, a charitable organization that collects gently worn footwear and distributes them to people in need all over the world.

    Since its inception, Soles4Souls™ has collected more than three million pairs of shoes, distributing them to more than 60 countries. Recipients include victims of the Asian tsunami and hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Gazelle Sports is committed to the Soles4Souls™ motto of “Changing the world one pair at a time,” and we hope you’ll join us to do just that.

    Visit any Gazelle Sports store during the month of October to donate your shoes which will go to those in need at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission.

    We thank you.


    4323 W Michigan Ave

    Kalamazoo Mi 49006-5810

    Team Active

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

    Village Cyclery

    US 131 in Schoolcraft, 679-4242

    Zoo City Cycle & Sports

    4328 South Westnedge, Kalamazoo, (269) 552-3000

    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 Elaine Naegele 269-353-5756
    Treasurer Tom Keizer 269-382-4737

    Other Important KBC Folks

    Database Manager Paul Bruneau 269-343-6016
    Newsletter Editor Rick Whaley (269) 324-1577
    Ride Captain Knute Jacobson 269-629-0093
    Social Director Jelania Haile
    Social Director Renee Mitchell
    Safety and Education Chair Victor VanFleet 269-375-7691
    Web Site David Jones

    KAL Tour

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