Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
Febuary 2009

Febuary 2009 President’s Letter

Not that I am counting, but it is several weeks until the 2009 KBC ride season starts again. While I like snow, I could really use some spring riding weather.

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club will be holding a Bike Summit in March to develop a five year plan. This plan will address how the club will best serve its members over the next several years. Does the Club place additional resources into the weekday rides with perhaps additional rides at additional places on additional nights? Does the Club expand its educational programs like Bike Camp? Does the Club sponsor additional racing opportunities? Does the Club sponsor additional touring opportunities? What kinds of organizations and activities should the Club partner with? What direction should the Club take over the next several years? All of these are questions that the Board has struggled with over the past year; only the members have the answers. Your input and participation are needed.

The KBC will also have its pre-season ride meeting on March 6. This is a great opportunity to sign the insurance paperwork so that you are covered (and so you will not have to be chased by the insurance paperwork police – they will find you!).

Planning has begun for Bike Camp. Volunteers will be needed. Participants are also needed. Please get the word out. Contact Jim Kindle for the dates.

Planning has also begun for the KalTour in July. The weather will be great so plan on riding (and invite your friends!).

The next meeting of the KBC will be on February 10 at the Maple Street YMCA. If you have ideas about projects or rides that you would like to see the KBC do, please let the board know. The board needs your input to keep the KBC relevant to the needs and desires of the members.

Remember to get your bike(s) tuned up now so that you don’t miss any riding time.

Mike Boersma, KBC President

KBC Road Ride Pre-Season Meeting

Friday, March 6 at 7:00 P.M.

Holiday Inn-West

2747 S. 11th Street

If you ride any of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Monday through Friday evening group rides, PLEASE join us for a pre-season group meeting.

FREE BEER—must be a KBC Member.

We have a largemeeting room reserved. The club is providing a half-barrel of really good, European beer. AND, the Holiday Inn assures us they have a new tap! Like last year, there will be a cash bar too! You can even order dinner (on your own) from the new Burdick’s restaurant there and bring your meal to the meeting.

This meeting is for Kalamazoo Bicycle Club members only. You can join when you get to the meeting or you can join online at www.kalamazoobicycleclub.org. We’d like everyone who does our weekly rides to join KBC. We hope that anyone who either has ridden these rides or has an interest in doing so will attend.

We promise a good time, telling stories, setting unreasonable goals, seeing who looks fit (or fat) and – importantly – drinking beer. We’ll have a few short presentations – shorter than the last two years – explaining what to expect from each ride with the intent of making our rides safer and more organized.

Please spread the word. Tell your friends. We want as many local riders as possible to attend and join in.

Doug Kirk

KBC Summit Meeting

Planning continues for the KBC Summit Meeting to be held in March. The date, time, and location will be published in the March 2009 KBC Pedal Press.

Monthly Meeting Minutes

There was no KBC meeting in January. The next KBC monthly meeting is scheduled for 7:00 P.M., Tuesday, February 10, 2009, at the YMCA on Maple Street 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, 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 March edition (distributed on or around the first of March), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of Febuary.

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions


New members


Febuary Expiring memberships:

Barbara Beck • Marc Irwin • Tom Lohrmann • Bud Morrow • Christine Phillips • Heather Torrance • Dallas Townsend II • Rick Whaley • Matthew Willerick

Renewed memberships

Terry Florian Family

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

Febuary Ride Captain’s Report

Knute reports that there isn’t much to say right now and that he should have more to talk about next month, if the snow ever melts.

Editor’s Letter – Winter Haberdashery 101

I’ve got to admit that after winning the “gaudiest dressed cyclist” award at our club’s Winter Recovery Party, I felt like a fraud. Several years ago, I had some striped tights that I wore frequently, and they looked quite fetching, if I do say so myself. But, nowadays, I suspect that they don’t look quite as fetching, since they’re moldering a landfill somewhere, and, after throwing out my electric blue cycling shorts a couple years ago, my cycling wardrobe is depressingly drab. So, I ask myself “What exactly do I have to offer to the style conscious cyclist of today?” This question is particularly pertinent, since we can no longer depend on the wisdom of Style Man from the pages of Bicycling magazine for guidance. And the answer is, unfortunately, “Not too much.” But what I can offer, which can certainly be of use at this time of year, is some tips on proper, as well as somewhat stylish, outdoor cycling wear when the weather gets cold. Really cold. Bone chilling cold. Sub-zero degree cold. Here, I think I do have some wisdom to offer. Read and learn.

Head, face, and neck: Since they say that 90% of the body’s heat is lost through the head (and if you can’t trust “they,” well then, who can you trust?), protecting the head, face, and neck is extremely important. First, shave your skull and paint it over with heat retaining black paint. Next, cover your skull with the hide of some sort of furry animal. Mink is particularly stylish, but road kill hide is an acceptable option for the budget conscious. Then, put on a fuzzy wool cap with ear flaps, a chin flap, a nose flap, and eyelid flaps. Consider attaching a pastel pompom at the top of the cap. A colorful pompom sticking out of the top of a cycling helmet adds a festive touch, which can make a dreary winter’s day just a little less dreary. Alternatively, replace the helmet, and all of its heat sapping ventilation holes, with a cooking pan. Not only will this still be very protective in case of a fall, the handle can serve as a visor on those rare occasions when a sliver of sun actually pokes its way through the clouds. Finally, cover all remaining exposed areas with duct tape.

Arms and legs: Even though our body has provided us with a “spare” arm and leg, it is still a good idea to keep all two of each, if possible, and even more of each, if your body is so equipped. So, to protect from possible goose bumps, frostbite, and/or amputations, tights, arm warmers, leg warmers, knee warmers, elbow warmers, ankle warmers, wrist warmers, calf warmers, forearm warmers, hamstring warmers, and bicep warmers are a must. On the hands, so are long-fingered gloves, covered by lobster gloves, covered by oven mitts, and covered by “We’re #1” foam fingers, the latter for ease of shifting. If you live near a butcher shop, investigate the use of sausage casings for further protection from the cold.

If we lose 90% of our heat from our head, the “North Pole” of our body, then it stands to reason that we’ll also lose 90% of our heat from our “South Pole” too. So, on the feet, put on a pair of black wool socks, followed by a pair of white athletic socks, followed by a pair of argyle socks, followed by a pair of dress socks (of any color, let your imagination run wild), and repeat. Then, cover your socks with octuple E width bicycle shoes. While these may be hard to find at your local bike shop, your local bike shop will almost certainly be stocking “booties,” which you’ll need to place over your shoes. However, if it doesn’t, you’re likely to find booties at your local children’s clothing store in the “Very Husky Infant” section.

Torso: It is very important to protect the torso, the “furnace” of our body, from cold. Therefore, the choice of which base layer to wear could save your life! Materials such as polypropylene and capilene are particularly good, as these fabrics are not only warm, but breathable, as well, and wick away moisture. Not so good is poking a T-shirt full of holes with a letter opener and using this as a base layer. Remember, “Cotton kills,” and the stab wounds from the letter opener can also be rather annoying. Cover your base layer with a cycling jersey, preferably illustrated with pictures that suggest warmth, such as steaming cups of hot chocolate or devils with pitchforks. For additional warmth for your furnace, consider placing hot coals in the pockets of your cycling jersey and applying Icy Hot to the chamois of your cycling shorts. Then, cover your jersey with a windproof, rainproof, snowproof, and icicle proof jacket, perhaps with a hood, although not with a Klan-type of hood, because that would just be gauche.

Other: It’s slippery out there. So, in order to guard against any unexpected accidents, turn your tires into “snow tires” by removing the tires, and poking thumbtacks through them at regular 1 inch intervals. Make sure that the base of the thumbtack is in the interior of the tire. (Or is it the other way around?) Then, place the tires back onto the rims, and you’re ready to ride your bike all winter and aerate your lawn in the spring. Also, it is a well known fact that the body loses even more water in cold weather than in hot weather, probably due to man’s irresistible urge to spit in cold weather, just to see if it will freeze. However, it is also a well known fact that water in a water bottle will indeed freeze, and this is a problem. So, in place of water, I suggest that you fill your bottle with mercury. Ignore the rumors spread by “health nuts” that mercury isn’t good for you. After all, anything named after a planet, such as a Mars Bar, has to be good for you, and tasty, too.

Now, you’re almost ready to go. As a final precautionary measure against any nasty spills caused by black ice or polar bears defending their cubs, wrap your arms, legs, and torso in bubble wrap. Then, with bike in hand, walk out to your mailbox, retrieve your mail, and walk your bicycle back into your house. It’s just too cold outside and you’d never be able to actually climb onto your bicycle, anyway.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

There still aren't any

Classified Ads

NEW Miyata "City Runner" bicycle is a very nice 18 gear (triple chainring) hybrid... excellent condition all around. Comfortable Serfas saddle, excellent tires. Spring is coming. $190. To request a photo, call Dale at 269-375-0114, dalekrueger@charter.net

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 LightSpeed 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,

Looking to do a little running along with your bike riding? Join Gazelle Sports' Gazoom Program. We'll help you train for a 5K or a 10K in this fun, supportive 8-week training program. Details at http://www.gazellesports.com/viewPrograms.aspx or call 342-5996.


ProSport has closed to relocate. Keith Little is still available for repairs and tune-ups. He has used bikes and 2008 Bianchis to close-out. Please call for appointment at (269) 372-7312. Bikes can be picked up and returned for repairs.

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 Bill Figeley
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 Janet DeZwaan
Social Director Teri Olbrot
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