Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
November 2010

November 2010 President’s Letter

This will be my last president's letter. Zolton Cohen will be the new President of the KBC and Doug Kirk will be the new Vice-President upon their election at November's meeting. The role of President is set forth in the KBC constitution as being the chair of KBC meetings, but in actuality the President's role is to be the face of the KBC at community events; at interactions with governmental entities and officials at the local, county, and state level; and at meetings with other organizations. After several years of having the privilege to serve as KBC President, I felt that it was time for someone new to take the pull. The constant factor that I learned during my service is that there is ample creativity and passion for bicycling amongst the membership of the KBC and that empowering members to be creative will result in new and exciting directions for the KBC. I have no doubt that Zolton will continue this practice during his term as President. Thank you for the honor and privilege of being the president of the KBC!

November 5 will mark the end of the 2010 KBC regular bicycling season. The 2011 season will start March 14. During this hiatus I encourage everyone to be involved with spinning (there will be spinning at Alfred E. Bike, KVCC, Bronson Athletic Club and other venues around the area), cross country skiing (The Kalamazoo Nordic Skiers will be grooming trails at Milham Park – and many of the folks skiing there are KBC members), and other offseason training opportunities.

Keep your eye out for other offseason KBC activities over the next several months. The recovery party will be sometime in January. Keep reading the Pedal Press for the latest information.

Mike Boersma, KBC President

Next KBC Monthly Meeting - November 9, 2010

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 12, 2010 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. This is an important meeting, as the KBC officers for 2011 will be elected at this meeting. All KBC members are welcome to attend.

Hit and Run!

Part 1 – Hit by a Drunk Driver

By Paul Selden, Director of Road Safety, KBC

July 17, 2010 was one of those classically perfect summer days for riding a bike – comfortably warm with sunny skies. "Pastor Dale" Krueger, a good biking buddy and fellow KBC'er, had taken us on a beautiful 27 mile loop through some of the tree-lined roads in northwestern Kalamazoo County. We parted company back at Dale's home.

Then, training for my first Apple Cider Century, I felt frisky enough to get still more distance in. So I shoved off, touched toe on Allegan County soil where Ravine Road turns into S. 16th Street, and headed back south along Ravine, then east on D Avenue, where I was climbing a hill about a quarter mile from US-131. I remember looking over the guard rail to my right, thinking how pretty the tree-studded drop-off looked in the sun. Glancing at my mirror, I remembered moving even farther into the shoulder. I wanted to let the line of cars approaching me from behind have even more room to pass. Great day to be alive.

Then, BANG! My bike lurched and shook. My grip tightened. I held on as my handlebars jerked, managing to stay upright.

What happened? I'd had a tire blow before; what had just happened sounded that loud, almost like a gunshot. Stopped now, I looked back at my rear tire. It was full. Then I noticed something looked funny about the left side of my rear titanium skewer–it was bent! All this happened in the space of a few seconds. Then I realized – I'd been sideswiped!

I looked up. The last train of cars that passed me was now more than 100 yards ahead, shrinking in the distance. I yelled, "HIT AND RUN! HIT AND RUN! STOP THAT CAR!" while pointing at those cars, hoping to attract attention. A few passersby waved back at me, thinking I was just being extra-friendly.

Punching 911 into my cell phone, I gave the dispatcher the details, including the important fact that I didn't require medical assistance or an ambulance.

The dispatcher replied something like, "Hold a moment...hold a moment...a witness is calling in the accident and following the car right now. We're dispatching an officer to stop the vehicle. Can you wait at the scene until an officer reaches you?"

I waited for the outcome by the roadside, in suspense. I called Dale to let him know not to worry, but that I would be late picking up my car out of the driveway of his house. When the sheriff's deputy arrived, he took a statement and briefed me on what had happened to the extent permitted. The driver accused of hitting me was apprehended. Apparently, the accused driver's blood alcohol level was so high that she was hospitalized instead of taken to jail. I heard that the accused driver didn't even know she'd hit me. Later I learned she was also charged with driving with a revoked or suspended license. As I talked with the deputy, Dale called me. He said he was already on his way to pick me up, in spite of my protesting that the deputy would undoubtedly take me home. (Thank you again, my friend.)

Without going into all the details, I think my fellow cyclists will find the process of dealing with my insurance company, and the proceedings in the court system, both interesting and instructive. Months after the accident, some of the legal proceedings are still pending, so the rest of the story must wait a bit. Since this story has already consumed too much space for this issue; I'll wrap up "Part 1" with a few of my bigger lessons learned. These may be somewhat idiosyncratic and incomplete; you may come up with many others.

First, this may sound obvious – don't drive impaired, and don't allow your family or friends or to do so. Since the accident, I've talked with many friends who have been injured by a drunk driver, or had a close friend or relative killed or seriously injured.

Second, always carry a cell phone and some form of insurance documentation and/or ID with you. Being without these items could leave you stranded and might complicate contacting family and/or next of kin.

Third, if you witness an accident, report it, even if you think others might have done so. I've not learned the identity of the witnesses who took the time to assist the sheriff's department, but for the sake of others who this driver may have also injured that day had she not been stopped, I'm thankful they did.

A few more lessons are speculative, but worth mentioning. KBC's Bike Camp paid off. I attribute some of my ability to keep my bike upright to skills taught and experience obtained during KBC's Bike Camp this past summer (especially dealing with uneven tarmac and deep cracks on Angling Road). Wear bright clothing. Whether the driver was consciously aware of my presence or not, my bright clothing may have unconsciously helped keep her from plowing right into me. Use a mirror. Having a mirror made me more aware of the cars approaching from behind me, probably decreasing my reaction time.

Coming Up in Part 2 – The Insurance Claims Process

Safety and Education Committee Report

President Mike Boersma and KBC members:

After 6 years as Chair of the Safety and Education Committee, I am tendering my resignation as Chair, effective now. If asked, I would remain active on the committee. I have suggestions that may make the committee more effective. Observing Roberts Rule of Order would also help. These suggestions are as follows:

Bike equipment knowledge, bike riding safety skills, and other biking education, and safety programs endorsed and/or supported by KBC should be directed to the Safety and Education multi-member Committee for implementation rather than appointing a new one-person committee to pursue each Safety/Education activity.

Road defects and vehicle laws involving bikers safety plus other concerns with governmental officials should also be directed to this committee rather than appointing a committee of one to pursue the matter. Committees will accomplish more if they are staffed with more than one person and if they are given some responsibilities and recognition.

Also, KBC has been active for the best part of 40 years and for the last 15 years or more, the membership has been static except for the Bike Camp membership requirement and the new bike giveaway program, which added 50 or so new members over the last several years. Very few of these people renew. In a county of over 290,000 residents and 90,000+ families, 250 KBC members is a drop in the bucket. My suggestions are as follows:

Reactivate the PR Committee. Channel all PR items through this committee. Plan to have regular PR releases that will publicize the Club and its activities. Think TV, radio, newspapers, weekly advertisers, college, and school papers.

Establish a Membership Committee with three or more aggressive members willing to take the biking message out to the various organization, schools, churches, business, and industry; extolling the virtues of biking, i.e., the health factor, the social advantage, and, best of all, the economic benefits. KBC has a lot offer, but nobody knows about it.

The goal: To sign up more members.

Next, establish a Program Committee of three or more members and possibly include the Social Directors in the mix. This committee would be responsible on a monthly basis for securing outside speakers/programs presenting in 30 minutes or less; subject matter related to or beneficial to KBC members.

As it stands now the same 8 to 15 KBC members run the show every month, unless it is a beer party! Many of our meetings are about as interesting as watching paint dry. A variety of speakers just might inspire more members to attend monthly meetings. The goal: To get more members involved in KBC community activities.

Submitted by

Victor Van Fleet


(Editor's Note: Kudos is a feature of the Pedal Press that will appear from time to time, where KBC publicly thanks people who have helped the Club.)

Thanks to our webmaster for posting additional links and contact information to make it easier for our members to report hazardous potholes and other bad road conditions to the relevant authorities! Stay tuned for further refinements as time goes on.

KBC thanks Nancy Ryan and the road crews at the Kalamazoo County Road Commission for responding so quickly to clear the extensive debris blocking both shoulders of the road on 12th Street, next to the 12th Street Baptist church near Parkview!

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The monthly KBC general club meeting was called to order by Mike Boersma at 7:03 P.M. on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. Also attending were Rick Whaley, Victor Van Fleet, Mike Krischer, Jon Ballema, Jason Goodin, Terry O'Conner, Dick Nivala, Paul Selden, Mike Mock, Doug Kirk, Zolton Cohen, and Bill Figeley.

Mike B. welcomed everyone to the meeting. Tom Keizer was unable to attend the meeting, but he provided a Treasurer's Report. There was $149 of income and $1506 of expenses during September and there is $5270 in the checking account and $11069 in the CD. The CD it about to hit maturity and Tom will roll it over to another 4 month CD. A motion was made to accept the Treasurer's report and the motion was carried.

The upcoming KBC election was the next topic of discussion. The following KBC members volunteered to serve as KBC officers for 2011: President – Zolton Cohen, Vice-President, Doug Kirk, Treasurer – Tom Keizer, and Secretary – Bill Figely. Election for these positions will be held at the next Monthly Meeting on November 9.

KBC Race Team activities were discussed next. Jon announced the he was the new President of the KBC Race Team. He plans to move the team in a new direction with more team rides and more teamwork between riders, so that the Race Team operates more as one unit. Jon also noted that Jamie Clark's company, CMS Trucking, will be the new primary sponsor of the racing team, although KBC will likely pay for the Race Team's UCI license, as it has done in the past. In addition, he mentioned that the Race Team might also include a second unsupported "Club" team that races more infrequently.

Doug stated that he thought that there has been one-way street between Club and the Race Team in previous years and would like more communication from the Race Team to the club as a whole. Suggestions from meeting attendees about how the Race Team could help the club included taking over the running of the Tuesday Night Time Trial again, running a special club ride, and developing a "Race Camp" for those who are new to racing. Bill noted that next racing season that he will get the race results every Monday and will provide these results to KBC by Wednesday. Zolton thanked the Race Team for helping out at Bike Camp and he noted that the campers liked interacting with the racers. Zolton also noted that the Race Team presence at Bike Camp also helps dispel a perceived image of elitism that the Race Team has suffered from in the past.

Planning for the BTR race is likely to start in December, headed by Rick Updike. Paul asked that as soon as the race route is known that he be notified, so that he can verify and ensure safe road conditions. The attendees thanked Jon for coming to the meeting.

Paul gave a Road Safety Report. He stated that some of potholes that he has noted have been filled already. He has also met or at least introduced himself to all jurisdictions that control road conditions in Kalamazoo County and has contact information for reporting hazardous road condition in each of the jurisdiction. Paul noted that while the state takes care of all the "M" and "US" road, the various counties take care of the most of the roads on which we ride. He is looking for more ideas for road safety, including Club member input. He also noted that he is trying to sell goodwill on the part of KBC to these various jurisdictions, including those where cyclists may not have such a good image. Zolton suggested that Paul provide the Club with his contact information, but after some discussion, it was agreed that Paul should serve as the liaison between the Club and these jurisdictions, so that Club members who see a pothole or other road conditions in need of repair should contact Paul. Paul will also keep the Club apprised of his progress.

Victor gave a Safety and Education Committee report. He tendered his resignation as the Chair of the Safety and Education Committee and his report can be found elsewhere in this issue of the Pedal Press.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:03 P.M.

Bill Figeley, KBC Secretary


The electronically-distributed KBC Pedal Press 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, editor@kalamazoobicycleclub.org by the 20th of the month before its intended publication.

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

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions: 249

New members:
None this month

November Expiring memberships:
Mike Berry Family· Michael Boersma ·John & Barb Hart

Renewed memberships:
Christopher Barnes Family· Michael Krischer

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

Editor’s Letter –This is not about being Dropped

It was a KBC Monday night ride in October, the time of year when the days become noticeably shorter and the riders become noticeably fewer. Due to the small number of riders, we arranged ourselves into only two groups and I opted to ride with the faster group; riders ranging from the hardcore racers to . . . well, me. Being dropped was a foregone conclusion; the only question was where I would be dropped.

I imagine that being dropped from a group of riders is like drowning, although I'm not particularly eager to test this theory. Hanging on to a group of cyclists beyond my ability might be like hanging on to the edge of a lifeboat in a rough sea. Carried along by that slipstream current, the ride is still rather comfortable at first, and occasionally, even exhilarating. Then, there's that first surge of extra movement, accompanied a sudden increase in effort; duly noted by my first deep breath and that first tingling sensation in my muscles. Afterwards, there's usually a pause, a period of quick recovery, but soon the process is repeated again and again, each time with increasing intensity and duration. My recovery is not so quick, my breathing increasingly ragged, that tingle morphing into a burn. At this point, depending on how strong I still am, my mind becomes both my friend and my enemy or my enemy and my friend; simultaneously urging me not to give up the struggle, while tempting me with the promise of a life soon free from pain. And, if I succumb, I will slowly, at first, and then more rapidly, simply drift away from my peloton lifeboat into oblivion. But since I'm not really drowning, I merely drift into a slower solitary ride.

O.k., I digress, because this Editor's Letter isn't intended to be about being dropped. Let's just say that for this particular ride, the answer was "after a few miles," even before we left Kalamazoo County. Fortunately for me, another rider who had also been dropped caught up to me soon after we crossed into Van Buren County and we pushed each other into some semblance of racing pace (at least by my standards) as we rode into and out of Lawton. Because we turned east on the Van Buren equivalent of V Avenue instead of W Avenue, we shaved a couple miles off the course and joined a few of the speedier riders once we got back onto 8th Street. For the next 3 miles, we rode even harder, but my fast riding was over, when I turned east at R Avenue to head home.

The sun was low in the sky, as it always is at that time of year, and as I approached 12th Street, the slanting rays of the setting sun at my back, along with the canopy of red, yellow, and brown leaves hanging on the limbs of the trees that lined both sides of the road, created a mixture of shadows and colors that was really quite striking. And so I thought to myself "Hmmmmm, being dropped may really be like a turning leaf hanging onto a limb. . ." (Oh, c'mon, Mr. Pedal Press Editor, FOCUS!) Anyway, what I really thought was that this was very pretty; a miniature Tunnel of Trees transported from M-119 to southwest Michigan for my viewing pleasure, and that if I had been flying along this road with a group of riders, I never would have noticed it.

There are advantages to riding with a group of riders, such as having the opportunity to experience that synergy of the aforementioned slipstream, when our whole becomes greater than the sum of our parts and we are able to travel with less effort than we could if we were traveling alone. The camaraderie of the ride is another bonus. But there are disadvantages of group riding, besides the risk of being dropped. (Oh, give that dropping thing a rest, will you PLEASE!)

The primary disadvantage is the tunnel vision that a group ride necessarily imposes on its riders. While I'm sure that our female KBC members will agree that that backsides of our male club members are broad and heartthrobbingly muscular, just as I'm sure that our male KBC members will agree that the backsides of our female club members are shapely and exquisitely fetching; and although this is the sort of eye-candy that turns every KBC group ride into an ocular Halloween, there is scenery that isn't four feet directly in front of us that is also worth looking at. And even if we were all spawns of Sasquatch and the Bride of Frankenstein, we would still have to spend the vast majority of our riding time looking at each other's backsides and bicycles for safety reasons. A setting of pastoral beauty loses some of its luster when viewed from pavement level, amidst a tangle of bicycles and bodies. In order to really appreciate what is around us, we must ride alone.

But riding alone is no guarantee that this will happen and many times I don't even care. I find that I simply enjoy the sensation of riding, particularly when the road is kind and I'm feeling good. When I lived in Dexter, there was a five mile stretch of highway that I rode on frequently. The scenery consisted of frequent glimpses of I-94 never more than a quarter mile away and the visual highlight was an auto graveyard. Yet the road was smooth, the shoulder was wide, and the traffic not-so-busy. This was one of my favorite riding roads in the area, despite the lack of photo opportunities for National Geographic covers. And even if I'm riding on a pretty country road, the quest for that sensation of speed trumps the quest for scenery most of the time. To really enjoy the scenery, I must also deliberately ride more slowly than I'm capable and that seldom happens.

Or I can ride slowly, but not by choice. Sometimes, ironically, I find that I enjoy my surroundings the most during a group ride after being dropped (oh, not this AGAIN!) and I've also given up the chase. But even under those circumstances, illogical though it may be, I seldom do give up the chase.

So what it's taken me roughly over eleven hundred words to say that I don't spend enough time appreciating what is around me when I'm riding and that I ought to start occasionally taking my own advice. Point taken.

And I hope that all of you will also enjoy what remains of the fall when viewed from your bicycle. Winter will soon be here, when we'll have to be content from a cycling point of view to merely watch the snow while it is being dropped (oh, I give UP!) from the sky.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

Other than your personal "Ride to Work off the Effect of Thanksgiving Dinner," there are no rides of interest coming up.

Classified Ads

For Sale – Girls Trek MT-60 (mineral blue) in excellent condition, bought new in May 2007, adjustable for a 5 year-old up to 9 year-old, 6-speed with front and rear grip shift hand brakes, also has front shocks. Our daughter outgrew it and is now in an adult size mountain bike. Owner's manual and matching helmet included, photos available upon request. $125. Please contact Stephanie Sabin at (269) 350-6225 or sabinsms@gmail.com

Kestrel 200 SC road bike with Shimano DuraAce components and EMS composite forks. Campagnolo Omega wheels. White in color, good condition. Not sure how old it is (probably 1990s), but I bought it used in around 2000 and used it for about 15 Olympic distance triathlons, plus about 200 miles per year. Not sure what size it is, but it stands 32 inches high at the top tube. Asking price is $600, but will consider any offer. E-mail Rob at rkengis@hotmail.com or call 269-664-6489.

I am looking for a used carbon fiber bike. Contact Maggie Miller at maggiemiller@rocketmail.com.

Cannondale Ironman 2000 (model year 2003) time trial bike. Size 56 with the CAAD5 Aero frame. Components are Ultegra and Dura-Ace with Spinergy Xaero Lite 650 wheels. Additional race accessories include Zipp 800 full disk rear and Zipp 400 front with new tubular tires. Extra sets of tires included. $1,500 for full setup. Will also consider selling without Zipp racing wheelset. Call 806-7164 or contact Kellam.glen@yahoo.com.

RELIV Nutritional Shakes, they are great! For more info contact Mike @ 269-350-5010, 269–266–2671, or cmock88@att.net Independent Distributor.

Several items for sale. Ultegra 10-speed Crankset 53/39 175 mm ($125). Good condition. 105 10–speed crankset 53/39 172.5 mm ($100), very good condition. Burley delight trailer for two, about six years old – very good condition, the hitch attaches to the rear stays ($200). Slingshot cyclo–cross bike – Origin–8 carbon fork, 105 components, race face compact crank, sun/ringlet flea wheelset. 56 centimeters, not typical slingshot set up; standard frame can be seen on the slingshot website ($1200). Call Jeff Robertson at 269–924–8928.

Shop Notes

Alfred E Bike

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

Billy's Bike Shop

63 East Battle Creek Street, Galesburg, (269) 665–5202 www.billysbikeshop.com

Breakaway Bicycles

185 Romence at Westnedge, Portage, (269) 324–5555,

Custer Cyclery

104 North Augusta, Augusta, (269) 731–3492

Gazelle Sports

214 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, (269) 342–5996,
It's time! Gazelle Sports' annual SOCK SALE! Buy 3 pairs of socks, get a 4th pair FREE. Choose from Balega, Injinji, Smartwool, Thorlo, Wigwam or WrightSock. Save now through November 30 at Gazelle Sports, downtown Kalamazoo

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 Zolton Cohen
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
Media Relations Deb Grey
Ride Captain Bill Figeley
Social Director Janet DeZwaan
Social Director Teri Olbrot
Safety and Education Chair Victor VanFleet 269–375–7691
Director of Road Safety Paul Selden
Web Site David Jones

KAL Tour

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