Kalamazoo Bicycle Club

 

July 2012 President’s Letter

The Busy Season. . .

June showcased a lot of cycling activities in which the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club is involved; our own highly successful Bike Camp, Bike Week in Kalamazoo, a presentation to a Cub Scout troop on bike safety, and continuing robust attendance at the regular (and irregular) KBC rides.

July promises to be just as busy, as some riders who previously were not able to make it to our regular weekday rides are now able, because of summer vacations, to indulge in their sport to a degree not available to them during the rest of the year.

One important date to mark on your calendar is Sunday, July 8th, the day of the club’s largest organized event – KalTour. You can read details about KalTour elsewhere in this newsletter as well as on the KBC website. But I wanted to mention that director Mike Krischer has shaken things up a bit; this won’t be the same KalTour it was in prior years. Not only have some of the routes changed, but we’re also being treated to sandwiches from Great Harvest Bread Company. After a monthly club meeting recently, several of us were offered samples of the sandwiches. As a former carpenter who used to pack a brown-bag sandwich lunch to work every day, I consider myself somewhat of an expert on this particular variety of foodstuff. Suffice it to say you won’t be disappointed at KalTour’s SAG stops.

So please come out and help support not only the club, but also the charities that the proceeds from KalTour assist – including Alive After Five. You’ll see the Alive After Five volunteers all over the Briar Patch SAG. Their organization donates assistive bicycles and tricycles to children with disabilities; a most worthy cycling cause, www.aliveafter5.org/amtrykes.htm.

And don’t forget that the following weekend, July 14th and 15th is "Race Weekend" in Kalamazoo. The newly-named Miller Energy/BTR bike race is being held all day on Saturday, the 14th at WMU’s BTR business park at the corner of Parkview and Drake. Admission is free, and the racing starts at 8:00 A.M. Details for potential racers or interested spectators are available on the KBC website.

The following day, the "Maple Hill Race for Wishes" road race takes place in Lawton. All proceeds after expenses from this race go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan. Racing starts, again, at 8:00 A.M. And, like the Miller Energy/BTR race, spectating is free.

Blowing in the Wind

This has to be one of the breeziest, downright windiest springs and early summers on record. Although there hasn’t been any rain to speak of, the wind has been pushing its agenda on nearly every ride I’ve been on this season so far.

On a recent Monday ride, we were grinding south on 10th Street at an agonizing 13 mph – and working hard to maintain that. And this was with a group that normally hits 19-20 mph on some stretches where open fields flank the roads.

The winds sweep across those open prairies with nothing – certainly not the stunted corn, curled up from the drought – to stop it. Several times I felt it physically wrench my front wheel in a different direction than I wanted to go. Dangerous, especially if you follow too closely behind someone and either have his or her back wheel move into yours, or your front wheel shift into the back wheel of someone else’s bike.

All in all though, it has been a good – and a relatively safe – season so far.

Let’s keep it that way.

Zolton Cohen, KBC President

 

Next KBC Monthly Meeting on July 10th, 2012

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.

 

KalTour is Here

KalTour is here! Our club's 21st annual summer ride, the Kalamazoo Scenic Bicycle Tour (KalTour) will take place on Sunday, July 8th. Riders start from Bronson Athletic Club (I-94 and 9th Street) any time between 7:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M. (Century riders must start before 8:30 and 62 mile riders before 10:00.) The food will be great with sandwiches and cookies from local bakeries. Bike campers, you are already signed up, just come. If you didn't preregister, day of ride cost is $25 individual and $45 family. If you can help out with registration or post-ride cleanup, please call Mike Krischer at 823-2819

Mike Krischer, KalTour Director

 

Big Race Weekend – July 13th, 14th, and 15th

There are three big events that will be taking place during the second full weekend of July. These events include lots of racing fun and a clinic for new or seasoned women racers. These events also provide great opportunities to volunteer, and also provide an opportunity to support a worthy charity.

Priority Health Women’s Race Clinic – Friday, July 13th

Considering racing for the first time? Experienced and want to enhance your skills and knowledge? Come learn what bike racing is all about!

The Priority Health Cycling Team is hosting a FREE Race Clinic on the BTR race course on Friday evening from 6:45 P.M. – 8:45 P.M. This is a great opportunity to learn the basics for bike racing. For the seasoned racer, come sharpen your skills by practicing on the BTR course and helping some of the newer ladies. Meet at WMU’s BTR park at 6:45 to check in; instruction begins promptly at 7:00. This is an "on-bike" clinic so come prepared to ride. This is an excellent opportunity to practice racing skills for all categories and a perfect first race opportunity for new racers to attend a clinic on the actual race course the day before the event.

Miller Energy Criterium – Saturday, July 14th

The 7th annual Miller Energy Criterium will take place at the Western Michigan BTR Park off of Parkview Avenue in Kalamazoo. Eleven races will be held throughout the day, from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. This includes a kid’s race, and the Bronson Healthcare Group and Safe Kids Kalamazoo County will have FREE helmets while they last for the kids' race participants. Scott's Pig Roast will again be providing food and beverages.

Volunteers are needed to help with registration and course marshaling duties. Call or e-mail Rick Updike at 269-207-7320 or rick.updike@yahoo.com, if you would like to volunteer.

The web page can be reached at www.btrcrit.com or by following the link on the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Miller Eneregy BTR Race Page.

Maple Hill Auto Group Race for Wishes – Sunday, July 15th

This year marks the 2nd annual Race for Wishes presented by Maple Hill Auto Group. The race promises to be bigger and better this year with cash prizes, an upgraded timing and start/finish area, showers for racers, a food tent hosted by Lawton Fire Department, and more. We hope you’ll join us for a great race for a great cause: Make-a-Wish!

Would you like to volunteer? We’ve got some great ways to watch a race, as a course marshal or a pace car driver. Running a race requires lots of volunteers. We have a good core group already, but definitely could use some additional help to ensure a safe, efficient, and fun race for all. If you’re interested in volunteering, we have morning shift (7:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.) and afternoon shift (11:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M.) with jobs as course marshals and as pace car drivers. Please contact bill@midwestcharityracing.com with any questions or to confirm you’d like to volunteer. Also, if you’re racing, we can work to accommodate your race schedule with volunteer jobs that won’t conflict with your race; just let us know your plans.

Kid’s Race: If your kids would like to participate in the race-day events, join us at about 11:30 A.M. at the start/finish line for a great kid’s race. The course is a short half-mile loop from start/finish to the elementary school and back. All kids receive a medal.

For more info, please visit the race website at: http://www.midwestcharityracing.com/mwhome.html

Bill Braun and Rick Updike

 

Southwest Michigan Bicycle Expo

The Southwest Michigan Bicycle Expo will be held on Saturday, July 21, 2012 at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center and Fairgrounds at 2900 Lake Street in Kalamazoo from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. The event includes bicycle-related exhibitors, health and fitness vendors, race promoters, children’s activities, and a BMX bike stunt show. Speakers include KBC members Chris Gottwald, a Race Across America finisher, and Steve Johnson, the owner of Johnson Cycle Works. Admission is $5 and free for children 12 and under. For more information, see www.kalcounty.com/parks/krvt/SWMBE.html

 

Ride to South Haven

This year, the Ride to South Haven will take place on Saturday, July 28, 2012. The ride will begin at 8:00 A.M. from the southwest corner of the KVCC parking lot on O Avenue and will be led by Rick Whaley. It will be the usual route, to South Haven and back by way of Lawrence, where will stop for short breaks. We’ll take a longer break in South Haven to eat the subs that we always eat. (Why? It’s tradition!) We may even eat some ice cream, gaze at Lake Michigan, and wonder if we can throw a stone across it. The ride will be 102 miles and the pace will be around 15-18 mph, but other groups are welcome to ride at other speeds.

There are two maps on the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club website, on the 'Rides' page, that show the general route taken. The return between Mattawan and KVCC can vary slightly, but these, map 1 and map 2, will get you there and back.

Riding, eating, drinking, looking at a big body of water. This ride has it all!

Rick Whaley

 

What the Heck is Randonneuring?

by Paul Selden

When I first came across an idea for "Randonneuring" as a focus for one of our special interest groups suggested by our members, it struck me as very cool. That is, it sounded ultra hip and very "in" – but I had no idea of what it was! This led me to the not so clever conclusion that other KBC members might benefit from a little research, leading to a bit of better understanding. So here it is.

Randonneuring is a type of long distance endurance bicycling with a history linked to the early days of bike touring and adventuring. The spirit of the sport encourages riders to be largely self-supporting. Of course, the great thing about bicycling is the freedom a set of wheels gives us – anyone can ride out on their own adventures any time. But randonneuring is also an organized sport with official bodies (such as Randonneurs USA or RUSA) sanctioning rides, for which members can get more formal credit, earn titles and scoop up other forms of more public recognition.

Randonneuring rides, or "brevets" as they are sometimes called, have a fixed start date and time, cover varying specific distances from 100 to 1200 kilometers (about 125 to 750 miles) and are open to many types of human-powered vehicles from road bikes to tandems to recumbents. What is appealing to slower riders like me is that brevets are not races, that is, there are no first-, second-, or third-place "winners." However, there is a (self-) competitive element involved, since a brevet must be completed within time limits set for each event. For example, in the USA a sanctioned 200 km event must be completed within 13.5 hours. Translated into miles per hour this works out to be between 9-10 mph overall at a minimum. The actual pace is governed by the fact that the checkpoints are only open for limited periods.

In theory, this puts completion of a given route within the grasp of riders who have fairly decent endurance, but don’t have the legs for speed. So, randonneuring is within the ability of riders who have completed a century or metric century in a reasonable amount of time. I also learned that "rando" bikes are a bit different, as well. That hybrid of yours with panniers, a comfortable saddle, more upright stance, 28 mm tires and full fenders may be just the thing for longer "slow but steady" rides, after all!

Randonneuring is also somewhat unusual in that USA sanctioning body permits certain "free route Permanents," where riders can decide on their own course between permanently established checkpoints. A second type of Permanent is ridden on a fixed course where riders follow turn-by-turn cue sheets. Either type of Permanent route may be ridden by registered riders more or less on a date of their own choosing, if agreeable to the person ("route owner") who got the route sanctioned. To get credit from Randonneurs USA for completing these so-called Permanent routes, riders apply to ride the route, get the necessary waivers and registrations from the route owner, then submit evidence (such as time/date stamped store receipts) for reaching approved checkpoints on the route.

On more formal brevets, checkpoints riders receive an official stamp on their course ride card (called a "brevet card"). Upon completion of the card (plus, sometimes, successful completion of some questions or other evidence designed to verify that the rider actually rode the approved route), the rider receives certification of completion, and/or notification of his or her new status as a "randonneur."

Although popular in many other states, Michigan is a relative newcomer to the sport. When I first looked into it I couldn’t find any formal brevets in Michigan, but found three sanctioned Permanents in the Upper Peninsula. The first route in the Lower Peninsula was sanctioned in February 2012. There are now seven sanctioned permanent routes in lower Michigan, and they are all in our area (http://www.rusa.org/cgi-bin/permsearch_GF.pl). The local routes are set up so riders can explore a variety of compass points that radiate from our community, taking in interesting destinations such as South Haven, Gun Lake, Shipshewana, and the Battle Creek Linear Trail, all as day trips.

Randonneuring has a history going back to the late 1800s. Those who successfully complete an officiated brevet may consider themselves to hold a variation of the historical title, "Audacious Randonneur." Other awards include recognition for completing one sanctioned Permanent Populaire (a Permanent route between 100 and 200 km in length) each month for 12 consecutive months, and recognition for completing brevets in a certain number of states.

Perhaps the most famous brevet is the 1200 km Paris-Brest-Paris event which is held every four years. Qualifying for entry in the "PBP" brevet requires successful completion of a series of sanctioned 200, 300, 400, and 600 km brevets in the same year. Completing any of the longer rides is no small feat in itself, especially since sleep is not deducted from the overall time allotted!

When I joined RUSA, I received a neat book that oriented me to the sport, subscription to a magazine, and access to members who are a lot more experienced than me and who are willing to share their knowledge. The membership fee is $20 per year and $30 per year for a household, which is as reasonable as those for the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club.

Check it out – maybe we can ride one of our local permanent routes together some time!

See www.rusa.org and articles such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randonneuring for more information.

 

Kudos

Hats off to the Kalamazoo Gazette / MLive Media Group for their ongoing coverage of bicycling news. For example, the Sunday, June 10, 2012 edition of the Kalamazoo Gazette carried two articles on bicycling that caught my attention. One covered information about one of the newest bike/walking trails in Michigan, called the North Eastern State Trail, that stretches 70 miles between Alpena and Cheboygan ("Hitting the Trail" by Howard Meyerson, page H4). The other described a 13 foot tall bicycle built and ridden by a cyclist in Cuba ("Cuban's super-tall bike is a new sight in Havana" by Anne-Marie Garcia, page A5). Their publication of letters to the editor by members such as Victor Van Fleet, and MLive's coverage of some unfortunate recent accidents, though ringing more somber notes, also helps to keep bike safety-related concerns in the forefront.

Submitted by Paul Selden

 

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The June 12, 2012 meeting of the KBC was called to order by President Zolton Cohen, at 7:10 P.M. Those in attendance were: Doug Kirk, Zolton Cohen, Terry O'Connor, John Olbrot, Renee Mitchell, Victor Van Fleet, Teri Olbrot, Allison Kelaher-Young, Mike Boersma, Dennis Otte, Divina Otte, Fred Frederick, Celine Keizer, Tom Keizer, Michael Krischer, Marc A. Irwin, Paul Selden, Rick Whaley, David Jones, Jon Ballema, Steve Johnson, Jennifer Johnson, and Mary Gerger.

President Zolton Cohen commented on the wonderful turnout at the meeting, and then called for Officer's Reports.

Treasurer John Olbrot gave the Treasurer's Report:
Income $1,303.67
Expenses269.33
Checking Account7,152.07
Certificate of Deposit 11,114.27

Michael Krischer gave an update on the 2012 KalTour. He indicated that volunteers are needed to help with the road painting of the KalTour routes. Those interested should meet in the KVCC parking lot on Tuesday, June 26 at 6:00 P.M. Volunteers are also needed for the day of the ride, to help with Set-up, Registration, Route Patrols, etc. The SAG stops are the same as last year, with Great Harvest Bread Company supplying lunch at the Briar Patch Nursery stop, (common to all of the routes). Please contact Mike if you are interested in volunteering.

Director of Road Safety, Paul Selden, reminded everyone that in light of recent accidents involving bicycles, smart, safe riding needs to be of highest priority for all riders. Following that, Paul gave a brief wrap-up of the very successful Bike Week in Kalamazoo. He also stated they were very close to wrapping things up relating to Special Interest Group (SIG) Communication within the KBC.

Chairperson of the Grant Committee, Celine Keizer, presented a request for a $500 Grant by Bill Braun and Dan Herzberg for the 2nd Annual Race for Wishes, to be held in Lawton on Sunday, July 15, 2012. A brief discussion was held citing the benefits of holding this race the same weekend as the Miller Energy BTR Race held at the BTR Park. The $500 Grant for the 2012 Race for Wishes was approved by the Grant Committee, pending the submission of last year's post event wrap-up form.

David Jones mentioned the Priority Health Women's Race Clinic will be held at the BTR during the Miller Energy BTR Race weekend. The clinic will be held Friday, July 13, 2012 at the BTR Park. The cost is free to all race pre-registrants and $10 the day of event.

Education Chairperson, Renee Mitchell, stated she had been approached by the Angling Road Boy Scout Troop, requesting our participation in their bike safety program, to be held at Harbor West Park in Portage. Renee also gave a 2012 KBC Bike Camp wrap-up report. A discussion was held at this time regarding the great need for ride leaders able to commit to leading rides for new riders, including recent Bike Camp participants. These rides would be for shorter distances and fewer miles than our already scheduled rides, possibly in the 10 mile distance, and 10-12 mph range.

Zolton mentioned a growing general interest in Ride Maps, and requested volunteers to do ride mapping and printing. Thanks go to David Jones and John Olbrot who volunteered and will be collaborating on this project.

Members certified as 2012 Sanctioned Ride Leaders, at tonight’s meeting were: Steve Johnson, Jennifer Johnson, Divina Otte, Dennis Otte, and Allison Kelaher-Young.

Zolton introduced Steve and Jennifer Johnson of Johnson Cycleworks, and talked about their Chain Gang Rides on Tuesdays at 5:30 P.M. Jennifer also leads a Thursday Women's Ride. These are No-Drop Rides. Paul Selden stated he has a document with all local Club Rides and Bike Shop Rides. He will be sending this document to David Jones, to be made available to everyone through the KBC website.

Jon Ballema, representing the CMS Race Team, requested $1000 for the Miller Energy BTR Race. Approval was given without a vote, as this is one of several projects that has been "grandfathered in" and do not need to go through the grant requesting process. In response to a question raised by Grant Committee Chairperson Celine Keizer, clarification was given by Zolton that "grandfathered" projects are not required to be voted on, nor are they required to fill out any follow-up reports, though in this case, there is always an informal follow-up report given at a future meeting, with race results, etc.

After Victor Van Fleet asked how this race benefits the KBC, a brief discussion was held citing several benefits, including the positive focus placed on the bicycling community in the Kalamazoo area, and giving visibility to the KBC as a sponsor of the race with the club logo on various race promotional materials. David Jones pointed out that around last year's race weekend there were over 6,000 "hits" to the race page on the KBC website. It was the general consensus that this was quantifiable positive visibility for the KBC. Vice President Doug Kirk noted that the club’s constitution states that one of the functions of the club is to support bicycle racing activities.

Zolton reported he has been made aware of Bike Campers' interest in ordering KBC jerseys. Discussion followed, focusing on what inventory remained from previous orders, jersey design, lag time between ordering and receiving finished jerseys, costs involved, etc. The possibility of a "tech shirt" instead of a jersey was also mentioned. It was agreed an inventory will be taken of current stock, Zolton will post a notice on the YahooGroup requesting that people interested in obtaining jerseys contact him over the next month. This topic will be revisited at the next meeting.

Doug Kirk expressed "Thanks on behalf of the KBC" to David Jones, for posting all of the old Time Trial information from past years. Doug jokingly referenced the quote, "The older I get, the faster I was!" which drew many comments and chuckles from the group.

Under New Business, Renee Mitchell reported she was seeking volunteers for the Portage YMCA Kids Triathlon, being held on Friday, July 13, 2012. Volunteers are needed for helmet fittings, turnarounds out on the route, etc. She is also looking for volunteers for the Tuesday, August 7th Bike Safety Camp, which will be held at the Christian Life Center, from 9:30-12:30 A.M. Volunteers would help with set-up, helmet fittings, etc. Please contact Renee, if you are interested in volunteering for one or both of these events.

A short discussion was held in response to Victor Van Fleet's question regarding the possibility of KBC Scholarships replacing some of the KBC Grants given out, in an attempt to avoid possible duplication of services. Grant Committee Chairperson Celine Keizer gave a brief explanation of the KBC funding process and goals. It was noted that Chris LeBlanc, a recent recipient of a KBC Grant, is now a KBC member, and is presently working with Renee Mitchell on a project that teaches bike safety and socially-acceptable behavior to kids.

Zolton adjourned the meeting at 8:20 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary Gerger, KBC Secretary

 

Masthead

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 August edition (distributed during the first week of August), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of July.

 

Statistics

Active subscriptions: 252

New members:
Andrew Bauman · Susie Bauman · Joseph Bernath · Robert Butkiewicz · Jennifer Johnson · Kimberly Lem · Ryan Maguire · Ken Masumoto · Marsha Morley · Zach Novak · Dennis Otte · Divina Otte · Sandy Reid · Marnie Thomas

June Expiring memberships:
Deborah Bauer · Susan Bond · Charlie Coss · David Fatzinger · Michael Fink · Phyllis Florian · Andrea & Donald Fore · Jerry Neubauer · Scott Powers · Mike Spencer

Renewed memberships:
Keith & Kristine Wilkinson Family · Jonathan Evans And Monica Tory · Bill Duggan · Megan James · Kevin Cleary · Gary & Terri Feldt · Lewis Henrickson · Chad Goodwill Family · Paul Sotherland Family · David Areaux · Daryl & Amber Hutson · William Brandt · Karen Christensen

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

 

Editor's Letter – Some Like it Hot (but I'm not One of Them)

"You want to multiply."
"Are you gonna do it?"

Like an aging boxer craves the experience of 15 rounds of fighting just one more time, even thought he knows that it might turn out badly, I came out of National 24-Hour Challenge retirement last month. The last three races had not been kind to me and I thought that I had finally kicked the N24HC habit. But I had relapsed, and found myself back in Middleville, Michigan four years after my last N24HC, looking for another 300 mile hit. I wanted to multiply my number of 300 mile N24HC rides by two.

A combination of pride and memory drove me back up the U.S. 131 highway. If we view our lives in 20 year increments, I had just begun my bell lap and it was time to start my finishing kick, to be followed by a victory lap. It was also the case that the disappointment of my last three races had faded and I thought that it was time to acquire some new and better memories or, at the very least, not open up some fresh wounds. But it was also the case that the temperature was expected to break 90 degrees, once again.

If there is one thing that prior National 24-Hour Challenges have taught me is that I am not a good hot weather rider. The temperature during the 2006 race reached 94 degrees and the highest temperature was only a couple degrees cooler in 2007. In 2008, the temperature peaked in the low 80s, but it was still sneaky hot. As a result, my cumulative number of miles over the last 3 years was less than 550. But, although I was prepared for the worst, I thought that this year might be different. Optimism, when mixed with a dash of self-delusion, can be seductive.

The goal was, as always, 300 miles. To reach this goal, I planned to ride the big 121.6 mile loop and two of the 23.7 intermediate mile loops in 12 hours. If I could then ride 18 of the 7.5 mile night loops in the next 12 hours, I’d have my 300 miles. In order to do this, I had four riding strategies which were to ride my own ride, always coast downhill, never go into oxygen debt, and keep drinking and eating.

The race started at 8:00 A.M. By 11:00 A.M., the temperature on my cyclometer reached 95 degrees. This would fluctuate between 95 and 100 degrees for the next several hours during which the official temperature reached 93 degrees. Even so, I was still able to follow my riding strategy reasonably well. There were a series of small risers just before 50 miles that did have me breathing rather heavily, but that was the only time I actually got into oxygen debt; a debt that I was able to repay rather quickly. I was also drinking and eating frequently, and I was coasting, always coasting, whenever possible. As we headed north from Delton after 96 miles and into a tailwind, I still felt about as good as could be expected, considering the circumstances.

"Feel the heat."
"Burning you up."
"Ready or not."

Every now and then, I’ll pour myself a glass of milk, only to discover that it is starting to spoil. It doesn’t necessarily taste all that bad, but I know that it doesn’t taste quite right, and I also know that it is going to get worse. I’ve learned that I get that same sort of spoiled milk feeling whenever the heat begins to affect me. I don’t necessarily feel bad, but I also know that something isn’t quite right and it’s going to get worse. So, when I began to feel like spoiled milk about 8 miles from the finish of the big loop, I began to worry.

I took a 30 minute break after finishing the big loop. I alternated drinking water and Gatorade with an occasional sip of Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem, and I still had somewhat of an appetite, although the turkey sub that I had been looking forward to eating wasn’t as tasty as I had hoped. I started the intermediate loop very cautiously, riding about 14 mph, but I also had to start facing the truth that I wasn’t capable of riding much faster.

"Some like it hot and some sweat when the heat is on."
"Some feel the heat and decide that they can’t go on."

The first intermediate loop wasn’t that bad, I was just riding it slowly, but I also knew that I was also feeling worse. After a brief break, I started the second intermediate loop. It was on that loop when I fell apart. I had completely lost my appetite and I couldn’t hold down any liquid, either. The temperature had dropped into the upper 70s, but it was too late. The heat had broken, but so had I. My affirmation had become "I hate this &%!!@#! race," which wasn’t exactly providing the sort of positive transformation that I was looking for. After 160 miles, I felt a severe cramp in my stomach and managed to get off my bike just in time to start dry heaving.

Call me culturally illiterate, but I don’t believe I’ve ever read a poem about the dry heaves. And so, without further ado, here is my contribution to Great Literature, in haiku form. Please, hold your applause until I’m finished.

Stomach inside out.
Ahgrlhh, ahgrlhh, ahgrlhh, ahgrlhh, ahgrlhh, ahgrlhh, ahgrlhh.
Time to stop riding.

And so it was. In my younger days, which include ages up to 56, I might have continued riding during the night, albeit, after several lengthy breaks, and eventually finished with somewhere between 200 and 250 miles. But, I just didn’t see the point. I knew that it would take me at least several hours to recover and it was 300 miles or nothing, where nothing was defined as 169 miles. I chose nothing. So, in an act of either high minded principle or childish stubbornness, I finished the loop at 8:30 P.M., packed up my car, and drove home. I like to think that my act was driven by the former emotion, but I have to owe up to a bit of the latter, as well.

"Some like it hot,"
"But you can’t tell how hot ‘til you try."
"Some like it hot,"
"So let’s turn up the heat ‘til we fry."

So, now what should I do? Once again, I attempted to ride the National 24-Hour Challenge in 90 plus degree weather and, once again, I was TKO’ed. W.C. Fields once said, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it." I’m beginning to think that he might have a point. So, as I see it, I have two (or actually one and a half) options, and they are as follows.

  1A) Retire from the National 24-Hours Challenge and, this time, mean it. Keep all N24HC entry forms away from me and limit my access to sharp writing objects, such as pens and pencils. Block the N24HC website on my computer. Place me under house arrest during Father’s Day weekend, if necessary.

  1B) Register for the ride early. Don’t show up for the ride and forfeit the entry fee, if the weather looks like it’s going to be hot. Place me under house arrest during Father’s Day weekend, if necessary.

I ought to choose Option 1A, but I have to admit that I would still like to do one more 300 plus mile ride at the National 24-Hour Challenge. Maybe then, I can finally retire from N24HC competition a high note, just as I should have retired after my first and only 300 mile plus ride in 2005. While I’m at it, I’d also like to be appointed U.S. Poet Laureate. And at this point, I don’t know which one is more likely.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

 

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

Sunday, July 8, Kalamazoo Scenic Bicycle Tour (KalTour), Kalamazoo, MI. 13, 15, 31, 62, 100 miles. www.kalamazoobicycleclub.org.

Saturday, July 14. 36th Annual One Helluva Ride, Chelsea, MI. 15, 30, 39, 64, 76, 100 miles. www.aabts.org.

Saturday, July 21. Holland Hundred, Holland, MI. 18, 36, 67, 100 miles. www.macatawacyclingclub.org/hollandhundred.

Thursday, July 26 through Sunday, July 29. Wish-a-Mile 300 Bicycle Tour. Brooklyn, MI. 300 miles. www.wishamile.org.

Sunday, July 29. Wish-a-Mile 50 Ride. Brooklyn, MI. 50 miles. www.wishamile.org.

Saturday, August 11. Kalamazoo Dream Ride. Kalamazoo, MI. 20, 40, 60 miles. www.kalamazoodreamride.com.

Wednesday through Sunday, August 29 – September 2. 42nd Annual Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw (DALMAC) Bicycle Tour. Four rides over 4 or 5 days, ranging from 286 to 404 miles. Registration has begun and all rides fill up quickly. www.DALMAC.org

 

Classified Ads

Free: 1 pair of Pearl Izumi European size 45 men's bicycle shoes in excellent condition to a good home. Includes Shimano mountain bike type cleats and pedal clips. I wore the shoes for one summer and find them slightly too tight for my feet. Call Mike, 491-9149.

Looking for a chromo frame touring bicycle with a 54 to 56 cm frame that is panier compatible. Respond to roachbrown@yahoo.com.

Extra large cycling shirt, hardly worn as it was too large for me. Blue and white with Volvo and Cannondale the primary words on the shirt. $30. Dale Krueger at 375-0114 or dalekrueger@charter.net

Looking for a used women's bike in good condition, hybrid, for paved road/trail rides. Not sure of the size bike needed, but I'm petite, 5'3." Contact Donna at doandres@att.net or (269) 968-9674 (home) or (269) 830-1706 (cell).

 

Shop Notes

Alfred E Bike

320 East Michigan, Kalamazoo, (269) 349–9423
www.aebike.com

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,
www.breakawaybicycles.com
Are you or someone you know looking for a new job? Breakaway Bicycles & Fitness of Portage is now accepting applications for employment in both sales and service. We are looking for a few full or part time salespeople as well as a full or part time mechanic. Experience is a plus, but not essential. If you are interested, please visit our website at www.breakawaybicycles.com and click on the careers link on the bottom left of the page for an application.


Custer Cyclery

104 North Augusta, Augusta, (269) 731–3492
www.custercyclery.com

Gazelle Sports

214 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, (269) 342–5996,
www.Gazellesports.com
It's the sale of the century - or, well, the year! Gazelle Sports' Sidewalk Sale takes place July 26-29. Check out ALL the sales at the cool downtown shops July 26-28.
Special BONUS: Brooks Run Happy Cavalcade of Curiosities will be parked on the Kalamazoo Mall in front of Gazelle Sports on Sunday, July 29 from 12:00 to 5:00 P.M. Enjoy a FREE running gait analysis, win Brooks prizes, and check out the Arcade of Oddities - a "museum" display of running wonders... like the world's biggest shoe, the legendary "Bunion Boy's" malady preserved and pulsating in a jar, and other strange and memorable exhibits.


Johnson Cycle Works

5309 Gull Road, Kalamazoo, (269) 226-0001.
www.JohnsonCycleWorks.com

Pedal

611 W Michigan Avenue, Kalamazo, (269) 56–PEDAL
info@pedalbicycle.com and www.pedalbicycle.com

Team Active

22 W Michigan, Battle Creek, 1–800–841–9494
www.teamactive.com

Village Cyclery

US 131 in Schoolcraft, 679–4242
www.villagecyclery.com

Zoo City Cycle & Sports

4328 South Westnedge, Kalamazoo (269) 552–3000
www.zoocitycycle.com

 

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.