February 2014 President’s Letter

January 25, 2014 was one of those nights when I wished I had more bovine tendencies than I was born with. Cows, it seems, have more than one "stomach." And I could have used a few more at the Recovery Party.

Oh, I did my best. Don't ever doubt that! I ate and ate. And then I ate some more. And still there was food left on the countertop at the Eckert Wordell office complex on the second floor of the Haymarket building in downtown Kalamazoo.

Club members brought a terrific variety of delicious food and Great Harvest Bread Company made some dandy sandwiches. Anyone who came away from the party hungry was probably either not paying attention or maybe was too engrossed in conversation to eat. I put priorities first, as always, and hardly strayed from the kitchen area.

Many people commented on the beautiful venue and it did work out famously. There were a number of areas where people could come together, then drift elsewhere as the night went on. Yet, when it came time for everyone to assemble for the raffle drawing and prizes, there was plenty of space to do that as well. Thanks go to David Jarl and his partners at Eckert Wordell for making us so welcome.

Despite the cold and blowing snow outside - reports of which caused some to question whether or not the party would be cancelled - everyone was warm inside and seemed to be in good cheer. It was wonderful to see so many KBC friends in one place - and with more time than is usual at the start of the evening rides to catch up on what everyone is doing.

There was a bittersweet aspect to the Recovery Party as well, because it was Chad Goodwill's last event as Social Director. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for him, he is starting a new job that will require him to be out of town quite a bit. So he thought it best to hand the reins of the position to someone who can devote the time it takes to carry on the excellent job he has done for the past few years. He did go out with a bang though, didn't he? Good luck, Chad, in your new job. You will certainly be missed.

I had the pleasure of selecting Vice President Doug Kirk for the Volunteer of the Year award, and at the party presented him with a $50 gift certificate to Breakaway Bicycles. Choosing a VOY is always a tough task. This year I had three strong candidates; two with many years of experience and service to KBC.

In the end, I let history be my guide. Using the index of scanned Pedal Presses on the KBC website that go all the way back to 1972, when the club first started, I looked up when Doug's name first appeared. I found it in 1994. So that means he has been working on cycling's - and the club's - behalf for 20 years. What I think is astonishing is that, up until this point, no one had thought to designate him the Volunteer of the Year. In this case, the award is richly deserved. Doug has held nearly every position in the leadership of KBC, helps out at Bike Camp, leads rides, and advocates for improvements to bicycling infrastructure with road commissions and public works departments.

Along with Doug and Kathy Kirk's quirky "bicycle pasta awards," local bike shops Alfred E Bike, Breakaway Bicycles, Pedal, and Village Cyclery donated lots and lots of great biking gear. Those goods were distributed through an unquestionably fair raffle arrangement; many KBC members walked away from the party with some nice, new equipment and clothing that we'll certainly be seeing during the upcoming bike season.

Thanks go to these bike shops, our partners in so many activities and ventures. I would be remiss if I did not mention that it is important for KBC members to support our local shops through our patronage. They do a lot for our club, in so many ways. Let's show them we appreciate their efforts by buying our cycling goods locally.

Jon Ballema, as if he didn't have enough on his plate, came through with a couple of kegs of beer and bottles of wine. For those who have not yet heard, Jon - one of hardest working and most-appreciated KBC members - and his wife, Kelly, just had a baby girl a few weeks ago. Her name is Tempest. It remains to be seen if her temperament will match her moniker. But we do offer our congratulations to the couple. They're in for the ride of their lives...

I can't think of anything more to say about the Recovery Party, other than to mention that it is an event that I, and many others, look forward to the entire year. Thank you to all who helped put it on, cleaned up afterward, and attended. Let's do it again next January!

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Next KBC Meeting on February 11th, 2014

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.


Kudos NOT in Order for the City of Kalamazoo

Last month, KBC's Road Safety Director Paul Selden offered kudos to the City of Kalamazoo for its actions relative to the planned rebuilding of the Oakland/Parkview intersection next summer. I have a much different view of this situation, one in which kudos are not involved. As the KBC member who brought the problem to the City Commission's attention and met with the engineers, I can tell you what actually happened.

Initially, the people creating the plans for the new intersection failed to include bike lanes on either Oakland OR Parkview. Not only were these omissions contrary to the Kalamazoo's own Non Motorized Transportation Plan, they overlooked the fact that Oakland already has bike lanes on both sides of the intersection!

When I voiced my initial complaints to the city's engineers, I was told that bike lanes had been added on Oakland in the final plans. But as to Parkview, I was told, they couldn't change the plans. My next stop was the December 3, 2013 City Commission meeting, where the Commissioners put final approval on hold for two weeks.

After that meeting I studied the blueprints and met with two city engineers at the intersection to discuss how bike lanes might be included. But this turned out to be a total waste of time, because the bottom line was, and is, that 80% of the money for the reconstruction is federal money. Any changes to the plans would have to be resubmitted, a process long enough that construction might be delayed, or worse yet, the federal money might be lost.

In other words, by the time the city announced in late November the construction is slated for next summer, the plans were effectively carved in stone.

So what really happened is this: the designers failed from the outset to include bike lanes that are called for in the city's own transportation plan, failed to include anyone representing the non motorized community in the design process, then obtained federal approval before going public with the plans.

Quite frankly, I do not find this set of circumstances worthy of our kudos.

Now, unwilling to risk losing either face or money, the engineers offered to paint sharrows on the road surface, thereby informing that small subset of drivers actually paying attention there might be a bike impeding their four wheeled progress.

Maybe I should be grateful for this last minute band-aid (and I admit, it's better than nothing), but I'm not. Parkview should have bike lanes both directions and the fact is that the city botched it.

Now let me tell you the craziest part of this whole business, the irony of which was even mentioned by Mayor Hopewell. The federal money is from a "smog abatement" fund, the idea being that shorter traffic backups reduce auto emissions. Well, is there a better smog abatement device than a bicycle?

Doug Kirk


Call for Your 2013 Bike Mileage

How many miles did you ride in 2013?

I know a lot of you keep track of your mileage. This is a call to get yours in time to print in next month's Pedal Press.

If you are a current KBC member and want to give others a sense of what you are doing mileage-wise, mail your first and last name and miles logged to directorroadsafety@kalamazoobicycleclub.org. Estimates ("about 750"), reasonable rounding (if you say, "under 1000" that is close enough for me), and exact numbers ("1234") are all equally o.k. In other words, this is for fun and it's very informal.

To make March's Pedal Press, reports submitted by February 20 will be printed. After that, I'll close the request for our "2013 KBC Member's Mileage Almanac."

Paul Selden



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 e-mail 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 March edition (distributed during the first week of March), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of February.


Active Subscriptions:

New members:

Susan Carter · Tonya Mann · Ryan Vanden Heuvel

Expiring memberships:

Jon Ballema · Carl Clatterbuck Family · Steven R. Cox · Kyle Douglass Family · David Fatzinger · Bryan Garfoot · Laura Hamann · Terry & Kathy Hutchins · Kimberly Lynn · Lynn Maguire · Rebecca Mandrell · Bill McKinney · Julie Mead · Kristopher Ouvry · Bob Paksi · Anthony Reed · Gabriel Rice · Michael Vandeveer · Daniel Victor · Richard Voorman Family · Jeff Walburn · Paul & Michele Wells Family · Francis Zajac

Renewed memberships:

Christopher Barnes Family · Dan Kallewaard · Tom & Shari Labrenz · Jeff Newman Family · Jeffrey Pregenzer Family · Mark Jensen · Andrea & Donald Fore · James Murray · Dan Patrick · Tonya Mann

David Jones, KBC Database Manager

Editor's Letter - I Ride Alone (Well, Maybe Not)

"And I ride alone, yeaaaaaah,
With nobody else.
You know when I ride alone
I prefer to be by myself."

And like a character in a George Thorogood lyric who rides a bicycle instead of drinks (although the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive), I also ride alone. At least I used to. I got to thinking about that while I was doing the Long Rides Special Interest Group ride from Vicksburg to Shipshewana and back a couple months ago; back in the day when I can vaguely remember using two digits to report the temperature.

I was about 15 miles into the ride, fighting a stiff headwind, and I guess I needed something else to think about. I had started riding with Paul and Marc, but we had separated into our own groups of one, and I knew that I'd be doing the remaining 55 miles of the ride by myself. After arbitrarily defining a long ride as a ride of at least 50 miles, I realized that my last long solo ride was on another Long Rides SIG ride in July; a ride that just might have been my only other long solo ride in 2013. It certainly hadn't always been this way. I pondered that fact for a little while, before the headwind ruined my reverie. But, lately, I've been thinking about this again.

I was introduced to bicycle riding as an adult by a graduate school professor of mine. We rode together frequently over the next few years, but our rides were usually in the 30 to 40 mile range; any longer rides were usually taken on my own. This pattern continued when I moved from North Carolina to New Hampshire. I'd occasionally do some rides with some of my coworkers, even some long rides, but most of the time, I was on my own. Then, after moving to suburban Columbus, Ohio in the early 1990s, I found myself doing all of my rides alone.

Even after I moved to Portage, joined the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club, and started doing the after work club rides, almost all of my longer weekend rides were still solo affairs, particularly during those times when I attempted to train for 12 and 24 hour races. Aside from some long Sunday group rides, which sometimes turned into solo rides anyway, since these rides could be rather cutthroat (just as a punctured tire could be rather flat), I continued to be a solitary long distance rider during my Dexter days, as well. Then, after moving back to Portage, I remained this creature of solitary long distance riding habit until a couple of years ago. So, what changed?

What changed was that I found myself receiving e-mail invitations to join a group of riders on their Saturday and Sunday morning rides, many of these of the 50 to 100 mile variety. I resisted these invitations at first, not because of a pathological need to be alone, but because a not-very-pathological need to sleep late. I'm not an early riser. But, eventually, I did succumb to the temptation of these electronic entreaties, and these rides became more a part of my weekend routine, at least on one or the other of the two weekend mornings. And looking back on the 2013 cycling season, I think that the only weekends when I didn't do one of these rides were those weekends when I was either doing another organized ride or when I was out of town. So, why have I been doing these rides?

It's not because these rides are easy. David, the usual leader of the rides, is an a disciple of the bicycling school of thought that believes that warming up is overrated, and with riders like Ryan and others in our little peloton, sometimes the pace would get even harder. Occasionally, I'd do some pulling, but the vast majority of the time, I was content to sit towards the back of the pack and let others do the work, and there were times that I would sit towards the back of the pack because that was all that I could do.

It's not because the rides are hard. I like to suffer as much as the next person, which is to say I usually don't. Still, it's the case that because these rides often tested me, they made me a stronger rider; stronger, more likely, than had I would have been if I had been doing these rides alone. But that's still not why I was doing these rides.

No, I've been doing these rides because I enjoy the camaraderie, that sense of belonging with a group of people with a common interest and understanding. Many years ago, when I started getting serious about long distance running, running was hardly fashionable, and I ran alone; more often than I'd like to the passing accompaniment of would-be-comedians and hecklers, those who didn't understand or even care to understand what I was doing or why I was doing it. I think that this bred a sort of defiant go it alone attitude, an "If you don't like it, you know where you can go" type of attitude when it came to endurance activities. This not-so-Dale-Carnegie-like attitude has lessened over the years (which is just as well), but will never completely go away. So, I've always been comfortable in my solitude, while cycling for a long period of time, but as I've grown older, I've also come to this understanding that it doesn't always have to be this way.

And with this understanding comes the ironic realization that if I decide to do my cycling nemesis, the National 24 Hour Challenge, again this year, and give the event the respect it is due, I'm going to have to do some very long solo rides on my own this spring; rides that I hope will toughen me both physically and mentally. Because, when it comes to 24 hour racing, I do prefer to be by myself. Even in races such as the National 24 Hour Challenge, where drafting is allowed, riding alone provides a more honest test of what I'm capable of achieving.

However, given the weather, there is also that not-so-ironic realization that any decisions that I have for the spring can be put to rest for at least for the next month or so, as the only riding that it looks like I'll be doing will be on my stationary trainer. Again, like a character in a George Thorogood lyric.

"And I ride alone, yeaaaaaaah,
Just all by myself.
Inside when I ride alone
I prefer to be somewhere else."

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

Redrum, redrum, redrum, redrum ........

Classified Ads

NEW: Cycleops PowerTap SLC+ Power Meter (with accessories) - $2,000 (Best Offer). Accessories: Electro Pack, CycleOps matching front hub, Salsa skewers, Mavic Open Pro rims (hubs currently strung within). Cassette Type: Shimano. Electro Pack: YES.

Technical Specifications
* Wireless 2.4 GHz transmission with ANT+Sport
* Ceramic bearings
* 15mm alloy axle
* Carbon/alloy hubshell
* USB download
* Coded heart rate
* Hub weighs a mere 402 grams
* Patents issued and pending
* Displays and records:
* Peak Power
* Time in Zones
* Power (current, average, max.)
* Heart rate (current, average)
* Cadence (current, average)
* Speed (current, average, max.)
* Energy expenditure (total kjoules)
* Ride distance (miles or km)
* Ride time
* Programmable odometer

Contact Fred Hoffman at good2go49001@yahoo.com or (269) 312-2036.

NEW: Garmin Edge 705 - $250 (Best offer). Garmin Edge 705/Bundle Item is a GPS-Enabled Cycling Computer. Includes Heart Rate Monitor and Speed/Cadence Sensor. Contact Fred Hoffman at good2go49001@yahoo.com or (269) 312-2036.

2012 Jamis Nova Pro 'cross bike (54 size). Carbon fiber seat stays and fork; road bike oriented 50-34 chainset paired with awesome 11-32 climbing cassette. Tremendous all-purpose bike: road, trail, dirt/gravel, and cyclocross, but way lighter than the typical hybrid. Brake and stay clearance for even wider tires and fenders, but works great with narrow tires. Tires and rims unused except for bike shop test ride. Almost new brake pads with relatively few miles on them. Maintained by Pedal Bicycles including full tune up this winter. Includes two bottle cages and original owners manual. Selling to make room for a touring bike. Purchased for approx. $1530 - will sell for about half what I paid: $775. For detailed specs, see http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/nova/12_novapro.html. E-mail directorroadsafety@kalamazoobicycleclub.org to discuss.

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

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,
Get the best deals on shoes in the WORLD at Gazelle Sports' Fabulous February Footwear Sale! February 6-9. Don't miss the savings!!!

Johnson Cycle Works

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


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

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.