June 2015 President's Letter

Bike Camp

As of this writing, on Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, we're already two weeks into the Saturday sessions of Bike Camp, and it is going very well indeed. Not only do we have an enthusiastic group of Campers again this year, perhaps even more impressive is the turnout of volunteers from both the club and the cycling community at large.

I won't attempt to name all the volunteers here, as I'm afraid I would leave someone out - a real possibility because they are so numerous. But, suffice it to say that, in addition to our splendid individual KBC member volunteers, the KBC Race Team has been represented, as has Pedal Bicycles, which sent not one, not two, but three bike mechanics to the first session, Bike Fit Day - a testament to how seriously Tim Krone, Pedal's owner, takes his commitment to the sport.

One of the reasons we started Bike Camp ten years ago was to bring new members into the club. As I said in last month's President's Letter, we need new blood; new ideas; new viewpoints. I've been taking the opportunity to talk with some of the Bike Campers about what they want to get out of cycling and it seems as though some are ready to work to help make what they envision a reality. That's a good sign and I hope to be able to report soon that we're starting some new initiatives and projects based on these conversations.

Air Pollution

Is it just me, or is there a more-than-usual amount of dust, pollen, and dirt in the air these days? I've come back from several rides feeling like I just rode through the Dust Bowl, with my eyes gritty and grating with debris. Even wrap-around sunglasses don't seem to be able to deflect all the stuff that's in the air lately. A good rain or two should wash a lot of that stuff away and tamp down pollen production, and that can't come soon enough.

KalTour Ramps Up

KalTour Director Mike Krischer is in high gear these days planning our club's largest event - KalTour. You'll hear from him elsewhere in this newsletter about that. But I wanted to put my two cents in and ask you to ride in the tour. It's fun, it's inexpensive, and it helps the club and cycling in ways in which you might not be aware.

For the past several years, half of the proceeds minus expenses from KalTour have gone to the Kazoo Valley AMBUCS organization to help fund their mission to give therapeutic tricycles to individuals who are unable to operate a traditional bike. It is a wonderful mission and it dovetails with our club's drive to promote cycling in every form.

So, please come out and join us on KalTour. Your support helps not only our club, but also gives an opportunity for some people to cycle who otherwise might not have that chance.

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Next KBC Monthly Meeting on June 9, 2015

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.


KalTour This month!

June is the month for KalTour! KBC's 24th annual summer tour will take place on Sunday, June 28. Online registration at the discounted KBC member rate of $15 is open through June 15. After June 15, and on the day of ride, KalTour will cost $25 with no KBC discount.

Riders, please keep in mind the best starting time for your chosen route. The course opens at 7:00 A.M. Century riders must start by 8:30 A.M. and 62 mile riders must start by 10:00 A.M. Riders on the 31 and 17 mile routes must start by 11:00 A.M. and should plan their start so that they arrive at the Briar Patch lunch stop after it opens at 10:00 A.M.

New this year at our Briar Patch lunch stop will be sandwiches from Water Street Coffee Joint. We will keep the turkey, ham, and vegetarian choices, but you can expect some different finishes to each type of sandwich.

An important part of KalTour preparation is painting color-coded arrows on the roads used for the various routes. Road painting will take place on Tuesday, June 16 (rain date is Thursday, June 18).We will meet at 6:00 P.M. at KVCC - Texas Township in the parking area near the tennis courts. Wear old clothes. Maps and paint will be provided. We usually divide up into groups of two or three with a map reader to guide each driver.

Volunteers are still needed for various tasks, including set-up and registration, at our starting point, Bronson Athletic Club. We also need one or two people to staff the morning and afternoon SAG stops on the longer routes. We can use people for part or all of the day. Non-riding spouses, parents, or children are always welcome to help out. Riding the KalTour is enjoyable, but it is also interesting to be part of the event and to see the wide variety of people who come out to ride and their bicycles.

Mike Krischer, KalTour Director


Team Clark Logic Race Report

Call for Volunteers

Progress is moving along beautifully with the Miller Energy Criterium race and once again we're on the hunt for volunteers to help course marshal (AKA ... watch the race) and help at registration (in climate controlled comfort). It takes a lot of effort to put this event on and those of us on the race committee are forever grateful for both the financial support as well as the manpower! We have plenty of 2 hour blocks available ... go ahead and sign up for one at www.BTRcrit.com. The race date is Saturday, July 11, 2015, so mark your calendars!


May was a fairly light month for the team. We raced Das Tour of Frankenmuth and had some great efforts and attempts but not necessarily the strongest results across the board. Sometimes that's how it goes though ... win big or blow up in the process. Jesse Kooistra managed to lead a blistering attack in the last mile of the Cat 4 race along with another very strong rider. They managed to hold off the entire field though Jesse got outsprinted for the win.

Videos here ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKrwUJB7_Xs.

And here ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPq4KVJb8Jc.

Most of us exercised good judgment and skipped the Cone Azalia spring classic the last weekend in May ... except for Dylan Gonda who just wishes that he had skipped that event. Riding in 45 degree temperature, howling winds, and rain over freshly graded dirt roads is not most people's idea of fun.

Unless you're Valerie Litznerski and Ryan Heidenfeld whose idea of fun was to ride in the 400k brevet around the thumb of Michigan in the same weather ... sans dirt roads. Better them then me. Map is here ... ridewithgps.com/routes/2838973. (Editor's Note: Ryan and Val also participated in Calvin's Challenge, a 12 hour race in Springfield, Ohio on May 2. Ryan rode 245 miles and Val rode 234 miles.)

Tuesday Night Time Trials are in full swing. Come on out to test yourself ... do it twice! The real fun of the TNTT is comparing your time against previous efforts. The more you do, the more fun it becomes.

What I was most interested by this month, though, was our teammate and coach's Ironman TX race. Specifically, Derek Dalzell's write up of the race and the training work behind it. Derek is a very busy guy and reading about how he can balance work, school, and training, and get faster with less effort is an inspiration to us all. It can be found at the following link. www.dalzellcoaching.com/training-tips/balancing-life-and-ironman-through-specific-training.

Jon Ballema



Kudos to Marilyn Schlack and Kalamazoo Valley Community College for leading a series of meetings over the past year, aimed at improving multi-modal access to KVCC's new culinary and health oriented campus downtown. These meetings have been attended by community leaders, engineers, and representatives of a number of bicycling interests. These meetings have helped to raise awareness of the many practical benefits related to using a bicycle to get to and from campus, such as reducing the need to build or lease expensive parking spaces!

Kudos to the City of Kalamazoo for kicking off an update of its non-motorized plan in May by hosting a very successful charrette. The charrette gathered public input on many topics related to non-motorized transportation, including ideas for making Kalamazoo more bicycle-friendly. In a follow-up article published in the Kalamazoo Gazette, City Planner Rebecca Kik made clear the wide variety of facilities being considered by the city, including the use of pop-up bike lanes to test alternative routes for the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, and the concept of bike sharing.

Paul Selden

May Monthly Meeting Minutes

Present: Zolton Cohen, John Idema, Terry O'Connor, Michael Krischer, Marc Irwin, April Martin, Mike Vandeveer, Tom Keizer, Rick Whaley, David Jones, John Olbrot, Renee Mitchell, Doug Kirk, and Mike Boersma

Welcome and Announcements: The meeting was called to order at 7:00 P.M.

Treasurer's Report: John Olbrot reported that the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club had income over the last month of $1059.57 and expenses of $2251.20. The KBC checking account has a balance of $7211.85. The KBC Certificate of Deposit has a balance of $11,146.70.

Committee Reports: Education Committee Chair, Renee Mitchell, reported on a bike safety seminar that was held at KRESA (the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency).

Bike Camp Report: At the time of the meeting there had been 30 registrations. Bike Camp will start on Wednesday, May 13 and will runs from 8:15 A.M. through noon on the following 4 Saturdays.

KalTour Update: Mike Krischer reported that he was working on sourcing food, possibly through Water Street Coffee Joint. Mike also reported that the road painting of the course will take place Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Volunteers should report to the KVCC parking lot at 6:00 P.M. The rain date is Thursday, June 18 at the same time and place.

BTR Bike Race: The race date is Saturday, July 11 at the BTR park. Everything is going well. Contact Jon Ballema if you wish to volunteer.

Ride Leader Sanctioning: Tom Keizer and David Jones were both sanctioned as ride leaders.

Sports Camp: April Martin, of the Michigan Association of Blind Athletes, made a request for volunteers at the Sports camp on May 13 through May 15. Information was posted on the KBC Facebook page and Yahoo group.

Old Business: There was no old business.

New Business: There may be a bike tour to support Habitat for Humanity. A reminder for the Ride of Silence ride on May 13 was also given.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:25 P.M.

Mike Boersma, KBC Secretary



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Editor's Letter - Time and Timing

When I was a kid, I liked the timing of my birthday. It was close to being midway between Christmases, so the wait between presents didn't overly tax my childish patience. It also meant that I was not only able to celebrate the occasion in school with my classmates, and with assorted tasty treats, but that I would soon be celebrating summer vacation, as well. Having a birthday during the latter part of May was like having a birthday in the sweet spot of the year.

And I still like the timing of my birthday, if not for the same reasons. The weather is usually nice and the cycling season is well underway. And so, in a lighthearted mood, I composed the following lighthearted birthday poem.

Hee, hee, hee.
I'm sixty-three.

And then, not resting on my rather well weathered laurels, I then commenced to create a lighthearted birthday haiku. The finished product of my creation is as follows.

Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee.
I have just turned sixty-three.
Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee.

The downside of all of this creative labor is that I'm not as likely to be participating in our KBC rides in the near future, as I'll be spending a lot of time hanging around my house waiting to hear about my MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.

And, naturally, all of this creative labor got me thinking about cycling shorts. I have some shorts that are in the twilight of their lives. I find myself holding them up to the light like a sommelier inspecting a glass of wine, except that I'm not seeking clarity. I sometimes like to savor the mysteries of life and I always prefer my cycling shorts to be opaque. So, when I realized that one of these shorts had reached almost veil-like quality, I threw the shorts out. Sure, I could have worn the shorts for a few more rides. But I didn't want these shorts to be like the guest who has outstayed his welcome; the host, so to speak, being the unfortunate person riding behind me. It was time to let them go and it was also good timing to let them go.

And, naturally, this got me thinking about trains. I started a Saturday morning group ride a few weeks ago by riding through downtown Kalamazoo, where I got separated from my riding companions, thanks to a couple of yellow lights. As I saw my companions turning right a couple blocks ahead of me towards points semi-unknown, I got stopped by the crossing gates of a train track, only yards from the track. I suppose I could have attempted to ride under the gates before they were completely in place, but I decided to be a reasonably good ambassador to the sport of cycling, and wait my turn until the gates rose again.

And wait. And wait some more. Because, this was an Amtrak train, I was next to the train station, and the train was unloading and loading passengers. Ten minutes later, I was finally able to ride again, my riding companions long gone.

So, I blazed my own trail. The highlight of this ride was giving a man on a motorbike somewhat questionable directions on how to get from 1/2 Mile Road in Calhoun County to Indiana, while avoiding the interstate, and disabusing him of the notion that he could follow this road all the way to the Indiana line. Why was he riding long distance on a motorbike? Well, why was I riding long distance on a bicycle? We could have been savoring the mystery of each other's choices, but I was actually thinking that if I were him, I'd have found a better way to travel, and maybe he was thinking the same about me. But we never would have even met if not for the timing of that train.

And, naturally, this got me thinking about bicycling races and tours. The first Friday in May, I traveled to Springfield, Ohio to participate in Calvin's Challenge, a 12 hour bicycle race, the next day. I've done this race a few time in the early part of the double-zeros decade, but then stopped doing it for a few years. I've taken it up again for somewhat mysterious reasons that might have something to do with the second word of the event.

As usual, I started riding too fast. After 25 miles, I was on pace for riding 211 miles. Now I knew that I was not in good enough shape to do this and history was not on my side; my personal record in this race being 199 miles, set when my legs were 12 years younger. But the adrenalin was flowing and I began having delusions of 200 mile grandeur. I was all in.

After finishing the second 50.5 mile lap, I was a couple minute under 6 hours, but I also knew that my good time was about to end. And so it did, and the last 4 hours of the race were ugly. Still, I rode 188.5 miles, beating my original non-delusional goal by 8.5 miles.

And what was even better was that this race was the Ultra-Marathon Cycling Association 12 Hour National Championship and I finished 6th in the 60-69 age group. Ignore the fact that there were people in my age group who beat me and were not members of the UMCA. Ignore the fact that there were only 13 eligible racers in my age group. After all, as lottery winners (and losers) know, you cannot win (or finish 6th) if you do not play. And I know that I'll be reaping the rewards for this accomplishment, both personally and professionally, for years to come. Consider, for example, the following telephone conversation at work with a client. It might go something like this.

Client: Are you sure that this would be the appropriate way to analyze these data?

Me: An I sure??!! Don't you know who you're talking to??!! I'm an age group 6th place bicycling national champion!!!!

Client: What was I thinking? Oh, how could I have ever doubted you? I am a fool! And could you please send me an autographed picture of yourself?

So, I think that I can say that while my timing during this race left something to be desired, my timing in actually entering this race didn't.

The weekend after Calvin's Challenge was the Tour of the Scioto River Valley, a two day tour from Columbus to Portsmouth, Ohio and back. I have done TOSRV the previous 21 tours, dating back to 1994, but during the weeks leading up to the event, I found that my enthusiasm for the event was lacking. I missed the early registration deadline and with the knowledge that I could now register up until the night before the event, I kept putting it off. I finally decided that I just didn't feel like doing the ride this year and that I didn't want to be one of those persons doing something just out of an obligation to honor a streak. I decided that the timing was right to end it. So, I stayed home and rode the Kal-Haven Trailblazer ride instead.

Time and timing. Each birthday drives home the point that I don't have control over time, but I have at least some control over timing. I didn't have any control over the timing of my birth, although my parents did (thanks, Mom and Dad, good timing!), nor did I have much control over the timing of the train (bad timing, but at least I got a somewhat strange encounter from it). However, when choosing to throw out my cycling shorts (good timing), choosing my cycling pace during a race (bad timing), and choosing when to participate or not participate in an event (good timing), I'm the one who is in control.

And the passage of time, when viewed from the perspective of a man who is easing his way from his early to mid-sixties, also drives home the point that for the time being, I still have the opportunity to choose those types of cycling related activities that I want to do, before age makes the choices for me. Sometimes I choose wisely and sometimes I don't, but at least I'm still the one who is doing the choosing.

This, naturally, provided the inspiration for yet another birthday poem.

As you can see.
I'm sixty-three.
But I'm alive and kickin'.
And I'm out there cyclin'.
Just because I want to be.

Hey, I'm willing to settle for a PEN grant.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

Saturday, June 13. Tour de Taylor. Mattawan. 12, 31, 62 miles. www.tourdetaylor.org.

Saturday and Sunday. June 20 and 21. National 24-Hour Challenge. Middleville. Even thinking about this ride sends shivers up and down the Pedal Press Editor's spine. www.n24hc.org.

Saturday, June 20. Pumpkinvine Bike Ride. Goshen and Shipshewana, IN. 10, 23, 27, 35, 45, 62, 102 miles. www.pumpkinvine.org.

Saturday, June 27. MSU Gran Fondo. Grand Rapids. 12, 25, 40, and 80 miles. www.msugranfondo.com.

Sunday, June 28. Kalamazoo Scenic Bicycle Tour (KalTour). Kalamazoo. 13, 15, 31, 62, and 100 miles. www.kalamazoobicycleclub.org. This is our ride, come out and support it, either by riding or volunteering.

Saturday, July 18. Holland 100 Bicycle Tour. Holland. 18, 36, 67, and 100 miles. www.macatawacyclingclub.org.

Wednesday through Sunday, September 2 - 6. 45th Annual Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw (DALMAC) Bicycle Tour. Four rides over 4 or 5 days, ranging from 290 to 511 miles. Registration has begun and all rides fill up quickly. www.DALMAC.org.

Classified Ads

2009 Greenspeed GT3 Series II Trike.

Less than 100 hours on this trike. Like new condition. Stored in a heated basement. Toe clips, integrated Vetta odometer, and several other upgrades. Pictures available at www.recumbentriders.org/forums/showthread.php?t=14356. Also included is a 2011 Kenetic trainer for this trike with the optional flywheel. $1500. NO SHIPPING. Contact Terry Horwath (616) 855-6211 or terry.horwath@live.com.

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,
The specialty sporting goods retailer will open its fourth store in Northville this month.
The new store, located at Northville Park Place on 7 Mile and Haggerty, joins Gazelle Sports locations in Downtown Kalamazoo, Downtown Holland, and 28th Street in Grand Rapids. This year, Gazelle Sports celebrates 30 years of helping keep people on the move!

Kzoo Swift

445 Forest St, Kalamazoo, (269) 929-8053.


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.