February 2016 President's Letter


Wow, what an amazing Recovery Party! Many thanks to Kathleen Kroll for planning and organizing such an enjoyable event that brought together the membership of KBC. The drinks were great, food yummy, and desserts tasty (still savoring the delightful truffle)! If you were not able to attend the party or would like a recap, please see the article by John Olbrot.

The new jersey pre-order sales are complete and the jerseys are in production overseas, yeah! Just over 100 jerseys were pre-ordered. They should be arriving towards the end of March, just in time for the start of riding season. At that time, be on the lookout for information regarding jersey distribution.

We are still in possession of the previous jerseys (men's large and extra-large) and are selling them at a close out price of $45. (What a deal!) If you're interested in one of these, please contact Doug and Kathy Kirk.

KBC's Executive Committee (EC) met in January with the primary purpose of reviewing survey results and setting goals for the coming year. We identified four main goals and areas of focus for KBC this year: Perception, Rides, Volunteers, and Web. The EC will oversee these goals but work alongside KBC Board Members and the membership at large to map out and implement objectives to achieve these goals.

  1. PERCEPTION - Improving Club Perception & Communication
    Exploring ways to improve communications via the Pedal Press and online, generating means to promote all forms of cycling, and assisting in developing ways to ensure that KBC rides are fun, encourage others, and are a positive experience.
  2. RIDES - Enhancing KBC Rides
    Focusing on enhancing the KBC ride experience by recruiting a KBC Ride Captain, establishing a KBC Ride Committee, and ensuring that Ride Leaders are adequately equipped to lead KBC Rides.
  3. VOLUNTEERS - Increase Volunteerism
    Exploring ways to grow participation of all KBC members, defining areas where additional help is needed, and developing a list of KBC members willing to volunteer.
  4. WEB - Revamp KBC's Website and Improve Online Presence
    Focusing on improving web presence by recruiting a Web Content Editor, updating existing site contents, and establishing a New Website Committee to explore ideas and options for updating or re-creating KBC's website.

If you'd like to learn more about these or other exciting things KBC is working on, I invite you to join us at the next Monthly Meeting being held on Tuesday, February 9 at 7:00 P.M. at the Kalamazoo YMCA. See you there!

As we all know, volunteers are the heart and soul of KBC. If it weren't for our volunteers, there would be no KBC. I can't bring myself to close this letter without sending a huge THANK YOU to all of the amazing KBC volunteers that do an exceptional job week in and week out helping the Club succeed at its mission, sharing their passion of cycling with others, and having fun along the way. The Recovery Party was just a reminder of what a diverse group KBC is and how wonderful it is that we all share a love for cycling! Thank you again!

Renee Mitchell :)
President, KBC



Next KBC Monthly Meeting on February 9, 2016

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.


KBC Help Wanted Ads - We Need Your Help!

Please consider becoming more involved with KBC by helping out with one of these roles! We strive to keep these roles small, simple, and focused so they don't require much time. For more information, please e-mail Renee Mitchell at president@kalamazoobicycleclub.org. Thank you in advance for helping KBC move forward!

  1. KBC Apparel Manager - To manage our small but important collection of KBC hats and apparel. Duties include:
    • Being the contact person for purchases.
    • Storage of hats and apparel.
    • Arranging for sale of items at events.
  2. KBC Web Content Manager - The focus would be to ensure information on KBC's website is current. Duties include:
    • Staying in tune to KBC's events and happenings (mostly via the Pedal Press).
    • Submitting updated content on the events and happenings to KBC's Webmaster. (He will update the website.)
    • Assisting on the New Website Committee.
  3. KBC Historian(s) - Filling in the missing gaps (since 2002) of important KBC historical data. Duties include:
    • Reviewing prior years Pedal Presses - lots of good club history to learn.
    • Summarizing information for each year since 2002.
    • This is a great winter project!
  4. KBC New Website Committee - Per the results of the Membership Survey, members would like to see changes to KBC's website. We know our members have lots of great ideas so we are seeking a few members willing to serve on a committee to explore ideas and options for updating or re-creating KBC's website. Please consider being a part of this important committee to help build a road map for KBC's future.

Renee Mitchell, KBC President


KBC to Offer Group Training

KBC plans to offer cycling training and coaching in a group settling this spring. Derek Dalzell of Dalzell Coaching has offered to educate KBC members on cycling training, fitness, and skills. Derek has a Master's Degree in coaching sports performance, has nearly completed his Master's Degree in sports management at WMU, and is also Vice President and coach of KBC's race team, Clark Logic.

He plans to offer one-hour classes/discussions for $10 per person, if enough of us are interested. Classes will likely be Thursday evenings starting in May and would take place at the YMCA on Maple Street. On-the-bike training is also a possibility if the demand is there.

Topics will include training principles such as periodization, specific training regimens, building fitness rest/recovery, keeping balance in your life, and general bike maintenance.

This is a great opportunity to get many of the benefits of personalized coaching from a trained professional and at a small fraction of the cost of hiring a personal coach.

PLEASE e-mail Derek directly if you are interested so he can have your contact information and can keep track of how many KBC members are interested. He'll also be happy to answer your questions. His e-mail is ddalzell@dalzellcoaching.com.

Doug Kirk


KBC Recovery Party, 2016 Edition

It appears that, besides mudslides in Malibu and record setting Sierra snowpack, this year's big El Nino also means that for the first time in recent memory, there was no major snow storm and, in fact, a fairly mild evening for the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Recovery Party, 2016 Edition. A great time was had by an estimated 80 participants who came out to celebrate and enjoy the evening together. The food was as varied as it was plentiful and delicious with so many healthy options, I couldn't keep track. There were also enough beverages on hand, adult and otherwise, to satisfy everyone's thirst and taste.

A Great Big Thank You goes to our KBC Social Director, Kathleen Kroll and her able staff of volunteers, Reid Williams, John Idema, Zolton Cohen, Pamela Sotherland, Paul Sotherland, Renee Mitchell, and yours truly, John Olbrot. Thanks for a job well done! A Special KBC Shout Out has to go to Dave Jarl and Eckert Wordell for graciously hosting the event in such a beautiful space right downtown and actually allowing us in. Your generosity is very much appreciated, THANK YOU DAVE!

Doug and Kathy Kirk ran the raffle and handed out the many awesome prizes. To repeat a bit of what Doug said during the raffle, these prizes were all donated to the KBC for this event by our super supportive local bike shops, so let's do what we can to support them right back. I do believe that we in the Kalamazoo area are fortunate to have such great bike shops. So, a Big KBC Thank You goes to Village Cyclery in Schoolcraft, Pedal in Portage and Kalamazoo, Alfred E. Bike in Downtown Kalamazoo, and Zoo City in Kalamazoo. Helping to make the recovery party such a fun and memorable event is greatly appreciated. Thanks, All!

Doug and Kathy also conducted the annual KBC Awards ceremonies. If by chance you did not have an opportunity to congratulate the winners on Saturday, make sure you do so the next time you see them. In no particular order, they are:

Terry Butcher:High Mileage Award.
Robin Sides:Most Improved Rider.
Val Litznerski:Strongest Rider, Pound for Pound.
Chris Barnes:Lemonade from Lemons Award.
Marc Irwin:Least Use of a Car Award.
Dave Jarl:Best Wheel to Suck Award.
Dale Krueger:Energizer Bunny Award.
Steve Stapleton:Best on Bike Jokes Award.
Mike Boersma:Overachiever Award.

A Club like the KBC runs on volunteerism and every year a single volunteer is recognized as a stand out and awarded the KBC Volunteer of the Year Award. This year Jon Ballema received the VOY Award and was recognized and applauded for all he has done running the race team, helping Bike Camp become the success that it is, participating with the Board, spending time with riders of all experience levels and abilities, and various other activities supporting the Club, not only this year but in many previous years as well.

Lastly, no offense to Zolton, but it sure was nice to see our newly minted KBC President Renee Mitchell get up and say a few words (I liked her jokes). It is very satisfying to see her as President with her enthusiasm, energy, positivity, and dedication to all things cycling. Please keep in mind her call for volunteers, since it will take all of us to make sure the KBC can equal more than the sum of its parts and, besides, spending a little more time with likeminded folks, even off the bike, can be a lot of fun.

See you out there!

John Olbrot, KBC Vice President


Call for Your 2015 Bike Mileage

How many miles did you ride in 2015?

I know a lot of you keep track of the miles you ride. This is a call to submit yours, in time to print in the March edition of Pedal Press. Your report may inspire others to get out there and ride, too - regardless of the distance!

If you are a current KBC member and want to give others a sense of what you are doing mileage-wise, e-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 okay. In other words, this is for fun and it's very informal.

To make March's Pedal Press, reports submitted on or by February 20, 2016 will be printed. After that, I'll close the request for our "2015 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:

Joe Manning

March Expiring memberships:

Kathy Johnson • James Murray • Jim Patton • Roger Poorman • Paul Selden Family

Renewed memberships:

Terry and Kathy Hutchins • Paul Raynes Family • Jonathan Evans And Monica Tory • Ryan Heidenfeld • Artis Freye

David Jones, KBC Database Manager

Editor's Letter - The Perilous Power of the Bicycle Helmet

When it comes to bicycle helmet wearing advocacy, I am not your poster boy, although I do like to think that I'd look rather fetching as a poster boy. However, I always wear a bicycle helmet when I'm riding, because I figure that the one time I don't, I'll end up swerving to miss a squirrel, hit a pothole, slip out of my pedals, kick my front tire, run over a piece of glass, and fall spectacularly onto the pavement that was recently traveled by an overloaded gravel and scrap metal truck. Then, after picking myself up and inspecting the damage to my body and bicycle while watching a car that has veered around me run over the aforementioned squirrel, smash into a tree, and burst into flames, I'll be hit on the head by a meteor. So, yes, I always wear a bicycle helmet while riding.

So, I think it's dumb to ride a bicycle without a helmet, but I don't shame those riders who don't wear one, particularly when running errands. Hey, maybe they don't have a meteor with their name on it. I also understand the argument that wearing a helmet makes a rider less adverse to risk taking. I know that every time I put on my Headcloak of Invulnerability, I find myself constantly resisting the urge to play chicken with the motorists who happen to be heading towards me, especially those driving a smart car. Still, I was a bit surprised, while browsing through the Bicycling Magazine website, to read about a study suggesting that people who wear bicycle helmets, even while not riding a bicycle, are more inclined to indulge in risk taking behavior.

More specifically, researchers performed a study where half the participants wore a bicycle helmet and half the participants wore a baseball cap, both hats fitted with an eye tracking device. (In case you were wondering, the participants were told that they were wearing headgear to hold the device in place, as opposed telling them that they were wearing headgear because the researchers needed a cheap laugh.) They played a computer game where they gambled on how much they could inflate a balloon before bursting. Apparently, both the cyclists and non-cyclists who were wearing a bicycle helmet were willing to risk inflating the balloon higher than their corresponding cap wearers. I say "apparently" because, after following the link to the SAGE journals website, I was only able to read the abstract of the study. Our Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Constitution, in what must have been a careless oversight, does not supply the Pedal Press Editor with a yearly research stipend. Hence, I was not willing to fork over 35 dollars out of my own pocket to actually read the article.

But the point remains that if we assume that inflating animated balloons is comparable to real life risk taking behaviors, such as inflating bicycle tubes without a tire gauge, this study does indeed gives one pause. As well as generating more hypotheses, such as the following.

  • Does wearing a stovepipe hat lead one to engage in more theater going risk taking behavior?
  • Does wearing a fez lead one to engage in more reckless miniature car driving behavior?
  • Does wearing a porkpie hat lead one to engage in more improvisational music playing behavior?

Worthy questions, I think you'll agree, that beg for an answer, particularly if we amend the KBC Constitution.

However, because I am a Man of Action, as well as a Pedal Press Editor, I decided to forge ahead and do some bicycle helmet wearing research of my own, using my favorite subject and costing my favorite amount of money - me and zero. I think you'll be fascinated by the results.

Wearing a Bicycle Helmet While Taking a Shower: Since the researchers were from the University of Bath, this seemed to be an appropriate place to start my own research. I strapped on my helmet and felt a wave of confidence wash over me, almost precluding the need for a shower. I turned the faucet to full heat and immediately turned on the shower, because the water would get hot eventually. I soaped my feet and began to practice break dancing moves (oh, to be a fly on the wall) to the sounds of music from the radio perched at the edge of the tub. My head spin was particularly impressive and was greatly aided by the helmet. Shampooing my hair was a challenge, but I rose to the occasion, finding a new use for the air vents. I then stood in the tub and dried myself off using my hair dryer.

Wearing a Bicycle Helmet While Cooking: I decided to fix chili for dinner. So, I strapped on my helmet, looked at my hands, and thought to myself, "Ah, they're clean enough, although not as clean as the toilet I just scrubbed." I got out the ground beef, placed it on the cutting board, separated it into small pieces, and put the pieces in the skillet to brown. Then, without washing my hands because they still looked clean enough, I got out the onion, green pepper, and tomato. I also got out the kitchen knives and thought to myself, "You know, it's finally time that I learn how to juggle!" After determining that I needed more practice, I chopped up the food items on the cutting board and placed the onion and pepper pieces in the skillet. I turned on the burner, occasionally picking up the skillet with one hand while placing the palm of my other hand on the coil to make sure that it was hot enough. I stirred the ground meat, onion, and green pepper with my finger. When it was done, I poured the grease down the drain.

It was then time to cook the chili. I placed the meat, onions, and green pepper into a cast iron pot, added the tomato slices, and stirred in tomato sauce, opening the can with a rusty screwdriver and a hammer. I stirred in copious amounts of chili powder and an entire jar of red pepper just to tantalize my taste buds, followed by a can of hot chili beans, also removed from their can via screwdriver and hammer. I set the burner to full heat and cooked the chili, while checking to see if the pot was hot enough with my tongue.

Wearing a Bicycle Helmet While Doing Laundry: I strapped on my helmet and placed all my clothes into the washing machine, because it was too much trouble to separate the clothes by color, and if worse came to worse, it didn't matter, because tie-dyed clothes look really hip. I threw in some detergent and bleach without measuring, of course, because only squares measure detergent and bleach. Then, after spinning the wash setting like a roulette wheel, I started the washer. After the clothes were washed, I jammed them into the dryer and set it to high heat for 3 hours, because I like my clothes to be warm and snuggly. Of course, I didn't clean the lint trap beforehand.

Wearing a Bicycle Helmet While Shoveling Snow: I strapped on my helmet and thought to myself, "Hernia surgery, schmernia surgery, I don't need to worry about that!" So, I left my snowblower in the garage and got out my snow shovel. I made a game out of trying to see how much snow I could place on the shovel at one time. Then, while throwing the snow, I pretended that I was playing "Twister," just to give my back a good workout. I also made a game out of seeing how fast I could shovel the snow, just to give my heart a good workout. There were some places where I had to use the snowblower to clean up some particularly icy spots, but this also gave me the opportunity to explore where the hole in the chute actually goes.

Well, as you can see, I think we're detecting a pattern here, but further testing is needed. For example, future researchers could study the effect of wearing a bicycle helmet while doing income taxes, lawn mowing, tree trimming, and bar hopping. And while we're testing the hypothesis that wearing a bicycle helmet encourages a person to engage in risky behaviors, we should also keep in mind that it may actually be the case that wearing a baseball cap encourages a person to behave like a complete wuss.

Still, if I ever see a picture of Kim Jong-un wearing a bicycle helmet while reviewing a parade (or an execution), I think I'm going to really regret not building that fallout shelter.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

Maybe next month....

Classified Ads

Still no ads. It's nice to want you have.

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

Custer Cyclery

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

Gazelle Sports

214 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, (269) 342–5996,
Visit Gazelle Sports, Downtown Kalamazoo, for a big surprise. A TOTALLY remodeled store containing all your favorite brands!

Kzoo Swift

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

Pedal Downtown

- 611 W Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, (269)567-3325

Pedal South

- 185 Romence Road, Portage, (269)324-5555
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.