Pedal Press

Fast Track Index


KBC Fall Color Ride - October 15

Weather permitting; we'll start at 9:30 a.m. sharp, leaving from the parking lot of St. Timothy Church, 9800 BC Avenue (0.7 miles east of M43). We'll cover 40 miles, being back in time for some chili at noon (for those brave souls willing to try my cooking). We'll keep the speed to 18 mph average. We'll probably do the "traditional" Barry County route. If it's raining or roads are quite wet at 8:30 a.m., we'll cancel. Hope to have a good crowd--there's only so much leftover chili my family can tolerate.

The ride last year was great. We had a good turnout and great ride. The group stayed together and was steady.

Please contact Knute at with any questions about the ride.

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President's Letter

I write this letter on September 22, 2005. At around 5 PM this evening, the sun crossed the equator signifying the end of summer. And what a summer it has been.

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club had a full and active season. FlowerFest, a full plate of weekday rides, the Tuesday Night Time Trial Series, a few extended week end rides, and the 34th Anniversary Ride. The club provided needed support to the WMU/USCF road race in April and the State Championship Road Race in September. The Tuesday Night Time Trial made an appearance on Channel 3 and was portrayed several times in the Gazette. Ridership was up on all of the rides.

From the different bike jerseys that I have seen on rides, club members have also been active in many bike tours. Shoreline, DALMAC, RAGBRAI, even upstate New York and Vermont have been destinations for many club members.

Race Team KBC/Little Caesars was very active this summer in its first season. The club was well represented at the State Time Trial Championship, The State Road Race Championship, and in many local and regional races.

Weekday rides will continue through October 28, the Friday before daylight savings time disappears. However, due to diminishing daylight the start times in October are at 5:30 rather than 6:00. For these later season rides, it is strongly suggested that you wear bright or reflective clothing. Keep in mind that bicyclists are REQUIRED by state law to have tail AND front lights if you are going to be out on the road less than 30 minutes before sunset. Even with earlier start times, it is getting darker at the end of rides, so please keep this in mind. Lights are not expensive and you do not need a mobile searchlight costing hundreds of dollars to be safe on the road. Don?t let darkness end your riding season.

What makes the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club a success is the energy of its members. If you have an idea for a ride, or would like to be a ride leader, would like to be an officer of the club, or can just lend a hand to assist other volunteers, please come to the October meeting of the club.

Mike Boersma, KBC President

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Meeting Minutes

KBC?s regular monthly meeting was held Tuesday, September 13, 2005 at 7:00 pm at the Kalamazoo YMCA located on Maple Street. KBC President Mike Boersma led this monthly meeting. Other members present were Jim Kindle, Tom Keizer, Mike Berry, Zolton Cohen, Paul Bruneau, Victor Van Fleet, and Dave Jones.

The first topic of business was a follow-up report by Dave Jones, head of the Flowerfest Organizing Group (F.O.G.), regarding a potential Flowerfest questionnaire. Jones believes a questionnaire is the best way to gather feedback about the ride. He feels it would be beneficial to learn how cyclists found out about the ride, as well as rating the ride and what preferences or changes they might like to see. Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager, offered to place the survey on KBC?s website, allowing members to give their feedback. Bruneau also recommended using the e-mail addresses of pre registered non-KBC- member riders, sending them a link to the survey?s web page in hopes of getting their feedback. Mike Berry asked the board if it might not be a good idea to enter all persons who complete the survey in a drawing with a chance to win a tee-shirt, as this would encourage participation. Zolton Cohen suggested a paid registration for next year?s ride as a possible prize. The latter was mutually agreed upon, and Jones told the board he would work on finalizing a questionnaire and submitting it to Bruneau for listing on the KBC?s website.

State Championship Road Race Review: The board discussed the pros and cons of this race, put on by race director and WMU student Dave Boboltz. Mike Boersma stated that there were roughly 150 to 200 riders and that there were a lot more spectators present than at the spring race. It was noted that two articles in the Kalamazoo Gazette were the probable reason for the increase. One major drawback of the race route proved to be a problem with the final sprint location. Racers had to turn against traffic on D Avenue north onto 6th Street in order to reach the finish line at the Alamo Elementary School. The plan was to have traffic on 6th Street temporarily held up to allow sprinting in both lanes to the finish line. Due to an apparent miscommunication with a Sheriff?s deputy this did not happen. It was the opinion of some observers and racers alike that D Avenue should not be used for future races. The preferred course would go back to using DE Avenue, which would make for a better, safer, and more controllable race. Particular attention was paid to this race as it could have a dramatic impact on a KBC spring race, the running of which is still uncertain at this time.

Newsletter Editor Zolton Cohen asked the club last month about the liability of KBC directors and officers, and about what KBC?s insurance covers. There wasn?t a copy of the insurance policy available for review at the last meeting so Tom Keizer obtained a brochure about it for this meeting. The brochure spelled out the main points regarding the insurance coverage. Keizer stated that the club does not have an original copy of the policy, as KBC is insured through the League of American Bicyclist (LAB). A copy of the policy can be obtained through LAB. It was agreed by the members present that the brochure should be copied and sent to Doug Kirk for review, and that Kirk will report back to the club regarding what level of liability coverage KBC truly has.

Also brought up from last month?s meeting was discussion about possibly offering KBC e-mail service through Paul Bruneau listed the advantages and disadvantages, but in the end expressed that this service might indeed be a good additional benefit for members, and that he would be willing to take on the additional work needed to implement it. Members who take advantage of this service would be able to receive e-mail sent through the KBC?s web site. The e-mail message would then be forwarded to personal e-mail addresses members have on file with KBC. The administrator of the email service would have no access to the emails at any time; the service would be completely confidential. Bruneau will compose a proposed e-mail policy and submit it to the club at the next monthly meeting. In addition, he?ll create a mock sign-up page on the KBC website for the board to review.

Zolton Cohen noted that the November election of KBC board members is rapidly approaching. As there will be openings for both elected and appointed positions, Cohen will publish an announcement regarding the elections in the PedalPress. Anyone who would like or is willing to run for any of the positions is welcome to do so.

Treasurer?s Report: Tom Keizer reported that the club had income in August of $407.37 and outgoing expenses of $4,876.30. He also stated that although not all expenses have been reported, there is a profit thus far from the FlowerFest Tour of $2,030.51. The checking account balance is $6,817.72 and savings of $9,046.85.

With no further business to attend to, the meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm. Next meeting: Tuesday, October 11, 2005, 7:00 PM, Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street.

Respectfully submitted,
Mike Berry, KBC Secretary

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Membership Statistics

Active subscriptions in KBC: 217


Rochelle Birmann * Takodo Bostwick * Kathryn Breese * Brendan Cleary * Michele Cudahy * Bill Duggan * Philip Ekema * Stuart Ekema * Jonathan Evans * Rick Gippert * Sherrie Glas * Deb Gray * Randy Halseth * Jennifer Hauschild * David Hickman * Mike Higgins * Austin Jones * Karen Jones * Tom Keizer * Robert Kennedy * Harry Kraus * Pam McDonnell * Mary Beth Minarik * Paul Pancella * Susan Peterson * Mark Prairie * Monty Rainwater * Kevyn Raynes * T.J. Seiwert * Emily Tingley * Jill Tingley * Daniel Victor

New Members

Alan T. Irwin * Marc Irwin * Stephen Penix * Adie Pregenzer * Jeffrey Pregenzer * Jennifer Pregenzer * Marie Pregenzer

Expiring Memberships

Joel Dinda Family * Edwin Micalizzi * Roy Richardson * Charles Tansey

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Strength Training for Women

Get an early start on your New Year?s resolution! Strength training will improve your bone density, stimulate your metabolism and tone your physique. This class will teach you proper weight training and will include exercises that can be done at home. The class will provide a weekly training schedule and nutritional tips. Train with Cheryl Olson, CSCS, in a small group (5 or less) and in Athletic Mentors? private training facility in Delton.

To Register, Call Athletic Mentors @ 269.664.6912

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Ride Captain Ramblings

I can?t believe we are approaching the end of another ride season. The months go by too quickly. The older I get the worse it is. This year has been another great ride season for KBC. The weather this summer was great for riding and attendance has been high at all the evening week day rides. Attendance at the rides remains stronger than ever and I think KBC has been successful in providing rides for cyclists of all abilities, especially riders on the road. Ride attendance at KBC weekday rides has increased over last year. There have been lots of new faces. I am amazed at the fitness level of cyclists in KBC. Everyone is riding well. The Monday (4 ? 6 groups with 50-60 riders), Wednesday (3 ? 4 groups with 50 ? 60 riders), Thursday (1 group with ~15 riders), and Friday (2 groups with ~40 riders) rides all have devoted attendees, even when the weather is threatening. Numerous riders are riding their bikes to the rides, which is a great way to get in a few more miles and treat the environment kindly. The remaining days of September are looking quite good as well. I know that schools and colleges are in session, so some of you are having a harder time getting to the rides at this time of the year.

Renee Mitchell and Jelania Haile established a Thursday morning Women?s ride this year. They have been very faithful to this ride and have established a consistent group. There is one rider than comes from Wayland to ride. Great job Renee and Jelania. I am happy to announce that Renee and Jelania plan to continue this ride into October and also to start it up again next spring. KBC is always looking for opportunities for new rides.

The special weekend rides have been well attended; the 34th Anniversary Ride on September 17th particularly so with 30 ? 40 riders on various routes. The groups stayed together very well. It was a fun ride. Michelle Intermont and Megan James did a great job organizing the ride and lunch. It was a fun and social event. The weather has been quite nice for riding this summer.

I?ve been out commission for a couple of weeks due to a little cycling mishap. Luckily for me the accident occurred close to home and on lightly traveled roads. My neighbor found me unconscious in the middle of road lying on my left side still straddling my bike. Apparently I passed out while riding, fell and banged my head hard enough to give me a concussion. My helmet saved me from a worse fate. I had a little road rash and a few bruises. I was cooling down from an intense short morning ride and felt fine during the ride until I fell. I have no memory of crashing. The crash must have occurred at a slow speed. My bike had only minor damage, a couple of scrapes on handle bar tape and brake levers. The wheels were still true. There is no evidence of another vehicle being involved or a road hazard. My theory is that I become dehydrated enough to pass out. I did not feel thirsty and had no warning before I crashed. The moral of the story is to always wear your helmet and to make sure you are properly hydrated, especially on early morning rides. Also, there are other ways to crash than being hit or run off the ride by a motor vehicle, or colliding with another bike. Be careful out there.

I hope you are able to do some riding in the month of October. The weather is a bit variable in October and you will likely need additional layers of clothing, but the riding can be quite nice. We plan to continue the Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday rides until the time changes back to standard time. Due to the earlier starting times and cooler weather attendance will likely start to fall off a bit. We will likely have an impromptu weekend ride sometime in October if the weather looks inviting. If the ride materializes, I will send an email note and post it on the KBC web page.

There is still some great riding left in the next couple of months such as the Columbus Fall Challenge in Lancaster, OH Oct 1 & 2, ( (very challenging), or The Hilly 100 in Bloomington, IN Oct 14, 15, 16 ( These rides are a great way to end the touring season.

Randy Putt, Ride Captain

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October Ride Schedule


The Monday Ride at Texas Drive Park will consist of 5 ride groups, which should provide a pace to suit riders of all abilities:

The 10-15 miles groups will generally ride the same route and are recommended for new riders. These groups will sometimes combine depending on the number of riders present. This group has gained quite a following, usually 10 ? 15 riders.

The 25-30 mile groups will typically ride the same route in. KBC recommends the 17 mph group for more experienced riders who are new to the club. This group is very steady and one of the most popular KBC ride groups.

There will be one 19 ? 20 mph group and the group rides the flat Schoolcraft route or the more hilly Lawton route. The riders present can decide weekly. The group will stay together regardless of the route.

All riders who want to push the pace and ride hills on the Lawton route can do so in the 19 -20 mph group or 20+ mph group. The 19 ? 20 mph group will stay together. The 20+ mph group could fragment into smaller groups. These groups may combine depending on the number of riders.

The Wednesday Ride meets at the Kal-Haven Trail Parking lot. KBC offers 3 ride groups:

The Wednesday night Hammerfest also starts at the Kal-Haven Trail Parking lot. The pace of the ride is typically greater than 23 mph and the route goes to Bloomingdale and back (about 46 miles). Since the route is well known to most of the regular riders, no maps are available for this ride. This group is typically large (more than 15 riders) and consists of racers and other experienced riders. Typically, there is no designated ride leader. The group typically fragments into smaller groups and the riders often times do not finish together. This ride is hard and is not suitable for inexperienced riders. Some riders can expect to be dropped from the main group.

Women?s Morning Ride ? Would you like to meet other women in cycling? Join Renee Mitchell and Jelania Haile for a women?s only ride on Thursday mornings. Meet at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC- south-west parking lot by the tennis courts) at 10AM. The pace will be 15-16 mph with a distance of 20-25 miles.

Thursday Night Ride is a nice and easy social ride night at Texas Drive Park and has a small loyal group, which is growing in size. Riders of all riding abilities are welcome. The pace is typically 15-17 mph and distance is 20-25 miles (led by Dave Jones and Bob Kennedy).

The Friday Tour de Gull (TDG) meets at Billy?s Bike Shop in Galesburg for a ride around Gull Lake (27 miles). We have a 16-17 mph group periodically as well as a large 22+ mph group. Doug Kirk also established an alternate Southern Route, which was successful last year and is an available route. The fast group typically leads itself. It is a great route of rolling hills and curvy roads, and fast and furious finish for the 22+ mph group. The south route is flatter and has minimal traffic. The route for this ride is well established so the ride leader job is easy. There has been interest from club members in establishing a 13-15 mph group for this ride. If you are interested, please contact the Ride Captain. We would love to have you.

Special Weekend Ride

If you have comments about the above-mentioned rides or have suggestions for other rides, contact Randy Putt by phone or e-mail.

If you have any questions about ride leader duties or would like to lead a ride, call the ride captain at 649-1814 or send an email to or .

Randy Putt, Ride Captain

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Race Results

Great Racing Accomplishments

A huge CONGRATULATIONS to a fantastic performance by Pam McDonnell in the Ore to Shore Soft Rock Mountain Bike Race!!! Pam has been dedicated to improving her health and fitness over the past year. As a result she took 40 MINUTES off her time at the Ore to Shore Epic race!! Give Pam a pat on the back when you see her and remind her of what a great example she has set for everyone around her!!

As you?ll see below, we have many fantastic racers generating great race outcomes this year. What may not be obvious by a mere reading of the results are the great performances by Zach McBride and John Doyle at the Green Mountain Stage Race. This is the hardest riding/racing I have ever done anywhere!!! The races included climbs with 20% + grades. With a 27 tooth gear on my rear wheel, I could barely turn the pedals over. Needless to say, there was nobody from the Midwest in this race except the small group that drove over in our van!! Nice job to Zach and to John on their first road race in the mountains amongst the very toughest competition!!

Upcoming Racing

Visit and for the fall cyclocross schedule.

Stony Creek Time Trial, 07/31/2005

Ore To Shore, 08/20/2005 ? Hard Rock (48 Mile)

Ore To Shore, 08/20/2005 ? Soft Rock (28 Mile)

Lapeer Criterium, 8/21/2005

Rockford Criterium. 8/27/2005

Fort Custer Time Trial, 08/28/2005

Green Mountain Stage Race, Labor Day Weekend

Michigan State Championship (6th Street) 9/10/2005

Hines Park TT 9/14/2005

Tour De Leelanau 9/17/2005

Addison Oaks Cross Country, 09/18/05

MMBA Championshp Point Series Overall Standings through 07/31/05

If I?ve missed your race results, please email me at With so many events on the local calendar it?s difficult to find them all without a bit of help!

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State Road Race Championship Wrap Up

On September 10th, the State Championship Road Race was held in northern Kalamazoo County. The event drew 204 riders from Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Canada, and one from Germany.

Nine races left the Alamo Elementary School at 8:00 as the Township Supervisor official started each race. The races followed a very similar course to the one used this spring for the 6th Street Road Race. However, D Ave was used following resistance from residents on DE Ave.

This left the challenging portion of the course intact to keep racers happy, while also keeping residents happy. The sheriff protection that was on site did an excellent job managing traffic and protecting the riders.

The intersection of D Ave and 6th St did end up being busier than anyone expected. I feel like this was the only real problem during the day. By and large, the riders and officials were very pleased with the outcome of the event.

I talked to the Township Supervisor on the 26th. He had heard nothing but good comments from area residents. I would like to thank everyone that helped distribute letters to residents and everyone that came out on race day. Nothing would have worked if it hadn?t been for these great volunteers. While organizing the State Championships by myself in 6 weeks proved to be a challenge, I continue to learn how to make the next event better.

David Boboltz
State Championship Road Race Director

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Anniversary Ride Review

KBC?s annual 34th Anniversary Ride and Party on Saturday, September 17th, was well attended ? and the weather could not have been more ideal for the event. Though the morning started out cool, by departure time it was warm enough to peel away arm warmers and vests and to embark on a road or trail ride.

About 20 riders opted for the longest route, while others did shorter road routes, and several took to the Kal Haven Trail. It was the type of day when distance really didn?t matter, because it felt like you could ride forever ? a concept that was put to the test on the longer route as directionally-impaired newsletter editor Zolton Cohen took the group down a wrong turn, adding about four miles to their ride.

But in the end, everyone made it back to the trailhead all right, where food and drink was waiting. Social Directors Megan James and Michele Intermont, in their swan song performance, laded the tables with pizzas, soft drinks, and eating utensils. Contributions by KBC members included salads, hors d?oeuvres, and desserts ? including lots and lots of brownies. Most excellent!

Between the riding, eating, and conversation at the trailhead it was well nigh impossible not to come away from this party without having had a workout, a full stomach, and a feeling of camaraderie. Not too shabby for a Saturday morning in September. Good show Michele and Megan! Another finely tuned KBC social event. And thanks to all who came, rode, and participated. Let?s do it again next year?

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KBC Elections in November

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club holds an election each November to select the Executive Committee (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer) for its Board of Directors. Board member terms are for one year, and anyone who is a member of the club may run for any position.

This year, three incumbents are: Mike Boersma, President; Jim Kindle, Vice President; Tom Keizer, Treasurer. Mike Berry regretfully must give up his secretarial post due to a conflict with his work schedule.

Several volunteers have indicated their intentions to continue their service to the club in non-elected appointed positions. Those individuals include Paul Bruneau, Database Manager; Kathy Kirk, Webmaster; Zolton Cohen, Newsletter Editor; Victor Van Fleet, Safety and Education Chair. Additionally, Jelania Haile and Renee Mitchell have expressed an interest in taking over the Social Director duties from the outgoing team of Michele Intermont and Megan James.

Nominations for Executive Board candidates are taken at the October meeting; the election takes place during the November meeting. Please plan on coming to the election meeting to vote, Tuesday, November 8th, 7:00 PM at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. And while you might not be interested in assuming a position in the club at this time, there is always a need for more volunteer help to assist those who are either elected or appointed.

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Big News from the League of American Bicyclists

Greetings Mike,

Six weeks ago as century season shifted into high gear, we were busy analyzing the impact of the more than $3.5 billion dollars for bicycling in the federal transportation bill. Just last week I had the pleasure of riding a few days of Cycle Oregon and every conversation confirmed the amazing versatility of the bicycle and the importance of what we do .The price of gas was on everyone's mind, as was the devastation of Hurricane Katrina - along with ideas on how bicycling can help alleviate the transportation needs of those who have lost their cars, their jobs, and their homes.


The federal transportation bill (SAFETEA-LU) has been signed into law and over the next five years more than $3.5 billion dollars will be turned over to the states for bicycle-related projects. This money can be used for things like widening shoulders, teaching bike safety, buying share-the-road signs, and building trails. This coming March (1-3), the League's National Bike Summit will focus on ensuring the money is well spent - so please save the date and make sure your club is represented.


I am off to Omaha in October to conduct a bicycle-friendly community workshop with the help of the Omaha Peddlers. In it, we will discuss strategies to make Omaha a better place for cyclists to ride. At the end of October I'll be off to Florida to learn from the Boca Raton and West Palm Beach bicycle clubs and to continue working with them on improving conditions for bicyclists - especially along state route A1A.


Our long-awaited BikeEd video/DVD is in the final stages of production. We're excited to have our first preview tomorrow and hope to have copies ready for use by late October. The DVD will be an excellent teaching tool for beginner club cyclists and ride leader training. Watch for more details on ordering a copy for your club.

Safe riding,
Andy Clarke
Executive Director League of American Bicyclists

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Update on Kevin Hale Vehicle/Bike Assault Case

Editor?s Note: As many of you may recall, bicyclists Kay Barker and Jim Patton recently were struck by an automobile while riding on 37th Street in Galesburg. This was the second time this summer Barker had been hit; this time the driver allegedly backed up and tried to run the riders over.

The following, sent in by Brian Barker, is an update as to the status of the case, and the alleged perpetrator, a Kevin Hale. Many of us emailed and called the prosecutor?s office to express our outrage at this incident, and it seems as though our concerns are being heard?

Barker writes, ?The arraignment took place yesterday and the bottom line is that he is bound over for trial. Two additional felony counts were added to the original charge (for putting his car in reverse and trying to run over the riders) of hitting one of the riders intentionally with his car. His defense is that it was an accident.

?The case is not going to plea bargain to a lesser count and I believe that all of the emails made a difference. Thanks to all of you who emailed the prosecutor's office expressing your opinion in this case.

?The next step is for him to plead guilty or go to trial. Once convicted we will ask all of you to email the judge that will be responsible for sentencing to express our opinions again.

?Please pass this along to anyone who may be interested.?

Brian Barker

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Riding in Twilight

Privileges versus Commonsense

The days are getting shorter and the days are getting cooler. This combination inspires many of us to get out and get the most out of biking while the good weather prevails.

Sometimes in an effort to capitalize on the fall weather we may have a tendency to push our luck to extremes. In spite of all the talk about pace-lines, two abreast, observing traffic rules and regulations, there are those who either don't listen or choose to ignore commonsense safety procedures. As bikers we may have legal road privileges, but when a biker tangles horns with a 4000+ pound automobile the "privilege" will not in any way, shape or form protect him from possible injury or, perish the thought, death.

This summer has seen more than one motor vehicle/bike conflict in which the biker came out second best. It is not the purpose of this writer to point fingers or to be judgmental, but to use the information as a backdrop to emphasize the importance of recognizing a dangerous situation and then taking appropriate action that will promote accident-free biking.

Case in point: In the last couple of weeks riders who ride from their home to the Kal-Haven Trailhead in most cases ride home after their ride. The days are considerably shorter now and in most cases the riders must pedal home after sundown. If the ride is longer than expected, or the ride assessment drags on and on, the ride home may be in very subdued light. Without a tail light bikers are very vulnerable. Whether it was KBC riders or not, this last Wednesday it was after sundown and three bikers were traveling south from the trail-head, on Tenth Street, three abreast and two bikers had no tail lights. Not a good combination!

The week before, and from the same place, a lone biker without a taillight was traveling the same route in total darkness. Thinking it would be a good idea to offer him and his bike a lift to his destination I pulled ahead, stopped and offered him a ride, and was rejected.

It isn't just vehicular traffic we should be concerned with, but the imperfections in the roadway, which if not observed at the right moment can and have been a disastrous experience for several of our members. After sundown, riding when visibility is limited most certainly increases the possibility of serious and possibly fatal cycling accidents

There are a wide variety of taillights, headlights and reflective devices available for nightriders, and the cost is negligible as compared to a possible bike/auto catastrophe. Any one of these devices may mitigate the problem to a certain extent. However, nothing can compare to the individual exercising good, everyday commonsense. Thanks for reading and may all your rides be safe, pleasant and enjoyable.

Submitted by Victor Van Fleet, Safety and Education Committee

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Axel Kleat


It?s been a bad year for bicycling accidents around here, and it pains me?literally?to admit I?ve joined the club. While my injuries certainly are not the worst any of us has suffered, multiple fractures definitely count as bad. I?ve learned more than I really wanted to know about pain, about using crutches, and about depending on family and friends to accomplish the most basic daily activities.

It?s sobering to hit the pavement really hard doing the sport I love, and especially so when it happens on one of my favorite club rides, the Hammerfest, a ride I?ve done so many times I might be forgiven for thinking I knew how to look after myself. Yet in an instant my good, late-season fitness evaporated, leaving me painfully struggling just to get in and out of bed or move around the house.

I?m still coming to grips with the fact that I could get hurt so badly on my bike without a car being involved, and without actually doing anything wrong, or even stupid. So while I impatiently wait to heal?a process that is taking ?way, ?way too long by my reckoning?I have plenty of time to mull the whole thing over, and consider how I?m responding to one of the more life-altering events I?ve experienced.

One big change is my own, personal relationship with physical pain. There can be a lot of suffering associated with riding. At first there?s the pain that comes with learning to ride, of a poorly fitted bike, bad seats and sore sit-bones, and backs, necks and wrists. Later arrives the pain that comes from pushing yourself, suffering up hills, trying to keep up with faster riders, or challenging your own personal best time. After 24 years of riding, I?ve done my share of hurting out there. I figured I was pretty well aware of my body?s response to pain, and I took some pride in understanding that exposing myself to pain and suffering is an essential part of living.

What I learned smacking the pavement is that I can hurt a whole lot more than I knew, hurt too bad to write about really, and that pain is a whole lot worse when I have no control over its comings and goings. Lance, as well as Greg Lemond before him, both said that the pain of their illness or injuries made each of them better riders; that afterwards they were better able to withstand the suffering that is part of racing at the highest level. Their results bore out the truth of their observations. That the same might turn out to be true for me is about the only silver lining I can imagine here.

I know for sure I?ll get back on the bike as soon as I can. I miss riding terribly. I miss suffering up hills and hurtling back down. I miss putting myself through self-inflicted pain. I miss big pre-ride meals, I miss yelling at stupid drivers, I miss the sensory stimulation. I?d be happy to bonk right about now. Heck, I miss getting dropped?now that?s a first! I can?t think of a single thing I don?t miss about riding?other than falling.

But it?s tougher to say that I?ll get right back into big, fast packs of riders like the one I was in when I went down. It never really occurred to me before that I could go down hard in a pack as long as I paid attention and protected my front wheel religiously. I guess I figured I was skilled enough that at worst I?d get a good case of road rash or something. Now that I?ve found out otherwise I?m just not going to feel as safe.

Will I get over it? I hope so. I suppose I?ll start out with smaller groups of friends and see how it goes. The human psyche tends to forget painful experiences, and this bit of evolutionary development is my best hope for getting myself back into the pack. As long as I remember just how awful it was those first few days, it seems hard to rationalize taking the risk.

I have to admit that the magnitude of the injury makes a big difference psychologically. It?s all fine and good to claim I understand that every ride could be the last one?a sentiment I?ve echoed for years. Yet having an opportunity to experience real, bad-to-the-bone pain and total inability to move about without orthopedic appliances?even for just a few weeks?really underscores the devastation of losing anything I truly love.

To put it another way, before this injury, I understood full well that each ride could be the last. Now I have some genuine understanding of what life might be like after that last ride?assuming I live to tell the tale. Believe me, some serious emotional adjustment is required. And even now, I can only imagine how much harder it would be if the loss turned out to be permanent.

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KBC Contact Information

2005 KBC Board of Directors
President Mike Boersma
  Phone: 269-720-1409
Vice President Jim Kindle
  Phone: 269-382-8053
Secretary Mike Berry
  Phone: 269-427-7204
Treasurer Tom Keizer
  Phone: 269-382-4737
Database Manager Paul Bruneau
  Phone: 269-343-6016
Newsletter Editor Zolton Cohen
  Phone: 269-344-0200
Ride Captain Randy Putt
  Phone: 269-649-1814
Social Director Michele Intermont
  Phone: 269-373-8929
Social Director Meghan James
Webmaster Kathy Kirk
  Phone: 269-388-5045
Flowerfest Director Dave Jones
  Phone: 269-760-8869

KBC Membership Fees

Monthly club meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month February through December at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. Time is 7:00 PM. All members are encouraged to attend.

Please go to our website at to sign up for membership and for more information about KBC.

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