Charge up your bike lights, check out your trail bike, and plan on joining a few KBC members for a ride on the Kal Haven Trail to Gobles and back.
Since this is usually a smaller group with a variety of fitness levels and equipment (cross bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids, etc) you have to be able to "fend for yourself" out there. Being prepared is always important but Wednesday night trail riding kicks it up a notch.
If you're willing and prepared it's probably one of the best ways to still feel the enjoyment of a Wednesday night ride as long as the weather permits. There's nothing like getting done with this ride and cranking up the heater and stereo in your car on the way home! Hope to see you out there.
Editor?s note: The Wednesday night Kal Haven Trail ride is indeed a great way to stay in shape ? and stay in touch with KBC members ? during the fall months. As Tom pointed out however, this ride does present some potential dangers. First, the ride takes place in the dark. You must have a good light that will last for approximately two hours (to be on the safe side). If you don?t have one already, bike shops are starting to carry the new, higher capacity LED light designs that work reasonably well for not all that much money.
In addition, you must prepare yourself for mechanical breakdowns or flats. It?s one thing to flat on the road when it?s daylight and 80 degrees out. It?s quite another when it?s dark, on the trail in the puckerbrush somewhere, and 35. Carry tools that enable you to do simple repairs, carry a spare tube, tire levers, an inflation device ? and know how to use them. Chances are you will be able to enlist some help from the other ride participants should you break down. But don?t ask them to stand around in wet clothing while you try to figure out how to insert a tube into a flat tire. It?s a good idea to practice changing a flat a few times before you undertake this ride. Flats don?t happen often on the trail, but if they do it can be a real hassle for everyone involved.
Finally, expect to see some wildlife on this ride. In the past we?ve encountered raccoons, possums, owls and deer. In fact, a few years ago we were almost crashed into by a big buck who vaulted out of the underbrush perpendicular to and right in front of us. Ride alert and make sure your brakes work well!
October 30 and an end to daylight savings time are rapidly approaching. Regular weekday rides will have ended on October 28. This does not mean that our bike club activities will end. There will be Kalamazoo Bicycle Club rides down the Kal Haven trail ?under the lights.? These will be trail rides to Gobles and back, starting from the 10th Street Trailhead. Lights and helmets are required. The rides will continue until snow blocks the trail. You will need to be self sufficient on these rides.
There are many opportunities to spin throughout Kalamazoo during the winter. Spinning is the process of placing one?s bike on a trainer and riding in place (or using a special spinning bike in an organized class). Alfred E Bike will start holding spinning sessions in its basement in November and they may have extra trainers to use. Please check the listserve for other opportunities.
Many KBC members are also involved with cross country skiing. Milham Park Golf Course is available for inline skiing, and has also been groomed in the past for skate skiing. The Al Sabo land preserve has some really good skiing opportunities, as does Yankee Springs, although these areas do not groom trails.
There will be cyclocross opportunities in the area, although the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club has not as yet organized any rides. If you know of someone who would volunteer to organize such a ride, please let the listserve know. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Recovery Party will take place in January at a date and location to be determined. Please keep an eye open for announcements.
The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club will hold elections for executive officers at the November meeting. Announced candidates include Jim Kindle for Vice President, Tom Keizer for Treasurer, and Mike Boersma for President. There is an open seat for Secretary. If you are interested in running for office or would like to vote in this election, please plan to be present at the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club meeting on November 8, 2005, 7:00 PM at the Maple Street YMCA in Kalamazoo.
Plan to stay active in the off season!
Mike Boersma, KBC President
KBC?s regular monthly meeting was held Tuesday, October 11, 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, Doug Kirk, Kathy Kirk, Jelania Haile and Renee Mitchell.
The first topic of business was a question posed to the club by Zolton Cohen. Cohen asked the club if we couldn?t put some of the club?s savings in a money market or short term CD as we do not have any big expenditures likely in the near future and have not had any in the past during the winter months. Victor Van Fleet pointed out that a 4 month CD at 4% is now being offered at Flagstaff Bank. Tom Keizer will look into this and find the best possible rate at which to invest and then report back to the club his findings. It was suggested that an amount of $10,000 could possibly be invested.
The next discussion centered on the fact that KBC has not once given anything to the Kal Haven Trail for the use of their facilities. Zolton Cohen pointed out that we use the facilities there every Wednesday night during the summer, along with the spring Bike Camp and the fall Anniversary Ride and Party.
Cohen noted that the club?s constitution mandates that the club promote bicycling in the Kalamazoo area, and as the Kal Haven trail is the one of the region?s main venues for bicycling, suggested that KBC make a donation. The group also discussed sending donations to the Charter Township of Texas for the club?s use of their parking lot on Monday nights, and to the City of Kalamazoo for upkeep of the eastern portion of the Kal Haven Trail.
Cohen made a motion to donate $400.00 to the Van Buren County Road Commission for Kal Haven Trail maintenance, $100.00 to the Charter Township of Texas, and $100.00 to the City of Kalamazoo. The motion was seconded by Boersma and voted upon with 8 approving and 2 against. Cohen also stated that he would draft the Thank You notes that accompany the checks for each of the three recipients.
Mike Boersma stated that the elections of KBC executive officers will be held at the November meeting, and that KBC members who wish to run are invited to attend. There are openings for elected positions.
During last month?s meeting Paul Bruneau cited the advantages and disadvantages of offering e-mail service through kalamazoobicycleclub.org. Bruneau created a mock sign-up page for the board to review. After some discussion and an airing of concerns Tom Keizer moved to accept the e-mail program as presented. Doug Kirk seconded. The vote passed unanimously.
For those who missed last month?s meeting minutes, members who take advantage of this service would be able to receive e-mail sent through the KBC website. 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 stated that the service should be available by next month, and Zolton Cohen will write an article about it for the PedalPress.
KBC New Rider Outreach: Jelania Haile presented a plan to attract new riders to the club by using a weeks-long, instructional ?Bike Camp? type format. Bike Camp would be designed to get people who normally would not think about riding with KBC?s weekday rides to ride in groups as part of a training plan pointing toward July?s FlowerFest Tour.
Haile?s format would include a different topic presented each week, such as learning how to ride on the road or in a group, bike apparel, changing gears, safety, conditioning and weight loss. A short ride would follow each week?s lecture session, and bike campers would be encouraged to ride on their own between the weekly meetings. A suggested training plan would also be provided for each group.
After discussion on the topic most members were excited to hear Haile?s plans and offered to help. Zolton Cohen suggested forming a Bike Camp Committee, and Mike Boersma asked for volunteers. Paul Bruneau, Jim Kindle, Zolton Cohen, Jelania Haile, Renee Mitchell and Victor Van Fleet will comprise the Bike Camp Committee. Any other members who wish to get involved are encouraged to contact those committee members.
Recovery Party: A date needs to be set for the upcoming recovery party in January and Mike Boersma posed the question to the club as to when we should fit this into the schedule. Kathy Kirk informed the attending meeting members that a venue would have to be secured first before a time for the party is set. Since she already has a venue in mind, Kirk told the club she will follow up on this and report back to the club at the November meeting as to where and when it could be available.
New Social Directors: Jelania Haile and Renee Mitchell have graciously offered to take over the duties of outgoing Social Directors Michele Intermont and Megan James. The Board of Directors addresses appointed positions in the club at a later meeting after the November elections are over and the new Executive Committee is in place.
Victor Van Fleet asked the club if there is any interest in an indoor venue for bicycling. Van Fleet has done some research on the subject and reported to the club on the possibility of finding an available venue such as Midlink, the old GM plant. Midlink has tall ceilings where a balcony could be built along the perimeter for cycling. Van Fleet told the board that if there was any interest he would pursue his research. Finding an existing business that could accommodate the bicycling community in this regard would be a major accomplishment, but there would need to be enough interest to make it profitable. All members present agreed that such a venue is worth pursuing, and Van Fleet agreed to continue looking into the possibilities.
Treasurer?s Report: Tom Keizer reported that the club had income of $284.07 and outgoing expenses of $192.56 in September. The checking account balance is $3,909.23 and savings $12,051.24.
With no further business to attend to, the meeting was adjourned at 8:05 pm. Next meeting: Tuesday, November 8, 2005, 7:00 PM, Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street.
Mike Berry, KBC Secretary
Bike for Sale:
2001 Specialized Allez M4 Pro - Yellow & Black. Retailed at $1500. All Ultegra. New Ultegra Crank (172.5 mm), new rear wheel and new cassette this year. Thompson seat post and stem. I actually have two Thompsons to help fit the buyer. Fits riders 5'-10" to 6'-0". Original owner, regular maintenance, 3000 miles. $600 firm. Call me at 269-207-7974 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kevin Biek
Active subscriptions in KBC: 217
Betsy Barnes * Kathrine Branch * Carl Clatterbuck * Sean Cleary * Sheila Clothier * Alan Dahl * Beth Davis * Bruce Dedee * John Farrand * Polly Freer * Marie Giacobone * Jeff Harrison * Christine Horton * Justin Hostetler * Kathy Hutchins * Alan T. Irwin * Sheri Jones * Jason Kalkman * Jordon Kalkman * Michael Krischer * Julie Lawford * Frank Machnik * Tom Nehil * Jeff Newman * Cindy Noverr * Anne-Marie Olbrot * John Olbrot * Jim Patton * Juli Peterson * Mike Peterson * Marie Pregenzer * Clare Robertson * Suzee Rutgers * Alan Sylvester * Victor Van Fleet * Kevin Vonderfecht * Darlene Wolf * Chuck Zahnow
None this month
Tom Cross Family * Dan & Hannah Kallewaard * Mark Prairie * Steve Vonderfecht Family
I can?t believe we are at the end of another ride season. The months go by too quickly. The older I get the worse it is. The 2005-ride season has slowed with cooler temperatures and shorter days. Fall is at its peak now, so get out and enjoy the beauty. Even with the cool weather and shorter days KBC weekly rides have been well attended by riders in all the ride groups in October. The weather is cool and cloudy today, and dry, so you just have to put on few more clothes to stay warm. Of course, it can change in an instant. The temperature is scheduled to be in the 50?s tomorrow. It could be in the 60?s next week; who knows? Keep the bike ready to go. I hope you will be able to get out and ride. Take advantage of these glorious fall days.
We had yet another great summer of riding. The attendance at the regular weekly club rides exceeded my expectations once again. There are numerous new riders who have become regulars at the rides. Also, the six special weekend rides were well attended and a lot of fun. There was the
Let's plan to continue these rides next year. One person or a small group who wanted to go for a ride started all these rides. Knute Jacobson held the 1st Fall Ride in October last year and had a successful encore this year. Hey, it?s more fun to ride with a group, so we now have 6 special weekend rides. Other ideas for weekend rides are always welcome. All it takes is one person to get it started.
There are no regularly scheduled road rides in November due to the time change and low light conditions in the evenings. The weather in November might allow some weekend rides though, so plan to meet at KVCC at noon on Saturdays and Sundays as long as the weather permits for impromptu rides or schedule your own time and starting points. Also, there is a group of riders who meet at 6:00 PM on Wednesday nights at the Kal Haven Trailhead parking lot on 10th Street to ride the Trail to Gobles and back. Lights are required, as this ride takes place in the dark.
There are likely to be periodic impromptu rides, even in December, January, and February when the weather cooperates. E-mail is a great way to announce an impromptu ride. The riders who show up can determine the route and pace of the ride. If you would like to lead an impromptu weekend ride at some other time, give me a call, send me an e-mail (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org), or send a note via KBC group email and I would be more than happy to forward information about the ride to my biking e-mail list. There are always riders ready to go. If you would like to be on my ride list, send me your e-mail address.
If anyone has any ideas on how to improve upon our ride schedule or the rides themselves, please contact me or any KBC officer.
I would like to thank the ride leaders again for the great job they have done this year. The following people led weekday and/or weekend rides during the 2005 ride season: Zolton Cohen, Jelania Haile, Knute Jacobson, Dave Jones, Bob Kennedy, Larry Kissinger, Renee Mitchell, Randy Putt, Paul Raynes, Tim Stewart, Ron Gauthier, John Olbrot, Victor Van Fleet, Rick Whaley (all the way from Ann Arbor), and Jan Selby & the whole 13 ? 15 mph group on Monday and Wednesday nights. I asked Terry O'Connor, Dan Kallewaard, Paul Stevens, and Bill Strome to fill in for me a couple of times. Thanks also go to those conscientious riders who filled in at the last minute when no ride leader could make it. Come back next year. We need your help.
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 a rider who comes from Wayland to ride. Great job Renee and Jelania. I am happy to announce that Renee and Jelania plan to start this ride up again next spring. KBC is always looking for opportunities for new rides.
Also, give a special thanks to Megan James and Michele Intermont for their efforts in organizing the 34th Anniversary Ride and lunch. And let?s not forget the hard work by the Barnes family to continue the Tuesday Night Time Trial again this year. It was a great success this year. There were numerous riders who helped with this event, especially Zolton Cohen. I?m sure I missed a couple of volunteers.
Dan Kallewaard and I rode the Hilly 100 in Bloomington, IN last weekend. We had a great time. The weather was perfect, in low 70s and sunny, which was just right for the last tour of the 2005-riding season. Thousands of riders from all over the country were gathered in Bloomington to enjoy the hills, beautiful scenery and the joy of riding. There were riders on mountain bikes, road bikes, tandems [3 riders and 4 riders as well (whatever they are called)], recumbents (singles and tandems), trikes (both hand powered and leg powered). There were kids, families, adults (both young and old) and everyone was having a great time. It was work and it was glorious.
About 25 riders showed up on a sunny Saturday, October 15th at St. Timothy Church in Richland to explore the roads north of the county. KBC member Knute Jacobson, pastor of St. Timothy, hosted and led the 38 mile ride.
Pulling away from Banfield, one rider was heard to remark that it is easy to forget that sleepy little burgs like Banfield even exist anymore in our hurry-up world. But it?s easy and pleasurable to find them on a bicycle.
Thanks for putting this ride together Knute. Can we do it again next year?
Randy Putt, KBC Ride Captain
It?s over. The 2005 KBC season came to an official end on Friday, October 29th. For me though, it ended a couple of days earlier, on Wednesday the 26th. That was the date of the last Half Fast Ride of the season. And I?m sorry to see it go. For the record, Dan Kalleward took the final sprint back to the parking lot. He won it going away with Knute Jacobson and me ? and the rest of the pack ? in hot pursuit. Dan is a tough guy to run down from behind, and none of us was up to the task on that night.
It was a good season at the Half Fast. Attendance got so large at times that we looked into ways of splitting it up into two groups for better control and safety. But we never got around to it and the numbers dropped off gradually to more reasonable levels as the season wound down.
Even though the last Half Fast Ride occurred on a chilly night, a lot of people still showed up, and three groups ? the Hammerfest, Half Fast, and Quarter Fast Rides ? combined, at least for a while. For many it was a nostalgic ending to the season; for some it was an exercise in getting dropped. For still others it offered a final opportunity just before winter hits to try and nail some pelts on the side of the barn during the sprints. My experience included a little bit of each activity?
But I?ve got a confession to make: I love this sport. And the last ride of the season was a microcosm of why I think it?s so great.
First of all, the fall air was beautifully crisp on this night, and the setting sun illuminated the changing tree leaves with brilliant, luminous color. I never would have gotten to see that if I hadn?t bothered to come out and ride.
And the riders who showed up were keen to ride this one last Wednesday night ride. Eagerness and enthusiasm runs like a river through our sport. Why else would people leave work early, drive miles to meet up with one another, sacrifice meals and social engagements ? just to ride their bikes with others? It?s just fun. That?s all there is to it. Addictive fun.
Bicycling is also as gear-intense as you want to make it. If you?re so inclined you can delve into the deepest nuances of gearing, titanium parts, grams, lubricants, and saddle configurations. And manufacturers continually come out with the latest and greatest in frame materials, lighting equipment, parts and accessories. You never have to think you can?t upgrade to something, because there?s always something on the market that?s better, lighter, higher-tech than what you already have.
On the other hand, you can also slink around on a 20 dollar yard sale hybrid or a 30 year old Olmo Special road bike and still have a ball. Whether you?re rich or poor, you can get to where you need to go ? both physically and spiritually ? on a bicycle.
Here are a few other things I like about biking: 10 miles into a 30 mile ride a guy can say to you, ?Man, my legs are dead tonight. I?m dropping off?? Then you?ll see him shortly afterward taking a strong pull at the front ? into a 20 mile an hour headwind. Near the end of hard ride someone, as if to acknowledge the difficult climb you just led, will give you a push in the back in order to boost you over the top of the final hill so you won?t lose contact with the group. Moments later he?ll do his best to bury you in a sprint to a town line sign. And then back in the parking lot you can both talk about what happened with absolutely no hard feelings. It?s as much competition as you could ever ask for ? and camaraderie along the way.
There are some quirks about bicycling too. One is that you can ride thousands of miles alongside someone and at the end of all that time spent together know absolutely nothing about that person?s personal life. You?ll know his bike frame size, color, and composition, what kind of helmet he wears, how his right foot is twisted to the outside slightly when he pedals; even that he does well on a long pull on the flats but tends to fall back in the group on short, steep hills. But you don?t know if he?s employed or not, what he does for a living, gay or straight, married or single, kidless or has a brood of 12. Weird.
And will someone tell me how you can feel completely miserable at the start of a ride; tired, sore and mad at the world - and then finish up by riding like a champ, having your best day ever? And then the next time out have the exact opposite experience?
Still, as my mentor Dave DeBack used to say, it?s worth going out and riding whenever you can because you always can learn something about your equipment, your abilities, your friends and especially yourself when you?re out on the bike. How true that is. I wouldn?t miss it for the world.
I started this season at the first Wednesday night ride in the spring and ended with the final one in the fall. Months and months of hard effort, excitement, thrills and challenges. And I can?t wait to get the group together again in the spring. Thank you to all who made this season a pleasure. It was a good one?
Zolton Cohen, KBC Newsletter Editor
Tuesday, November 8th is not only a big day for elections across the country; it is for KBC as well. That?s the date when members present at the monthly meeting (starting at 7:00 PM at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo) elect a new executive board ? President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer ? for the upcoming year.
There are three incumbents running: Mike Boersma, President; Jim Kindle, Vice President; Tom Keizer, Secretary. At this writing the secretarial spot is still open, though a candidate might emerge at the last moment. Anyone in the club may run for any of these positions. We hope to see a good turnout for this important meeting in November.
I plan to contact the Kalamazoo County Road Commission this winter with a list of relatively minor improvements they could make that would make a big difference to us bicyclists. For example, I plan to ask that shoulders be added to 11th St south of Parkview and N Ave. between 11th and 9th. Also, I will ask that the bad pavement on 6th Street between G and H Ave (which is part of the road race course) be repaired.
If any of you have similar suggestions, please contact me in the near future. Please bear in mind that KCRC does NOT handle paving within either the City of Kalamazoo or the City of Portage, each of which handles their own roadways. However, KCRC does handle nearly every other road in the County--other than state highways.
Last month I wrote about my shock and misery resulting from serious injuries, including multiple broken bones, I suffered on a KBC ride. After prolonged begging and whining that riding would be really good rehab, the doc has turned me loose, though he did demand that I sign in blood that I wouldn?t fall again anytime soon. It didn?t take me more than a couple of trips hanging out at the back of some of the faster KBC rides to realize that I?m none too comfortable in our group rides yet, and that there are some darn good reasons why.
So, all you fast riders out there, I?m reading you the Riot Act here. After what I?ve been through the last couple of months, I think I?ve earned the right to ask?no, demand?that you listen up. I?m trying to save what?s left of my ass, your ass, and your bank account too. Trust me, serious falls can get really expensive.
In the first place, have you noticed that there are no primes, trophies or prizes on any KBC rides? These are club rides folks, not races. USCF licenses are not required. We are parents, kids, bankers, lawyers, writers, programmers and students. Some of us are truly seasoned, totally smooth, reliable riders as good as any I?ve ever ridden with. Others have no real idea how to ride in a pack or a paceline. A good chunk of us are somewhere in between. Not a one of us gets paid to ride our bikes. Virtually all of us need to go to work tomorrow. Many have families depending on us. We are not adversaries; we are friends.
Ergo, you have no business whatsoever getting into anyone else?s space out there. There?s simply no excuse for it. If you can?t get past someone with room to spare, you shouldn?t be trying to pass them, period. I?m especially touchy about this because I?ve been bumped by people trying to pass me in narrow spaces about eight times this year, and because one of them caused my injuries.
How much room is enough room? It?s NOT how much YOU are comfortable with?it?s how much room THEY are comfortable with. You know what move you?ve got planned; they don?t. And?surprise, surprise?you don?t know how much personal space THEY need (unless you know that person and his skill level real well).
In the second place, hold your line, dammit. Shoulders, elbows and butts simply should never, ever bump on club rides. On the straights, and especially in corners and on hills or sprints, hold your line. When it?s time to blow your nose, or take a drink, hold your line. Don?t even think about moving sideways in the lane without checking to see who?s got a wheel near your rear wheel. Last year I watched one of the most seasoned riders in the club fail to look before suddenly pulling out of the paceline for a sprint. He took out the front wheel of another rider. I got hit in the face by a flying bicycle. In all, three riders went down?none of them the guy who caused it. One more time: HOLD YOUR LINE!
And another thing?don?t cross wheels. In case you don?t know what this means, never ride with any part of your front wheel ahead of the trailing edge of the wheel you?re following. If you do something stupid like cross wheels with the rider in front of you or try to fit yourself into that little gap ahead, most likely you?re not the only one that?s going to pay for your stupidity. If that rider?s wheel more than grazes your wheel, you will likely be on the pavement in less than two seconds. There is no more basic safety rule in packs and pacelines, but I see people doing it practically every ride. NO CROSSED WHEELS!
Most of the poor riding skills I?m talking about here are directly related to the fact that as a club, our paceline rising skills are horrible. The Hammerfest used to get some wonderfully fast, smooth pacelines going. The last couple of years it?s become a total free-for-all. I have friends who now tell me that they hang out at the back solely because there?s so much mayhem in the pack. It?s a genuine rarity when any decent paceline rotation develops on any Hammerfest or Tour de Gull I?ve ridden this year. Face it, our paceline skills leave a lot to be desired.
We aren?t just looking out for ourselves out there. We?re all part of a big, moving, shifting organism riding roads open to traffic. And we?re all on the same team here. It?s bad enough that we have to worry about idiots in cars. We all should have confidence that all the riders around us are smooth, considerate, safe riders.
Ask yourself?do you feel that confidence on our rides? While there are quite a few riders who definitely are as smooth as silk and I trust absolutely, if you?re like me, there are quite few riders here that you try to avoid. Ask yourself honestly?are you a rider that instills confidence and trust in those around you? And do you make it a point to educate people who cross wheels or fail to pull through, or do you just let it go?
So I?m appointing myself the KBC Safety Nazi for an indefinite term. Yup, I hereby take on the risk of having some of you think I?m a total jerk. If you do something stupid on a club ride, something that puts other riders at risk, you can expect to hear about it from me?as soon as I catch enough breath to yell. Please listen to me. Be open-minded about it. I?m not trying to be offensive, so try not to be defensive. I?m the voice of experience coming to you live from a place you really don?t want visit.
2005 KBC Board of Directors
|Vice President||Jim Kindle|
|Database Manager||Paul Bruneau|
|Newsletter Editor||Zolton Cohen|
|Ride Captain||Randy Putt|
|Social Director||Michele Intermont|
|Social Director||Meghan James|
|Flowerfest Director||Dave Jones|
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 www.kalamazoobicycleclub.org to sign up for membership and for more information about KBC.