Its PARTY time!! KBC's annual 'Recovery' Party will be held on Saturday, January 21st, 2006 at the home of Megan, Fred and Rebecca James, 5220 Ridgebrook Drive Portage, from 7-10 PM. Ridgebrook Drive is located south of Kilgore Road between South Westnedge and Lover?s Lane, West off Woodmont Drive (link to map).
Social Directors Renee Mitchell and Jelania Haile will make chili (both meat and veggie) and have beer, wine, and soft drinks on hand. (Cricket Howard?s Recovery Red Beer will be making an encore appearance!)
We ask that you bring a dish to pass. To avoid 'too much' of a good thing, we suggest that if you ride in the 12-14 mph group, bring appetizers/breads, in the 15-17 mpg group, bring salads, and 19 mph and up bring deserts. This should ensure a wide variety of goodies.
Local bike shops are contributing schwag to give away at a raffle and there will be a slide show of KBC events. Volunteers to come early and help set up or stay late and help clean up would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, please contact Renee (#329-7061) or Jelania (#345-1274).
Every KBC member is welcome and encouraged to attend. This is a great time to reconnect with your biking buddies and share good food and good company! See you there!
Happy new year to all!!
The Recovery Party will be on January 21, so please plan to attend. See the notification above for suggestions on what to bring.
The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club relies on volunteers to make its activities happen. In 2005, the Barnes family generously opened their house on the night of one of the biggest snowstorms of the year to allow the club to have the recovery party. Chris Barnes was also the organizer of the 2005 Tuesday Night Time Trial series.
KBC is a riding club. Randy Putt served ably as the ride coordinator. Mike and Sherry Higgins, Cliff Muller, Luanne Cali, Randy Putt, Zolton Cohen, Terry O?Connor, Fred James, Tim Stewart, Doug Kirk, Jalania Haile, Renee Mitchell, Dave Jones, and Tom Noverr served as ride leaders. Their hard work (and from my limited experience as a substitute ride leader, being one IS hard work!) made the experience of the riders challenging and pleasurable.
David Sperry was the Team Little Caesars/ Kalamazoo Bicycle Club manager. Adversity is the true test of character and he led the team through its first year. Greg Lawford will be managing team KBC in the future. Kudos for your public relations efforts.
Michele Intermont and Megan James did a wonderful job as social directors. The anniversary party and other social events were successes.
Kathy Kirk, webmaster extraordinary, made the redesigned website shine.
David Jones and the FlowerFest committee have again organized a premiere ride that has folks from around the Midwest returning year after year.
Zolton Cohen again did an excellent job as the editor of Pedal Press.
Paul Bruneau has expanded the offerings of the database and has worked to achieve the potential of 21st century technology.
Mike Berry, Tom Keiser, and Jim Kindle all served faithfully as officers of KBC this year.
There were other folks who served in other capacities, from handing out information about the road race course, bringing food (and recovery ale) to the recovery party, to driving control vehicles for the road race.
There are others who contributed their time and energy to the club whom I have failed to mention due to the fact that I just do not know all of the contributions made. Noninclusion on this list does not mean nonappreciation of your efforts.
The 2005 Kalamazoo Bicycle Club season was a success because of all of the hours and sweat that everyone contributed. On behalf of the club I want to thank everyone for their contributions.
Mike Boersma, KBC President
KBC?s regular monthly meeting was held Tuesday, December 12th, 2005 at 7:00 pm at the Kalamazoo YMCA located on Maple Street. KBC President Mike Boersma led the meeting. Other members present were: Paul Bruneau, Zolton Cohen, Chris Haddock, Tom Keizer, Jim Kindle, Doug Kirk, Victor Van Fleet, Mike Berry, Dick Nivala, Chris Howard, Renee Mitchell and Jelania Haile.
Members present discussed final plans for the Recovery Party on January 21st. It was recommended that better directions to the party site, the home of Fred, Megan, and Rebecca James be published in the next PedalPress. Paul Bruneau said a map can be included in the newsletter. Kathy and Doug Kirk will take care of the ?Bicycle Pasta? awards. They are open to any creative suggestions concerning categories! Anyone recalling an unusual occurrence that merits attention or observance is encouraged to contact the Kirks. Chris Howard and Zolton Cohen will present a ?slide show? of KBC?s 2005 events, including the 6th Street Road Race, FlowerFest, and other proceedings. Another highlight will be Howard?s wildly popular Recovery Red Beer, currently being brewed?
Mike Boersma opened discussion on the prospect of KBC sponsoring a ?Ride of Silence? on Wednesday May 17th to commemorate those who have been injured or killed in bike accidents. The Grand Rapids Rapid Wheelmen and other clubs around the country have organized Rides of Silence in recent years, taking the opportunity to not only mark the passing of their fellow bicyclists, but also to raise awareness in their communities about bicycling safety issues. If KBC is to participate in this nationwide event, volunteers to assist in organizing and promoting this ride will be needed.
Victor Van Fleet presented information on a fitness symposium that will be sponsored by, and located at, KVCC in mid April. KBC has been asked to participate in the event. Volunteers are needed to staff an information booth and perhaps give small presentations on the sport of bicycling. Gazelle Sports and area bike shops are also slated to participate in the symposium.
The Bike Camp Committee presented a preliminary outline detailing KBC?s proposed Bike Camp 2006. Instead of a one-day event, as was the case with Bike Camp 2005, Bike Camp 2006 will be expanded into a six week-long training, informational and fitness program, with participants pointing toward a distance goal at the FlowerFest Tour. There will be a fee charged for the program. Included in the benefits will be membership in KBC for one year, entry paid for FlowerFest, and the six session training program. The budget for Bike Camp will include printing and advertisement, and a possible allotment for refreshments at the training rides.
Members voted on and decided to donate a case of Sam?s Club?s finest toilet paper to Billy?s Bike Shop, as a token of appreciation for ?hosting? the meeting spot for the Friday night Gull Lake rides.
Mike Boersma and Paul Bruneau presented an American flag last month during a meeting at the Pavilion Township Hall, in thanks for KBC?s use of their parking lot for the Tuesday Night Time Trial series. Bruneau had earlier in the year suggested the donation ? a gesture, according to Boersma and Bruneau, much appreciated by the Pavilion Township dignitaries attending the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm. Next meeting will be February 13th, 2006, at 7PM at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo.
THERE WILL BE NO KBC MONTHLY MEETING IN JANUARY.
Chris Haddock, KBC Secretary
Active subscriptions in KBC: 216
Paul Banner * Deborah Bauer * Eric Berry * Christopher Bloch * Timothy Brady * Paul Bruneau * Madeline Carter * Jini Caruso * Mike Cutler * Jim Eckert * Alice Ekema * Nicole Finn * Brad Fry * Doug Gaff * Alta Herman * Thomas Herman * David Hiebert * Floyd Hindbaugh * Violet Humphreys * Paul Jacobson * Sandra James * Kelley James-Jura * Sarah Kalkman * Mary Kindle * Abbey Lawford * John Mathieson * Andy Maxwell * Renee Mitchell * Patricia T. Moore * Graham Newman * Kaitlin Noverr * Gary Rankinen * Randy Salamon * Scott Steurer * Andy Tingley * Don Visker
Laurie & Ron Doering * Fred & Megan James * Jim Patton * Susan Peterson * Ron Pluth * Scott Steurer Family
The PedalPress caught up with new KBC Secretary Chris Haddock recently and asked her a few questions about her bicycling career. Chris is a schoolteacher at Woodbridge Elementary. Some of you may know her as a regular attendee of the KBC Monday night rides. She also rides frequently on Wednesdays.
Chris also is distinguished as ?that girl who was kicked by her horse?? a year or so ago, and has a long scar down her midsection to show for it.
PP: How long have you been riding?
CH: 2 1/2 years
PP: What sort of riding do you do most - road or mountain?
CH: It's a tie! I alternate, every other day really.
PP: Do you compete on the bike?
CH: A little on my mountain bike. But I would call it ?participating,? not necessarily "competing."
PP: What other sports are you interested in - adventure racing, horseback riding, etc?
CH: Horseback riding! Also soccer, Taekwondo and off road triathlons. I am interested in trying an adventure race and am learning to play ice hockey!
PP: Most embarrassing moment on the bike?
CH: Catapulting into the ditch after kissing the tire in front of me on a club ride, when I totally know better.
PP: Best time on the bike? - either moment or day...
CH: Every day of RAGBRAI 2005. 500 miles across Iowa, which is NOT flat!
PP: Any goals for the upcoming year in terms of mileage, things you'd like to accomplish, places or events you'd like to ride or compete in?
CH: RAGBRAI and DALMAC on my road bike. 24 hours of Boyne, Iceman, and a few local races on my mountain bike. My goal is to get stronger than the year before. Maybe someday I will be able to keep up with Zolton.
PP: Does your day job affect how you ride (in terms of getting to evening rides), and do you ever talk to the kids you teach about your bicycling background? Would they be interested in what you do in the off-work hours?
CH: No problem getting to the evening rides usually. I just have to make sure to get off the beach in time during the summer! The kids know all about my adventures, I even ride with some of their dads. I often have a story to share with them about something!
PP: Do you commute?
CH: Yeah. In my car! :( I wish I could ride my bike in.
On its days off, the PedalPress likes to sit around in a smoking jacket in the morning hours, drinking coffee and pondering the state of the world. The latter activity is much enhanced by reading stories published in the New York Times.
The Sunday, December 4th ?Sunday Styles? section commanded special interest, especially the page one, full width, above-the-fold article ?Wheels and Deals in Silicon Valley,? written by one Alex Williams.
It seems, Williams writes, that venture capitalists, IT consultants, computer entrepreneurs, programmers and others involved in high tech fields in the Silicon Valley of California have taken to road bicycling and other ?adventure? type sports in a big way. Some companies even sponsor entire teams of cyclists. As one participant, the secretary of the Webcor/Alto Velo Bicycle Racing Club remarked, ?Almost everyone works in tech. There are a lot of overachievers in this club.?
Bicycling in ?the Valley? is viewed as not just an opportunity to pedal off a few pounds or to stay in good physical condition, it is also apparently a good place for those in the tech industry to ?network.? One cyclist said biking get-togethers act as a ?social outlet and a business opportunity for professionals to make contacts, get face time with the boss and even sign off on deals. Networking in a crash helmet, in other words?Cycling is the new golf.?
Well, the similar outlandishness of the outfits worn in both golf and cycling is certainly a point difficult to argue.
But many even go beyond the rigors of bicycling to get their kicks. Kite surfing, triathlons and abalone diving are also popular among Silicon Valley adventurers. As one abalone diving enthusiast put it, ??We work extreme hours and demand extreme dedication and efforts from our employees. It seems that that drive spills over in our personal lives, so that we don?t just sit on the couch when we get home. We go out and push it.?
Abalone diving, unlike golf or cycling, introduces swimmers to the multiple potential hazards of drowning, shark attacks, and negotiating over razor sharp rocks. As for the PedalPress, the difficulties presented by rogue automobile drivers, potholes, mountain-like hills and stiff headwinds seem like plenty enough to deal with?
In a story broken last month in the KBC PedalPress, details were revealed about a potential controversy between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Van Buren County Road Commission regarding management of the Kal Haven Trail.
The dispute centers on whether or not the DNR (which still owns the Trail) will allow VBCRC (which is currently in charge of Trail operations) to charge trail user fees.
The DNR wants there to be no trail user fees; VBCRC says it cannot operate and maintain the trail without income raised by the fees. The DNR is demanding that VBCRC seek corporate or foundation donations to pay for Trail operations; VBCRC says that would require adding another staff member in order to go out and solicit such donations. It?s a real brouhaha, with implications for everyone who uses the Trail for recreational purposes.
The two sides are still meeting periodically to discuss these matters, but the deadline for the DNR to decide whether the VBCRC will still operate the Trail in the future runs out at the end of 2005. The deadline is likely to be extended while the two sides attempt to reach an agreement.
One of the DNR?s current proposals is that the trail fee issue be put up for review each year ? something Van Buren County administrator John Faul dismissed as ?..ridiculous.? VBCRC?s stance is that they need to nail down a long term lease with a fee structure built into the agreement in order to plan intelligently and resourcefully for future projects concerning trail operations and maintenance. On the table is a possible 25-year lease agreement, but until the user fee issue is ironed out, neither side wants to commit to a partnership of that length.
More information on the negotiations between the two parties will likely be available in the coming months. Stay tuned?.
The PedalPress received an interesting bit of news recently from our friend Mark Hagar at the Rapid Wheelmen Bicycle Club in Grand Rapids. The RW have undertaken a project, in cooperation with Jade Bicycles of Zeeland, to install ?Share the Road? signs along streets frequented by bicyclists. So far Jade and the RW have signs posted in Grandville, East Grand Rapids, Rockford and Walker. Jade has also placed them in Allegan County and Zeeland.
The signs are rectangular, standard-sized, Federal Department of Transportation-approved metal. They?re a bright yellow, and bear the words ?Share the Road? in large, black letters.
The PedalPress asked Hagar if it might be possible for KBC to get involved in this program; the answer came back affirmative. Former KBC President Doug Kirk agreed to look into the matter and contacted Kalamazoo Country Chief Engineer Richard Skalski to see if it was feasible for implementation in the Kalamazoo area.
Kirk?s first foray into the possibility of getting some of the Share the Road signs mounted along roads that bear heavy bicycle traffic so far has been met with resistance however. Skalski wrote back to suggest that, instead of mounting the road signs (which he claimed are not an approved sign in the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and therefore cannot be placed in the City's public right of ways), KBC pay to have advertisements about the issue placed on billboards around town. Kirk has vowed to continue to press the issue, possibly through different channels.
Paul Wells, owner of Breakaway Bicycles in Portage, suggested that more words could be added to Share the Road signs to make them more effective. In his opinion, the ?share the road? verbiage can be interpreted by automobile drivers as bicyclists ?asking permission? for a spot on the roadway. Wells proposed that ?It?s the Law? be added under ?Share the Road? in order to send a clear message that bicyclists indeed have a legal right to use the roads.
Frank Machnik, KBC member and Kalamazoo County Assistant Prosecutor, handled the case of the motorist who was charged with assault on two bicyclists in July near Richland. In response to PedalPress inquiries pertaining to this matter, he emailed:
"In response to your query, the Defendant was in fact a Methodist minister who does missionary work in Third World countries every year. He is also an engineer, which helps this work. He helps build churches. He did not have so much as a parking ticket on his record - all things the jury would get to consider."
"The agreement was that he plead guilty to the Felonious Assault (a 4 year felony and the maximum charge available). The judge took the plea under advisement and placed him on probation for 11 months."
"During that time, he will have a restricted driver's license, and attend and successfully complete anger management counseling. If he does not successfully complete probation, the felonious assault conviction stands. If he does successfully complete the probation, he will be allowed to plead to the reduced charge of Reckless Driving, which will give him 6 points on his driving record and a suspended driver's license. The sentencing guidelines were 0 to 3 months in jail (the lowest possible guidelines). With the jail overcrowding and his record, he wasn't getting any jail time no matter what happened."
"I spent a considerable amount of time with the victim discussing all of the possibilities with her, including the fact that a jury verdict of guilty is not automatic. We weighed the likelihood of conviction with the possible punishments."
"Even if we did convict him of the charge with a jury, the sentence would be less restrictive than the plea agreement. He would probably have received only fine and costs. With his record, or lack thereof, the court probably wouldn't even have placed him on probation. The only difference between a jury conviction and the plea agreement is that he'd have a felony conviction on his record (which he may have been eligible to expunge in five years). Ultimately, she chose to allow the Defendant to take the above agreement."
"It wasn't an easy choice for her. I, too, was conflicted with these alternatives. He was this old, gray-haired, soft-spoken man who would have generated a great deal of sympathy with the jury."
"In the end, I believe it was the best outcome possible. He is held accountable and ends up with a criminal conviction. He gets the counseling and punishment appropriate for his crime (which he may not have received if we went to trial and convicted him). The victim gets closure. We get a conviction without the risk of a jury acquittal."
Machnik had to overcome some of his personal feelings as a bicyclist in order to deal successfully, as a prosecutor, with the case. He wrote further:
"I was weighing things from a prosecutor and a bicyclist's perspective. There are certainly more heinous criminals that get much better plea agreements than this guy did. I know that I had to get past all of the clowns out there who have ever come close to me, swore at me, etc., to realize I had to treat this as an individual case. I couldn't punish him for all the other people out there who've done things to bicyclists."
Winter?s come early and hard this year. It sure doesn?t look like there will be any late December or early January rides?unlike the last three years. Since you won?t be riding your velocipede outdoors anytime soon, might I suggest you invest a little TLC in your trusty steed? Giving it the once over now means it will be ready to go when riding season returns. And, go ahead and admit it?there?s no shortage of cold, dark days and evenings when you could scrape up a little elbow grease this time of year. Here are some suggestions on how to proceed.
First, it?s important to have good lighting. It?s hard to over-emphasize just how important a well-lit work area is. Put your bike on a workstand, or hang it from a wall or ceiling. The cheapest solution is to buy a couple of big bike-hanging hooks from a bike shop or a hardware store for about a buck a piece and screw ?em into a ceiling joist or the wall.
Next, grab a rag, and use some citrus degreaser to clean most of the gunk off the chain now, while it?s still easy to spin it around. Then strip off all easily removable parts?like seat packs, tire pumps, bottles and bottle cages and, most importantly, wheels. Let the chain dangle for now unless your frame-builder was classy enough to put a chain hangar on the seatstay. Use tape to mark your seatpost height and pull the seat and post out as a unit. Assuming you have the tools to do so, remove the pedals (don?t forget - the left one is threaded backwards) and the crank arms. Right pedal removal is much less likely to result in the chainwheel ripping a grease-filled chunk of skin from your hand if you have the chain on the large chainwheel.
Now, using the cleaner of your choice, give that frame a real once-over. Get it as clean as it can possibly be. Rub hard on the tough spots. Look extra hard at any dents or scratches, and especially check out high stress areas like both ends of the downtube and all around the bottom bracket. If anything at all looks like a crack or just makes you wonder, get someone knowledgeable to look at it.
And clean all those parts you took off - except the wheels. We?ll get back to those hoops in a bit. Seriously, eyeball everything closely. Look for signs of wear and cracks. Investigate anything that isn?t right. How do the bearings in your pedals feel? Perfectly smooth? If not, better plan on either replacing or rebuilding them.
And how do the headset (steering) bearings feel? The fork should turn perfectly smoothly in the frame without even a hint of play if you grab it and try to wiggle it back and forth. By far the most common problems with headsets are either that the bearings are loose, or that there?s a flat spot - it feels like a detent - when the fork is pointed straight ahead. Often you?ll find some play, and once you adjust it out, then you?ll feel the detent. The steering bearings are the most important safety-related wear-and-tear part of your bike. Check them carefully and make sure they?re right. If you?re not sure, take it to a bike shop and have a pro check it out.
And unless your bottom bracket also turns perfectly smoothly without any play, it?s not a bad idea to ask a pro to look after these very important bearings either - unless you have the special tools nearly all bikes require nowadays to service these bearings. An easy way to check them is to take any longish screwdriver and place the blade against the frame down by the bottom bracket. Hold the screwdriver firmly in place and put your ear against the handle. Spin the bottom bracket and listen. (You might want to stick a crankarm back on briefly for this.) The screwdriver will amplify and transmit the noise of the bearings to your ear. You want to hear nice, smooth sounds, no ticking or grinding allowed.
Now, about those wheels. First, take the tires off the wheels, then reinstall the wheels on the frame, but leave the chain off the rear wheel so it?s dangling. Try to wiggle each wheel sideways. There should be virtually no play at all, though a tiny bit - less than a millimeter - is OK. Next, get your trusty screwdriver and do the same test as you did for the bottom bracket for each wheel. If the bearings sound nice and smooth all is well. If not, head for the bike shop unless you have the wherewithal to disassemble the hubs and deal with the bearings.
Now spin the wheels and see how true they are, using the brake pads as a reference. You aren?t just interested in side-to-side wiggle, but also in ?hop,? which is up-and-down - or vertical - play. More than a millimeter of wiggle in any direction should be fixed. And while you?re in the area, check to see if your brake pads are getting thin AND if they contact each rim squarely and evenly. If the clearance between the wheel and the brake pad isn?t even, re-center the brake.
And the tires? Check the tread carefully. Grab a pick of some kind and probe any little cuts. I?ll bet you can dig out more than one piece of glass or metal if you look hard enough. Before you remount the tires, clean the rims and each spoke, and take a good look all the way around the rim strip for anything rough that might wear a hole in the innertube.
Now put everything back together. Time to decide whether you need a new chain. The chain is the second most dangerous place to take chances (after your fork and front wheel). Why? When is it under the most stress? When you are standing up and pedaling hard, right? And what part of you is likely to land exactly where if it breaks? ?Nuff said!
You can buy special tools to measure the chain for wear, but here are two easy methods: first, if your 9- or 10-speed chain has more than 7000 miles on it, it?s almost certainly worn out. To actually measure chain wear, hold a ruler or tape measure along a 12 inch section of chain. The pins at the center of the links should measure exactly 12 inches center-to-center. Measure as closely as you can. If the distance between the center of the chain pins is twelve and one-sixteenth inches, it?s time to replace it. Otherwise, just lube it well.
If you?re replacing the chain, be sure you get the right number of links so there?s enough chain for the derailleurs to shift into the largest chainwheel and largest cog, and still take up all the slack when on the smallest gear combination. Usually it?s OK to use the old chain as a reference, but it?s good to double-check
Everything back together again? Now?s a great time to replace your handlebar tape. And while you?re in that area, give a good hard squeeze on your brakes and look carefully at the cables and housing. Do the same for the shifter cables. Over the years I?ve found that it?s a good idea to replace these much thinner cables at least every couple of years.
Of course, you won?t know if your rear cogs are worn out to the point that they also need replacing until you go riding on that new chain. Few things are less fun than trying to ride a bike with a new chain and worn out cogs, so if you replace just your chain, go for a test ride and see if the chain skips. My own experience is that it pays to replace the rear cogs and the little wheels in the rear derailleur every two or three chains, and the shifter cables at least every other year.
Editor?s note: A few years ago I asked a well known bike mechanic in town to describe the best method to clean a bicycle chain. He replied, ?Why would you want to clean your chain? It?ll just get dirty again! It?s the same thing with your bathroom. If you clean it, it will just get dirty again!? This gentleman was then ? and is now ? a bachelor.
Fastidiousness aside, I asked Axel about chain cleaning, and he had this to say:
That guy is right, to a degree. The chain will get dirty real quickly no matter what. I never really clean a used chain either. Here's what I do?
First off, when you get a new chain, it's covered with some sort of grease, and that stuff has to go!!! It fouls up whatever lube you use, and attracts dirt like a magnet. Get some citrus cleaner or degreaser. You can even buy citrus cleaners at the grocery store now (as well as bike shops). Before you even install the chain, wet a rag with degreaser and get as much of that grease off there as you can.
After you install the new chain, lube it thoroughly with the lube of your choice. I use Pro-link. Great stuff!! It's easiest to lube the bottom row of the chain, pedaling backwards. After you apply the lube, use a rag to wipe off the excess. The lube that matters is inside the links, so wiping off the stuff on the outside of the chain doesn't hurt anything.
When it's time to re-lube (every two - three rides or so), first take a rag and wipe off the chain. I do this along the bottom row of chain, with the chain stationary, swiping back and forth two or three times, then back-pedaling to the next section of chain. Clean six sections along the bottom and you'll be all the way around.
Then lube it, let it sit a minute or two, and wipe it again. You use a lot of rags this way, but it works well.
Nowadays, in the era of thin chains, it is a bad idea to remove and reinstall a Shimano chain for maintenance. If using one of these, put it on and leave it there till you're done with it, if at all possible.
|Vice President||Jim Kindle|
|Database Manager||Paul Bruneau|
|Newsletter Editor||Zolton Cohen|
|Ride Captain||Randy Putt|
|Social Director||Jelania Haile|
|Social Director||Renee Mitchell|
|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.