All Kalamazoo area bicyclists who ride any of the Monday, Wednesday, or Friday evening medium, half-fast or fast rides are requested to PLEASE join us for a pre-season group meeting Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 7:00 pm at Damon?s Restaurant at the corner of Westnedge Ave. and Whites Road to have a beer and lend an ear. We have a large conference room reserved.
FREE BEER & POP
Several long-term riders (listed below) met over the winter to discuss how our rides can be improved. In view of the large increase in the number of riders on these rides, many of us have concerns about safety, poor group riding skills among some riders, and general lack of organization on a majority of our rides.
We have a number of ideas that we believe will make our rides faster, safer, better training, more organized, and ultimately more fun. We want to share the result of our efforts with as many of our fellow riders as possible. We hope that anyone who either has ridden these rides or has an interest in doing so will make it a point to attend.
Please spread the word. Tell your friends. We want as many local riders as possible who may do these rides to attend.
Chris Barnes, Zolton Cohen, Tom Cross, Jeff Hamilton, Cricket Howard, Knute Jacobson, Dan Kallewaard, Doug & Kathy Kirk, Greg Lawford, Richard Neumann, Mark & Cheryl Olson, Huston Peterson, and Josh Tarrant
It may be too warm to ski and too cold to bicycle, but there is a lot going on in the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club.
The Bike Camp committee is hard at work developing a curriculum for beginning cyclists. Bike Camp will instruct and train bicyclists to meet the goal of completing distance goals at the FlowerFest Bike Tour in July. The Bike Camp Committee will be actively marketing this program and, as the best marketing is a personal reference from someone who is known and trusted, if you know of someone or a family that might be interested in increasing their bicycling skills, please let them know about Bike Camp. Much more information on Bike Camp will be available shortly on the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club website.
The Flower Fest committee is hard at work planning FlowerFest. They need a graphic artist or artists to design the FlowerFest T-shirt and the FlowerFest brochure. FlowerFest attracts riders from around the country; your design will be visible nationwide. Other volunteers are needed as well. Please contact me if you are interested in volunteering.
Team Kalamazoo Bicycle Club/ Little Caesars is actively involved with planning a new racing season. There is an exciting new opportunity with several major local partners that would involve a bicycle race and other bicycling activities. As this new opportunity is finalized, we will be providing additional information.
The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club has been asked by the City of Kalamazoo to provide technical and other assistance with National Ride to Work day. This is a day, typically in the summertime, when folks are encouraged to ride their bicycles to work. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club would like your input as to what would need to happen to empower you (and your co-workers) to ride to work.
Randy Putt, our Ride Captain, is leaving the Club for new opportunities in Cincinnati. Randy?s hard work in organizing the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club?s rides made riding an enjoyable experience. I want to thank him on behalf of the club for his dedication over the past several years. He also did more than his share of pulling on rides, and I will miss him on Monday night rides through Lawton.
Randy?s departure creates an opening which must be filled. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club needs additional volunteers to assist with its activities. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club needs a new ride captain. There is also an opportunity to staff a table at an event at the Portage Public Library, and for volunteers to organize the different groups during the weekday rides. Many hands make light work.
Mike Boersma, KBC President
PS -- The Kalamazoo St. Patrickís Day Parade is March 18. The organizers have invited KBC to send a contingent to participate. Please let me know by March 3 if you would be interested so I can let the organizers know if we will be participating.
Active subscriptions in KBC: 214
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KBC?s regular monthly meeting was held Tuesday, February 14th, 2006 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, Tom Keizer, Victor Van Fleet, Jelania Haile, Celine Keizer, Greg Lawford, and Mark Irwin.
Treasurer Tom Keizer started the meeting with the Treasurer?s report. KBC currently has $2,697.25 in checking, $2,060.71 in savings, and $10,000.00 in a four month CD. Members present voted to roll the CD over when it matures shortly. Purchasing another 4 month CD would make the money available just before FlowerFest, if needed.
President Mike Boersma read an application form from the organizers of the Saint Patrick?s Day Parade in Kalamazoo. KBC has been invited to participate in the March 18th event. Newsletter Editor Zolton Cohen will send this information out over KBC?s Listserve to see if anyone is interested in either participating or taking this on as a volunteer organizing project.
Boersma also report that the League of Michigan Bicyclists has a new director. He sent around a notice that he would like to meet with several clubs in our area in a group type meeting. Boersma will report on the progress of this upcoming meeting at a later date.
The Michigan Department of Transportation has a new non-motorized plan in place. Mike Irwin said he would like to be present at one of MDOT?s upcoming meetings to gather some more information on what the plan contains. He will report back to the club if it has a chance to attend.
Safety and Education Chair Victor Van Fleet reminded members that KVCC Community College is sponsoring a Fitness Fest in the spring. KBC has committed to manning a booth at the event. More information ? and a call for volunteers ? will be forthcoming as the date of the Fest approaches.
Van Fleet also reported that he attended a recent Trikats Triathlon Club meeting and presented to the 50 or so members there an outline of KBC?s Bike Camp.
An agenda item concerning the possibility of the Kalamazoo Nordic Skiers group using a page on KBC?s website was not opened. The K-Nordic Skiers will have their own website.
There was a discussion concerning requests from companies and other entities to have links on KBC?s website. There does not seem to be at present any protocol in place to handle these requests. However, the general consensus was that links related to bicycling or possibly fitness services should be allowed. Zolton Cohen will compose a draft questionnaire that, if approved by membership, could be sent to entities wishing to have links on the website. Subject to a review of their answers, each request could be approved or denied.
A broad ranging discussion concerning the possibility of KBC helping to purchase and install ?Share the Road? signs brought up several different ideas and viewpoints. One of the issues that came to light concerned potential placement of the signs. A comment addressing that subject was that locating them on streets that already have marked bike lanes, such as Oakland Drive, could cause confusion; if there is a bike lane, does that mean that automobiles no longer have to ?share the road??
One idea forwarded was that KBC?s money might be better spent on something like bumper stickers imprinted with a ?Share the Road? type message. The stickers could be distributed through KBC or local bike shops. That way the message could be carried everywhere and the stickers could read the way the club wanted them to read, not having to conform to rules set up by a road commission.
Another idea expressed was that, if KBC was going to spend money on the ?Share the Road? signs, they might best be placed along KBC?s known weekly ride routes. These issues will be taken up at future KBC meetings.
Zolton Cohen reported on a contact he had earlier in the week by Kalamazoo City Commissioner David Anderson about KBC?s possibly collaborating with the City in promoting a ?Bike to Work? or ?Ride to Work? day. Anderson is seeking ideas that would help the City ?make a statement? that Kalamazoo was a ?bike-friendly? place to live, and also in some way promotes non-motorized transportation. Anderson said there is a small discretionary fund that can be tapped to promote an event, or to put in place permanent bike-friendly infrastructure.
Discussion centered on possibly having the City install bike racks or storage lockers downtown, pothole repair of the roadways, and establishing bike commuting lanes within the City limits. Additional suggestions were for alternate bike route signage and maps that could direct bike commuters to roads with less car and truck traffic.
KBC Race Team/Little Caesar?s Pizza Director Greg Lawford updated the club on the team?s progress and planning for the coming season. Lawford is going to emphasize the team?s volunteer efforts this year, and reiterated that all race team members must also be members of KBC. By unanimous vote members present approved paying the race team?s $150.00 USCF fee for 2006.
Vic Van Fleet reminded KBC members that there will be another local Senior Olympics in June, with 20 and 40k road races and several time trials. More information about these events will appear as the date becomes closer.
This meeting adjourned at 8:35 pm. Next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 14th 2006, at 7PM in the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo.
Respectfully submitted, Zolton Cohen, Newsletter Editor filling in for Chris Haddock, KBC Secretary
As reported in the February meeting minutes, I received a call from newly-elected City of Kalamazoo Commissioner David Anderson last week. He expressed interest in working with the club in trying to make Kalamazoo a more ?bike-friendly? city, especially for commuters. One of the ways he proposed doing this is by promoting a ?Bike to Work? or ?Ride to Work? day that would focus on people biking, walking, or taking a city bus to work. He also solicited ideas that the city could implement that would improve infrastructure that would make bike commuting more appealing.
Fair disclosure: My wife and I worked on David?s election campaign last fall, and David and I grew up together on the west side of Kalamazoo. It was because of his thinking on issues like this that we committed both time and money to his election effort.
Anderson said he thought it was time the city ?made a statement? that bikes and other forms of non-motorized transportation were welcome in the City. And he is reaching out to KBC for ideas on how to get this message out. His interest lies in reducing downtown auto traffic congestion, citizen health benefits, and reducing noise and pollution. While he recognizes the difficulties in attempting such an endeavor in a car-centered culture, he said he is willing to invest some of his time ? and some of the City?s discretionary funds ? to make a start, ?no matter how incremental.? He also said some downtown merchants have indicated a willingness to participate in an event that promotes downtown bicycling.
So far I?ve talked to half a dozen people about this, and posed questions like, ?What do you think it would take to get more people to ride their bikes to work in Kalamazoo?? The answers I received were varied and interesting ? and, surprisingly, not all positive. So far, this is what the people I?ve talked to have suggested the City could do (in no special order of importance).
Some negative commentary I heard on the subject of bike commuting in Kalamazoo was along the lines of:
Well, no one said this was going to be easy, or can happen overnight.
But the fact that Anderson not only came up with the idea of promoting a ?Bike to Work? day on his own ? and approached KBC about helping to implement it ? is, in my opinion, a giant stride forward. What can we do with this opportunity?
I?m soliciting ideas and suggestions about what you think the City could do to a) promote a ?Bike or Ride to Work Day,? possibly in conjunction with a national event, and b) what sort of infrastructure changes the City could make in order to induce more people to ride their bikes to work downtown.
Please send your comments, no matter how ?blue sky,? to firstname.lastname@example.org. I?ll pass them along to David Anderson, and report on his reaction and plan of action.
Zolton Cohen, Newsletter Editor
At the February KBC monthly meeting, Tom Keizer passed around a spreadsheet that detailed all of KBC?s expenses and income for the year 2005. If you like numbers, it?s an interesting read.
Highlights include the totals of income ($11,931.88), and expenses ($10,046.23), and the difference between the two (+ $1,885.65). By far the largest expenditure was the many costs associated with FlowerFest ($6,313.59). Income from FlowerFest more than made that up though ($7,330.30 from registrations and t-shirt sales).
KBC made donations toward bike-related causes in 2005 in the amount of $970.00, spent $329.00 on last year?s Recovery Party, $798.12 on new brochures, and paid $166.80 to a hosting service for the KBC website.
Membership fees brought $3,321.35 into KBC?s coffers, with interest on the money in the treasury contributing an additional $40.25. At year?s end, there was $2,791.05 in checking, $2,059.58 in savings, and $10,000.00 in a Certificate of Deposit ? a total of $14,850.63. In other words, from a financial standpoint, KBC is healthy and its treasury is growing.
Keizer?s 2005 Treasury Report is an interesting chronicle of a year in the life of KBC. To view the complete document, click on Treasurer's Report.
I get a bit optimistic at this time of year, especially after taking a short ride yesterday. Even though I am woefully out of shape, it felt great to ride outside. The worst of winter is typically behind us, spring is on the horizon, the great annual holiday party is history, and my annual trip to Florida with my wife is coming up with lots of cycling in warm weather. What could be better? I know, most of us are out of shape and have to go through the slow process of getting in riding condition. Take your time and put in your base miles to prepare for the upcoming season.
If you are thinking about a cycling trip this summer, start planning now. There are many opportunities. If you like the mountains, check out the Tour of Colorado, and Ride the Rockies (Colorado). I know a few KBC members will be riding in Colorado this year. Riding in the mountains is unlike any riding we do around Kalamazoo. The scenery is, of course, beautiful. Downhills of 50 ? 60 mph are exhilarating and, of course, the climbs at 5 ? 10 mph for 5 ? 20 miles can challenge the psyche of the most dedicated cyclists. It is a fantastic experience.
As mentioned last month I will be re-locating to Cincinnati soon and I have resigned as ride captain of KBC. If any of you are interested in taking on the role of ride captain, please contact me or any KBC board member as soon as possible. Thanks to many of you KBC has a developed a successful ride schedule over the years and the routes are well established. There are 5 weekly rides on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday (both morning and evening), and Friday. There are 6 special weekend rides. KBC also sponsors a time trial series two Tuesdays of the month from May/June through August/September. I will be happy to discuss Ride Captain duties with anyone who might be interested. I am available to help someone get started in the role over the next couple of months.
The rides from 2005 are continuing in 2006. Renee Mitchell and Jelania Haile initiated a Thursday morning women?s ride in 2005 with a small group and plan to continue in 2006. The KBC ride calendar just keeps getting better and busier. I expect this year to be no different. I recommend we plan to continue the Monday (Texas Drive Park), Wednesday (Kal-Haven Trailhead parking lot), Thursday (Texas Drive Park) & Thursday morning ride from KVCC, and Friday (Billy?s Bike Shop in Galesburg) rides for the 2006 season. The routes for all the weekly rides are well established. We are always open to route changes, as well, and the new Ride Captain may want to make some changes. Stay tuned for updates on these rides.
Also, we plan to continue the special weekend rides in 2006. We now have 6 special weekend rides and there is always room for more. Mark your long-range calendars for the special weekend rides this summer.
Descriptions of the regular weekday rides are listed below and the full ride schedule will start in May at 6:15 PM. KBC plans to offer at least a partial weekly ride schedule in April (after daylight savings time starts) at 6 PM as the weather permits. Look for details in the April Newsletter.
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. The group has gained quite a following, usually 10 ? 15 riders in 2005.
The 25-30 mile groups will typically ride the same route in the early part of the season. 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 ride groups. The 19 ? 20 mph group is a steady group as well for riders who want to ride a bit faster. The leaders for the 17 mph and 19 - 20 mph groups plan to keep the groups together and at a steady pace.
All riders who want to push the pace can do so in the 20+mph group. The 18 ? 19 and 20+ mph groups will most likely start riding the more hilly routes after May at the discretion of the riders and leaders.
Plans for the 5th year of the Tuesday Night Time Trial are in the works. The Barnes family will run the time trial once again this year and plans to use the same route as last year. The route starts at the Pavilion Township Hall at the corner of Q Ave and 28th Street. The time trial will run on the first and third Tuesday of the month, starting in May or June.
The Wednesday ride meets at the Kal-Haven Trail Parking lot. KBC plans to offer 3 ride groups:
The 13-15 mph group decides the route at the ride start.
The 30 mile groups typically ride the same route and each group starts separately. The 16-18 mph and 19-21 mph groups will try to be steady at the pace indicated. The 20+ group will likely break up into smaller groups.
The Wednesday Night Hammerfest will start at Kal-Haven Trail Parking lot at 6 PM when daylight savings time kicks in. 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 fragments into smaller groups and the riders oftentimes 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.
The Thursday Night Ride is a nice and easy social ride night at Texas Drive Park and has a small, loyal group (10 ? 15 riders), 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 Elaine Naegele).
The Friday Tour de Gull meets at Billy?s Bike Shop in Galesburg and the pace varies depending on who shows up (led by Randy Putt). We did have a 16-17 mph group periodically as well as a large 20+ mph group last year. Doug Kirk also established an alternate Southern Route. The fast group typically leads itself. The route for this ride is well established so the ride leader job is easy.
KBC had a great group of ride leaders last year and the 2005 ride season was another great year. Attendance at the rides continued to increase with many new faces. This is my annual and maybe my final solicitation for ride leaders for the upcoming ride season as the KBC Ride Captain. Since I will be leaving the area for a new job in Cincinnati, it is even more important that KBC members step up to lead rides. The usual cadre of ride leaders and the new ride captain could use some help and KBC can always use more ride leaders. New leaders bring different perspectives to the rides. We especially need leaders in 17 mph and under groups. The more ride leaders we have the better. Volunteer to lead some rides. It?s fun and it is a good way to get to know other KBC members. The routes are well established for the Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday rides. Also, check out the route maps on the KBC web site at www.kalamazoobicycleclub.org. If you have a favorite route to include, send the file to the Webmaster, Kathy Kirk for inclusion in our map library. Give it a shot. The club will be happy to help get you started leading rides.
If anyone is interested in leading rides this year, please give me a call at 649-1814. I will be more than happy to discuss how to lead rides with you. In fact, most any experienced KBC rider would be happy to discuss ride leader responsibilities with you. You do not have to wait to be asked. No experience is necessary. You just need the willingness to ride with a great group of people who enjoy riding their bikes. We would be more than happy to hear about other ride suggestions.
One of the primary functions of KBC is to offer an opportunity for club members to participate in group rides with other club members. To this end, KBC offers road rides for casual riders, families, tourists, fast tourists, and racers. The club has also offered mountain bike rides from time to time. KBC offers regular rides from 10 to 35 miles at ride paces from 10 to 23+ mph. There is likely to be a ride suitable for you in this schedule.
KBC also offers longer weekend rides. If you have never ridden in a group, the club weekly rides are a great way to get started. Riding with a group is great fun. Kalamazoo County is blessed with many good low traffic roads that are suitable for group cycling. If KBC does note offer a ride that suits your needs, contact any club board member or the ride captain and volunteer your services to lead a new ride. We will be happy to get you started.
You do not need to own an expensive bicycle or costly clothing to ride with KBC. We do, however, require riders to wear a helmet, and recommend cycling shorts, bringing a water bottle, cycling gloves, a pump, a tube patch kit or a spare tube, and tools (especially tire levers to remove a flat tire) for minor adjustments or repair along the road.
Flats and other mechanical breakdowns do happen on occasion while riding. If you have never changed a tire on the road, there may be someone on the ride able to assist you. WE DO REQUIRE THAT ALL RIDERS WEAR A BICYCLE HELMET. This requirement is a matter of safely and common sense.
Randy Putt, KBC Ride Captain
Webmaster Kathy Kirk has put together a downloadable mileage chart for the 2006 season. It is a Microsoft Word document, and is downloadable from the KBC website.
Write down your mileage whenever you ride and you?ll be surprised at how it all adds up at the end of the year. Charting also provides good incentive to keep riding or to stick with a training program. Create weekly or monthly goals for yourself, and if you write everything down you?re more likely to meet those goals.
As mentioned in last month?s PedalPress, the Friends of the Kal Haven Trail will sponsor the Kal Haven Trailblazer Bike Tour on May 13th. This ride is a fund-raiser for the Friends.
Registration is from 7:00 AM until noon at either the Third Reformed Church on 10th Street between West Main & H Avenue, or the trail head in South Haven.
The 25, 45, 70, and 100 mile road routes all start from 10th Street trailhead.
Fees for pre-registration are: individual $15; family $32. Same day registration fees are $20 for an individual; $42 for families.
The SAG stop in Bloomingdale will feature Vegetarian Sloppy Joes. The other stops in Kalamazoo, Kendall, Grand Junction and South Haven will provide bananas, cookies, PBJ sandwiches, water and sports drinks.
For more information on the Kal Haven Trailblazer ride, and a downloadable sign-up form, visit: http://www.kalhaventrail.org./trailblazer_info.html
If you would like to volunteer to help staff the Trailblazer, please call Ron Stolk at (269) 373-9013.
Dale Krueger writes, ?Did you know that Ireland is about the size of Michigan? That there are great roads for cycling, fantastic scenery, very friendly people and plenty of B & Bs and pubs??
?Well, Terry O'Connor (342-4608), Dale Krueger 375-0114), and Charlie DeVries are looking for one more cyclist to join them for a two week tour of Ireland.?
Dates selected are May 9-24. According to the Lonely Plant guide, Cycling Ireland, ?Without question, it?s best to aim for May or early June." We have loads of information on Ireland. We will fly direct to Dublin. Check "Tales" on the KBC website for Dale and Terry's 2004 Tour De Alps adventure. Should be a great time with a guy whose name is O'Connor and another guy whose Dad grew up in Kilkenny (Minnesota, that is) and a guy who really knows Irish whiskey. Give us a call for the details or email email@example.com.?
Dale also writes: ?Information and applications for the 2006 DALMAC are on the DALMAC website. Terry O'Connor, Charles DeVries and Dale Krueger are signed up for the WEST ride. Rumor is that the WEST ride is filling up fast. Terry, Dale and Charlie will be happy to have others hang out with them on the WEST ride.?
|Vice President||Jim Kindle|
|Database Manager||Paul Bruneau|
|Newsletter Editor||Zolton Cohen|
|Ride Captain||Randy Putt|
|Social Director||Jelania Haile|
|Social Director||Renee Mitchell|
|Safety and Education Chair||Victor VanFleet|
|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.