Pedal Press

Fast Track Index

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Ride Around Kalamazoo County Set for Saturday, August 12th

Ride Captain Knute Jacobson has announced that the annual KBC Ride Around the County will take place on Saturday, August 12th, starting at 9:00 AM in the southwest corner of the KVCC parking lot in Oshtemo.

This popular special weekend ride, Jacobson says, will hit the four corners of the county, and will be between 75-100 miles in length. The actual mileage will depend on how the riders feel near the end of the ride. Average speed is expected to be in the 18-19 mph range. There will be several food stops along the way at local convenience stores, so if you are planning on doing this ride, be sure to bring along some money for snacks.

The Ride Around the County is an ideal ?tune-up? ride for those who have signed up for DALMAC or other extended tours later in the season. Questions about the ride can be directed to Knute Jacobson at See you there!

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President's Letter

I had the opportunity to assist with Bike Camp over several weekends in June and July. Nearly 50 folks signed up for Bike Camp, the vast majority of who were new to the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club. They were empowered to use their bikes and they developed additional bicycling skills. At the end, there were many positive comments about their experiences. Most Bike Campers braved the blazing heat to ride Flower Fest. Bike Camp was a success!

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club has a presence in almost all of Kalamazoo County except for the Schoolcraft-Vicksburg-Fulton corridor. Kalamazoo Bicycle Club member Holly Bishop has presented the following ideas for improving bicycling in the Schoolcraft-Vicksburg-Fulton area of Kalamazoo County: first, a Safe Routes to School program for that area, and second, a south county bikeways program.

When I was in elementary school I walked or rode my bike to school. I would imagine that a great many folks in KBC rode or walked to school as well. Today, busses transport children to school. Safe Routes to School is a nationwide program that encourages elementary school aged children to walk or ride to school by identifying safe bicycling and walking routes, providing crosswalks, marked routes, traffic calming, and other measures. SR2S encourages the building of coalitions between advocacy groups (like the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club) and schools, businesses, local governments, and parents. The coalition identifies problems and works to fix them. This is a great bicycling program.

Doug Kirk planted a seed with the local Bike Route signs and the ?Share the Road? signs around Kalamazoo. Now there is interest in developing a signed South County Bikeways route or routes throughout the southern tier of townships in Kalamazoo County. This may be more difficult than the City of Kalamazoo or City of Portage signage projects because the county road commission would need to become involved.

If you would like more information about these projects or if you would like to assist with these projects contact Holly Bishop at

The BRT Criterium is fast approaching! September 30 is the date. As I write this, the online application is being developed. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club will need racers and volunteers to make this event a success. Contact Rick Updike or Greg Lawford for more information.

Please keep the ideas for new or improved projects coming!

Mike Boersma, KBC President

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FlowerFest Wrap Up From Dave Bishop

The 15th Annual FlowerFest Bike Tour was a great success despite the heat that engulfed the riders. The ridership of 352 was down slightly from last year?s count of about 400. I am sure, had it not been for the temperatures, we would have had a lot more. 

Despite the heat, those who did ride the various courses seemed to be enjoying themselves. I think having the last water stop in Schoolcraft was a good idea. Those who managed to get that far were greatly pleased to see my wife with the ice water and sponges. I will be sure to keep that tradition going. I may even include the water and sponges in all aid stations next year. 

I gained a lot of experience in this year?s FlowerFest Tour and will be back again next year with a greater focus on shirts, food, and sag stations. One suggestion that I have is to post closing times for each sag stop. The Cereal City Ride has a great example of this in their brochure and I think we should look into that for next year. 

Thank you to all the many volunteers at registration, sag stops, sag wagon driving, clean-up, and especially to Mike Krischer for all the superb work he did. We couldn?t have done it and had such a successful event without everyone?s help.

Dave Bishop

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Meeting Minutes

KBC?s regular monthly meeting was held Tuesday, July 11th, 2006 at 7:00 pm at the Kalamazoo YMCA located on Maple Street. KBC President Mike Boersma led the meeting. Others present were: Mike Berry, Dave Bishop, Holly Bishop, Mike Boyd, Paul Bruneau, Zolton Cohen, Chris Haddock, Jelania Haile, Mark Irwin, David Jones, Tom Keizer, Jim Kindle, Mike Krischer, Renee Mitchell, Dick Nivala, and Paul Raynes, Victor VanFleet.

Tom Keizer began with a treasurer?s report: Savings account balance = $2,066: Checking account balance = $4,085 and CD = $10,187. Expenses this month were $678.

Jelania Haile shared the exit survey results from Bike Camp, the responses were all very positive. Bike Camp 2006 was a great success!

Mike Krischer and Dave Bishop reported that Flower Fest pre-registration was higher than years past. The routes are painted and plenty of food, water and ice are prepared to support the eager riders.

Holly Bishop, a Vicksburg resident, presented an idea for developing a ?South County Bike Pathway.? This pathway would extend from Schoolcraft to Vicksburg and eventually hook up with the Portage Bike Pathway system. She would also like to possibly obtain for installation a few of the Share Road Signs that are used in Kalamazoo County. In addition, Bishop will be attending the Safe Routes to School training, which evaluates children?s routes to school in order to improve sidewalks and add crossing guards. Bishop would like the support of the KBC to supply data and any other information that would aid her endeavors.

Zolton Cohen suggested that KBC develop an advertising policy for the PedalPress and the KBC listserve. Suggestions from members included an Ad section of the PedalPress, and perhaps a yearly allotted number of ads per company on KBC?s listserve.

Mike Boersma suggested forming a committee to weigh pursuing 501 C3 status for the KBC. Mark Irwin, Jim Kindle volunteered to investigate, and plan to ask Doug Kirk to join them.

Dick Nivala had a very positive experience participating in Doug Kirk?s pace line instructional group. He learned a lot and wanted to say thanks. Kudos Doug!

Meeting was adjourned at 7:51 PM. Next meeting will be Tuesday, August 8th 2006 at 7:00 PM at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street.

Respectfully submitted, Chris Haddock, KBC Secretary

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Birthdays and Expiring Memberships

Active subscriptions in KBC: 241


Stephen Barnes * Nic Bishop * Linda Bruneau * Alex Clothier * John Doyle * Michael Foley * Douglas Freeland * David Jones * Katie Jones * Josh Kalkman * Austin Kucharski * Melania Marquardt * Chuck Mizikar * Peter Post * Diana Rankinen * Fred Royce * Tyler Stevens * Julianna Stewart

New Members

Mike Berry * Eric Breisach * Steve Breisach * Brian Campbell * Tammy Campbell * Robin Carpenter * Tom George * Daniel Goldberger * Jane Goldberger * Fabian Gomez * Kathleen Hoard * Zachary King * Keoni Nguyen * Garret Peaslee * Stephanie Sabin * Dan Shugars * Diane Shugars * Gordon Snow * Diane Trader * Carl Urbon * Stephanie Walbridge * Richard Wolthuis

Expiring Memberships

Joseph Branch Family * Bruce Caple * Alice Ekema Family * Linda Kozacki Family * Thomas Moore Family * Rick Updike Family *

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July-August Ride Captain?s Report

Hasn?t the weather been great for cycling lately? This is the weather we dream about when we?re still pulling on tights and jackets in the early season. If anything, we could do with a few degrees less heat! But, all in all, it?s been terrific!

As far as I can tell, the season has been going very well. KBC continues to offer a wide variety of rides, with some special emphasis this year on helping new riders get into the sport. And there are a lot of ?new? riders out on the roads?some of whom have purchased a bicycle for the first time; others who are getting back into the sport after many years away. All of whom are discovering the wonderful technological advances that make cycling more pleasurable than ever. It?s great to see the sport we love developing so. Especially since it has such great payoffs in terms of health and friendships.

As I?m writing this report on July 16th, let me take a moment to congratulate all who took part in the annual FlowerFest Tour this morning. I hope you had a good time, and were able to meet your personal goals for this year?s tour.

Words of congratulations are also in order for the many racers who ride and train with our club, representing a variety of teams. Just two days ago?while I was still up in Alpena--I learned (by checking that Kathy Kirk finished second in the US National Championship time trial for her age group. Way to go Kathy! Kathy is one of many racers who do our club proud.

As many of you know, July is my vacation time, so I tend to be away much of it. Rosemary and I also have been occupied with a move into a new house?still in the Richland area, near the Tour de Gull route. I look forward to being back on our club rides in August, and plan to help lead the annual Ride Around Kalamazoo County on Saturday, August 12th. Last year?s ride was a real success, with Randy Putt at the helm, and about 20 riders taking part.

After August 6th I will again be available to advertise ?impromptu? rides. Just send me the pertinent information: start time and place; average speed; planned distance; and whether you plan to make any stops along the way. I?ll get the information out as quickly as I can.

Be safe. Be courteous. Happy riding!

Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

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August 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 mile 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. The10-15 mph group have 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.

Tuesday Night Time Trial: Greg Lawford, captain of the KBC/Little Caesar?s Race Team, reports that the Race Team has taken over the Tuesday Night Time Trial, and that it is up and going well.

The format, running dates, starting location and route for the TNTT are all the same as in years past. Parking is available at the Pavilion Township Hall at the corner of Q Ave and 28th Street. The time trials run on the first and third Tuesday of the month, along the measured ten mile course. Start time is 6:00 PM sharp.

Updates to the TNTT, according to Lawford, include race numbers for participants, and an Excel spread sheet that automatically does timing, MPH calculations, and placing for the event. There is no waiting at the end for results. Instant gratification! 

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 the groups may begin together. 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 starts at the Kal-Haven Trailhead Parking lot at 6 PM throughout the summer. 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 usually 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.

The Thursday Night Ride is a nice and easy social ride night at Texas Drive Park, and consists of a small but loyal group. Participation is expected to pick up as the weather turns warmer. Riders of all riding abilities are welcome. The pace is typically 16-17 mph and distance is 20-25 miles, led by Elaine Naegele.

The Friday Tour de Gull meets at Billy?s Bike Shop in Galesburg and the pace varies depending on who shows up (formerly led by Randy Putt). We did have a 16-17 mph group periodically as well as a large 20+ mph group last year. The fast group typically leads itself. The route for this ride is well established so the ride leader job is easy.

Mark your long-range calendars for some special weekend rides this summer. Several rides are being planned for the summer months.

The dates for some of these rides are not firmly established for 2006 yet. If you have comments about the above-mentioned rides or have suggestions for other rides, contact Ride Captain Knute Jacobson at

Impromptu weekend rides can happen anytime the weather is suitable and someone is willing to organize them. If you?re interested in being informed of these impromptu rides, send KBC Ride Captain Knute Jacobson an email to get on the impromptu ride contact list:

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Editor's Letter

We?re in the heart of biking season, and things are hopping all over both for KBC and its members. In the whirlwind of all the activities, one thing stands out - We?ve got many excellent competitors in this bicycle club.

It?s not possible to keep up with everyone?s accomplishments in bicycling, running, triathlons, adventure racing and other athletic endeavors. But here is mention of a few of the performances that stand out?

First, on the bike racing scene, KBC members made waves not only in the Michigan Senior Olympics this year, but on state and national stages as well. Kathy Kirk, KBC?s webmaster, achieved what local bike historian Houston Peterson proclaimed, ?probably the highest national ranking ever of any cycling athlete from this area? when she finished second in the US National Cycling Championship Time Trial. Kirk?s podium finish came on an extremely hilly course in southern Pennsylvania, against the top women time trialists in the country.

Kirk?s training and long lead-up to the race included losing quite a bit of weight in order to deal with the anticipated climbing on the hilly course. On the way to this premier event, she also won the Michigan State Time Trial ? both in her age grouping and overall - thus qualifying for the National race.

Other local athletes who competed at the U.S. National Cycling Championship included Taylor Birmann and Cheryl Olson. Stories about their experiences appear elsewhere in this newsletter.

Locally, KBC also made its presence known in the Michigan Senior Olympics. Wednesday night Half-Fast rider Dan Hoff of Mattawan, in just his second year of bicycling, made quite a splash (look for his wrap-up elsewhere in this PedalPress). Riders in KBC?s 13-15 mph groups also took home gold medals in the Senior Olympics.

KBC congratulates these competitors and wishes them well as they continue with their athletic careers.

On another note, there is still a lot of local (non-competitive) riding yet to be done this season. Along with KBC?s regular weekly ride schedule, there are several special weekend rides planned. As a member of KBC, you?re invited and encouraged to attend and participate in these rides. It?s one of the ?perks? of being a part of this club.

One ride I?m especially looking forward to is the Ride Around Kalamazoo County on Saturday, August 12th. This 75-100 mile tour offers the opportunity for riders to visit the four corners of the county from a perspective not usually seen. It?s a great day on the bike, and a good way to meet other people of similar interest. Ride Captain Knute Jacobson and I hope to see you at the start of this ride, 9:00 AM at the southwest corner of the KVCC parking lot.

Feedback Request: A topic of discussion at recent KBC monthly meetings relates to formulating a policy regarding requests from companies or organizations wishing to advertise or announce events in the KBC PedalPress or through the KBC listserve. It seems to me that there are several ways to view this topic, and I can come up with pros and cons for each side.

On the one hand, most of us receive a plentitude of junk email and advertising through our computers already. In my case alone, there are usually between 35-45 spam messages awaiting my delete key each morning when I fire up my desktop unit (name brand intentionally omitted!). Do we really want to see more advertising when we open up the monthly KBC PedalPress or a KBC listserve message?

However, as a bicycle purchaser and consumer, I?d also like to find out when local bike shops (where I do all my gear buying) are holding sales or promotional events. I?ll be the first to admit that any time I can save ten bucks on a new 700x23 Continental Gran Sport tire, or can buy two spare tubes for the price of one, or cycling socks or gloves at reduced prices, I want to take advantage of those offers. And when a factory rep from a bike manufacturer pulls into town with a trailer load of brand new products that I?m interested in seeing and trying out, I want to know about that too. This information is valuable to me, and it could be to you as well.

Add to the mix the tremendous amount of support KBC gets from our local shops every year - providing expert staff at events like Bike Camp and FlowerFest, giving mechanical assistance SAG support at local races and tours, and donating a lot of nice schwag for raffle gifts at our Recovery Party - and that?s another factor to consider. Giving these generous businesses the opportunity to showcase their wares, sales and events would seem like a reasonable partial payback for the efforts they expend on behalf of the local bicycling community.

Money has never entered this discussion. By the standards of many organizations, KBC has a hefty treasury. We don?t need advertising money, and accepting it might open the club up to conflicts that would be difficult to resolve. If we accept paid advertising from one entity, say a local bike shop, can we discriminate and turn it down from a business we might not wish to be associated with? Two-for-one night for KBC members at the Mermaid Lounge anyone?

We?d like to know how you feel about all this. Do you want to see announcements about sales or events at local bike shops in the PedalPress and/or listserve? And if you do, how often do you think they should be allowed to appear? Vice President Jim Kindle suggested at the last KBC meeting that, each year, each local shop be given a limited number of free ?slots? in our club?s communication organs to promote their sales or events. But what?s your opinion on the matter? Please send your suggestions to, or, better yet, bring them up for discussion in person at the next KBC meeting?

Zolton Cohen, KBC Newsletter Editor

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US Nationals Race Report, Seven Springs, PA, July 6-17

By Cheryl Olson

Riders: Kathy Kirk, Cheryl Olson, Sarah Adams

Time Trial:

The time trial course was not for the weak, as it took more than a time trial specialist to do well. Unlike the typical TT, this course was packed with long climbs, screaming, technical descents and short steeps that ground the strength out of your legs. Kathy Kirk, filled with focus and determination, attacked the course with only the podium on her mind. As she shot off the start ramp there was no doubt she would accomplish her goal. Kathy ripped an awesome second place in the 50-55 age group in a field that would intimidate most while just sitting on the starting line!!! Congrats to Kathy! What an incredible achievement! Traverse City resident Sarah Adams accomplished her goal for her first TT - far from last place :-). Cheryl survived as well.



As Sarah and Cheryl arrived at the Crit course, which ran partly on a race track, the skies opened to dump buckets of rain. As the women racers watched the men's field racing before them, groups of riders would go down on the oil slickened track corners. The field was whittled from 80 to 30 before their eyes. Sarah wisely decided to NOT make this dangerous criterium her first and became the best race support ever for Cheryl. 

Cheryl lined up, but not without concern. However the first 39 of the 40 laps passed without casualty and the situation was setting up to end in a field sprint. In the second corner on the final lap, someone overshot a corner and hit a barricade. The slick corner would not tolerate even the lightest of braking. Others in the field, trying to avoid the downed rider, found that their attempts to slow their speed were catastrophic. Their braking resulted in a massive pile-up on the road. Out of the 20 women in the final group only 5 would stay upright and sprint for the finish. Cheryl would emerge from the pile with wheels that didn't turn, and run, bike on her shoulder, to the support pit to grab new wheels to roll to the finish to be ranked. Better luck next year!

Cheryl Olson
Priority Health Cycling Team
Athletic Mentors LLC

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More U.S. Nationals ? The Exploits of Taylor Birmann

Many of you know Taylor Birmann as a young man who started biking with KBC a few years ago with his dad, Mike - an accomplished mountain and road bike rider in his own right. At first it was difficult for Taylor to even hang onto the back of the 17 mph Recovery Ride group on Monday nights. But as the years progressed and Taylor gained more experience in mountain bike races and KBC club rides, his strength, conditioning, and stamina improved. Now he?s a regular on the Wednesday night Hammerfest and an up and coming racer making a name for himself on the national scene.

Mike and Rochelle Birmann, Taylor?s parents, sent this report from the U.S. National Cycling Championships, where Taylor raced in three events.

?Taylor did an incredible job at Nationals, and as his parents we are extremely proud of him. There was an opportunity for him to do three events and Taylor opted for them all. The first was the Time Trial. Taylor finished 6th, just four seconds out of a medal position. He accomplished that on his regular road bike, without any TT enhancements. I guess you could say Mom and Dad were not prepared to see the other 13 years olds with two and three bikes at this event, wearing TT helmets and disc wheels. So we were all pleased with Taylor?s results.? 

?Second race...the crit; third place!!! A bronze medal, on the was great. Taylor rode a really smart race. He also enjoyed it. He kept a journal the entire week so he could write his team; Sunrise Sports, when he returned. This was by far his favorite race of the week. Talking to his coach, Jeff Hamilton, throughout the week made a difference for him as well. They would talk over his plans and strategy; putting Taylor at ease for the next event. Thanks Jeff!!?    

?The third race was the road race. And by this time the other racers had approached us, wanting to know who Taylor was, where we were from, and how old Taylor was. In other words, they wanted to know if he was moving up in age class next year ? and if they had to watch out for him next season. Taylor was also one of the tallest racers out there, so they were not letting go of his wheel today. He worked hard on the hilly, hilly course; it makes the Sixth Street hill in Kalamazoo County look like the salt flats. Taylor led the race and did most of the pulling, so by the last lap he was done. The finish line was uphill, and (of course) the main group attacked on the last lap and Taylor had nothing left. He still finished 8th. A great end for his first year at Nationals!!?

?Additional thoughts from Taylor - it was a great week, he learned a lot about racing, about himself and competition. He knows he wants more, more bikes and more competition. He has set new goals for himself and us as a family. Taylor has been riding bikes since he was three years old.  He has had a passion for two wheeled things for a long time and the best part is he is having more fun now than ever!!?

?Taylor is on the junior's squad of Sunrise Sports/Jittery Joe's/Ann Arbor Velo Club. There are 7 juniors. He is the youngest, at age 13, of the approximately 30 or so riders. No one on the strictly road racing team is under CAT 3 (except for the juniors). The team usually sends 2 riders to Belgium every year for 3 months, when the riders reach the age of 17-18. It is Taylor's goal to someday be one of those riders. The team is based in the Detroit area.?

Mike and Rochelle Birmann

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Mattawan?s Dan Hoff Rockets to Top in Senior Olympics

Dan Hoff, teacher and head varsity men?s basketball coach at Mattawan High School, enjoyed unprecedented success in his inaugural experience at the Michigan Senior Olympics in July. Here is what he had to say about the events?

?Although racing and winning were lots of fun, I really enjoyed and continue to enjoy just being on the bike. The solitude...the energy expended...the scenery...the camaraderie (when with others)--those are their own rewards.?

?I finished the 5K time trial in second place for my age group (50-54) with a time of 8:48. I also took second in the 10K time trial with a time of 18:00 (both times are approximate). There was quite a bit of wind for the 10K, and there were approximately 30 male participants in each time trial.?

?I only trained a little bit for the time trials. I do not have a time trial bike, and I was only able to make it to one of the Tuesday Time Trial nights because of my schedule, and ? also because of my schedule - I did only one other day of speed work.?

?I finished the 40K road race in first place for all age groups with a time of approximately 1:06. There were approximately 30 male participants.?

?In the 20K road race I also took first place for all age groups with a time of approximately 34 minutes?it was quite windy for that race as well. There were about 25 participants in the 20K. I kept forgetting to look at my computer after each race, so I don?t know what my speed averages were.?

?The course for all the races was the KBC Time Trial course, originating at the Pavilion Township Hall. We did the loop partially (for the time trials) or multiple times (for the road races.) The course, as KBC time trialists know, is quite flat.?

?Both road races were raced similarly. After about 4 miles the group had sorted itself out with 13 riders each time in the lead pack. For the 40K, two riders from the Wolverine Club led the whole way, breaking away at times, only to be caught by the group. For the 20K, a single rider broke away on a couple of occasions, again, only to be caught by the group. I stayed at the rear, knowing that I had so little experience racing and pleased that I was able to keep up with the lead pack.?

?Both races were won in a final sprint. In the 40K, I began my sprint from 12th place with about 400 meters to go after 5 or 6 other riders had begun theirs. I passed the lead rider with about 100 meters to go and held everyone off. On the 20K, 2 riders broke away with about 500 meters to go; I began my sprint from 10th place then, and I passed both of them, again, with about 100 meters to go, holding off one of the two.?

?I trained for the Michigan Senior Olympic events by spinning twice a week all winter in the basement at Alfred E. Bike. Once the weather broke, I put in lots and lots of miles on my own; my longer rides were 30-40 miles, averaging about 17-18 miles per hour. My shorter rides were 12-15 miles, averaging about 18-19 miles per hour. From time to time, I put in some 40-50 mile rides, especially a few weeks before the competition. I also rode in the KBC club rides on Mondays (occasionally) and Wednesdays (consistently), I ratcheted down my training in the last week (on the advice of Zolton Cohen!!!) and only did the 12-15 mile rides at a reduced pace--about 16 miles per hour. Additionally, once the water was warm enough, I did a large number of pool runs where I ran laps from one-half hour to an hour in our 27-foot round pool. This type of training is tremendous for the cardio-vascular system and for the hamstrings and quads!?

?For the four or five days before the events, I ate lots and lots of high carbohydrate foods - pasta and breads, and I drastically increased the number of times when I ate oatmeal with raisins and ate bananas. After every workout, on the bike or in the pool, as well as between the races in the Senior Olympics, I drank a very large glass of chocolate milk (as suggested by Joe of the KBC).?

?At the end of the day I just enjoyed being part of the preparation (during the winter and during the spring and summer) and in being part of the competition. I am still just a learner - a neophyte - who happened to have fun success on a couple of days.?

Dan Hoff

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PedalPress Interview with Stephanie Walbridge of In the Zone

Several months ago, Stephanie Walbridge, the owner of In the Zone, a metabolic testing service, demonstrated her company?s capabilities to an interested group at a KBC monthly meeting. Walbridge hooked KBC database manager Kathy Kirk up to her testing equipment while Kirk pedaled her bike on a trainer. The results of the test were immediately available for view on the computer?s screen.

Catching up with Walbridge after the demonstration to ask for more information about In the Zone?s services proved harder than anticipated. She?s definitely a woman on the go. But the PedalPress finally had a chance to conduct an email interview; the results appear below.

And, for those who might be interested in undergoing a metabolic test to help determine the course of your training, check out In the Zone?s two-for-one offer to KBC members!

PP: What is metabolic testing and how long have you been doing it with your business ?In the Zone??

Stephanie Walbridge: Metabolic testing is a clinical assessment of an individual?s oxygen usage and carbon dioxide production, which indicates how the body uses fat and glycogen for energy. Determining a person?s metabolic profile gives 4 critical pieces of information:

  1. 1. Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) - the number of calories a person needs to maintain vital functions at rest.
  2. 2. Aerobic Base (AB) ? the heart rate at which an individual burns the highest percentage of fat, relative to carbohydrate.
  3. 3. Anaerobic Threshold (AT) ? the heart rate at which an individual switches from fat utilization to predominantly carbohydrate metabolism to produce energy.
  4. 4. VO2max ? the maximum amount of oxygen that can be consumed by the muscles each minute during exercise. It represents genetic aerobic potential.

I was trained on the New Leaf system in Chicago and started ?In the Zone? in the fall of 2005.

PP: Is this type of testing only beneficial for elite, racer-type athletes, or is it also worthwhile for beginning bikers, or for those who do not compete?

Stephanie Walbridge: Absolutely not! The same metabolic profile that athletes should use for maximizing performance and aerobic efficiency is critical for fitness enthusiasts or anyone trying to lose weight through exercise. The assessment provides individuals with detailed information on proper heart rate training zones for fat loss, cardiovascular fitness, calorie burn, and for getting the most out of exercise time.

PP: What does the testing entail? What do you check for? Is it uncomfortable? Is there any blood drawn?

Stephanie Walbridge: Testing for resting and exercise metabolic markers involves wearing a neoprene breathing mask with tubing that is connected to a computerized device that analyzes the air you exhale. A heart rate monitor is also worn during both tests. For the resting metabolic test (RMR) the client sits quietly for approximately 15 minutes. The client may perform the exercise metabolic assessment (EMA) on a treadmill, elliptical, bike, or most any cardio equipment and usually takes a total of 15 minutes. O2 and CO2 are measured and analyzed during progressive exercise intensities. No blood is drawn. The neoprene mask can get sweaty but the test is not uncomfortable.

PP: Where is the testing done?

Stephanie Walbridge: The equipment is portable, which allows the testing to be performed at a client?s home, my home or fitness center of choice.

PP: How much does the testing cost? How long does it take?

Stephanie Walbridge:
Initial testing:
RMR and consult $75
EMA and consult $125
Combined $180

Repeat testing:
RMR and consult $60
EMA and consult $110
Combined $150

Each test takes approximately 15 minutes. Consult time depends. I usually spend up to an hour with clients for the 2 tests together.

PP: After the testing is complete, how soon is the data available to the client?

Stephanie Walbridge: Immediately. Both raw data as well as comprehensive analysis is printed out and discussed with each client. Clients take home detailed printouts of their fitness and metabolic evaluation.

PP: What can a client expect to learn or gain from the testing?

Stephanie Walbridge: The results can be used to jumpstart an individual?s weight loss/fitness program, completely overhaul one, or simply used to enhance an existing program. Most athletes use the data to ?dial in? on proper aerobic and anaerobic heart rate training zones.

The data can be critical to many athletes in avoiding over-training and critical in proper aerobic base development, which is very difficult for many athletes. Training properly in the aerobic phase as well as training low enough for recovery workouts, is very difficult for many recreational as well as elite athletes. Having objective scientific data gives athletes the know-how and feedback to go slower despite what other athletes are doing.

The anaerobic threshold measurement is a critical marker in calculating proper heart rate zones for weight loss, fat loss, endurance training and performance.

PP: KBC understands that you made a two-for one testing offer to club members. Would you please explain how that works?

Stephanie Walbridge: KBC members can test with a friend, training partner, or spouse and (1) each do a 15 minute cycling assessment plus consult for the price of one test ($125) or (2) come alone and complete both the resting and cycling assessments plus consult for $125.

PP: Anything else you would like to add about your testing or In the Zone?

Stephanie Walbridge: If you are looking to improve your speed and endurance, or if you are serious about weight loss through exercise and nutrition, you can?t afford not to do this testing. Check out my website for more information at or call me with questions/references at (269)-207-4988.

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KBC Contact Information

2006 KBC Board of Directors

President Mike Boersma
  Phone: 269-720-1409
Vice President Jim Kindle
  Phone: 269-382-8053
Secretary Chris Haddock
  Phone: 269-624-5418
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 Knute Jacobson
  Phone: 269-629-0093
Social Director Jelania Haile
  Phone: 269-345-1274
Social Director Renee Mitchell
Safety and Education Chair Victor VanFleet
  Phone: 269-375-7691
Webmaster Kathy Kirk
  Phone: 269-388-5045
Flowerfest Director Michael Krischer
Flowerfest Director "Super" Dave Bishop
  Phone: 269-679-4522

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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