Pedal Press

Fast Track Index

Printer Friendly version of the November PedalPress

President's Letter

The return to Standard Time has come, and with it an end to the regular Kalamazoo Bicycle Club riding season. It was a good season and membership in the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club has increased. However, just because of the time change and an earlier nightfall does not mean the end to KBC activities.

There have been many suggested new winter activities in addition to the Recovery Party in January. Joan Orman suggested at the October KBC monthly meeting that the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club hold first aid training for all interested KBC members free of charge (KBC picks up the tab for the training). Jelania Haile suggested a bicycle maintenance class. There are spinning opportunities at Alfred E. Bike and at KVCC. Of course, weather permitting, there may be rides announced. If you have ideas or suggestions for winter activities, please come to the November KBC meeting.

There are also KBC committees that are at work during the winter. The Bike Camp Committee wants to build on the success of the 2006 Bike Camp. The ride formerly known as FlowerFest Committee needs your assistance to find a new name (with pizzazz) and to plan and to market the new ride. The 501(c)(3) committee is studying if KBC qualifies as a 501(c)(3) entity and if it is in KBC?s interest to pursue this; if you have knowledge about the tax code in this area the committee would like your assistance.

KBC elections will be held at the November meeting.

November 7 is also the date of local, state, and federal elections. Please get out and vote.

Thank you for making the 2006 riding season a success!

Mike Boersma, KBC President

Back to top

Meeting Minutes

KBC?s regular monthly meeting was held Tuesday, October 10th, 2006 at 7:00 pm at the Kalamazoo YMCA located on Maple Street. KBC President Mike Boersma led the monthly meeting. Present were Dave Bishop, Paul Bruneau, Zolton Cohen, Jim Kindle, Doug Kirk, Chris Haddock, Jelania Haile, David Jones, Doug Kirk, Mike Krischer, Renee Mitchell, Elaine Nagel, Dick Nivala, Terry O?Connor, Bob Paksi, Victor Van Fleet, and Curt Vreeman. Also joining the meeting were Lois Summers and Dennis Johnson, visitors from Canada!

Treasurer?s Report:

Thanks to Terry O?Connor for filling in and presenting the report.

Zolton Cohen motioned that the CD be rolled over and $2,000 from checking be added to it. The motion passed.


There were no new nominations for elections, which will take place at the November meeting. Incumbents for the Executive Board positions indicated their willingness to serve again, if elected.


Kathy Kirk will retire from her position of KBC Webmaster in December. Bob Paksi has volunteered to take on this duty, pending appointment after the election by the Executive Board.


The FF committee: Dave Bishop, Jelania Haile, Mike Krischer, Renee Mitchell, and Elaine Nagel, suggested a name change for our annual bike tour. It was moved and passed, although not unanimously, to change the name in order to foster new excitement and increase participation. The committee will be responsible for deciding on a name for the tour.

The committee also suggested changing the date of the annual ride so that it would not fall on the same weekend as the Holland Hundred and Torch Lake rides. In 2007 our ride is scheduled for the Sunday after the Holland ride, but in subsequent years it may occur the week after.

New entry fees are being discussed for the ride. For 2007, the following is suggested: Pre-registration $20, $35 for a family/couple. KBC member will receive a $5 discount on pre registration only. Day of ride $25/45.

Lastly, the committee suggested naming a charitable beneficiary for the tour. It was moved and passed, unanimously, to donate a portion of the proceeds to the VBC Road Commission, for operating expenses on the Kal-Haven Trail.

BTR Race @ WMU

Doug Kirk reports the racers? responses? A ?terrific race venue!? The committee will meet later this month to discuss the success of the race and possible improvements.

Spoke Tales Mixer

6:00 Thursday October 19th at the Craftsman Chophouse. Elaine Nagel is distributing fliers.

New Business:

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35pm. Our Next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 7:00 PM, at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street.

Respectfully submitted, Chris Haddock, KBC Secretary

Back to top

Birthdays and Expiring Memberships

Active subscriptions in KBC: 234


Betsy Barnes * Carl Clatterbuck * Sheila Clothier * Alan Dahl * Bruce Dedee * Terry Florian * Polly Freer * Jane Goldberger * Fabian Gomez * Jeff Harrison * Brian Hoard * Christine Horton * Sheri Jones * Jason Kalkman * Jordon Kalkman * Michael Krischer * Julie Lawford * Frank Machnik * Leslie Mars * Richard Morse * Tom Nehil * Anne-Marie Olbrot * John Olbrot * Juli Peterson * Mike Peterson * Elena Stoycheva * Victor Van Fleet * Dan Van Sweden * Chuck Zahnow

Expiring Memberships

Sandra James Family * Victor Van Fleet

Back to top


TREK model 1500, 52cm, aluminum with carbon fork, Bontrager/Shimano equipped with triple crank. Like new in excellent condition. Asking $700.00

Fluid Two CycleOps stationary trainer. Used a couple of times and like new. Asking $175.00.

Both items were purchased in 2004 (Breakaway) and used very little. Paul Raynes:, (269) 806-8360 or (269) 629-5456

Back to top

Ride Captain?s Report

As I sit to write this report, a rare ray of sunshine is beaming through my office window.  I almost did a double-take: it seems like such a long time since we've seen the sun!

When it was snowing a few weeks ago, I turned to my wife and declared: "I think this is the earliest I've ever seen it."  "You're never really happy with the weather," she retorted. That's probably true. But I did feel somewhat vindicated when I heard on the radio next morning that it hadn't snowed that early in October since 1919!

As our club website says, the season has been "winding down rather quickly" this year. Despite that, quite a bit happened in late September and early October. Two new cycling events took place: the Women's Cider and Donut Ride, and the BTR Criterium. Both were good events, and the weather was actually pretty good for the Cider and Donut Ride.

And then there was also the Fall Color Ride, on the same day. Sorry about the scheduling conflict, but that was the only day this year I could lead the Fall Color Ride. Again this year, we finished most of the chili after the ride was over.

Thanks to all those who have helped establish new events and keep old events going. I'll also be interested to hear reports of the Spoke Tales Mixer--another fun idea.

Those were the good things that happened recently--to cap off many other good things that took place over the course of the season.

There was an unfortunate event, as well: a serious crash on the combined Hammerfest/Half Fast Wednesday night ride in early October. The good news was that two of the riders who fell were able to ride home. The bad news: two were carried to hospital by ambulance, where they spent the night.

Looking back, I'm thankful we don't have more incidents like this than we do. In this case, all the riders were very experienced. I would guess they have 300,000 miles experience all told. It was just one of those things--like the time Laurent Jalabert took down Johann Museeuw 20 yards before the finish line.

I mention this only to segue into my final point: Again this winter we need to be thinking and talking about safety on our group rides. Doug Kirk and I had already been planning to host another Damon's Safety Meeting like the one Doug sponsored last year.

As he and Kathy were two of the riders who went down that Wednesday, this year I'd like to offer to help buy the beer. Doug and Kathy, we all wish the two of you a speedy recovery.

Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

Back to top

Editor's Letter

So that?s about it for this year - group riding I mean. I hope you all enjoyed the season, learned something new about bicycling, got in shape, and are enthusiastic about coming back to do it again next spring.

In the fall, when the weather is often dicey and the sun sets so early in the evening, I?m glad that I?m self employed (well, with the exception of having to pay both sides of the Social Security tax, and also for my own health insurance. Oh, and all the paperwork too. And the wildly uneven income. Other than that, it?s really not that bad). My schedule is flexible enough that I can often get out during the daytime when most everyone who has a job is at work. I?m out riding while you?re taking care of business. The downside is that when I don?t work I don?t get paid.

But I decided a long time ago that my health was going to be a priority. Contracting a life-altering illness and seeing my dad waste away in a nursing home taught me some hard lessons about the necessity of maintaining good health. I?ll give up lucre for good health any day of the week. It?s an equation I?m comfortable with, and I make the choice quite often.

Exercise is of prime importance in my life; even vital. If I don?t get the opportunity to work out just about every day, and work hard doing it, I just don?t feel right. I suspect most members of KBC feel the same way. We need to spread the word.

This year, it was exciting for those of us on the Bike Camp Committee to see the gargantuan turnout we had for Bike Camp 2006. Nearly 50 people made the effort to sign up to attend the training sessions, find out what they could about riding their bicycles, get in shape, and learn the most efficient way to pedal. Our goal as a committee was to make bicycling more accessible to more people. Those who came to all the sessions left with a good idea about what biking is all about. We hope the seeds of enthusiasm we planted will continue to grow, and that the Bike Campers continue to ride their bikes, and learn about the sport.

Bike Camp was one way KBC tried to interact with and contribute to the health of the community. We hope to keep Bike Camp going ? and growing. We?ll need help to do it, so please consider lending a hand when the call for volunteers is made. There are many other opportunities to aid your bike club and community as well. The committee that organizes the Ride Formerly Known as FlowerFest always needs assistance. So consider getting more involved. Join with others in helping to increase knowledge and awareness of bicycling and its many benefits. There are people out there who are just one encouraging word away from embarking on a lifetime of pleasurable experience on a bike. Share what you know.

Overflow Crowds:

In the years I?ve been involved in KBC, we?ve never really been pressed for space at our meetings. Usually, it?s been 5-7 of the usual long-faced suspects sitting around in a large room.

That?s changing. At the last KBC monthly meeting, 15 souls showed up. New ideas flowed, synergies occurred, alliances formed. It?s so good to see fresh faces, to hear different voices expressing opinions. If this keeps up we may have to find a large meeting room?

Zolton Cohen, KBC Newsletter Editor

Back to top

Calling All 2006 Bike Campers

Hey Bike Campers- We miss you!!! Tell us about your bike camp or other cycling experiences this past season. Let us know how you got in better shape, rode farther than you ever thought you could, met personal goals, made new friends etc. 

We are beginning to plan for 2007 bike camp and your personal experiences are of great value, plus it would be great to hear from you all. Please email Jelania Haile:, or Renee Mitchell: We look forward to hearing from you!                         

Back to top

Gary Keene Checks in from California

Some of the club?s old-timers might remember Gary Keene. Here?s an email he sent a few days before the PedalPress was put to bed.

Dear Zolton,

As KBC's newsletter editor, I thought I might offer a word of greetings from the past and the present, as well as encouragement to KBC's younger cyclists for the future.

Way back in 1973, I rode my first century (to South Haven and back) with the KBC. That led to being active in the club, including serving as the Director for Rides and Tours for the League of American Wheelmen National Convention when KBC sponsored that event in Kalamazoo in 1978 ("Escape '78").

Since then, my involvement in cycling has deepened considerably. I owe it all to good riders and mentors of the KBC who encouraged me into a life-long lifestyle.

I've been living outside of Michigan since 1978 (tho my parents are still there), so I can't even remember the names of those who were active then and helpful to me, but I do continue to feel a sense of gratitude. It is a delight to see in the "Tales" link off the KBC website, the story by Terry O?Connor and Dale Krueger comparing a climb in the Austrian Alps to Kazoo's infamous 6th Street hill: I often still measure climbs by that original yardstick!

My goal remains to 'ride to the end,' and ideally my last ride will duplicate my first solo adventure: from my old house near Kazoo Central High School (the 'new' one) to Alamo and back.

Please give my greetings to the officers with thanks for their volunteer leadership, and to the KBC members. If anybody wants to ride somewhere in the west, I can help.

Happy trails,
Gary Keene, Pasadena, California 

Back to top

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.

Back to top