Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
February 2007

KBC Presents FREE Bike Accident Education Class

What would you do if a fellow rider hit the ground hard on a ride and just lay there in the road not moving? What if—heaven forbid—a car hit your best friend, riding right behind you? What if he was bleeding severely, or was unconscious, or didn’t even recognize you? What if she was lying in the middle of the road, traffic is coming from both directions, and she seems unable to move? Or what if it’s YOU lying in the middle of the pavement all alone, or you suddenly get severe chest pain in the middle of a hard interval session?

Pretty tough questions, wouldn’t you agree? I don’t know about you, but these are the sort of questions I’ve tended to push aside for years, illogically hoping that, if I don’t think about it, the problem will just go away.

After hitting the deck hard twice in the last two years, I finally figured out that what to do in these situations is vitally important, and that I’m pretty darn stupid for not knowing any more than hoping someone has a cell phone and can call an ambulance to come pick up the pieces and see if anyone at the hospital can put me back together again.

We are talking about the very distinct possibility of having to make life-or-death decisions--or decisions that might cause or prevent paralysis. Would YOU know what to do? Let me suggest that EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US SHOULD have some basic knowledge and skills with which to approach such a situation.

After my most recent fall, KBC member Joan Orman made a suggestion so simple I wonder why no one thought of it before—why not get some emergency-scene professionals to give a presentation to KBC members? Why not indeed?

KBC has arranged for a one evening class to teach us the basics in two closely related areas: on-the-scene basic emergency medicine focusing on the kinds of injuries peculiar to cyclists, taught by Bronson Hospital’s EMT liaison Tim Owens; and accident-scene management, taught by KBC member and Kalamazoo County Deputy Sheriff Mike Jones.

The class will be at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 7, 2007 the Gilmore Auditorium located at Bronson Hospital, adjacent to the Jasper St. Parking Ramp (map) (where we can park). This class is for KBC members and is FREE OF CHARGE.

Let me be completely frank. Unless you already have some EMT and accident scene management training, you owe it to yourself and your fellow riders to make it a point to attend. PLEASE tell your KBC riding buddies. We want as many KBC members as possible to receive this information. We will have KBC membership applications available at the door.

Doug Kirk

Cycling Group Road Ride Pre-Season Meeting

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 8th, 2007 at 7:00 pm, at Damon’s Restaurant (map) at the corner of Westnedge Avenue and Whites Road, to have a beer and lend an ear.

We have a large conference room reserved. FREE BEER & POP will be provided.

Several long-term KBC riders met once again over the winter to discuss how our rides can be improved.

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.


Dave Bishop, Zolton Cohen, Steve Cox, Jeff Hamilton, Knute Jacobson, Tom Keizer, Doug & Kathy Kirk, Greg Lawford, Richard Neumann, Joan Orman, and Dan VanSweden

President’s Letter

The annual Recovery Party was a success. Fred, Megan, and Rebecca James were gracious enough to provide their home as the location for the party. Jim Kindle provided "Road Kill” chili (which actually tasted good). Cricket Howard, although he misplaced his recipe for Recovery Party beer brewed up a good substitute. The food was good.

One of the nice features of the Recovery Party is that it allows everyone the opportunity to mix and mingle. Information was shared. There were slides of FlowerFest, the Tour de Georgia, and Bike Camp.

There were also some serious discussions. In the President’s Letter for this past October I commented that there were too few women at the BTR bike race. At the Recovery Party a number of folks expressed an interest in providing opportunities within the KBC to address this problem. It was explained to me that the needs of women interested in racing include such things as safer group riding, time trial technique, equipment, and sport-specific training and that these would need to be addressed in an atmosphere that is empowering to women of all ages and experience levels. If you are interested in learning about women's racing / racing opportunities in this area, have suggestions for increasing women's participation in local races, or would be interested in mentoring female riders new to racing, please email Monica Tory (mctory@gmail.com). Based on member interest, KBC will explore options for future programs.

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club will be providing free first aid and accident scene management training on February 7, 2007 at the Gilmore Auditorium located at Bronson Hospital, adjacent to the Jasper St. Parking Ramp. This will be at 7:00 PM.

Mike Boersma

Monthly Meeting Minutes

There was no January KBC monthly meeting.

Chris Haddock,
KBC Secretary

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions:


February Birthdays:

Zolton Cohen * Joel Dinda * Daniel Hoff * Megan James * Celine Keizer * Arianne Kindle * Jim Kindle * Tyler Kindle * Cheryl Kucharski * Joe Kucharski * Jason Machnik * Michael Miller * Justin Pruis * Roy Richardson * Ken Salome * Brittany Shubnell * Timothy A. Stewart * Mary White Family * Mike Wittenberg

New members:

None this month 

February Expiring memberships:

Bruce Dedee * Cathy Doan * Susan H. Peterson * Justin Pruis * Diana & Gary Rankinen Family * Richard Smith

Ride Captain’s Report

Dear KBC Friends:

By the time this article reaches you through your email, we’ll have just six or seven weeks until this year’s KBC rides begin! Yes, it’s true: with daylight savings time starting earlier this year, we hope to begin the rides in the second half of March. Of course, it may still be only 40 degrees…… Which brings me to the first point I want to make: with the proper equipment, even cold weather riding can be fun.

I once asked Doug Kirk what was the biggest improvement he’s noticed in cycling gear over the decades he’s been riding. “Tires”, he said. And I tend to agree. But my runner up vote would go for clothing. Especially clothing for the feet.

I remember days back in the 70’s when we’d wrap our feet with tinfoil, or plastic bags. When it was really cold, we’d go for both. Neither really worked, of course. Which is why I was so excited when bike clothing manufacturers finally came out with decent foot warmers. I prefer the neoprene ones, with a heavy fleece lining. I put them on when the temperature is below 50, and they keep my feet warm down into the low 30’s.

Tights and jerseys have gotten better too, especially those made with fabrics that “breathe” and yet still block the wind. Pearl Izumi AmFib tights will keep you toasty warm down into the 20’s (and absolutely roasting when it’s above 40). The good news: all this stuff is probably on sale right about now, as distributors begin to stock up on warmer weather gear.

Of course, it’s still important to use a layering system for cold weather rides. And remember the “ten minute rule.” If you want to be comfortable once you’re warmed up, plan to be chilly for the first ten minutes of your ride. This rule helps you maintain a balance so that you won’t sweat too much. Sweat has a nasty habit of making you chilled midway through a long ride.

One more thing: this is probably not the best time of year to use your super light racing tires. Heavier ones with a thicker tread may help protect against winter road debris. There’s nothing more unpleasant (well, probably there is, but…) than having to change a tire when there’s still snow alongside the road. Save those racing tires for April, when the rides will be picking up speed again.


Knute Jacobson

KBC Ride Captain

Department of Agony: Man Breaks Bike Trainer Record

According to a report published by CNN.com and other entities, George Hood, 49 years old, of Aurora, Illinois, recently broke the world record for riding a stationary bike. Hood, a 23-year veteran lawman, decided to take on the challenge to help benefit COPS, an organization that assists the families of police officers killed in the line of duty.

Hood pedaled for 85 hours on a stationary bike at the Five Seasons Sports Club in Burr Ridge, Illinois, breaking the previous record of 82 hours, set last year by Denmark’s Brian Overkaer. The Guinness Book of World Records allows a five minute break for each hour of cycling during such events, and Hood did some “power napping” during his time off the bike. Still, according a spokesman for Five Seasons, Hood was “…very tired” at the end of his effort.

Hood averaged 12.7 mph, and according to a tracking device on the bike, rode the equivalent of more than 1,000 miles during the 85 hour span. He was taken to a hospital after getting off the bike for the final time, administered fluids, and was under observation by staff there.

Recovery Party a Good Chance to Catch Up

A “freak” snowstorm during this generally snow-free winter did not discourage the many who showed up to join in the festivities at The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club’s annual Recovery Party, held on Saturday evening, January 27th. Host and hostesses Fred, Megan and Rebecca James, for the second year in a row, opened up their palatial home to the membership for its yearly bacchanal, complete with food, drink, and even some song.

As to the latter, Chris Barnes revealed to a PedalPress reporter that he is going to audition for a local well known bluegrass band and wanted to practice a little four part harmony. Several party attendees were happy to oblige, while Barnes’ son Stephen lounged on a couch nearby, worn out by an afternoon of competition on his Portage Northern High School wrestling team.

Before the party got underway, Fred James shoveled snow on the steep driveway, then salted the path he had cleared with ice melter. Social Directors Jelania Haile and Renee Mitchell, along with Don Mitchell and several other volunteers, hauled party supplies into the house. Rebecca James did her part by charming the early-arriving guests with her enormous blue eyes as everyone pitched in to help set things up.

Chris “Cricket” Howard arrived with a batch of his home brewed beer – and slideshow equipment – in tow. Howard confessed that he had lost the original “Recovery Red” beer recipe that so many partiers had enjoyed last year. However, he had put together what he called a “Vienna style” beer, with a “hoppier” taste, and within a very short period of time, patrons were filling their beer cups with the delicious, smooth beverage, and subsequently singing its praises.

The upstairs dining room table quickly filled with large quantities of healthy and flavorful food (though surprisingly few desserts showed up this year), and partygoers set to work making it disappear. One wag noted that downstairs, where the beer and wine were being dispensed, was an area full of talk and laughter. But in the upstairs, where the food was located, the tone was quieter and much more subdued; the speculation was that everyone was too busy chewing to engage in much conversation.

At about the midway point in the party, KBC President Mike Boersma had everyone gather in the living room for announcements and for the popular raffle of bike shop schwag, donated by Alfred E Bike and Breakaway Bicycles.

Boersma and KBC Race Team Captain Greg Lawford informed the assembly that Western Michigan University has decided to participate in the Business, Technology and Research (BTR) Park race again this year. The race will be held at the end of August, and will be part of the UCI Michigan Points series. More information about this race will be forthcoming throughout the summer.

After reminding everyone of the upcoming important Bike Accident Scene and separate Cycling Group Road Ride Pre-Season Safety Meetings (details about both are located near the top of this newsletter), and urging everyone to attend, Boersma announced the winners of the KBC Volunteers of the Year. This year the award - and the $50.00 gift certificates to the local bike shops of their choice – went, deservedly, to KBC’s Social Directors Jelania Haile and Renee Mitchell for their stellar work not only on KBC’s social events, but also for their many contributions in making Bike Camp 2006 a success. Congratulations to Renee and Jelania, and thank you for all you do to make KBC a friendly, effective organization.

Next, Doug and Kathy Kirk handed out their annual “gag” awards, bestowing on the winners various types of prizes, from socks to bags of bicycle pasta. This year’s winners were:

  • Joe Kucharski – the “Crazier Than We Are” award for showing up at a Monday night KBC ride one week after shoulder surgery, wearing a sling, on the back of Mike Birmann’s tandem. Kucharski said his wife told him as he left for the ride, “If you crash, don’t come home.”
  • Rob Nicey – the “Memorial Randy Putt Now He’s Here So We Can Leave” award. This honor goes to the rider who consistently shows up at the parking lot just a little late…
  • Chris Haddock – the “Dirty Bike” award. Haddock earned this tribute for riding in the mud on her mountain bike one day and leaving the crusty coating in place for weeks.
  • John Olbrot – the “Clean Bike” award, for (reputedly) taking the time to wipe down and polish his bike after each and every ride.
  • Joan Orman – the “Most Dependable Rider” award, for attending most of the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night rides, and making it a priority each week to ride with the club.
  • Knute Jacobson – “Nicest Wheel to Suck.” Anyone who has ridden in the experienced Ride Captain’s draft can offer testimony to how smooth and predictable he is in groups. When you’re on Knute’s wheel, you know you’re going places…
  • Paul Wells – “Most Enthusiastic, Love of the Sport” award. This honorarium is given to the individual who demonstrates an uncommon level of commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the sport of bicycling. From volunteering his – and his bike shop’s – time at many local races and tours, for showing up at club rides when he can, for donating bike schwag to the Recovery Party, for his willingness to talk about bikes and biking at any time and in any place, Wells well earned this award.

Many thanks go to many people who helped make this party a success. First and foremost, of course, is the James family, for so generously offering up their lovely home as the party venue. Also to Social Directors Jelania Haile and Renee Mitchell, for putting together a very pleasant evening of good talk, food and drink – the epitome of a KBC Recovery Party.

Kudos as well to Chris Howard for not only brewing up another fine batch of beer and sharing it with the club, but also for putting together and providing the equipment for the slide and music show that ran downstairs.

Thanks also go to Alfred E Bike and Breakaway Bicycles for their generous contributions of bike scwhag for raffle prizes. Many Recovery Party attendees came away with valuable riding gear; this season, watch out for KalTour Captain Mike Krischer in his spanking new Primal jersey! Be sure to patronize these local shops, and thank them for all they do not only to make the Recovery Party great, but also for their support of the sport throughout the year.

Finally, thanks to all who came and shared their favorite recipes, stories, opinions and joy at the Recovery Party. It was good to see everyone again. Make sure you can attend next year’s bash…

Zolton Cohen

KBC Newsletter Editor

Safety First; Backhand Turn Signals

The PedalPress from time to time receives announcements and press releases pertaining to products and services that might be of interest to bicyclists. This crossed the editorial desk recently, and because the idea stands out as clever – and possibly unique – we thought you’d be interested in hearing about it.

According to Michael Orlowski, Director of Safe Turn…

“The Safe Turn Indicator it is a small, lightweight orange light that you clip to your glove or to a Velcro wristband that is provided. The functionality of the Safe Turn Indicator is that whilst in "standby mode" the light is off. However when you out-stretch your hand to indicate a turn, it will start to flash orange (just like a motor vehicle) and it stops flashing one second after you put your hand back on your handlebar.” 

“It works this way because it reacts to the changes in the orientation towards the Earth gravity (it has an in-built "tilt switch" and computer chip). It also has in-built mechanisms to ignore road bumps, so it won’t flash unnecessarily and a special turning dial lets you to adjust it for different handlebar types (i.e. straight, racing etc).”

“For more information, please visit the Safe Turn website - http://safeturn.com , which includes product information, including a comprehensive FAQ section, Directions for Use and an Online Demonstration.”

Annual Battle Creek Team Active Party

Steve Bessonny, of Team Active in Battle Creek, writes to invite KBC members to the annual Team Active Party on Friday February 23, starting at 6:00 PM.

Bessonny promises “the usual great deals on merchandise and supplier participation. Our special guest this year will be Dick Burke, the founder of Trek Bicycle Company. He is an outstanding public speaker with a great deal of insight into the bicycle industry.”

“We do ask for a RSVP so we can purchase food accordingly. We would really like to show Dick a great turnout. Thanks and please call or e mail if you have any questions.”

Team Active
22 W Michigan
Battle Creek, Mi 49017

Joe Kucharski Heals from Surgery, Rides for Lance Armstrong Foundation

KBC mountain bike specialist Joe Kucharski wrote in recently to say that his shoulder surgery last fall went well, and that he is recovering and riding again. He writes, “I actually crashed pretty hard last weekend and it did not dislocate again. In a sick way, I was kind of glad I crashed (in order to test the shoulder). It probably wouldn't have been so bad if Mike Birmann wouldn't have ridden over me.”

On another note, Kucharski is riding for something greater than himself this summer. His goals include a fundraising race to help the Lance Armstrong Foundation in its efforts to assist families afflicted with cancer. So far he’s well on his way toward his $1,000.00 goal. Joe writes:

“On April 27, I will embark on the longest mountain bike race of my life, Trans Iowa. The race is an unsupported 320 mile loop through Iowa. I will be racing in the Single Speed category. Information on the race can be found at: www.livestrong.org/grassroots/transiowav3

”Cancer touches the lives of everyone, some more than others. My sister, Joelluin Masters, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma when she was 13 years old. Her childhood was destroyed by cancer, but she was a fighter. She graduated from college and pursued a career in her passion, dancing. To watch her dance was to fall in love. At age 27, cancer took her from us. My Aunt, Joanette Koss, lost her battle to kidney cancer in 2003. My grandmother, Etta Elliott, passed away in 2004 from lung cancer. Recently my mother, Jetta Masters, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Three of my teammates at work are breast cancer survivors. To say that cancer has impacted the women I love and respect would be an understatement. They will be riding with me in Iowa.”

”The Lance Armstrong Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Austin, Texas. Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist, Lance Armstrong, the LAF inspires and empowers people with cancer. Information on this incredible program can be found at www.livestrong.org.”

”Your support is very much appreciated and I thank you in advance for your generosity.

LIVESTRONG, Joe Kucharski

A Note From Sherry Gordon About the New KBC Website

(Editor’s Note: Some of you may know Sherry Gordon as the person who puts together the tandem bike riding event each spring where vision-impaired children get to ride on tandem bikes with sighted riders on WMU’s campus. Tandem captains from KBC who have helped out with this event in the past say it is the most soul-satisfying thing they do the entire year. Sherry took the time to write Bob Paksi, KBC’s Webmaster, about the new KBC website…)

Hi Bob,

My name is Sherry Gordon and I am a KBC member. I just read the PedalPress and just looked at the "new" layout of the KBC's website.

I wanted to note to you that the website layout is great! I am a person who is blind and I use a software program, called JAWS (Job Access With Speech). When I am on some web sites, JAWS has a very difficult time reading the materials--sometimes due to the site's layout; sometimes due to the fact there are pdf files, etc. However, the KBC's web site is great for me! I had no difficulty in reading and accessing any part of the site.

Thanks for the new layout and for making the site accessible for folks, like myself, who use an accommodation for my computer. Great job!

Thanks again!

Sherry Gordon

Doug McDonnell’s Progress

Pam McDonnell came to the Recovery Party and sent along husband Doug’s best wishes to all his friends in the club. Pam said Doug has gained most of the weight back he had lost during chemotherapy, is working out on his bike trainer, and is doing reasonably well at this point. Both Doug and Pam remind everyone age 50 and older to schedule an appointment to get a colonoscopy. That’s how Doug’s cancer was detected.

A colonoscopy is a painless procedure, although the “prep” work to clean out your intestines prior to the examination is frankly unpleasant. The good thing is that the prep process is brief in duration and then it’s over.

Pam notes that colon cancer gives no symptoms, so this test procedure is often the only way to detect the disease. And early detection is the key to achieving a good outcome. So, Pam and Doug say, get going on this important issue…

Bike Camp 2007 Information Will Soon Be Online

KBC’s Bike Camp 2007 committee has met several times this winter and is strategizing and fine tuning its approach to the popular bike training and educational program. Comprehensive information about Bike Camp will soon be on the KBC website, and will include dates of the sessions, an overview of the subjects covered, and pricing for individuals and families. Prospective Bike Campers will be able to sign up online through KBC’s PayPal account.

If you’ve got a friend who might be interested in learning about the sport of bicycling “from the ground up” in a friendly environment, please let him or her know about Bike Camp 2007, and pass along the club’s website address: www.kalamazoobicycleclub.org.

Shop Notes

Alfred E Bike

320 East Michigan, Kalamazoo, (269) 349-9423

Billy’s Bike Shop

63 East Battle Creek Street, Galesburg, 665-5202

Breakaway Bicycles

185 Romence at Westnedge, Portage, (269) 324-5555, www.breakawaybicycles.com

Custer Cyclery

104 North Augusta, Augusta, 731-3492

Gazelle Sports

214 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, (269) 342-5996,

Announcements: Check out Gazelle Sports' brand NEW store located in its original location on the Downtown Kalamazoo Mall. You won't believe your eyes! Grand Opening - March 1-4!


4813 West Milham, Portage

Announcements: Prosport - Corner of 12th and Milham across from Wedel's. Open 10-6 Daily, 9-4 Sat. Nineteen years serving Kalamazoo bicyclists. Guaranteed two day service. Friendly and knowledgeable.  Ride over soon.

Village Cyclery

US 131 in Schoolcraft, 679-4242

Looking for PedalPress Content

The KBC PedalPress comes out on or around the first of each month.

If you have an article or a notice that you want to go into the PedalPress, please email it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of the month before its intended publication.

For example, if you’d like an article to be published in the March edition (distributed on or around the first of March), have it to the newsletter editor (contact information is in the “Contacts” section at the end of this newsletter) by the 20th of February.

KBC Contact Information

KBC Officers

President Mike Boersma 269-720-1409
Vice President Jim Kindle 269-382-8053
Secretary Chris Haddock 269-624-5418
Treasurer Tom Keizer 269-382-4737

Other Important KBC Folks

Database Manager Paul Bruneau 269-343-6016
Newsletter Editor Zolton Cohen 269-344-0200
Ride Captain Knute Jacobson 269-629-0093
Social Director Jelania Haile 269-345-1274
Social Director Renee Mitchell
Safety and Education Chair Victor VanFleet 269-375-7691
Web Site Bob Paksi

KAL Tour

Director Michael Krischer
Director "Super" Dave Bishop 269-679-4522