Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
March 2007

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.

Every member of KBC is invited to attend this meeting, and the information provided is pertinent to anyone riding a bicycle in a group environment. However, most of the issues discussed will focus on situations that have come up in the larger and faster KBC club rides groups.

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

March signals the start of a new KBC riding season. Yes, March 11 is the new beginning of daylight saving time. Monday, March 12, will be the first ride of the year for the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club. Mark the date. Rides will start at 5:30 pm. Sunset on March 12 will be around 7:45 pm or so, so please wear BRIGHT clothing and have lights available for your bike – you are required by law to use lights on a bicycle one half hour after sunrise and one half hour before sunset. You should plan on using lights through the first week of April (the old start of DST) or until sunset is after 8:00 pm. Stealth bicycling is not safe; “Close Encounters” bicycling is safer.

At 7:00 PM on March 8 there will be a preseason ride meeting. The meeting will be at Damon’s on South Westnedge and free soda and beer will be available. This will be an opportunity to sign off on KBC’s liability waiver for the 2007 season (so Zolton does not have to chase you down) and will also be an opportunity to get more information on the ride season. Please plan on attending.

Many other KBC activities are gearing up with the start of the ride season. Bike Camp will be going public shortly, so please get the word out to friends, relatives, and anyone else who might be interested in developing cycling skills. Please also consider volunteering for Bike Camp.

With the start of the ride season, it is also a good time to remind folks of what to take on a KBC ride.

Helmets are MANDATORY on all KBC rides. Riders should take sufficient water or fluids for the length of the ride (1 liter of water per hour is recommended). Everyone should have the following:

  • a cell phone
  • a spare inner tube or tire patches (the spare tube is recommended)
  • a means to inflate a tire (a pump or CO2)
  • Tire levers
  • a multi-tool, which may include tire levers, a screw driver, allen wrenches, etc.

On many KBC rides, the ride leader or the group will stop to assist with mechanical problems such as flat tires, thus having the spare tube and the pump ready makes for a faster change. On the more advanced KBC rides the group will not stop for a mechanical, so self sufficiency is a must.

I will see you on March 8.

Mike Boersma

Monthly Meeting Minutes

KBC’s monthly meeting was held February 13, 2007, at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. Attending were Mike Boersma, Jim Kindle, Paul Bruneau, Dick Nivala, Doug Kirk, Kathy Kirk, Renee Mitchell, Zolton Cohen, Tom Keizer, Kevin Biek, Chris Howard, Paul Pancella, Ray Fulkerson, Elaine Naegele, Knute Jacobson.

Treasurer Report

Tom Keizer presented the monthly treasurer’s report, along with a yearend summary of KBC’s financial activities.

In 2006, the club had income of $12,258.53 and expenses of $9119.62, resulting in a total of + $3138.91 for the year.

As of January 31, 2007, the club had

Checking $3,421.97
Savings $2,074.69
Certificate of Deposit $12,473.20
Total $17,969.86

Ride Captain’s Report

Ride Captain Knute Jacobson reported on the search for a new route for the Friday night ride, which has traditionally started in the parking lot of Billy’s Bike Shop in Galesburg. That lot may not be available for the club’s use following construction in the area. Alternate parking may need to be obtained at a nearby hardware store or at the new high school, depending on where the new route will go. One of the factors driving the quest for a new route centers on avoiding crossing busy major roads in the area.

Daylight saving time this year starts on Sunday, March 11, so KBC rides will start on Monday, March 12. Rides will start at 5:30 PM, with a limited number of ride groups offered in the early going. After April 1, the rides will start at their usual early season time of 6:00 PM.

There was discussion about the prospect of providing KBC’s ride leaders distinctive jerseys in order to make them identifiable to both newcomers and returning riders at club rides. Such jerseys, Jacobson said, would also somewhat convey a sense of authority needed when providing direction or guidance at the start or during a ride.

The ride leaders at the meeting were mixed on endorsing the idea. There was also concern about the expense of ordering a limited number of ride leader jerseys, though one member at the meeting offered to pay for the jerseys if he could use them for advertising his business. Other ideas were for ride leaders to wear armbands or be issued medallions or stickers that could be affixed to helmets or bikes. The discussion was tabled for further thought and discussion.

Pursuant to the discussion about supplying ride leader with jerseys, Kathy Kirk mentioned that the existing KBC jerseys are now three years old. She wondered if the time was right to start designing and ordering new ones. This matter will be taken up at a later meeting.

March Ride Safety Meeting

Doug Kirk has organized a ride safety meeting, to be held on March 8, 7 PM, at Damon’s on South Westnedge. Kirk stressed that everyone in the club is welcome to come to this meeting, though the issues discussed will focus primarily on KBC’s faster ride groupings. Kirk asked the club to pay for the beer and soft drinks that will be offered at the meeting; he paid for refreshment’s at last year’s meeting. Expenses are expected to be in the $300.00 range. Any food ordered must be paid for by those who order it.

Paceline Classes

Dick Nivala asked Doug Kirk if he would offer paceline “classes” again this year at the Monday night rides. Kirk said he had no plans to do so at this point. Zolton Cohen said that it might be possible to incorporate paceline instruction into the Recovery Ride on Monday nights. He and Kirk will confer about this and report back to the club at a later date.

Kalamazoo River Valley Trailway Project

KBC member Paul Pancella, a fund raising organizer for the KRVT, presented an overview of the project’s scope and progress to date. So far the 16 million dollar endeavor (half of which will be funded by private donations, matched by governmental money) is moving ahead well. 60% of the governmental money is in place and 30% of the private money has been committed.

Pancella noted that construction will start in the spring on the final pieces of the Kal Haven Trail downtown connecting spur. This section of trailway will link the 10th Street trailhead to locations in downtown Kalamazoo. KRVT organizers will use publicity about this project to kick off fundraising for the larger trailway undertaking.

To continue work on the trailway and its fundraising, Pancella is looking for volunteers and ideas about how to get local businesses involved in the effort. His contact information is: paul.pancella@wmich.edu.

First Aid Kits for Bikers

Ray Fulkerson, after attending February’s Bike Accident Management meeting, contacted a friend of his who is in the medical field. The friend, Mike Tice, has put together a lightweight first aid kit that bikers could carry in a jersey pocket. The kit, Fulkerson said, contains materials that could be used in many bike accident situations; latex gloves, bandages, wound cleaner. There was discussion about purchasing or otherwise obtaining such kits for KBC’s ride leaders. Doug Kirk will check prices in a bike accessories catalog he receives and will report to the club on his findings at the next meeting.

Xterra Race

Kevin Biek, former president of Kalamazoo’s Tri-Kats Triathlon Club, presented information about an upcoming “off road” triathlon, to be held on May 20 at Fort Custer. Club members present voted to donate $500.00 to this race and become a sponsor.

Race Team - Team KBC Report

Team KBC Ride Captain Greg Lawford communicated through an email to President Mike Boersma that the team is starting to hold meetings to prepare for the upcoming 2007 racing season. Little Caesar’s Pizza has agreed to help sponsor the team again. The team is accepting applications from KBC members. Lawford noted that female racers are especially needed.

G Avenue Gravel Pit Plans

In response to several contacts from individuals and groups asking KBC to help oppose a proposed gravel pit operation at the corner of 10th Street and G Avenue (near the Kal Haven Trailhead), the meeting attendees decided to ask those groups or individuals present proposals to the club outlining their strategy and reasoning for opposing the gravel pit.

Proposed Addition to Shop Notes

Newsletter editor Zolton Cohen was contacted recently by Steve Bessonny, owner of Team Active Bike Shop in Battle Creek. Bessonny asked if his shop could be included in the new Shop Notes section of the PedalPress. The Advertising Policy Committee was asked to reconvene or consult to consider the proposal. Their findings will be reported during a later club meeting.

KalTour Update

KalTour Committee member Elaine Naegele noted that announcements of KalTour are now in print in biking publications.

Road Kill Ale, Not Road Kill Chili

Vice President Jim Kindle brought to the attention of the meeting that he had provided Road Kill Ale to the Recovery Party, not Road Kill Chili, as was noted in the February PedalPress. Newsletter Editor Zolton Cohen apologized for the editing error. Kindle noted that no road killed animals were used in the chili he also contributed to the party.

Bike Camp Committee Report

Information about Bike Camp 2007 is now on the KBC website. The committee will try to have hard copy brochures printed and ready for distribution in bike shops and other venues by the end of February.

Hiker and Bikers

Safety and Education Chair Victor Van Fleet was unable to attend this meeting. Discussion on the Hikers and Bikers program he proposed during earlier meetings was tabled.

Kalamazoo Speedway Program

Doug Kirk, who orchestrated the use of the Kalamazoo Speedway for training purposes last summer, reported that, due to low turnout at the Speedway, he didn’t know if the program would continue in 2007. He said the owner of the track refused an offer of monetary compensation for the use of the facility last year, so Kirk proposed making a donation to the owner’s favorite charity in the owner’s name. Kirk will provide more details about this issue at next month’s meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 8:40 PM. The next monthly meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, 2007, at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo.

Chris Haddock,
KBC Secretary

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions


March Birthdays

Martha Aills * Diane Berry * Jamie Clark * Morgan Clothier * Ron Doering * Logan Freer * Steve Hoard * Jeff Hutchison * Henry Kalkman * Max Mizikar * David Naegele * Mark Olson * Dawn Raynes * Barb Updike * Lilly Van Sweden * Cheryl VanDer Meer

New Members

Amy Baumann

March Expiring memberships

Paul & Linda Bruneau * Rick Gippert Family * Robert Lynch * Libby Walters & Michael Ziemelis * Richard Morse * Mark Nelson * Dick Nivala * Mike Peterson Family

Ride Captain’s Report

With Daylights Saving Time starting earlier this year (Sunday, March 11th), we’re hoping our group rides can get started earlier too. For the month of March, evening rides will be starting at 5:30 p.m. Hopefully, this will still allow people time to get to the starting point from work, while also ensuring we have sufficient daylight to complete the rides, even on cloudy days.

The rides may be small at first, especially if the weather is cool or gray. The Wednesday evening rides from the Kal Haven trailhead parking lot on 10th Street may combine until the pack size picks up in early April. Finally, not all the advertised ride groups may ride on a particular night, again until April, when the weather begins to improve. Soooooo--if you plan to ride in March, plan to do a little organizing with your buddies before the ride starts, to make sure you know what’s planned for your particular ride group that evening. As always, wear layers so you can make last minute adjustments, and bring along your pump and spare tube. It’s not a bad idea to bring your cell phone too. Hey--it only weighs a couple of ounces!

To prepare us for this year’s rides, again we are planning a meeting at Damon’s. This is advertised elsewhere in the newsletter, and will be a time for fun and socializing. Even more important, it will be a time to review club policies, and talk about what makes for a good group ride. The Damon’s meeting is for all club riders, from those just beginning to those with years of experience. However, the topics covered will be mostly focused on safety issues that pertain to larger and faster groups. Though knowing the “rules” is especially important for those who ride the fastest rides with large packs, the same general riding principles apply to all pack riding, and it’s good to be aware of them. It helps promote safety, as well as good relations with car drivers.

One more thing we hope to do at the Damon’s meeting is unveil the new Friday Night Route. We are looking at roads south of Galesburg--hopefully ones with little traffic. If the snow ever melts, we’ll actually be able to scope them out and maybe even come up with a map to hand out! We hope to get a great turnout for this new ride. It should appeal to people who had begun to worry about the amount of traffic on the old Tour de Gull route, and stopped riding it for that reason.

I look forward to seeing you all at the Damon’s meeting. Let me especially encourage all ride leaders to show up so that people can see you, and you can communicate first hand any special information you have about the ride(s) you will be helping lead. It won’t be long now!

Knute Jacobson

KBC Ride Captain

Kal Haven Trail Passes Available for Purchase

According to a postcard received at the PedalPress, the Van Buren County Road Commission now has 2007 Kal Haven Trail passes available for purchase. There is a downloadable order form available here (www.vbco.org/downloads/order_form_for_annual_passes_updated_2.pdf).

Passes can also be obtained in the Kalamazoo area at Alfred E Bike, Breakaway Bicycles, and Gazelle Sports (location information for these shops is available in the Shop Notes section of this newsletter).

Prices for trail passes are the same as last year

  • Individual Day - $3.00
  • Individual Annual - $15.00
  • Family Day - $7.00
  • Family Annual - $35.00

Remember that parking at the Kal Haven Trailhead parking lot on 10th Street, for instance for the Wednesday night rides, requires a parking pass. Parking passes are issued with the purchase of a trail pass.

Other information on the Kal Haven Trail and its policies is available at: www.vbco.org/government0129.asp.

Off Road Triathlon - Xterra Americas Tour Invades Fort Custer

Kevin Biek, past President and current Newbie Coordinator of the Kalamazoo Tri-Kats Triathlon Club, KBC and KAR member, sends in the announcement of an upcoming, unusual race in Fort Custer State Park in Augusta.

Two free entries to this event will be raffled off at the March 8 KBC Ride Safety meeting at Damon’s (details about which can be found at the top of this newsletter).

XTERRA Last Stand Off-Road Triathon/Duathlon
May 20, 2007
9:00 AM
Fort Custer State Park, Augusta, MI

The field is limited to 250 participants - so enter early. Post race lunch provided by Arcadia Brewing Company of Battle Creek. Cool schwag to be raffled off.


  • 0.5 mile swim
  • 12.5 mile mountain bike ride
  • 4 mile trail run
  • 2 mi trail run
  • 12.5 mi mountain bike
  • 4 mi trail run

Registration can be done on the Elite Endeavors web-site(www.eliteendeavors.com/race_laststand.cfm)

I am going to be in need of 10 more volunteers for the event. The race starts at 9 AM so I would need volunteers there by 7:30 AM, and we would reimburse the park entry fee. We will also provide food, and I believe they may get a t-shirt. Volunteers would be needed until 12:30 or 1 pm. We could use help with the following:

  • Packet pick-up
  • Transition area
  • Water stations bike & run
  • Food servers
  • Body marking

Anyone interested please e-mail Kevin Biek at kbiek@sbcglobal.net

Floyd Landis “Toothpick Survey” Results Now Tabulated

Deb Gray & Al Cergol are proud to announce the results of the first KBC Recovery Party Toothpick Survey. This year the hot button question was "Will Floyd Landis Ride In 2007"? 129 toothpick votes were cast. The results have been carefully counted and audited.

The results were: Yes 69 and No 60.

Unfortunately, in spite of the 53% endorsement by the KBC, Floyd Landis has elected not to ride the Tour De France this year and will instead promote his new book "Positively False." The book is expected to be published just prior to the Tour, and is anticipated to provide additional funds for his vigorous defense that centers on criticism of drug testing officials, laboratory results and the science used to indict him. Currently conducting town hall type fundraisers during the Amgen Tour of California, which began 2/18/2007 (and which he won last year), he is preparing for a May arbitration hearing. More on Floyd Landis can be found at his web site at www.floydfairnessfund.org.

Deb Gray

March Ride Schedule

Due to a change in the law governing Daylight Saving Time, the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club’s ride schedule will start early – on Monday, March 12 - this year.

However, because there still will be less daylight available than there is on the usual starting date (on or around April 1), the ride start time for the month of March only, has been be changed to 5:30 PM. After April 1, all KBC rides will start at 6:00 PM.

Here’s the (abbreviated) ride schedule for March. Attendance by both riders and ride leaders during March will likely be spotty because of weather conditions or work and family commitments. Those who show up will determine the length and pace of the ride groups.

  • Monday – Texas Drive Park, 5:30 PM
  • Wednesday – Kal Haven Trailhead parking lot on 10th Street, Kalamazoo, 5:30 PM.
  • Friday – Galesburg, 5:30 PM. It has not yet been determined where parking will be available for riders doing the Friday ride.

First Aid and Bike Accident Scene Seminar

On February 7, KBC sponsored free first aid and accident scene management training at the Gilmore Auditorium located at Bronson Hospital. Approximately 40 people attended.

KBC member and Kalamazoo County Sheriff Deputy Mike Jones used his years of experience in managing accident scenes to give insight into what needs have to be addressed during an accident crisis. Jones said issue number one is insuring the victim and those helping out are protected from further injury, possibly from contact with automobiles.

Sending riders up the road in both directions, Jones said, to slow traffic and alert drivers that there is an emergency ahead, is a priority. As an alternative to using the traffic cones he carries in his cruiser to “taper” drivers away from the crash site, Jones said riders and their bicycles can act in a similar manner in order to divert and slow cars. It is critical in such circumstances, Jones reminded attendees, that someone take charge and that others listen and do what they can to help. He also said to never turn your back on traffic while standing in the roadway at an accident scene.

Jones and Doug Kirk, organizer of the event, both stressed the necessity of carrying identification while on the bike, and a cell phone, if possible.

Kirk reviewed Michigan’s “Good Samaritan” law, which states that anyone doing their best to help someone in need is exempt from legal liability.

Tim Owen, EMS Liaison for Bronson Hospital’s Trauma Services, spoke next about first aid that could be administered as the result of a typical bike crash. Owen said that it has to be assumed that everyone has a blood-borne pathogen, and that latex gloves help provide a barrier to contamination. The risk of HIV infection from blood contact, he said, was the least worrisome; Hepatitis B the most.

Owen stressed the necessity of remaining calm and reassuring to the victim, and he and Jones both said it is best not to move anyone unless there is a compelling need to do so, citing the potential risk of injury to the neck, spinal cord, and spine. Owen also spoke to the importance of maintaining an airway for one who has lost consciousness.

Dan Goldberger, family practice physician and mountain biker, gave specific examples of how bikers can protect themselves against heat exhaustion, heat stroke, frost nip and frostbite. His insights into how the body reacts to extreme heat, stress and cold were particularly pertinent to bicyclists.

Though it was sobering to learn the many ways a body can be torn, ripped, abraded, bruised, contused, and broken, those who attended this meeting walked away with some knowledge about how to deal with victims of bicycle accidents. Though one hopes never to have to use such information, it is in a way comforting to know a little more about what – and what not – to do in an emergency. It’s certain, too, that many more bikers will opt to carry small first aid kits in their saddlebags this year.

Kudos to Doug Kirk for putting this program together. Thanks also to the speakers who gave of their time, energy and expertise to make it happen.

KRVT Campaign Entering a Crucial Phase

I would like to offer you, KBC members and friends, a special opportunity to affect this community in a positive and lasting way. I’m talking about supporting the KRVT Campaign.

What is the KRVT Campaign? It’s an ambitious fundraising effort to enable the construction of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trailway. The KRVT is a proposed network of trails and bike lanes which will connect the Kal-Haven trail with the Battle Creek Linear Park, and the Portage bikeway system to the Kalamazoo Nature Center, crossing through downtown Kalamazoo. More information about this project can be found at our evolving web site: www.kaltrailway.org

Think about it. A safe cycling route from almost anywhere in Portage/Kalamazoo, all the way to Battle Creek along the Kalamazoo River. Like the Kal-Haven, this trail system will officially be a County park. Unlike the Kal-Haven, it will be hard-surface paved.

As some of you know, this has been a vision for the past 15 years, and a concrete plan for about a decade. Now the pieces are falling in place to actually make it happen. The last big piece, as you might imagine, is money. Sixteen million US dollars will do the whole thing, including contingency and an endowment for ongoing maintenance. Federal and state funds have been secured to match private money dollar for dollar. Thus, the “Campaign” is an effort to raise $8 million in the private sector. I had a chance to update the KBC at our February meeting, but now I’m hoping to reach more members through this newsletter.

As individuals, you will certainly have the opportunity to make a pledge to this campaign within the next year, but that is not what this article is about. Right now, you have the opportunity to do more. The “quiet phase” of the campaign has been reasonably successful, with foundations and other big donors stepping up. This spring we will break into the public phase, and try to get support from the broadest array of individuals and businesses.

There are many ways you can help this campaign succeed, especially now in the final stages of planning before we go public. Some are more structured than others. I am chairing the so-called “Community Division” of the campaign, and I need general help with ideas and strategies for public fundraising. I have formed a committee to work on this, and would welcome you or folks you know to participate in this committee. Contact me if you are interested, or know someone who should be involved (see info below). Even if you can’t come to meetings, I’d like to hear any suggestions you have, especially if you have contacts in other relevant clubs (running, hiking, service, etc.).

For a more structured way to participate, we have a great need for volunteers to contact business prospects. The business division is preparing a long list of business contacts in Kalamazoo, Portage, Battle Creek, and points in between. Around the time of a big public kickoff event, a large number of people will be asking these businesses to support the campaign. Each individual will only have to make a few calls, and you will have a script and training beforehand to make it easy and painless. If you are interested in doing this (Please!) send me your name and contact information, and I will pass it on to the chair of the business division. If you are lucky, you might get to call Paul Wells and ask him for money!

Finally, I will be asking the KBC to pledge some financial support, perhaps part of the proceeds from the KalTour ride. I believe this project fits well with the mission of the KBC “…to promote bicycling; to encourage and facilitate touring, races, bicycle outings, and all forms of recreational bicycling activities; … to encourage the allocation of facilities for bicycling on public lands;…” If you have any input on this proposal, one way or the other, you might contact one of the officers before the next general meeting.

If you are willing to help, or just have questions, feel free to phone or email me. Thanks.

Paul Pancella
373-5413 (home) 387-4936 (work)

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

Announcements: SuperSale: March 28, 29, 30, 31, and April 1. Hours: Wednesday through Friday 9-8; Saturday 9-5; Sunday 12-5. Sale on all bicycles in stock or ordered during SuperSale. Lots of accessories and clothing at great prices.

Help Wanted: Sales personnel and mechanic, full and part time seasonal positions. Please apply in person at Breakaway Bicycles.

Custer Cyclery

104 North Augusta, Augusta, 731-3492

Gazelle Sports

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

Announcements: Check out Gazelle Sports NEW Downtown Kalamazoo store and enjoy our Grand Opening, March 1-4! Special deals, prizes, clinics and a Fun Run are all on tap. Visit www.gazellesports.com for details.


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

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