Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
October 2007

Special Announcements

All KBC weekday club rides, including the Hammerfest, begin at 5:30 starting October 1. Check the October Ride schedule for dates, times and location for the final two events on the yearly KBC calendar: the 4th Annual Fall Color Ride and the Cyclocross workshop.

October President’s letter

The days are getting shorter and the leaves are turning color. The KBC riding season will continue through at least November 2, the last Friday before Daylight Saving Time ends. Please keep abreast of the changes in ride times. KBC rides will begin at 5:30 PM starting in October. Please also dress for these later season rides as brilliantly as the leaves in the area – bright colors are much easier for motorists to see. Please also use lights. Make it a point to be seen.

As the ride season tapers off, it is time to start thinking about some of the off-season activities of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club. Bike Camp, the KalTour, the BTR race, the Recovery Party, the Anniversary Ride, the pre-season ride meeting, and the first aid and incident management seminar all occurred because KBC members invested their time and energy into planning and executing these events. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club needs your ideas and your energy to remain the vibrant organization we are. Please consider working on one of the committees that plans and organizes these events.

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club has been able to amass a sizeable fund balance. Our constitution states that its purpose is to promote bicycling; to encourage and facilitate touring, races, bicycle outings, and all forms of recreational bicycling activities; to defend and protect the rights of bicyclists; to secure a better understanding and recognition of the need for safer riding conditions; to encourage the allocation of facilities for bicycling on public lands; to cooperate with the public authorities in the observance of all traffic regulations; to provide an opportunity for members to socialize with others who have an interest in bicycling; and to recognize bicycles as vehicles used for pleasure, fitness and transportation. The Club will cooperate with other organizations with a similar goal and purpose.

If you have ideas on how the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club can do a new activity which advances the purpose of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club, please let the Board of Directors know. Ideally, a plan will address the “who, what where, when, and how,” and how much money and what resources would be needed. The most precious asset KBC has is its volunteers (many of whom volunteer for more than one activity). So if you can identify new folks who are willing to volunteer for this activity, so much the better. The more detailed the plan the more likely it is to be adopted.

In similar fashion, all of the KBC leadership positions will be voted on at the November meeting. Please consider running. Perhaps the most important position at the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club, the PedalPress editorship, will be opening up. This is an appointed, not elected, position. Everyone in the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club benefits from the PedalPress, as this is the common denominator in the club. Please consider running for election, volunteering for an appointed position, or becoming the PedalPress editor.

Mike Boersma, KBC President

Monthly Meeting Minutes, September 2007

KBC’s regular monthly meeting was held Tuesday, September 11th, 2007 at 7:00 pm at the Kalamazoo YMCA located on Maple Street. KBC President Mike Boersma led the meeting. Others members present were: Paul Bruneau, Zolton Cohen, Brad Fry, Chris Haddock, Jelania Haile, Tom Keizer, Jim Kindle, Mike Krischer, Renee Mitchell, Elaine Nagel, Dick Nivala, Terry O’Connor, and Victor VanFleet.

Mark Anthony Martin, from the Portage Parks Board, is looking for volunteers to serve on a committee to organize a “Bike Rally.” This family event would take place in May 2008 on the Portage Trailway System. If interested, please plan on attending an informational meeting at the Celery Flats on Wednesday, Oct 3rd at 6:30.

The Treasurer’s report from Tom Keizer:

  • Savings account balance = $2,082
  • Checking account balance = $4,537
  • Certificate of Deposit =$12,770

KBC will be donating half the approximately $1,800.00 proceeds from KalTour to the Kalamazoo River Valley Trailway Project. KalTour Directors Mike Krischer and Dave Bishop were thanked in absentia for their efforts in making this year’s event such a great success. There was also discussion about how to spread the workload associated with KalTour over a greater number of volunteers.

Mike Boersma read a letter from Bob Miller, Associate Vice President for Outreach at WMU, thanking KBC for its sponsorship and support of the 2007 BTR Park Criterium bike race. This letter is recorded elsewhere in the PedalPress.

Mike Boersma read a letter from KBC Ride Captain Knute Jacobson reminding all riders that taillights are highly recommended as the sun sets earlier in the fall. In October, rides are slated to begin at 5:30 pm. Also, the fall Color Ride on Oct 6th and the Cyclocross event on Oct 28th will begin at the Richland Community Church. Lastly, Knute’s letter mentioned that a ride leader was needed for a Wednesday night mountain bike ride on the Kal Haven Trail (with lights), from November through December.

KBC is still searching for a Newsletter Editor to replace Zolton Cohen. Please contact Zolton if you are able to volunteer, zcohen@ameritech.net!

Jim Kindle reported that the 3 largest area bike shops; Breakaway, Alfred E Bike, and Village Cyclery in Schoolcraft, are in favor of the proposed free trial KBC membership to accompany a new bike purchase. The committee will work on the format for a handout to be provided to those bike shops, while KBC database manager Paul Bruneau will explore the use of online sign-up for the proposed program.

A motion was passed to eliminate monthly birthday recognition in the PedalPress. The reason being that there is too much time involved in formatting the verbiage, and the information is not relevant to anything.

A motion was passed to amend the club’s bylaws to create the position of Insurance coordinator on the Board of Directors. The Executive Board has appointed volunteer Joe Kucharski to fill this new role on an interim basis until the new position can be finalized.

Safety and Education committee chair Victor Van Fleet proposed organizing a Speaker’s Bureau to give presentations on bike safety and health benefits to area organizations. KBC Members Interested in volunteering should contact Van Fleet. More information about this proposed program appears elsewhere in this issue of the PedalPress.

Annual KBC elections will be held in November. Members interested in serving on the board and becoming more involved are encouraged to attend the October 9th meeting!

Jelania Haile proposed that KBC print note cards and club letterhead for thank you’s and other acknowledgements. A volunteer with a graphic design background is needed to assist in this design!

The Meeting was adjourned at 8:25 PM. The next meeting will be Tuesday, October 9th 2007 at 7:00 PM at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street.

Respectfully submitted, Chris Haddock, KBC Secretary


The electronically-distributed 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, zcohen@ameritech.net, 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 by the 20th of February.

KBC Elections – Nominations Due in October

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club will hold its annual Executive Board of Directors elections at the Tuesday, November 13 monthly meeting at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. The meeting will start at the usual time; 7 PM. Elected positions on the Executive Board are: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Incumbents Mike Boersma, President; Jim Kindle, Vice President; Secretary Chris Haddock; Treasurer Tom Keizer, have all indicated they are willing to serve another one year term if no other candidates for their positions appear. However, all are willing to abdicate if another member exhibits a desire to step up and commit to their jobs.

If you are interested in running for election to one of the club’s Executive Board positions, you must come to the October 9 monthly meeting to make your nomination known.

The KBC Board of Directors positions of Webmaster, Membership Database Manager, Safety and Education Chair, Ride Captain, Newsletter Editor, and Social Director are all appointed – not elected - positions. Appointments take place during the December club meeting, administered by the new Executive Board of Directors.

Help Wanted – Newsletter Editor Position Opening Up

KBC is looking for a new newsletter editor. The job will start with the January 2008 issue of the PedalPress.

The KBC newsletter editor is responsible for writing and editing the club’s newsletter, published monthly throughout the year. Applicants should have strong writing and organizational skills; good judgment regarding what is pertinent and interesting to a variety of local cyclists; be detail-oriented and a stickler for accuracy; and have a commitment to and interest in cycling and the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club. Rudimentary digital photography skills are a plus, as is a willingness to attend, get involved in, and record for posterity KBC events.

For more information or to apply for this position, please contact: zcohen@ameritech.net, or attend the next KBC meeting. The present newsletter editor is willing to assist the new newsletter editor in making this transition.

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions


New Members

John Aune * Jon Ballema * Bill Braun * Suzann Breed-Middleton * Mark Bush * Will Fisher * Phillip Heasley * John Idema * Kelly Knechtel * Paul Knight * Connor Loftus * Aren Middleton * David Middleton * Robert Rensch * Harvey Ross * Janet Ross * Andy Seiser * Bill Smyser * Jim Wilson

October Expiring memberships

Carl Clatterbuck Family * Eric Feucht * Jeff and Wendy Hutchison * Michael Miller * Renee Mitchell Family * Kurt Sherwood * Stoyan Stoychev Family

Renewed memberships

Lee Anderson * Max Breuer * Victor Van Fleet * Cathy Doan * David Jarl * Michael Krischer * Bruce Caple * Tim Krone * Mark Chicoine * Paul Bushnell * Peter Post & Holly Nibert * David  Jones & Leslie Mars * Robin Carpenter Family * Stephanie Walbridge

Joe Kucharski Debuts as KBC’s Insurance Coordinator

Joe Kucharski, longtime KBC member and local racer, has volunteered to act as KBC’s insurance coordinator. He’ll be the go-to person when a club member has a bicycling accident, gathering information about the incident to file a claim with the club’s insurance company.

KBC’s insurance program offers “excess medical” coverage. This type of insurance pays excess medical costs (covering what primary insurance coverage does not) should a club member have a cycling accident during one of the club’s rides or sanctioned events. The coverage is not available for cycle/automobile accidents, which are covered by auto insurance. It also does not cover bike replacement or repair costs.

Kucharski’s title is an interim one until the KBC Board of Directors can amend the club’s constitution to create the position of Insurance Coordinator. Contact information for Kucharski is: Phone 598-9284, email: singlespeed@charter.net. This information will also appear on the KBC website and in the “KBC Contacts” section of the PedalPress each month

Ride Captain’s Report

The season is winding down, but, with the fine weather we've been having, we all should be able to get several more good rides in, especially with Daylight Saving Time coming a bit later this year. Remember: all October evening rides begin at 5:30.

At this time of year I want to express my thanks to all the leaders who have made our regular weekly rides such a success, and also thank all those who have worked so hard to make Bike Camp, the KalTour, the BTR Race and all the other special rides so much fun.

As I write, there are still two more special events on the calendar. I hope you will consider doing one or both.

First, at 9:30 AM, October 6th we will have the 4th annual Fall Color Ride, leaving from St. Timothy Church on BC Avenue, north of Richland, 0.7 miles east of M-43.(The Tour de Gull passes very near there.)The ride will be 40 miles, into Barry County, with a 15 minute snack stop at the half-way point.The average pace will be 18-19 mph, and there will be cider when we finish.                             The ride starts at 9:30 a.m., but will not be held if there is rain. The colors should be near their peak, and the ride is a great chance to socialize and take in the beautiful scenery.

The last special ride on the calendar this year is a Cyclo-Cross workshop at 3:00 PM, Sunday, October 28, on the 40 acre grounds of St. Timothy Church.  Several KBC riders got their start in cyclo-cross at the last workshop Ken Fouts and Tom Cross put on at St. Tim's a few years ago.

The Cyclo-Cross route is a mixture of grass and pavement, with some steep uphills and less steep downhills. There will barriers as well, so you will have to dismount and do some running. Depending on the will of the group, we will go for 30 or 40 minutes. Sound too easy for you? We dare you to give it a try! The gathering time is 3:00 p.m. We hope to watch a short video demonstrating technique to help first timers. Then we'll do a "parade lap" all together, to get the hang of it. Then riders will be free to see how many laps they can do in the allotted time.

This is NOT a race. It is a workshop. All riders WILL be required to sign a standard release.

If you have questions, email me at hkj@jasnetworks.net

Look forward to seeing you! And thanks again for your participation in club events over the summer. We have a great club!

Best regards,

Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

October KBC Ride Schedule

Ride Start Time Change Notice! Due to the fading daylight, starting October 1, KBC weekday club rides – including Wednesday’s Hammerfest - will start at 5:30 PM rather than 6:00.

Note: Due to ever-decreasing numbers of riders showing up for the weekday club rides in the late fall, not all ride groups will be offered in October and November. Riders that do show up may combine forces and form new groups. KBC ride leaders are likely to be absent from many of the rides.


The Monday Ride at Texas Drive Park will consist of at least 4 ride groups, which should provide a pace to suit riders of all abilities:

  • 15-20 mile group at 12-15 mph, led informally by a number of riders. This group may include participants in Bike Camp, and may be led by Paul Bruneau.
  • 25-30 mile (Recovery and paceline) group at 17-18 mph, led by Zolton Cohen
  • 25-30 mile group at 20-22 mph, led by Joan Orman
  • 25-30 mile group at 22+ mph, led informally by a number of riders

The 15-20 mile group is generally recommended for new riders.

The 25-30 mile groups will typically ride the same route in the early part of the season. KBC recommends the 17-18 mph Recovery and paceline group for more experienced riders who are new to the club, those wishing for an easy spin on flat roads, or anyone interested in learning how to ride in a rotating paceline. Participation in the paceline in this group is not mandatory. This ride is very steady and consistent, and one of the club’s most popular ride groups. Depending on the number of riders who show up, this group may be broken into two smaller groups.

The 20-22 mph group is recommended for more experienced riders who want to ride faster, and on hillier terrain.

All riders who want to push the pace can do so in the 22+ mph group.


No rides scheduled.


The Wednesday ride meets at the Kal-Haven Trail Parking lot on 10th Street. Remember that if you drive to the trailhead and park in the parking lot you must display a Kal Haven Trail parking pass on your dashboard. Parking passes are issued with the purchase of a seasonal or daily trail pass. Those passes are available for purchase at local bike shops, Gazelle Sports, and at the trailhead itself when a staff member is attending the caboose.

KBC plans to offer 5 ride groups:

  • 13 – 15 mph group, led informally by a number of riders
  • 30 mile group at 19-20 mph (the Quarter-Fast Ride), led by Ron Gauthier, John Olbrot and others
  • 30 mile group at 22+ mph (The Half-Fast Ride), led by Zolton Cohen
  • 46 mile group at 23+ mph (as yet unnamed), led by Doug Kirk
  • 46 mile group at 24+ mph (the regular Hammerfest), led by Jeff Hamilton and others

The 13-15 mph group decides the route at the ride start.

The 30 mile groups typically ride the same route. The 19-20 mph Quarter Fast group will try to be steady at the pace indicated. The 22+ Half-Fast group will likely break up into smaller groups.

The regular 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 24+ 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, led by Elaine Naegele, is a nice and easy social ride and has a loyal following. It starts at the Texas Drive Park at the regular KBC ride start times. Riders of all riding abilities are welcome. The pace is typically 15-17 mph and distance is 20-25 miles.


Notice: The Friday ride now meets in the parking lot at the new Galesburg high school, 1/2 mile east of Galesburg, at the corner of 37th Street and M-96.

Due to road construction and lack of interest in establishing a new, southern route, the Tour de Gull route, which goes from Galesburg up and around Gull Lake, has been resurrected.

The pace of the main group varies depending on who shows up, but is usually in the 20-22 mph range. Members interested in riding the route at a 17-18 mph pace are encouraged to attend this ride and get the ball rolling on a new group.

KBC’s Special Weekend Rides:

Only two more special KBC riding events remain for the 2007 season. Be sure to plan on attending at least one.

  • The 4th annual Fall Color Ride (~40 miles), 9:30 AM, October 6th, leaving from St. Timothy Church on BC Avenue, north of Richland, 0.7 miles east of M-43. (The Tour de Gull passes very near there.) The ride will be 40 miles in length, into Barry County, with a 15 minute snack stop at the half-way point. The average pace will be 18-19 mph, and there will be cider when we finish. The ride will not be held if there is rain. The colors should be near their peak, and the ride is a great chance to socialize and take in the beautiful scenery.
  • The last special ride on the calendar this year is a Cyclo-Cross workshop at 3:00 PM, Sunday, October 28, on the 40 acre grounds of St. Timothy Church, location directions above. Several KBC riders got their start in cyclo-cross at the last workshop Ken Fouts and Tom Cross put on at St. Tim's a few years ago.

The Cyclo-Cross route is a mixture of grass and pavement, with some steep uphills and less steep downhills. There will barriers as well, so you will have to dismount and do some running. Depending on the will of the group, we will go for 30 or 40 minutes. Sound too easy for you? We dare you to give it a try! The gathering time is 3:00 p.m. We hope to watch a short video demonstrating technique to help first timers. Then we'll do a "parade lap" all together, to get the hang of it. Then riders will be free to see how many laps they can do in the allotted time.

This is NOT a race. It is a workshop. All riders WILL be required to sign a standard release.

If you have comments about the above-mentioned rides or have suggestions for other rides, contact Ride Captain Knute Jacobson at hkj@jasnetworks.com.

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: hkj@jasnetworks.com.

KBC Race Results, compiled by Joe Kucharski

Stony Creek Time Trial (Mountain), 07/29/07

  • John Meyers, 4th Elite Men
  • Christopher Barkow, 16th Sport Men 19-29
  • Fedlina Burgett, 5th Beginner Women 18-Under

Delta Imports/Ada Criterium (Road), 08/04/07

  • Brad Fry, 12th Cat 4
  • Christopher Barnes, 11th Masters Men 45+
  • Zach McBride, 2nd Junior Men
  • Andrew Florian, 3rd Junior Men
  • Stephen Barnes, 10th Junior Men
  • Andrew Florian, 21st Cat 3

BTR Park Criterium (Road), 08/11/07

  • Jeff Hamilton, 12th Cat 1-2
  • Zach McBride, 1st Cat 3
  • Andrew Florian, 9th Cat 3
  • Greg Lawford, 6th Cat 4
  • Darryl Dolby, 10th Cat 4
  • Bob Lynch, 20th Cat 4
  • Brad Fry 27th Cat 4
  • Joe Kucharski, 8th Cat 5
  • Paul Raynes, 14th Cat 5
  • Stephen Barnes, 16th Cat 5
  • Jonathan Smits, 17th Cat 5
  • Troy Smits, 18th Cat 5
  • Charles Clark, 15th Masters 35+
  • Knute Jacobson, 11th Masters 45+
  • Chris Barnes, 14th Masters 45+
  • Andrew Florian, 1st Juniors
  • Zach McBride, 2nd Juniors
  • Stephen Barnes, 5th Juniors
  • Monica Tory, 2nd Women Cat 4
  • Marian Barnes, 3rd Women Cat 4

Ore to Shore (Mountain), 08/11/07

Hard Rock 48 Miles

  • John Meyers, 7th Hard Rock, 1st Men 40-44
  • Mike Jones, 63rd Hard Rock, 4th Men 45-49
  • Yarro Ireland, 237th Hard Rock, 28th Men 30-34
  • Daniel Henshaw, 249th Hard Rock, 43rd Men 40-44
  • Mostyn Lumbard, 294th Hard Rock, 36th Men 30-34
  • Dave Hauschild, 334th Hard Rock, 34th Men 45-49
  • Anders Christensen, 411th Hard Rock, 15th Men 20-24

Soft Rock, 28 Miles

  • Jeff Nault, 154th Soft Rock, 28th Men 30-34
  • Greg Dehaan, 497th Soft Rock, 74th Men 40-44
  • John Mckenzie, 509th Soft Rock, 45th Men 50-54
  • Scott Gardner, 427th Soft Rock, 27th Men 55-59
  • Doug Mcdonnell, 521st Soft Rock, 36th Men 55-59
  • Erin Lumbard, 67th Soft Rock, 8th Women 25-29
  • Kim Henshaw, 92nd Soft Rock, 14th Women 30-34
  • Jennifer Hauschild, 223rd Soft Rock, 31st Women 40-44

Fort Custer Time Trial (Mountain), 08/19/07

  • John Meyers, 5th Elite Men
  • Stephen Barnes, 3rd Elite Men 18-Under
  • Brad Dickson, 9th Singlespeed Sport/Beginner
  • Chris Schnell, 5th Sport Clydesdale
  • Christopher Barkow, 6th Sport Men 19-29
  • Brad Bierema, 3rd Sport Men 30-34
  • Bryon Bierema, 5th Sport Men 35-39
  • Chris Putti, 10th Sport Men 35-39
  • Bethany Moxon, 5th Beginner Women 18-Under
  • Shaun Perski, 3rd Beginner Men 19-29
  • David Bolliet, 6th Beginner Men 30-39
  • Paul Moxon, 5th Beginner Men 50+

Advantage Benefits Rockford Criterium (Road), 08/25/07

  • Mark Bush, 2nd Cat 5
  • Brad Fry, 4th Cat 4
  • Andrew Florian, 1st Junior Men
  • Stephen Barnes, 6th Junior Men
  • Cheryl Olson, 10th Cat 1-4
  • Zach McBride, 13th Cat 3
  • Taylor Birman, 16th Cat 3
  • Andrew Florian, 17th Cat 3

Maybury Cross Country (Mountain), 08/25/07

  • John Meyers, 4th Elite Men
  • Darryl Dolby, 2nd Sport Men 40-44
  • Lisa Popa, 5th Sport Women 25-39
  • Laurie Jarski, 5th Sport Women 40+

Tuesday Night Time Trial Season Ends on a High Note

There were some fast times and there were some not-so-fast times. But we always had a good time at this year’s Tuesday Night Time trial series. The series ran from June 5th to September 4th on the first and 3rd Tuesdays of the month. A total of 44 different club members showed up to try their skill at setting a new personal best for a solo 10 mile ride.

The fastest time of the year was set by Mark Olson with a speed of 27.33 MPH for the 10 mile course! Of course he used the Priority Health Care team issue Pinarello Time Trial Bike (as featured in the July issue of Velonews), so he had all the right technology working for him. Some new faces showed during the year, including: Steve Penix, Mark Bush, Stephanie Sabin, and Paul Jacobson to name a few. Justin Pruis, Paul Raynes, and Mike Boersma showed up at nearly TNTT and could always be called on for a helping hand.

The last ride of the year was a handicap event in which the riders raced against their own average time for the year, as well as giving the faster riders a later start time to equal out the times. Paul Jacobson did a fine job, and had the best handicapped time of the night. After the ride we all enjoyed pizza supplied by our sponsor Little Caesars, and some fun fellowship.

Although the 10 mile time trial is a “race” event, it is enjoyed by a wide variety of club members. Given the sometimes competitive nature of our sport, I am always happily surprised by the encouragement and support EVERYONE, from fastest to slowest, shows towards each other at the ride. Come on out next year and give it a try, you just might surprise yourself.

Chris Barnes

My Women’s Bike Racing 101 Adventure… By Monica Tory

Sometime last fall, shortly after trying my first cyclocross race and loving it, I set a crazy goal to try some road races in 2007. Why not? I had a blast at that first ‘cross race, and I had never even ridden off road before! I really enjoy the KBC Tuesday Night Time Trials. And I know that for me, entering a “race” makes me work much harder than if I were to go out and ride on my own. Why crazy? Well, I’ve only been riding for about two years, had exactly ZERO experience group riding, and was quite frankly more than a little frightened to try. But surely I could learn to ride in a group, race in a group, and eventually figure out how strategy and race tactics work, over the course of 6 or 8 months? Well, the short answer to that question is “yes & no.” As for the details, here’s how my first year of bike racing unfolded …

After becoming addicted to cyclocross, and then reading an article about Velo Bella – Kona’s (www.velobella.org) efforts to promote women’s participation in cycling and cycling racing around the globe, I got in touch with some Michigan “bella” race team members, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I (and any woman) could join the team, even without prior racing experience. Encouraged, I joined the VB-K race team & am so happy I did! Although there are only a few ‘bellas’ in West Michigan, I’ve met great people from other parts of the state, and the e-community has been a phenomenal resource for training tips, encouragement, camaraderie and, possibly most important for me, understanding race strategies for teams and individuals.

Over the winter months, I worked on improving general fitness … riding Bryon Bierema’s indoor trainer workouts, attending the occasional spin class, xc-skiing, walking/running/hiking, etc. As spring drew closer, I started to ride with small groups, and eventually gained enough confidence to ride with some of the Wed. night groups. **THANK YOU to the many people within the KBC and TRIKATS who offered advice & instruction, teaching me the ins and outs of riding a pace line, attacking, being led out for a sprint, etc, and for your encouragement!

Far sooner than I would have thought…it was race season! My first races were time trials, a great starting place because I didn’t have to worry about pack riding, or tactics….just GO at 100%! The 2006 KBC Tuesday Night Time Trial Series proved it’s value, as I did well at all of the time trials I entered. The real learning process started in May, when Jonathan (Evans) and I went to race at the Tour of Kensington Valley….a mini-stage race in Brighton, Michigan. In retrospect, maybe picking a stage race as my first “real” road race was over-ambitious. But I saw it as a sampler platter – a chance to try a TT, a road race, and a criterium all at once. And, really – who would want to pass up an opportunity to “play Tour de France” for the weekend? At Kensington, Saturday morning’s TT went well, as planned, but I was awfully intimidated by the Saturday afternoon criterium. Was I ready to “race” in a pack? Would I be fast enough? Would I be lucky enough to avoid any crashes? Happily, all of that worry was for nothing. The field was small (six category 4 (beginner level) women), everyone was supremely friendly, and the range of speeds and experience-levels in the group meant that the pace was very reasonable. Same story at Sunday’s road race … except that I was dropped on the hills & learned I’m not so good at attacking (it’s good to have something to work on!).

After the Tour of Kensington Valley races, I was a little discouraged because I had SO much to learn! But, at the same time, the racing had been fun, and I had met a lot of great people during and afterwards. Secretly, I was also really looking forward to the challenge: working on my weaknesses, learning more about race strategy, and getting better (= getting smarter!) at road racing. At each subsequent race and group ride, through trial and error, I learned a little bit more about what works and doesn’t work – tips for faster cornering, figuring out how to “make” someone else do more work in a paceline, taking less time to recover from sprints, etc. It was very exciting when a new tactic learned from a book, an article, or another athlete, “clicked” out on the course!

So, after my 2007 summer “racing 101” adventure, I can safely say I’ll be back for more in 2008! I know that I am still on the very steep part of the learning curve, but …I’ve had a fantastic time challenging myself, mentally & physically. I’ve met great people at every race, and many of those people have become “email mentors” and friends. After every race, more experienced women have been incredibly welcoming…introducing themselves and openly offering valuable advice on how to improve. I’m a much better bike handler, and far more comfortable in many riding situations, and I’ve learned to ride much more efficiently.

Is racing for you? While I can’t answer that question, I can say this to all KBC women … if you’re curious about racing, and you’re comfortable riding safely in a group, then come out and try a road race! If you aren’t sure, come out and watch! If you have questions about getting started, I’d be happy to try to answer them (mmtory@netscape.net)! And if you’d like to work on your group riding skills before you jump into a road race, then think about trying a time trial or cyclocross race and you’re your way up to road races or criteriums. It’s just a lot of FUN & a great way to keep motivated to stay fit :)

Van Fleet Proposes KBC “Speaker’s Bureau”

At the September KBC monthly meeting, Safety and Education Chair Victor Van Fleet proposed putting together a club “speaker’s bureau” in order to fulfill requests for information on the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club and cycling in general.

Van Fleet said there are approximately 1,000 organizations in the area that are periodically in need of speakers. These include schools, churches, service clubs, fraternities, business operations, co-operatives, and condo associations.

In addition to presenting information on cycling and using bicycles for recreation, errands, socializing and health benefits, Van Fleet said the club’s designated speakers could relay tips on weight loss and nutrition.

As a benefit to the club, the speakers would raise awareness of non-motorized transportation issues and “embellish” KBC’s profile in the community. Plus, it may also help interest new members to join the club and participate in club rides and other events.

If you would be interested in sharing your expertise and passion for the sport of cycling with community groups, please contact Van Fleet at: vvanfleet@core.com (put KBC in the subject line) or Phone: 269-375-7691.

KBC Anniversary Ride and Party a Great Success

If one were inclined to draw up a blueprint for a perfect bicycle riding day, Saturday, September 22, 2007 would have been an ideal model. An overnight rain had cleansed the air and roadways, and early fall atmospheric temperatures kept the day from getting too hot. Sun shone brightly through an absolutely clear blue sky. Add in some convivial riders, a lot of good food, and you’d have precisely what occurred at KBC’s annual Anniversary Ride and Party.

By Social Director Renee Mitchell’s count, approximately 50 KBC members took part in the event; most rode one of the many routes available, and all stayed around for at least some refreshment after the riding was over. KBC provided drinks and pizza; riders brought an assortment of salads, snacks and desserts. And there was plenty to be had…

Apart from the great eating and riding, one of the most important aspects of this gathering is the socialization that occurs. Members who during the weekday club rides don’t have time to say more than a quick “hello” in the parking lot before a ride commences had the opportunity to sit back, relax, and catch up with their friends in the club. There was a lot of such talk; stories told, experiences related, plans made, goals shared.

Mitchell and fellow Social Director Jelania Haile have made events like the Anniversary Ride and Party a warm and welcoming environment, and an ideal entrée into the club for newcomers. It was great to see so many people enjoying the fruits of their labors.

Zolton Cohen

Letter to KBC from Bob Miller, Associate Vice President, WMU Community Outreach

August 14, 2007

Dear Mike (editor’s note: Boersma),

I would like to thank you for your sponsorship of the 2nd Annual BTR Park Bike Criterium held on August 11, 2007. This year the event attracted almost 200 race participants! The weather was perfect for racing and both spectators and racers enjoyed the event. All those we spoke to indicated they would be back next year.

The race would not have been a success without your generous contribution. Your sponsorship is greatly appreciated.

As racer participation almost doubled from 2006, we look forward to even greater participation in the 2008 race. We hope you will consider sponsoring the BTR Park Bike Criterium again in 2008.


Bob Miller, Associate Vice President, Community Outreach

Editor’s Letter

It’s a bittersweet time of year, this mid-fall stuff. On the one hand it’s getting harder – actually, more dangerous would probably be the better word - to ride to and from the weekday club rides because the sun is setting so much earlier than it did in the summer. Oftentimes I find myself in kind of dodgy light conditions on the way back home. I always have a taillight though, and wear brightly colored clothing. Still, it’s been so dark a few times that it’s difficult to even see the road. That’s not really much of a problem though, as I seem to know just about every pothole on every road I ride. I’ve managed to explore the depths of each one over time..

On the other hand, the rewards of riding deep into the fall are so great. Not only are the tree leaves changing from glistening green to subtle russets, yellows, reds and browns, the light itself has been altered by the sun’s position in the sky. Photographers call the period an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset the “golden hour.” At times the light does indeed seem like liquid gold, spilling out over the countryside and coating everything with a rich, warm glow. The air is fresh and crisp, and those lucky enough to ride near the vineyards out by Paw Paw, Lawton, and Mattawan are treated to the delicious smell of grapes ripening on the vine. Wild turkeys can often be seen in fields along the roadway, and deer are starting to move around as well.

It’s a great time to ride, and possibly seems even more so because you’re aware that these last days of the riding season won’t last forever. Soon enough there will be snow, cold winds, ice and the torment of the indoor trainer. So get out and enjoy riding your bike for as long as you can. These are the golden hours of the golden days…

On yet another hand, I’m pretty ready to get off the bike for a while. I’m near my usual 4,000 miles on the year and that seems like just about sufficient. It’s time now to do other things – train for cross country ski season, for example. And maybe do some walking and weight lifting. It’s interesting how quickly you lose musculature in the summer that you don’t use on the bike; I’ll be starting from just about ground zero on my toothpick arms, trying to bring them back to the point that I can at least lift a carbon fiber ski pole again. And so the seasons turn..

Zolton Cohen, KBC Newsletter Editor


For those of you, who don't think that (fill in the blank)________ is possible, I would like to share how I started the idea of doing a bike tour, 5/20/07.

When I saw Ken Gomez's blog to do a Tour with him as the guide, I didn't have any gear to go self supported with tent, sleeping bag, etc. etc. Not even a road bike...Ken e-mailed me all the information I needed to be prepared for the Tour, including what kind of bike I needed. My bike came in 6/02/07. I joined the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club and started training. Being a mountain biker, my trails are 8 miles, but, now I was looking at 40-60 miles in a day. The girls in the club had me up to 53 miles with hills at one time. I did start with 18 miles and moved up!!!

My thanks go out to Renee and Jelania, leaders of the Thursday Morning Girl's ride, and Terry Olbrot and her husband, John, who made up special maps of road rides we could do on Monday and Wednesday's. Jelania, who created rides in her head to accommodate what we wanted to do on a certain night and who called me to join extra rides on Saturday or Sunday. Jelania, even let me be a creator of a ride, leaving from my house, out in Delton. It was a blast training with these girls, from the very beginning, even when I was extremely slow!!! Jan Selby provided me with some great tips of what to bring or not bring, like spray mace, for dogs, which Canada will not allow in!!! They did ask me at the border, and I could proudly say, NO!!! I trained for the worst possible scenario: big hills and riding into strong head winds...It did not go...unneeded. I was ready!!!! The Tour was Awesome, KenG was Fabulous!!!! He is from N.Y. and I'm from Michigan...we only knew each other from e-mails and pictures provided with details of his experience as a Tourist!!! I was the only one to sign up...but I was not disappointed...privileged in fact... to have his expert experience...and flexibility to make this tour a Joy!!!


Now that I am home from my 300 mile bicycle ride of the Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada......My life has been transformed...by our Tour of the Bruce Peninsula...I have been renewed and filled with the goodness that truly lives in our world...people are not strangers....they should be welcomed...like I was welcomed....joked with, like we know each other....said, Good Morning to...like they are my best friend....helped by me, if needed....like I was helped, in a time of need.........And the JOY of riding....that distances, mean nothing.......What a fantastic 7 Days!!!! I don't want to drive....I want to ride!!! Give me an excuse to ride and I am taking advantage of it!!!! Back from the Putt-Put golf place, in Yankee Springs....let me ride home!!! Having to go to the bank in Delton...let me ride!!!! Monday night Club ride...talked a little...and then I must ride to the extent of my strength...pushing it...recovering...pushing again....exulting in what my body can do...knowing I am going half of what I covered in a 50 mile day in Canada...Sweet, Sweet, measurement....Canada...7 days, Bruce Peninsula!!!!

Sincerely, Colleen Alaniz

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: Visit Gazelle Sports to pick up that essential cold weather gear and  energy food you'll need for a great ride in the ICEMAN!


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.

Team Active

22 W Michigan, Battle Creek, 1-800-841-9494

Village Cyclery

US 131 in Schoolcraft, 679-4242

About Bicycling

Important: Riding a bicycle is an inherently dangerous activity. There are risks of injury or death. You could ride over something and fall, or get hit by an automobile or strike or be struck by another bicyclist. There are many other dangers to bicycling as well.

While nothing can eliminate all risks associating with bicycle riding, to minimize the danger, make sure you and your bicycle are in good riding condition. Know the rules of the road and also of the group you’re riding with, and ride in a manner consistent with the protocols of that group. Always wear a bike helmet, use bike lights if riding in the dawn, dusk or dark, and consider purchasing and riding with additional safety equipment such as reflectors and rear view mirrors.

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

Insurance Coordinator Joe Kucharski 598-9284
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