Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
Feburary 2008

February President’s Letter

Not that I am counting, but it is seven weeks or so until the 2008 KBC ride season starts again.

To kick off the 2008 ride season, the KBC will have a preseason ride meeting on March 25th at 7:00 PM at the 11th Street Holiday Inn (south of the intersection of 11th Street and Stadium Drive). Refreshments will be provided.

This is a GREAT opportunity for club members to sign the insurance waiver paperwork for the upcoming season. KBC members only have to sign the paperwork ONE time during the season to be covered. I have been informed by KBC’s Insurance Czar Joe Kucharski that our insurance will cover a non-KBC rider on one ride only. This excess medical bike accident insurance is a very great benefit of club membership, so please take advantage of it.

The Bike Camp committee has been actively involved with planning Bike Camp 2008. The location will be at the Portage YMCA this year. Bike Camp will need volunteers to assist with bike fittings, leading rides, and assisting with related activities. Please save a Saturday or 2 in May and June to help with Bike Camp. More information will be forthcoming. Please invite your family, friends, co-workers, church group, community group or whoever might be interested to attend!

The date for the Kalamazoo Scenic Bicycle Tour/ KalTour has changed this year! KalTour will now be on Sunday, July 13th. “Super” Dave Bishop and Mike Krischer need your help with this event (much of the heavy lifting takes place weeks before the ride) Please let them know if you can assist.

Doug Kirk has contacted a gentleman in Grand Rapids who instructs the League of American Bicyclists “Road 1” course. This is an excellent course in advanced bike handling skills and will improve your bicycling abilities. Doug is interested in knowing how many folks are interested in taking this class so a date for the class can be arranged. Please contact Doug if you are interested.

I have been contacted by a number of folks from around the region about Safe Routes to School. This is a program aimed at elementary school aged children and is intended to provide kids with safe ways to walk or to ride their bicycle to school (I can recall when I was in elementary school that schools were neighborhood based and that I walked or rode my bike to school daily…). The folks who have contacted me want instruction on safe bike riding practices and related technical information. I would be interested in knowing if there are folks in the club who would want to assist with this kind of program (how to fit a bike helmet, how to fit a bike, how to obey safety laws on the streets, etc.) I would imagine that interested folks would coordinate with a SR2S program and put on a brief safety presentation. Please let me know if you are interested in assisting with this activity.

I want to thank again Fred, Megan, and Rebecca James for hosting the Recovery Party this year. It was a great success!

Mike Boersma, KBC President

Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Road Ride Pre-Season Meeting

Tuesday, March 25 at 7:00 pm at the totally remodeled Holiday Inn-West, 2747 S. 11th Street, Kalamazoo

All Kalamazoo area bicyclists who ride any of the KBC Monday through Friday evening group rides are invited to PLEASE join us for a pre-season group meeting.


We have a large meeting room reserved—much bigger than last year! The club is providing a half-barrel of really good, European beer. You’ll have to show up and see what kind—but we promise; it’s good stuff! This year there will be a cash bar too! You can even order dinner (on your own) from the new Burdick’s restaurant there and bring your meal to the meeting.

This meeting is for Kalamazoo Bicycle Club members only. And we’d like everyone who does our weekly rides to join KBC. If you’d like to join us and are not a KBC member, you’ll be able to join/renew when you get there. Frankly, we’d like everyone on the rides to belong to the club. We hope that anyone who either has ridden these rides or has an interest in doing so will attend and either renew their membership or join the club.

Besides having a good time telling stories, setting unreasonable goals, seeing who looks fit (or fat) and—importantly—drinking beer, we’ll have a few short presentations--similar to the last two years--explaining what to expect from each ride as to speed, size, skill level, start times and group riding etiquette. All this is with the intent of making our rides safer and more organized.


Doug Kirk, KBC President Emeritus

Monthly Meeting Minutes

There was no January monthly meeting. Therefore, there are no meeting minutes for this month.

However, be sure to put the February 12, 2008 meeting on your calendar. Listed below is the special topic that will be addressed.

Randonneuring 101 Topic of February KBC Meeting

At the start of the Tuesday, February 12, 2008 KBC monthly club meeting, held at 7 PM at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo, Alan Becke, a long distance cyclist from Holland, Michigan, will present a 30 minute talk and PowerPoint slide show entitled “Randonneruring 101.”

Randonneuring is non-competitive long distance cycling. The presentation is about 30 minutes long, and was well received recently by the Macatawa Bike Club.

Becke completed a full series of brevets and rode the "Paris Brest Paris" event in 2007. He lives in Holland but works in Kalamazoo.

Recovery Party 2008 Highlights

Well, wasn’t that a party?

The Saturday, January 19th KBC Recovery Party, not wishing to depart from tradition, was held on one of the worst weather nights of the year. Though it was frigid outdoors, inside Megan, Fred and Rebecca James’s spacious home it was warm throughout.

Social Directors Renee Mitchell and Jelania Haile did their usual effortless-looking job of organizing the evening’s activities – from food to drinks to entertainment. The club members who decided to brave the weather were amply rewarded by the good cheer, biking talk, and many desserts (and other fine foods) laid out on a huge table in the James’s kitchen area.

Around the midpoint of the evening, President Emeritus Doug Kirk gathered everyone in the living room to hand out the Doug and Kathy Kirk Annual Bike Club Bicycle Pasta Awards. This year’s recipients were:

  • Most improved female rider - Heather Haydo. After starting the year in Bike Camp, Heather quickly blossomed into one of the strongest female riders in the club.
  • Most improved male rider - Jim Kindle. Jim dropped a lot of weight this summer and, utilizing a training regimen that included riding up the 6th Street hill 10 times in a row, soon began dropping other rides on some of the faster rides. He also won his division at the Iceman race in the fall.
  • Al Cergol “Lemonade from Lemons Award” - Joan Orman. On the first day of DALMAC this past year Joan took a spill on some loose gravel. Despite coming down with a bad case of road rash, she elected to keep riding and finished the 4-day, 400 mile tour.
  • Chris & Steve Barnes “Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree Award - Paul Jacobson. Paul and his father, KBC Ride Captain Knute Jacobson, have decided to race together on the KBC/Little Caesar’s race team this year. We’d be surprised if there is another father/son duo as strong in the state.
  • Best New rider - Colleen Alaniz. After training for most of the summer with various KBC groups, Colleen decided to challenge herself in the fall and took on a 300 mile bike tour of the Bruce peninsula in Ontario, Canada. After completing the 7-day ride she was, in her words, “transformed” by the experience.
  • Fred Einsphar “Where's my 11 tooth cog award?” - Terry O'Connor. After riding so long with Fred in the summer, Terry’s cycling stroke has begun to mimic his friend’s. Slow and steady; that’s how these two like to turn the cranks.
  • Most Dependable Rider - Ed Miccalizzi. Ed attended many of the club's evening rides last season, and was a worthy addition to any group with his steady, consistent and clean line.
  • “Randy Putt Most Likely to Hold Up the Start of the Ride Award” - Jamie Clark. It’s really a wonder Jamie is able to make any of the KBC rides at all. He lives quite far away from any of the starting sites. But when he knows he’ll be late, he’s not above phoning his cycling buddy Tom Noverr and asking him if he’ll fake a flat in the parking lot to stall the group for a few precious seconds.
  • Most Courageous Rider - Tom Noverr. According to KBC Vice President Jim Kindle, he and Tom and Jamie Clark decided to get in some miles on the Yankee Springs mountain bike trails this past summer. Tom and Jamie showed up with cyclocross bikes, which quickly proved a poor choice for the sandy single track out at Yankee. Jamie elected to ride on some dirt roads nearby, but Tom stuck it out with Jim and took many nasty spills on the trail – yet came up smiling each time.
  • Crazier Than We Are Award - Joe Kucharski. Last spring, Joe completed a 336 mile mountain bike race in support of breast cancer research – on a single speed bike. He won his division and received an unusually wide-tired bike to go along with the first place accolades.

After the Kirks’ presentations, KBC President Mike Boersma announced that departing newsletter editor Zolton Cohen was the club’s Volunteer of the Year.

And then the fun began. Alfred E Bike in Kalamazoo and Breakaway Bicycles in Portage had donated large boxes of biking exotica. From water bottles to GU to tools to Breakaway jerseys, many party-goers went home with some nice bike schwag. One of the most coveted prizes was a free sports massage by massage therapist and KBC member Paul Raynes.

Doug Kirk put the thoughts of many into voice when he reminded those present that it’s a good idea to support the local bike shops that support KBC and its activities – and local cycling in general - so thoroughly and generously. Thanks go to these shops not only for the door prize gifts they donated, but for mechanical support at KalTour, Bike Camp, and many other races and events in the area.

KBC Insurance Coordinator Joe Kucharski took advantage of the assembled crowd to stress the importance of remaining a KBC member in order to be covered under the excess medical insurance program. Kucharski, who works in the insurance industry, said that for the inexpensive price of membership, it’s one of the best deals going. Though no one wants to think about a bike crash during a KBC ride or event, this policy can be worth up to $5,000 in such a circumstance. You must be a current KBC member to qualify for the insurance, Kucharski said, and the coverage is only good for incidents that occur on KBC-sanctioned functions – evening club rides, KalTour, special weekend rides, for example.

KBC Race Team Director Greg Lawford thanked many at the gathering for their help with the BTR Bike Race this past summer. Singled out for special consideration and recognition was Rick Updike, without whom, Lawford said, the BTR race could not have taken place. The race team awarded Updike with a gift certificate from Breakaway Bicycles.

Lawford announced that, although many of the race team’s slots have already been filled for 2008, there are still a few open for the upcoming season. The team is especially interested in talking to female bicyclists who are willing to give racing a try. He said there are a lot of experienced racers on the team who are more than willing to work with and advise beginning bike racers. Potential racers can contact Lawford at: greg.lawford@stryker.com.

Recovery Party-goers were able to purchase discounted 2008 season Kal Haven Trail passes, and 31 individuals and 3 families opted to do so. The total sale of $468 worth of passes helps out our friends in Van Buren County as they prepare for another year of running the Kal Haven Trail.

The party wrapped up at around 10:00 PM, and many people pitched in to help clean up. Steven Barnes was spotted doing his part by hauling away an industrial-sized portion of chocolate cake. Thanks go again to Social Directors Jelania Haile and Renee Mitchell, their crew of volunteers, and especially to Fred, Megan, and Rebecca James for opening up their home so graciously to the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club. Thanks also to Jim Kindle and Heather Haydo for brewing up the delicious Road Kill Ale…


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 Statistics

Active subscriptions:


New members:

Ryan Lapham

February Expiring memberships:

Amy Baumann * Christopher Bloch * Marc Irwin Family * Sandra James * Greg Lawford Family * Diana & Gary Rankinen Family * Rick Updike

Renewed memberships:

None this month

Ride Captain’s Report

Dear KBC Friends:

I was recently in downtown Chicago, on a day trip with my family. The weather was cold but sunny, so we walked for a ways along the lake shore, near Millennium Park. I was struck again by the beauty and height of the downtown skyscrapers--many of them made of brick. How many bricks did it take to make the majestic Chicago Hilton, I wondered? And how in the world could the bricks at the bottom support the accumulated weight of 25 or 30 stories?

I'm not an architect, but one thing I do know: much depends on the foundation. The hidden, unglamorous part that needs to be in place before any significant building can be done.

Something similar is true in cycling: if you want to have strong season, you need to lay a good foundation, and this is the time of year to at least think about how to do that. As an article in the Priority Health team website says, there is a good "Case for Base."

What makes a good base in cycling? For most of us in KBC it will be slow early season riding at an easy pace--the longer the better. When I was racing in the 70's we used to call this "LSD Training"--standing for "Long Slow Distance"--just in case you were wondering. Mike Walden, nationally known coach of the Wolverine Sports Club, used to insist on about 800 miles of this before we got down to anything much harder. His guideline was that we should be riding along at about 17 miles per hour, with our heart rate around 70% of max.

Not many modern coaches advocate this exact approach any more, but many will tell you that lots of riders train too hard, too early. The secret to improving is to go hard enough during hard workouts, and easy enough on your easy workouts. But before you do any of this, it's good to build your base of strong leg capillaries, etc., through, you guessed it: longer rides on the easier side.

I don't know that this advice applies quite as much to cyclo-tourists as it does racers, but I suspect it does. If, for instance, your own personal goal is to complete a metric century this summer (100 km, or 62 miles), why not check online to see if you can find a training plan to prepare you? I bet, among other things, it will make the “case for base."

(Please click on www.bikereg.com/Cycle-Smart/articles/20070202.asp for a more sophisticated discussion of base training suitable for racers and triathletes.)

Only about 8 weeks to our first group rides of the season! Sure hope you can make the pre-season ride meeting to hear about our various weekly rides and our various expectations for them. By the way, did we mention there will be FREE BEER?

Best Regards!

Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

Meet Your New Newsletter Editor

Rick Whaley, longtime KBC rider and volunteer, has moved back to Kalamazoo and will take over the KBC newsletter editor duties starting with the March 2008 issue. Veterans of the club will know that Rick moved to the Ann Arbor area several years ago when his job with Pfizer was eliminated in Kalamazoo.

Though Whaley was based in Ann Arbor for the past several years, he always made it back at least once in the spring to lead the infamous “W” special weekend ride that he inaugurated some eight years ago. In recent years, he also managed to return to ride in FlowerFest (now KalTour) several times, an event on which he volunteered voluminous hours when he lived here.

Through his prior experience as a volunteer and rider with the club, Whaley has a good feel for the “culture” of KBC and should be able to hit the ground running when he gets the newsletter’s handlebars in his grasp. Let’s all welcome Rick back on board at KBC as he puts his signature on this important KBC job.

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: FREE Clinic at Gazelle Sports!

Nutrition and weight loss will be discussed by Daryl Prater,

Chiropractic Sports Physician

Thursday, March 13, 7 pm at Gazelle Sports, Downtown Kalamazoo.

The impact of being overweight, lifestyle choices that lead to weight problems, and tools to help you lose weight and keep it off will be covered by Dr. Prater.

- ALSO -

Join Gazelle Sports for Noon Group Walks! Wednesdays, 12:10-12:50 pm

Evening walks begin April 3... Thursdays from 6-7 pm.

Call 342-5996 for more information.


Keith Little has moved ProSport to:

4323 W Michigan Ave

Kalamazoo Mi 49006-5810

It is the building in front of the Ample Pantry. Smaller shop full of stuff. Same fast service. David Middleton, IDSA

Team Active

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

Village Cyclery

US 131 in Schoolcraft, 679-4242

Bicycling Safety Disclaimer

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 Elaine Naegele 269-353-5756
Treasurer Tom Keizer 269-382-4737

Other Important KBC Folks

Database Manager Paul Bruneau 269-343-6016
Newsletter Editor Rick Whaley
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