Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
January, 2009

January 2009 President's Letter

Happy New Years to all Kalamazoo Bicycle Club members. I hope that everyone had a good Holiday season.

A new year brings new opportunities. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club will be beginning its 38th year as an organization. The Club’s membership has been growing. The Club’s presence in the community is growing. Weekday rides have been well attended. The Club is seen as a community resource for bicycling activities. Our balance sheet is strong. All of the Club’s members should feel a sense of pride in our club.

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club does not have a long term plan. Because the club is seen as a bicycling resource in the community, there are many organizations that wish to partner with us. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Board addresses each of these requests on a case by case basis. However, there is no road map for the wishes and desires of the Club for the long term. We need a plan.

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club will be holding a Bike Summit in March to develop a five year plan. This plan will address how the club will best serve its members over the next several years. Does the Club place additional resources into the weekday rides with perhaps additional rides at additional places on additional nights? Does the Club expand its educational programs like Bike Camp? Does the Club sponsor additional racing opportunities? Does the Club sponsor additional touring opportunities? What kinds of organizations and activities should the Club partner with? What direction should the Club take over the next several years? All of these are questions that the Board has struggled with over the past year; only the members have the answers. Your input and participation are needed.

In January, the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club also has the Recovery Party. This year the Recovery Party will be held on January 17th. More details will be found elsewhere in the Pedal Press.

Have a great year on the bike!

Mike Boersma, KBC President

New Social Directors and Secretary in 2009

Two club positions are changing hands in 2009. Our new Social Directors are Janet DeZwaan and Teri Olbrot, and our new Secretary is Bill Figeley. KBC thanks our previous Social Directors, Jelania Haile and Renee Mitchell, and our previous Secretary, Elaine Naegele, for a job well done.

Recovery Party, January 17, 2009

The Recovery Party will be on Saturday, January 17, 2009 from 7:00 P.M. till 10:00 P.M. at a NEW LOCATION this year, the home of John and Teri Olbrot.

Our "wooded retreat" is conveniently located in the Rudgate area of Texas Township, near the corners of 12th Street and Centre. If you take U.S. 131 to the Centre Street exit, you simply turn right, then right again on 12th Street, then a left on Stony Brook and another left onto Burning Tree. The address is 5146 Burning Tree. Since we live in a cul-de-sac, parking may be tight. You might want to consider car pooling, or meeting at Texas Drive Park, which is just a few miles away, and drive in from there. Otherwise, just park on the street and be respectful of driveways.

The house will be on your left, hidden behind some tall pine trees. You will see a long walkway lit with holiday lights through the trees and there will be some kind of icon or sign on the mailbox so you'll know you've arrived at the right house.

Important details: Several varieties of CHILI are on the menu, including vegetarian and meat. Beer, wine, and soft drinks will be provided as well.

Please bring a dish to pass, to correspond with your bike frame as follows:

  • Aluminum frame – bring an appetizer;
  • Carbon frame – bring a salad;
  • Steel frame – bring a dessert.

We would like to put the word out to borrow any COAT RACKS that are available. Please contact Teri at 615-5297.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone and having a great time!

Janet DeZwaan and Teri Olbrot

Discounted 2009 Kal Haven Trail Passes at Recovery Party

The Van Buren County Road Commission has again agreed to sell KBC members discounted seasonal trail and parking passes at the Recovery Party. The rates are as follows:

  • $12.00 individual seasonal trail pass;
  • $32.00 family seasonal trail pass.

That’s a savings of 20% for an individual and about 8% for a family.

KBC members wishing to purchase Kal Haven Trail passes will need to bring either cash (exact amount) or a check to the Recovery Party. No orders for trail passes can be accepted before or after the party. If you want a discount trail pass, you must attend the Recovery Party and pay for the pass at that time. The offer of discounted trail passes is only available to KBC members.

Because the Van Buren County Road Commission decided last year to issue passes based on an April-to-April time frame, the new 2009 passes have not been printed yet and will not be physically available at the Recovery Party. You will be issued a certificate showing that you purchased either a family or individual pass. The first time you visit the Trail after April, simply stop in at the caboose and turn the certificate in for the official pass. Certificates can also be mailed in to VBCRC for redemption, or exchanged at locations where passes are sold.

Questions? Contact Zolton Cohen at zcohen@ameritech.net

KBC Summit Meeting in March

KBC will hold an important meeting in March (date and location yet to be determined) to help determine how the club will function in the coming years. The meeting will be open to the membership, and will focus on how KBC can use its collective energy and capital to encourage the recent upsurge in interest in the use of bicycles for recreation and transportation.

In the collective memories of current club office holders and others with a long-term affiliation with the organization, KBC has never held such a ÒretreatÓ style meeting. Participants will develop ideas and protocols about how the club should use its financial and volunteer resources to best support its constitutional mission statement.

If you would like to have a hand in how KBC might look five years and more down the road; if you want a say in how the club spends its treasury; if you'd like to add your input into how the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club represents itself to the public, then this is the meeting to attend.

More details, including date, time and location will be published in the February 2009 KBC Pedal Press.

Questions? Contact Zolton Cohen at zcohen@ameritech.net

Monthly Meeting Minutes

KBC's monthly meeting took place on Tuesday, December 9, 2008. Mike Boersma, Jim Kindle, Elaine Naegele, Paul Bruneau, Rick Whaley, Jelania Haile, Doug Kirk, Renee Mitchell, and Bill Figeley were in attendance.

Mike welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made. Mike reviewed the Treasurer's report in Tom Keizer's absence.

The Friday night ride was briefly discussed and it was noted that a ride leader will be needed for another Friday night ride that will focus on keeping the group together. The 2009 pre-season ride safety meeting will take place on Friday, March 6, tentatively at the Holiday Inn West, where this meeting was held last year. Doug will contact the Holiday Inn West to reserve the date, and up to $500 was authorized for the room rental, beer, and soda. Although no regular rides are currently taking place, impromptu off-season rides are encouraged and can be announced via the e-mail group at any time.

Paul reported that 22 free memberships were initiated as a result of new bike purchases at local bike shops. Currently, there are 269 members. Jelania will send several data questions to Paul and he will write a report concerning this program.

Bill Figeley agreed to assume the duties as KBC Secretary in 2009. Elaine will assist him in this transition and the KBC website will be updated to reflect this change.

The Recovery Party will be on Saturday, January 17, 2009 at John and Teri Olbrot's home. Details concerning this party appear elsewhere in this Pedal Press.

Renee has set up a few workshops through Portage Community Education. There will be one workshop in February, March, and in April. (Editor's Note: She also brought cookies, which could be an incentive for attending future monthly meetings.)

There will be no KBC meeting in January. The next KBC monthly meeting is scheduled for 7:00 P.M., Tuesday, February 10, 2009, at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. All club members are invited to attend this, and every, meeting.

Elaine Naegele, 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, by the 20th of the month before its intended publication.

For example, if you’d like an article to be published in the Febuary edition (distributed on or around the first of Febuary) have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of January.

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions


New members

Paul Pickard o Richard Doornbos o Kevin Hansen o Anne Saad o John Strombeck

January Expiring memberships:

Aric Bostwick o Mark Bush o Paul Bushnell o Joel Dinda Family o Doug & Kathy Kirk o Paul Knight o Robert Rensch o Mike Vander Meulen

Renewed memberships

Denny Morrison o Keith Boneburg o Michael Boersma o David & Elaine Naegele o Jelania Haile o Edwin Micalizzi o Jeff Dubbeld o Stephanie Sabin o David Gay

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

January's Ride Captain’s Report

Dear KBC Friends:

Hard to believe with the weather we've been having, but this is the time of year when many will want to begin planning and even starting their training for the upcoming season. This is especially true for racers, but it also makes sense for avid tourists, and all those who just want to maintain some basic fitness year round.

While it's always good to take some time off at the end of the season to let both body and mind recover, if we go too long without being active, it becomes that much harder to get going again in the spring. The general rule of thumb for off season fitness is to mix things up a bit, and include some weight-bearing exercise. Work with weights is especially important as we age, as cycling at an intense level can actually cause some calcium loss, and reduction in bone density. Work with weights helps bones remain strong. Walking, skiing (both downhill and especially cross country) and also skating are excellent winter sports that get us out of the house, and complement cycling. Triathletes also often focus on running and swimming.

Finally, this is time for racers - especially newer ones - to be building base mileage. Mike Walden, my coach years ago, used to say the first 1,000 miles of the season should be easy. Only then did he allow us to begin training hard. I know that expert thinking on this has changed over the years, but, in general, BE WARY OF GOING TOO HARD TOO EARLY. To keep my cycling muscles active in the winter I sit on my trainer in front of the TV - not exceeding 70% of my max heart rate for at least a few weeks. Personally, I like to watch bike races; but others I know watch movies, or listen to their iPods. It helps the time pass. Of course, on fine days, it's more fun to go for a road ride.

If you're really serious about having a good racing season, you might also want to consider hooking up with a coach. Several members of our club - including Mark Olson, Cheryl Olson, Jeff Hamilton, and Houston Peterson, offer coaching plans at various levels. Over the years it's been exciting to watch the people they've coached develop and achieve their cycling goals.

Whatever level cycling you personally enjoy, if you spend some time during January and February keeping active and building your base mileage on a trainer, you'll be in good shape to enjoy our early season club rides. They'll be coming around in about 8 weeks!

Meanwhile, see you at the recovery party, and Happy New Year!

Best regards,

Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

Editor's Letter - Let no Riding Mileage be Forgot

What is obsession? I think it's either a men's cologne or women's perfume. But that's not what this letter is going to be about, which is just as well, since my knowledge of the above subject is obviously shaky. Besides, it might be difficult to work this into a letter that is supposed to be related to bicycle riding, although I suppose I could then segue from this topic into a discussion of jersey colors that flatter one's skin tone (are you an "Autumn" cyclist?) and whether or not a striped helmet makes a cyclist's head look fat. But I won't. And since I'm not being paid by the word to write this letter, I'd best get on with the actual subject at hand.

So, the obsession that I'm going to discuss is my end-of-the-year obsession to see how many miles I can put on my bicycle before January 1. This never used to be an obsession. For many years, I rode a bicycle without the aid of a cyclometer; for the sensible reason that it hadn't been invented yet. And even later, I rode on, oblivious, among other things, to the maximum speed that achieved during the course of a ride, figuring that if I really wanted to see how fast I could go, I could just ride my bike off a cliff. But, in the late 1990s, things changed.

I started keeping track of my cycling mileage when I bought what is now my back-up bike in late 1997. At this time, I also bought my first cyclometer. Failing to reset the cyclometer over the winter, by the end of 1998, I noted that I had ridden about 5600 miles, and, relying on my somewhat hazy memory, that about 4800 of them were ridden during 1998. "That's nice," I told myself, and I didn't think much about it again until later in 1999, when I broke the 5000 mile barrier. Then, in November, I realized that if I pushed myself, I might be able to break the 6000 mile barrier, as well. By December, I was at 5973 miles, but as you all well know, December is not exactly prime cycling weather around these parts. For the first couple weeks, the weather was indeed uncooperative, but then I caught a break. One Saturday, the temperature warmed up to the high thirties and so I took advantage of the occasion to weave my way around the slush puddles on the country roads of Kalamazoo and Van Buren County to rack up another 30 miles, pushing my total up to 6003. Then, somewhat anticlimactically, I was able to do the same the next weekend, finishing with 6027 miles for the year.

However, my metamorphosis to an end-of-year mileage obsesser was not yet complete. In 2000, I didn't ride much over 5000 miles and in November 2001, I was faced with the same situation that I had experienced in 1999. "Been there, done that," I told myself, and I did much of my outdoor riding on my non-cyclometer mounted mountain bike during the last couple months of 2001, ending up with about 5840 miles.

My obsession was almost complete in 2002 and 2003. Looking back, 2002 was my Babe Ruthian year of bicycle mileage. Thanks to a relatively mild early part of the year and a more serious training approach to ultramarathon bicycle racing, I broke 7000 miles by late November and then rode outside as much as I could in December, finishing with 7166 miles. Note that, once again, I remembered my mileage to the nearest mile, a trend that has continued through the following years. This was followed in 2003 by 6422 miles, where, once again, we had a mild early part of the year, and where I rode as much as possible through some iffy weather during the last couple months of the year.

I controlled my end-of-the-year mileage demons during my "Dexter, Michigan" years of 2004 through 2007. This was made easier by the fact that I wasn't doing as much riding as I had done in the early 2000s. If I rode over 5000 miles, that was o.k., and I never made any particular effort to push myself in December. By 2008, I thought I had these demons licked for good. But I was wrong, oh so wrong.

Going into December, I had ridden 5675 miles. Due to the fine cycling weather that we had last month, I had accumulated exactly 0 miles of outdoor riding in December, before I went out of town over Christmas. Since I was traveling to the relatively balmy climes of northeast and southwest Ohio, I thought that there might actually be a day or two where I could ride outside and add to my total. However, the weather was better than I thought it would be. By December 30, I had gone on 3 rides for an additional 67 miles and I realized that I was only 53 miles from breaking the 5794 mile barrier. And why was that important? It was because that was the number of miles I rode in 2006, and moving past that number would mean that out of the 11 years that I have kept track of my yearly mileage, 2008 would rank as number 5. In other words, it wasn't very important at all. Except, that I was now officially completely obsessed.

December 30 was a relatively nice day in southwest Ohio with the temperature in the low forties, but I knew that December 31 wasn't going to be as nice, so I planned a loop that would get me within striking distance of 53 miles; riding from Kettering to Yellow Springs to Xenia and back to Kettering, taking advantage of bicycle trails from Yellow Springs to Xenia and from Xenia to Dayton. By the time I finished this loop, I had ridden 46 miles. That left 7 miles to ride on New Year's Eve.

December 31 was not a relatively nice day in southwest Ohio. The temperature was in the 20s, it was windy, and the sky was spitting snow. But I rode the 7 miles, anyway, and tacked on another 7 miles while enjoying several minutes of hard horizontal snow, just so I could break the magical 5800 mile barrier. So, let the record state that I rode 5802 miles in 2008. Whoo-hooo! I'm the man!

On New Year's Day, before heading back to Michigan, my younger brother asked me if I wanted to go riding while several of his friends and he went running. With the wind chill in single digits and the previous day's ride still fresh in my memory, I declined. This seemed like a reasonable decision at the time, and still seems reasonable, even as I type this. But I've got a bad feeling that I may view this missed opportunity to add a few more miles with tears of bitter regret clinging to my frozen cheeks, as I try to eke out another few miles next New Year's Eve. I can only hope not, but I'm not optimistic.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

Alas, there are none.

Classified Ads

For Sale: Early '60's Schwinn bikes, Men's Collegiate 5 speed, Women’s Breeze 5 speed, all original including Schwinn tires! No rust, chrome is immaculate! Some paint blemishes. Collectors would love these, I'd rather sell them to someone local. Call Mike at 385-0196.

Tri-bike, Titanium LightSpeed Catalyst, 56 cm frame, aero bar shifters, 105 Shimano components. $800. Call Mike at 327-0387.

Rockymountain 56cm Solo 30AC, aluminum and carbon (rear-triangle). The bike has 105 10-speed components throughout and Easton EC90SLX carbon fork (330gr); wheels are Richey DS Pro. The bike is in great shape with less than 500 miles on it. Looking to get $1200 or best offer. Call Jeff at 269-965-3560

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, www.Gazellesports.com

TONS of fall and winter apparel STILL on SALE at Gazelle Sports. Don't miss out on the huge savings on Patagonia, The North Face, Horny Toad, Lole, Life is Good and MORE!


4323 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo Mi 49006-5810

Team Active

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

Village Cyclery

US 131 in Schoolcraft, 679-4242

Zoo City Cycle & Sports

4328 South Westnedge, Kalamazoo (269) 552-3000

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
Treasurer Tom Keizer 269-382-4737

Other Important KBC Folks

Database Manager Paul Bruneau 269-343-6016
Newsletter Editor Rick Whaley (269) 324-1577
Ride Captain Knute Jacobson 269-629-0093
Social Director Janet DeZwaan
Social Director Teri Olbrot
Safety and Education Chair Victor VanFleet 269-375-7691
Web Site David Jones

KAL Tour

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