Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
March 2009

March 2009 President’s Letter

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club has undertaken an unprecedented move. Team KBC, the racing team that has been associated with the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club for the past several years lost its primary sponsor due to the rough economic conditions that we have all experienced. The team was unable to find another primary sponsor and so it turned to the club to sponsor it during the 2009 racing season. The financial commitment to be a primary sponsor for the team was $2500. After much questioning, a vote was taken to commit the money and for the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club to become the primary sponsor of Team KBC.

This move is consistent with the aims of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club. As stated in its constitution, the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club's purpose is as follows:


The purpose of the Club shall be 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.


The Club will continue to undertake all of its historical activities. The focus of the KBC will continue to be on its weekday rides, the KalTour, Bike Camp, the BTR Race, and bicycle advocacy in the community. Team KBC has committed itself to be active in the activities of the KBC. The KBC will not become race or racer focused - the KBC will continue to be focused on all of its members.

The KBC ride season is also fast approaching. The official start of the ride season is on Monday, March 9. A pre-season ride meeting is set for 7:00 P.M. Friday, March 6, at the Holiday Inn-West, 2747 S. 11th Street (Stadium Drive and 11th Street in Oshtemo). Please attend so that we can have everyone sign the insurance paperwork, have a safety briefing, and get some free beer.

Mike Boersma, KBC President

KBC Road Ride Pre-Season Meeting

Reminder - As noted in the President’s Letter, the KBC Road Ride Pre-Season meeting will be held on Friday, March 6 at 7:00 P.M. If you ride any of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Monday through Friday group rides or are interested in doing so, we hope that you will attend this meeting.

KBC Summit Meeting

If you have an interest in KBC's future - and in the value of bicycling in general - this meeting offers an opportunity to speak about which direction you would like the club to take.

On Saturday, March 21, starting at 9:00 A.M., KBC will hold its first open meeting to solicit member opinions about how the club spends its money and what activities it is involved in.

The meeting will be held at the ReMax of Kalamazoo office building, 1517 South Park Street, in Kalamazoo. Refreshments will be provided.

Two major issues will be addressed:
  1. Developing a standard protocol for proposed project funding from the club's treasury.
  2. Noting all the club's current activities and talking about plans for the club's future.

Meeting planners Celine Keizer and Zolton Cohen will monitor the session, with the goal of coming away with ideas and a course of action to present to the KBC Board of Directors.

For the purposes of planning space requirements and food ordering, please contact Zolton Cohen at zcohen@ameritech.net if you can attend this meeting. Questions can be addressed to the same e-mail.

Zolton Cohen and Celine Keizer

Monthly Meeting Minutes

KBC's monthly meeting took place on Tuesday, February 10, 2009. Mike Boersma, Jim Kindle, Mike Krischer, Rick Whaley, Renee Mitchell, Bill Figeley, Greg Lawford, Mark Bush, John Ballema, Brent Liedeke, Darryl Dolby, Keith Little, Ed Micolizzi, Tom Keizer, Celine Keizer, Zolton Cohen, David Jones, and Chris Barnes were in attendance.

Mike Boersma welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made. Tom gave the Treasurer's report, noting that we had $745.31 in income and $668.80 in expenses during the last 2 months.

Greg reported that the BTR race is seeking a contract with Western Michigan for up to 3 years. The race is planned to be on Saturday, July 11.

This year's Bike Camp was briefly discussed. The orientation meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 12 and the camp will be held on the following 5 Saturdays from May 16 through June 13. Volunteers from KBC are needed.

Zolton and Celine gave an update concerning the planned KBC Bike Summit meeting. It will be held on Saturday, March 21 from 9:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss strategic long term planning for the club. (Editor's Note: Further details about this meeting appear elsewhere in this issue of the Pedal Press.)

Mike Krischer gave a brief update of the KalTour ride. It will be held on Sunday, July 12. Volunteers are needed. Greg stated that the cycling racing team members will be available as volunteers.

Greg discussed the future of the bicycling racing team. While the team has retained some of their minor sponsors, the team lost the sponsorship of Little Caesars Pizza, their primary sponsor. The team made several proposals to businesses in the area, but has been unable to find a new primary sponsor. As a result, Greg asked if KBC would be interested in providing temporary primary sponsorship for the team. He noted that the team does not intend this to be a long-term sponsorship. He also noted that all of the racing team members are members of KBC and that the team members have also helped other KBC members with their riding and have volunteered at various events. He requested that KBC donate $2500 for sponsorship, the bulk of the money to be used for providing the yearly new uniforms for the 20 members of the team. He stated that if KBC were to become the primary sponsor, the new uniforms would feature the KBC logo prominently in the portion of the front and back of the racing jersey. Considerable discussion followed this request. The consensus was that while there was some concern about the amount of the request, the cycling racing team is a valuable resource for cycling community. Zolton made a motion to support this request, Jim seconded it, and the vote carried by a vote of “aye.” Greg will develop a proposed design for the new uniforms and will present it to several members of the club for their input. Zolton and Mike B. also requested that team provide monthly updates about their activities to the Pedal Press during the racing season.

Chris reported that he has been in contact with the Boys and Girls Club of Hastings, Michigan about some bikes that the club has that are in need of repair. He asked for help from KBC to repair these bikes and get them on the road, perhaps in the form of a repair “work day” by the club. Chris will continue to work on this and will report back to the club.

There was consensus by members of the club that the Winter Recovery Party was a success and that a thank you note should be sent to John and Teri Olbrot for hosting this event. (Editor's note: This note was sent later in the month.)

The next KBC monthly meeting is scheduled for 7:00 P.M., Tuesday, March 10, 2009, at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. All club members are invited to attend this, and every, meeting.

Bill Figeley, 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, fswhaley@comcast.net by the 20th of the month before its intended publication.

For example, if youíd like an article to be published in the April edition (distributed on or around the first of March), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of March.

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions


New members

Alan Dowdy • Rod Mason • Luke Miller • James Murray

Febuary Expiring memberships:

Julie Birman • Rich Deluca • Darryl Dolby • Fred Doyle • Brad Fry • Marilyn Hasfurther • John Hostetler Family • John Meyers • Brian Seel • Paul Stevens Family

Renewed memberships

Jim Eckert Family • Mike VanderMeulen • Mark McShane • Richard Szwaja

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

March Ride Captain’s Report

Dear KBC Friends:

Hard to believe with all the snow still on the ground, but, as I write, we've got only two and a half weeks until our ride season is supposed to start.

That's right - we're planning to begin this year as soon as we switch to Daylight Savings Time. That means our first regularly scheduled ride will be Monday, March 9th, leaving from Texas Township Park – providing, of course, that the roads are clear.

As we get started again this spring, there are several things to keep in mind:
 –March rides will begin at 5:30 P.M.
 –Probably only the more "hard core" rides will riding in March, as the people who tend to get out that early in the season are racers and triathletes (or just plain insane).
 –At this time of year, it's best to layer your clothing. That gives lots of options for last minute adjustments as necessitated by the changing weather.
 –And, please remember the "Ten Minute Rule" - on chilly days, you should dress so as to be a bit too cool for the first ten minutes of your ride; that way you won't overheat once you get warmed up.
 –If you want to ride when the temperature is below 50 degrees, foot warmers (booties) are very helpful, and so are many of the new technical cycling garments that wick away perspiration, and help keep you warm and dry.
 –Pros train in tights until it's at least 65 degrees, so, if you like your knees, don't feel a need to imitate the guys who ride in shorts when it's 35 outside.
 –Please remember also always to bring a spare tube, patch kit, and pump.
 –An ID is also a necessity, with any medical information. I pack my tube, patches, and ID together in a small baggie that fits in a jersey pocket.

Finally, here are some tips for early season safety:
 –Be cautious - it's been a while since we did much pack riding together.
 –Be courteous - we're all teammates on these rides.
 –Observe our early season gear limit of 75". We ask everyone to do this. That's a 53x19 or 39x14 as your maximum gear.
 –Don't use aero bars in the pack.
 –Don't overlap wheels.

We'll talk about some of this at the pre-season ride meeting at which there will also be FREE BEER!

Having not recognized some of you at bike shops recently without your helmets on, I look forward to seeing everyone in bike gear real soon!

Happy riding!

Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

Editor’s Letter – A Stormy Love Affair

About this time of year, I'm usually reading a lot about bicycle love. No, Dear Abby hasn't gotten weirder than usual; it's just that this is when many among us contemplate the arrival of spring, when a young (and old) man's fancy turns to thoughts of a new bicycle. Bicycle magazines know this feeling well, and so they tempt us with the latest in two wheeled eye candy, spread across page after page as far as the hand can turn, lacking only a centerfold. And who among us can eventually fail to resist temptation? Not me.
I don't buy bicycles very often. My 1980 Fuji served me well for 17 years. I remember showing up to my first Monday night ride in 1997 with my trusty rusty frame bike, complete with toe clips and a bicycle rack. Maybe this newbie was paranoid, but I seem to recall some sidelong glances at this seemingly on its way to the junkyard almost 30 pound bike, ridden by a man wearing a t-shirt to complement his cycling shorts. Although I managed to stay up with the group that I was riding with, it soon became apparent to me that I needed an upgrade. So, later that summer I bought a new bike. It was all steely and shiny and blue, and during the first few months after I bought it, I used to wander out to my garage from time to time, just to stare at it. I was smitten.
This bike also served me well over the years. However, during these years, I also replaced nearly every component, except for the frame and the handlebars, sometimes with components of lesser quality. Finally, the carbon fork cracked early last year, and after replacing it with a cheaper and heavier steel fork, I knew that the time had come for me to buy a new bike. And so, I did.
Due to what could either be construed as an act of loyalty or poverty of imagination, I bought the same make and model bicycle that I had before. However, this was not the same bicycle, no, not at all. My old frame was steel, this was carbon; my old top tube ran parallel to the ground, this top tube sloped; my old rear shifter had 8 speeds, this had 10 speeds; and my old bike weighed 21 pounds, this weighed 18 pounds. And it wasn't blue, either.
I very soon discovered that my new bike didn't handle the same as my old bike. This was brought home to me, when, soon after the start of the Wednesday night half-fast ride, I braked rather hard while riding down a hill on G Avenue, and sent my bike into a speed wobble. Vibrating like a man who had just shotgunned a six-pack of Red Bull, two thoughts sprang into my head. The first was "You are NOT going to wreck a bike you've had for only five days!" The second was, "Stop braking and clamp the top tube between your knees, you idiot!!" And so, I did, and the wobbling stopped, but it also made me realize that I definitely had to learn some things about how to ride this bike.
So, during the next few months, I did learn some things about riding my new bicycle, but they were rather hard lessons. I learned that a light frame is very overrated when riding in a strong crosswind. I learned that my new bike was quite responsive compared to my old bike, but that one man's "responsive" is another man's "twitchy." I learned that, while my new bike was a pleasure to ride uphill, it was certainly not a boon for my already cautious downhill descending ways, although I suspect that those shimmying, shimmering memories had something to do with this. In short, my new bicycle was a complicated ride.
During these months, I also heard my internal voice, which is apparently a mixture of Spanish, Italian, French, and Martian ancestry, saying things like "Oh, my biceekul, she ees lahk ah beooteeful hwhomon, praud aund headstreerong, but, oh, so reespoonseeve to zee toucha." (And let the record state that smoke started pouring out of my computer while spell checking that last sentence.) But as proud and headstrong and beautiful as my new bike was, I also found that I wasn't wandering out to my garage just to gaze at it, either."
So, where do I stand with regard to my not-as-new bicycle, 10 months and 4600 or so miles later? Although I am not at all close to doing the equivalent of breaking up with my bicycle, if I ever do so, I will tell it that "It's not you, it's me." Because this bicycle has helped me to realize that one should be careful about what he wishes for; I suspect that this will be the lightest and most nimble handling bicycle that I ever own. Sometimes, I even think that my bike is just too fast for me, which might be as heretical as thinking that my wallet is just too fat for me. Nevertheless, my bicycle and I will continue our stormy love affair, and when the weather gets warmer, I'm sure that we'll be spending lots of quality time with each other, trysting the day away.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

Maybe next month. . .

Classified Ads

NEW Miyata "City Runner" bicycle is a very nice 18 gear (triple chainring) hybrid... excellent condition all around. Comfortable Serfas saddle, excellent tires. Spring is coming. $190. To request a photo, call Dale at 269-375-0114, dalekrueger@charter.net

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

Billyís 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,

THEY'RE HERE! Pick up your Gazelle Sports Event Calendar at a Gazelle Sports near you. The 2009 edition features a few of your favorite bike buddies. Check it out!


ProSport has closed to relocate. Keith Little is still available for repairs and tune-ups. He has used bikes and 2008 Bianchis to close-out. Please call for appointment at (269) 372-7312. Bikes can be picked up and returned for repairs.

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 youíre 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 Bill Figeley
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