Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
April 2009

April 2009 President’s Letter

I have heard two recurring messages from folks who bicycled when they were young and who do not bicycle today. First, they have very favorable reminiscences of their experiences riding to school and around town on their bikes. Second, that as adults, they fear riding on the roads and they fear letting their children ride bikes anywhere but on a bike trail.

There are many reasons for fearing to ride a bike on road. Many motorists do not drive predictably around cyclists. Many cyclists do not ride predictably on the road. Many roads are not designed so that automobiles and cyclists can safely share them.

Safety is one reason given by some policy makers in Kalamazoo County for not wanting to fund bicycle projects. If the roads are better, their concern is that more people will ride bikes resulting in more car-bike issues. Or, they think that the only safe bike facilities are trails, which are exceedingly expensive, and take money from road projects. Somehow the idea that roads can be safe for both cars and bikes seems alien to some folks who have the power to spend our tax money.

We at the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club cannot wave a magic want and fix dangerous roads, dangerous motorists, and dangerous bicyclists overnight. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club does have an excellent bike education program in Bike Camp. I encourage EVERYONE in the KBC to spread the word about Bike Camp.

We at the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club can also be examples of good on road bicycling technique. We can ride two abreast on the right of the road. We can stop at traffic control devices. We can ride boringly predictably. The community does think that all cyclists who wear Lycra are members of the KBC. Let's give them a good example.

Mike Boersma, KBC President

Wish-A-Mile 300 Bicycle Tour

The Wish-A-Mile 300 mile ride for Make-A-Wish. . . One of the best rides in Michigan in support of one of the great causes in Michigan!

This coming July, how would you like to ride a fully-supported 3-day bike tour in lovely Northern Michigan, ride with some wonderful, energetic people, come away with a colorful jersey, and also help out a worthy cause - all at the same time?

What is Make-A-Wish and Wish-A-Mile?
Make-A-Wish is a non-profit charitable foundation that makes wishes come true for children with life-threatening diseases. Since its inception, Make-A-Wish has granted over 170,000 wishes to kids - at a rate that today is a wish granted every 40 minutes.

In Michigan, a significant part of the Make-A-Wish fund-raising strategy is the "Wish-A-Mile (WAM) 300." Each year in July, up to 800 riders converge on Traverse City for the start of a 3-day, 300 mile ride from Traverse City to Chelsea to raise money for Make-A-Wish foundation. This past year, riders and volunteers raised $1.6 million for the charity - amounting to 200 wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Tell me more about the ride. . .
It's a 3-day, 300-mile ride that begins in the Traverse City area and ends in Chelsea. The route and stops can vary from year to year, but in 2008, we had overnights at Traverse City West Middle School (the night before the ride), Ferris State University in Big Rapids, and at DeWitt High School just north of Lansing. Day 1 was 86 miles, Day 2 was 114 miles, and Day 3 was an even 100 miles. Though the distance is long, you have your choice of pace and rest stops.

When is the WAM Ride?
July 23-26, 2009. We gather at Chelsea, MI on the morning of July 23, where you, your luggage, and bike will be transported up to Traverse City the afternoon before Day 1. We conclude the ride back in Chelsea the afternoon of July 26, with a "Heroes Hurrah" celebration and a wonderful meal.

How is the ride supported?
Your every need will be very well taken care of by an army of volunteer support staff. Your luggage is transported by truck to your destination for that day, and you have the option of sleeping in the facility, camping outside, or renting a nearby hotel room for the night. There is never a shortage of food, snacks, or hydration - there are stops placed every 10 to 15 miles along the route, with massage therapy available at many stops. A hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served every day. SAG wagon support is provided throughout the route every day, along with repair and tune-up services at most rest stops and at every daily destination.

Do I have to complete the full 300 miles?
Every rider hopes to do the full 300, but for a variety of reasons, that sometimes doesn't happen. That's why the SAG wagons are there if you need them.

How can I participate?
If you're interested in supporting Make-A-Wish and the WAM ride, there are lots of ways to participate: as a rider, as a volunteer, or as a donor.

If you're interested in riding in the WAM, you can join one of several Kalamazoo teams, register as an individual, or even start a new team. To register, go to www.wishmich.org/Page.aspx?pid=442 and choose a team. The registration cost is $95.00 which includes a Make-A-Wish riding jersey, t-shirt, and all meals and snacks for the 3-day ride. You are expected to raise a minimum $850 in contributions to qualify for the ride. (This is easier than it sounds; the WAM web site helps you set up a contribution page and sends your pledge request to a custom-made e-mail list of your generous friends, families, and colleagues.)

If the thought of a 300 mile bike ride isn't for you, you can still participate by volunteering - to help drive SAG vehicles, work food service, load/unload luggage from the trucks, etc. Go to www.wishmich.org/Page.aspx?pid=505. Or, if you just want to donate, go to www.wishmich.org/Page.aspx?pid=445.

Will I know anyone else that's going?
A number of KBC members and Kalamazoo/Battle Creek area riders have participated each year in the WAM, including Bill Braun, Jim Kindle, Tom Noverr, Jamie Clark, Dave and Elaine Naegele, Dave Karnes, Heather Haydo, and Gary Brooks Area employers including Eaton and Kellogg have a significant number of participants. And, you'll have dozens of new friends and riding companions when you're done! There are also established Kzoo/BC-area teams that you can join:

The Eaton Road Warriors is about 50 riders composed of Eaton employees, spouses, family and friends. Most are from the Kalamazoo area. Eaton is the primary sponsor of the WAM 300, and has nearly a 20-year history with Make-a-Wish. As an Eaton Road Warriors member, you'll also get an Eaton WAM cycling jersey.

Team Taylor was formed in 2008 by Rob Grainger in honor of his daughter Taylor Grainger. Taylor was a Wish Kid who passed away in May 2008 before receiving her wish to swim with dolphins. Team Taylor has plans to double its size from 20 to 40 in 2009. As a Team Taylor member, you'll receive a Team Taylor t-shirt, ball cap, and custom riding jersey (approx $60 for the kit).

Team or not? Which team?
If you join the Eaton Road Warriors or Team Taylor for the WAM, you'll get oriented and integrated into the WAM event much faster and better than on your own, with team support and bonding from rookies and veterans alike. Both teams hold orientation sessions, training rides leading up to the WAM, and generally stick together for the ride in several packs of varying speeds. The teams also generally camp and eat together.

Eaton and Taylor are two great teams united for one great cause. We're happy to have you join whichever team feels right for you

More questions about the ride?
You can ask any of a several KBC members that have participated in the rides, including Bill Braun, Jim Kindle, Tom Noverr, Jamie Clark, Dave and Elaine Naegele, Dave Karnes, Heather Haydo, and Gary Brooks. We'd be happy to tell you more. Also, you can check out the Make-a-Wish website at www.wishmich.org. You can also visit the Team Taylor site at www.rideteamtaylor.com which has Taylor's story and pictures and video from the 2008 ride. You can contact Rob Grainger through this website with any questions.

Why support Make-A-Wish?
There are so many worthy charities, and it would be difficult to argue that Make-A-Wish is any more or less worthy or important than any other. What is special about Make-A-Wish is that it is able to grant wishes to kids and their families that represent a day or a week of peace and joy away from the life-threatening illnesses; away from doctors, needles, chemo, angst and pain. If the Make-A-Wish mission touches your heart for some reason, consider joining us for the WAM Ride.

What Makes the WAM 300 ride so great?
From the first mile, you are struck by the sight of so many individual souls united in one common effort, toward one common goal. Though the ride is not a race, there is a sense of urgency - to grant as many kid's wishes as possible - as soon as possible - because some of them are truly in a race for their lives.

Every morning at the crack of dawn, a rider named Kevin saddles up before everyone else and takes off - at a deliberate pace - down the well-marked road for the next leg of the WAM. His ride is a "trike," because Kevin is challenged by cerebral palsy that allows him only the use of one arm and one leg. As you pass Kevin later that morning, you realize that the 100 miles you'll ride that day are a minor challenge compared to what Kevin faces day after day. Kevin is not riding to inspire anyone - he's just riding for the Wish Kids like the rest of us.

Your ride is dedicated to a particular Wish Kid, and at the end of the ride, you'll meet him or her at the Heroes Hurrah. Everyone in the WAM Ride, whether a rider or supporter, comes away from it touched by the heroism of the kids you're riding for, and personally inspired by the heroic effort you just made to help grant their wish. Many former Wish Kids and their family participate in the WAM as riders and ride supporters.

Join us! For the challenge, for the fun, for the camaraderie, for the blisters, but above all - for the kids. Join us - please.

Don Alles and Bill Braun

Sports Education Camp

The 22nd annual Sports Education Camp (SEC) for youth who are blind or visually impaired is being held May 6-8, 2009. Again this year, we will have tandem biking as one of the many events at the SEC! In the past five years or so, tandem biking has been the most popular event!! Now, that is not surprising, right?

I am looking for volunteers from the KBC who are willing to "captain" a tandem. Other than being able to ride a bike, no previous experience is necessary. We do have a number of tandem bikes for our captains to ride; so even if you do not own your own tandem, come on out!!

The dates and times for our rides are as follows:
Wednesday, May 6, 7:00 P.M to 9:00 P.M.
This ride includes our first year athletes.

Thursday, May 7, 7:00 P.M. to 9:15 P.M.
This ride includes our more experienced athletes.

Friday, May 8, 7:00 P.M. to 9:30 P.M.
This ride is a competition ride.

All rides will be held at the WMU Parkview campus (a beautiful place to ride) and will occur rain or shine. If rain occurs, we will ride in the Parkview parking ramp.

If you are interested and available to ride, please contact:
Sherry Gordon, SEC tandem coordinator.
Home: (269) 383-4144.
Cell: (269) 599-9391.
E-mail: sdgordon78@sbcglobal.net

Thanks to all the captains who have volunteered in the past and also to those who will ride this year!

Sherry Gordon

Special Weekend Ride Leaders – Volunteers Needed

KBC is looking for special weekend ride leaders.

This year, Rick Whaley's famous "straight as an arrow" W Ride kicks off our list of special rides. At the tail end of the season, we have the Club Picnic Ride and the Fall Color Ride. In between, we hope to have the Old Car Festival Ride, the Ride to South Haven, and the County Century.

What we need to make these rides happen are individuals willing to step forward and act as leader. Maps are available, and these rides typically move at an 18-19 mph pace. The Old Car Festival Ride takes place in June, the Ride to South Haven takes place in July and the County Century takes place in August.

If you are interested in leading one of these rides, either as an individual, or as part of a team, please contact Knute Jacobson at hkj@jasnetworks.net.


Knute Jacobson

The 9th Annual W Ride

Mark your calendars with a straight line, of course. The 9th annual W Ride will take place on Saturday, April 25 at 9:00 A.M.

We’ll start at the east parking lot of Vicksburg High School, and actually head south for about 20 yards, before riding west to the Van Buren County line. Then, it’s back to Vicksburg, where we’ll pause for drinks and snacks before continuing east to the Calhoun County line. Finally, we’ll turn around and ride back to Vicksburg, and actually head north for the last 20 yards. Ride across Kalamazoo County twice and on only one road! 48 miles of worry free riding for the directionally challenged!

The speed for the main group of riders, lead by Rick Whaley, will probably be around 17 to 19 mph. But other groups of riders are welcome to ride at any speed they like. Check this ride off of your Bucket List and come join us!

Sign Up for KBC Online Group and Forum

One of the topics discussed at the recent Bike Summit meeting was the issue of communication within the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club. Other than the monthly Pedal Press newsletter, for more immediate dissemination and response of information, there are two choices: the club’s YahooGroup, and Joe Kucharski’s KBC forum. You must be a KBC member to post to these two online entities.

There are four easy ways to get on the KBC YahooGroup:

  1. Send an email to: KBC-general-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.
  2. Go here: http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/KBC-general/ and press the "Join this group!" button.
  3. Send Paul Bruneau an e-mail at databasemgr@kalamazoobicycleclub.orgrequesting that he sign you up.
  4. Go to the yahoo group page on our site: http://kalamazoobicycleclub.org/info/yahoogroups.php to sign up there.

To sign onto the KBC forum:
Go to http://kbcforum.bigforumpro.com. Joe will get an e-mail asking him to activate your membership on the forum. After Joe activates the account, you can start posting on the forum.

A final note: When you’re starting or renewing a membership, there is a checkbox on the KBC new or renewing membership form that you can check if you want to be automatically signed up for the YahooGroup.

Zolton Cohen

Monthly Meeting Minutes

KBC's regular monthly meeting took place at 7 P.M. on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. In attendance were Mike Boersma, Renee Mitchell, Mike Krischer, Victor Van Fleet, Terry O'Connor, David Jones, Mark Ackley, Celine Keizer, Tom Keizer, Zolton Cohen, Rick Whaley, and Knute Jacobson were in attendance.

After introductions, President Mike Boersma started the meeting by describing the WMU/BTR race planning meeting he attended recently. The race will take place on July 11 this year. Mike B. said the race represents a good opportunity for WMU to showcase its business park, and is a boon for cycling in the region.

Treasurer Tom Keizer gave the Treasurer’s report. Expenses were $2500.00 for February; and $173.58 for income. There is $15, 810.71 in the club treasury.

Terry O'Connor spoke about his concern with an action that took place at last month's meeting, where the KBC Race Team was granted $2,500 of the club’s treasury for operating expenses. Terry said he thought a request of that size warranted more advance notice so there could be discussion about whether it is wise to devote so much of the club's resources to fund just one aspect of the club's mission.

Zolton Cohen responded that Greg Lawford, KBC Race Team director, had made it clear at the last meeting that coming to the club for the funding request was the team's last available option. Their major sponsor had declined to help the team this year, and efforts to find another were unsuccessful. Those failed attempts to identify a new sponsor were, in part, the reason the team came to the club so late with their request. Greg also noted that he expects this to be a one-time appeal, and that the team should be able to come up with another major sponsor next year.

Terry also asked if the design of the Race Team's jersey could be altered, perhaps by using different colors and lettering, so club members who are not a part of the team could purchase one. He pointed out that ordering more than a hundred jerseys would likely yield a reduction in the price. Mike B. said he would check with Greg to see if that would be possible.

Victor Van Fleet mentioned that he would like to be assured that the club got a good return on its expenditure of money for the race team.

Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain, said he would like to see the club spend more of its treasury (approximately $15,000 remaining) to fund biking-related activities that do not necessarily involve racing. KBC, Knute said, is a club that includes many different types of riders, and he feels the club’s treasury is large enough that other types of ride activities could be supported financially.

Renee Mitchell preported for the Bike Camp 2009 Committee that brochures for Bike Camp have been printed, and that new volunteer Ed Mizalizzi has distributed them to all local bike shops and other sport-related stores and health clubs. Renee also said the Committee will publicize a request for volunteers once the needs of this latest version of Bike Camp have been evaluated.

Celine Keizer detailed plans for the upcoming Bike Summit meeting on Saturday, March 21st (which will have occurred by the time this Pedal Press reaches KBC members). Celine said the agenda has been whittled down to two important items: establishing a grant funding procedure that measures requests for funding against the club's mission statement, and talking about the club's long-term planning in terms of where KBC wants to put its energies in the future.

Terry mentioned that he would like see included at the Bike Summit meeting a discussion regarding not just the matter of how the club spends its money, but also how the club generates income. The latter could include membership fees and registration for events like KalTour.

Mike Krischer, co-chair of the KalTour Committee reported that he and the other co-chair, Dave Bishop, have been meeting and starting to organize KalTour 2009. KalTour is slated for July 12 this year.

Mike K. said that because of the current difficult financial circumstances countrywide, he would like to see KalTour do more local marketing. Dave and Mike K. expect that fewer riders will be willing to travel very far to attend events like KalTour. Mike K. said KalTour flyers are about to be printed and will be sent to riders who rode in the last 3 to 5 KalTours. They will also be made available at local bike shops and sporting stores. He will also contact Alive After Five, the Ambucs organization that provides tricycles to needy disabled people in the community (and a recipient of some of the club's funding last year), to see if they could help market KalTour to their list of donors.

Knute spoke about his desire to get more "tour-type" rides on the KBC riding schedule. Anyone interested in starting up such a ride is welcome to contact him for information about how to start such a ride. He also noted that new rides need to be "vetted" for insurance purposes, as the KBC insurance policy covers riders only on KBC-sanctioned rides. Discussion followed, focusing on the necessity of having someone – or several people – step up to organize and lead rides. Knute said that several popular KBC weekend rides have not taken place in recent years due to the lack of a ride leader. KBC newsletter editor Rick Whaley, however, said that the "W Ride" is still on for this year. More information on that to follow.

Victor expressed his opinion that KBC should concentrate on making KBC rides more "sociable," and geared toward out-of-condition people.

League of American Bicyclists "League Cycling Instructor" graduate Renee Mitchell will put her knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, the sport to work by hosting workshops on Safe Cycling at the Portage Community Education Center, 1010 West Milham Road, Portage. The first of the sessions is scheduled for March 18, the next on April 27. Cost is $15 per person; $25 for families. More information on these workshops is available at www.PPSCommEd.org.

Respectfully submitted, Zolton Cohen, in lieu of Secretary Bill Figeley


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

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions:


New members:

Sue Bourget • Adam Coles • Anna Coles • Peter Coles • Stephen Coles • Nyree DiBenedetto • Jason Goodin • William Kennenberg • John Landosky • Shawn MacInnis • Dawn Merritt • Bob Murav • Julie Ryan • Justin Sprung • Mark Wahl • Matt Wright

April Expiring memberships:

Regina Britton • Tom Cross Family • Hendrik de Vries • Jonathan & Terra Engelman • Michelle Goodenough • Jim Hainen • Deborah Harsha • Kathy Hoard • Matthew Hollander • Chris "Cricket" Howard & Katy Jackson • Bruce Martin • Pattijean McCahill • Michael McPhilamy • Shawn Messenger • Carolyn Molhoek • Greg Petty • Michael Regenold • Jeff Robertson Family • Corrine Sallaz • Aaron & Jody Stanley Family • Dan Van Sweden Family • Toni VanderPloeg • Doug Weldon • Rebecca Wiedmayer • Ken Willer • John Wunderlin

Renewed memberships:

Doug & Kathy Kirk • Michele Cudahy and Dave De Back • Susan H. Peterson • Victor Van Fleet • Brad Fry • Timothy Stewart • Jim Cupper • Darryl Dolby • Joel Dinda Family • Mark Bush • Amy Berg • Mark Ackley • Alan Dowdy

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

LCI Corner - Be Safe, Smart, and Share!

As spring approaches, the weather warms, and roads clear, we are all excited to get back out on that wonderful piece of two-wheeled machinery (or three) known as bikes (or trikes). As more and more cyclists are hitting the roads, it’s important to be reminded of the rules we need to follow and the courtesies we need to afford to other drivers on the road whether we’re on a bike or driving our cars. As KBC members it is our duty to know and follow the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists, to set a good example in our communities, and to share this knowledge with others.

As a bicycle rider, in all states, you are accorded all the rights and assume all the duties of a vehicle driver; your bicycle is your vehicle. Listed below are some general rules of the road that I know we all are familiar with, but it’s always a good refresher, especially in the spring when it’s been awhile since we rode last.

Bicycles are a part of traffic:

  • First come, first served – Yield to vehicles that are there first.
  • Yield to crossing traffic – Traffic on minor roads, driveways and alleys yield to traffic on more major roads, unless otherwise indicated.
  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road with the flow of traffic. Riding against traffic puts you in positions on the road where other drivers don’t expect you, makes it impossible for you to read signs and signals, and increases the risk of an accident.
  • Intersection positioning – Position yourself in the right-most lane that goes in the direction you are traveling.
  • Lane positioning – Position yourself according to the direction you are traveling. Right turners are to the right of center, left turners are to the left of center, and straight-through cyclists are between these positions.
  • Speed positioning – Position yourself relative to the speed of other traffic. The left-most lane is for fastest moving traffic, the right-most for slower traffic.
Follow Traffic Laws:
  • Obey traffic control devices – Stop signs, stop lights, and lane markings.
  • Use hand signals to let pedestrians, other cyclists, and motor vehicle drivers know your intention to stop or turn.
  • Ride no more than 2 abreast – Be courteous and single up when there are cars back.
  • Anticipate hazards and adjust your position in traffic accordingly. About 50% of all bicycle crashes are falls, often caused by road surface hazards (potholes, railroad tracks, storm grates, sand, gravel, etc.).
  • Ride in a straight line, not in and out of parked cars on the side of the street/road.
Ride safely:
  • Scan, signal, and then move into the adjacent lane when clear. Scanning and signaling informs motorists and other cyclists of your intentions.
  • Plan ahead at intersections – Signal and make lane changes early. Ride at least 3 feet away from parked cars (1 yardstick) to avoid being hit by a surprise open door. Don’t ride in the door zone!
  • Take the entire lane if traveling the same speed as traffic or in a narrow lane.
  • Be visible – Ride in or near a travel lane where drivers are looking and wear bright clothing.

There’s an increasing amount of tension between cyclists and motorists, as more cyclists are on the roads. Let’s do our part by following traffic laws and practicing safe and smart cycling principles in an effort to reduce this tension. Always remember: "Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles" (Effective Cycling, John Forrester).

Be safe, smart, and share!

Renee Mitchell :-), League Cycling Instructor #2000

April Ride Captain’s Report

Dear KBC Friends:

Beginning this first week of April, all our regularly scheduled evening club rides will be beginning at 6:00 P.M.

With the new, later start times, the rides will likely be bigger, and more of our regularly offered rides will be occurring. That is great news for us who are looking forward to spring and seeing our cycling friends again.

It also means that we need to be a little extra cautious for the first few weeks, as many of us will not have ridden in a group since the end of last season, and our pack skills may be a bit rusty. As always, please be courteous and considerate of your fellow riders, riding predictably, not overlapping wheels, not using aero bars in the pack, and making sure to call out potholes and debris left in the roads by the winter weather.

As the season begins, let me also take the opportunity to urge us all to make a point of riding in compliance with Michigan state law, which requires us to ride no more than two abreast, and as far to the right as is practicable. It also requires us to stop at stop signs. While most of our groups make a point of do all these things already, they bear repeating, since the public image of our club is tarnished when we fail to ride in the way the law requires. Let's encourage one another to ride responsibly, and make that part of our club ethic.

As the new season starts, let me also applaud the growing interest there seems to be in our club in starting some additional, more touring oriented rides.

Over the years, I've loved touring myself, having done a few LMB tours with my son Paul, as well as many century rides. As I mentioned at the pre-season club meeting at the Holiday Inn, I'm happy to help advertise new rides and work with new ride leaders. The way to facilitate that is to send me information about your ride via e-mail. If you have questions about what makes a club ride "official," please send those along too.

Finally, to that end, I will be working with Zolton and some others to develop a new list of guidelines for our current ride leaders. I expect to have them posted on our club website within a few weeks. All our rides are a little different, but there are certain things we look for in all of them, and we hope these new guidelines will be useful. We want our ride leaders to be clear about their "job descriptions."

It's been great seeing many of you on the early season rides, at the pre-season ride meeting, and at the Bike Summit during the past few weeks. Especially at the Summit, I was reminded of how many dedicated and talented individuals we have giving of their time and energy to make our club the great organization that it is. Thanks to you all very much! The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club has been a great organization to be part of, and I hope we have a safe and terrific 2009 season together.

Best regards,

Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

Editor’s Letter –Goals are Good

In hockey, soccer, and even in life, it's good to have goals. For example, one of my goals each morning is to walk to the bathroom after waking up. Without that goal, I’d probably end up wandering aimlessly around my bedroom and bumping into furniture, which is hardly a productive way to start the day.
However, when it comes to cycling, I've found that I seldom set explicit goals at the start of each cycling season. I usually have a few vague goals, but most of the time, I take the season as it comes. I like to think of this as a display of a refreshing openness to spontaneous cycling adventures on my part, but I suppose that in that same spirit, I could think of my past procrastinations about seeing a doctor as a refreshing openness to spontaneous medical adventures. So, this year, I’ve decided to be a bit more focused with regard to my goals and I thought I present a few of them below. Some are more realistic than others, but all of them are obtainable. Who knows, some of them may be similar to yours (which may not necessarily be a good thing).

  • Ride at least 5000 miles outside in 2009. Since I’ve been able to do this every year since 1999, this shouldn't be too hard. I could set a more challenging mileage goal, but a more challenging goal could adversely affect my next goal, which is to . . .
  • Avoid riding while it's snowing on New Year’s Eve in order to achieve a mileage goal.
  • Weigh less than 3 times my age. I first achieved this goal a few years ago and it gets 3 pounds easier every year.
  • Do a Randonneuring brevet ride in 2009. I’ve been a member of Randonneaurs USA since 2001 and in this time, I've done only 3 of these rides. One of these rides included a 23 degree hill after 130 miles (and let the record show that I walked up most of it). Maybe I'll rethink this goal, at least if the brevet is in southeast Ohio.
  • Avoid the temptation to use Orange Burst GU as a bagel spread. (Mmmm, but it sounds so yummy.)
  • Avoid the temptation to use red blood cell transfusions in an effort to stay up with the “Half”-Fast Wednesday night riders or the Friday night riders.
  • Commute at least one day a week to work via bicycle during Daylights Savings Time and avoid getting a flat tire or bent rim on Bronson Boulevard, which may be easier said than done.
  • Always clip out of my pedal and put my foot on the ground at a stop sign when traffic is around me. As you may recall, if one of your hobbies is memorizing my Editor's Letters, in the April 2008 Pedal Press, I actually did set a goal to be a more courteous cyclist, and, more specifically, to always clip out of my pedal at stop signs, regardless of whether or not there was traffic around me. While I have been more courteous and I haven't startled any motorists by darting in front of them during the past year (although it’s possible, albeit unlikely, that there is some motorist silently simmering with murderous rage as a result of my riding, but let’s not dwell on that scenario, shall we?), I've got to admit that I still haven’t been as courteous as I'd like with regard to clipping out of my pedal appropriately. So, this year, I’ll set a smaller goal, one that is more achievable.
  • Ride at least 300 miles during the National 24-Hour Challenge.
  • Avoid throwing up during the National 24-Hour Challenge.
  • Avoid coming down with the bubonic plague during the National 24-Hour Challenge. (I need at least one realistic National 24-Hour Challenge goal here.)
  • Ride to Lake Michigan at least once.
  • Ride to the Indiana state line at least once.
  • Do some riding Up North at least once.
  • Do some riding wearing striped tights at least once.
  • Count how many times Paul Sherwen says "In a spot of bother" while commentating during the Tour de France.

And finally,

  • Every so often, just live in the moment while riding, realizing that I have the health and physical conditioning to do this, and that I could be spending my time pulling weeds out of my garden or staring in a stupor at a tractor pull on TV instead. Gratitude is also good.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

Saturday, April 25 – 9th Annual W Ride, Vicksburg, MI. See the article in this issue of the Pedal Press.

Thursday, July 23 through Sunday, July 26 – Wish-a-Mile Bicycle Tour. Three day, 300 mile tour from Traverse City to Chelsea, MI. www.wishmich.org/Page.aspx?pid=442. See the article in this issue of the Pedal Press.

Wednesday, September 2 through Sunday, September 6 – 39th Annual Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw (DALMAC) Bicycle Tour. Five rides over 4 or 5 days, ranging from 303 to 414 miles. Registration begins in April and all rides except for the Quad Century fill up quickly. www.biketcba.org/DALMAC/dframe.html.

Classified Ads

NEWWanted: Looking for used "starter" tandem bike and also a used adult 3-wheel bike. Call Teresa Arndd at (616) 862-4769.

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

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,

Trade in your old shoes for a 20% discount on a new pair of Chaco footwear at Gazelle Sports April 15-30. We'll donate your gently used shoes to Soles4Souls for distribution to those in need. Since its inception in 2004, Soles4Souls has donated over 4 million pairs of shoes to needy people in the U.S. and abroad. Check out the great Chaco selection at Gazelle Sports today and help Soles4Souls help others.


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 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 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