Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
July 2009

July 2009 President’s Letter

July will be one of the busiest months of the KBC riding season. The BTR Race will be on July 11. The KalTour will be on July 12. Each of these activities will require plenty of volunteers. Please consider either riding or working on these events. The KBC needs your assistance to make these events a success. Please tell a friend or two as well - they might well enjoy a day at the races or a ride around the county.

The Michigan Legislature is working on several bills regarding cycling. Two bills would define a bicyclist as a "vulnerable user" and subject motorists to enhanced penalties if they were to hit a vulnerable user who was obeying the law at the time of the collision. The third bill would require the Secretary of State to include information on bicycling in driver's education classes. The bill names are HB 4958, HB 4959, and HB 4960 and can be found online at www.legislature.mi.gov. As I read the bills, they do not place additional burdens on bicyclists (other than obeying the law) and they may have a positive effect of increasing awareness of bicyclists in the motorist community. Of course, the enhanced penalties only come into effect after a collision. Please give the KBC Board feedback on your opinions of these bills and please let your state senator or representative know your feelings as well.

I want to thank all of the Bike Camp staff, volunteers, and Bike Campers for a successful 2009 Bike Camp. I read a great column in the Kalamazoo Gazette from Linda Mah about her positive experience with her daughters in Bike Camp. Spread the word for Bike Camp 2010!

Please ride safely out there!

Mike Boersma, KBC President

Reminder - The KalTour Ride is Just Days Away

The KalTour Ride will be taking place on Sunday, July 12 at the KVCC Texas Township Campus. If you'd like to volunteer, contact Mike Krischer at kaltour@kalamazoobicycleclub.org or (269) 823-2819 (afternoons or evenings) or Dave Bishop at kaltour2@kalamazoobicycleclub.org or (269) 324-6763.

Volunteers Needed for the BTR Bicycle Race

The BTR Bicycle Race will be taking place on Saturday, July 11 at Western Michigan's Business Technology and Research Park, located on Parkview Avenue in Kalamazoo. Volunteers are needed to help staff this race, and the primary needs are for course marshals and at registration. The work is divided into morning (6:30 A.M Π 12:00 P.M.) and afternoon (11:30 A.M Π 5:00 P.M.) shifts. Volunteers can contact Rick Updike at rupdike@plainwell.org or by phone at (269) 207-7320.

Ride to South Haven

The Ride to South Haven will be taking place on Saturday, July 25. Rick Whaley will be leading this ride, which will begin at the southwest corner of the KVCC parking lot near the tennis courts at 8:00 A.M. This ride will be approximately 102 miles, give or take a couple tenths, to South Haven and back (FYI, that's why it's called the "South Haven" Ride). We'll take a short break at Lawrence on the way out, and at South Haven, we'll protein and carbo load ourselves with subs and ice cream cones, and gaze at Lake Michigan. Then, we'll ride back, taking another short break in Lawrence. The pace will be around 16-19 mph, but other groups are welcome to do the ride at a pace that they'd like to do.

Find out why subs and ice cream always taste delicious when eaten midway through a Century Ride and join us.

Some Items to Think About Regarding Cycling Safety

The following three items have been taken from excerpts from a letter by Andy Clarke from the League of American Cyclists (LAB), as well as from some LAB training materials. These items have been provided Ed Micalizzi.

A)Cyclists are their own worst enemy
I've lost count of the number of times I've heard that statement.
"[The cyclist] got what they deserved" is the more extreme version of the same idea. You've probably read it in comments on-line after newspaper reports of a fatal crash involving a cyclist.
"We have met the enemy. . . and he is us!" is how the '50s cartoon character Pogo famously put it.
"Because cyclists don't follow the rules, we can't expect or don't deserve any protection or respect. We shouldn't expect to be treated fairly. We shouldn't be asking for more bike lanes or trails until we put our own house in order."
It's easy to see why people say this. We've all been on club or training rides that are all over the road; where packs of riders get into that group mindset and blow through stop signs and red lights with varying degrees of impunity. (Note from Ed M. - Sounds like he has been on a KBC ride.) Riding to work every day I see fellow cyclists pulling all kinds of crazy stunts - riding the wrong way; hopping on and off sidewalks; going hands-free (and I'm not talking about their cell phone usage); even taking the center line instead of the lane!

B) The League of American Bicyclist's Rules of the Road (www.bikeleague.org):
  1. Follow the law - it's the safest way to ride. Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as other drivers and need to follow the same traffic laws.
  2. Be predictable - ride in a straight line, signal turns and check behind you before turning or changing lanes.
  3. Be conspicuous - ride where drivers can see you, use lights at night and wear bright clothing.
  4. Be aware - anticipate the next move of drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists. Watch for debris, potholes and grates.
  5. Ride ready - tires need air, brakes must work, chains should run smoothly, and quick release wheel levers must be closed (ABC Quick Check). Carry repair and emergency supplies. Wear a helmet.
C) "Basic Principles of Traffic Cycling" (by John Forester, "Effective Cycling," 6th Edition, 1993)
  1. Ride on the Right - with few exceptions.
  2. Yield to crossing traffic.
  3. Change lanes by scanning and signaling.
  4. Proper lane positioning at intersections.
  5. Proper lane positioning between intersections - slower traffic nearer the curb.
"On wide roads, ride just outside the actual traffic lane-not along the curb, but about 3 feet from the cars. On narrow roads, ride generally just inside the traffic lane, allowing room for cars to pass you by going partly over the far lane line."

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club's monthly meeting took place on June 9, 2009 at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. In attendance were Zolton Cohen, Mike Boersma, Rick Updike, Greg Lawford, Rick Whaley, Ed Micalizzi, Renee Mitchell, Victor Van Fleet, Deb Gray, Tom Keizer, Paul Pancella, Mikie Dould, Terry O'Connor, Mike Krischer, Doug Kirk, and David Jones.

Treasurer Tom Keizer submitted the Treasurer's report. Activity in May amounted to $1,406.40 in expenses and $1,322.76 in income. $1,289.39 of the expenses went toward printing and mailing KalTour brochures. The income was derived from Bike Camp and KalTour registrations, and new and renewing club memberships. There is $3,451.92 in the club's checking account, $2,103.44 in savings, and $10,875.23 in a CD Π a total of $16,430.59.

President Mike Boersma reported on legislation making the rounds in Michigan state government that would require auto drivers to give bicycle riders at least three feet of clearance on the road.

Greg and Rick U. reported on the ongoing planning for the BTR Bicycle Race, scheduled for July 11. They requested a $1,000 donation from the club to help with operating expenses - a motion that passed unanimously. Greg said that Western Michigan University contributes much of the approximately $16,000 it takes to put on the race, with other sponsors picking up the rest. Benefits to the community, according to Greg, are that the race brings out-of-town bike racers to the area, helps out local racers, and raises the profile and awareness of bicycling. In addition, and most importantly for WMU, the race publicizes the BTR business park. Rick U. also asked the KBC membership for volunteers to help staff the BTR race. (Ed. Note: Details for volunteering can be found elsewhere in this issue of the Pedal Press.)

Victor asked how donating money to the BTR race would result in an increase in KBC membership and Deb inquired as to how KBC could leverage its donation to the BTR race for promotional purposes. Greg said KBC could set up an information booth and possibly hang a KBC banner somewhere on the premises Π both potentially providing a "springboard" for the following day's KalTour bike tour. KBC's "Gold" donation means the club's logo appears on the race's t-shirts and other promotional materials.

KalTour co-director Mike K. reported that the brochures for KalTour have been printed and mailed. The Macatawa Bike Club wants to "cross-promote" their bike tour with KalTour, and possibly share rider sign-up lists. EAS Myoplex nutritional shakes will be provided as post-ride recovery drink, supplying, according to their literature "the right mix of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to help energize and refuel after a workout."

Ed mentioned that a "Dream Cycle" program has started at Woodward Elementary School. A Kalamazoo City Police officer has set up a weekly ride for 9-11 year olds at the school. The kids have bikes and helmets but are in need of locks, water bottle cages, seat bags, tubes, and other accessories. Six children showed up for the first ride. Ed and Jelania Haile are participating to help teach the participants how to ride safely. They also will help lead the group on the Kalamazoo River Valley Trailway. After Ed gets an idea as to what the bikers need in terms of accessories, he may submit a funding request from KBC at the next monthly meeting. The curriculum organizers hope to expand the program next year.

Discussion about an "intellectual property depository" revolved around creating a central location where KBC materials, like design logos, could be stored. The need for such a cache is apparent whenever anyone from the club tries to produce a printed or online piece and cannot locate the club's official logo. David Jones, KBC webmaster, said he can devote a portion of the club's website to storage of such items. A motion to create the depository and for David to have oversight was approved by those members present. Discussion followed about the need to create guidelines for using the club's identification materials. David asked anyone with digital KBC logos or other club artwork to send them to his e-mail address (available at the end of this newsletter).

Renee Mitchell, member of the Bike Camp Committee, reported that Bike Camp has been going well, and that the final session is scheduled for June 13. On behalf of the Committee, she thanked the many volunteers who have showed up and generously gave their time to assist the effort. In particular, she singled out members of the KBC Race Team, who have been at every session and have been invaluable in providing support and guidance to the Campers. Renee said that approximately 50 people signed up for Bike Camp this year.

Thanks also go to Terri Olbrot, who is leading a ten mile, 10-12 mph ride on Monday nights that is ideal for some of the Bike Campers. Other Campers have been showing up for the longer and faster rides as well.

Doug reported that Kathy spearheaded a project to pick up roadside trash along a half-mile stretch of 12th Street from Parkview to about 200 yards south of the Christian elementary school. On May 23, volunteers Al Cergol, Deb, Rick W., Becky Fonner, and Doug and Kathy donned KBC-purchased green safety vests and removed beer and pop bottles, paper, pieces of plastic, part of a car's bumper, a hubcap and a torque converter - among other unidentifiable objects Π from the shoulders of the road. The trash was dumped, by prior arrangement, into the elementary school's dumpster. It is Doug's understanding that Deb and Al have done the same type of cleanup on 12th Street from where the KBC pickup stopped to the entrance of the Foxfire development complex.

Deb said she is sending a gratis KalTour entry registration to Kalamazoo mayor Bobby Hopewell, and also to the mayor of Portage, Pete Strazdas. She solicited opinions on whether to send similar KalTour entries to those local bike shops that help the club with material donations and volunteers. That notion was supported, as was the suggestion that entries also be sent to KVCC president Marilyn J. Schlack and the mayor of Lawton.

Victor, returning to a previous meeting's discussion about the club "sanctioning" rides in order to secure coverage under the club's bike accident excess medical insurance policy, proposed producing a "script" that riders would have to sign in order in order to ride under the club's sanctioning mechanism. The script would include a dress code, require that bikes have lights and reflectors, and would spell out acceptable riding "behavior."
Several meeting attendees stated that they thought it would be impossible to regulate club rides to the extent that such a proposed script would entail. Others commented that the roads are public, and the club cannot stipulate who rides on them and what riders do, whether on a club ride or not.

Renee reported that there will be a mini-triathlon for kids aged 4-14 at the Portage YMCA on Friday, July 24, starting at 5:30 P.M. The Y is looking for volunteers to help out with the biking portion of the event. If the volunteer slots aren't filled before the July 24, a request to the KBC might be sent around via the YahooGroup.

Submitted in lieu of Secretary Bill Figeley, Zolton Cohen


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 August edition (distributed on or around the first of August), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of July.

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions:


New members:

Letitia Bates • Thomas Belliotti • Jim Bodine • Anthony Boyle • Katherine Brennan • Fred Buehler • Paul Clift • Julie Daniels • Dave Dimcheff • Eric Dudek • Claire Dulin • Robert Engelter • Tracey Jones • Brenda Kiefer • Molly Sherrard • Elizabeth VanderSloot • Jason Young • Robert Zick

June Expiring memberships:

Kathryn Breese • David Karnes • Harriet Swanson • Dan Traugott

Renewed memberships:

Bill Duggan • Scott Powers • Jason Nicolai • Kevin Cleary • Paul Marquardt Family • Barclay Finch • Nicholas Bishop • Gary & Terri Feldt • Angela Erdman Family • Marguerite Mosher • Walter Smolenski • Brian Vanderberg • Brian Rhodes

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

June Ride Captain’s Report

Dear KBC Friends:

For my Ride Captain Report this month, I'd like to thank all who helped with Bike Camp, and congratulate all who completed it. I'd like to remind us all of the upcoming KalTour and BTR Race, and the need for helpers and participants for each, and, finally, I'd like to publish the Ride Leader Guidelines that club leaders have been working on to guide the conduct of all our rides.

While these guidelines are meant especially for our ride leaders, we would be grateful if every club member read and understood them. They are meant to help our rides be courteous, safe, fun, and rewarding.


Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

Ride Leader Guidelines

Leaders and Potential Leaders of our regular weekly rides have asked for some guidance as to their particular responsibilities. Here is a list of basic duties.

  1. Arrive at the departure point 10 to 15 minutes in advance of the ride start.
  2. As riders are gathering and sorting themselves into groups, announce which group you will be leading, and the nature of the ride for which you are the leader.
  3. Before the ride starts, please do the following:
    • Ask all riders to be careful and considerate and observe state law.
    • Announce that riders ride at their own risk (which is why we ask club members to sign a waiver at the start of the season Π and it is why we announce this policy).
    • Ask all riders to join the club. Club membership makes riders eligible in some cases for supplementary excess medical insurance coverage.
    • Finally, for safety reasons, request that less experienced riders ride near the back of the group the first several rides, so they can see how the ride works.
  4. If your ride has a "no drop policy" please make sure it is well understood.
  5. If the ride you lead stops to assist with mechanicals, please announce that.
  6. If new participants are unsure of the route, it is helpful if you can offer a map (most can be printed from our website) or at least an explanation of "how to find your way home."
  7. If, during the ride, you observe flagrant violations of state law, or the rules of cycling courtesy, please advise the offender in a low key way of KBC's rider expectations.

As ride leader, you are not responsible for deciding who can or cannot participate on the ride, as the roads are public. Nor do you have to ride at the front and physically lead the ride. Rather, your job is to create the proper ethos for the ride by announcing its nature and expectations at the start, and helping to remind people of these expectations during the ride itself.

Some of our rides advertise that the ride leader personally will help with mechanical breakdowns. If that is the nature of the ride you lead, please be prepared to do so.

Editor’s Letter –Just Call Me Mr. Creativity

Pick up a running or cycling magazine and there's usually an article about a celebrity who runs or cycles. If that celebrity happens to be a creative writer (of novels, poems, plays, tax codes, etc.), it is almost obligatory that he will, at some point in the article, inform his reading public that one of the benefits of his favorite form of exercise is that it enhances his art. Apparently, there are all sorts of dormant ideas and exquisitely turned phrases that lie inside the minds of these creative types, just waiting to spring to life in the middle of a 50 mile ride. To which, I say to myself, "Oh, really?"

Let me tell you what sorts of exquisitely turned phrases spring into my mind during a typical long weekend ride. "Wow, nice pothole." "Just how much manure was sprayed on that field, anyway?" "I'm getting hungry." "I'm getting thirsty." And, of course, there's "I'm getting hungry and thirsty." Kind of makes you want to weep over the beauty of these poetic masterpieces, doesn't it.

Then, as my mind wanders, there are those songs that are better off left unremembered that I remember just the same. I once participated in a 12 hour bicycle race where my mind decided to treat the rest of my body to a seemingly endless loop of Rick James' "Superfreak" for a couple of hours. After about an hour of this, I couldn't decide whether I should I get off my bicycle and dance or get off my bicycle and commit ritual suicide with my bicycle frame pump. So I decided just to keep riding and enjoy the sounds of "Oh, woh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh" ringing in my head over and over and over again. It's a very special memory.

But, sometimes, I must confess, my exercise induced muse actually does make an appearance. Last year, I was southeast of Vicksburg on some not-very-familiar roads riding south on 27th Street. I wanted to head east, but as I passed Y Avenue, I saw that it was an unpaved road. As I approached a T-intersection at YZ Avenue, I feared that it would also be unpaved and that I would have to ride on it. However, as I got closer, I saw that it was paved. I was so inspired by this unexpected, yet welcome, surprise that I composed the following song on the spot.

"I guess I'll ride on roads that grate."
"They'll be some good roads soon, but wait."
(bah, dah, dah, dah, daaah.)
"I think I'm saved."
(bah, dah, dah, dah, daaah.)
"Is YZ Av-e-nue paved?"
(bah, dah, dah, dah, bah, daah, dah, dah, bah, dah, dah, dah, bah, daah, dah, dah.)
"Yessssss Ι YZ Av-e-nue's paved."
"Oooooooh, ooooh Π pretty pavement!"

And if we could only harness the energy from the grave of a spinning Roy Orbison, we would never have to worry about harnessing the energy from the sun.

As another example, this time from earlier this year, I was just riding along, minding my own wheels, when out of nowhere, the following lyrics popped into my head like a miracle.

"I'm a boogie woogin' fast food workin' daddy."
"Let me give you some fries with my love."

I suspect that only my therapist (if I had one) could fully comprehend the wellspring of these seemingly simple, yet metaphorically complex, verses. And I can't begin to describe the haunting melody to which these lyrics were set.

But, then, my creative juices, stewing like hot, bubbling road tar on a warm, sunny day, I realized that a slightly different set of lyrics, might turn an already good song into a great song.

"I'm a zoot suit wearin' fast food workin' daddy."
"Let me give you some fries with my love."

But which set of lyrics to choose? For the next several miles, this controversy raged between my muses. (I'm a Gemini, so I've actually got two of them.) "Zoot suit wearin'? Why not just make the next verse, "Yummy, yummy, yummy, I've got fries in my tummy," you lyric writing hack!" "Oh, yeah, well, what kind of word is "woogin'," you lyrically illiterate buffoon!" As you might expect, this controversy wasn't resolved to anyone's satisfaction and I'll probably end up copyrighting both of them.

So, I guess I was wrong. I started writing this letter thinking that the idea that the creative process is enhanced while exercising is a lot of bunk. But by now, I'm sure that you're convinced, through the description of not just one, but two, personal examples, that the act of riding a bicycle turns me into a creative genius. So, from now on, I'm going to be composing all of my Editor's Letters from the seat of my bicycle. And if phrases like "Man, that's some ugly looking road kill" start appearing in my Editor's Letters more often, then, so be it.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

(There's not much going on locally in August.)

Saturday, July 11, One Helluva Ride, Chelsea. 15, 30, 39, 63, 76, and 100 miles. www.aabts.org.

Sunday July 12, Kalamazoo Scenic Bicycle Ride (KalTour), Kalamazoo. 12, 15, 31, 62, and 100 miles. (269) 823-2819 or www.kalamazoobicycleclub.org/rides/kaltour.

Saturday, July 18, Holland Hundred Bicycle Tour, Holland. 18, 36, 67, and 100 miles. www.macatawacyclingclub.org/hollandhundred.

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.

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 began in April and all rides except for the Quad Century fill up quickly. www.biketcba.org/DALMAC/dframe.html

Classified Ads

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

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, (269) 665-5202 www.billysbikeshop.com

Breakaway Bicycles

185 Romence at Westnedge, Portage, (269) 324-5555, www.breakawaybicycles.com

Custer Cyclery

104 North Augusta, Augusta, (269) 731-3492

Gazelle Sports

214 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, (269) 342-5996,

Get in on the bargains! Don't miss Gazelle Sports Sidewalk Sales - July 23, 24, 25. And shop other great deals from local retailers while you're in Downtown Kalamazoo. Many doors open at 8 A.M. on Thursday!


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