Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
August 2009

August 2009 President’s Letter

Wow, what a July. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club's Kalamazoo Scenic Bicycle Tour drew close to 300 participants on a beautiful, Chamber of Commerce day. The WMU/KBC BTR race drew a record (over 270) number of participants from across the Midwest and Canada. The riding weather has been great. Apart from the new chip and seal that has been chewing up my tires, July has been a wonderful month to ride.

In September, the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club will be having its annual Anniversary Ride. This will be the 38th Anniversary of the KBC. That the club has thrived for 38 years is a testament to the dedicated members of the club. The events that the KBC hosts, like Bike Camp, the KalTour, the BTR race, the Anniversary Ride, the educational activities, and the weekday rides would not be possible without the support of the many volunteers who support these activities. Please consider assisting with an event or a ride and please remember to thank the folks who do assist with events. A big thank you to all of the KBC volunteers.

The mission of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club is to promote bicycling in all of its forms. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club does this directly with its activities. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club also gives KBC resources to outside groups with a connection to bicycling. These resources include both KBC volunteers and KBC money.

Historically, groups with resource request have contacted me to be included on the monthly KBC meeting agenda. They would make a presentation at the monthly meeting and those present at the meeting would make a decision through a vote. There is no annual budget for funding requests and there is no formal review process other than information requests to these groups made by KBC members present at the meeting. There is a proposal to create a formal KBC resource request policy. There would be a form that would need to be filled out whenever a resource request was made explaining the nature of the request. This form could then be placed online in the Pedal Press for the entire membership to review. There would be an annual budget for resource requests involving KBC money. The KBC would then make decisions throughout the year regarding these requests.

An objection to this proposal presented by KBC members is that by having a formal process with resource dispersals limited to 3 or 4 times per year that the KBC would lose opportunities to provide resources to deserving causes which might arise at short notice. An example of a short notice request from this year would be the request from Team KBC for a sponsorship Π other sponsorship offers that Team KBC had pursued had fallen through days before the KBC meeting at which they requested money. Absent the KBC's support, Team KBC might not have been able to exist this year.

This matter will be discussed at the August KBC meeting, so please come out Tuesday, August 11 to have your voice heard.

Mike Boersma, KBC President

From the KalTour Co-Director - A KalTour Report

by Mike Krischer

The 18th annual KBC Summer Tour (15 years as Flowerfest and the last three years as KalTour) rolled off on Sunday, July 12 on a beautiful day. I even put on an extra shirt when I reached KVCC shortly before 6 A.M., and the day topped out in the 70s without a hint of rain. I'm sure the weather helped bring out the 275 riders who enjoyed the ride.

I can't say there were a lot of surprises this year, which for the most part was good. After all who wants to run out of something important like Gatorade or bread in the middle of the ride and have to face hordes of hungry bicyclists? Even some of the riders were consistent. The same threesome as in 2008, a women and her parents, were the last to leave the Briar Patch because they wanted to complete the century course. I even recognized from last year their son-in-law who was waiting patiently for them in the parking lot as we packed up our stuff.

There were, of course, many new riders, including a 10 year-old girl riding a tandem whom I met at the century-only sag stop in Lawton. Another impressive sight was the start of the 9:00 A.M. fast ride lead by the KBC race team. Unfortunately an encounter with some small dogs on EF Avenue led to a crash and an injured rider.

There are many people who are absolutely essential to putting on KalTour and I can only mention some of the more important ones, especially those who give their time to help the riders: the Alive After Five AMBUCS chapter at the Briar Patch sag stop, the radio club people, the bike mechanics, and those KBC members who give up their own ride for all or part of the day to help out.

Looking toward next year, plans are in the works to keep the BTR race and the KalTour ride together on the weekend of Saturday, July 10 and Sunday, July 11, 2010. Please e-mail me at kaltour@kalamazoobicycleclub.org with comments and suggestions for any part of the ride: routes, sag stops, food, etc. I would like to consider additional group rides. We have the fast ride on the 62 mile course and the family ride on the 12 mile course. How about having a group on the 31 mile course or having groups organize themselves and post their start times? Let me know what you think.

BTR and KalTour, Kalamazoo's Cycling Weekend

by Zolton Cohen

It's over. All the planning and organizing necessary for KBC and WMU to execute the BTR race, and KBC to carry out KalTour, came to fruition over the weekend of July 11 and 12. And those two huge events came off very well indeed. . .

BTR Criterium Road Race - The morning of Saturday's BTR Criterium Road Race did not begin promisingly, however. A line of thundershowers whipped through the area just prior to the 8 A.M. start of the Men's CAT 5 competition. The subsequent wet roads contributed to a few slide-out type crashes as riders either leaned too aggressively into corners or skidded on slick road paint or metal manhole covers or grating. Fortunately, no one looked to be seriously hurt as a result of those skirmishes.

After that rain, things took a decidedly positive turn and the rest of the day was sunny. By the late morning and early afternoon, the only weather-related issue turned out to be a brisk wind that swirled out of the west. Riders on the back stretch of the 1.1 mile criterium course struggled at times to make headway against the gusts, but had the benefit of having it push them from behind as they flew through the start/finish area and approached the course's first right hand turn.

The race's organizers noted that approximately 270 riders paid to compete in the BTR race, up from roughly 170 last year. WMU's representatives, they said, were pleased by the uptick in registrations, making it more likely that the race will continue for another year.

KBC's volunteer corps once again turned out in force to help at the event. Co-chairs Rick Updike and Greg Lawford, seemed to be everywhere at once, answering questions, managing everything from the registration area to setting up the course to the motorcyclists who led the lead riders in each race around the course. Lawford even found time to sneak into the CAT 4 men's race, finishing a credible 9th.

Numerous other KBC'ers put a lot of time into the event as well, manning the registration booth and filling in slots as course marshals and set-up and clean-up crew.

KBC was also well-represented in the top slots of the various races. Kathy Kirk, USA Cycling's National Time Trial Mixed Tandem Bicyclist Champion (along with husband Doug Kirk, went off the front in the third lap in her Women's Pro CAT 1/2 race - and then stayed away for its entirety, lapping the field. Young Caitlin Braun, just two years out of Bike Camp, flabbergasted the competition with a breakaway on the last lap to take the Women's CAT 4 race. And KBC Race Team member John Ballema (also a valuable volunteer at Bike Camp) recovered from an early crash to win the CAT 5 with a dandy finishing sprint.

There were many other KBC and local racers finishing on the podium and in the upper echelon of the BTR Criterium. Complete race results can be found on the KBC website.

Though the major races were exciting, to many, the highlight of the day came in the Kid's Race. There were two divisions in that classification Π younger kids and older kids. The younger kids, mounted on tricycles and regular bikes with training wheels, were supposed to walk about a hundred yards east of the start/finish line, turn around, and then, on command, race back.

One diminutive competitor, however, Avery Kucharski, decided that that wasn't challenging enough. Avery's dad, Joe, is known as one of the hardest of the hard men out there on the road - because of his proclivity for riding improbable-sounding events like biking across Iowa, unsupported, on a single speed, in the snow and sleet. Like his father, Avery wanted to stretch the limits of what was possible during the Kid's Race. While his competitors started to line up at the beginning of the 100 yard course to wait for the starting command, Avery decided to just keep going and ride the full 1.1 mile course by himself.

Joe, obviously more comfortable straddling a bike than on foot, had to chase Avery around the bike route, finishing a distant second, red-faced and sweating, to his furiously pedaling son. Bystanders estimated Avery's cadence as he crossed the finish to be somewhere in the neighborhood of a Lance Armstrong-like 110 rpm.

But even a full circuit of the BTR course wasn't enough to satisfy the younger Kucharski; Avery wasn't through for the day. He was heard asking, while another of the races was going on, when the next Kid's Race was going to start. . .

KalTour - Unlike the case with the BTR race, the weather was never in question for the start of KalTour. Directors Mike Krischer and Dave Bishop ordered up a heapin' helpin' of sunshine and pleasant temperatures for the event. And, although wind became a factor later in the day, blue skies overhead served as a perfect backdrop for some excellent riding.

Some 270 people, by Krischer's early count, participated in KalTour this year, slightly ahead of last year's total. 2009 Bike Campers, their registration to the Tour included in the price they paid for Bike Camp, showed up in good numbers. At least one Bike Camper, Mike Schudel, even completed the century route. Congratulations to Mike and all the other Bike Campers who achieved their distance goals at KalTour...

Like the BTR Race, many volunteers from KBC showed up to lend a hand not only on the day of KalTour, but also in the days and weeks prior to the event. Of particular note, Alive After Five, a local division of AMBUCS, has taken a particular interest in staffing the Briar Patch SAG stop. They showed up in force with friendly faces and friendly attitudes that enhanced the KalTour experience. Additionally, they had on display several of the adapted trikes that they purchase and give away to handicapped youngsters in the area. Their mission in many ways mirrors that of KBC: they support bicycling activities.

KalTour organizers know of at least one unfortunate accident that occurred during the event. A member of the KBC Race Team took a spill when unconfined dogs ran out into the road on EF Avenue. He suffered injuries to his hands and was reportedly pretty woozy after the crash. KBC wishes him a speedy recovery so he can resume biking and racing.

All in all, it was a great weekend to race and tour the roads around the area. It's a great club that can put in the time, effort and financing it takes to get events like these off the ground Π and sustain them over the course of the years. None of it could happen without a lot of volunteer help though. If you were among the many that did so this year, thank you! If you'd like to become a part of the team that is leading the way to better bicycling experiences in Southwest Michigan, consider attending a monthly meeting and start getting involved.

Another National Championship by KBC Members

Last summer, John Meyers won a national 24 hour mountain bike championship as part of a 4 man team. This summer, 2 more KBC members became national champions, as Doug and Kathy Kirk won the USA Cycling National Masters Championships in the Mixed Tandem 110+ (sum of the ages of the competitors) Division on July 1 in Taylorsville, Kentucky. Competing for Priority Health, they raced the hilly 25.8 km (16.0 miles) course in 33:56.1, an average of 28.3 mph, finishing 2:41 ahead of their closest competitors. There was also a nice article about their victory in the July 25 Kalamazoo Gazette. KBC congratulates Doug and Kathy on their achievement!

We'll take that top step, thank you!

Ride to South Haven Report

by Rick Whaley

Six 50+ year old male riders, Carl Clatterbuck, Mike Krischer, Terry O'Connor, John Olbrot, Steve Stapleton, and Rick Whaley, and one considerable younger than 50 year old female rider, Kathleen Kroll, completed this year's Ride to South Haven on July 25, suggesting that younger males and older females were more interested in watching the Mont Ventoux stage of the Tour de France. This was an increase of 2 from the 5 riders who completed this ride in 2008, inspiring a new ride slogan, "Double Digits in 2011!"

We began at about 8:10 A.M. from the parking lot of KVCC and we rode most of the first 25 miles together to Lawrence. At Lawrence, Mike decided to ride at his own pace and with the map of the route in hand (so to speak), he was all set to ride solo. After leaving Lawrence, the remaining 6 riders encountered a few sprinkles and unexpectedly encountered the city limits of Bangor a little later, as the Ride Organizer, who shall remain nameless, was apparently unable to follow the directions on his own map. But no harm was done, as we quickly readjusted, got back on our route, and rode into South Haven, visions of subs dancing at least one or maybe no more than one rider's head.

After a delicious and very filling meal (some riders couldn't even finish their subs, but let the record show that the Ride Organizer rose to the occasion), we headed back to Kalamazoo, stopping, once again in Lawrence. Helped by a rather strong tailwind the last 30 miles, we rode in double file much of the way, with Steve and Carl, in particular, taking strong pulls at the front of our mini-pelaton.

The 6 riders arrived back at KVCC at about 3:35 P.M., averaging 16.7 mph for the 102 mile route while on the bike, which included the aforementioned 20+ mph tailwind riding, as well as the crawl through South Haven traffic riding. We then wined and dined on the traditional (for two years now) Gatorade and pretzels. Mike got back to KVCC about an hour later with a Gatorade waiting for him. Just like last year, all the riders agreed that it was a very enjoyable ride.

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club's monthly meeting took place on July 14, 2009 at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. In attendance were Bill Figeley, Zolton Cohen, Ed Micalizzi, Paul Pancella, Celine Keizer, Tom Keizer, Mike Krischer, Rick Updike, Mikie Newell, Terry O'Connor, Victor VanFleet, Rick Whaley, Mike Boersma, Al Cergol, Deb Gray, and Donna Romanak (guest). The meeting was called to order at 7:03 P.M.

Donna Romanak discussed a bike ride and walk event sponsored by the Lion's Club that will be taking place on Saturday, August 22 to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The start of the ride is at the 10th Street trail head of the Kal Haven Trail. Riders will head west on the Kal Haven Trail to Gobles and back. She wanted the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club to be aware of the event and she hopes that club members will participate in the ride.

Tom presented the Treasurer's report. In the last month there were $1313.56 of income and $1638.82 of expenses. There are $3106.82, $2104.08, and $10,894.44 in the KBC checking, savings, and CD.

Mike K. gave a KalTour report. Unofficially, there were 134 pre-registered and 188 day-of-registration riders for a total of 322, which greater than the 260 riders last year. There was over $4000 of income from the ride, but there are some expenses that need to be reported. Improvements were made this year in the promotion of the ride. Most of the promotion was local, although there was some promotion of the ride in the Grand Rapids and Detroit area. Some improvements that could be made to be made include the type of merchandise associated with the ride and having defined rides for groups of riders that would be at a given distance and pace. Ed asked if the promotion of the ride included information provided to the Grand Rapids or Battle Creek newspapers and Mike K. said that it did not. Deb would like to do this in the future, as well as sending information about KalTour to sports stores, such as Dunham's. Ed also asked about the number of "Bike Campers" who road and if any of the "Celebrity" riders that we invited showed up. The number of Bike Campers participating in KalTour needs to be determined. No celebrity riders participated, but Deb intends to continue to develop this concept. Al noted that in the past the KalTour was held the same weekend as the Holland Hundred and the fact that the KalTour was held the same weekend as the BTR race should be beneficial to both events. Victor suggested that the sign-in sheet should be in duplicate, which would serve as a receipt for the riders.

Zolton discussed the partnership between the AMBUCS Alive After 5 group and the KalTour. He stated that this relationship is great and that they are a big help to the club. He suggested that we donate the same amount of money that we donated to them last year, which was $300, and he made a motion to do this. Al suggested that we even raise this amount. Discussions including the donation and the mission of AMBUCS followed. Victor suggested that we get involved with AMBUCS at a national level, but Deb suggested that we should concentrate on developing a quid-pro-quo with the local AMBUCS organization. The motion to donate $300 to AMBUCS passed without dissent.

Rick U. gave a BTR Race report. He noted that there were approximately 270 participants, and that the race has never had more than 200 participants previously. He would like to have the race in the second Saturday in July next year, but the dates for races in Michigan aren't set until late November or early December. The major sponsor (Western Michigan) was very happy with the race, considering it to be a success if the event continues to grow with more riders and spectators. Western Michigan does most of the marketing of the race to the community, including the distribution of posters and information provided to local radio. Rick U. thanked KBC for its support and volunteers at the race. Mike B. asked about the geographic breakdown of the riders in the race and Rick U. reported that in addition to Michigan riders, there were some riders from the east and west coast, as well as riders from Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, and North Dakota. Zolton noted that KBC donated $1000 to the race and that our logo was present on the race banner and that KBC was mentioned repeatedly over the P.A. Deb noted that Ed and she managed a promotional tent at the race that included flyers for the club, safety flyers, and pictures of club events.

Ed discussed the Safe Kids Coalition. He would like KBC to donate money to produce 5 "Safety Boards" that present information including the proper fit of helmets, hand signals, bicycle laws, and rules of the road. These boards would have the KBC logo and could also be used by KBC. The cost of these 5 boards would be $1250. It was determined that KBC should explore better pricing options before KBC decides to donate any money for this.

Ed also reported that the Kalamazoo Police Dept. Community Division has obtained 30 bikes and 30 helmets for children, and now they are looking for support to purchase accessories such as pumps, spare tubes, tire patches, tire levers, bags, wrenches, mirrors, and cable and housing. This would cost about $350 - $500. A motion to donate $300 was made and discussed. Deb likened this request to a "wish list" and asked if members could donate needed items. She suggested that we table this motion until the next meeting. The motion was carried with Deb dissenting.

Ed brought up the issue of whether KBC is open to children. Ed believes that KBC is for all ages and is part of our mission to support bicycling in the area. Victor noted that we should abide by KBC's constitution, which means that children should be allowed in the club.

Support for providing helmets for community bicycles at Kalamazoo College was briefly discussed. This will be discussed further at the August meeting.

Celine noted that information about the KBC Summit held in March has been provided to Mike. B.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:36 P.M.

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

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

August Expiring memberships:

Kathryn Breese • David Karnes • Harriet Swanson • Dan Traugott

Renewed memberships:

Kristopher Ouvry • Elaine Van Belleghem • Terry & Pamela O'Connor • Keith & Kristine Wilkinson • Bill Duggan • Al Cergol & Deborah Gray • Steve Stapleton • Susan Bond • Scott Powers • Joel Servais • Jason Nicolai • Amy Elman • Kevin Cleary • Paul Marquardt Family • Barclay Finch • Nicholas Bishop • Gary & Terri Feldt • Angela Erdman Family • Marguerite Mosher • Walter Smolenski • Darryl Loiacano • Lisa Hardy • Brian Vanderberg • Michelle Frederick • Brian Rhodes

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

August Ride Captain's Report

Dear KBC Friends:

The ride season is in full swing. Tonight's (July 31) Friday Tour de Gull was the biggest yet this season. It was good to see so many out.

There's not much to report, other than to thank and congratulate all those who have helped with, or participated in recent events such as the KalTour and the BTR Race. These events showcase our club, as well as the diversity of interests our club represents Π both touring and racing. I also want to thank Rick Whaley for leading this year's annual Ride to South Haven. Rick tells me the ride went well and those who participated enjoyed it.

To conclude my brief article this month, let me repeat a piece of advice offered by Axel Cleat (aka Doug Kirk) a few years ago: during the height of the riding season, it's important to remember to take an occasional day off the bike now and then to let the body recuperate and rebuild. My personal temptation has always been to ride as much as possible. But the fact is, I ride better when I make it a point to build some rest days into my schedule.

Take it for what it's worth.

Be safe. Have fun.

Best regards,


Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

LCI Corner - It Starts with Us . . . . KBC Members

We all know the law when it comes to cycling but do we set the example for others to know?

Do we stop at stop signs and stop lights?

Do we signal our turns to inform motorists of our intentions?

Do we position ourselves correctly at intersections?

Do we ride no more than two abreast and single up when needed?

When we took drivers education, we learned that bicyclists follow the same laws as motorists, but did we know what that really meant?

A lot of motorists and bicyclists get confused about what the law is for bicyclists. When they see cyclists who look like they should know the law, run a stop sign or stop light, ride in the middle of the road, or fail to signal a turn, they become confused and wonder "What is the law in Michigan for bicyclists? What rules do cyclists need to follow?"

As members of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club we need to set the example and educate others through our actions. As the area's only bike club, we set the stage for safe and smart cycling in and throughout our communities.

There has been a lot of negative press about cyclists lately and an increasing amount of cycling fatalities. As members of KBC, we need to take initiative, reverse the negative thinking, and reduce the fatalities. The easiest way for every KBC member to help with this process is to ensure that you know, follow, and enforce Michigan's bicycling laws.

There is a great little book available from the League of Michigan Bicyclists entitled "What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know." Every KBC member should have a copy of their own (that they have read) and extras to pass along to family members and friends. This booklet has a lot of great information on bicycling and the laws that must be followed in Michigan.

Copies of these booklets are available at most local bike shops, online at www.LMB.org, or e-mail Edwin Micalizzi at edmicalizzi@yahoo.com or me at rmitchell@arienne.com.

Knowledge is power, but applied knowledge can be life saving and life changing. Let's work together as a club to set the example and be safe, smart, and courteous cyclists. Let's educate our communities by not only looking the part, but also acting the part! We all have a passion and love for bicycling; let's respect this wonderful sport by following the laws that encompass it!

It starts with us. . . the members of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club!

Renee Mitchell, LCI #2000

League of American Bicyclists

Editor’s Letter –The Assault on my Pride, but Life Goes on

After watching this year's Tour de France on Versus, I think we've all learned a few things. We've learned that Alberto Contador is indeed the strongest man in the pelaton. We've learned that Lance Armstrong certainly wasn't joking about making a comeback. But, most importantly, we've learned from those innumerable Cadillac commercials that choosing a car is like trying on a dress, which comes as news for those of us of the male gender. Who knew? Personally, I always thought it was like trying on lipstick, but I stand corrected.

Strained simile aside, we've also learned about the sinister and sadistically steep Mont Ventoux. We learned a lot about this mountain. I don't think the 12 Days of Christmas were ever hyped as much as the 19 Stages to Mont Ventoux. Still, I've got to say that finishing the next-to-last stage at its summit was either a stroke of strategic genius or the product of some really twisted minds on the part of the organizers of the Tour, and it was probably both. Imagine riding 90 miles, then having to ride up a 13 mile hill with grades that sometimes exceed 10 percent. But, as it just so happens, I don't have to imagine it; I did a similar ride once, and the result was just what you might expect from a man who is writing about the Tour de France, instead of actually riding in it.

The ride was The Assault on Mount Mitchell. This is a 102 mile ride that starts in Spartanburg, South Carolina and finishes at the summit of Mount Mitchell in North Carolina; at 6684 feet, the highest peak in the eastern U.S. I was living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina during the spring of 1987, when a member of the running club to which I belonged asked me if I wanted to ride it with a friend of his. I said, "Sure" or "Why not?" or something like that, as opposed to "What, are you crazy?!" which, in retrospect, would have been a more appropriate response. I thought that I was in decent enough riding shape and the event sounded intriguing. So, in the early hours of a sunny June Sunday, supported by my clubmate's wife and his friend's girlfriend as our crew, the 3 of us began our battle against the forces of gravity.

As the miles sped by, I realized that I felt good. Really good. I was having one of those days that occasionally happen when running or cycling, when the legs flow almost effortlessly. Those are the days when running or cycling is a joy; the days that make you realize how lucky you are to be a runner or cyclist. So, when I met our crew after 85 miles of riding, I was in very good spirits. However, I also knew that the real ride had yet to begin. Ahead of me was 5 miles of switchbacks, followed by about 10 miles of gradual uphill riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway and then the last 2 miles to the top of Mount Mitchell.

About a quarter mile after I began riding the switchbacks, I realized that I was in serious trouble. The lowest gear on my bicycle was not very low, and it certainly wasn't low enough. My change in mood was dramatic. The organizers of the ride set up water stops about every half mile on the switchbacks, and I took advantage of every one of them, cursing the switchbacks, my bicycle, the day I was born, and everything else I could think of. In between rest breaks, I slowly zigzagged my way up the hill. Since I really didn't want to know, I didn't keep track of how long it took me to ride those 5 miles, but I suspect that it was at least an hour, an hour where time seemed to stand almost as still as the cranks on my bicycle.

By the time I got to the Blue Ridge Parkway, I was totally spent. After about 3 miles, I realized that I could walk almost as fast as I could ride; at least that's what I told myself. And so, I spent the next 7 miles alternating between grinding up the hill on my bike and walking. What I found interesting while walking was that the bicycles weren't exactly flying by me. We were all in this together, having the time of our lives. Our crew drove by during one of my more impressive walking stretches, and I offered to quit the ride if I was holding us up. They reported that my clubmate's friend was still behind me, so with mixed emotions, I walked on.

By the time I turned off the Blue Ridge Parkway, I finally got my second wind and I actually managed to ride the last couple miles in a somewhat non-humiliating fashion. And then, mercifully, I was done.

After my clubmate's friend finished the ride, we headed home. But, of course, we also had to replenish our supply of depleted carbohydrates, and what better way of doing this than eating at a steakhouse. However, along with my steak, I did have a baked potato, a baked potato that apparently came straight from a steel mill, something the waitress failed to point out as she served me my meal. So, after I took my first bite of molten potato, I knew that something was wrong, but my nerve cells, not having recovered from the day's effort, failed to relay this message from my mouth to my brain and back in a timely manner. Ah, there's nothing like the sensation of a blisteringly hot particle of food winding its way down to one's stomach. The next day, my legs weren't sore, but my throat sure was.

So, after reading about this tale of self inflicted woe, you might wonder if I got anything positive out of this experience. No, there really wasn't any silver lining, but I did get a somewhat silver colored Assault on Mount Mitchell T-shirt. It has an attractive design, it's 100% cotton, and it isn't covered with shoulder-to-shoulder advertising. I've worn this T-shirt a lot over the years, but recently, it has been showing its age, and I've had to relegate it to chore wearing status.

As I watched the final day of the Tour de France, I thought about Lance Armstrong's experience on the slope of Mont Ventoux. During Armstrong's string of 7 Tour de France victories, he had ridden two stages that finished on the summit of this mountain, and he failed to win either stage. Prior to this year's tour, Armstrong stated that he had "unfinished business" on this mountain, and, perhaps, he still does.

After the race was over, as I mowed my lawn, I thought about my experience on the slope of Mount Mitchell. "Hmmmm," I thought, "Do I actually have some unfinished business of my own there?" There is a slight rise from the edge of my yard to the back of my house, and as I conquered this slope via lawn mower again and again while wearing my Assault on Mount Mitchell T-shirt, I decided that this could just well finish my business with Mount Mitchell as much as anything else that I might do. Like everyone else, I suppose that I do have some unfinished business, but at least I have no need to ride up Mount Mitchell again. Besides, maybe there's a silver lining after all. At least I got a reasonably good story out of it, and one good story per mountain is enough.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

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

Saturday, August 22 Π Lion's Club Bike/Walk Ride for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 10th Street Trailhead, Kal Haven Trail. liondonnaromanac@comcast.net.

Saturday, September 12 Π Michigan Recumbent Rally West, Kalamazoo. (269) 373-5413 or paul.pancella@wmich.edu.

Sunday, September 13 Π Cereal City Century, Battle Creek. 10, 32, 50, 62, and 100 miles. (269) 969-0674 or www.battlecreekbicycleclub.org. (At least it can't rain at this event any more than it did last year.)

Sunday, September 13 Π Vineyard Classic Bicycle Tour, Paw Paw. 22, 39, and 60 miles. (269) 657-6309 or www.vineandharvestfestival.com/biketour.html.

Sunday, September 27 Π 36th Annual Apple Cider Century, Three Oaks. 15, 25, 37, 50, 62, 75, and 100 miles. (269) 756-3361 or www.applecidercentury.com

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NEW: For Sale: 2009 Trek 7.6FX hybrid road bike, 57cm frame, ridden 550 miles. Aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork and seat post, 700 x 28c wheels, 50-39-30 triple, 11-26 (9 speed) rear cassette. Welgo clipless SPD pedals. Includes Bontrager Interchange rear rack, expandable rack bag and bar ends. Asking $875. Call Mike at 269-365-8425.

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,

Did you miss Gazelle Sports' annual July Sidewalk Sales? There's still time! Pop into the store to check out further markdowns on sale stuff!

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
Media Relations Deb Grey
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