Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
November 2009

November 2009 President’s Letter

The official weekly Kalamazoo Bicycle Club riding schedule came to an end on November 1. The extended daylight savings time gave us three extra weeks of riding this year. It was a good season and membership in the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club has increased. However, the time change and earlier nightfall do not mean the end to KBC activities.

There are still KBC activities on the horizon. There are spinning opportunities at Alfred E. Bike and at KVCC. Of course, weather permitting, there may be rides that are announced. Once the snow flies, many KBC members cross-country ski with the Kalamazoo Nordic Skiers at Milham Park. If you have ideas or suggestions for winter activities, please come to the November KBC meeting.

The planning for KBC activities in 2010 occurs during the winter months. The Bike Camp Committee wants to build on the success of the 2009 Bike Camp. The KalTour committee is planning new and exciting changes and needs your help. The 2010 BTR race committee will be meeting to plan for this great race. If you have ideas to grow these activities or to begin new activities please step forward!

The next big KBC event will be the Recovery Party in January. The time and location are still to be determined, but if you wish to host this event, please let the KBC social directors know.

KBC elections will be held at the November meeting.

Thank you for making the 2009 riding season a success!

Mike Boersma, KBC President

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club's monthly meeting took place on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. In attendance were Mike Boersma, Bill Figeley, Tom Keizer, Rick Whaley, Zolton Cohen, Raul Garcia, Houston Peterson, Doug Kirk, Kathy Kirk, Mikie Dould, and Greg Lawford. The meeting was called to order at 7:02 P.M..

Mike B. welcomed everyone to the meeting and Tom gave the Treasurer's Report. He also handed out two free memberships that the club received from Adventure Cyclist.

The KBC racing team activities were briefly discussed. Bill will assemble a "Results" report and submit it to Zolton for review before submitting it to the Pedal Press.

All of the club officers indicated that they are willing to run for another term. The current officers are as follows: Mike Boersma (President), Jim Kindle(Vice President), Tom Keizer(Treasurer), and Bill Figely (Secretary).

Kathy showed some designs for the new KBC jerseys. Four designs were in various color combinations and had a "road swoosh" across the chest and back, while one design had a vertical line presentation. KBC is planning to order approximately 125 jerseys. A committee was selected to choose the design; the members are Kathy Kirk, Bill Figely, Jim Kindle, Greg Lawford,and Mikie Dould.

Greg discussed the activities of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Racing Team in more detail. There were 20 members on the team, including 2 juniors, and that the $2500 sponsorship from KBC was used to buy uniforms for the team members. They participated in almost every event within 100 miles of Kalamazoo and 3 team members participated in National events. In addition to road racing, team members also participated in cyclocross, mountain bike racing, and downhill bike racing. They also helped out at various KBC events - 10 team members at the Kal-Tour, 2 to 5 at the Bike Camp, and several at the Portage YMCA Kids Triathlon. Greg thought that a good and positive attitude was conveyed by the team during the season and he noted that 4 riders moved up in racing classification, either from Category 5 to Category 4 or from Category 4 to Category 3.

Houston noted that a new fitness club, Fitness Connection, is considering donating money to KBC in the hope that KBC members will join the club. This club is located at the corner of West Main and Solon Street. The building where this club is located has been completely renovated and the equipment is new. Zolton suggested that the owner of the club sponsor the KBC Racing Team. Houston noted that he may personally make a contribution to a "Junior" racing team. Raul suggested that the owner should offer a one-day pass to Fitness Connection KBC members.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 P.M. The next meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. Elections for club officers will be held at this meeting. All KBC members are welcome to attend.

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

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions:


New members:

Lee Bunker · Mark Finazzo · Lewis Henrickson

November Expiring memberships:

Michael Boersma · Keith Boneburg · Jelania Haile · Denny Morrison · Paul Pickard · Victor Zywicki

Renewed memberships:

Jeff Robertson Family · David Middleton Family · Dave Dilno

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

November's Ride Captain's Report

Dear KBC Friends:

By the time this reaches you, our regular weekly evening rides will have ended. There may still be some impromptu rides from time to time, such as the Sunday ride recently organized by Doug and Kathy Kirk. Such rides will likely be organized via a general group e-mail - so watch your inbox. There often is a group that rides Wednesdays on the Kal-Haven trail as well. Lights and mountain or cross bikes are a must for that ride. Tom Noverr likely will have the latest on these rides

Looking back, overall, it's been a good season, with lots of accomplishments. We have several new club members - thanks especially to our wonderful bike camp. We've hosted some special events - most notably the Kal-Tour. And KBC racers continue to do well racing, and also did a great job of putting on our annual BTR race.

I guess the next big club event will be the recovery party. That's always a fun mid-winter event. Doesn't someone usually bring home-brewed "Road Kill Beer?" Or is it chili?

Before that, we'll also have the club election, which brings me to the fact that I've told Mike Boersma that I'd like to step down as Ride Captain this coming year. For one thing, my schedule next summer looks to be unpredictable. But even more important, it's time someone else had a chance at this job.

I've enjoyed my time helping lead the club in this way, and am grateful for the cooperation and support I've received. We have a great club, and I hope it provides you as much fun and enjoyment as it has provided me over what is now a ten-year period! Time flies!

Of course, I'll be available to help the new Ride Captain transition to his or her duties.

Best regards! Enjoy the remaining fall days of cycling before the snow arrives!

Be safe!

Best regards,

Knute Jacobson, KBC Ride Captain

Editor’s Letter –Taking Stock (Again), then Riding the Little River 24 Hour Challenge

Have You Heard About the Lonesome Loser: One of my goals this year was to ride at least 300 miles in the National 24-Hour Challenge this past June, and it turned out that I missed this goal by only at least 300 miles. The last few days before this race, I wasn't exactly brimming with self-confidence. I didn't think my preparation for the event had gone all that well and we were finally going to be getting our first semi-hot weather of the season. Due to a combination of nerves, worry about sneaky low 80 degree heat and humidity (given my history of less-than-stellar hot weather performances at this event), and the fact that I didn't turn on my air conditioner until just before going to bed, I managed to stay awake until 3 in the morning Realizing that I was going to have to get up in 90 minutes, I also realized that I was setting myself up for a really unpleasant day in the saddle, so I decided that the race could go on without me.

A few hours after a not-so-refreshing 3 hours of sleep, instead of riding in the National 24-Hour Challenge, I rode in the "Solo 3-Hour Challenge" to Marcellus and back. On my way to Marcellus, a car passed me, and I noticed that the license plate read "FEAR24." So, maybe it was a good idea that I had aborted my 24 hour mission, but I also wouldn't have been surprised if another car had passed me with a license plate that read "UWUSS."

A few days after my 300 kilometer randonneauring brevet ride in September, I learned about the Little River 24 Hour Challenge (www.littleriver24.com), sponsored by the Hopkinsville (KY) Bicycle Club, which was to be held on the second weekend of October. It was a first time event, it appeared to be fairly low key, and, even though I had done part of my growing up in Kentucky, it was in a part of the state where I had never been. So, I asked myself "Whaley, if someone had put a gun to your head after finishing the brevet and told you to ride another 113 miles in 10 hours, could you have done it?" My first reaction was "Well, it would have depended upon whether or not the gun had been loaded," but upon further reflection, I decided that it didn't matter, and that, yes, I could.

It's a Long Way There: So, the day before the race, I drove 530 miles in the rain to a motel in Oak Grove, Kentucky, a few miles north of Clarksville, Tennessee in preparation for Round 2 of my 2009 24 hour racing season. The next morning, I drove the 15 miles from the motel to the start of the race at the city park in Lafayette, Kentucky, a "city" of about 100 people. The weather was cool, 50 degrees and overcast, but there was no threat of any more rain, and the sun was expected to come out that afternoon with the temperature reaching the low 60s. It was a small field, 5 solo male riders and one male/female tandem in the 24 hour race, and 11 male riders (including 3 recumbent bike riders) and one female rider in the 12 hour race. After a few words from Kevin, the race director, at 8:05 A.M., we were off.

We were to begin by riding a 60 mile loop. Since drafting was allowed, my strategy was to tuck in with the main group of riders, at least until the 33 mile checkpoint, which would allow me to gain a little extra distance. That strategy lasted for about a half of a mile, since almost everyone immediately started riding 20 mph. As I watched them all fade away in the distance, I went to my fall back strategy, which was, of course, to ride alone. The 60 mile loop was described as "relatively flat," which was the case for the first 10 miles, but this was followed by segments of rolling hills for the next 20 miles. This section of the course was also inhabited by several barking, chasing dogs, including a pair of gray German Shepherds who managed to pin me against the left side of the road for their own amusement, before their owner finally came outside and called them off. One of the persons manning the 33 mile checkpoint on the outskirts of Hopkinsville told me that the remaining 27 miles actually were relatively flat, and this turned out to be the case. It also helped that I was heading south with a tailwind.

I finished the first lap a little before noon, and soon after I began my second lap, I was passed by Jeff and Fredia on the tandem, along with Peter and Jeremy, and they invited me to ride along with them. The only reason that they had been behind me was because they had taken a wrong turn during the first lap, but their loss was my gain, as I proceeded to draft off of the tandem and evade the German Shepherds while riding in this group. After about 10 miles, I decided that they were riding just a bit too fast for me, so I backed off and began riding solo again.

I finished the second lap a little before 4:00 P.M. and I prepared for the third lap, which meant getting my lights set up and putting on reflective clothing. Because we were in the Central Time Zone, the sun set at 6:20 P.M. and I knew that I'd be riding the last part of the third lap in the dark. While doing this, the owner of the house next to the park noticed my Kalamazoo Bicycle Club jersey, which I was proudly wearing, and told me that he was born in Kalamazoo and grew up in Leslie, Michigan. Sometime during the night, it finally dawned on me that I should have asked him how he ended up in Lafayette, Kentucky, but I don't think he would have appreciated it if I had knocked on his door and awakened him to find out.

I saw only one of the German Shepherds the third time around and he didn't even bother to chase me this time, the quitter. The promised sun and 60 degree heat never materialized, although the sun did peak out of the clouds about an hour before sunset. The sunset was rather pretty, the dark roads were peaceful, and I finished the third lap at 7:55 P.M.

Cool Change: While listening to the chatter of the 12 hour racers rehashing their race, I prepared to ride the 8.5 mile night loop over and over and over again. The temperature had already begun to drop, so I took off my cycling socks, knee warmers, KBC jersey, and a light caprilene long-sleeve t-shirt and put on wool cycling socks, tights, a heavier caprilene long-sleeve t-shirt, a long sleeve jersey, and a vest. Even with this extra clothing, I still began to shiver as I started the night loop, but I soon warmed up, relatively speaking, both to the weather and to the task at hand.

When I ran track in college back in the early 1970s, the bane of my workout existence was "20 Quarters," 20 repetitions of 440 yards, with a 110 yard jog between repetitions, except for a 440 yard jog after every fourth repetition. I still remember how I used to look forward to that 440 yard jog and how I used to savor every step of it. So, it was in that spirit that I planned my strategy for the night laps. I knew that I was tiring. I also knew that, although my usual 24 hour racing companion, Nausea, had not made an appearance, I didn't have much of an appetite, and that it would be very tough to keep eating and drinking. So, I decided to find a slower, steady pace that I figured I could ride all night, and that I would take a short break after every fourth lap; something to look forward to and then savor.

During the first two sets of laps, I settled into a 14 mph pace. There was fog in some areas during the first 4 laps, and while I was riding through the fog, a fox ran in front of my bicycle; at least I think it was, due to its long, bushy tail. It turned out that this was my only wildlife sighting during the night, except for the dead rabbit that appeared on the road sometime during my second set of laps. Because of the raw, damp cold, I decided to ditch the vest and put on a cycling jacket before starting the second set of laps. During the second set, the fog dissipated and a half moon rose in the sky. It didn't provide much light, but it was a rather pretty sight, just the same. After another short break, I rode on.

Now, one might wonder what sort of profound thoughts occur to someone while riding mile after mile in the dark. Or one might wonder whether one achieves some sort of Zen-like peace of mind during this period of relative sensory deprivation. For me, the answers are "They don't," and "No." What I did find was that my mind fixated on various "landmarks" during each lap. The mud puddle on the road leading out of Lafayette. The false right turn identified by lights on both sides of the road. The real right turn, almost a mile later, identified by lights on both sides of the road. The dead rabbit. The dip in the road. The light to the left of the junction of two roads. The right turn onto State Road 107. The well lighted farmhouse at the top of the hill. The subsequent downhill. The subsequent uphill. The subsequent pleasantly long downhill into Lafayette. After a while, accompanied by fragments of the miscellaneous and inexplicable music that ran through my head ("Jeannie never wears no split skirts" - of course not, she wears cycling shorts), all I thought about was riding from landmark to landmark. And so began the race within a race to see which would drop to 40 first, the temperature or my I.Q. Neither did, but it was close, and I rode on.

I finished the third set of laps a little before 4:00 A.M. and I had 3 laps to go to reach 300 miles. (Fiendishly, 2 more laps would leave me with 299.) I asked Kevin if there was anyone else even riding the course, since I hadn't seen any evidence of other riders for quite some time. He told me that one rider (George) had already ridden 317 miles and that Jeff was also still riding. Fredia had retired, so he was sometimes riding the tandem by himself and sometimes riding it with Peter. I told Kevin that I planned to finish the next 3 laps, stop, celebrate, and then decide how much to ride after that. So, at 4:12 A.M., I rode on.

Help is on its Way: About halfway through the first lap of my fourth set, the tandem passed me along with two solo riders. Once again, I attempted to hop on the tandem train, but I only hung on for a couple miles, before I realized that, once again, the pace was too fast for me. So, I settled back into my usual 14 mph pace and eventually finished my third lap in the set, breaking the 300 mile barrier at about 6:00 A.M. I was going to stop, but I also realized that if I didn't take a break, I could ride 3 more laps and finish with 333 miles. Since 333 rolls off the tongue much more pleasingly than 307.5, 316, or even 324.5, I rode on.

Earlier, I had missed an opportunity for help, but I knew that help would soon come in another form. I'm not a morning person, except when I've been riding a bicycle all night. I've found that watching the surrounding terrain slowly take shape after a night of riding really lifts my spirits. So, on my first post-300 mile lap, I was able to finally start seeing the scenery on this loop, by the next lap it was light, and by the next lap I was occasionally blinded by the sun (o.k., enough with the spirit lifting). I had time to spare to finish this sixth and final lap of the set, and I thoroughly enjoyed my final cost down the hill into Lafayette. It was 7:49 A.M. and after three 60 mile loops and eighteen 8.5 mile loops, I didn't ride on.

Reminiscing: Jeff, Peter, George, and Jeremy finished their final lap soon after I did, and along with Fredia and Rob, who was the other 24 hour participant, we celebrated our adventure while attempting to stay awake. George rode 367 miles, Jeff also rode 333 miles, and the other riders rode between 200 and 300 miles. While Jeff, Fredia, Peter, and Rob were packing up their van to drive back to Nashville, and George and Jeremy were getting ready to drive back to Jackson, Tennessee, I bid them all farewell, thanked Kevin for a well run race, and drove back to my motel room, where a hot shower and a comfortable bed awaited. Twenty-seven (3x3x3) hours after waking up, I fell into a blissful sleep, the sleep of a man who has nothing more to prove to himself (at least for awhile), when it comes to 24 hour racing.

Two weeks later, I traveled to Kentucky again; this time to get together with some friends of mine from high school to talk about old times and spend an afternoon at the racetrack. Despairing of my handicapping skills, based our previous racetrack reunions, I decided to give rank superstition a try. As a result, I bet on the number 3 horse to show in every race and won $16.20. For this gambling high roller, that's a huge amount of money. So, from now on, if you see me intensely studying my cyclometer during a ride, it's not because I'm obsessed with my mileage, it's because I'm picking lottery numbers.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

Alas, the 2009 touring season has come to an end.

Classified Ads

NEW: Saris trunk mount bicycle rack. One year old and in fine shape. Paid $125 for it and asking $60 for it, Contact John Idema at blumdom98@charter.net or 342-2263.

For Sale: Somec Time Trial Bike. Very well cared for 1999 Somec 54 cm time trial "funny bike." 54 cm seat tube (c-c) and 26 inch (650) front wheel. Makes a really quick time trial or tri bike. Bladed front wheel (sew up) and rear wheel covering. Cow horn handlebars with aero bar attachments. The equipment is as follows:

  • Campy Nuvo record shifters/shimano brake levers
  • Campy Chorus Crank (55-46)
  • Campy Nuvo record front and rear derailleur
  • Campy side pull brakes
  • Mavic bars and cinelli stem
  • Campy Record pedals and straps
  • 7 Speed 12-19 rear freewheel
  • Campy Record seat post
If you are interested give us a call - Chris Barnes 327-8972 or barnesmc@charter.net.

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,

SOCK SALE at Gazelle Sports!

Buy three pairs or packages of socks, get a fourth pair or package FREE! Now through November 30. Choose from Balega, Smartwool, Thorlos, Wigwam, or WrightSock.

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
socialdirector1@kalamazoobicycleclub.org< /td>
Social Director Teri Olbrot
socialdirector2@kalamazoobicycleclub.org< /td>
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