Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
December 2009

December 2009 President’s Letter

December is the time of the year when the sun is at its lowest in the sky, the days are short, and the weather turns people inside and onto their trainers. It is also the time for planning the 2010 ride season.

An exciting new development this off season is the creation of a junior development team associated with Team KBC. What is a junior development team? A junior development team is a youth oriented bicycle racing team that is intended to introduce young adults into the sport of bicycle racing. Youth development racing is to bicycle racing what little league baseball is to major league baseball. Houston Peterson has lined up a sponsorship from the Private Wellness Club at 2930 West Main to cover the costs associated with this team.

The youth development team will complement existing activities of the KBC. There have been several young adults who are graduates of Bike Camp who have gone into bicycle racing. Ed Micalizzi, Renee Mitchell, Jim Kindle, and many other KBC members have been involved in youth bicycling and youth triathlon activities. Ideally, a youth team will draw additional area youth into bicycling as a lifetime activity.

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club will not be the major financial sponsor of the youth development team. The KBC's role will be one of affiliation and of promotion, rather than one of a major funding source. This will also be the case with Team KBC; one of the commitments made by Team KBC as part of the KBC's sponsorship of Team KBC last season was that Team KBC would have a new major financial sponsor in 2010.

As part of the sponsorship of the Private Wellness Club, Kalamazoo Bicycle Club members can join the PWC without paying the initiation fee of $112. Kalamazoo Bicycle Club members will also be able to have free CycleOps wattage testing. (Wattage testing is not to see if you can make a light bulb light while holding it in your hand; rather it is to see how much energy you are producing when you are on your bike - it is like an indoor time trial.)

Bike Camp planning is well underway. Please get the word out to anyone who might be interested that Bike Camp 2010 is right around the corner.

The January Recovery Party is also coming up shortly. Please keep an eye out for this event.

Happy Holidays!

Mike Boersma, KBC President

KBC Monthly Meeting - December 8, 2009

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.

KBC Race Team - Seasonal Summation

by Zolton Cohen

In the spring of 2009, Greg Lawford, KBC Race Team captain, came to a monthly club meeting and asked for something unprecedented. Lawford said the main sponsor of the Race Team for the previous several years had to withdraw monetary support at the last moment. So, unless KBC was willing to ante up $2,500 to help defray the team expenses, there would be no race team this year.

It took many of the veteran club meeting attendees a few moments for the amount of the appeal to sink in. This was a lot of money - more than twice what the club had ever bequeathed to anyone. At the time, $2,500 was about 1/6th of the club's entire treasury.

However, after no little amount of debate, a motion was passed to grant the money. A stipulation was that there had to be some sort of accounting and reporting both of how it was spent, and how the race team did in their various activities this season. This, then, is the fulfillment of the Race Team's obligation in that regard.

As Greg Lawford and Bill Figeley, Race Team Secretary, reported at the October club meeting, the Team did very well in every aspect of their endeavors. Not only did its members excel individually in their races (results of which can be found on the KBC website), but they were also instrumental and visible at many of the club's and community's activities.

How did the Race Team spend the money? Lawford said every bit of it went toward purchasing uniforms for the team's 16 adult and four junior members. And those uniforms - jersey and shorts - had over 150 "showings" over the course of the season, appearing at virtually every cycling event within 100 miles of Kalamazoo, and some well beyond that.

The events raced varied quite a bit, from the WMU BTR Criterium Bike Race to cyclocross events, mountain bike and downhill races. Team members also volunteered to help at KBC's Bike Camp, the BTR Race, the Tuesday Night Time Trial series, KalTour and the Portage Kid's Triathlon. Wherever you looked this summer it seemed as though someone from the Race Team was there.

Self-proclaimed "resident curmudgeon" Doug Kirk said, "In the 20 years I've been involved in the bike club, this has been by far the best year in terms of Race Team participation in races and other club events." Lawford said "The positive attitude that we reinforce was carried well by the team this year. Good sportsman-like behavior is part of our charter."

As another gauge of success, several of the Race Team members had notable results on the regional and even national stage. Kirk and wife Kathy Kirk won not only the State Mixed Tandem Time Trial, but then topped that by being crowned champions at the U.S. National Mixed Doubles Tandem Time Trial Championship in July. And Lawford says Mike Jones is now racing as a "semi-pro." Other racers have "spun off" onto other teams, lending their talents and spreading the club's good name far and wide.

So it would seem as though the club's "investment" in the Race Team paid off handsomely. Under Lawford's tutelage, not only did the KBC racers do well in their events, but they also contributed to and supported the club in its many activities. The Race Team's energy and spirit was very noticeable this year - and that proved to be the greatest return of all on this monetary expenditure.

Priority Health Cycling Team Fund Raising Event

An annual Christmas fund raising event sponsored by the Priority Health Cycling Team to benefit Mel Trotter Ministries is being held at McFaddens at 58 Ionia Ave SW in downtown Grand Rapids on Wednesday, December 16, starting at 7:00 P.M. More information concerning this event can be found at www.teampriorityhealth.com/teams/blog

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club's monthly meeting took place on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. In attendance were Tom Keizer, Bill Figeley, Terry O'Connor, Victor VanFleet, Mike Krisher, Mikie Dould, Renee Mitchell, Mike Mock, Mike Boersma, Zolton Cohen, and Rick Whaley. The meeting was called to order at 7:03 P.M.

Mike B. welcomed everyone to the meeting and Tom gave the Treasurer's Report. There wasn't much financial activity by the club last month, mostly expenses for the KalTour and the KBC Anniversary Picnic, and a donation to the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail from some of the profits from the KalTour.

KBC elections were held. Jim Kindle decided not to run for Vice-President again and Zolton Cohen agreed to run in his place. Mike Boersma (President), Tom Keizer (Treasurer), and Bill Figely (Secretary) agreed to run for re-election and all three, as well as Zolton, were elected by the attendees at the meeting.

Knute Jacobson reported via e-mail that the season was a good one and that there may be some weather-dependent rides held over winter, which will be announced via e-mail. He also noted that several KBC riders participated in the Ice Man mountain bike race in early November. Bill Figely volunteered to be the new Ride Captain and a motion to appoint him to this position was made by Mike B. and seconded by Zolton. The motion carried.

Victor suggested that the club create a permanent membership committee with a chairperson and two supporting members. He noted that the club membership has been relatively static for several years (between 200 and 300 persons) and he believes that a membership committee, whose main goal would be to increase membership, would be effective. He also noted that more members will equal more clout in the community. Mike B. suggested that Victor submit an article to the Pedal Press to ask for volunteers and Victor will do so. Renee suggested that Victor provide lots of information concerning the goals of this committee.

Victor also suggested that the club create a permanent public relations committee with a chairperson and two supporting members. A goal of this committee would be to increase KBC's media exposure. Zolton suggested that this should be called a Communications Committee and that we would need an approval mechanism for official KBC communications. Victor would like to have a roster of club members in order to solicit volunteers to serve on this committee.

A discussion concerning ways of increasing the number of club volunteers and the number of attendees at the monthly meeting followed. It was noted that there is a good attendance at our Recovery Party, which serves as our monthly meeting in January, but not for other monthly meetings. Mikie noted that Bike Camp participants automatically become club members and we should invite Bike Camp participants to attend our monthly meetings. It was also suggested that we could also create a new member packet that includes a schedule of monthly meetings, club rides, etc. Rick stated that he would place the announcement of the next monthly meeting in a more prominent place in the Pedal Press. Renee suggested that we place the agenda for this meeting in the announcement. Victor suggested that we adapt Robert's Rules of Orders at our meetings, although it was noted by others that this may not be necessary until we increase the attendance at our meetings.

A KBC jersey update was given by Bill. Kathy sent the KBC jersey design via e-mail to other members of the Jersey Design Committee for comments and Bill presented the design to the KBC members attending the meeting. Some suggestions regarding the design included that it have some reflective material, that the lettering font be similar throughout the jersey, and that there be even a greater contrast between colors for additional visibility. Bill will follow up with Kathy concerning these suggestions. He will also ask about order quantities and the availability of jersey to be provided for sale by bicycle shops.

The meeting adjourned at 7:52 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 January edition (distributed on or around the first of January), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of December.

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions:


New members:

Barb Hart · John Harr

November Expiring memberships:

Richard Doornbos · Jeff Dubbeld · David Gay · Kevin Hansen · Edwin Micalizzi · Anne Saad & Jonathan Strombeck

Renewed memberships:

Michael Boersma · Mike Berry Family

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

Editor’s Letter –Last Call

The last Friday night ride, the last club ride of the season, is always bittersweet. There are the memories of that almost floating sensation of speed with other riders on faster rides and the companionship of other riders on slower rides, but there is also the acknowledgement that another KBC cycling season is over. It's sort of like eating the last chip from a bag of Doritos or, for the more health conscious among us, like eating the last spoonful (or whatever) from a bowl of tofu. I have always made it a point to participate in the last club ride of the year, even if the weather is marginally good riding weather at best, at least for the symbolism of the occasion.

I do have some priorities, however. Last year, the last Friday night ride was on Halloween, and while I could have stiffed the trick-or-treaters, I opted to do the right thing. So, I gave the cleverly and sometimes not-very-cleverly disguised Futures of Our Nation, the Snickers bars that are their birthright on one night of the year. And, in return, these Future Wage Earners of America will continue to remember me during my Social Security years.

This year, there was no Halloween conflict-of-interest, so I made plans to attend the last Friday night ride. It was rainy and windy, but the temperature was in the low 60s; not ideal riding weather, but riding weather, just the same. However, as I drove into the vacant Galesburg-Augusta High School parking lot, it appeared that mine was a minority opinion. It remained a minority opinion, as no other cars or riders appeared. So, after waiting a few minutes in vain, I began my ride into a footnote of history, as the last club ride rider of 2009.

Two things I noticed almost immediately. One, it was still raining. Two, because I was riding by myself, the pace would not be as fast, and I would finish after dark. And, speaking of pace, I must admit that I have ambivalent feelings about the Friday night ride. Before I moved to the Ann Arbor area, this was my favorite club ride, but after moving back, I'm not so sure about this. The ride is more of a racer's ride now, with occasional random 27 plus mph bursts that leave me gasping for breath, as I watch the rest of the riders continue the remainder of the ride without me. Of course, this ambivalence could just be sour grapes on my part, since no one likes to be dropped. I also have to admit that there was also the satisfaction of those rides where, like the Pluto to the other riders' sun, I managed to remain in their gravitation pull at the back of the pack for almost the entire ride, before being spun out of orbit like the dwarf planet rider that I am, as we raced the last couple miles back to the high school. And, I also must admit that I could have used a few of these riders on this last ride to retain the light.

While I could embellish the details of this ride ("After I managed my escape from the F-5 tornado that had obliterated the village of Richland, I began to be chased by wild boars as I crossed into Barry County, and my only viable option was to ride my bicycle into Gull Lake in the hope that I could somehow avoid the piranhas. And I also had to worry about the vampires who would be appearing soon."), the fact of the matter is that the ride was not very eventful. The rain stopped after a few miles, although I don't think this seeped into my consciousness until several miles later. The premature cloudy twilight had already begun by the time I reached the east side of the lake, and for the final couple miles of the ride, it was completely dark. I was hit by a blast of wind and it started raining again as I soft-pedaled down the final downhill to the high school and I got to enjoy my drive back to Portage on I-94 along with my 18-wheeling, rainy nighttime driving friends.

So, that was that, another club ride completed. But it was the last club ride, and like a man who hangs around a bar until closing time, I suppose I soaked up all the ambiance of the club rides that there was to be soaked up, to put it elegantly. And, come March, I'll be waiting in line for the opening day of the club riding season, waiting to soak up more ambiance, waiting to make some new memories. And, so, I suspect, will many of you.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

Alas, the 2009 touring season remains ended.

Check you favorite tour for 2010 registration information. Many "early bird' lotteries and price breaks are closing soon.

Classified Ads

NEW: For Sale: Trek Fluid CycleOps trainer, bought last winter, used once, includes climbing block. $140. Please contact Doug Weldon at (269) 372-0758

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.

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,

Mark your calendar! Gazelle Sports' End-of-the-Year Sale begins December 26 and goes 'til the stuff is gone. Great savings throughout the store!

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