Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
January 2010

January 2010 President’s Letter

"Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." (Ferris Bueller's Day Off, 1986.) The life of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club moved pretty fast in 2009.

In 2009, the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club had an excellent year. Bike Camp was fully subscribed by over 40 attendees. Weekday rides were well attended during the whole year. The BTR race had record participation. The KalTour was on a beautiful day and had great attendance. Thanks to everyone who made 2009 a great cycling year.

2010 is shaping up as another positive year in the life of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club. Several folks have already contacted the Bike Camp organizers regarding Bike Camp 2010. Plans are being made to get more community involvement and participation in the BTR race/KalTour weekend. New bicycle facilities are being created throughout the county. There are many opportunities in which KBC members can become involved.

The Van Buren County Road Commission has received stimulus money to repave the parking lot at the 10th Street trailhead. The VBCRC will also be resurfacing the Kal-Haven Trail from 10th Street to Bloomingdale. The Kalamazoo County River Trailway will also be receiving stimulus money to pave it from downtown Kalamazoo to Fort Custer. This will mean that there will be trailways from South Haven to Battle Creek once these projects are finished.

I was asked to be a member of the Kal-Haven Trail Ad Hoc Committee, a committee consisting of various stakeholders (community leaders, the Chamber of Commerce, the KBC, and other groups with an interest in the Kal-Haven Trail). There is a great interest shown by communities and businesses along the trail in increasing its appeal to local and regional bicyclists. I imagine that the improvements to the KVRT will add to this appeal and make it possible and desirable for businesses along the trail from Battle Creek to South Haven to market to bicyclists. Businesses want more information about how to be more bike friendly. For example, the city of South Haven wants information about bike boxes and where to place them, and the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club can assist with technical information regarding bicycle facilities.

In 2010, the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club should strive to continue providing its members with great bicycling opportunities. The club should also focus in developing opportunities for members and members of the community to become involved with the wonderful activity of bicycling. Please get involved with the club rides and club events.

Remember - The Winter Recovery Party in on January 16, 2010. More information is provided in this issue of the Pedal Press.

Mike Boersma, KBC President

Next KBC Monthly Meeting - February 9, 2010

There will be no Monthly Meeting in January. The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.

Winter Recovery Party - January 16, 2010

Our Kalamazoo Bicycle Club annual Recovery Party is on the calendar for Saturday, January 16, 2010 from 7:00 P.M. till 10:00 P.M. at the home of John and Teri Olbrot.

It's the same locale as last year's party and we are conveniently located in the Rudgate area of Texas Township, near the corners of 12th Street and Centre. Take U.S. 131 to the Centre Street exit, turn right, and then turn right again on 12th Street. Follow this with a left on Stony Brook and another left into the cul-de-sac of Burning Tree Street.

Our Address Is: 5146 Burning Tree Street. Need further directions? Call Teri at 327-5127.

As far as we know, parking worked out fine last year - just a reminder to be respectful of driveways, etc.

Janet and I are planning a delicious selection of hot SOUPS and SANDWICH fixings, with a nod to both vegetarians and omnivores. Bell's Beer will be on tap, as well as wine and soft drinks.

Throwing caution to the wind, we are offering no guidelines regarding what kind of dish you bring to pass! Bring a side dish, salad, or dessert as the spirit moves you!

Coat racks would be nice, but we managed without them last year. If you have some available, we will gladly put them to use. Otherwise, we'll pile coats on the beds. We are looking forward to seeing everyone and having a great time!

Janet DeZwaan and Teri Olbrot

Doug McDonnell Good-Bye...

As many of the members of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club know, Doug has been living with cancer for the past four years. The cancer finally took his life on Thursday, December 10. His was an unbelievably blessed journey with this disease, and I would like to thank all of you for making that journey so much easier for him. Ed M., Elaine N., Zolton, John O. and Barb L.; he especially enjoyed your company and support while riding. And to those of you who were on our C&O Canal Towpath trip in May, thanks for helping make that dream come true.

Though there is no proof, he and I firmly believed that his love of bicycling and cross-country skiing were a major factor in the excellent quality of life he enjoyed during his final years. Doug was able to continue riding almost until the end of this year's season.

In closing, I leave you with the words Doug so often said - "GET YOUR COLONOSCOPY!"

Ride on my love.

Pam McDonnell

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club's monthly meeting took place on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. In attendance were Mike Boersma, Bill Figeley, Zolton Cohen, Rick Whaley, Houston Peterson, Dave Hauschild, Doug Kirk, and Kathy Kirk. The meeting was called to order at 7:03 P.M.

Mike began the meeting with an Executive Report. He noted that he had attended a meeting in Paw Paw, Michigan concerning the Kal-Haven Trail. The trail is being operated by the Van Buren County Road Commission and Jeff Mitchell, the head of the commission, has been seeking grants for the trail. The commission has also received stimulus money for work on the trail between the 10th Street trailhead and Bloomingdale.

Mike also noted that the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail Authority (KRVTA) will be adding to the trail between Kalamazoo and Fort Custer. Currently, after 2011, there will be no money left in the KRVTA budget.

Tom Keizer was unable to attend the meeting but provided a Treasurer's Report. There is currently $3,365.71 in the KBC checking account, $3,106.29 in the savings account and $10,989.76 in the Certificate of Deposit. KBC received a thank you note from Jerry Albertson, the President of the Parks Foundation of Kalamazoo County, for the club's donation of $458.96 to the Kalamazoo River Valley Trailway Fund.

Kathy and Dave gave a KBC logo jersey update. Dave, the designer of the jersey, noted that he had done some "clean-up" work on the design during the past month. There was some discussion about whether to trademark the KBC logo and the consensus was that it probably wasn't worth the effort. There was a longer discussion concerning the quantities of the jerseys to order and how much to charge for the jerseys. The club will help determine the number of jerseys to order at the Winter Recovery Party in January and also through the website. The cost of the jerseys to KBC will be $55 plus shipping, so KBC is planning to sell them for $60-$65 for a pre-ordered jersey and $70-$75 for a jersey that is not pre-ordered. Doug made a motion to allocate up to $6000 for jersey purchases, Bill seconded the motion, and it was carried by a verbal vote.

Houston proposed that KBC become the primary bicycle club sponsor for a Junior bicycle racing team, and he distributed a mission statement for this team and a proposal and benefits document to the meeting attendees, as well as a cost document. The primary sponsor would be SAMI Racing. The team would consist of 3 "elite" junior riders and 5 "feeder to the elite" junior riders, and he would coach these 8 team members. The elite riders would participate in approximately 40 races per year throughout the Midwest and the feeder riders would compete in approximately 15 races per year, mainly in Michigan. The team would also participate in KBC activities, such as Bike Camp, and participate in fund raising rides. He also noted that he was the process of forming an alliance with one of the bicycle shops in the area, where the team members would purchase bikes. He had discussed this with two bicycle shops, but one shop seemed more receptive to this alliance.

Houston proposed that KBC provide the money for a 3 year team membership to USA Cycling at an estimated cost of $160 per year and that the club donate $1200 per year for entry fee support for the feeder riders. He noted that the Ann Arbor Velo Club would be providing entry fee support for the elite riders and that the proceeds of the Ann Arbor Spring Training Series would also provide entry fee support for the elite riders. KBC would have their logo on chest, back, and pockets of the racing team jerseys.

There was a long discussion concerning Houston's proposal. Doug voiced concern about the reaction of the bicycle shop that was not going to be in the alliance with the racing team and whether this would hurt the club's relationship with this shop if KBC were to become the primary bicycle club sponsor of this team. Doug urged Houston to discuss this with this shop to make sure that this would not create any hard feelings.

Other concerns were also raised. Zolton suggested that there be a "level" of team sponsorship to mitigate the perception of competition among team sponsors, such as a "Gold," "Silver," or "Bronze" level of sponsorship, corresponding to the amount of money contributed. Mike was concerned about KBC contributing to a Junior team while also helping to support a Masters team and making sure that we were treating each team fairly. Zolton suggested waiting a year to see how well this team functioned before contributing to it. Doug expressed concern about liability issues if we help sponsor this team.

The meeting attendees agreed that this request should be discussed further in a special meeting prior to the next scheduled Monthly Meeting in February - time and place to be determined by the executive members of KBC.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 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 February edition (distributed on or around the first of February), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of January.

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions:


New members:

None this month

December Expiring memberships:

Terry Florian Family

Renewed memberships:

Jeff Dubbeld

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

Editor’s Letter –My Bermuda Triangle of Bicycle Equipment

It's hard to wear out some bicycle equipment. I've got water bottles dating back to the 1990s that I hope my dishwasher is keeping reasonably clean. I've also got cycling jerseys that are just as old and they remain stylish, because cartoon character and soft drink advertising motifs are timeless classics. Cycling shoes also stand the test of time reasonably well, probably because these boots (so to speak) aren't made for walkin'.

Then, there is the cycling equipment that is easily ravaged by time. I once had a pair of cycling shoe covers whose tips appeared to disintegrate upon contact with concrete. Within a couple months, the holes had gradually expanded so that the toes of my cycling shoes became exposed to the winter slush. Of course, that didn't stop Mr. Cheapo from wearing them for three winters; even so, I'd have gotten more bang for my buck from a fizzled firecracker. Also, there's my "Illuminite" jacket and vest. While these articles of clothing are still perfectly serviceable, after a few washings, I found that if I wanted to be seen at night, I'd have been better off spending my money on radioactive energy gel (mmmmm, strontium strawberry would have been particularly tasty).

But there is also cycling equipment whose durability remains a mystery to me, such as the cyclometer, and this is probably because I don't own a bicycle stand. So now, if you're not finding yourself daydreaming about how delicious peachy plutonium gel must taste, you're probably thinking "O.K., Mr. Pedal Press Editor, please tell me, what does one have to do with the other?" Well, when I'm in the relative comfort of my garage and I want to lube the chain, clean the bike, or remove a wheel, I need to turn my bicycle upside down and place it on its handlebars and seat. I've learned through hard experience that resting a bicycle on its cyclometer is not a good thing for the cyclometer, nor is it good for the stability of the bike, and so I must remove it first.

I then have to decide where to put the cyclometer. I could put it in a pocket of my cycling jersey or in a pocket of my pants, if I happen to be in my non-cycling clothes. I could also put it on the floor. Unfortunately, there have been those occasions where I've felt compelled to put my cyclometer on my car. Then, I've felt compelled to completely forget about it and, at some point in the near future, to take a drive, oblivious to my little hitch-hiking (but not for long) friend.

The first cyclometer I even lost took place about 10 years ago, and it occurred because I decided to take advantage of the sunlight, so I placed my bike behind my car at the edge of my driveway in order to lube the chain. So, of course, I placed the cyclometer on my rear bumper. About a week later, in a conversation with one of my neighbors, I learned that his 6-year old daughter had actually found the cyclometer. They both puzzled over this bizarre looking artifact, having no idea what it actually was. Then, her daughter placed her new mysterious toy wherever 6-year olds place toys after they've lost interest in them, which narrowed the search down to the planet Earth. Not surprisingly, my neighbor never found it again.

I attributed my second and third cyclometer losses to the roof of my car. The latter instance took place after a January post-ride bicycle cleaning when I lived in Dexter, and the recovery of my cyclometer was hampered by the fact that I didn't realize it was missing until the next time the weather turned suitable for outdoor riding, which was 3 weeks later. I subsequently managed to keep the hope alive that I hadn't actually put the cyclometer on my car and that I would eventually find it in my garage, but I finally had to take this hope off its respirator the day I moved back to Portage.

Tiring of losing cyclometers, I turned my attention to losing other equipment. After a ride on a pleasant fall Sunday in late October, I placed my bicycle against the wall of my garage and I decided to sweep the sidewalk leading to my front door, as I had noticed some debris on it as I rode up my driveway. I was removing my helmet as I went to grab a broom and I heard myself say "Whatever you do, don't place your helmet on the roof of your car." But like the clueless chump in a horror movie who opens the door anyway, I placed my helmet on the roof. Still, there was a chance that I would have noticed it the next morning, except that I needed to be at work early that day, so it was still dark when I drove out of my garage.

That evening, when I was almost ready to take my post-work ride, I looked for my helmet at its accustomed place only to find that it was gone, and I realized that my Bermuda Triangle of bicycle equipment had claimed an even larger victim. As a result, my post-work ride was taken by car in a futile search for a bicycle helmet lying by the side of the road. If there was any consolation to be found about the fact that I had lost a bicycle helmet that I had owned for only a few months, it was that it might not have been such a great idea to ride a bicycle wearing a helmet that had fallen off of a car. So, I just had to accept the fact that someone in the Dexter area had gained a possibly defective bicycle helmet or a probably defective spaghetti strainer.

For four years after the bicycle helmet incident, I had avoided losing any additional cycling paraphernalia via bumper or roof, and I thought those days of losing my bicycle equipment might finally be behind me. Of course, I was wrong. This past November, as I finished a Sunday afternoon ride, I decided that my front yard could use a little more leaf raking, so I hopped off my bike, propped it against the wall of my garage, hung my bicycle helmet and gloves on the end of my handlebars, changed shoes, grabbed a rake, and began this impromptu task. After I was finished, I went back to my bike to take my helmet off the handlebars and place it on my workbench where I usually put it. However, I first had to take the gloves off the end of my handlebars, the place where I usually put the gloves that I have used during a ride. Here, my memory becomes hazy. I thought about putting my gloves on the garbage container next to my bike, but there was clutter already on it. I know that it crossed my mind to put the gloves on the roof of my car, but I thought I had resisted the urge and had put them on my workbench along with my helmet and other cycling gloves. However, a couple days later, when I wanted to use these gloves again, I discovered that they were gone and I feared the worst, a fear that was confirmed the next morning, when I happened to notice what appeared to be a cycling glove lying on Romence Road near my house.

I stopped and got out of the car and, upon further inspection; it was indeed my cycling glove. It was soaked due to the rain that we had had during the last couple of days, and I suspect that it had been run over a couple of times, but it still looked wearable, at least to a man who's willing to ride in cycling shoe covers with giant holes in them. Now, all I had to do was to find the other glove, but, alas, of this writing, I have not. So, now I have a left glove that lies forlornly on my workbench, yearning for its mate; a tragedy of almost Shakespearian proportion, for those of us with absolutely no sense of proportion. And, meanwhile, just a few feet away, my car waits and anticipates.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

Alas, the 2010 touring season has yet to begin.

Classified Ads

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: 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.

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,

Save! Save! Save! Gazelle Sports' End of the Year Sale is going on NOW!

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