Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
February 2010

February 2010 President’s Letter

I want to thank KBC Vice President Zolton Cohen and the rest of the KBC crew for the award at the Recovery Party. I was honored and humbled to receive that recognition.

I want to thank all of the area bicycle shops that donated swag to the recovery party. Please support these businesses, so that they can continue to support area bicycling.

The official start of the KBC ride year, March 15, is fast approaching. Weather permitting, weekday rides will begin at that date. As that date approaches, please keep a lookout for potholes and other road hazards and report them to the jurisdiction that maintains the roads for that area, so that they can be fixed. I do not want anyone to lose riding time from wrecks caused by road hazards.

For those interested in bicycle advocacy, the National Bike Summit is in Washington, D.C. from March 9-11. The League of Michigan Bicyclists Bike Summit is in Lansing on Saturday, March 27, where you can meet Andy Clarke, the executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. Locally, the KBC will need volunteers for Bike Camp, the BTR race, and the KalTour. Please e-mail me if you want more information about any of these events.

I was recently asked a question by the Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study (KATS) regarding bicycle facility maintenance. I had posted a comment stating that their 30 year transportation plan did not incorporate a plan to maintain bicycle facilities once they were built ("bicycle facilities" is a fancy term for any road, bike lane, trail, etc. that bikes can operate on; "maintenance" means anything from plowing the bike lane, path, or trail to filling in potholes and repairing bridges). What would you like to see done in terms of maintenance on bicycle facilities?

Mike Boersma, KBC President

Next KBC Monthly Meeting - February 9, 2010

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.


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

KBC Statistics

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

Active subscriptions: 277

New members: None this month

March Expiring memberships:
Rod Mason - Luke Miller - James Murray - Jim Patton - Paul Raynes Family - Matthew Willerick

Renewed memberships: None this month

Editor’s Letter –The Stationary Trainer: Winter's Gift to Man

What can be written about riding a bicycle on a stationary trainer that doesn't involve the use of curse words? Not much. But I'll attempt to write about this, anyway, because I enjoy a challenge, at least the sort of challenge that doesn't involve the risk of bike propelled, wind-chilled frostbite.

I find that riding a bicycle on a stationary trainer is monotonous, and, as a more-or-less representative sample of the human race (well, if you say so, Mr. Pedal Press Editor), I suspect that others find it to be monotonous, as well. During my years of cycling to nowhere, I've developed some strategies in an attempt to finish whatever amount of time I've decided to devote to this activity as quick as perceptually possible. I've done interval training, cranking up the stereo and shifting between the low and high chainwheel for given periods of time; sometimes even singing along to the music for added aerobic and questionable esthetic benefit. I've watched portions of basketball and football games, increasing the speed and effort during the commercial breaks, while providing my own color commentary. ("What, another timeout?!") I've even attempted to ride close to the speed of light. None of these strategies have worked particularly well.

In the past, I've found that an occasional after work run breaks the monotony of stationary bicycle training, but this winter my knees have been bothering me a bit more than usual, so I've had to forgo my wintertime runs. That is, until a couple weeks ago. That evening, I went down to my basement, preparing to ride my bicycle yet again, but then, either in an amazing flash of insight or as a product of a mind finally snapping, I thought to myself "You know, this is a large open area down here and the carpet is quite plush. I bet I can actually do some running here."

And so, to the accompaniment of my stereo, I proceeded to run in my stocking feet for 30 minutes and 30 seconds around and around my basement, changing directions every few minutes to guard against the possibility that I might permanently shorten my inside leg. I timed a few of these laps and they were in the 12 to 12.5 second range, so by the time I was done, I had run between 146 and 153 laps. And what is truly strange and somewhat pathetic is that I actually think I enjoyed it more than a typical half hour bicycle ride on my stationary trainer.

Later, as I reflected upon my latest cutting-edge athletic experience, I started thinking about another incident that took place one Saturday morning in the early part of the double zero decade, when I worked for Pharmacia in what is known as "Building 298," the currently empty, big building on the corner of Romence and Portage Road. I needed to get something from my office, so I decided to pick it up on my way home from a bicycle ride. As I opened one of the outside doors with my keycard, I realized that I didn't want to leave my bike outside, and so I decided to take it into the building with me. Then, once inside, either in yet another amazing flash of insight or as a product of a mind that is apparently used to finally snapping, I thought to myself "You know, there are some large open areas in here and the carpet is not very plush. I bet I can actually do some bicycle riding here."

And so, as we Latin scholars might say, I proceeded to "carpe ridem." I took the elevator up to the second floor and rode a few laps around the atrium. Then, I zigzagged through the corridors between cubicles to my office, picked up what I needed to pick up, and zigzagged through another few corridors, before topping off my ride with another few laps around the atrium. I was livin' the dream.

Since there was only one car in the parking lot, belonging, I assumed, to someone in building security, I figured that my odds of inadvertently running someone down and being responsible for a rather atypical workplace injury were slim, but I also decided that it would rather difficult to come up with a rational explanation of what I was doing, should security happen to wander my way. So, I quit while I was ahead, took the elevator back down to the first floor, walked out the door with my bicycle, and rode home with yet another cycling adventure to savor.

The reason I bring this all up is not to amuse or bore you with the details of my personal life. (Well, actually, that's not entirely true, but that's beside the point.) The point is to make a not-so-modest proposal to my fellow KBC members. Let's buy Building 298! Think of the possibilities! A place to train on dreary, snowy winter days! A gathering place for bicycle enthusiasts from all over the Kalamazoo area! And, for the more competitive among us, bicycle jousting along the office corridors and criterium races around the atrium don't cut those corners too closely! Surely we must have enough money in the KBC coffers to make Signature Associates an offer they can't refuse, at least with a straight face. Let's think inside the building box and do this. Golly gee-willikers, we have nothing to lose, except our stationary trainers!

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

Yet another month with nary a ride of interest. Oh, well.

Classified Ads

New: Speedplay Zero "Lolypop" pedals, with cleats, used less than 100 miles. $100. Call Kathy at 388-5045.

New: DMT "Flash" road shoes, like new condition, size 42, white, light, stiff, comfy. $100. Call Kathy at 388-5045.

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,

Say there, you folks who like to run a bit as well as ride your bike... Get 1/2 off your Fifth Third River Bank Run 25k entry when you purchase $100 or more in Brooks merchandise at Gazelle Sports now through February 21. Shop Gazelle Sports or online at www.Gazellesports.com!

Team Active

22 W Michigan, Battle Creek, 1-800-841-9494

Team Active will be holding its 17th Annual End of Winter Party on Friday, February 26, starting at 5:00 P.M. at Team Active in downtown Battle Creek. There will be plenty of food and drink on hand as well as great deals and everything bike related. For more information, see www.teamactive.com.

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 Zolton Cohen
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 Bill Figeley
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