Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
March 2010

March 2010 President’s Letter

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club ride season officially starts on Monday, March 15, 2010 for those folks hardy enough to brave the late winter weather. Rides will begin at the Texas Township Park (on Mondays), the KalHaven Trail head (on Wednesdays), and at the Galesburg-Augusta High School (on Fridays). Check with the new KBC ride captain Bill Figely for more information. Please wear BRIGHTLY colored clothing and use lights on these early season rides as it gets dark early.

As always, be on the lookout for potholes and other road obstructions. Contact the Kalamazoo County Road Commission at (269) 381-3171 or the Van Buren County Road Commission at (269) 674-8011 to report adverse road conditions. On the west side of Kalamazoo County there seems to be a bumper crop of potholes, washouts, and other road obstructions, so please exercise caution.

The pre-season ride meeting will be held after March 18, 2010. At this meeting you will be able to purchase the NEW KBC jerseys, sign the KBC insurance form, receive information regarding KBC rides, and meet with KBC members. There will also be a supply of beer (and other beverages) there.

The KBC needs persons interested in being ride leaders, Bike Camp assistants, BTR race volunteers, and KalTour volunteers. More information will follow.

The League of Michigan Bicyclists Michigan Bike Summit will be held on Saturday, March 27, 2010. For more information check the LMB website.

Please be safe out there.

Mike Boersma, KBC President

Next KBC Monthly Meeting - March 9, 2010

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.

KBC Ride Season to Begin on March 15, 2010

As noted in the President’s Letter, the KBC ride season begins on Monday, March 15. The rides will begin at 5:30 P.M. in March for those willing to challenge the unpredictable March weather. The ride season will get into full swing in April and these rides will begin at 6:00 P.M.

KBC Pre-Season Ride Meeting

Also as noted in the President’s Letter, as well as in the Monthly Meeting Minutes, the KBC pre-season ride meeting is being organized and will be held sometime after March 18. More details concerning this meeting will be placed on the KBC website (www.kalamazoobicycleclub.org).

Sports Education Camp

Time to think spring!! The 23rd Sports Education Camp (SEC) for youth who are blind and visually impaired is being held on May 12-14, 2010. Again this year, we will have tandem biking as one of the many events at the SEC! In the past five years or so, tandem biking has been the most popular event!! Now, that is not surprising, right?

I am looking for volunteers from the KBC who are willing to “captain” a tandem. Other than being able to ride a bike, no previous experience is necessary. We do have a number of tandem bikes for our captains to ride; so even if you do not own your own tandem, come on out!!

The dates and times for our rides are as follows:

Wednesday, May 12, 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.: This ride includes our first year athletes.

Thursday, May 13, 7:00 P.M. to 9:15 P.M.: This ride includes our more experienced athletes.

Friday, May 14, 7:00 P.M. to 9:30 P.M.: This ride is a competition ride.

All rides will be held at the WMU Parkview campus (a beautiful place to ride) and will occur rain or shine. If rain occurs, we will ride in the Parkview parking ramp.

If you are interested and available to ride, please contact:
Sherry Gordon, SEC tandem coordinator
Home: (269) 383-4144
Cell: (269) 599-9391
E-mail: sdgordon78@sbcglobal.net

Thanks to all the captains who have volunteered in the past and also to those who will ride this year!

Sherry Gordon

Wish-A-Mile 300 Bicycle Tour

On July 22-25, 2010, the 23rd Wish-A-Mile 300 Bicycle Tour will be taking place. This is a three-day bicycle ride across Michigan. Participants ride approximately 100 miles a day, from Traverse City to Chelsea, raising funds to help make wishes come true for Michigan children with life-threatening medical conditions. There is also a new WAM 50 option, a one-day 50 mile ride. The registration fee is $95 and the fundraising goal is $750. For more information, visit the website www.wishamile.org.

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club’s monthly meeting took place on Monday, February 15, 2010 at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. This meeting had been rescheduled from Tuesday, February 9 due to snow. In attendance were Mike Boersma, Rick Whaley, Doug Kirk, Kathy Kirk, Paul Bruneau, Terry O’Connor, and Renee Mitchell. The meeting was called to order at 7:06 P.M.

Mike welcomed everyone to the meeting. Tom was unable to attend the meeting so there was no Treasurer’s Report.

The KBC’s free membership program was discussed. Zoo City Cycle & Sports has expressed an interest in participating in this program, where a KBC brochure that can be redeemed for a free one year’s membership is given to anyone who purchases a bicycle. Paul brought additional brochures to the meeting and Kathy will take them to Zoo City. Paul also reported that since the program started a couple years ago, there have been 47 redemptions, 19 from Breakaway Bicycles, 14 from Alfred E. Bike, 8 from Village Cyclery, and 6 unknown. Twenty-nine are still members and 6 have renewed.

The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) Bicycle Friendly Community application from the City of Portage was then discussed. Mike note that Chris Barnes has been working on this. Kathy wondered if Portage and Kalamazoo should submit this together, since Kalamazoo is also thinking about doing this. Mike will provide more details about this application in the yahoo groups web forum.

Doug reported that he wouldn’t have time this year to organize the pre-season ride meeting, as Kathy and he are leaving on March 10 to begin their cross-country bicycling trip. Mike noted that in addition to discussing the rides, this meeting is a good way to get people to sign ride waivers and to renew their memberships, so that this is a useful meeting. Mike will talk with a few other people to see if they are interested in organizing this meeting.

Renee reported that she is working on organizing a meeting of the Bike Camp Committee that will take place sometime during the last week of February. The Bike Camp introductory meeting is planned for Tuesday, May 11, and there will be Bike Camp sessions during the following Saturdays for up to 5 weeks.

Kathy noted that the KBC bicycle jerseys have been ordered and that the delivery date will be between March 15 and March 18. Since Kathy will be out of town, they will be delivered to Bill Figeley. There were 38 jersey pre-orders and 62 additional jerseys in various sizes have also been ordered. It was decided that the pre-season ride meeting should take place after March 18, as this meeting would be a good place to distribute the pre-ordered jerseys and to sell jerseys that were not pre-ordered.

Doug reported that after the December Monthly Meeting, Houston Peterson decided that having a junior bicycle racing under the affiliation of the Priority Heath Cycling Team would be a better option than KBC sponsorship, based on discussions with the Priority Health Cycling Team.

A motion was made to authorize up to $500 for the pre-season ride meeting and another motion was made to authorize $400 for Bike Camp. Both motions carried. The meeting was adjourned at 7:44 P.M.

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

KBC Statistics

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

Active subscriptions: 280

New members:
Paul Selden • Michael Vandeveer

March Expiring memberships:
Paul & Linda Bruneau • Mark Bush • Peter Coles Family • Michele Cudahy and Dave De Back • Nyree DiBenedetto • Darryl Dolby • Brad Fry • Jason Goodin • William Kannenberg • John Landosky & Julie Ryan • Shawn MacInnis • Mark McCormick • Mark McShane • Dawn Merritt • Bob Murav • Justin Sprung • Mike & Sharon Vander Meulen • Matt Wright

Renewed memberships:
Terry & Kathy Hutchins • Victor Van Fleet • Rick Whaley • Ralph Freed • Daniel Victor • Bill Figeley • Jon Ballema • Becky Argue • Alan Dowdy

Editor’s Letter –Be Prepared or Pay the Price

It’s late February, as I write this, and the beer goggles cycling season has begun. Days that in October we’d scorn as weather not fit to ride a bicycle past the end of our driveways are now starting to look really good. The temperature’s above freezing? “Break out the sunscreen.” Rain? “It’s only misting.” Icy spots on the road? “It’ll improve my bike handling skills.” “It’ll be great to ride outside,” we say, and sometimes we do. At this time of year, we’re all cheap dates.

But, mercifully soon, this cycling season, too, shall pass, and the real cycling season will begin. And traditionally, it’s also the time of year for those of us who write articles for bicycle club newsletters to write the obligatory article concerning bicycling safety for the coming season. This is actually not a bad thing to do. We all need a reminder that in a collision between car and bike, the car wins, which means that somebody else loses. Not to mention the reminder that as a matter of public relations, we don’t do ourselves any favors by riding like a bunch of self-centered johndonkeys.

Related to bicycle safety is the issue of bicycle preparedness. As an example, let’s suppose that you yield to the temptation to take a ride in the country on a well-it’s-a-sort-of-lovely-relatively-speaking, cloudy, somewhat windy, 40 degree day. As you roll out of your driveway, polypropylened and spandexed from head to toe, you obviously think that you’re ready for anything the weather throws at you, but what happens if you get a flat tire? Have you brought any extra clothing with you? Are you still going to be warm while you’re standing around fixing that flat?

Several years ago, during a ride on a March afternoon that was not much nicer than the day described above, my chain broke when I was about 7 miles from home. I had a chain tool with me, but I didn’t have much (o.k., any) experience in fixing a broken chain while on the road. Occasionally, a vehicle would pass by and the driver would ask me if I needed a ride, but I had my pride and I’d turn down the offer of assistance. What I also had was my mechanical ineptitude, but I might have eventually been able to repair the chain, anyway, if, after about a half hour, I hadn’t started shivering. Soon afterwards, when another driver offered me a ride, I decided to load my bicycle and what remained of my pride in the bed of his pick-up truck, and he drove me home.

Based on that experience, you’d think I would have learned to bring extra clothing with me when I should, but I’ve got to admit that I still rarely do. However, this cycling season, I intend to do better, although I’ll resist the urge to stuff a parka in the pocket of my jersey before my 4th of July ride.

While on the subject of bicycle preparedness, it amazes me that there are riders who show up for our weekday after work rides without bringing a spare tube or a pump with them. While I realize that a seat pack doesn’t provide that sleek, elegant look that we bicycle fashionistas crave, it does serve a rather useful purpose, and even if one can’t bear to place a spare tube in a seat pack, there’s always the aforementioned cycling jersey pocket, or even under the seat. Buy a frame pump or put a mini-pump in your jersey pocket. At least bring a CO2 cartridge. But for those who still won’t heed my advice, let me offer you yet another cautionary tale from my cycling past.

While I was living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in the late 1970s, I started doing bicycle rides on a cheap 3-speed bike that I had purchased at a bicycle shop going-out-of-business auction. I thought that I could walk my way home from any bicycling mishap; my rationale being that I was a distance runner, so I could handle it, and that I wasn’t riding very far anyway. As a result, I carried nothing with me on my rides. Fortunately, there were no mishaps, except for the time I attempted to ride no-handed while inconveniently forgetting about the fact that my chain sometimes slipped. This resulted in a bloody knee, a bent handlebar, and a two mile walk back to my apartment. I have to admit that a spare tube and a pump wouldn’t have helped much, unless my knee had started bleeding really heavily, in which case I could have used the tube as a tourniquet and the pump to tighten it. However, this isn’t the cautionary tale, just the cautionary tale appetizer, so read on.

In the fall of 1980, I bought a 10-speed bike and it finally sunk into my head that getting a flat tire in the middle of nowhere was not an appealing option, if I wasn’t able to fix it. So, along with my bike, I bought a seat pack, a pump, and a tire patching kit. Note that I did not actually buy a spare tube. I thought that if I had a flat, I could find the leak in the tube, patch it, and then be on my way.

During the subsequent months, I had gotten a couple of flats, but they were slow leaks, and I was able to ride home before fixing the flat. It wasn’t until a late afternoon ride in the summer of 1981 that I had the opportunity to put my tube patching skills to the test on the road. I was riding in the vicinity of the Duke campus in Durham and, after inspecting my tire, I knew that this was the sort of flat that I couldn’t ride on. “No problem,” I thought, “I’ll just find a sink in the bathroom of a nearby building, find the leak, and patch it.” Since this was the period between summer school and the fall semester it took me some time to find a building on campus that was open, but I finally found one, and I fixed the flat, or so I thought. As I attempted to pump up the tire, I found that it was still flat. So, I repeated the process with the same result. By then, it was starting to get dark, and I accepted the reality of the situation, which was that I couldn’t patch the tube and that I would have to walk home.

And so, I began my long walk back to Chapel Hill. It was a Saturday night and somewhere in the distance, couples were spending the evening strolling hand in hand with their sweethearts. But not me; I was spending the evening strolling hand in handlebar in what would have been the moonlight, had been any, with my bicycle. Three hours and 11 miles later, I arrived back at my apartment, and after that day, I began carrying a spare tube with me while riding.

So, my point, as we begin the 2010 cycling season, is for you to be prepared for flat tires, colder than expected temperatures, voodoo curses, and whatever else might happen to come your way. That is, unless you enjoy turning a bad experience into a miserable one and getting a story out of it. Hey, it worked for me, but I still wouldn’t recommend it.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

Wednesday through Sunday, September 1-5. 40th Annual Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw (DALMAC) Bicycle Tour. Five rides over 4 or 5 days, ranging from 286 and 508 miles. Registration has begun and all rides except for the Quint Century (instead of the Quad Century this year) fill up quickly. www.DALMAC.org.

Classified Ads

New: New: Several items for sale. Ultegra 10-speed Crankset 53/39 175 mm ($125). Good condition. 105 10-speed crankset 53/39 172.5 mm ($100), very good condition. Burley delight trailer for two, about six years old – very good condition, the hitch attaches to the rear stays ($200). Slingshot cyclo-cross bike – Origin-8 carbon fork, 105 components, race face compact crank, sun/ringlet flea wheelset. 56 centimeters, not typical slingshot set up; standard frame can be seen on the slingshot website ($1200). Call Jeff Robertson at 269-924-8928.

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

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,

Custer Cyclery

104 North Augusta, Augusta, (269) 731-3492

Gazelle Sports

214 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, (269) 342-5996,

It's here!!! The 2010 Gazelle Sports Event Calendar is available now. Pick up your FREE copy today at Gazelle Sports, Downtown Kalamazoo.
Co-sponsored by Gazelle Sports, Scott Rigsby, the first double-leg amputee to complete the Ironman Triathlon World Championship, will be appearing at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Grand Rapids at 7:00 P.M. on Friday, March 12, 2010 for an address, reception, and book signing. For more information, see the “About the District” page in www.grdistrictumc.org.

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 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