Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
May 2010

May 2010 President’s Letter

The days are getting longer. The temperatures have warmed up. The start times for the KBC evening rides in May will be at 6:15 P.M.

The KBC rides will be getting more riders due to the later start time. This means that riders will have to be more aware of riding etiquette, which includes riding two abreast as far to the right as practical. This does not mean that riders will be riding in the gravel beside the road, but it does mean that riders should accommodate automobile traffic and that riders should observe ALL traffic laws. EVERYONE on a ride should be observing the traffic laws, watching for road hazards, and communicating. Group riding etiquette requires good examples and good mentors. Please be willing to assist new riders in learning good riding etiquette.

Bike Camp 2010 is starting soon. Please get the word to your relatives, friends, neighbors, and anyone else that might be interested in Bike Camp. Please also consider volunteering as a ride leader.

May is Bike to Work Month. The week of May 17-21 is Bike to Work week. May 21 is Bike to Work day. Please consider riding to work at least 1 day this month. Please also consider participating in some of the events over the course of this month.

The Ride of Silence is on Wednesday, May 19. The purpose of this ride is to remember bicyclists who have been killed or seriously injured while bicycling. Another purpose of the ride is also to increase community awareness of the dangers of bicycling. The pace is intentionally slow.

I will see you on the road. (I promise!)

Mike Boersma, KBC President

Next KBC Monthly Meeting - May 11, 2010

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.

KalTour 2010 - Sunday, July 11th

Apple trees have blossomed and tulips are fading, which means that KalTour is coming sooner than you (or I) might think. Brochures are being mailed to KBC members and they are also available in area bike shops and fitness facilities. Online registration at the KBC web site is open. Sign up by mail or online by July 1 to take advantage of early registration and KBC member discounts.

The routes will change only slightly this year, primarily to avoid a few of the roughest roads. New this year will be a moderate pace group traveling the 31 mile route leaving at 9:30 A.M. The race team will lead a fast 62 mile (100K) ride at 9:00 A.M. and the guided family ride will take place at 10:00 A.M.

Will you be ready to go 100 K or 100 miles by early July? Be sure to use the May and June evening rides to get ready for a longer ride. I have found that an organized ride that involves getting an early start on a well-marked course with planned rest and refreshment stops is the best way to tackle a distance that I have been building up with a series of shorter rides.

We need your help to provide the services that have characterized the Flowerfest and KalTour rides for almost 2 decades: Road painting will take place on Tuesday, June 29 at 6:00 P.M. starting from the KVCC parking lot (near the tennis courts). Wear old clothes. (Rain date for road painting is Thursday, July 1.)

We can always use people to help on the ride day (Sunday, July 11). If you can join us for a few hours or longer, please let me know.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact Mike Krischer at kaltour@kalamazoobicycleclub.org or 823-2819

Mike Krischer, KalTour Co-Director

Ride of Silence

The Ride of Silence will be held on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, starting at the Gull Lake High School parking lot. Riders are asked to arrive by 6:45 P.M., as the ride will begin promptly at 7:00 P.M. The ride will be about 10 to 12 miles and ridden at a 10 to 12 mph pace. For further information, see www.rideofsilence.org.

10th Annual W Ride Report

A victim of bad weather and bad advertising (publicity efforts by the Ride Leader, who shall remain nameless, at least until the end of this report, left something to be desired), this year's W Ride, which was held on May 1, attracted only 2 riders, the aforementioned Ride Leader and Paul Stevens.

The sky was dreary and gray as the 2 riders, dressed in their matching new KBC cycling jerseys left the Vicksburg High School parking lot onto W Avenue, but they were buoyed by the knowledge that while they may be lacking in numbers, they would be making up for it in fashion sense. Fueled by the Rainbow Twizzler W Ride maps that the Ride Leader will be eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next week, they headed west to Van Buren County in a crosswind/headwind. Paul and the RL rode through misty conditions during the early part of the ride, but it never actually rained, let alone thundered, and a few miles west of Schoolcraft, the mist subsided as well.

The riders benefited by the crosswind/tailwind on the ride back to Vicksburg from the Van Buren County line and they briefly stopped back at the Vicksburg High School parking lot to replenish themselves with Gatorade and pretzels. Then, they continued to reap the benefits of the crosswind/tailwind until they reached the Calhoun County line.

Upon turning back to Vicksburg, the riders found that wind had shifted, so that the final 12 miles were more of a headwind/crosswind than a crosswind/tailwind. But they persevered and finished the ride at just after noon at an average speed of 16.9 mph.

Back at the parking lot, Paul and the RL dined on pretzels and washed them down with Gatorade once again. By that time, the sky was actually becoming sunny and it was 70 degrees, a pleasant finish after a not-so-pleasant start. And, since it's never too early to start the publicity for next year's event, let it be noted that the 11th Annual W Ride will be held approximately 365 days after the 10th Annual W Ride.

Rick Whaley

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club's monthly meeting took place on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. In attendance were, Mike Boersma, Zolton Cohen, Tom Keizer, Bill Figeley, Judd Henry, Rick Whaley, Dick Nivala, Terry O'Connor, Mark Jensen, Jim Kindle, Renee Mitchell, Mike Krischer, Julie Bradfield, George Duncan, Victor Van Fleet, and Mike Vandeveer. The meeting was called to order at 7:03 P.M.

Mike welcomed everyone to the meeting and Tom gave the Treasurer's Report. He noted that KBC had gotten a nice thank you letter from the YMCA for their Strong Kids donation. Rick suggested that KBC put a copy of the 2009 summary of income and expenses on the website and a copy will be sent to David Jones, KBC's webmaster

Renee gave an update on Bike Camp. She wasn't sure how many people had signed up and although most of the brochures had been distributed, there were still a few remaining. She noted that the Bike Camp meetings would be on the evening of Tuesday, May 11 and the 4 following Saturdays from 8:30 A.M. to around noon. She passed out a signup sheet for volunteers among the meeting attendees.

Billgave the Ride Captain's report. Victor stated that we should make a special note of those rides that are at a sub-17 mph pace. Renee stated that the club needs to place the ride start schedule on the website. Judd asked if KBC is on Facebook and it was noted that we are, as Kalamazoo Bicycle Club.

The $500 funding request for Open Roads Bike Program was then discussed. This amount of money would provide funds for 2 kids through the program. Zolton stated that we had received 3 comments concerning this funding. One was adamantly against funding the program, one stated that the program was not strictly a biking program, but was willing to donate $200, and one proposed a lower level of funding. Renee noted that our proposed fund request form could be helpful when informing KBC members concerning funding requests. Victor wanted to know more about the financial structure of this program, although it was noted that the Open Roads in under the YMCA NPO umbrella. Terry thought that we should implement our fund request for purposes such as this as soon as possible and Zolton noted that the funding request proposal was in the midst of being finalized. A motion to reject funding for the Open Roads Bike Program until KBC knows more about their finances was seconded and passed. Once it is finalized, KBC will send this funding request form to Open Roads.

A $300-$400 funding request to help provide security cameras at the 10th Street Kal-Haven Trail parking lot was then discussed. Renee wondered if KBC could be advertised in the web cam in return for our sponsorship. A motion was made to provide $250 was made and discussed. Some of the issues that were raised concerned the monitoring of the security cameras and when they would be monitored. George noted that they may not be monitored during portions of the day and there may not be any recordings either. Due to these concerns, the motion to provide $250 was withdrawn and Zolton will follow up to find out more about the monitoring of these cameras.

A funding request of $250 for the Traffic Skill 101 session of Bike Camp was discussed next. These funds would be used to purchase 50 copies of "Smart Cycling" books at $5 each. Mike B. stated that KBC should provisionally fund this, although it should be in their budget. A motion was made to provide $250 to Bike Camp for this purpose, and it was seconded and passed.

New business was the final topic of discussion. Renee thanked KBC for donating to the YMCA and welcomed the new members who attended the meeting. She noted that the Portage Community Education Center was providing 2 safe bicycling sessions, each lasting 2 hours on Tuesday, April 27 and Monday, May 17. Victor stated that KBC should try to get more members from outside of the immediate Kalamazoo area. Mike B. and Bill noted that KBC should come up with some suggestions that would help any club members who were interested in starting a new ride.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:03 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 June edition (distributed on or around the first of June), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of May.

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions: 264

New members:
Donna Barry · Stacey Davis · Aliceanne Inskeep · Mark Jensen · Doug Knudsen · Michael Koehler · James Kratky · Kristy Mietelka · Jesse Riegle · Susan Riker · Amy Rop · Julie Terrell · Scott Veramay · Christine West · Ola Wettergren

May Expiring memberships:
Mark Ackley · Colleen Alaniz · Katherine Binder · Jamie Clark · Chris Cockerel · Zolton Cohen Family · Tom Cross Family · Jim Cupper · Hendrik de Vries · Karen Duymovic · Debra Frank · John Freeby · Joao Graca Lobo · Jessica Hoane · J Mike Jacobs · Atis Kleinbergs · Ellen Mack · Linda Mah & Bill Wood · Kristi Mudie · Kristen Murphy · John & Teri Olbrot Family · Julie & Keith Peterson · Bill Price · Shannon Rininger · Robert Roschmann · Bill & Jill Tingley · Lori Viening · Linda Walker · Flint Wiles

Renewed memberships:
Susan H. Peterson · Jeffrey Wetters Family · Michael Peterson · Christopher Howard · Jim Kindle · Corrine & Kelly Sallaz · Stacey Lyon · Janet DeZwaan · Mike Schudel · Paul Clif

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

May Ride Captain's Report

The feedback at the Pre–season ride meeting on April 6, 2010 was entirely positive and we've had a great start to the season with many early-season participants. Several March and April rides divided into as many as 4 groups. I have attended each of the 3 evening rides and have announced basic safety protocols for each ride. My impressions of these rides so far this season have been as follows.

Monday evening rides – Very well attended with riders volunteering to act as leaders for the individual rides. Overall, there has been great participation and safe riding.

Wednesday evening rides – This early-season ride has proven to be a great opportunity for people to sign the ride waiver. I have asked that the Hammerfest riders and the half-fast riders to please separate themselves prior to the 4th Avenue/CR 390 westbound turn from CR 653 north of Kendall for safety.

Friday evening rides – They have been relatively small in number of riders, fast, and safe. This is a good thing and we hope to keep in the same.

I plan on announcing soon a protocol for reporting any accidents, crashes, or incidents during a ride to me for follow-up, analysis, to aid in future planning to avoid repeat problems, and to better advise riders on ways to improve safety during the rides.

Bill Figely, KBC Ride Captain

Editor’s Letter –It's Spring and We Know What That Means

Who's hurtin' bad from rides in the springtime.
Calling out words that foul up the air.
Who's beaten down to utter exhaustion.
Everyone knows it's windy.

Who's struggling down the roads of the country.
Snarlin' at every straight flag he sees.
Who's reachin' out to shift to a low gear.
Everyone knows it's windy.

And wind, it has teared my eyes
That plead when it starts to rise.
And wind, it has made me cry,
Above the noise ("Oh, please just stop!")
Above the noise ("Oh, please just stop!")

Who's struggling down the roads of the country.
Snarlin' at every straight flag he sees.
Who's reachin' out to shift to a low gear.
Everyone knows it's windy.
Everyone knows it's windy.

It's that time of year again, that time when we are lucky enough to experience daily the not-so-soothing effect of a not-so-gentle breeze, a breeze that caresses our faces with all the delicacy of a power washer. And it's even more fun to be caressed in this manner while riding a bicycle.

The wind can blow from 4 directions and 3 of them are bad. Just the words "strong headwind" can send a shudder through even the mightiest cyclist, unless that cyclist doesn't happen to understand English, in which case, the words "el headwindo de muerte" might just do the trick. Crosswinds are no pleasure, either, particularly on a sub-20 pound bicycle. Two years ago, I took my first ride on my new bicycle during a typical April afternoon, and I couldn't decide whether I was actually riding or just wrestling my way through the countryside. Pack riding in a strong crosswind isn't for the faint of pedal stroke, either. Just the words "strong crosswind" can send a shudder through even the mightiest professional cyclist, and, if not, the words "random drug test" might just do the trick.

Ah, but then there's the tailwind, that glorious tailwind, what cyclists live for on a windy day. We plan our routes carefully, willing to suffer during the first part of the ride in anticipation of the Tour de France type speed that we'll be able to effortlessly pedal on the way home. And then, the wind shifts.

Arrr, me hearties, the wind can be a fickle mistress, but we were talking about cycling and not pirating. But the wind can be fickle in cycling, as well. In the summer of 2005, I did a 4 day self-supported bicycle tour in the Upper Peninsula, riding during the day and staying in hotels at night. During the first 3 days, I rode west from Manistique to Escanaba, then north to Marquette, and then east to Munising. During the first 3 days, the wind came from the west, the north, and the east. As I arose that fourth morning, to ride back to my car in Manistique, I found myself saying, "C'mon, baby, wind from the south, wind from the south, let's keep this streak alive," and, sure enough, the wind was from the south. So, maybe that wasn't the best example of fickleness; sometimes the wind won't let you down, but it is still the case that usually does.

There's also the noise factor. The roar of the wind, like a dripping faucet, has a cumulative effect that can slowly drive a person insane, or at least to acute irritation. "Stop it, stop those voices inside my head!" I want to scream, except that they aren't actually voices, they aren't inside my head, and no one could hear me over the wind, anyway.

So what happens at this time of the year is that we hop on our bikes and, upon turning into a headwind, we get to experience all 5 Kübler-Ross stages in the space of a few minutes without even literally dying.

Denial: It's just a couple of winds gusts, this won't last long.

Anger: What?! &*%!!#$!! It's been like this every ride this past week! Why does this always happen to me?! Lousy atmospheric pressure differences! Miserable stinking earth rotation! Find some other way to disperse, you stupid seeds!

Bargaining: If the wind stops, I promise that I'll also come to a complete stop at all stop signs from now on. I'll clean my chain even if it doesn't look like it needs it. I'll pick up roadside litter and stuff it in my jersey pockets. I'll even stuff it under my jersey.

Depression: Oh, why even bother riding any farther, I'll just turn around and ride back home. Oh, I might as well just use my cell phone to call a cab. Then, I'll put my bike up for sale on e-bay. Then, I'll take up a new hobby, infomercial watching.

Acceptance: The wind isn't going away, I'm going to be riding slowly, and it won't be much fun.

Over the years, I think I've learned that it doesn't pay to fight the wind; that it is better to be at one with the wind like some sort of pseudo-zen master. And as such, my advice to any young grasshoppers who are reading this is to remember that that a bicycle ride, like life, is not a destination, but a journey with the occasional headwind, and that one way or another, it will eventually end. Wow, thank you, Mr. Newsletter Editor, that was really profound. You're welcome. Now, get out there and ride, the wind is calling. Or is it those voices inside my head?

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

Saturday, May 8. Kal-Haven/Kalamazoo River Valley Trailway Trailblazer, Kalamazoo/South Haven. 25, 45, 70, and 100 miles. www.kalcounty.com/parks/krvt/trailprogramming.htm.

Tuesday, May 11 and Saturdays, May 15 through June 5 – Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Bike Camp. www.kalamazoobicycleclub.org/bikecamp


Wednesday, May 19, 7:00 P.M. – Ride of Silence, Gull Lake High School. 10–12 miles. www.rideofsilence.org.

Sunday, May 30. Baba Wooly bike Rally, Coldwater, MI. 15, 25, 40, 62, and 100 miles. www.bikebranch.org.

Saturday, June 5. 100 Grand, Grand Rapids, MI. 17, 35, 64, and 100 miles. www.lmb.org/rapidwheels/100_Grand/100grand_ride.htm.

Saturday, June 5. Southeast Michigan Tour de Cure, Brighton, MI. 10, 25, 50, 75, and 100 miles (road) and 5, 9, and 14 (mountain). http://main.diabetes.org/southeastMItourdecure.

Saturday and Sunday, June 19 and 20, National 24–Hour Challenge, Middleville, MI. The name says it all. See how far you can ride a bicycle in 24 hours. www.n24hc.org.

Thursday through Sunday, July 22–25, 2010. The 23rd Wish–A–Mile 300 Bicycle Tour. 3 day, 300 mile tour from Traverse City to Chelsea, MI. One day 50 mile ride, also. www.wishamile.org.

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

RELIV Nutritional Shakes, they are great! For more info contact Mike @ 269-350-5010, 269–266–2671, or cmock88@att.net Independent Distributor.

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.

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,

Gazelle Sports' annual Sock SALE! Buy three pairs, get a fourth pair FREE now through May 31.

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