Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
August 2010

August 2010 President’s Letter

July was a record or near record month for the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club. The BTR race drew a record number of contestants. The KalTour drew a near record number of riders. Club rides are enjoying large numbers of riders. This is a reflection of all members of the KBC and your efforts at making these events a success

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club will be celebrating its 39th anniversary this year. The annual anniversary ride will be in September. Please stay tuned for more information.

Coming home from my last KBC club ride, I was reminded of the importance of good roads. I was trying to avoid the abundance of fresh chip-n-seal (which I was unable to do) when I hit a patch of fresh chip (and very little seal) at low speed. I went down. Fortunately I only bruised my backside (and my ego).

Chip and seal is a tool that road agencies have in their arsenal to extend the life of a road. While fresh chip-n-seal is a hazard for bicyclists, it is much better than the alternative of reverting a road back to a dirt road or a gravel road, which is happening in portions of Kalamazoo and Van Buren Counties.

Good roads cost money to maintain. They have to be plowed. Potholes need to be filled. Roads need to be repaved when chip and seal is no longer effective at extending their useful life. Bridges need to be repaired.

This year is an election year in Michigan. Of the many issues that politicians pander to voters with, from a chicken in every pot, to cutting taxes, to jobs, to whatever else they think is an important issue for voters, I have not heard any politician of any party talk about funding roads. Perhaps infrastructure, including roads, is just not sexy enough to appeal to the electorate with.

Kalamazoo Bicycle Club rides depend on good roads. The club is primarily a road biking club and as a club we ride hundreds of thousands of miles per year. Historically, the club has had to reroute popular rides when road conditions have become dangerous. We don't like to take this step.

I would hope that members of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club hold their elected politicians responsible for the state of the roads that they ride on. Members do have a voice and they should use it. Please educate yourselves and please demand results from the folks who are in office.

Mike Boersma, KBC President

Next KBC Monthly Meeting - August 10, 2010

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.

Biking for the Health of It

Overweight/obesity causes or aggravates more health problems than all other health issues combined. Biking and appropriate eating habits can mitigate this problem. For an outstanding illustration of weight loss via biking and a healthy diet, read the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Bicycling, pages 48–53. From November 2005 to September 2009, Scott Cutshall went from 501 pounds to 170 pounds. Year around biking did the trick!

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club can and should do something about this tragic health problem that is costing all of us thousands of unnecessary dollars in higher medical expense and on top of that, escalating insurance premiums. Read on and see the problem and the solution

Of the 97,000+ families in Kalamazoo County, 2/3 of adults and 1/3 of children are overweight or obese. Mitigating the weight problem could result in annual savings of 25% to 35% or $3,000 to $5,000 in healthcare insurance savings alone for a family of four. Not exactly "chicken feed!"

In addition to medical insurance saving, consider the economic value of a family of four biking to school, the store, errands and social trips, etc. The vehicle savings, at fifty cents per mile, could add up to $200 or more of monthly automobile savings.

KBC has the talent, the man/womanpower (and willpower?) plus the necessary funds to spearhead a movement that puts biking front and center on the health issue. How?

  1. Sponsor/support/endorse/fund various biking venues such as biking clinics (e.g., Bike Camp) for schools, churches, clubs, association, businesses, and business organizations.
  2. Sponsor bike repair programs in cooperation with local bike shops.
  3. Conduct safety presentations in conjunction with local law enforcement units.
Kalamazoo has dozens, if not hundreds of sizable groups/organization that would, if asked, be glad to listen to our story and quite possibly sponsor/endorse/support/fund biking activities that would benefit the community as a whole. No matter how you slice it, this could be a win, win, win situation for you and me, KBC, our collective pocketbooks, and our community in general, BUT, and here is the clincher. . . A program of this magnitude needs/requires the support/participation of dedicated bikers willing to go the extra mile for the good of our organization and community health improvement. Give it some thought.

Your affirmative response to this challenge would be welcome and appreciated.

Victor Van Fleet, Safety and Education Committee Chair

Ride to South Haven

As a reminder, the Ride to South Haven will be taking place on Saturday, August 7 at 8:00 A.M. from the southwest corner of the KVCC parking lot. Be there or spend the next year living a life of bitter regret.

Rick Whaley

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club's monthly meeting took place on Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. In attendance were Jeff Newman, Mike Boersma, Rick Whaley, Zolton Cohen, Tom Keizer, Mike Mock, Aliceanne Inskeep, Victor Van Fleet, Mike Krischer, Paul Pancella, Keith Hernandez (guest) and Robert Bauckham (guest).

The meeting started with Mr. Bauckham and Mr. Hernandez detailing the City of Kalamazoo's Draft Bike Parking Space Ordinance. This proposed ordinance is part of the City's overall sustainability plan, and is designed to encourage residents and visitors to use bicycles rather than automobiles in the downtown area as they work, shop, and attend events.

Bauckham said the proposed ordinance is based on similar ones they studied in other Michigan cities, as well as in other places throughout the country. It would impose the bike parking space requirements only on new developments and projects – not on existing businesses, though Bauckham and Hernandez said they would encourage existing businesses and other entities to adopt the proposal's standards.

The number of bike parking spaces the draft proposal would require is based on formulae developed for automobile parking spaces. As is the case with other City ordinances, a variance to the bike parking space ordinance could be issued if applied for, and the reason for the variance is found to be valid by the zoning board of appeals.

Bauckham said one reason the proposed space requirements (2.5 feet by 6 feet) were that dimension is that the City envisioned the spaces being used for other transportation devices, such as mopeds. Western Michigan University would be exempt from instituting the proposed ordinance.

Bauckham and Hernandez solicited comments from the club members at the meeting, as well as from the club at large. Such comments can be forwarded to Vice President Zolton Cohen (zcohen@ameritech.net) for compilation for the City's planning staff.

Comments from club members at the meeting included concerns that too many bike spaces were required per employee and that the space requirements for each bike seemed too large. Such regulations, some thought, might be a cause for backlash against the bicycling community. Bauckham and Hernandez said that the proposal was still in its draft form, so these items could be adjusted. Members came up with several suggestions for how bike parking could be creatively consolidated so as not to impose an undue burden on those who would fall under the ordinance's requirements.

Hernandez and Bauckham said a "formal" ordinance like the one proposed is a more effective tool for bringing about changes in the bicycling infrastructure than an "incentivized" voluntary program.

Officer Reports: Tom presented the Treasurer's report. Income for June was $1,669.45, expenses were $562.43. The club currently has $11,049.86 in a CD, and $4,253.19 in the checking account.

KalTour Report: Mike K. gave the KalTour wrap-up report, and noted that approximately 246 people rode in the tour. He said that about ten more people pre-registered compared to KalTour 2009, and that there were 165 "day-of" riders signing up. He noted that the 2011 KalTour will be the 20th anniversary of the ride.

Club members suggested there be a published and publicized cut-off starting time for the longer rides at KalTour, in order to avoid having the SAG stops remain open and staffed for extended periods. Mike K. also said that, unless something changes in his personal life, he is on board to be the co-director of KalTour 2011.

Members present expressed thanks and appreciation for the long hours Mike K. puts into this most visible of KBC events. Volunteers who worked at KalTour's registration and SAG stops said they received many compliments on how well run and enjoyable KalTour is, thanks mostly to his organization, and to the friendly volunteers, including the AMBUCS/Alive After Five group at the Briar Patch.

Old Business: Victor recited a list of statistics about childhood obesity and general health, and said KBC should be doing more to address these concerns. President Mike B. asked what Victor needed from the club in order to start dealing with these issues. Victor answered, "manpower."

New Business: Mike B. reported that the League of Michigan Bicyclists has conducting a survey to try to find out what Michigan Bicyclists know about LMB. The survey will be mounted on the KBC website.

Mike M. said that he rides many charity bike rides and tours around the region, and noted that there is no local ride for breast cancer support. He asked if KBC would be interested in exploring the possibility of starting such an event, in conjunction with local breast cancer awareness groups. It is possible, some attending members said, that a breast cancer awareness component could be linked with an upcoming KalTour. Victor suggested a similar association could be explored for epilepsy support and awareness.

Reported by Zolton Cohen, in lieu of Secretary Bill Figeley.


The electronically-distributed KBC Pedal Press 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 Sepptember edition (distributed on or around the first of September), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of August.

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions: 252

New members:
David Areaux · Phyllis Florian · Nikki Gates · Leonard Holmes · Alyson Lonsway · Erin Sedlak · Rick Sedlak · Ari Solomon · Paul Solomon · Janelle Werner

July Expiring memberships:
Joshua & Jennifer Foote · Michelle Frederick · Linda Kozacki · David Merwin · Terry & Pamela O'Connor · Ernst Roeseler · Richard Smith · Steve Stapleton

Renewed memberships:
Joseph & Julie Dill · Glen Kellam · Dan Kallewaard · Jack Bley · Susan Bond · Paul Marquardt · Diana & Gary Rankinen Family · Bill Smyser · Connor Loftus · Andrea & Donald Fore

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

Editor’s Letter –When I'm not Riding, I Can Always Watch Other People Ride

I participated, albeit either vicariously or indirectly, in two different cycling related activities during the month of July. One was, of course, the Tour de France. From the comfort of my reclining chair, I watched sprinters climb up peaks in pain, Armstrong's tour go down the drain, Schleck's doom from a slipping chain, and win three by the man from Spain. But for me, the three most memorable experiences from this year's Tour were as follows, in no particular order.

The Finish of Stage 11: When Mark Renshaw thought that Julian Dean was beginning to crowd him during the sprint to the finish on Stage 11, he could have warned Dean away with a withering, cutting glance. And if that didn't do the trick, he could have sternly lectured Dean, exclaiming "Sir, you are impeding my progress!" and thereby putting that not–so–young pup in his place. But instead, he chose to register his displeasure with a head butt. And again. And again. I thought that cyclists started wearing helmets in the Tour de France for safety reasons, but, oh, how naïve I was. So, if you ever see me wearing a bicycle helmet in the express check-out line of a grocery store, you had better not have 13 items.

The Water Bottle Man: In years past, one of the highlights of my Tour watching was to see the man in the devil costume, pitchfork in hand, running alongside the cyclists during the mountain stages. However, he seemed to have kept a low profile this year, and I had to content myself with watching a man in a water bottle costume run alongside the riders instead. Now, while I do have to admit that a watching a giant water bottle running up the ascent of a mountain is kind of creepy in a Michelin Man sort of way, The Water Bottle just doesn't have same sort of panache that The Devil has. Unless, of course, it also rolls down the descents of the mountains alongside the cyclists. Maybe we can look forward to that next year.

Damiano Cunego: The former Giro d'Italia winner didn't do anything particularly noteworthy in this year's Tour. However, what was particularly noteworthy was his nickname –The Little Prince. Even typing those three words sends shivers of fear up and down my spine, so imagine what it must have done to the breakaway on Stage 9, when they realized that not just any rider but The Little Prince had joined them. Unfortunately, he only finished third on the stage, beaten by The Mama's Boy and The Great Big Pantywaist. Seriously, who came up with this nickname, anyway?

So, another Tour de France ended with more indelible memories to savor in the years to come, after I've forgotten the names of all my friends and where I live. However, on the eve of the end of the Tour de France, I also participated in another bicycling related activity, the Portage YMCA's Kid's Triathlon. Yes, I lied about my age and entered it, and, although I don't like to toot my own horn, I did finish 3rd in my age group, and next year I won't make the rookie mistake of doing the swimming leg while floating in an inner tube.

Actually, I was there as a course marshal during the cycling and running legs of the race, to keep traffic off the course, to make sure that the kids stayed on course, and to offer encouragement. It didn't take much thought on my part to realize that calling out "Turn here, kids, I've got candy," would be somewhat less than appropriate, but what exactly would be an appropriate sort of encouragement? I settled on calling out "Good ride" or "Good job," which, if not very original, had the virtue of being concise.

This worked well during the riding portion of the triathlon, as all of the kids were still reasonably fresh. Some pedaled furiously, some took a more laid back approach, and one rider even passed me with his feet on the handlebars of his bicycle. (And Alberto Contador will never be a true champion in my eyes, until he does the same during one of his mountain top descents.) However, this did not work so well during the running leg.

The temperature during the race was in the low 90s with almost matching humidity. In addition, how many kids who are younger than 15 actually train for triathlons? (Very few, I hope.) As a result, the run was mostly a walk interrupted by brief periods of running for most kids, which made me wonder what sort of encouragement could I offer now? "Good run?" "Good job?" "Way to go?" I think that kids are more attuned to sarcasm, even if imagined, than we might think, so these didn't seem right. "Good walk" or "At least you're not crawling" were also unlikely to be received favorably. So, I settled on "Almost there" or "Almost done" and the occasional "O.K... ." with my voice trailing off, which must have been really inspiring. At least no one glared at me with a "Yeah, that's easy for you to say, buddy," sort of expression, as an adult might.

Eventually, all the kids finished and I walked back to my car to head home, to do a short ride of my own, and then watch that day's taping of the Tour de France. The cloudburst that threatened to occur during the race finally lived up to its promise, while I was riding, of course, and it was as if a giant water bottle had been opened in the sky. This sort of imagery never would have occurred to me if I hadn't been watching the Tour de France, thus proving not only that Tour watching is entertaining, it is also a valuable tool for honing one's writing skills. This is why I watch the Tour. I do it, not for my own enjoyment, but for you, the readers of the Editor's Letter.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

Saturday, August 14, 2010. Cycle to Serve, Grand Rapids, MI. 5, 15, 30, and 60 miles. www.visgr.org.

Saturday, August 21, 2010. One Day Ride Across Michigan, Montague, MI. 150 miles. www.odram.com.

Sunday, September 12, 2010. Vineyard Classic, Paw Paw, MI. 22, 39, and 60 miles. www.wineandharvestfestival.com.

Classified Ads

New: Cannondale Ironman 2000 (model year 2003) time trial bike. Size 56 with the CAAD5 Aero frame. Components are Ultegra and Dura-Ace with Spinergy Xaero Lite 650 wheels. Additional race accessories include Zipp 800 full disk rear and Zipp 400 front with new tubular tires. Extra sets of tires included. $1,500 for full setup. Will also consider selling without Zipp racing wheelset. Call 806-7164 or contact Kellam.glen@yahoo.com.

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.

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

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,
You like bikes. So, do you like balls, too? Soccer balls, that is. If so, be sure to take advantage of Gazelle Sports' HUGE SOCCER SALE on August 6 & 7. Jerseys, shorts and warm ups as low as $9.95. PLUS, really low prices on youth and adult soccer boots. Check it out at Gazelle Sports... two days only, August 6 & 7.

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