Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Newsletter
January 2011

January 2011 President’s Letter

Early winter is usually the slow season for bicycling. Ice-covered roadways and cold temperatures mean most enthusiasts aren't out on their bikes, but may be inside wearing out their trainers (and themselves) or doing some other form of exercise. Bike club business is far from their minds.

But it's not the slow season for the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club. Things actually seemed to accelerate this year once snow started falling. The president's e-mail box filled rapidly with solicitations and announcements, many implying that he really could use some help enhancing his "manhood."

One message was from a company wishing to "sponsor" the club by having it endorse their product. Someone sought advice on where she might donate a broken Huffy mountain bike. Another party wanted to know if the club was interested in giving money to a non–bicycle–related charity. And these were all in addition to the many usual club goings–on, some of which you will read about in this newsletter.

As you'll see in Doug Kirk's article, KBC has at long last put to rest the confusion over what is and what is not an "official" club ride. This is important, because only on official or "sanctioned" club rides are members covered by the club's excess medical insurance policy.

Additionally, Paul Selden, Terry O'Connor and Kathy Kirk have established the club's Ad Hoc Awards Committee, and have recommended its first annual recipient of the club's "Friend of Bicycling" award, to be presented early in 2011.

There is much yet left to do this winter at KBC; and it will get done. But let's take a break from club business momentarily and enjoy ourselves at the Recovery Party on Saturday, January 22. If you've never come to a Recovery Party, you will be welcomed — and well fed. If you've been to a Recovery Party before, you know it's a great place to catch up with others in the club that you might see only once or twice a week during the season — and you, too, will be well fed. In short, it's a grand old time. And, for those of us who don't crash our bikes and have to take advantage of the club's insurance policy, it's probably about the biggest and best perquisite of membership...

See you there...

Zolton Cohen, KBC President

Next KBC Monthly Meeting - February 8th 2011

There will be no Monthly Meeting in January. The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 8th 2011 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.

KBC Winter Recovery Party — January 22, 2011

By Janet DeZwaan and Teri Olbrot, KBC Social Directors

We are happy to announce that the 2011 Recovery Party is on the calendar for Saturday, January 22, 2011 from 7:00 P.M. until 10:00 P.M. Be sure to mark the date on YOUR calendar! We will again host the party at the home of John and Teri Olbrot.

The Address Is: 5146 Burning Tree. Need further directions? Call us at 327–5127.

We are planning a delicious selection of hot SOUPS and SANDWICHES, for both vegetarians and meat eaters. We have a new BEER AND WINE CHAIRMAN, Jon Ballema, who is carefully selecting the perfect brews for our party!

The usual excellent SHWAG, AWARDS, and (maybe) a RAFFLE are being planned, along with the traditional SLIDE SHOW of 2010's biking events. (Send your pictures electronically to President Zolton Cohen.)

As we did last year, we are offering no guidelines regarding what kind of dish you bring to pass, taking a calculated risk and leaving it to fate! Undecided? Consider gently stroking your cold bike in the garage, take a deep breath, and see what comes to mind! The selection was GREAT last year, with lots of thoughtful, delicious, and nutritious offerings. We're sure there will be more of the same this year. Bring a side dish, salad, or dessert as the spirit moves you.

We'll prop Teri's venerable mountain bike by the mailbox again this year. Park in the cul–de–sac, and let yourself in. Put your coat in one of the bedrooms (left of the door) — we'll be looking for you!

This is such a great party, thanks to all the support and enthusiasm from all of you! See you January 22!

What is a Sanctioned Ride? And Why Does it Matter?

By Doug Kirk KBC Vice President

At the November KBC Monthly Meeting, the question of exactly what constitutes a KBC sanctioned rides came up. It quickly became obvious that as a club, we had no clear answer.

However, there was a very clear answer to why this is important. KBC's insurance, which automatically covers all KBC members, will pay up to $5,000.00 in medical expenses that are not covered by some other insurance due to an accident IF, and this is a big IF, you are on a "sanctioned club ride" when the accident occurs.

So Zolton Cohen, Rick Whaley, and your faithful scribe agreed to become an ad hoc committee to determine a workable definition of what makes a ride a KBC sanctioned ride. The three of us decided KBC's insurance should cover KBC members as much as possible. The definition we worked out was adopted by the club at the December 14, 2010 meeting. It states:

  1. Sanctioned KBC rides must either be a part of the regularly scheduled club ride calendar publicized through the club's communication systems, or led by a recognized KBC member and ride leader.
  2. Ride leaders wishing to conduct sanctioned KBC rides must appear at a monthly club meeting at least annually to request sanctioning status for rides they conduct.
  3. Sanctioned rides must be conducted in a safe and reasonable manner consistent with KBC ride safety policies.
  4. Sanctioned rides must consist of more than one rider.
  5. Sanctioned rides may occur either on the road or off road.

Notice we created two distinct varieties of rides are sanctioned club rides: 1) all regularly scheduled KBC rides, and 2) any other ride led by a KBC member who comes to any regular KBC monthly meeting and whose request to be a ride leader is approved.

Note that under the second part of the definition, a ride need NOT be a regularly scheduled KBC ride to be a sanctioned ride (and the KBC members thereon covered by the insurance) IF, and again, this is a big IF, the ride is led by a KBC-approved ride leader.

As examples, if an approved ride leader contacts a couple of friends on an impromptu basis to go riding later that day, that ride is a KBC sanctioned ride and KBC members are covered. But if the same situation occurs and the leader is not a KBC approved ride leader, no one's covered, even if they are KBC members. (Note: KBC members are always covered on all regularly scheduled KBC rides.)

Obviously, it benefits every member of the club to request approval to be a ride leader since it means more of your rides are covered. We certainly hope this will encourage more club members to become ride leaders. To do so, you need only come to a regular KBC meeting, ask to become a ride leader, and convince the members at the meeting that you will conduct your rides in a safe and courteous manner that reflects well upon KBC and bicycling in general. The Club generally meets the second Tuesday of every month except January at 7:00 at the Maple St. YMCA.

KBC Members Asked to List the Van Buren County Roads Where They Ride

by Paul Selden, KBC Director of Road Safety

Gordon Hover, Engineering Technician for the Van Buren County Road Commission, has asked the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club to provide him with a list of roads our members ride in Van Buren County. Armed with this list, Hover agreed to make installation of "Share the Road" signs a part of relevant bidding packages the Van Buren County Road Commission (VBCRC) sends out when asking for proposals to improve their county roads. Many of our members live in Van Buren County and many of our riders spend a great deal of saddle time on the beautiful roadways that cross scenic Van Buren County. Hover is responding to the safety needs of riders and motorists alike.

So here is where your voice can be heard! Please send me a list of the roads you ride in Van Buren County, listing their name, and "between street" location information. An example of the most useful format would be something like, "I ride on the following roads in Van Buren County." (Thanks to Doug Kirk for these quick examples!)

CR 388 — From 42nd Street east to the Kalamazoo County line

CR 390 — From 42nd Street east until it ends by Clear Lake

So, e–mail your list of Van Buren County roads to me at directorroadsafety@kalamazoobicycleclub.org, no later than March 1, 2011. This will allow time to collate the lists and send a master list for 2011 to Mr. Hover in the timeframe he requested when we spoke on December 1.

By the way, this great step in the right direction was prompted by Doug Kirk's complaint at recent KBC meeting about shoulder-constricting stutter bumps installed on a section of Van Buren's County Road 652 south of Mattawan, between 72nd and Robinson Street.

I can't promise that everyone we present our ideas to will be as responsive and open as Gordon Hover, but I will do my best to take up your concerns if you don't want to handle them on your own. See our Reporting Road Hazards web page for more information, or e–mail me at the address above, to discuss your road safety ideas and concerns.

KBC Confers Inaugural "Friend of Bicycling Award"

by Paul Selden

At the December 14 KBC meeting, members adopted the recommendations presented by the Ad Hoc Awards Committee (Kathy Kirk, Terry O'Connor, and Paul Selden). They then voted to present our Friends of Bicycling Award for 2011 to the not-for-profit Friends of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. These votes mark an exciting milestone for the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club. We believe that we now are in a an even better position to more publicly thank and recognize those outside of KBC who have significantly advanced the interests of bicycling.

You've probably seen and heard a lot of news about the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. The Friends of the KRVT is a particularly dedicated group whose work recently culminated in a spectacular addition to the Trail that is also part of the Kalamazoo County Parks. The addition extends from downtown Kalamazoo to D Avenue. Sections wind along the Kalamazoo River, up through Markin Glen Park and the Kalamazoo Nature Center a beautiful and exciting ride. The work of the Friends shows what can be accomplished through persistence over time, regardless of a group's size.

In granting KBC's Friend of Bicycling Award for 2011, we are mindful that a great many passionate volunteers, donors, private businesses, governmental units, and other "trail blazers" were instrumental in its design, construction and sponsorship. The Trail can be used with no fee, opening opportunities for people of all walks of life. KBC members and bicyclists of all kinds will able to engage in adventure from one end of the county to the other, with eventual links to college campuses and the Portage Creek Bicentennial Park. Continued sponsorship and donations will be needed to build out the other sections encompassed in this vision. We're hoping that this and future KBC Friend of Bicycling Awards will contribute to and spur this and similar efforts.

The Ad Hoc Awards Committee's detailed recommendations are too long to repeat here. They may be posted on our web site by the time this article reaches you, but their essence is easy to summarize. The basic idea is that we want to more publicly honor and recognize others who, like us, are working to promote bicycling in the many ways that our own constitution sets forth.

KBC's Friend of Bicycling Award will be voted on and awarded annually at the club's December meeting to an individual or other entity who "significantly advanced the interests of bicycling." Club members are not eligible as individuals, but an organization that a club member belongs to may be eligible. This paves the way for say, a journalist or philanthropist, a governmental unit, bike shop, or even another bicycling organization, to receive the recognition. Although many valid factors were discussed at the meeting, it was decided that the bicycling community stood to gain many benefits than it would risk by accepting the Committee's unanimous nomination for KBC's first-ever Friend of Bicycling Award. The guidelines will undoubtedly evolve over time through experience.

This coming year we are accepting nominations from our entire membership. If you come across a particularly noteworthy individual or other entity you feel is worth nominating, please e-mail their name and contact information, with some reasons why you feel the nominee has significantly advanced the interests of bicycling, to awardscommittee@kalamazoobicycleclub.org. We are working to post a template on our club web site you can use, if you find that convenient, and will be posting reminders throughout the year, in Pedal Press.


There is no Kudos this month. Remember that any member of KBC can publicly thank a person or organization that has helped the club.

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The monthly KBC general club meeting was called to order by Zolton Cohen at 7:03 P.M. on Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. Also attending were Bill Figeley, Jon Ballema, Rick Whaley, Mike Krisher, Mike Mock, Terry O'Connor, Dick Nirvala, Paul Selden, Tom Kiezer, Doug Kirk, Kathy Kirk, and Teri Olbrot

Tom gave the Treasurer's Report and it was accepted.

Jon summarized the activities of the KBC Race Team. He reported that the kit designs are in process and that the kit supplier has been confirmed. There will be 15 riders on a fully-supported team and 5 to 10 riders on an unsupported "Club" team. CMS is the title sponsor of the team, while Stryker is the "silver sponsor." PulverDryer is a "bronze" sponsor and the team is looking for another bronze sponsor.

Teri discussed the planning for the Recovery Party, which will take place on Saturday, January 22 at Teri and John Obrot's house. Jon agreed to be in charge of the beer and wine purchases for the party. Bill agreed to bring an overhead projector to present a slide show of pictures. Zolton, Doug, and Bill agreed to request merchandise donations from bicycle shops in the area to be randomly distribute at the Recovery Party. (Editor's Note: Details concerning the Recovery Party are presented elsewhere in this issue of the Pedal Press.)

Doug presented a proposal by the Ad Hoc Ride Sanctioning Committee (Doug, Zolton, and Rick) for sanctioning KBC club rides. This proposal was approved unanimously and the members who were present at the meeting during the time of this discussion were approved as Ride Leaders. (Editor's Note: The definition of a sanctioned ride is presented elsewhere in this issue of the Pedal Press.)

Paul presented recommendations by the Ad Hoc Awards Committee (Paul, Kathy, and Terry) for an award to be given to a "Friend of Bicycling." These recommendations were approved unanimously. This committee nominated the Friends of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail for the 2011 award. The reaction was generally favorable, although Dick thought that this award should not be given just after the creation of this award without input from KBC members and Rick shared his concerns. The motion to give this award was passed by a vote of 9 to 3.

Paul then gave a Road Safety report. He noted that the Van Buren County Road Commission fixed a problem with a wash-out on the Kal-Haven Trail. He also noted that signs will be placed on CR 652 at the Kal-Haven Trail intersection and that "Share the Road" signs will be placed elsewhere in Van Buren County. He noted that the VBCRC would like input from club members on where these signs should be located. (Editor's Note: More details concerning this input are presented elsewhere in this issue of the Pedal Press.)

With regard to new business, it was suggested that there should be people who are responsible for the content in various sections of the KBC website, but no action was taken on this.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:21 P.M.

Bill Figeley, KBC Secretary


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, editor@kalamazoobicycleclub.org by the 20th of the month before its intended publication.

For example, if you'd like an article to be published in the Febuary edition (distributed on or around the first of February), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of January.

KBC Statistics

Active subscriptions: 250

New members:
Gary Snapper

January Expiring memberships:

Renewed memberships:
Jeff Robertson Family · Mike Berry

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager

Editor’s Letter – My Work–in–Progress Cycling Bucket List

As I was driving home from work the other evening, passing a cyclist wearing dark clothing and no helmet who was riding the wrong way down a one-way street on a bicycle without lights, it occurred to me that we're all going to die someday, some of us sooner than later. It also occurred to me that maybe I ought to attempt to jump on the bucket list bandwagon, now that it has traveled a couple miles down the road, and come up with a cycling bucket list. The end of the year is a good time for this sort of activity, as I'm reminded of my own mortality by the sight of 2010's Father Time; destined to meet his timely end, probably via impalement on his scythe after tripping over a beard that makes a ZZ Top beard look like chin stubble. Besides, it's also between cycling seasons, when I have more snowbound time on my hands to think about this sort of thing. Thinking about this would also be a more productive use of my time than wandering around my house with a knife muttering "Redrum" and scrawling this word across my bedroom door.

So, if I'm going to make a cycling bucket list, I'll also have to decide what types of items belong here. Goals? Having a cycling related goal, such as being the first KBC Pedal Press Editor to write a column entireay inay igpay atinlay, is nice, but a goal is a destination, not a journey and I think that bucket list items should be about the cycling journey (inspirational poster pending), both figuratively and sometimes literally. They should be experiences related to cycling that I'd like to have. So, setting these ground rules, I began to ponder.

First, I thought about Randonneauring, the series of self supported long-distance rides (called brevets) that I wrote about in my October 2009 Editor's Letter. The oldest and most revered Randonneauring brevet is Paris-Brest-Paris, the 1200 kilometer brevet that takes place only once every 4 years, which adds to its mystique. A worthy cycling bucket list item indeed, except for the not-so-trivial fact that I don't particularly want to do it. The idea of traveling to France to experience four days of sleep deprived riding, while fighting the crowds of other riders at the brevet control stops along the route, just doesn't have a whole lot of appeal for me. Even doing a 1200 kilometer brevet in the U.S. with fewer riders and fewer traveling hassles doesn't have much more appeal. This is not to say that I will never do a 1200 kilometer brevet, or even a 600 or 400 kilometer brevet; it's just to say that this isn't something that I feel compelled to put on my cycling bucket list.

Thinking of Paris-Brest-Paris, my thoughts then turned to other cycling related activities that I could do in France. What about riding one of the legendary Tour de France mountaintop stages? Well, if I really want to suffer, I can ride up and down the 6th Street hill a dozen times and save some money in the process. What about watching one of the legendary Tour de France mountaintop stages? Well, if I really want to hang around for hours with a large group of people in various states of inebriation to watch a few minutes of frenzied activity, I could go to Times Square on New Year's Eve, and that's not likely to make my non-cycling bucket list either.

So, then, what else could I possibly put on this list? Riding across the U.S. would be a great experience, but this is something I can't even think about doing until I retire. Then, there's the logistics. Do I ride alone? As part of a group? And in how many days? Appealing, yes, but bucket list worthy, probably not. I can also think of other less challenging rides where this would also be the case.

So, after I pondered this for a while, here's what I've come up with, so far. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Goose Egg. I think you get the idea. My cycling bucket list is as empty as a list of Tour de France podium finishers from tiny European countries or, perhaps, the number of appropriate cycling related similes that I've used in this Editor's Letter. Anyway, while there are some cycling related activities that I haven't done and would still like to do before I turn that last pedal stoke in anger or even malaise, nothing comes to mind that I'll bitterly or even not-so-bitterly regret not doing when that time comes.

I suspect that having zero items on a cycling bucket list is a not a good thing. It suggests that I'm either not exactly the most imaginative person in the world or that I'm hedging my psychological bets; unwilling to commit myself in writing to something that I may ultimately be unable to accomplish. Nevertheless, that's my list, as of now, and I'm sticking with it. Besides, I still have some more time this winter to think about this. It's always possible that by the end of the winter, my cycling bucket list will consist of least one item that doesn't include the word "Redrum."

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Area Rides of Interest

Still no upcoming rides of interest, unless you consider stationary trainer riding to be intrinsically interesting.

Classified Ads

Free old set of BMX race wheels with tires. I bought them in the late 1980s for my stepson and have been moving them around for years. I would like to give them away to anyone who wants them, preferably a deserving young lad or lass. They are in good shape but I assume the technology has moved on. Contact Rick Updike at rick.updike@yahoo.com.

For Sale – Girls Trek MT-60 (mineral blue) in excellent condition, bought new in May 2007, adjustable for a 5 year-old up to 9 year-old, 6-speed with front and rear grip shift hand brakes, also has front shocks. Our daughter outgrew it and is now in an adult size mountain bike. Owner's manual and matching helmet included, photos available upon request. $125. Please contact Stephanie Sabin at (269) 350-6225 or sabinsms@gmail.com

Kestrel 200 SC road bike with Shimano DuraAce components and EMS composite forks. Campagnolo Omega wheels. White in color, good condition. Not sure how old it is (probably 1990s), but I bought it used in around 2000 and used it for about 15 Olympic distance triathlons, plus about 200 miles per year. Not sure what size it is, but it stands 32 inches high at the top tube. Asking price is $600, but will consider any offer. E-mail Rob at rkengis@hotmail.com or call 269-664-6489.

I am looking for a used carbon fiber bike. Contact Maggie Miller at maggiemiller@rocketmail.com.

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.

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,
Going on now.... Gazelle Sports' End of the Year Sale! Save 25-60% on selected footwear, apparel and accessories. Merrell, The North Face, Lole, Brooks, Adidas, Smartwool, and much, much more. Hurry while the gettin's good! Shop in-store or online at www.Gazellesports.com.

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 Zolton Cohen
Vice President Doug Kirk
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
Director of Road Safety Paul Selden
Web Site David Jones

KAL Tour

Director Michael Krischer
Director "Super" Dave Bishop 269–679–4522