September 2011 President’s Letter

Two Important Things to Keep in Mind this Month

  • Regular evening KBC rides start at 6:00 p.m. in the month of September
  • On Saturday, September 17, the club will hold its annual Anniversary Party and ride at the Kal Haven Trailhead on 10th Street. Please look for further information about this event elsewhere in the Pedal Press.

Pucker Up, Buttercup

Anyone who has ever done a KBC club ride knows we never ride without helmets – no exceptions. But an astonishing number of club members, even very experienced cyclists, don't seem to know how to wear a helmet correctly. And wearing a helmet incorrectly is like driving an automobile with the safety belt lying unbuckled across your torso. In other words, neither is going to do you much good in the event of an accident.

People sometimes accuse bike riders of being "loopy." And, looking at all the loose straps hanging in loops under chins at the average club ride, that seems like an apt description. If a rider wearing such a loose-fitting helmet hits the asphalt, the helmet can slide off the noggin, leaving a lot of scalp, bone, and brain exposed to potential serious damage.

A helmet is only going to protect to its best ability and to its design capability if it is worn correctly. Why take a risk with what is, for most of us, our second favorite organ – our brain? Let's tighten up those chin straps and start looking like we know what we're doing out there.

The chin strap should fit snugly under the chin. It doesn't have to choke off your air supply or make you talk in a squeaky voice. But you shouldn't be able to force much more than a fingertip between the strap and your chin skin. Some riders I've seen lately could put a fist in that opening. They might as well not wear a helmet at all if they're going to deploy it like that.

So take a few minutes before your next ride and look in the mirror before you embark. Is your chin strap too loose? Tighten up those salt-encrusted straps and make your helmet fit right. Like using a seat belt, statistics show that you probably won't ever be in a position to need a helmet to save your life…except for that one time; that one, unforeseen circumstance. And then you want it working for you the best way it can. Tighten up!

And Glue It Up

And speaking of helmets…as they age, the hook and loop fastening system that holds the interior pads in place can begin to break down. While the hooks and loops usually stay in pretty reasonable shape, I recently had an entire section of the tape that holds the hooks to the foam inside the helmet come off. What to do then?

I tried to stick the stuff back in place with double-stick carpet tape but it wouldn't adhere to the foam, even after I cleaned the foam thoroughly with denatured alcohol. I considered staples and even small drywall screws until I realized my forehead would be resting against them for long periods of time. Bicycling is hard enough without having to deal with metallic objects digging into your head.

What turned the trick is some polyurethane construction adhesive I had lying around on my workbench from a small carpentry job I had done a few weeks ago. The label says it sticks to foam, though I think they were probably referring to the type of foam used in building insulation. No matter though, in this case it did stick remarkably well to the foam in my helmet.

The only drawback is that, according to the label application directions, it takes 24 hours for a complete cure. When I used it to repair my helmet it was late at night just before an early ride the following morning. Would I wind up with the helmet (or at least the backside of some hook and loop padding) permanently stuck to my hairline?

As it turned out, no. The material did cure adequately overnight. I was a bit careful when I removed my helmet at the end of the ride though; I didn't want to risk taking off some skin. But even though I wear my chin strap pretty tightly, there was no heartbreak of glue squeeze–out to contend with. Good thing that; I had forgotten to pack a putty knife to pry the helmet free, and I knew most of my cycling chums on the ride that day wouldn't have had one either..

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Monthly Meeting

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend. Joanna Johnson, Managing Director of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission, will be giving a presentation at this meeting.


KBC Anniversary Ride and Picnic

Come join us for the Anniversary Ride and Picnic! This year it wil be Saturday, September 17, at the Kal Haven Trailhead on 10th Street. We will have rides of multiple distances and speeds, leaving the Trailhead at 10:30. We will all meeting back at the Trailhead for pizza and pop, provided by the club. Please bring a desert or salad, if you would like. You will also need to provide your own seating and table service. We will also have a limited number of maps available for those unfamiliar with the area.


Reporting Road Rage

"A few years ago there was a road rage incident involving a KBC/TriKats member. The felon verbally harangued the bicyclist and then attempted to strike the bicyclist with his motor vehicle. The bicyclist called 911 and gave the KCSD a description of the vehicle. The Kalamazoo County Prosecutors Office prosecuted the matter as Felony Assault – Motor Vehicle, a 4 year felony, and obtained a conviction."

"Whether an incident is a civil infraction (careless driving) or a criminal offense is fact specific and really does need to be investigated by a law enforcement agency. Careless driving is at the minor end of road rage. Road rage, from what I have been witness to and from what others have been witness to, often involves assaultive behavior in addition to verbal or nonverbal messages from the driver, where a motor vehicle is used in such a way as to be a weapon or where items have been thrown from motor vehicles at bicyclists. The intent of the driver, which is obtained from the driver's actions or words, is important for purposes of a police investigation and for a conviction."

—Mike Boersma, August 18, 2011

Road rage is something that bicyclists hope never to experience. Yet sadly enough, it can occur, as Mike's recently broadcast e-mail made vividly clear.

So the question naturally arises, "What can I do if I am a victim of, or witness, an incident that we might call "road rage?"

On August 10, 2011, the Kalamazoo County Road Commission hosted a presentation on Traffic Laws by Sgt. James Campbell, an expert in Traffic Crash Reconstruction with the Michigan State Police. I followed up with Sgt. Campbell.

Sgt. Campbell's well thought-out answers to my questions about how to report an incident of road rage were released in an KBC Yahoo Group e–mail on August 18. They are worth reproducing here again in Pedal Press, since many of you may not yet subscribe to KBC's group mail service.

Q: What should a bicyclist do, if a motorist causes a bicyclist to be injured by their actions, such as in an accident, or through an act we might call "road rage?"

A: If there is an actual crash and someone is injured, there needs to be a report per MVC 257.617 (stop and ID and report). If there is no contact but the vehicle causes a crash with injury, the same applies and the vehicle is still required to report. This vehicle would be listed as a "non-contact" unit on the report.

Q: What if no actual injury occurs, but a bicyclist believes the motorist engaged in a deliberate act that otherwise could have hurt someone?

A: If the vehicle violates a traffic law that is not seen by a police officer – in your case, it most likely would have to be "careless" 257.626b (likely to endanger person or property). The citation would have to be written with a "witness" as the complainant and that person would have to come to court and testify.

Q: In the case of such careless driving (or "road rage"), what would be required in order to make a complaint with some hope of justice? Does it help if more than just one rider saw what happened?

A: A careless ticket is written to a driver (not owner), so there would need to be some ability to identify the suspected driver.

The citation would require – time/date/location/vehicle information (plate, color, make, and model) and a way to identify the driver. Witnesses always help because in court it will be you versus them.

Q: When should a report be filed?

A: The complaint should be made ASAP, so that if the vehicle can be located, if possible.

This information is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the counsel of an attorney or any other professional whose service may be required in the situations discussed above.

By the way, lest his comments be misinterpreted, I want to make clear that Sgt. Campbell was not in any way diminishing the serious nature of road rage when he discussed the option of issuing a "careless driving" ticket in his answers. In his comments made during his KCRC presentation, Sgt. Campbell stated that sometimes a citation can be written for "careless driving" if a more serious offence would not be supported under the specific terms of law.

As Mike's comments make clear, reports of road rage can lead to very serious penalties for an offender.

I again thank Sgt. Campbell for the time and thought he put into helping our membership.

Paul Selden, Director of Road Safety, KBC



Thanks to Ray Waurio, Deputy Director of Streets & Equipment for the City of Portage, who was able to use the last of the city's scarce bike lane funds to completely repave some of the worst stretches of shoulder/bike lane on Portage Road, between Gourdneck Lake and Mandigo Road. Ray says that the remaining bad sections in that area will have to wait until next year, but they are on his radar.

Paul Selden


Monthly Minutes

The monthly KBC general club meeting was called to order by Zolton Cohen at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. Also attending were David Jones, Mike Boersma, Joe Yeager, Terry O'Connor, Paul Selden, Doug Kirk, Tom Keizer, Victor Van Fleet, Marc Irwin, Bob Brennan, Sue Brennan, Mary Gerger, and Bill Figeley.

Zolton called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone. The first topic of discussion was the AMBUCS Alive After Five donation from the KalTour profits starting in 2012. A motion to give them 50% of the profits or $300 was made and the motion was carried.

Issues concerning KBC ride safety were discussed next. Doug stated that at a Tuesday night ride in Ada, a person was killed. He was riding in a very large group and there was a crash at the front of the group. He swerved into the left lane to avoid the crash and was killed by an oncoming car. The consensus was that we would like the rides to be as good as they can be, but realizing that we can't please all of the people all of the time. We should create some ride rules and not tolerate violations of these rules. For example, we should consider enforcing a maximum group size of approximately 20 riders per group. A motion was made to form an ad-hoc committee to report back to KBC with recommendations concerning ride safety and the betterment of our club rides. This motion was carried and a "Better Rides Committee" will be formed. As part of their duties, they will publicize information about riding etiquette. Victor stated that wearing bright clothing is also a good idea.

It was noted that the KBC Social Director(s) position is vacant and we need to find one or two people willing to take on this responsibility. Bill and David agreed to organize the KBC Anniversary Ride and Picnic. It will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2011 at the Kal Haven Trailhead.

KBC Ride maps were the next topic of discussion. The Monday and Wednesday ride maps are already present on KBC's website and that some other maps are on Determining a mechanism to provide and disseminate mapped KBC rides was discussed.

Paul gave a Road Safety Report. He noted that Joanna Johnson, Managing Director of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission, will be giving a presentation at the next Monthly Meeting. He also noted that there was a Kalamazoo County Road Commission bicycle safety course will be given on August 10. He is continuing to meet with people in group discussions with the goal of making the Kalamazoo area more bicycling friendly.

In miscellaneous business, KBC received a thank you note from the WMU President concerning the BTR Park Criterium Bike Race. The letter was very complementary towards the club and thanked us for our sponsorship of the event.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 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, by the 20th of the month before its intended publication.

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



Active subscriptions: 281

New members:
Robert Allwardt · Candice Elders

September Expiring memberships:
Lee Anderson · Jeremy Hendricks · John Idema · Bruce Johnson · James Kison Family · Larry Kissinger · Joe Kucharski Family · Pam McDonnell · LeMoin Shadduck · Katie Whidden · Rhonda & Chuck Wiersma Family

Renewed memberships:
Mike & Sheri Jones · David Merwin · Mike Hughes · Richard Sachwitz

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager


Editor's Letter – Scenes from the 2011 ODRAM

On August 20, I did the One Day Ride Across Michigan (knows as ODRAM), a 146 mile ride that raises money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The ride starts at Meinert Park, northwest of Montague, and finishes at Bay City State Park. It's a smaller challenge than riding across the country, but a bigger challenge than riding across Portage. "And what was it like?" you're probably not asking, but I've got an Editor's Letter to write and this is as good a topic as any to write about. So, here's what it was like and just be thankful I'm not writing about what it's like to lube my bicycle chain. That will just have to wait until next month.

Friday, 3:35 P.M.: After taking the afternoon off from work and warming up for the ride by mowing my lawn, I left my house for the drive to the Super 8 Motel in Whitehall. I figured that I could get through Grand Rapids before rush hour.

Friday, 3:40 P.M.: I stopped my car and checked to make sure that I had remembered my cycling shoes. I had. Stopping my car almost immediately after the start of a cycling trip to make sure I've remembered everything is a tradition of mine; a tradition worth continuing, unfortunately. I've learned that when going on a trip, I'm capable of forgetting almost anything. For example, a few years ago, I drove to northeast Ohio to visit my older brother and his family for Christmas. The next day, the weather was unseasonably warm for a Christmas Eve and I decided to take my bike out of my car and go for a ride. It was then that I discovered that I had forgotten to bring my front wheel. Santa didn't bring me a new wheel, let alone a new mind, for Christmas and I didn't do much riding over the holidays.

Friday, 5:20 P.M.: I made it through rush hour unscathed and arrived at the Super 8. The motel has 3 stories. I got a room on the third floor. Walking up stairs with a bike builds character.

Friday, 7:00 P.M.: I drove to the end of White Lake and walked on the White Lake pier. I noticed that, while people were jumping off the pier, no one was riding a bicycle off the pier. Finally, an item for my cycling bucket list!

Friday, 8:00 P.M.: Nothing like walking on a pier to work up an appetite for Lake Michigan seafood, so I had chicken jambalaya for dinner.

Friday, 10:00 P.M.: Lights out. There was nothing good on TV, anyway.

Saturday, 5:20 A.M.: Lights on. Time to eat a motel buffet breakfast. Hey, it's free.

Saturday, 6:00 A.M.: Walking down the stairs with a bike doesn't build character, just suspense. Will I stumble, drop my bike, and crack the frame again? Whaley 1, Stairs 0, this time, but the contest continues.

Saturday, 6:15 A.M.: One English muffin, one bagel, and one peach yogurt later, I left the motel and drove 10 miles to the start of the ride.

Saturday, 6:40 A.M.: I picked up my rider packet, including my ride number. This was the second ride number that I had received in 2011; the first was at the Fisk Knob Time Trial. When a saw my ride number, a chill ran up and down my spine. It was the same number that I had received at the time trial! Not only that, it was also the street number of the building where I work!! Obviously, cosmic forces that I didn't understand were at work, as well. Or it could have been a coincidence, whatever. For the record, the number was 161; indicating that I must be the leader of Team 16 and that Team 16 needs better riders.

Saturday, 7:10 A.M.: I started the ride.

Saturday, 7:11 A.M.: I was 0.2% done with the ride and thinking positively.

Saturday, 8:55 A.M.: After 27 miles, I rode through Fremont, the biggest town on the route and the town where Gerber's was founded. I thought about stopping for some strained carrots GU, but I decided to ride on to Morley, the next town on the route.

Saturday, 10:35 A.M.: I arrived at Morley, 55 miles into the ride, and stopped for Gatorade, a nutri-grain bar, and combos; the type of fine dining that I always enjoy while riding a bicycle. While riding out of town, I talked with a first time ODRAM rider and assured him that we had already finished the hillier portion of the ride, a few miles before a series of rollers that continued for most of the next 20 miles. Now I'm considering a post-retirement career as a Dentist Office Greeter, assuring patients that they won't feel a thing.

Saturday, approximately 11:30 A.M.: Riding on Jefferson Road east of Morley, I felt a strange feeling of déjà vu. And then I realized, "I'm riding on Buckhorn Road!" Yes, the across-the-road pavement cracks just kept coming and I just kept ca-thunking. It was as if a little piece of St. Joseph County cycling hell had transported itself to Mecosta County, just for me.

Saturday, 12:30 P.M.: I arrived at the lunch stop located in a church building a couple miles east of Blanchard after 81 miles of riding. I had a turkey sandwich, grapes, and hot chicken soup. The soup probably would have been better if the temperature outside had been 15 degrees cooler and I should be careful about what I wish for. When I went outside to continue my ride, I was greeted by a light rain.

Saturday, approximately 1:30 P.M.: The rain soon stopped, but it started lightly raining again after about 95 miles of riding. While riding on the 20 plus mile stretch of Blanchard Road through Isabella County, I realized that I had a rather nice/not-so-nice tailwind. Nice, because it was a tailwind, of course. Not-so-nice, because the sky to the west was dark and the clouds were gaining on me.

Saturday, 2:05 P.M.: After turning south off of Blanchard Road (which was now called Shepherd Road, after crossing into Midland County), I got to admire the deep, rich, black southwest sky, illuminated by bright flashes of lightning. The bolts hitting the ground were particularly illuminating. I began to look for a comfortable drainage ditch in which to crouch, when in the distance by the side of the road where we were to turn east, I noticed what appeared to be an abandoned barn. The door was open (because there was no actual door), and I let myself in.

Saturday, 2:20 P.M.: Sheets of rain, punctuated by loud thunder, and grass-flattening wind provided visual and aural entertainment for the next 20 minutes. During this time, I began to think that I might not be very safe from the lightning after all, since this was the tallest structure in the immediate area, and because I was sitting next to a rusty metal tiller. I began thinking pleasant thoughts, such as "If lightning strikes the barn and the barn collapses on me, I wonder how many weeks it will be before they find my body." I could imagine the newspaper headlines, "Cyclist Disappears while Riding across State." Maybe I could be the topic of a Dateline Mystery TV show and if I wasn't about 50 years too old, I could also appear on milk cartons. I'd become famous! And then I thought that, yes, I could become famous, but for what? For being a victim of bad luck? I could have spent my time finding a cure for hot foot and become famous for doing something productive, but, no, I spent my time riding my bicycle instead. Rain seldom cheers me up.

Saturday, 2:45 P.M.: Realizing that I wasn't going to become posthumously famous just yet, I began the last 42 miles of the ride, while thinking about potential cures for hot foot, in a vain attempt to enjoy the best of both worlds. Soon, I stopped thinking and just rode. After about a half hour's worth of steady rain in the now low 60s temperature (way to go "High 70s with Isolated Thunderstorms" weathermen!), it finally stopped.

Saturday, 4:30 P.M.: I took a brief break in Auburn after 132 miles for water and more combos. I just can't get enough of that crunchy pizza-like pretzel taste.

Saturday, 5:25 P.M.: I arrived at Bay City State Park, looking forward to a shower and then some cheeseburgers at the post-ride barbeque. One of the Race Directors had some pictures of the 2010 ODRAM to look through and he told me to take any that I liked. I took the following lunch stop picture of Tim Stewart, John Olbrot, and me, anyway.

Tim Stewart, John Olbrot, Rick Whaley

I think it's safe to say that none of us are particularly photogenic here. Of the three, Tim probably comes out looking the best, although there is that homicidal gleam in his eye that could involve a future rendezvous between his bicycle tires and chipmunks that happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I appear to be nauseated by the thought of the upcoming carnage and have turned as pale as a ghost, although there is always the possibility that I applied my sunscreen with a trowel that morning. And apparently at some point in the past, John joined the witness protection program, and is reacting to his cover being blown.

Saturday, 7:40 P.M: After two cheeseburgers, potato chips, and a peach, but no combos, washed down with a couple cans of Mountain Dew, I boarded the bus to take us back to the start of the ride. The bus left at 8:00, but made a beer run for some of my fellow cyclists at 8:05. Given, among other reasons, the fact that I had a 115 mile drive home, I had already opted for stimulants instead; taking another can of Mountain Dew from the post-ride barbeque to be consumed during the drive. I found that there was no comfortable position to sleep and so I got very little of it.

Saturday, 11:30 P.M.: The bus arrived at Meinert Park and the trailer with our bikes was already there. Ten minutes later, I was driving home and I noticed a partial moon rising. ("Don't drive home tonight. Some drunk will take your life. There's a partial moon on the rise.") I watched my fellow drivers closely and amused myself by pretending to be a contestant in an imaginary game show, "Sleepy or Soused?" ("A driver moves his right wheels over the dotted line and into the right lane, cuts in front of you, then quickly moves to the left lane again, because the driver in front of him is driving too slowly. Let's ask our contestant, is he Sleepy… or Soused?" "He must be soused." "That's Right!" "A driver slows down to less than 55 mph each time he approaches a curve. Is he Sleepy… or Soused?" "Oh, he's definitely soused." "Correct, again!" "Hey, wait a minute, that's me!")

Sunday, 1:35 A.M.: I arrived home, leaving my bike in my car. I had more important things to do than to unload my car, such as sleep. Maybe I'll write about sleeping in next month's Pedal Press.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor


Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

Saturday, September 10. Michigan Recumbent Rally – West. Kalamazoo. (269) 373-5413 or

Sunday, September 11. Vineyard Classic Bicycle Tour. Paw Paw. 22, 39, and 60 miles.

Saturday, September 17. Warm Kids of Greater Kalamazoo Michigan. Kalamazoo. 32 miles. (269) 353-7448.

Sunday, September 18. Holland Ride for CF. Holland. 18, 36, 62 miles.

Saturday, September 24. Le Tour de Donut. Greenville. 10, 30 miles.

Sunday, September 25. 38th Apple Cider Century. Three Oaks. 15, 25, 37, 50, 62, 75, and 100 miles.


Classified Ads

Looking for a used women's bike in good condition, hybrid, for paved road/trail rides. Not sure of the size bike needed, but I'm petite, 5'3." Contact Donna at or (269) 968-9674 (home) or (269) 830-1706 (cell).

2008 Trek Madone 4.5 (size 56). Less than 400 road miles due to injuries and surgery. $1500. See the specs at the following link: Phone: 269-352-3199. E-mail:

For Sale – Girls Trek MT-60 (mineral blue) in excellent condition, bought new in June 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

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.comor call 269-664-6489.

I am looking for a used carbon fiber bike. Contact Maggie Miller at

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


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

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,
Visit us Downtown on the Mall to check out Gazelle Sports' great line-up for fall! Stylish new duds from Patagonia, Lole, Prana, Pearl Izumi, Sugoi and many more. And check out a FREE Good Form Running clinic on Wednesdays at 6:00 P.M. Register at

Johnson Cycle Works

5309 Gull Road, Kalamazoo, (269) 226-0001.


611 W Michigan Avenue, Kalamazo, (269) 56–PEDAL and

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.