November 2011 President’s Letter

Be sure to attend the KBC monthly meeting at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, November 8, at the YMCA on Maple Street. There's a whole host of things going on...

Election Night!

First up are the annual KBC elections. We've got a full slate, consisting of John Olbrot, Treasurer; Mary Gerger, Secretary; Doug Kirk, Vice President; and Zolton Cohen, President. Every club member has a vote, so be sure to make it a point to be there to cast yours.

Guest Speaker

We also have a guest speaker scheduled: Chris Gottwald. Chris is a KBC member you may have heard something about in the recent past. In June, he completed a laid back and leisurely 2,989.5 mile ride across the country…in 9 days, 18 hours and 50 minutes. On a bike; not in a car.

Actually, that time put Chris in 6th place in the under-50 solo male category of the 2011 edition of the annual Race Across America (RAAM). Chris will share what he experienced during this grueling event; cyclists of every stripe should be interested to hear what it takes to average 305.5 miles every 24 hours for a week and a half.

And you'll learn some things. Don't be like the guy who said to me, "I found out everything I need to know about RAAM when I saw a picture of a guy with a board strapped to his back and the other end duct-taped to his helmet. That was to hold his head up and keep him from falling off the bike."

Departing Board Members

Our bike club owes a huge debt of gratitude to long-standing Treasurer Tom Keizer, who is stepping down from his post after seven years. Any leader of a non-profit, all-volunteer organization like the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club will tell you that it is unusual and steadying to have someone staff an important and high-profile position like Treasurer for so long.

Tom has been a quiet influence in every financial decision – and quite a few others as well – made by KBC over the past seven years. His input and wisdom about things financial and club-related will surely be missed. Although he was awarded the prestigious "President's Volunteer of the Year" recognition at the 2010 Recovery Party, he could easily have qualified for "Volunteer of the Decade."

Be sure to give Tom a pat on the back as you see him on club rides and other events in the months and years to come. He has helped make the club what it is today. Thanks, Tom!

Also, Bill Figeley is relinquishing his position as Secretary. However, he hopes that won't end his involvement with the club. He will apply for his second year as Ride Captain.

Bill's good cheer and the red licorice sticks he's brought to a lot of club meetings helped spread his good nature and brand of humor throughout every gathering he's attended.

Bill has also been the primary organizer of the spring safety meeting for the past several years, and stepped up to help host the successful Anniversary Ride this fall. We hope we can count on him for similar contributions in the future. Thanks, Bill!

Now is Your Time

From the "retirement" notices above, you should be able to glean that volunteers do everything to keep the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club afloat. Without them there would be no club. It's as simple as that.

And, as those who have volunteered in the past step down and move on, it creates opportunities for others to take their place. Thanks go to Mary Gerger and John Olbrot, who answered the call and have put their helmets in the ring to run for Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.

We do need others though. There's a Recovery Party to plan; races, Bike Camp, and tours to organize. The good thing about KBC is that it is small enough that you can have input into what goes on. Want to get the club involved in cycling-related issues you are interested in? Come to a meeting and get others of similar inclination to join with you to create a committee.

This is rewarding work. If I weren't I wouldn't have been able to stick with being a KBC volunteer for 15 years – and counting. It's a wonderful thing to work as a team to accomplish something that you believe in. Try it. You'll like it.

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Monthly Meeting

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend. As mentioned in the President's Letter, KBC member Chris Gottwald, the current Michigan State Road Race Champion and Race Across America veteran, will be speaking at this meeting.


Friend of Bicycling Award Nominations due November 8

If you have a Friend of Bicycling Award nomination in mind, the deadline for submitting nominations is November's club meeting. This gives the Awards Committee time to review nominees prior to their announcement in December's Pedal Press. These timing updates to the club's Award guidelines were reviewed and approved at our October meeting. The updates are designed to make the process even more open to all club members by giving ample notice prior to voting on the nominees. Voting will take place at our December meeting, as usual. For more information, see the club's information under the heading of Friend of Bicycling Award, at

Paul Selden, Chair, KBC Awards Committee


KBC Winter Recovery Party – January 28, 2012

The Winter Recovery Party will be held on Saturday, January 28 at the home of John and Teri John Olbrot. Stay tuned for more details in subsequent Pedal Press issues and on the KBC website.


Bigger is Better by Victor Van Fleet

At the October KBC meeting, the subject of membership and the lack of a membership committee was brought up. President Zolton suggested the possibility of attracting a volunteer for membership chair. So here goes!

It isn't necessary to extol the advantages of biking to our membership; that goes without saying. What is appropriate is to get the message out to the uninformed as to the social, economic, and most importantly, the health advantages of regular biking. As an individual you may get the opportunity to make a presentation to a group you are connected with, such as a school your kids attend, a church group, a business you are affiliated with, or a club membership.

If you don't feel comfortable giving a presentation, then contact another member to share in the fun.

Presentations to the various organizations could serve two purposes: generate interest in KBC membership (the main purpose of the program) and of equal importance it could stimulate an interest in our forthcoming Bike Camp in the spring of 2012. There are thousands of families out here just waiting to be invited (coaxed) into joining a bike club!

Now comes the hard part that can make or break the effort.

Successful membership activity requires program direction and consistent monitoring for results. Stimulating an increase in membership can be fun, challenging, and very rewarding. Just think how much more influential our club would be if membership were 500 or 600 or maybe 1000?

An innovative, creative, and aggressive individual with an iron constitution and a thick skin would make an ideal candidate for KBC Membership Committee Chair. Imagine this, you are successful beyond your wildest dreams, you might even become the talk of the town!

Please give this opportunity some serious thought and contact our President with your affirmative decision to become Kalamazoo Bicycle Club's first ever Membership Committee Chair.


Monthly Minutes

The monthly KBC general club meeting was called to order by Zolton Cohen at 7:02 P.M. on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at the YMCA on Maple Street in Kalamazoo. Also attending were Bill Figeley, Paul Selden Katie Whidden, Tom Keizer, Bob Strader, Mike Boersma, David Jones, Victor Van Fleet, Rick Whaley, John Olbrot, Mark Irwin, Jon Ballema, Mary Gerger, Kathy Kirk, and Doug Kirk.

Tom gave the Treasurer's Report. He also reported that KBC had received a thank-you note for the KRVT for the club's $300 donation and that the Kalamazoo downtown post office may close. If this occurs, the club will have to get a new post office box at another post office. He also noted that KBC's CD was up for renewal in a few days. While it was decided to renew the CD, Mark will investigate alternatives to the CD that may yield a higher return.

The Annual Executive Board elections were discussed next. The nominations for these positions are as follows: President – Zolton Cohen; Vice-President – Doug Kirk; Treasurer – John Olbrot; Secretary – Mary Gerger. The elections for these positions will be held at the November 8 Monthly Meeting. The December Monthly Meeting is when the board appointed positions, such as Pedal Press Editor, Webmaster, Ride Captain, etc. are appointed. Persons interested in one of these positions should attend the December meeting.

Paul discussed the procedure for determining the Friends of Bicycling Award. Nominations for this award should be presented to the Award Committee by November 8, so that the Committee can have ample time to review and vet the nominees. The nominees will be announced in the December Pedal Press and voting for the award will take place at the December meeting. Zolton noted that he thought that the person or organization who the Awards Committee recommends should be a big factor in determining who gets the award.

With regard to new business, David noted that the deadline for placing rides in the League of Michigan Bicyclists 2012 Ride Calendar was around the end of October. Zolton will contact Mike Krischer to make sure that the KalTour information gets into the calendar.

Victor volunteered to help organize a membership committee to increase the number of KBC members.

Mike noted that the Michigan League of Bicyclists is seeking representatives from our local region of the state.

John announced that the Winter Recovery Party will be held on Saturday, January 28. "Save this date" announcements will be made in the Pedal Press (Ed. Note: See the article elsewhere in this issue), Facebook, and in Yahoo Groups. Jon will be in charge of the beer again and Bill will once again prepare a slide show.

It was noted again that Chris Gottwald will be making a presentation at the November Monthly Meeting. There was no other old business.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:33 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 December edition (distributed on or around the first of December), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of November.



Active subscriptions: 275

New members:
Robert Norton · Mike St. Clair

November Expiring memberships:
Michael Boersma · Jason Goodin

Renewed memberships:
John Shubnell Family

Paul Bruneau, KBC Database Manager


Editor's Letter – Of Compulsive Behavior and Fishnet Clothes

If you ride a bicycle long enough, you'll experience almost everything, or at least it seems that way. For example, at a Friday night club ride this summer, I was riding through a turn filled with gravel and I heard a loud pop. Sure enough, my rear tire was flat. After fixing it, I then discovered that my front tire was also flat. What a magic moment! My first double flat! Oh, if I only had a camera to record this historic event! Fortunately, even though I don't carry a camera with me, I usually carry two spare tubes, so I was able to replace the other tube and ride back to my car, avoiding yet another flat. This was fortunate, since I hadn't started carrying three spare tubes with me, at least not yet.

And on another ride, just a couple weeks ago, for the first time while riding a bicycle, I thought about Ron Hill. "And who is Ron Hill?" you might ask, or maybe you just don't care, have skipped the rest of this Editor's Letter, and are currently reading the Shop Notes. In either case, Ron Hill was an English world class marathon runner in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A chemist by training and a tinkerer by inclination, he used to experiment with running equipment to give him a competitive edge. For example, he took running shoes and made them lighter by poking strategic holes in them. He also was the first runner that I know of who wore a fishnet top, a look that was better served, as males of my generation can attest, by Cheryl Tiegs a few years later. Ron wore his for lightness and for cooling purposes and you can draw your own conclusions about the purposes for which Cheryl wore hers.

But what I remember best about Ron Hill is his running streak. Even after his competitive career was over, he continued to run without missing a day for over 40 years; running through injury and sickness (he once ran 2 miles with a 103 degree fever; 2 miles, apparently, being of sufficient distance to be streak worthy), as well as through meteor firestorms and volcanic eruptions for all I know. Reading about this, I came to the conclusion that Ron Hill is just a tad on the compulsive side.

Yet, here I was, beginning a ride on a Friday morning in a 40 degree pre-dawn mist. "And why?" you might ask, if you're not now reading the Bicycling Safety Disclaimer. It was because Wednesday and Thursday were horrible days by summer (although not by March) cycling standards, rainy and in the 40s, so I didn't ride my bike. It was also because I was going out of town later that day and I wouldn't be riding my bicycle on Saturday or Sunday either. I just couldn't stand the thought of not riding for 5 whole days in a row, so there I was, pedaling in the drizzle and the dark.

During my almost one hour ride, it got light, but other than that, the conditions did not improve until the last 10 minutes, when it finally stopped drizzling. Then, while spending the next 10 minutes cleaning my bike, I thought about why I couldn't stand the thought of not riding that morning. It wasn't because I thought that by Monday I'd turn into an obese blob of quivering fat, unable to rise from my reclining chair without the aid of a circus strongman with a crowbar. As a matter of fact, a few days of rest might have done me good. But, I just did not like the feeling of having to go that many days without riding my bike; it was as simple as that.

So, maybe I was being compulsive and, as I've already noted, I'm compulsive enough to carry not one but two spare tubes with me while riding, just in case …… But I think a bit of compulsion can be a good thing; it can motivate me get out and exercise, much to my reclining chair's dismay. It can also motivate me to attempt to do things that I might otherwise not try, like riding a bicycle for 24 hours, although whether this is actually a good thing is debatable. And sometimes (or, perhaps, at least once), the "just in case" case actually occurs.

But, of course, compulsive behavior can also be a bad thing. (Wow, no kidding, Dr. Newsletter Editor, did you get a Ph.D. from the Acme School of Psychology and Diesel Engine Repair?) I suspect that on at least one day during the past 40 plus years, Ron Hill would have been better off by not running, and I know that there have been days during the times that I've run and cycled that I would have been better off not running or cycling (such as the time I decided to ride 30 miles on a rainy day with a sore throat; yes, that turned out well).

Still, I'm glad I did that Friday morning ride and while I doubt that it had any lasting benefits, it didn't do me any harm, either. So, under similar circumstances, the odds are good that I will do a similar sort of ride in the future. However, if these circumstances occur during the summer, the odds are not so good that I will do it while wearing a fishnet cycling jersey for which the bicycle rider viewing public can be grateful.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor


Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

. . . . which rules out stationary trainer bicycle riding. Sighhhhhh. . . .


Classified Ads

NEW: Extra large cycling shirt, hardly worn as it was too large for me. Blue and white with Volvo and Cannondale the primary words on the shirt. $30. Dale Krueger at 375-0114 or

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,
Don't miss it! Gazelle Sports' annual SOCK SALE runs now through November 30. Buy 3 pairs of socks, get a 4th pair FREE! Choose from Smartwool, WrightSock, Balega, Feetures, and Injinji.

Johnson Cycle Works

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


611 W Michigan Avenue, Kalamazo, (269) 56–PEDAL and
Keep yourself or your sweetie warm with a Craft baselayer.

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.