November 2012 President’s Letter


This President’s letter will, by necessity, be a short one. While working on a carpentry job for a client this afternoon, I accidentally slashed the ring and pinky fingers on my left hand with a utility knife.

Like no other carpenter I know, I don’t throw away “disposable” utility knife blades. Instead, I hone them on a small India whetstone that I keep handy for just that purpose. The stone, even though it is supposedly of “fine” grit, doesn’t put a polished edge on the knife steel. Rather, it leaves a slightly coarse, serrated finish – perfect, in fact, for slicing through meaty tissues.

The cut on my pinky hit bone and nearly lopped off the tip of the finger. Blood spurted; I felt faint.

But I didn’t panic, because several years ago KBC member Dr. Dan Goldberger presented some stellar advice to the club during an evening informational session on what to do in case of a bike accident. Though this incident wasn’t bike-related, I remembered his advice to elevate the lacerated digits and keep direct pressure on the cuts until the bleeding stopped.

Dr. Dan didn’t, however, address what one should do in the case of feeling a bit peaked while contemplating one’s lifeblood oozing away. That problem took care of itself though, as it quickly became obvious that I wasn’t going to be able to remain standing much longer. I took a quick lie-down to recoup and then a trip to the ER for six stitches – after which I went home and quaffed a beer to quell my quaking nerves. I should be good to go in a week or so. In the meantime, it hurts like heck to type!

Thanks, Dr. Dan. You never know when you might be able to use something you learn through KBC!

Election Time

Don’t forget: at the November monthly meeting, the club votes on a slate of Executive officers: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. I think you’re probably familiar with the candidates – we’re all incumbents.

And that is a good thing. I am impressed with the way my fellow officers performed last year. You should be too. We got things done, operated as an efficient team, and had some fun along the way.

So please make plans to come to the November 13th meeting. Not only will we vote for the Executive Board, but Director of Road Safety Paul Selden has lined up another guest speaker, Dr. Harold Glasser, the head of WMU’s Department of Sustainability. I look forward to seeing you there.

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Next KBC Monthly Meeting on November 13, 2012

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. We will be having a guest speaker at this meeting. (Editor’s Note: See the article about our speaker elsewhere in this Pedal Press.) All KBC members are welcome to attend.


KBC's Friend of Bicycling Award – Nominations due November 13th

As the bicycling season draws to a close, now is the time to look back at the year and think about all the people and groups who have made the season such a success and make our community a great place to bicycle.

If you come across a particularly noteworthy individual or other entity you feel is worth nominating for KBC's Friend of Bicycling Award, please e-mail their name and contact information with some reasons why you feel the nominee has significantly advanced the interests of bicycling to

A handy nomination form for submitting your nominee can be found at The complete guidelines to nominate an entity for the award are found at

The Awards Committee will be meeting at least a week before our December board meeting to screen nominees (just to make sure they meet the requirements for eligibility), so make sure you e-mail your nomination by November 13th.

Kathy Kirk, Chair, KBC Awards Committee

WMU Sustainability Director to Speak at November KBC Meeting

Ever bike through the campus at Western Michigan University, wondering how to get from Point A to B? Ever wonder about what the Office of Campus Sustainability really does? Dr. Harold Glasser, Executive Director for Campus Sustainability, will be our guest speaker at our upcoming KBC meeting on November 13th. He'll update us about his group's efforts to make WMU more bicycle friendly, as well as to answer your questions about the Office of Sustainability.

Paul Selden

KBC Quick Tips

Quick Tip #1: Share a Quick Tip

Welcome to a new column in the Pedal Press entitled “KBC Quick Tips!” The focus of this column is for KBC members to share with other members those key cycling tips that make our riding more comfortable, challenging, safer, and fun. Tips should be brief in nature, sticking to a single topic. If you have a Quick Tip you’d like to share with the KBC community, please e-mail it to

Quick Tip #2: Negotiating Roundabouts

To best negotiate a roundabout on your bike, approach it as if you were driving a car. Take your lane by positioning yourself in the center of the lane (which makes you more visible to other traffic) and waiting your turn if there are a line of cars. Give way to traffic in the roundabout, entering when it’s safe, and continuing to take the lane. Always signal your intentions to drivers and when warranted, share a friendly wave or smile. Slow down on wet roads, roundabouts can be slippery.

Renee Mitchell, KBC Education Chair


Kudos goes to Kalamazoo County's Department of Parks. This past year they hosted the Bike Expo in July, giving KBC a complimentary booth in exchange for our role on their advisory board. More recently, the Department has been very prominent in the development and promotion of the newest section of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail from Mayor's Riverfront Park to Comstock. The new KRVT section offers some great panoramic views of the Kalamazoo River and offers riders a safer and more scenic alternative route between downtown Kalamazoo and Comstock.

Paul Selden

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The October 9, 2012 meeting of the KBC was called to order by President Zolton Cohen, at 7:00 P.M. Those in attendance were: Doug Kirk, Zolton Cohen, Renee Mitchell, Tim Krone, Mike Krischer, Court Borgmon, Cullen Stevenson, Scott Kirklin, Tom Keizer, David Jones, Bob Allwardt, Rick Whaley, Kathy Kirk, John Olbrot, Mary Gerger, and Paul Selden.

Treasurer John Olbrot gave the Treasurer's Report:

Income $384.68
Checking Account$6,159.20
Certificate of Deposit $11,118.01

According to John, the largest expense for this month was the Anniversary Ride.

Mike Krischer reported the 2013 KalTour date will have to be determined soon, as advertising deadlines are approaching. (Per Mike's update, the date of this KalTour will be June 30, 2013.)

Kathy Kirk reminded everyone that nominations for the KBC Friend of Bicyclists Award are due by the November 13, 2012 meeting. Any nominations received after that date will be considered nominations for next year's award.

Education Chairperson Renee Mitchell stated that a Traffic Skills 101 Class (a prerequisite for the League Certified Instructor [LCI] Training Class) may be offered next spring. She also mentioned she may be taking some of the KBC educational programs out into the community through Lunch and Learn and other activities.

A brief discussion of the availability of KBC Jerseys was held. Kathy Kirk supplied an inventory update: 1 Extra Small, 13 Large, and 6 Extra Large Jerseys are available for purchase.

Zolton announced the appointment of Cullen Stevenson to the position of KBC Webmaster. He will take over for David Jones, as David moves into his new role as Database Manager. In addition, Cullen Stevenson was sworn in as a Sanctioned KBC Ride Leader for the 2013 season.

Tim Krone from Pedal Bikes spoke to the group about new and exciting bike design changes and products. Tim mentioned Kalamazoo area bicycle shops are thriving, and that cycling in the community is great.

Zolton stated he had received positive feedback from local bike shops regarding the posting of "Shop Rides" on the KBC website. In response to this feedback, "Shop Rides" will now be posted on the website with the rest of the KBC Rides.

Zolton reminded everyone it is KBC Election time again. According to the KBC Constitution, nominations for the Executive Board, comprised of President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary, close at tonight's meeting. All four Executive Board members (President Zolton Cohen, Vice-President Doug Kirk, Treasurer John Olbrot, and Secretary Mary Gerger) have agreed to serve another term, and will be running unopposed. The Election will be held during the November 13, 2012 meeting.

Board Appointed Positions are:

Database Manager:David Jones
Webmaster:Cullen Stevenson
KBC InsuranceTerry O'Connor
Pedal Press EditorRick Whaley
Education ChairRenee Mitchell
Director of Road SafetyPaul Selden
KalTour DirectorMike Krischer
Social DirectorTBD
Public Relations ChairTBD
Ride CaptainTBD

Zolton stated that current Social Director, Chad Goodwill, coordinated a great Anniversary Ride Party, and hopes Chad will stay on in this position. He also noted that while the Public Relations Chair has remained unfilled, Paul Selden and he have been handling its responsibilities. Marc Irwin has expressed an interest in assuming this post in 2013.

David Jones gave an update on the upcoming LMB "Community Bicycle Safety for Law Enforcement and Bicyclists" training class, to be held October 19, 2012. KBC has grant money available for interested Law Enforcement personnel who wish to take the class. At this time, WMU and KVCC departments have responded. There will be follow-up contact with other area Law Enforcement agencies.

Paul Selden and David Jones briefly discussed the Kalamazoo Chamber of Commerce Forum "How Kalamazoo Rolls," which they attended September 11, 2012.

Marc Irwin updated everyone on the upcoming Fall Foliage Ride to be held October 20, 2012, starting and finishing at Gun Lake County Park. He will be posting detailed information about the ride on Facebook.

It was noted that the deadline for the 2013 LMB Ride Calendar Events/Advertising, which will be used to provide information about the KalTour, is October 31, 2012.

Zolton adjourned the meeting at 8:08 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary Gerger, 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 during the first week of December), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of November.


New members:
Ryan Frederickson · Beom Jin Min

November Expiring memberships:
Lee Anderson · Mike Berry · Barbara & John Hart · David Karnes · David Middleton Family · Robert Norton

Renewed memberships:
Larry Kissinger · David Jarl · Jeffrey Pregenzer Family · John Shubnell Family · John Idema · Michael Watson · Allen Tans · Katie Whidden · Robert Allwardt · Mike St. Clair

David Jones, KBC Database Manager

Editor's Letter - I’ll do Anything for a Great Hot Shower

I should have known that it was going to be a bad race when I missed a turn 150 yards after the start...

It was a little after five o'clock in the morning in Dublin, Ohio on the last Saturday in September. A couple weeks earlier, I decided to try one more long distance cycling race in 2012, the Race Across America Ohio Cycling Challenge 200, so here I was. Unlike most long distance races, this race was an attempt to simulate the actual RAAM, so the courses for both the 200 and 400 mile races were one big loop, which were 206.8 and 407.1 miles, respectively. (Yes, there was also a 400 mile race, a RAAM qualifier that the Mr. Sissy Boy Editor didn't even think about entering.) A support crew was required for the 400 mile racers and recommended for the 200 mile racers, so of course I didn't have a crew. The course was unmarked, but we did have a cue sheet that I encased in a zipper sandwich bag and attached to a butterfly clip that I had taped to the handlebar stem of my bicycle. Still, I did not fancy my chances of staying on course for the entire race. However, I did think that I was perfectly capable of staying on course for the first eighth of a mile and, not unlike a Greek tragedy, I paid for my hubris. (Yes, Mr. Pedal Press Editor, that's exactly what it was like. Geez ......)

The turnout for the Cycling Challenge wasn't huge. Go figure. There were five 400 mile racers and five 200 mile racers, four individuals and a team. Since we were to ride this race as a time trial, we started 30 seconds apart. I went changing out of the gate, my adrenalin flowing as much as could be expected, given the time of day, and a quarter mile later, I came to a dead end. After consulting my cue sheet a little sooner than expected, I corrected myself and got back on course in last place. It was a place that I would become very familiar with as the day unfolded.

I had actually worked in Dublin for 5 years in the early 1990s and I had ridden my bicycle on the roads that were included on the first and last 25 miles of the course. So, I didn't study the cue sheet in detail, because I knew these roads like the back of my hand. About 15 miles later, I realized that I actually knew these roads like the back of my neck, as I discovered that I had gone off course 5 miles earlier.

If a man screams unpleasantries in a rural area in the pre-dawn darkness and there's no one to hear him, does he actually make a sound? I now had something to ponder during the next 195 miles or so of the race. The only positive was that it was light by the time I finally got to Delaware, the first town that we would ride through, enabling me to navigate through the city streets a little easier.

So onward I went, heading northeast, and about a mile south of Cardington, I felt that oh-no familiar spongy sensation from my rear tire. I had a flat. However, this was not a problem; this was an opportunity, an opportunity to use a CO2 cartridge for the first time. Actually, it became an opportunity, because my not-so-reliable frame pump bent the tip of the new tube that I had placed in the tire. So, I replaced the second tube with yet another tube and decided that it was the time to find out if I could actually use a cartridge without releasing CO2 uselessly into the air; triggering a climatic tipping point that would instantaneously increase the temperature 100 degrees, completely melt the polar ice caps, and flood coastal cities throughout the world. Fortunately for the sake of the planet, I could. The tire was a little soft, but rideable and I knew that there was a bike shop 50 miles away where I could buy some more tubes and cartridges. But first, I had to get there. It was now over 3 hours since I had started, and I had ridden 38 official miles. The race was not going well.

In a futile effort to make up for lost time, I rode the next 30 miles hard, and just after traveling though Lexington, I hit the hills; hills that I became very familiar with during the next 40 miles. They were long rollers of about a quarter mile, one after another; at least it seemed that way, and I soon realized that I didn't have my A Legs with me. I thought that I had put them on that morning, but it was early, the motel room was unfamiliar, and I must have put on my B Legs by mistake. Or they could have been my C+ Legs. I only knew that while I pride myself on being able to ride up hills in a reasonably quick manner, there was nothing for me to be proud about that day.

After 91 official miles, I reached Loudonville, the town of the aforementioned bicycle shop, where the owner pumped up my tire and I stocked up on my supply of tubes and cartridges. I told him that I had ridden up plenty of hills since Lexington and he warned me that there were more bad hills during the next 8 miles between Loudonville and Nashville. He was right and I sunk to the occasion.

Finally, after 110 official miles and 120 actual miles, I reached Millersburg, the town where the 200 and 400 mile courses diverged, and the place where I would start riding southwest back to Dublin. At a convenience store, in another futile effort, this one to revive my flagging appetite, I took stock. I wasn't feeling all that good and I wasn't going to be able to refuel very well. In addition, I was going to finish the race well after dark, even if I were capable of pushing the pace, which I wasn't. It was time to stop "racing" and just finish, a race that I had no choice but to finish, since my car was 96 miles away. And after that inspiring internal pep talk, onward I went.

Much of the next 40 miles of the course were on US 62 and 36, and while US 62 was pleasantly free of traffic, US 36 wasn't. Any time I encountered a hill, and there were still several major hills during this part of the course, I almost immediately got into my lowest 39-27 gear and impressed myself with my 7 mph pedaling prowess. I was also making frequent stops to consult the cue sheet, since it was difficult to read the cue sheet while riding, but even so, I made another wrong turn a few miles west of Mt. Vernon after 157 official miles. This one only cost me a couple miles and I was actually pretty blasé about it. Of course, I was pretty blasé about everything at that point; if one of my legs had suddenly fallen off, I probably would have thought "Eh, I still have another one." I just assumed I would get back to my car one way or another eventually and whatever happens happens.

I rode the last 25 miles in the dark. Here is when I realized the wisdom of having a support crew in a car following me, to help light my way and, more importantly, to let motorists know that there was a cyclist ahead. Some of the roads were too busy, particularly the potentially terrifying quarter-mile on the four lane US 23, where there was no shoulder due to road construction. Fortunately, with a well timed light and a well timed sprint, relatively speaking, I lived to type the tale.

Also fortunately, despite my lack of energy and dashed dreams (my, aren't we the Drama Queen, Mr. Pedal Press Editor), the weather was beautiful; partly sunny with a high temperature in the low 70s, and little wind, along with some nice fall foliage as background. The full moon was also nice. During the last few miles, I started feeling a little chilled and wished that I had the tights that I no longer had. At the start of the race, I had filled my jersey pockets with food that ultimately remained mostly uneaten, which left me no room for clothing to stash. So, I wore worn out tights, with the intention of throwing them out sometime during the race. And if there is someone in Nashville walking around with tights that he fished out of a trash barrel, I say "You're welcome."

And eventually, I did make it back to the finish line at 9:20 P.M., 16 hours 7 minutes and 218.5 miles after I started, and in last place, over one hour slower than my pre-race worst case scenario. I chatted a bit with the race officials, thanked them for a well run race (hey, it wasn't their fault I went off course, got a flat, lost my appetite, and left my A Legs back at the motel), chatted a little bit with the other unsupported 200 mile racer who finished about 25 minutes before me (he also went off course, but didn't get a flat), and received my Finisher's Medal, soon to be worn proudly at a disco near you. Then I drove back to my motel. Boy, that hot shower felt great. I then slept for 10 hours.

Two weeks later, I rode in slightly different weather. It was in the low 40s and drizzling slightly, but I took a chance that it wouldn't get worse, gambled, and lost. After a few miles, it started to pour and it did so for the next 45 minutes, while the temperature dropped into the 30s. Twenty miles later, by the time I got home, my fingers and toes were like blocks of ice, which made it a challenge to open the side door to my garage with my house key. Fortunately, I was able to maneuver the key out of my jersey pocket and open the door, avoiding Plan B, which was to writhe on my lawn like a snake shedding his skin in an effort to slither out of my cycling jersey without using my hands, and then using my teeth to fish the key out of the pocket and to open the door. I was miserable, but at least I still had my dignity and, boy, that hot shower felt great.

The point is of all this is that you get up in the morning and you take a hot shower and it's nice, but there's nothing exceptional about it. To really appreciate a hot shower, there needs to be at least a little bit of suffering involved beforehand. I'm not advocating that we all should sleep on a bed of nails or that we all become masochists, but I do know that there can be rewards that accrue with a hard effort, regardless of the outcome, or even a foolish effort; rewards that include the satisfaction of just making the effort, as well as a great hot shower. And I think that is one of the reasons why we ride.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

None, alas. And so winter seemingly begins.

Classified Ads

Bicycle for sale. It is a Trek Madone 3.1 C WSD 52 Grey Metallic 11 purchased from Breakaway Bicycles & Fitness in Portage MI on June 22, 2011. It has been ridden less than 100 miles. It was purchased new and is in new condition. In addition to the bike, I will throw in the blinking red light for the back and the bright light for the front. I also have a new pack behind the seat (JANDD) and I have a bike lock that is combination and has a lighted dial – all purchased from the same bike store. I will also throw in my GIRO Atmos helmet, size small, 270gm, Model G134, 51-55cm, dated September 2010. I think this helmet was $200 at I would like to sell this for $1,400 for everything. In addition, I have other biking shirts, shorts, gloves, and socks – most never worn. All ladies size medium. A picture of the bike is shown below. Contact Kathy at or at (269) 720-8417.
Trek Madone 3.1

New Bontrager (Trek) Bicycle Helmet... white in color... small size. Has convenient back-of-head adjustment, durable, good ventilation, lightweight, nice fit system/pads. Sells for $65, asking $30. Call Dale at 375-0114 to request photo.

Looking for a chromo frame touring bicycle with a 54 to 56 cm frame that is panier compatible. Respond to

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,
The NEW Nike Element Shield collection is now at Gazelle Sports! Stay fit and outside all winter with the protection of Nike Element Shield.

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.