December 2012 President’s Letter

The Election Is Over! Our Side Won!

I would like to thank those of you who came to the November KBC monthly meeting and voted for the Executive Board members of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club.

The new lineup looks remarkably similar to the team that was in place last year: Secretary Mary Gerger, Treasurer John Olbrot, Vice President Doug Kirk, and President Zolton Cohen. We look forward to a safe and exciting 2013 season.

I will also add, personally, that I am very pleased to be serving with these fine volunteers. If you get a chance, thank them yourself; they keep the club going and growing and supporting the cycling community.

Board Appointees, Too

Many of the club's Board Appointees are back as well:

Rick Whaley – Newsletter Editor
Terry O'Connor – Insurance Coordinator
Renee Mitchell – Education Chair
Paul Selden – Director of Road Safety
Kathy Kirk – Friend of Bicycling Award Chair
Chad Goodwill – Social Director
Jon Ballema – CMS/KBC Race Team Director

So, thank you, too, to these volunteers who help keep KBC up and running.

A few changes have also taken place. Due to the departure of longtime Database Manager Paul Bruneau, former Webmaster David Jones will be taking over the Database Manager's slot. Cullen Stevenson has stepped up to take on the Webmaster position. We're particularly interested in what these two are going to be up to in the coming months.

A possible volunteer has been identified for the currently vacant – and much-needed – Public Relations chair position. The name of that party will be revealed later.

Finally, we're going to try a 'Ride Captain by Committee' approach for the 2013 season. Four volunteers have agreed to work together to see what they can put together to staff this important post. More details will emerge from this committee as the season approaches.

Thanks to Tim Krone

I didn't get a chance last month, due to damaged digits that made typing difficult, to thank Tim Krone, owner of Pedal Bicycles in downtown Kalamazoo, who spoke at the October meeting.

Tim gave an interesting talk on what is coming down the pike in the next few years in terms of new bikes and bike components. Some of the items he mentioned as trends to watch were 650 B wheel size mountain bikes, disk brakes on road bikes, electronic shifters, and the fact that steel frames seem to be on the verge of making a comeback.

Tim also is deeply involved in the cyclocross community (as well as being a very important component of KBC's Bike Camp), and promotes several events that feature that sport. I attended two this fall; one at Kindleberger Park in Parchment, and another at Markin Glen Park on North Westnedge Avenue. Both were well attended and well run with outstanding course markings.

One thing that stood out is that cyclocross racing seems to be a sport for anyone; young, old, male, female, adult, or child. Every category was represented at the races – and on a variety of bikes, as well, from mountain to cyclocross-specific. It seems to be something that is gaining traction in this area and many of the racers I saw were KBC regulars.

It also looks to be a great way to get in a grueling workout. Jon Ballema, Captain of the CMS/KBC Race Team said that he 'coughed up a lung' at the Kindleberger race. And it was true; I saw it lying on the trail. Or maybe it was a plastic bag.

But if a cycling sport makes our Race Team Captain work hard, you know it has to be tough. You wouldn't know it from the faces of the competitors though. From serious racers to those just out to enjoy a Sunday ride, everyone was smiling under their helmets. Good to see.

... And To Harold Glasser

Dr. Harold Glasser, Executive Director for Campus Sustainability at Western Michigan University, spoke at the November club meeting, and gave quite a bit of insight into the University's efforts to become a more 'green' and sustainable campus.

It was an eye-opening talk. Like many, I had been pretty cynical about WMU students and their predilection for driving their cars onto campus – and talking on cell phones and texting while doing it. But it turns out that there is quite a growing awareness of non-motorized transportation happening up there. The new Office of Campus Sustainability itself, at the corner of Howard Street and West Michigan Avenue, houses a bike co-op and bike repair facility.

A day after the meeting at which Dr. Glasser spoke, I walked through WMU's campus and, with a new perspective on things, noticed the significant number of bikes – and bike racks – in service. This could be part of a growing trend, where college students consider it cool to not own a car, and are willing to bike, walk, or take a bus to get to where they need to be. Progress, certainly. And maybe KBC could help in those efforts.

Thanksgiving Pie

A few days before Thanksgiving, e-mails were flying around one of the cycling groups I am party to about the prospect of doing double centuries even this late in the season. The weather has been cooperative, so why not?

One of the 'reasons' for doing such a ride would be, so the posters said, to be able to eat as much Thanksgiving pie as one would want. Others chipped in with caloric calculations that said that, after a double century, a biker could eat 15 pieces of pie in order to make up for the calories expended.

That sounds accurate. And though I haven't done any double-centuries lately, I did my part on the pie-eating end. At least I got that part right.

Recovery Party is in the Works!

Finally, it's not too early to start planning your winter season around KBC's annual Recovery Party. So you can 'save the date' and mark it on your 2013 calendar, write in red letters on Saturday, January 26th, 'KBC Recovery Party.' That's one week before Super Bowl, so football fans won't have any conflict. The location is John and Teri Olbrot's house, the same place it has been the last several years. Stay tuned for details!

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Next KBC Monthly Meeting on December 11, 2012

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.


Vote for KBC's 2013 Friend of Bicycling Award at the Next Monthly Meeting

All current KBC members are invited to club's next meeting on Tuesday, December 11th, where you can place your vote for the 2013 Friend of Bicycling award. Valid nominees submitted by the November 13th deadline are:

Kalamazoo County Department of Parks & Expo Center

This past year, the Kalamazoo County Department of Parks & Expo Center hosted the Bike Expo in July, giving KBC a complimentarybooth in exchange for our role on their advisory board. To sponsor this inaugural event took a lot of courage. Money and time were spent without knowing whether the event would attract attendees, but the commitment to put on the event was made nevertheless. More recently, the Department was 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.

Christopher Tracy

Christopher Tracy is someone who worked quietly behind the scenes to make a big difference in bicycling this past year. He is credited (by Monika Trahe) with thinking up the idea for the inaugural Kalamazoo Bike Week in 2012 (May 13-18), which was organized so well on a day-to-day basis by Monika Trahe. Chris also participated in many of its organizational and planning meetings. Through Kalamazoo Bike Week the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club was invited to play a key role in a number of events, including a spot at an information table at the beginning of the week, publicizing rides during the week, and providing daily safety reminders on WKZO. In another of his roles, Chris is a campaign co-chair for the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail's new segment, from Mayor's Riverfront Park to Comstock is a great addition to the bicycling facilities in the area.

Breakaway Bicycles and Fitness

Breakaway Bicycles and Fitness invariably provides great support to local races and tours, including KBC's BTR Race and KalTour. They always make sure to have a truck, tent, tools, spares, and a mechanic at our events. This is a significant expense. Not only are they paying an employee to be there at our events, that employee could otherwise be at the shop fixing bikes for paying customers. In addition, Breakaway donates hundreds of dollars of schwag to the club every year – which we hand out at the recovery party, bike camp, etc. I'd also make the point that Breakaway has been doing this, quietly, for many, many years. The fact that the shop has supported our club for so long should weigh heavily in its favor!

Central Manufacturing Services, Owned by Jamie Clark

Central Manufacturing Services (CMS) has been the primary sponsor of KBC's race team, CMS Racing, for the past several years, contributing thousands of non tax-deductible dollars to the team (since KBC is not a non-profit according to the IRS). This clearly demonstrates that CMS is more than just a 'friend' of bicycling; it shows their true commitment and attachment to our sport, also shown by owner Jamie Clark's ongoing role as a member of KBC's race team. Race team members can be seen volunteering at local cycling events like KBC's Tuesday Night Time Trial, the BTR Miller Energy Race, KalTour, WMU Sports Education Camp and other community events.

Join us at the club's December meeting to place your vote for one of the Friend of Bicycling nominees.

Kathy Kirk, Chair, KBC Awards Committee


KBC Winter Recovery Party on January 26, 2013

The KBC Winter Recovery Party will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2013. The start time is 7:00 P.M. and the location is John and Teri Olbrot's house. More details about this party will be included in the January Pedal Press.


KBC Member Sets Michigan Cross-State Record

On Saturday, October 6, 2012, Valerie Litznerski set an Ultramarathon Cycling Association women's west to east Michigan course record. She rode 206.9 miles from Muskegon to Port Sanilac in 11 hours, 19 minutes, a very impressive 18.28 mph average. Try seeing how long you can ride at that speed. Nice job!

KBC Quick Tips

Quick Tip #3: Holiday gift ideas for the cyclist in your life!

'Give a gift certificate to one of the local bicycle shops. Let her/him pick out what is needed. Also a good suggestion for a non-avid cyclist.' [Dale Kreuger]

Quick Tip #4: How to keep cold toes warm!

'To keep my toes warm on bitter cold rides, I need supplemental heat. Charcoal toe warmers work like a charm. I just slip them between my socks and cycling shoes and I'm good for hours. I learned the hard way, though, that they don't work when they get wet. You can find them at Meijer's, the hardware store, and some sporting goods stores.' [Kathy Kirk]

If you have a Quick Tip you’d like to share with the KBC community, please e-mail it to

Renee Mitchell, KBC Education Chair


Thanks to Marc Irwin for leading the Foliage in the Fall KBC Ride on Saturday, October 20th. The weather wasn't as bad as it could have been (there was only a light, intermittent rain towards the end of the ride), the scenery was quite nice, and the post-ride cider and doughnuts hit the spot. I'm hoping that this ride will become an annual tradition again.

Rick Whaley

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The November 13, 2012 meeting of the KBC was called to order by President Zolton Cohen, at 7:00 P.M. Those in attendance were: John Olbrot, Rick Whaley, David Jones, Bob Allwardt, Pete Post, Jon Ballema, Doug Kirk, Kathy Kirk, Joe Kucharski, Doug Wales, Paul Selden, Michael Krischer, Mike Boersma, Zolton Cohen, and Mary Gerger..

The KBC welcomed Dr. Harold Glasser, Executive Director of WMU's Office for Sustainability. Dr. Glasser spoke on the mission of the Office for Sustainability and how it relates to the Kalamazoo cycling community. He mentioned their new office space includes a bicycle repair area with tools and bike stands. They have "Open Shop Nights" on Thursday nights, when people may drop in and work on their bikes. The Office for Sustainability has been testing out Cargo Bikes and has several available for interested riders to try out. Jon Ballema suggested a future KBC meeting might be held at their facility, allowing members to tour the new building. "Thank you" to Dr. Glasser for this very interesting presentation.

Treasurer John Olbrot gave the Treasurer's Report:

Income $42.40
Checking Account$6,188.24
Certificate of Deposit $11,118.89

Zolton made several announcements on behalf of Education Chairperson Renee Mitchell, who was unable to attend this meeting. The 2013 KBC Bike Camp has been scheduled for next year. Information Night will be held Tuesday, May 14, 2013 with Bike Camp beginning on Saturday May 18, 2013. KBC Bike Camp information has been submitted for publication in the 2013 LMB Ride Calendar. A $1.00 donation will be going to the LMB for every Bike Camp participant. Zolton also mentioned that Renee will be starting a new column in the Pedal Press. It will be titled "Quick Tips" and will take advantage of our KBC members' vast wealth of cycling knowledge.

Director of Road Safety Paul Selden reported on the Kalamazoo County Road Commission meeting he attended on October 25, 2012. He discussed the major effort undertaken to map Bike Routes for commuters within Kalamazoo County. They are hoping to have the first ones mapped and available to the public in March 2013.

KalTour Director Mike Krischer announced the 2013 KalTour will be Sunday, June 30, 2013. This date will be published in the 2013 LMB Ride Calendar.

Zolton presided over the Election of KBC Officers for the following year. All incumbents were unanimously re-elected to serve for another year:

President:Zolton Cohen
Vice-President:Doug Kirk
TreasurerJohn Olbrot
SecretaryMary Gerger

Thanks were given to the team for their service in 2012, and for agreeing to serve again in 2013.

Zolton listed the 2013 Board Appointed Positions as follows:

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
Grant Committee ChairCeline Keiser
Social DirectorChad Goodwill
KBC Friend of Bicyclist Award Committee ChairKathy Kirk
Public Relations ChairVacant
(Marc Irwin has expressed interest in taking this on after January 1, 2013.)
Ride CaptainVacant

A discussion was held regarding the Ride Captain position. After a suggestion by Doug Kirk that 4 or 5 people take on this responsibility, it was determined that a committee will oversee KBC rides beginning in 2013. At this time, committee members will be, Doug Kirk, Zolton Cohen, Rick Whaley, and Joe Kucharski.

David Jones reported that 2 area Law Enforcement Officers attended the "Community Bicycle Safety for Law Enforcement and Bicyclists" training held on October 19, 2012 in Lansing. The officers from WMU and KVCC attended this training with a grant from the KBC. There will be opportunities in 2013 for those interested in attending this class. Tentatively, there will be classes offered in Traverse City, Berrien Springs, and somewhere on the East side of Michigan. As the 2013 dates and locations are determined, the KBC will be contacting area Police Departments about this opportunity.

Paul Selden mentioned he will be contacting area Law Enforcement agencies about donating a Bike Safety Program to the community in 2013. At that time, he will also provide them with information regarding the KBC grant money available for area Police Officers to attend the "Community Bicycle Safety for Law Enforcement and Bicyclists" training. Zolton asked Paul to remind the various departments Continuing Education Credits will be granted to Police Officers who attend this training.

Joe Kucharski was sworn in as a Sanctioned Ride Leader for 2013.

Kathy Kirk reported there were no new nominations for the KBC Friend of Bicyclist Award. The deadline has now passed for nominations for this year's award. Any new nominations received will be considered for next year's award.

Under "New Business," Zolton announced that Texas Township has been granted permission to build a State DNR Trail through the Au Sable Preserve and the Consumer's Energy easement. The cost of this project is reported to be $300,000.

A brief discussion was held regarding the KBC Recovery Party. Date, time, and location should be determined by the December 11, 2012 meeting. (Editor's note: See the article elsewhere in the Pedal Press about this party.)

Zolton adjourned the meeting at 8:25 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary Gerger, KBC Secretary



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For example, if you’d like an article to be published in the January edition (distributed during the first week of January), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of December.


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December Expiring memberships:
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David Jones, KBC Database Manager

Editor's Letter - Amazing Christmas Gifts for the Cyclist on Your List

Ah, it's that time of year, that time of year that makes me want to burst into song.

'Chestnuuuuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping and ripping and biting at your nose ...'

Yes, it's the Christmas season, as well as the cold weather riding season. And it's also that time of year when your spouse, significant other, parent, child, second cousin, or the person who had the misfortune to draw your name as your office Secret Santa starts thinking, 'What kind of present can I give this cycling soulmate/hero/lunatic/fool that can best express my love/admiration/incredulity/bafflement for him or her? And now that Thanksgiving is over and you've finished eating the leftover turkey and cranberry Shot Block sandwiches, it's time for your spouse etc. to get to work making your wildest Christmas dreams come true, since, in the true spirit of Christmas, that is what your spouse etc. is for.

However, now you're thinking, 'Gee, Mr. Pedal Press Editor. I've got all the cyclometers and water bottles that I need, and what else, besides a shiny new 12 pound bike that costs as much as a subcompact car, could I possibly want?' Allow me to help. Now that you've feasted your belly, feast your eyes on these 10 amazing, yet relatively inexpensive, cycling presents! And feel free to print this list and tape it where your spouse etc. can see it, such as on the refrigerator door, the bathroom mirror, the steering wheel, or your shirt.

1. Big Gulp Water Bottle Cage: How many times have you stopped at a 7-Eleven during a ride and said to yourself, 'Well, I could drink some Gatorade or some water, but what I really crave is 64 ounces of syrupy bliss.' Invariably, however, your eyes turn out to be bigger than your stomach, if not your glucose level; so what to do with the remains of your Mountain Dew? You could pour it into your water bottle, but then it wouldn't be a 'water' bottle any more, now would it, and that no-longer-a-water bottle aftertaste could linger for months or even years, unless you have an industrial grade dishwasher. And you certainly don't want to dump it on the ground; after all, what have those ants done for you lately to deserve the fruits of your cycling labor? Well, your problem is solved with the Big Gulp water bottle cage! Just place the cup in your jumbo sized cage and you're all set. And it's also suitable for carrying small pets!

2. Primitive Folk Art Cycling Jewelry: Why throw out that worn out chain, when it can still be worn as an attractive necklace? Why indeed! And accessorize your look with cassette earrings and rings! Believe me, diamonds aren't a girl's best friend, used bicycle parts are!

3. Cycling Jersey Pocket Protector: Oh, no! You've slurped down a packet of GU and, being the good non-littering Citizen of Earth that you are, you've stuffed the empty packet back into one of your jersey pockets, only to get residual GU all over the pocket. What a shame! But with a Cycling Jersey Pocket Protector, you'll never have to worry about any sticky stains on your cycling jersey, ever again! Then, just wash out the Cycling Jersey Pocket Protector and you're good to GU, so to speak, on another cycling adventure! I know; you're thinking, 'Gee, Mr. Pedal Press Editor, won't that make me look kind of geeky?' Well, look at it this way. You're already wearing padded spandex shorts and you're also wearing a leaky fruit bowl on your head. It's too late.

4. White Cycling Socks: In this sensory overloaded world, make a fashion statement with plain white cycling socks. That's right. Plain. White. Socks. And you don't care who you shock with this fashion statement! Because you're a trendsetter! You're a rebel! You're a trendsetting rebel! In Plain. White. Socks.

5. Hamster Training Video: It's the middle of February and you're tired of watching videos of those half men, half biological experiments called Tour de France bicycle racers. And you're also tired of traveling endlessly to nowhere on your stationary trainer. Well, why not inspire yourself by watching a video of another sort of creature, but, like you, is also traveling endlessly to nowhere. That's right; you need to purchase the Hamster Running in a Wheel training video! This video will provide hours of entertainment, as well as plenty of motivation. Because you're not going to let a little hamster out train you, are you? Well, are you?!

6. CatheBak DeHydration Pack: You're out on a long ride, it's a beautiful day, and you never want to get off your bike. But then, wouldn't you know it, nature calls and you must obey. Or DO you?! Just say 'Shut up, Nature' and let your bladder know who's boss with the CatheBak DeHydration Pack. Using an ingenious system of tubes and pumps, you'll hardly even know it's there! And it's great for 24 hour racing, because time off the bike is miles!

7. Get Out of Pulling Free Cards: You know the signs. You're riding in a group, tucked in safely behind the lead rider and you notice the flick of the elbow, the sideways glance, the icy glare, or perhaps you even hear 'For cryin' out loud, would you get up here and actually do some work for once, you jerk!' Hmmmm, someone thinks it's your turn to pull. Well, that's what he or she thinks! At times like these, just play your 'Get Out of Pulling Free' card and you won't have to worry about pulling on this ride! Available in packets of 6 ('The Slacker Pack'), 12 ('The Slimy Weasel Pack'), and 24 ('The Also Cheats on Income Taxes Pack').

8. Road ID Forehead Tattoo: Wear a Road ID bracelet if you want, but are you sure that your Road ID bracelet will always be there, particularly when you attempt to operate a wood chipper while riding a bicycle? To be extra safe, protect yourself with the Road ID Forehead Tattoo. Available in Motorcycle Gang, Convict, Goth, Punk Rock Band, Hipster, and 'I was Drunk' fonts.

9. Legends of Cycling Testosterone Patches: You've trained for hours at a time through blistering heat, bone chilling cold, blinding sandstorms, and clouds of grasshoppers, but you still haven't quite made the jump from contender to champion. Well, give yourself the edge that you need with testosterone, that manly hormone that makes aggressive bar fight winners of us all! And do it with the Legends of Cycling Testosterone Patches; each patch embossed with a picture of a U.S. Postal/Discovery Team legend, such as Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, or Levi Leipheimer. Wear your patch with pride and then go punch a hole through the drywall. Lance would have wanted it this way.

10. Seven Time Tour de France Champion Starter Kit: Be the first person in your state, city, neighborhood, or bicycle club to be declared a 7 time Tour de France champion with the Seven Time Tour de France Champion Starter Kit. This starter kit contains all of the necessary forms and paperwork that will enable you to legally change your name to 'Vacant.' And then, Mr. or Ms. Vacant, just watch the endorsement money roll in! You might even help find a cure for cancer!

Well, there you have it. And now it's up to your spouse etc. Ho, ho, ho (copyright pending) and

'... Merry Christmas to you...'

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

None, alas. Woe is us, woe is us. And it isn't even 2013 yet.

Classified Ads

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,
Join Gazelle Sports for Run Through the Lights on Thursday, December 6 at 6:30 P.M. Details on this annual fun run are at Also that night.... get 15% off EVERYTHING in the store from 4:00 – 9:00 P.M. WOW!!!

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.