March 2013 President’s Letter

February, and the cold and snowy weather it brought this year, doesn't seem to want to let go as the month winds down. As I write this, March is just a couple days away. But with yet another storm battering the area, it sure doesn't feel like spring is anywhere on the horizon.

Yet, cracks are beginning to show in winter's façade. On Monday, it was sunny all day long. The temperature soared to 39 degrees. Snow melted, roads cleared, and riding reports began filtering in. Barb and John Hart, avoiding shady roads that might still have ice on them, got in 27 miles. Bruce DeDee and Terry O'Connor clocked 37 miles riding southwest of town. And Pedal Press Newsletter Editor Rick Whaley rode outside for 40 minutes after work, finishing in the dark.

So all is not lost. Spring is coming. We will bike again. By bundling up and simply getting out there, we can extend our season. Early spring riding may not be ideal all the time, but it is certainly worth doing. As my friend and bike mentor Dave DeBack used to tell me, every time you get out on your bike you learn something – about your bike, your other riding gear, your tolerance, and yourself.

Controversial Issues!

Who knew, when Rick Whaley brought up the fact that KBC has no written description or designation of when its members are considered "seniors," that it would ignite so many comments on the YahooGroup? I sure didn't. And I was surprised at the response.

At what age can KBC members take the $2 senior discount on yearly membership dues? Opinions varied. 55, 60, 65! Do I hear 70?

The fault is ours; it was never made clear. But the Executive Committee, consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, are bound by the club's constitution to set the dues each year and I intend to poll them and finalize the decision before the next club meeting.

When that tribunal has concluded and a judgment has been reached, a puff of smoke will emanate from…. Oh. Wait. That's for the pope. We won't do that. But it will be announced at the next monthly meeting, at 7:00 PM, Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. You are invited to attend.

Ride Leaders

One of the issues that spun off the discussion about senior membership dues concerned ride leadership – and, more specifically, why there are fewer ride leaders available for slower-paced rides.

That is a good question and one that has come up repeatedly over the years. The bottom line is that we need to have volunteers step up to lead these rides and we need to train those volunteers on how to be a successful ride leader.

So, in April, there will be a ride leader training session for those interested in leading rides. As yet, the date and location of this session have not been set, but it may make sense to do it following the April club meeting. An announcement on the specifics will follow the March club meeting.

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Next KBC Monthly Meeting on March 12, 2013

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.


KBC Ride Season to Begin on March 11, 2013

The KBC ride season will begin on Monday, March 11th and the rides will begin at 5:30 P.M. However, as in the past, the rides in March will be rather informal, and the season doesn't really get going until April. April rides will begin at 6:00 P.M.


KalTour is Coming Soon!

Although it may seem that winter is endless, the bicycling season is not far away! Neither is KalTour. The 22nd edition of our club's annual summer tour will take place this year on Sunday, June 30, 2013. I hope that the pre-July 4th date this year will catch most people before the onset of summer vacations.

For the third year, we will be starting and finishing at Bronson Athletic Club (just off I-94 at 9th Street). Routes will range from 13 to 100 miles and there will be plenty to eat. For more details, as well as signup information, watch the KalTour page at On-line registration is open now. Remember that for KBC members advance registration for KalTour is only $15 for an individual (and $30 for families).

Volunteers (especially new volunteers) are always welcome. If you (or a non-riding family member) would like to help out either before or during the ride, please call me at (269) 823-2819 or send me an e-mail at I look forward to seeing you all on the 30th of June.

Mike Krischer, KalTour Director


The Spin - Doug Kirks Writes a Novel About Cycling

Doug Kirk, KBC Vice-President (and unofficial Resident Curmudgeon) has written a novel about bicycling, called "The Spin" (subtitled "What's the future of cycling and performance-enhancing drugs"). It is published by Outskirts Press and is available at local bike shops. It can be also ordered from Barnes & Noble and is available for Kindle.

I have read this book and I highly recommend it. It is an entertaining read and thought provoking as well. I plan to provide a more detailed review of this book in the April issue of the Pedal Press.

Rick Whaley


KBC Long Ride Special Interest Group

Preparing to ride longer distances is a great way to explore the countryside, stay in shape, and feel a sense of accomplishment. For me, the sense of accomplishment of finishing a long distance ride has been the cherry on top of my personal fitness and recreational goals for bicycling. For me, finishing my first century gave me the thrill I think runners must feel when completing a marathon.

If early interest is any indication, it looks like KBC will have an active long rides special interest group (SIG) up and running in 2013. About 14 people are signed up so far. The emphasis will be on friendly camaraderie and enjoying the ride, not on competition.

Judging from participant feedback shared so far, here is an initial take on things.

Ride speeds will be at a reasonable "touring" pace, riding smart for endurance. It looks like we will be doing at least one weekend ride per month. Typical distances will cover 50-115 miles, with reasonable breaks along the way. Completing an enjoyable ride will be the main goal. (I state this for those of you who are goal-oriented.)

We'll be developing guidelines for participation as we go. As of now, the primary expectation is pretty obvious, namely, that a rider showing up for a given ride be prepared and trained to finish. A couple of great books are out there to help a rider prepare for longer distances. I recommend "Cycling Past 50" by Joe Friel, and "Distance Cycling" by John Hughes and Dan Kehlenbach as among the best. Each book presents excellent training programs that progress toward a given goal throughout the season.

In addition to the joy of the ride itself, if a member of this SIG chooses to join another group such as Randonneurs USA ( or the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (, some of our rides may also be submitted to qualify for some of their awards, such as riding a certain distance every month of the year. I will likely be reporting our own "achievements" in the Pedal Press every once in a while. (Editor's note: See the article about this elsewhere in this issue of the Pedal Press.)

In addition to the rides we plan for ourselves, members of our SIG will be participating in some regular KBC rides as well, such as the W Ride and KalTour.

By the way, en route to organizing this SIG, Kathy Kirk told me that KBC members can order from the Adventure Cycling Association catalog (e.g., gear and maps aimed at cyclotouring). I have since learned from ACA that our club can get ACA's acclaimed maps at the ACA member price by citing our KBC member number: C000064). Other items are at non-member prices. This is a great KBC benefit. More about our benefits can be found at this site or by calling (800) 755-2453.

We will be keeping the door open to others throughout the year, so if this idea catches your attention, please get in touch (

Paul Selden


KBC Dirt Road Rode

The KBC will host a 30 or 60 mile dirt road ride starting from Burch Park in Schoolcraft at 9:00 A.M. on Sunday, April 21, 2013. Additional information about the ride will be presented later in this article. During the past last few years, the U.S. has seen tremendous growth in the number of dirt/gravel road rides and races. Michigan's Barry Roubaix dirt road race is a good example of this, having grown to over 2500 riders in just a few years. Several web sites such as are devoted to dirt/gravel road riding and Bicycling Magazine highlighted dirt/gravel road riding in a recent article (

Why would someone choose to head out on dirt roads when Kalamazoo and the surrounding counties have such an excellent network of paved roads? For me, it is akin to asking a skydiver why someone would choose to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Because it's an adventure! And not everybody realizes how much fun it can be! Although I have never gone skydiving, I have ridden many thousands of miles on dirt roads over the last ten years. I can say from experience, is it a lot of fun and can be quite an adventure!

The dirt roads are generally more scenic than the paved roads, often being narrow lanes meandering through rolling farmland, state game areas, etc. The dirt roads often provide ample opportunities for viewing wildlife, although in some instances they provide closer views than I prefer. I've learned to be cautious going downhill on certain dirt roads, because the deer have a tendency to cross right in front of me – I've nearly t-boned a deer on several occasions. But, overall, dirt roads may be safer than paved roads, since they have far fewer motorists. I usually see only 2 to 3 cars during a 2 to 4 hour ride on the dirt roads southwest of Kalamazoo; the motorists that I do see are driving a bit slower than they might on paved roads and they are usually considerate of cyclists.

Finally, the dirt roads can provide excellent training opportunities. The extra rolling resistance on the dirt roads allows one to focus on the development of strength and power. The dirt roads can provide motivation for developing a better pedal stroke, since problems associated with poor pedal mechanics are exacerbated on the dirt.

Does one need a special bike for riding on dirt roads? Some bike companies and many custom frame builders are selling products specifically designed for dirt/gravel road riding. Many of these bikes look like pre-1970 racers, such as my beloved Frejus, with fender eyelets, long stays, and clearance for big tires
( and

While such bikes may increase the likelihood of a pleasant ride on dirt roads, I think that a great time can be had on our local dirt roads on just about any bike – even a high-tech road racing bike with skinny tires, although caution may be warranted about using certain carbon fiber wheels on the dirt. When I first started riding on the dirt roads, I had a wonderful time on a bike that many people would consider the antithesis of a dirt road bike: an aluminum Cannondale track bike that was stiff as a board and had clearance for only 700 x 23C tires. Now, I usually ride a custom steel touring bike with clearance for larger tires and most of the time I use 28C road tires, such as Rivendell Ruffy Tuffies or Continental Gator Skins. Flats are rarely a problem with these tires. Fenders generally help keep the bike clean, but I remove them when the roads are extremely sloppy because build-up of mud under the fenders can make pedaling difficult.

With the popularity of the Barry Roubaix race, there have been several group rides on the race course, but the course is relatively inconvenient to get to for people living south of Kalamazoo. Riding to the course would make for a very long day. Fortunately, those of us living south of town have a closer network of dirt roads, beginning north of Schoolcraft. The club ride on April 21 provides club members with an introduction to some of these roads. Depending on the interests of the riders, the ride may have distances of 30 and/or 60 miles, and, if there are enough riders, groups may be riding at different paces. The courses include a mix of paved and dirt roads, which are shown on the following links:

Map 1
Map 2

Although almost any bike can be used on these routes, mountain bikes may be overkill, unless there are heavy rains for several days before the ride. The 60 mile ride may include a stop at the Corey Lake restaurant. Please contact Steve Cox at or 269-372-2169, if you have any questions or comments about the ride.

Steve Cox


League of Michigan Bicyclists Update

I am a Member of the Board for the League of Michigan Bicyclists. There are three things that I would like you to be aware of. First off, the goal of the League of Michigan Bicyclists is to advocate for a more bicycle-friendly Michigan by promoting bicycling and the safety of bicyclists on Michigan roadways. The League lobbies in Lansing to get laws passed that are in the bicyclists' interest. It also works to help get infrastructure built or rebuilt in Michigan that is conducive to bicyclists. Governor Snyder has made fixing Michigan's roads a priority for this term. Everyone in the state feels that Michigan's roads are in need of repair. Currently, roads are funded by a gasoline tax. The current road funding system is broken; we are driving more fuel efficient cars shorter distances. This leads to less revenue coming in to the state. The Governor is proposing to increase the cost of a vehicle registration by 60%, plus an increase in the gasoline tax. There is also a proposal to increase the sales tax by 2%. I can see benefits and drawbacks to both funding choices. What we as cyclist need to do is make sure our representatives in Lansing keep in funding for bicyclists. Some in Lansing feel that non-motorized funding, like bike paths, are "strings" that are required by the federal government and need to be eliminated. The Speaker of the Michigan House, Jase Bolger, has a survey available asking for input. Here is a link to the information on the League Website

The League raises money through the four tours that it puts on each year. This year, the first tour of the season, Pedal and Paddle Bicycle Tour, is in a new location. It is in Three Rivers and the dates are May 18 and 19, 2013. There are three ride distances available on Saturday, 26, 35, or 50 miles in the morning. Following a provided lunch, there is a canoe/kayak on the Rocky River. On Sunday, there are two ride options, 24 or 37 miles. Breakfast is provided each day, as well. Think about taking advantage of this local early season opportunity to ride and canoe with your family. There is more information available here.

The final thing I would like to ask you to do is take direct involvement by going to Lansing for the League's Advocacy Day. Here, you will meet with State Representatives and Senators to advocate for biking in Michigan. Traditionally, this has included a bike ride to the capital from MSU Bikes, lunch, and the opportunity to ride in Lansing when you are done with your meetings by mid-afternoon. It is a great opportunity to meet bicycle advocates from across the state and to spend some time with them. If you are interested in attending or need more information, please e-mail me at The date for Advocacy Day is Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

David Jones


Ride Reports Column Starting

Starting next month, we're going to try to make good on an oft-repeated wish, that is, to report member accomplishments every once in a while in the Pedal Press. Aside from formal race results, we will rely on our members' self-reports of rides done (e.g., DALMAC, brevets, 24 Hour Challenges, etc.) or race/time trial results or other ride-related milestones, such as miles ridden in a year (again, totally self-reported on a voluntary basis and using the honor system).

So, from time to time, I'll be polling you, our members, to ask for rides you feel worth reporting and submitting what you send me verbatim with your name attached as the submitter. We can always print corrections if someone errs in what they submit or we fat-finger something. Nothing about this column will prevent you from submitting any articles on any subject that you wish to Rick Whaley, our newsletter editor, including your own ride reports.

I've talked with Jon Ballema, captain of the CMS Race Team that KBC helps sponsor. He's agreed to report items of interest from time to time in his own column. From time to time, we'll be asking members of KBC who are on other teams, such as Priority Health, for their results.

Sharing this kind of information with others might just boost involvement in bicycle tours and other rides. Unknown to you, that ride you do every year might be a ride that others never heard of. After all, how long were you into bicycling before you heard about events like the DALMAC? I'm still hearing about events that are totally new to me.

Back to the here and now. Here is my first call for a self-report. I know a lot of you keep track of your mileage. I hope to get yours in time to print in next month's Pedal Press!

How many miles did you ride in 2012?

If you are a current KBC member and want to give others a sense of what you are doing mileage-wise, mail your first and last name and miles logged to Estimates ("about 750"), reasonable rounding (if you say, "under 1000" that is close enough for me), and exact numbers ("1234") are all equally o.k.

To make April's Pedal Press, reports submitted by March 20 will be printed. If you miss this deadline, don't worry. I'll keep gathering results until April 20 and print those in May's Pedal Press. After that, I'll close the request for our "2012 KBC Member's Mileage Almanac."

So in 2013, just for fun, start tracking those miles! We'll try to gather and report on them once a year after this.

Paul Selden

KBC Quick Tips

Quick Tip #10: Ready to get on a bike?

"If you're ready to get on your bike and begin your spring training, but the weather just isn't cooperating, give a spinning class a try. Spinning classes are designed to take the ride indoors and are a great workout for your legs and heart. You can find KBC members teaching spinning classes at most local fitness centers that have classes; check their schedules or ask around. At some fitness centers, you don't even have to be a member to attend a class; just pay a nominal fee per class. Although indoor spinning classes don't compare to the outdoor experience, they do provide a great way to get the legs moving, heart pumping, and a way to meet people that share a common interest." [Renee Mitchell]

Quick Tip #11: Inexpensive way to lock your bike

"Bicyclists often don't want to take a heavy lock and cable with them to secure their bikes while running around town. Plus, the heavy ones cost a fair amount of change. For quick stops at places that are not high-risk for theft, there is another solution. Your local hardware store can make a fairly light yet very strong coated wire cable of a length that works well for between $3 and $4. Wear it around your waist or coil it and stuff it into a jersey pocket. Throw in one of those small but decent padlocks you have laying around, and you are all set." [Paul Selden]

Looking for Quick Tips on Spring bike maintenance, fitness, training, tours, etc. There's a lot of bike knowledge in our KBC community, let's share it with each other! Please e-mail tips to

Your tips are appreciated by all!

Renee Mitchell, KBC Education Chair

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The February 12, 2013 meeting of the KBC was called to order by President Zolton Cohen at 7:02 P.M. Those in attendance were: Doug Kirk, Zolton Cohen, John Olbrot, Michael Krischer, Terry O'Connor, Jon Ballema, Bob Brennan, David Jarl, Kathleen Kroll, Marc Irwin, Paul Selden, David Warwick, Mary Jo Warwick, Mike Boersma, Renee Mitchell, Rick Whaley, Mike Mock, Steve Cox, Kathy Kirk, Tom Keizer, David Jones, and Mary Gerger.

Treasurer John Olbrot gave the Treasurer's Report:

December 2012:
Checking Account$6,266.16
Certificate of Deposit $11,120.77

January 2013:
Checking Account$5,738.58
Certificate of Deposit $11,121.72

KalTour Director Mike Krischer announced that he hoped to have the KalTour online registration open by March 1, 2013. KBC members are entitled to a $5 discount if they register before the early registration date expires. The date of this year's KalTour is Sunday, June 30, 2013.

Director of Road Safety Paul Selden mentioned that he had spoken again with area law enforcement agencies regarding their interest in bicycling education programs. They are considering a bike safety rodeo and are interested in educational resources for bicyclists. Paul reminded all of the agencies about the LMB Bike Training for Law Enforcement program. The KBC has offered to pay the registration fee for any area officers who wish to attend.

Education Chair Renee Mitchell requested "Quick Tips" for her column in the Pedal Press. Renee also mentioned she is looking for volunteers for 2013 Bike Camp, and for help with a redesign of the Bike Camp brochure.

Kalamazoo Bike Week Chair David Warwick and Co-Chair Mary Jo Warwick spoke about the 2nd Annual Kalamazoo Bike Week, scheduled for May 11-May 18 (and possibly May 19 as well). They have many ideas they would like to incorporate into this annual event and they are looking for input, volunteers, and anything else which will lead to Bike Week's success.

The Warwicks recognize the vibrant cycling community in the Kalamazoo area and are trying to be a "clearinghouse for all things bike-related." There will be a Community Forum held during the week before Kalamazoo Bike Week, bringing together area law enforcement agencies, road commissions, and the public to discuss specific needs for roads in this area. The Warwicks noted that our area roads are used by bicyclists, walkers, runners, and vehicles, and this will be a unique opportunity for all to participate in this Forum. Publicity for Kalamazoo Bike Week was discussed, as well as the KBC's participation in Kalamazoo Bike Week 2013.

Steve Cox mentioned he would like to increase interest in dirt road rides, specifically in the Southwest Kalamazoo County area. A brief discussion followed regarding distance of the rides, possible routes, and dates for dirt road rides. Discussions on this topic will be on-going, and more information will soon be available. (Editor's Note: See the article elsewhere in this issue of the Pedal Press about this ride.)

Zolton announced he has authorized a proposal by Mike Peterson to proceed with a "History of the KBC" project. Mike will conduct interviews with KBC founders, as well as take photos, etc. Anyone with KBC historical information and photos, please contact Mike at or Zolton (the keeper of the KBC archives).

Jon Ballema gave an informative presentation regarding the KBC's sponsorship of the CMS Race Team. He requested an increase in the amount of annual funding provided by the KBC to a total of $500, which would increase the KBC's sponsorship level to "Bronze." This amount would include the annual $150 USA Cycling Team License. The request for the KBC to increase their sponsorship funding to $500 was unanimously approved by members present at this meeting. Zolton commented on the excellent collaboration between the KBC and the CMS Race Team, mentioning the team's involvement in KBC Bike Camp, club rides, etc.

The following members were sworn in as 2013 KBC Sanctioned Ride Leaders: Doug Kirk, Kathy Kirk, John Olbrot, Michael Krischer, Terry O'Connor, Jon Ballema, David Jarl, Kathleen Kroll, Paul Selden, Marc A. Irwin, Steven R. Cox, Mike Mock, Rick Whaley, Tom Keizer, David Jones, Renee Mitchell, David Warwick, Mary Jo Warwick, Mary Gerger, and Zolton Cohen.

Zolton updated the status of bike repair station locations around Kalamazoo. There is a Bike Repair Station available in front of WMU's Office of Sustainability (at the corner of Howard and West Michigan Avenue). A second station is now available near the Vine Neighborhood Office. Doug Kirk and Zolton are on a committee planning to put more of these stations around the Kalamazoo area. The Kalamazoo Public Library and the KalHaven Trailhead on 10th Street are being targeted as possible future locations. More information and progress reports will be forthcoming on this matter. Jon Ballema asked if a simple "Rules of the Road" sticker could somehow be applied to the stations, as many riders that may utilize these stations may not be very experienced riders.

Jon Ballema mentioned he was still gathering his receipts for the January Recovery Party and would be submitting them to Treasurer John Olbrot as soon as possible. Any other members with receipts from the Recovery Party should submit them to John for reimbursement.

Rick Whaley raised a question about the various types of memberships available to KBC members and prospective members, specifically regarding senior memberships. A brief discussion followed, as well as one about the possibility of raising membership dues to cover the KBC's rising insurance costs. The discussion on this topic will continue next month during the March 12, 2013 meeting.

Paul Selden asked about club members' interest in longer distance rides. He asked those interested to stay after the meeting for a few minutes and said he would be willing to send out a quick survey to members wishing to participate. He will be gathering data for a Special Interest Group related to this topic. (Editor's Note: See the article on this topic elsewhere in this issue of the Pedal Press.)

Jon Ballema commented about our KBC meetings being held on the same night as the TriKats meetings. He mentioned some of the speakers the TriKats have had, the facilities they use, and raised a question about the potential benefits of both clubs utilizing some of the same resources.

Zolton adjourned the meeting at 8:10 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary Gerger, KBC Secretary



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Editor's Letter - The Raven Pays a Cyclist a Visit

Once upon a midday dreary, while I pedaled weak and weary,
Watching many another furious broadcast of athletic war –
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As if someone gently rapping, rapping at my upstairs door.
"'Tis some Girl Scout," I muttered, "tapping at my upstairs door –
Selling cookies, nothing more."

On my trainer adversary, it was in late February,
And each separate drop of sweat had wrought its stain upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
From TV surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Sum-mor –
For the warm and radiant season that the angels name Sum-mor –
Nameless here for evermore.

Up the stairs, I flung the door wide, when, as I stood staring popeyed,
In there stepped a stately Raven, not the kind from football lore;
Not the least respect did he show; not a minute stopped or moved slow;
But, with mien of Bernard Hinault, perched next to my trainer on the floor –
Perched upon a bust of Bob Roll, just next to my trainer on the floor –
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then, methough, the air grew stale, perfumed from my bike apparel
Marked by tedium whose foot-falls circled near the basement floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite – respite and Clif Gin Shots from thy memories of Sum-mor!
Quaff, oh quaff these kind Clif Gin Shots, and forget this lost Sum-mor!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! – prophet, still if bird or devil!
By the Alps that bends above us – by that Tour we both adore –
Tell this soul with sorrow quite keen if, within two-thousand-thirteen,
It shall find a sainted season that the angels name Sum-mor –
Find a warm and radiant season that the angels name Sum-mor."
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the bulbous bust of Bob Roll just next to my trainer on the floor;
And his eyes have all the seeming of an indoor cyclist screaming,
And TV light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my cleats from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!

Yes, I'm writing this at the end of February, the "Woe is me" month and, in my case, the "Poe is me" month, as well. Unlike last year, spring does not appear to be arriving early; now it's just a series of days where the temperature sneaks above freezing, and the roads are never completely clear of ice. My streak of commuting by bicycle to work at least once each month; the streak for which I risked road rash or worse in January, is ending, anyway. The cranks on my 1980 Fuji bicycle, my bicycle of choice for stationary training, pop louder and more often than my hot air popcorn popper. And not only is my bike suffering from stationary trainer fatigue; for me, this fatigue has more than just settled in, it has burrowed into my soul and turned my life into a hopelessly wretched nightmare of epic proportions.

O.k., I exaggerate a bit. And we've certainly have had worse winters than this. Nevertheless, this is the anti-Christmas season; certainly not the most wonderful time of the year. But still……

….. the spring sales have started at the bicycle shops, first in Battle Creek and soon in Kalamazoo and Portage. Of course, it is one thing to buy bicycling clothes and equipment; it is another to be able to actually use them. But still……

….. we will be moving the clocks forward one hour in a week or so, and when that occurs, the KBC after work cycling season begins. Yes, I know, the weather will still be less than optimal for bicycle riding. But still……

….. there was that Sunday in February when I thought about enjoying another round of exercise on my stationary trainer, but decided to run an errand first. The temperature hovered in upper 20s, but there was little wind, and it was rather sunny. So, after I got back home, on impulse, I decided to try riding outside.

Twenty miles later, I was back at home, cleaning the salt and grit off my bicycle and reflecting upon a ride that was actually pretty good. By staying within the city limits of Portage and mostly on main roads, my ride had been almost ice free. And due to the lack of wind, not to mention my multiple layers of clothing, and the most-of-the-time sun, I was comfortable during the ride. Best of all, it was nice just to ride outside. And, even though there are times when may I doubt it (as noted above), I really do know that the weather will be warmer again. Just as I know that the Mount Whaleys of snow at the end of my driveway won't be there forever, despite what any raven might suggest.

Spring is coming; summer, too. And you can quoth me.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

Sunday, April 14. Fisk Knob Time Trial. Fisk Knob (Kent) County Park. 28 km (17.2 mile) time trial.

Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19. Pedal & Paddle Bicycle Tour, Three Rivers. Saturday, 26, 35, or 50 miles and canoe/kayak on the Rocky River. Sunday, 24 or 37 miles.

Wednesday through Sunday, August 28 – September 1. 43rd Annual Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw (DALMAC) Bicycle Tour. Four rides over 4 or 5 days, ranging from 294 to 405 miles. Registration has begun and all rides fill up quickly.

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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,

Breakaway Bicycles is looking for a couple of bicycle loving, capable, self-motivated folks to join our crew. We can use full time or part time help. The sad truth in this enlightened age is that women seldom apply. Lots of men and boys do. So I encourage you females to come in and apply! We have a supportive, fun environment and emphasize customer service.

Custer Cyclery

104 North Augusta, Augusta, (269) 731–3492

Gazelle Sports

214 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, (269) 342–5996,
Spring Footwear is HERE!
Check out the latest from Brooks, Asics, Nike, New Balance, Mizuno, Saucony, and more, including NEW kids on the block – ALTRA zero drop footwear. Also…. Gazelle Sports is the ONLY store in Michigan offering shoes with Adidas' new BOOST technology…. a new form of cushioning with greater energy return than anything on the market. It's revolutionary!

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.