April 2013 President’s Letter

A D'oh Moment

In many ways, hasn't Homer Simpson been a role model in our lives? From the time I saw him take his children to a carnival to ride on "The Tooth Chipper," he has certainly proven himself as my own personal cultural touchstone for over 20 years.

I had the opportunity recently to think about one of his famous expressions – that dope slap on the side of the head accompanied by a guttural "D'oh!" – when it came to our attention, yet again, that KBC was likely going to be short on ride leaders this coming season.

And the primary reason for this is that…get ready for it…we never bother to train ride leaders! D'oh indeed.

Well, it's one thing to complain bitterly about something, but quite another to try and do something to try and rectify the situation. So we're going to have a ride leader training session immediately following the regular monthly KBC meeting on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:00 PM at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All members – interested or not in becoming a ride leader – are invited to attend.

The meetings usually take an hour or less and the ride leader training session will commence following adjournment.

Let's clear one thing up right away; by attending the ride leader training session you do not have to become a ride leader. We'd like it if you would consider doing that, but there is no obligation.

During this session, we will discuss many different aspects of leading bicycle rides, from the responsibilities to how to make it fun and attractive to others who might like to ride at a pace you find comfortable. It's the next step up from just attending a ride, and a way for you to put your own personal spin on the sport.

Leading rides is fun and challenging and is an ideal way for you to share what you know and love about bicycling. It also helps grow the club, as the more different rides we have, the more riders we can attract to this inspiring sport.

So, I look forward to seeing you there at the next KBC meeting – and at the ride leader training session following that meeting.

TOC Is On The Mend!

Longtime KBC member and current club insurance coordinator Terry O'Connor underwent a hip replacement operation on March 18. He is recovering at home with the assistance and loving care of his wife, Pam.

Please join me in wishing Terry a speedy and complete recovery from the surgery. We look forward to seeing him back on the bike – and leading rides again – sometime in May.

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Next KBC Monthly Meeting on April 9, 2013

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.


KBC's Bike Camp 2013

Do you have family and/or friends you'd like to ride with but you can't seem to convince them to hop on a bike? Are they hesitant to ride on the roadway because they don't know how? Do they need to know the basics of safe cycling?

If you answered "yes," encourage them to sign up for KBC's Bike Camp 2013. Bike Camp is a training and informational program targeted toward bicyclists who desire to improve their biking skills, fitness, and knowledge of the sport in a friendly group environment. They will learn how to ride a bike properly, efficiently, and safely on public roads. Bike fitting, fitness goals, nutrition, and maintenance are all covered. Families, adults new to road cycling, and those renewing their interest in the sport would all benefit from Bike Camp.


  • Tuesday, May 14 2013 at 6:30 P.M. – First session is held in room 1510 of KVCC's Texas Township campus (no equipment needed).
  • Saturdays, May 18 – June 8, 2013 at 8:30 A.M. – Continues with 4 informational and training sessions held at the Portage YMCA, 2900 West Centre Avenue.
  • Sunday, June 30, 2013 - Concludes with participation in KBC's KalTour, the Kalamazoo Scenic Bicycle Tour, starting at Bronson Athletic Club.


  • $50.00/$60.00 for individuals signing up on or before May 1/after May 1.
  • $60.00/$70.00 for families signing up on or before May 1/after May 1.

For additional information or to register, go to the Bike Camp page.

If you would like to volunteer for Bike Camp or have questions, please e-mail bikecamp@kalamazoobicycleclub.org.

Thank you!

Renee Mitchell for KBC's Bike Camp Committee


KalTour Registration

If you are reading this, you are reading it on a screen. Most likely you are also doing more shopping, bill paying, and money management online as well. That's the way of the world these days (unfortunately for the post office)! KalTour is no exception to this trend. We will not be mailing flyers this year to previous KalTour participants, so consider this article as your reminder to sign up for KalTour.

We do have a printed KalTour flyer that you can find in the literature rack at your local bike shop, fitness center, library, or other cooperating business around town. I encourage you to pick up one for yourself and one for a friend.

KalTour registration is open online. Just follow the link on the KalTour page of the KBC website, fill-in the required information, and have your credit or debit card handy. When you tell others about KalTour, you can even tell them the website to visit. Just remember it's all one word followed by "dot org" – kalamazoobicycleclub.org. For those who would rather pay by check, you can print out the registration form and mail it to KBC, PO Box 50527, Kalamazoo, MI 49005.

While you are looking at the flyers for other cycling events around the region (another reason to visit your local bike shop this spring), check out the prices. Your KBC member rate for KalTour advance registration ($15 for an individual and $30 for a family) is about as low a price as you will find for a one day ride that offers a full lunch and a century option.

KalTour, the 22nd edition of our club's annual summer tour, takes place this year on Sunday, June 30. We start and finish at Bronson Athletic Club (just off I-94 at 9th Street). Routes range from 13 to 100 miles and there will be plenty to eat.

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 kaltour@kalamazoobicycleclub.org.

I look forward to seeing you all on the 30th of June.

Mike Krischer, KalTour Director


The 13th Annual W Ride

Yes, once again, it's time for the event of the spring cycling season, the W Ride! And this year, it's lucky number 13. The ride will take place on Saturday, April 27 at 9:00 A.M. and we'll meet at the east parking lot of Vicksburg High School. Please, no need to camp out the day before the ride; there will be plenty of parking for everyone.

This year, we're doing the classic route. After leaving the high school parking lot, we'll turn right and ride on W Avenue until we reach the Van Buren County line. Then, we'll turn around and ride back to Vicksburg, stopping for snacks and drinks at the local convenience store.

But wait, there's more! We'll continue riding east on W Avenue until we reach the Calhoun County line and then we'll turn around and ride back to Vicksburg. 48 miles on W Avenue and life is good. Maps will be provided for the directionally challenged. And, finally, the Ride Director guarantees, guarantees, that the weather will be 70 degrees and sunny*.

Rick Whaley will lead the main group of riders, and the speed will probably be around 16.437821162 mph, but could be as slow as 15 mph or as fast as 17-18 mph. And there will probably be other groups of riders who will be riding either slower or faster. Come join us, it will be the highlight of your life.

Rick Whaley, W Ride Director

* Somewhere in the world

KBC Dirt Road Ride – A Reminder

This is a reminder that the KBC Dirt Road Ride will be held at 9:00 A.M. on Sunday, April 21, starting at Burch Park in Schoolcraft. For more information, see last month's Pedal Press or contact Steve Cox at curlystays@aol.com.


A Proposal to Create a Ride for Senior and Beginning Bikers

In the interest of older bikers, it would be beneficial to have more rides that are slower and shorter. This might also appeal to younger and/or beginning bikers. Many older or beginning riders are somewhat intimidated by road traffic; therefore a venue with limited vehicular traffic would be most appropriate. My suggestion would be the area around KVCC. On weekends and during summer months, the area has, for the most part, limited amount of vehicular traffic. O Avenue, 8th Street, and 9th Street have very little traffic during summer months when the college conducts very few programs. In addition to the KVCC area, one block north on 9th Street, there is a condo and manufactured homes area consisting of 2 or 3 miles of paved roads, and across the street is The Groves Industrial park with a couple of miles of good roads.

All together, there are several miles of paved roads suitable for biking without coping with a lot of vehicular traffic. If this would be of interest to any of our KBC members or their biking acquaintances, it might be productive to respond to this article and get a discussion started, or bring it up at next KBC meeting. You may do so via e-mail to Victor Van Fleet at vicvanf@yahoo.com. As a matter of information, I live in the Woodsong Valley condos across the street from KVCC.

Victor Van Fleet


Rules of the Road Reminder

With spring here, we'll soon be dusting off our bikes, greasing our chains, pumping up our tires, checking our brakes, and hitting the roads. It's important to prepare our bikes after the winter months, but it's also important to prepare our minds for the wonderful riding season ahead. Listed below are the League of American Bicyclists six Rules of the Road to remind us all that we are not alone on the roadways and it's important to follow these rules to be safe and confident cyclists. If you have any questions about these rules, you can check out LAB's website at www.bikeleague.org or e-mail educationchair@kalamazoobicycleclub.org.

League of American Bicyclists - Rules of the Road

The League's six Rules of the Road will prepare you for a safe and fun bike commute no matter where you are riding. For more educational resources, sign up for a Smart Cycling class.

1. Follow the law. - Your safety and the image of bicyclists depend on you. You have the same rights and duties as drivers. Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic; use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.

2. Be predictable. - Make your intentions clear to motorists and other road users. Ride in a straight line and don't swerve between parked cars. Signal turns and check behind you well before turning or changing lanes.

3. Be conspicuous. - Ride where drivers can see you; wear bright clothing. Use a front white light and red rear light and reflectors at night or when visibility is poor. Make eye contact with drivers. Don't ride on sidewalks.

4. Think ahead. - Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other bicyclists will do next. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look out for debris, potholes, and utility covers. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.

5. Ride Ready. - Check your tires have sufficient air, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick release wheel levers are closed. Carry repair and emergency supplies appropriate for your ride. Wear a helmet.

6. Keep your cool. - Road rage benefits no-one and always makes a bad situation worse.

[Source: http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/better/roadrules.php]

Renee Mitchell, KBC Education Chair


2012 KBC Member Mileage Almanac

Mileage  Member
3500*Ballema, Jon
2600*Brennan, Sue O'Hearn
1662Clark, John
8058Hart, John and Barb (tandem)
5000*Heidenfeld, Ryan
2260Hutchins, Terry
4600Krueger, Dale
3160Post, Peter
7690Selden, Paul
3060Shubnell, John
2057Stevenson, Cullen
980*Vanderberg, Brian
7331Whaley, Rick
* Denotes approximation

Thank you to all the KBC members who submitted their mileage for 2012 for this edition of the Pedal Press by the March 20 deadline. The last update for 2012, including all those received for the 2012 Almanac above, will appear in May's Pedal Press. Please submit mileage additions or corrections to directorroadsafety@kalamazoobicycleclub.org by April 20. If you think you e-mailed your mileage but do not see it, please resubmit it.

This Mileage Almanac is part of KBC's broader effort to recognize the riding accomplishments of our club members. Throughout 2013, if you have a noteworthy ride to report, please e-mail the report, including relevant statistics and your full name, to Paul Selden at directorroadsafety@kalamazoobicycleclub.org.

Paul Selden


KBC Long Rides SIG's Shipshewana March Madness

Some die-hards from KBC's Long Rides Special Interest Group (SIG) rode back in time to Shipshewana during a brief break from winter on Saturday March 9. Marc Irwin, Jim Murray, Rick Whaley, and I pushed into a moderate headwind on the way down and let it blow us home on the way back. Some may call it madness to ride in "the cold," but the temperature was relatively balmy, in the lower 40s. There was with no need for ice tires, unless one wished to show off on the still-frozen lakes.

In this type of weather, it is easy to stay warm while cranking away. Just dress as you would for relatively warm-weather cross country skiing. Marc, Jim, and Rick, my fellow long distance cyclists, were all dressed for the distance as well.

I add some extras to fit a few personal requirements for more comfort in extended periods out of doors, knowing that like rust, wind chill never sleeps. Over the past few years, I've learned that ski goggles help keep my already old eyes from completely turning red. And for my extremities, I usually hedge my bets with hand warmers tucked into the thumbs of my oversized Taiga Expedition Mitts, and toe-warmers stuck on (top of) my toes inside my NorthWave Celsius Artic (their spelling, not mine) winter boots. As an ice diver (yes, as in SCUBA), I've learned that if one is determined enough, finding the right exposure protection for riding through winter is possible. When I donned my first pair of biking shorts, I broke the fear of "looking like a bicyclist" years ago. It is not too hard to stay warm when cycling in cold weather, if you do it right.

A snow-melted dirt/gravel stretch up a couple of punchy little hills in Indiana on the way down reminded everyone about certain laws of physics – friction coefficients and gravity in particular – without causing too much of a pause. Following in the others' tire tracks, I saw no foot prints that would indicate that anyone – even Rick on his narrow road tires – needed to get off and walk. The crests of the hills were paved, which helped.

For my part, I learned that standing on the pedals when climbing a slurry of dirt and gravel isn't so bad of an alternative when your rear derailleur refuses to stay in any of the three lowest gears, on a wheel I hadn't ridden on this past winter. Oh, I guess that also means that I should (again) learn the lessons about not heading out on a long ride on un-tested gear, huh? [By the way, the nice folks at Pedal who sold me my winter/cross bike immediately found the culprit: a bent rear derailleur hanger. It probably got bent in an attempt to ride over what I thought was a packed snow bank that turned out to softer – and more filled with tree roots – than anticipated (real meaning: I fell over). This demonstrated, yet again, that an experienced bike mechanic at your local bike shop will always have that one bit of knowledge, and that one special tool, that would be totally off the radar of most do-it-yourselfers.]

Thanks to our maps and cue sheets, leaving from the Vicksburg High School at a very civilized departure of 9:30 A.M., we all managed to find our way back to Vicksburg in time to be home by a comfortable 5:00 P.M. Stops along the way included lunch at a Subway at the main intersection in Shipshewana and a snack stop in Centerville before crossing the wooden Langley Covered Bridge over the St. Joseph River.

The overall pace? For me it was about 9.5 mph into the wind on the way down, and about 12 mph on the way back, including all stops. For the others (who finished our 71 mile journey about 1/2 hour before me), it was closer to 11 mph overall.

From a cultural point of view, riding into the border area between Michigan and Indiana, then into Shipshewana, offers a wonderful mini-vacation. Seeing how generations of horse hooves have worn away the paved shoulder on the asphalt roads leading north out of Shipshewana to a depth that rivals a shallow drainage ditch is in itself fascinating. Admiring the horse-drawn buggies, looking at the working carriage shops, and seeing the neat, simple uniformity of apparel and hirsute adornment, I always feel drawn back in time. I appreciate the work ethic that leads to such tidy farms. Not to mention the "coincidence" that every third mailbox seems to have the name Yoder on it!

I am playing the role of SIG organizer versus ride leader on these rides. This was demonstrated by my leading from the rear, taking the position as sweeper the entire way. Except that in theory, the sweeper is supposed to be able to pick up stragglers and keep them on the straight and narrow. In practice, I lost sight of everyone not long into the ride. But every one of the nice people behind the counter at our planned stops along the way assured me that, yes, some other bicyclists "were here just a while ago," and, "Yes, they behaved themselves." (Hey – of course I checked – KBC's reputation is on the line here.)

If you are interested in participating as a member of KBC's Long Rides SIG, drop me an e-mail at directorroadsafety@kalamazoobicycleclub.org. I'll be letting KBC know via group mail about some of the long rides that can be planned more in advance, but joining the SIG will give you a more direct connection to other like-minded members on more spontaneous rides, plus more immediate input with regard to ride destinations and planning.

Paul Selden


CMS Race Team Monthly Update

Whether racing around the state, volunteering in the area, or just enjoying the roads around Kalamazoo County, 2012 was a great year for the CMS race team. The highlights included numerous podium finishes in multiple categories at races like the Miller Energy Criterium, the Maple Hill Race for Wishes, the Terri Reisch Memorial Race, Barry Roubaix, the Lowell 50, Iceman, the Ohio Valley Spring Race series and many, many more. For me, one of the greatest highlights was just being able to race after a year lost due to injury. For Valerie Litznerski it was the record that she set for riding from Muskegon to Port Sanilac on Lake Huron, a distance of 206.9 miles in 11 hours and 19 minutes.

For some of us, the highlights were what we gave back. Whether it was putting on the Miller Energy Criterium, the Tuesday Night Time Trials, volunteering at Bike Camp, or in the open roads program, 2012 give us a great jump off point. And we're looking forward to doing it all over again and then some.

So much of this is possible due to the phenomenal support of sponsors like the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club. I speak for everyone on the team when I give my most sincere thanks and gratitude for the support that we have been shown over the years. It seems the more we travel around the state, the more we realize how special Kalamazoo is and how happy we are to call it home. 2013 is going to be a great season and I frankly can't wait for it to start in full swing. Stay tuned over this year, there's plenty more to come.

Jon Ballema, President, CMS Race Team

Barry-Roubaix Results

The Barry-Roubaix Road Race was held on Saturday, March 23, 2013 in Hastings, Michigan. This is a 62, 36, and 24 mile race, conducted mostly on gravel roads. The CMS RaceTeam was well represented in the 36 mile race, highlighted by the 1st place finish of Joe Thomas in the 30-34 age division.

Age Division/Rider  Place Time
11-29 Women
Colleen Myers 7 2:32:35
20-29 Men
Lewis Henrickson 8 1:52:24
Henry Kuhnen 22 1:58:10
David Buick 58 2:15:03
Bryan Garfoot 75 2:28:09
30-34 Men
Joe Thomas 1 1:47:28
Jesse Riegle 10 1:54:44
35-37 Men
Ben Clark 23 2:01:39
45-49 Men
John Wunderlin 3 1:51:38
Peter Post 26 2:01:27
50-54 Men
Mark Wright 67 2:14:38
Fat Tire Bike Men
Jamie Clark 15 2:15:25
Single Speed Men
Dylan Gonda 12 2:05:07
Team Competition 6 2:06:02

Race Notes: The winning team averaged 2 minutes faster than the CMS Race Team. There were 37 teams and approximately 2800 riders in total.

Joe Thomas, 1st Place, Men's 30-34 Age Division

John Wunderlin, 3rd Place, Men's 45-49 Age Division

Compiled by Jon Ballema, President, CMS Race Team


The Spin - A Review of Doug Kirk's Novel

As I noted in the last issue of the Pedal Press, our club's Vice President, Doug Kirk, has written a novel about bicycle racing called the "The Spin." I read the book and I enjoyed reading it. Here's why.

The Plot: Set twenty years in the future, the book is about a newly formed bicycle team sponsored by a large drug company, featuring a disgraced former bicycle racer turned team director, an almost over-the-hill bicycle racer, a cycling prodigy, and a woman of semi-mystery, as well as a cast of numerous minor characters (including, sigh, Brunhilda), over the course of the early part of the cycling season, from training camp through the Giro d'Italia, a 3 week bicycle race similar to the Tour de France that takes place each year in May. One of the marks of an entertaining book is if it hooks a reader by creating interesting characters and situations, and keeps a reader wondering and guessing what's going to happen next. This book did that.

The Names of the Characters: Characters with names that are word plays and subtle and not-so-subtle modifications to names of current and former bicycle racers and commentators throughout the book was another source of entertainment. In addition, there were several characters with either full or first names that would be very familiar to members of the KBC. However, I do have to admit that I was a bit disappointed that in the book there wasn't crusading newspaper editor named "Rick," whose incisive intelligence and dogged determination to get to the bottom of the reasons for surprising performances of Team Pharmascrip were matched by his chiseled features and rugged good looks. Maybe in the second edition.

The Issue of Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports: Illegal performance enhancing drugs in the sport of professional bicycle racing has had a long and inglorious history, through the now infamous Lance Armstrong era and to the present day. But defining just exactly what a performance enhancing drug is isn't always a black and white issue, even to me, a person who tends to see the issue of performing enhancing drugs in a world without gray. Yeah, if you inject your own blood back into your veins in order to improve oxygen delivery to muscles, I think we can all say that this is cheating. But what about caffeine, used by those of us who drink coffee (not me), Mountain Dew (me, most definitely), or even Chocolate Outrage GU (me, every now and then)? As a character in The Spin points out, caffeine can also be a performing enhancing drug. And what about the drink concoctions that I read about in issues of Ultracycling magazine that are used while competing in long distance cycling events? And what about drugs that don't improve performance per se, but allow an athlete to recover from training easier, and allows an athlete to train harder? Hmmmm, sometimes this world is like a day in Seattle.

And what if you have a pill; a supplement that is given openly by your team's sponsor to each team member, a supplement that can be individually tailored to each athlete? What if it works by improving brain function, allowing an athlete to think more clearly in the heat of competition and concentrate better, as well as recover more quickly? What if that drug will be eventually marketed to the public, so that anyone can use it; like caffeine for the 21st century?

I'd still say that using that supplement is cheating; you play the genetic cards you're dealt and your success in a sport is largely determined by how well you play your hand and how hard you're willing to work. As far as I'm concerned, this process of becoming a better athlete is even more important than the result; the satisfaction of making the effect to hone one's craft; in this case where the craft being able to adapt your body to perform a physical task and perform it well. And effort is key. If all it takes is to pop a pill to improve performance, it short circuits the process of becoming a better athlete; there is no effort, no striving here. So, yes, I'd say it's cheating; that you're cheating yourself, as well as others. But still, if a drug like this becomes commonly accepted in day to day use and not just for athletic endeavors, like caffeine, well, maybe I'd just have to rethink my position. However, I don't have to ponder the ethical implications of injecting yourself with cheetah DNA cells. No way that isn't cheating.

Rick Whaley

KBC Quick Tips

Quick Tip #12: Spring tire check

"If your bike has been sitting all winter and the tires are flat, pump them up to 30-40 psi and then check the bead to make sure it is seated properly. If it's not seated properly, it could be pinching the tube, or worse yet, the tube could be protruding out which will result is a blow-out as you pump the tire to pressure. Once those tires are pumped up, be sure to check them for any cuts or punctures that may cause them to fail and you to fall." [Jim Kindle]

Quick Tip #13: Keeping warm on those cool spring rides

"Spring is a great time to think about buying cycling tights, a wind jacket, and arm and leg warmers, if you don't already own them. People not familiar with bicycling may think that tights look "odd," but they look no different than the running tights that runners and joggers wear, plus they don't have pant cuffs that can get caught in or get dirty from a chain. They have the added benefit of being more aero, reducing drag. Most cycling authorities recommend keeping your knees warm when the temperature is below about 60 degrees. Arm and knee warmers have the added benefit of being pretty easy to remove after you warm up. I've found I need to pull my knee warmers up as high as they can go, to keep them from working themselves down my legs when I ride; I still need to pull them up every once in a while. Guess I need to keep working to beef up my legs some more!" [Paul Selden]

Quick Tip #14: Proper use of tire levers

"The only time to use tire levers is to remove a bike tire from a wheel. If used to pry a tire back onto the rim after replacing a flat tube, the likelihood of accidentally poking a hole in the tube while levering the tire into position is very high.

If the tire is difficult to get back onto the rim after replacing a tube, enlist a friend to help roll the last bit of the bead of the tire into place. Four hands can exert greater pressure on the tire than two, and that often can be the difference between a struggle and an easier job.

Also, when trying to roll the last bit of tire bead over the rim, locate an area directly opposite on the wheel where you're working and pinch the sidewalls of the tire together there. That can allow the tire to slip a little further into the center of the rim in that spot, gaining a few precious fractions of an inch of play on the top side, where you are working." [Zolton Cohen]

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 educationchair@kalamazoobicyclingclub.org

Your tips are appreciated by all!

Renee Mitchell, KBC Education Chair

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The March 12, 2013 meeting of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club was called to order by President Zolton Cohen, at 7:02 P.M. Those in attendance were: Michael Krischer, Terry O'Connor, Jon Ballema, Marc Irwin, Paul Selden, Mike Boersma, Renee Mitchell, Rick Whaley, Tom Keizer, David Jones, Nikki Pavlack, Alex Urech, Tyler Schuette, Dale Krueger, Craig Freeman, John Shubnell, Mike Vandeveer, and John Clark.

Zolton gave the Treasurer's Report for John Olbrot who was unable to attend the meeting:

Checking Account$5,873.58
Certificate of Deposit $11,122.56

Education Chair, Renee Mitchell noted that the Safety Kids will be selling bicycle helmets to kids for $10 at Bronson Hospital on May 4, 2013 between 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. She also plans to publicize this in KBC's Yahoo Groups. She continues to look for Quick Tips from our club members to put in subsequent issues of the Pedal Press.

Public Relations Director, Marc Irwin, stated that he plans to send out press releases every 6 weeks of so, just to keep KBC in the public eye. He has enough material for the near future, but will eventually need input for this from other KBC members.

Zolton noted that he is still involved with activities that will install bike stations in downtown Kalamazoo. The funding for this is falling into place, but there are still bureaucratic hurdles to overcome.

Paul Selden, Director of Public Safety, stated that he will be working with Bike Camp to make sure that potholes on the Bike Camp short routes will be either filled or marked by the time Bike Camp begins. He also talked with Andrew Simmons, the president of TriKats, the local triathlete club. They talked about having a combined meeting between the two clubs that would be a social and not a business meeting, featuring a speaker.

Zolton reported that there will be a Ride Leader Training Session after KBC's Monthly Meeting on April 9. He will also announce this through Yahoo Groups to drum up attendance for this. Jon Ballema stated that people would be more willing to be Rider Leaders if it wasn't an every week commitment and Zolton agreed, noting that being a Ride Leader isn't necessarily a weekly commitment. Zolton noted that attending the meeting isn't a commitment to become a Ride Leader. Dale Krueger and Paul mentioned some incidents that they have heard about, such as riding more than 2 abreast on the road, that reflect poorly on bicyclists. Zolton indicated that Ride Leaders need to make the rules of the road, such as riding no more than 2 abreast and staying as far right on the road as practical, are made clear to those they are leading. Renee stated that she will write an article about the rules of the road for the April Pedal Press. (Editor's Note: See Renee's article elsewhere in this issue.)

KBC bicycling grants were discussed next. KBC will grant $200 to the Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival. (Editor's Note: This will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the Western Michigan University Little Theater.) The Open Roads organization has requested $500 from KBC. This is being discussed by KBC member and a decision about this request will be made by next month.

Three more KBC members were sworn in as 2013 KBC Sanction Ride Leaders. They are Nikki Pavlack, Mike Vandeveer, and Dale Krueger.

Renee gave a Bike Camp report. The Bike Camp brochures have been produced and Bike Camp information and registration are also on the KBC website. She presented a brief outline of what is taught in Bike Camp. The first session will take place on Tuesday, May 14, and is an introduction to what will be taught at Bike Camp. There are 4 subsequent sessions the following 4 Saturday mornings. The first Saturday morning meeting will include bike fitting activities, while the remaining sessions will include group rides. Renee also mentioned that she is always looking for Bike Camp volunteers.

KalTour Director Mike Krischer stated that online registration for KalTour is now open. Registration forms will not be mailed out this year, but registration forms can still be printed out and mailed to KBC. One volunteer position that needs to be filled is to run the Timber Ridge SAG stop, since Paul Bruneau has moved away from the area. Paul Selden indicated that he will contact the KVCC police force for road support at the start and finish of the ride. Mike also noted that the 100 mile riders need to start by 8:30 A.M., the 62 mile riders need to start by 10:00 A.M., and the other riders need to start by 11:00 A.M. the day of the ride.

In old business, Paul noted that the Long Rides Interest Group that he organized has started with the first ride taking place the previous Saturday. The rides will take place throughout the riding season and will be between 50 and 125 miles.

Jon and Zolton noted that it is o.k. to announce KBC rides via KBC's Yahoo Groups.

In new business, Mike Boersma stated that we do have a Facebook page and that we should put announcements, such as rides, on Facebook, as well. Jon, Paul, and Zolton will look into this.

Zolton noticed that there were a few new attendees at the meeting and he asked them why they attended the meeting. Their general response was that they were relatively new to the club and were curious about what the club and the Monthly Meetings were all about. Various club members pointed out that there are lots of ways to become involved with the club via KBC rides that take place almost every day of the week. It was also noted that when new members join KBC, they have the opportunity to join KBC's Yahoo Groups, which is a source of information about club activities.

Finally, Zolton stated that it was decided by the KBC Executive Committee to eliminate the club's (rather nebulously defined) senior membership discount.

Zolton adjourned the meeting at 7:42 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Rick Whaley for Mary Gerger, KBC Secretary



The electronically-distributed KBC Pedal Press comes out on or around the first of each month.

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Editor's Letter - Apologizing to Inanimate Objects

I was riding my Fuji bicycle with the newly replaced bottom bracket on my stationary trainer, alternating between two minutes of harder riding and two minutes of easier riding, by shifting between gears. I'm not sure that this sort of haphazard interval training will pay any benefits during the outdoor cycling season, but at least it breaks up the monotony, and allows me to think that I'm doing a harder ride than I actually am. However, since this bicycle is over 30 years old, the shifting can be temperamental. So, after my chain had fallen off for the third time, I lost my temper. I commented upon the attributes of my bicycle in less than praiseworthy fashion, and after failing a few times to get the chain back on the chain wheel for more than a pedal stroke or two, I yanked at the chain in frustration a couple of times, before I finally realized that the chain had stretched, and yanking it hadn't improved the situation.

After finally diagnosing the problem, I looked at my bicycle more closely, and I could have sworn that I saw tears glistening in the little round orbs of the bar end caps. This was a bicycle that had taken me on many adventures between 1980 and 1997, and, sure; it had seen much better days, its frame rusted, its brakes barely functional, but was this the sort of way I should repay it for its years of faithful service? With insults? With threats of violence? I should be ashamed and, actually, I was. I owed my bike an apology, and apologize I did.

So, after a long winter of stationary training, I've come to the point where I've anthropomorphized my stationary trainer bicycle. And now that I've reached this point, it's time to come clean and make amends to other bicycling related inanimate objects that I have wronged over the years. Then the healing can begin.

My Tire Rims: Yes, the Bontrager rims on my newer Lemond bicycle are a little deeper than I'd like, making it a challenge to get the tire off or on the rim; sometimes both. But does that give me the right to abuse these rims when I'm attempting to do either of the above? After all, the rims are just doing their job, keeping my tires secured to them. Would I like it if my tires just suddenly flopped off my rims; perhaps while riding down the 388 hill during the Wednesday night KBC ride? I think not. What an ingrate I am.

The 6th Street Hill: A few years ago in one of my Editor's Letters, I told the 6th Street Hill that I was a sporting man and would continue to challenge myself on Mr. Six a few times a year, and give him ample opportunity to defeat me, if he could. But have I lived up to my end of the bargain? No, I have not. I've only ridden up this hill once each riding season in 2011 and 2012. If Mr. Six thinks that I am not a man of honor, then I don't blame him. It would serve me right the next time I go out riding, if a giant sinkhole suddenly opens up and swallows me into the earth. At least I'd then have a good excuse for not riding up the 6th Street Hill.

My Frame Pump: Every time I use my frame pump, I become exasperated. Riding a bicycle is not conducive to beefy biceps, so why should I be expected to acquire an eye-popping set of guns in order to completely pump up my tires? If I wanted to spend my time lifting weights in a gym instead of riding my bike, I'd do so. But now I see the error of my ways. Expecting a frame pump to completely pump up my tires is similar to expecting an asthmatic 70 year old to win the Olympic 100 meters. And mini-pumps? You've got to be kidding. Frame pumps kick road grit into the faces of mini-pumps. I have come to understand that when it comes to portable pumps, living a life of low expectations can be less stressful.

The Downtown Streets of Plainwell: I've ridden through Schoolcraft. I've ridden through Vicksburg. I've ridden through Lawton. I've ridden through Mattawan, Mendon, Marcellus, Centerville, Paw Paw; through Three Rivers on that frost-heaved horror that is known as Buckhorn Road. I've even ridden through nearby Otsego. And yet, I have not ridden through Plainwell, at least in the past couple of years. But I shall return in 2013, I swear it. You don't have to be paved in gold in order to entice me to ride over you again, although it would be nice to have public restrooms in the downtown gas station/convenience store.

My Water Bottles with Pop-on Caps: There have been times when I've squeezed a water bottle only to find its contents cascading down my cycling jersey. This has not pleased me and I've let my water bottle know it. But whose fault is this, really? If I had put the cap on properly, this wouldn't have happened. So, my bad, Mr. Water Bottle, that mistake is (literally) on me.

However, there are some inanimate objects that do not deserve an apology. Let's take, for example, my shoe covers. After the zipper on one of them broke last fall, I was able to jury-rig it to zip up, but the problem is keeping it zipped up, as the zipper separates from the bottom about 50% of the time. Any unflattering things I've had to say about these shoe covers have been richly deserved.

Then, there's the jersey I got last year; a jersey that zips completely down the front. I soon found out that the bottom of the zipper doesn't hold together, which results in a charmingly attractive look. Although, the completely unzipped looked isn't much better. I've always wondered about those professional cyclists, pedaling up Mount Sacrebleuthishurts during the Tour de France, their unzipped jerseys flapping in the wind like bed sheets flapping on a laundry line. If they think they're lookin' good, they're not. And the world will someday thank me for not exposing a cue ball colored chest and stomach that is at least 30 years past its prime (under the assumption that there ever was a prime), because my jury-rigged solution to this problem using a safety pin actually works, so far. Still, I don't think it's too much to ask to have this jersey function properly sans safety pin.

You might notice that both of these above inanimate objects involve zippers. There is a simple explanation for this. It is because zippers are evil. They break for spite. So, as you can see, I do not apologize to objects with zippers. I do NOT apologize to objects with zippers! When I die, just put this on my tombstone: "HE DID NOT APOLOGIZE TO OBJECTS WITH ZIPPERS!!!!!" Let this be my legacy.

And spring had better get here pretty soon, before I start losing it.

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. http://www.fusioncycling.org.

Saturday, April 20. Breaking the Cycle of Addiction. Kalamazoo 5, 10, and 20 miles. www.gfmsc.org.

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. www.lmb.org.

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. www.DALMAC.org.

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 roachbrown@yahoo.com.

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,

We are having our annual Breakaway Spring Sale/TrekFest April 11-15. We have Trek and Specialized carbon road bikes all on sale – Save $100 to $700! Tons of accessories will be on sale. All kids bike will be on sale. Trek 29er and 26" mountain bikes, and hybrids will be on sale.

Custer Cyclery

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

Gazelle Sports

214 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, (269) 342–5996,
SALE! April 12-22 Gazelle Sports will offer 10% off all hydration belts, PLUS special discounts on power food. Stock up!
Celebrate Earth Day with us April 18-22 with 20% off Smartwool and Patagonia. Bring in a gently used pair of shoes and take 20% off a new pair of Chaco sandals.
April 17 is a special day for the ladies…. Lole Yoga Meet Up and 20% off your Lole purchases that night, plus a special gift with purchase.

Johnson Cycle Works

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


611 W Michigan Avenue, Kalamazo, (269) 56–PEDAL
info@pedalbicycle.com and www.pedalbicycle.com

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.