May 2013 President’s Letter

W Ride - A Straight Shot to Nowhere

I'm writing this month on the day after the Saturday, April 27, 2013 version of the W Ride. If you've ever been on the ride, you know it's the conception of KBC's newsletter editor, Rick Whaley, who not only came up with the idea, but has staffed it entirely by himself from its inception.

Fourteen of us showed up on what turned out to be one of the first reasonable riding days of this unusually cold and wet bike season. After ingesting our ride maps for this straight line course - this year the maps consisted of Tootsie Roll Pops - we set out west on the 48 mile route.

Three hours and 10 or so minutes later we arrived back at the Vicksburg High School parking lot a bit windblown but otherwise not much worse for wear. And we all were happy we had done the ride. What a nice kickoff to the season; it was great to see biking buddies again and to catch up on what they had been doing all winter.

And that is one of the chief reasons we ride our bikes; for the camaraderie inherent in coming together, collaborating and cooperating as a group. This coming summer, there will be many opportunities to experience that sense of the riding community, either on a regular weeknight club ride or on a weekend.

Rides, Rides Everywhere!

Along that line of thought, I'd like to thank the many people who came to the April club meeting and then stayed for the ride leader training session that occurred immediately afterward. I'll confess I was surprised at the turnout - pleasantly so. It seems as though there are a lot of people interested in learning how to lead a ride.

Those in attendance may very well have been surprised to hear how easy it is to come up with an idea for, and to lead, a bicycle ride. The first part is the hardest; just deciding to do it. The rest is little more than showing up consistently and making it fun and safe for those who come out to ride.

Positive results have already sprung from that ride leader training session. Steve Cox has instituted a Friday night dirt road ride in Schoolcraft. Gary and Barb Foster, as you'll read in an another article in this Pedal Press, decided to lead a 13-15 mph, 20-24 mile Wednesday night ride from the Kal-Haven Trailhead on 10th Street. Teri Olbrot has received commitments from several riders, including me, to help lead a 12-14 mph ride on Monday nights starting at Texas Drive Park in Texas Township.

What do you want to see on KBC's ride schedule that doesn't already exist? Or can you act as a stand-in for a ride leader who can't be there on a certain night? Don't be bashful; we know you've got it in you!

Bike Camp is Nigh!

On May 14, the Bike Camp Committee, headed by Education Chair Renee Mitchell, will kick off Bike Camp 2013 with an evening orientation session at KVCC.

Bike Camp is one of the most important ways the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club interacts with the public. The goal is to get more people out riding their bikes safely and efficiently, and along the way Bike Camp helps grow the legions of knowledgeable bikers in the area.

Because it encompasses so many people, Bike Camp wouldn't work without volunteers. Renee has lined up presenters for the informational sessions before each Saturday ride, but what are needed the most are ride "monitors." Ride monitors serve to simply ride along with the various groups, modeling appropriate, safe cycling behavior, answering questions and encouraging beginning riders.

Remember when you were just starting out and could have used a mentor? Ride monitoring is easy and fun; you meet a lot of interesting people and at the same time get a chance to pass on your passion for the sport. What's not to like about that?

Please get in touch with either Renee or me (our contact information is in both this newsletter and on the club website) if you can spare a few Saturday hours in May and June to help us out with this endeavor.

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Next KBC Monthly Meeting on May 14, 2013

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.


Stay in Contact with KBC

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club currently has three main ways that it communicates with its members. The first is our monthly newsletter, the Pedal Press. If you have a family membership and would like the Pedal Press sent to more than one e-mail address, we can do that. Please just send me the e-mail address where the Pedal Press is being sent and any e-mail addresses that you with to add. (

The second is the Yahoo! Groups. The Yahoo! Groups is a closed mailing list; however, when you joined KBC, you should have gotten an invitation to join. You then need to follow the directions within the invitation e-mail to complete the sign-up process. If you are not currently on the Yahoo! Groups mailing list, you can go here to request being added: Note that if you are receiving the monthly e-mail from Zolton with the monthly meeting agenda, then you are a member of the KBC Yahoo! Groups.

The third and final way is through the Club's Facebook page. The Facebook page is closed, as well, and you will need to send a request to join. Having Facebook and Yahoo! Groups closed isn't meant to be exclusionary, but rather to keep the conversation focused on the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club, rather than all of the spam that the internet can generate.

If you have any questions, thoughts to improve KBC communication, or need help with any of these, send me an e-mail: David,

David Jones, KBC Database Manager


Kalamazoo Bike Week – May 9-18, 2013

As part of Bike Week celebrations taking place on May 9-18, 2013, a Public Forum on Cycling will be held on May 9 from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. in the Lawrence Education Center, located on the Borgess Medical campus, 1521 Gull Rd. Registration will be at the door.

Presenters Steve Stepek from the Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study (KATS), Chris Barnes (a KBC member) from the City of Portage Transportation and Utilities Department, and a representative from local law enforcement will provide the audience with information regarding the current and future use of roadways for cyclists, as well as laws regarding cyclists and motorists. Open discussion and questions will follow.

Other Bike Week activities include the annual Kal-Haven Trailblazer, Bike to Work day, Bike and Birds, as well as the opening week of the KBC Bike Camp.

Information about these and other activities being scheduled can be found at

Marc Irwin, KBC Director of Public Relations


KBC's Bike Camp 2013

Looking for a fun and rewarding activity to do on a Saturday morning, one where you can share your passion for cycling with others who want to learn about it? Volunteer at KBC's 2013 Bike Camp and help campers learn all there is to know about this wonderful sport!

What's involved:

  1. Show up at Bike Camp on Saturday morning(s). (You can do one, two or all four Saturdays.)
  2. Be friendly and encouraging.
  3. Share your cycling experiences with campers.
  4. Assist with group training rides to provide encouragement and support.
  5. If you're a former Bike Camper, we'd love to have you come back to help and share your experiences.

Dates: Four Saturdays beginning May 18 through June 8.

Time: 8:30 A.M. to approximately 11:30 A.M.

Where: Portage YMCA on Centre Street.

KBC is in its 8th year of offering this wonderful community outreach program and we need your help to keep it going. To be a part of our volunteer team, please e-mail me at with the date(s) you'd like to volunteer. If you sign up to volunteer before Tuesday, May 14, we invite you to join us for our Bike Camp Orientation meeting held that evening at KVCC. More detailed information on Bike Camp 2013 can be found at

Volunteering at Bike Camp is very rewarding and a great way to support the Club and its efforts in promoting safe and smart cycling. We look forward to seeing you at Bike Camp 2013!

Renee Mitchell for KBC's Bike Camp Committee


Why KalTour?

KalTour takes a lot of effort and people to put on, but in my opinion, it is a worthwhile effort for KBC, because it provides a day of road riding for a very low price. When I started riding day tours several decades ago, one attraction of an organized ride was simply knowing how far you had ridden. Another was the security of knowing that you wouldn't be left out in the middle of nowhere if you had a breakdown. Even though our routes are marked and measured, and we still pick up an occasional breakdown, cycle computers and cell phones have taken away some of these reasons.

Yet, group tours remain popular. There is the opportunity to test yourself against a measured course and the incentive to devote the major part of a day to cycling. If you are thinking of doing a multi-day tour, one day tours are a good place to start. There is also the convenience of having food stops waiting at appropriate intervals. You can come with your own group, ride with one of our group departures, join other riders along the way, or simply travel at your own pace and see other riders at rest stops.

As the KalTour date of June 30, 2013 approaches, remember to visit to sign up at the discounted preregistration rate or to think about volunteering either before or during the tour. If you can help, please e-mail me at

Mike Krischer, KalTour Director


Tuesday Night Time Trial

The Tuesday Night Time Trial will be starting on May 21, 2013 and will be taking place on the first and third Tuesdays of June, July, and August, as well as the first Tuesday in September, one week longer this year by popular demand. The sign-up will be at 6:15 P.M. at the Pavilion Township Hall on the corner of East Q Avenue and South 29th Street and we'll be sending riders off in 30 second intervals at 6:30 P.M. sharp. The course is 10 miles.

As we did last year, we will once again be offering the most fabulous prizes of any locally run time trial series in the greater Pavilion/Scotts/Climax area.

The time trial series is open to anyone who is a club member and has a desire to test their speed against the clock. There are people of all ages and speeds who attend and it truly is an open and encouraging atmosphere.

John Ballema, CMS Race Team Captain


New 13-15 MPH Wednesday Night Ride This Summer

This summer (June through August) on Wednesday evenings there will be a new 13-15 mph ride, approximately 20-24 miles in length on G Avenue and 2nd Street. This no-drop ride will be perfect for both beginners as well as those not up for the faster speeds of the more advanced groups. This ride's varied terrain route will start at the 10th Street Kal-Haven Trail parking lot promptly 6:15 P.M.

Gary and Barb Foster


Three Rivers Bicycle Ride on June 2, 2013

There will be a 46 mile bicycle ride in Three Rivers on Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 9:00 A.M., beginning at 823 East Street. Breakfast and lunch will be served. The course is mostly flat with a couple hills in middle of the route and passes by 5 lakes. The cost of the ride is $10. For more information, contact Mary Warren (269-273-8860 or 269-816-0530) or Mike Mock (269-266-2671).

Mike Mock


Advocacy Day

On May 22, 2013, the League of Michigan Bicyclist will hold its annual Advocacy Day. Please think about taking part in the democratic process. We will be meeting with legislators to bring awareness to this year's key issues:

  • Protecting vulnerable roadway users by establishing enhanced penalties for injuring or killing cyclists.
  • Establishing a standard for safe passing of bicyclists on Michigan roads.
  • Revising the right turn hand signal to make an extended right arm legal in Michigan.
  • Allowing bicyclists to bypass malfunctioning traffic lights.
  • Supporting a new Michigan trails and greenways license plate to fund local trail projects.
  • Preventing a raid on Natural Resources Trust Fund.
  • Adequately funding safe transportation infrastructure that supports multi-modal use.

If you would like more information to sign up, follow this link to the League of Michigan Bicyclist web page

Thanks you for your help in promoting bicycling,

David Jones, LMB Board


The 4th Annual Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival

The 4th annual Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the Western Michigan University Little Theater at the corner of Oliver Lane and Oakland Drive. The festival is a series of short films that celebrate the bicycle. Show times are at 7:00 P.M. and 9:30 P.M. For more information, see


Gravel Road Ride Report

I met 8 riders on Sunday, April 21 for a fun and leisurely 30 mile gravel road ride that started from Burch Park in Schoolcraft. There were nearly as many kinds of bikes as riders, with cyclocross, custom touring and dirt road rigs, an old steel fixie, and carbon fiber road racing bikes. Kathy Kirk posted a picture of this motley group on the Club's Facebook page. The consensus of the group was that a regularly scheduled no-drop group ride on the gravel roads was a good idea, particularly on Friday evenings.

Following up on this, four of us met on Friday, April 26 for an abbreviated version of the Sunday route. Marc Irwin posted comments and a picture from the ride on the Club's Facebook page. Please join us at Burch Park on Friday evenings for a fun gravel road ride!

Steve Cox


13th Annual W Ride Report

An amazing sight greeted the Ride Leader (RL) of the W Ride, as he opened the drapes of his home on the morning of April 27, 2013, the day of the W Ride. It was actually sunny outside. And after he stepped outside, he discovered that there was little wind and the temperature was almost 50 degrees and warming. A very atypical W Ride day.

Due to what might have been the best weather ever for the W Ride, a huge crowd of riders (where huge is defined as 14) made an appearance at this year's ride. Dan K., Don and Lee rode from their homes to the ride, while the remaining riders showed up by car, including Ryan, who drove down from Grand Rapids. After the traditional handing out of the W Ride Maps (this year they were Tootsie Roll Pops - "Unwrap the map and eat the treat"), and a few words from the RL ("Let's Ride"), the 13th Annual W Ride began shortly after 9:00 A.M. Soon after the start of the ride, our Director of Road Safety settled into his own pace, while the other 13 riders settled into a 16 to 18 mph pace, as instructed by the RL on their way to Van Buren County. Make that a 20 mph pace for the first couple of miles, as the adrenalin must have been flowing, but then the group did settle into a 17-18 mph pace, with Ryan doing a lot of the pulling, helped out by Dan, Don, Lee, and Dick, as well as by our club President. There was a light wind from the south that had little effect on the riders.

The group of 13 riders reached the Van Buren County line and then headed back to Vicksburg. A couple miles later, the group noticed a member of the paparazzi taking pictures of the group from the side of the road, but that actually turned out to be Paul. Between Schoolcraft and Vicksburg, Randy and the RL took their turn pulling and, upon reaching Vicksburg, the RL decided that he had done his part and did not do any pulling for the remainder of the ride. At this point, the group had an average pace of 17.4 mph.

After taking a snack break at the Vicksburg Shell station and a clothing removal break at the Vicksburg High School parking lot, as the temperature had increased to 60 degrees, 11 riders, minus Ryan and Valerie, who had mysteriously disappeared, headed off to Calhoun County. The rollers between 36th Street and Fulton took their toll, as the group of 11 dropped to a group of 7. While waiting at Fulton for the remaining riders, Ryan and Valerie also appeared again; it turned out that Ryan had derailleur problems and they stopped at the Village Cyclery in Schoolcraft for a quick repair. The now regrouped 13 riders continued to the Calhoun County line and after a brief break, except for Scott, who, having been one of the riders dropped prior to Fulton, shrewdly continued riding, the group began the last leg of the journey back to Vicksburg.

From the RL's perspective, the last 12 miles were the easiest 12 miles of the ride, as the crosswind also appeared to shift into a slight tailwind. These were also the fastest 12 miles of the ride, with help from Ryan and Dan who did some strong pulling. Nine riders finished together at about 12:10 P.M., averaging 17.6 mph for the ride, followed almost immediately by Randy, then by Bruce and Mike V. (on his first bicycle ride since Labor Day, as he has been training for the Kalamazoo Marathon), and then by John C. Having completed his first W Ride, Zolton would not be faulted it he considered this to be the highlight of his KBC Presidency.

The riders drank Gatorade in the 66 degree sunshine, and then Dick left to drive to another bicycle ride, while Ryan and Valerie also decided to overachieve, by riding a few more miles with Don and Lee, as the latter two headed home. The remaining riders went their separate ways and Paul finished a little while later, reporting that he had averaged 12.8 mph while riding.

It may be another 13 years before we have another W Ride with weather this good and for those of you who missed it, what were you thinking? And you'll have plenty of time to think about this until next year's W Ride.

Rick Whaley, W Ride RL


2012 KBC Member Mileage Almanac

Mileage  Member
3500*Jon Ballema
2600*Brennan, Sue O'Hearn
1662John Clark
750*Hendrik "Henry" de Vries
8058John and Barb Hart(tandem)
5000*Ryan Heidenfeld
2260Terry Hutchins
2500*Aliceanne Inskeep
4600Dale Krueger
7850Greg Lawford
3844Jeff Newman
6575Terry O'Connor
3160Peter Post
7690Paul Selden
3060John Shubnell
2057Cullen Stevenson
7319Tim Stewart
980*Brian Vanderberg
7331Rick Whaley
6265John Wunderlin
* Denotes approximation

These results are based on member reports received in time for submission to May's Pedal Press. Keep track of your mileage for next year's KBC Member Mileage Almanac. The deadline for submission will be closer to the start of the New Year than was the case for this inaugural column.

Throughout 2013, please send reports of rides you have done that may be of interest to others. Trips, adventures, long rides, race results, an experience on a trail, a pleasant outing with the family... in short, submit just about anything you think may help our members get a feeling for the many kinds of bicycling experiences that are out there!

Paul Selden


CMS Race Team Monthly Update

The CMS Race Team race results for April can be found at Members of the team competed in 5 events during the month, including 3 time trials, a road race, and a criterium.

Jon Ballema, CMS Race Team Director

KBC Quick Tips

Quick Tip #15: Spring Commuting

"This tip is for those who are getting ready to commute by bike again this year. If your bike route and your driving route are not the same, take a moment to drive the route you bike, just to make sure that it looks like it is still a good route to bike. I look to make sure that there isn't construction on my route or that the traffic hasn't picked up considerably.

I make sure that my wife is aware of the route I ride to commute. This way, if I have a mechanical problem and need to walk, she knows where to look for me. This is also helpful when there is a storm, especially when I am riding into it. This can allow someone to come and pick you up before you are caught in an unsafe situation. I do carry a phone, but I don't want to depend on it." [David Jones]

Quick Tip #16: Need bike maintenance help?

"The WMU Office of Sustainability opens up their Bike Stable (at no cost) to the community on Mondays and Wednesday from 3:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. to assist with bike maintenance. Please see the link below for details on this wonderful opportunity to get help on your bike maintenance issues! [Renee Mitchell]

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 April 9, 2013 meeting of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club was called to order by President Zolton Cohen, at 7:01 P.M. Those in attendance were: Marc Irwin, Joe Kucharski, Mike Birmann, Mike Krischer, Rick Whaley, Allison Hart-Young, Jon Ballema, Nikki Pavlack, Kathy Kirk, David Jones, Craig Freeman, John Clark, Mary Gerger, Doug Kirk, Zolton Cohen, John Olbrot, Tom Keizer, Victor Van Fleet, Terry O'Connor, Bryan Garfoot, Mike Vandeveer, John Idema, John Shubnell, Pete Post, Henry DeVries, Jen Brown, Renee Mitchell, Ryan Heidenfeld, Karen Christensen, Gary Foster, Barb Foster, Mike Boersma, and David Mitchell..

John Olbrot gave the treasurer's report:

Checking Account$5,847.83
Certificate of Deposit $11,123.52

Zolton commented that there are now over 300 members in the KBC.

Committee Reports followed:

Zolton spoke for the Director of Road Safety Paul Selden, and mentioned that contact was being made with the City of Portage Streets Department regarding the repair of potholes along the routes that will be ridden by the KBC Bike Camp participants.

The KBC Grant Committee reported a $500 Grant has been awarded to Ethan Alexander's Open Roads program. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival has been awarded a $200 Grant.

KalTour Director Mike Krischer provided an update on the June 30, 2013 KalTour. Mike spoke about printing "flyers" this year instead of the more costly mailed-out brochures. He premiered the beautiful new flyers which will be available in all area bike shops, athletic apparel shops, etc. Volunteers are still needed for this year's event. Please contact Mike if you are interested in volunteering.

David Jones mentioned there are currently 19 people signed up for the 2013 KBC Bike Camp.

Following CMS Race Team President Jon Ballema's informative presentation regarding the 2013 Miller Energy Criterium Bike Race, members in attendance unanimously approved a donation in the amount of $1,000.00. These funds represent KBC's continued support of this successful annual event.

Additional 2013 KBC Sanctioned Ride Leaders were sworn in: Karen Christensen, John Idema, Mike Birmann, Allison Hart-Young, Teri Olbrot, Jen Brown, Gary Foster, and Barb Foster.

A brief discussion was held regarding the different forms of communication within the KBC. Facebook, the Yahoo! Groups and the KBC Website were all mentioned as possible places to post informal, "Hey, I'm thinking of riding this 25 mile route later today, is anyone interested?" comments. This is an on-going topic of discussion and will be revisited during future meetings.

Education Chair Renee Mitchell requested volunteers for the 2013 KBC Bike Camp. Bike Camp Orientation Night will be held Tuesday, May 14, 2013, and Bike Camp will be held the following four Saturdays. Renee also mentioned the YMCA had approved a KBC Informational Table for the YMCA's "Healthy Kids Day" event, scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2013.

Rick Whaley reminded everyone of the 13th Annual "W Ride", scheduled for Saturday, April 27. Those interested are asked to meet in the east parking lot of Vicksburg High School at 9:00 A.M. This 48 mile ride follows W Avenue from Vicksburg, west to the Kalamazoo County/Van Buren County line, reverses direction, riding east to the Kalamazoo County/Calhoun County line, then back to Vicksburg.

Zolton announced the KBC Ride Leader Training Session would immediately follow the close of tonight's general KBC Meeting. (Secretary's Note: The KBC Ride Leader Training Meeting was very well attended, and very informative. The suggestion was made to have this training session become an annual event.)

Zolton adjourned the meeting at 7:45 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mary Gerger, KBC Secretary



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

If you have an article or a notice that you want to go into the PedalPress, please e-mail it to the newsletter editor, by the 20th of the month before its intended publication.

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


Active Subscriptions:

New members:

Denise Al-Kharsuy · Issa Al-Kharsuy · Judie Bowen · Chelsea Brown · Cyndee Clemann · Christine Dillon · Jesssica Douglass · Liza Foley · Nick Foley · Kelley Green · Megan Grunert · Renee Haart · Anne Hoover · Michelle Karpinski · Jason Kniss · Susan Kropscott · Jim Morris · Colleen Myers · Alan Rea · Lynda Rea · Aidan Rea · Laurie Simmons · Sarah Simmons · Cheryl Spyker · Lisa Szeles · Gayle Underwood · Charles Webster

Expiring memberships:
David Buick · Zolton Cohen Family · Alex Escalona-Obregon · Susan Hamilton · Mark Jensen · Scott Kirklin · Andy Knibloe · Christopher LeBlanc · John Mathieson · Bryan McLeod · John & Teri Olbrot Family · Neal Oliver Family · Paul & Anne Pancella · Julie Peterson · Justin Prater · Gloria Price & Hillary Patterson · Susan Salamun Family · Tom Scavarda · Robert Schuler · John Vail · Kim Vanderploeg Family · Eric Zahrai

Renewed memberships:
Bruce Dedee · Tom Cross · Luanne Cali · Randall Button · Tomme Maile · Stephen Penix · Bill Figeley · Hendrik de Vries · Cindi MacDonald · Nikki Gates · Mike Mock · Rudy & Fawn Callen

David Jones, KBC Database Manager

Editor's Letter - Seven Cycling Foods You Must Eat or Else You're a Jerk

I was surfing the internet the other day, resisting the temptation to click on links with titles like "Jamis Wows In Daring Tube Top," (or was that "Top Tube?"), when I saw a link titled "Top Ten Albums You Must Own." Not resisting temptation, I clicked on it, discovered that there were actually 100 albums on this list, and found that I owned none of them. I then closed the tab and proceeded to pick up the pieces of my shattered self esteem, but upon closer inspection, it was only sock lint. I should vacuum more often.

I've always wondered about websites like these. "Fifty Places You Must See Before You Die," "Twenty Restaurants You Must Visit," "Five Chain Lubes You Must Try," etc. etc. Honesty should compel the creators of these websites to give them titles like "Ten Albums I Really Like, And If You Don't, You're A Jerk," but, apparently, it does not. Nevertheless, I can see the appeal in compiling these sorts of "must have or do" lists and foisting them off on the public; after all, if the internet wasn't created to make us pompous know-it-alls, then why else was it created?

So, I got to thinking "Well, Mr. Pedal Press Editor, how can you contribute to this body of "must have or do" work? You've got the third person self-referencing thing going on, so you're already one step closer to being a pompous know-it-all." And then it hit me. I've been riding a bicycle with varying degrees of dedication for over 30 years and I've been eating with a more or less constant degree of dedication for over 60 years. Who better than Mr. Pedal Press Editor to tell the KBC Pedal Press Editor's Letter reading public what they must eat during and after a ride? And why? Because I'm Mr. Pedal Press Editor.

What You Must Eat During and after a Bicycle Ride

Bananas: In order to complete a successful bicycle ride, a cyclist needs to replenish those one letter symbol elements, such as oxygen. And don't forget about potassium. And bananas. Not only are bananas a good source of potassium, their bright yellow covers make them perfect as high visibility supplements to your cycling wardrobe. Not to mention the way they easily fit in a cycling jersey pocket. Just try fitting a watermelon in there. Indeed, bananas are a cyclist's wonder food, second, perhaps, only to chili dogs.

Chili Hot Dogs: Yes, you've read that right; chili hot dogs. After a long, hard ride, nothing hits the spot like a chili dog. As I write this, the Tour of the Scioto River Valley, a 210 mile two day ride from Columbus to Portsmouth, Ohio and back, is coming up in a couple weeks, and every year I make it a point to celebrate the finish of the ride to Portsmouth with a chili dog, complements of the Portsmouth High School cheerleading squad. Not only do I get that warm glow of satisfaction from knowing that I've contributed in my own small way towards the purchase of a pompom or two, I've given my body the cow scrap nutrients that it needs for the long ride back to Columbus the next day. Cow lips; nature's true endurance food.

GU: Actually, any energy gel will do, but I'm partial to GU, because of my first experience with the product. It was during a bicycle race outside of Saugatuck in 2000, the first and only annual West Michigan 12 Hour Challenge. I was feeling pretty tired after about 8 hours, when I tried some GU that the race organizers had provided. The effect was like a bolt of energy coursing through my body; not literally, I should add, because I've yet to be struck by lightning, which is the last item on my bucket list. That hit of GU carried me through the remaining 4 hours of the race. Since then, I've continued to chase the energy dragon without as much success, but I'll always cherish that memory. And now they make peanut butter GU! I'm really looking forward to the day when they make grape jelly GU and wheat bread GU.

Pepperoni Pizza Combos: Crunchy on the outside! Smooth and creamy on the inside! Salty and spicy! A smorgasbord of textures and flavors! The Cadillac of salty cycling snack foods, just as the Cadillac is the Pepperoni Pizza Combos of automobiles.

Turkey Subs: For those more leisurely most-of-the-day rides, you can't go wrong with a lunch break featuring a turkey sub, perhaps with a side of chips. Since Subway sandwich shops are almost as ubiquitous as the Kardashians, there have been numerous times when I've satisfied my turkey sub craving at a Subway (for example, at the Subway inside the Shell convenience store in Centerville). Bring on the lettuce. Bring on the tomatoes. Bring on the pickles. Bring on the green peppers. Don't bring on the cucumbers. Don't bring on the onions. I've learned these things through hard experience, just so you don't have to do so. When it comes to hot peppers, however, you're on your own.

Nutri-Grain Bars: Not only are Nutri-Grain Bars tasty (particularly the apple cinnamon and blueberry bars), they also go down easy and, in that sense, they are the antithesis of Power Bars. Scientists have recently invented a unit for measuring a vast amount of time, the Power Bar Chew Unit. This is the amount of time it takes to eat a Power Bar while cycling. For example, the Big Bang occurred one thousand Power Bar Chew Units ago. If someone ever invents a perpetual motion machine, it's bound to involve the chewing of a Power Bar or two.

Snickers Bars: Back in the days soon after dinosaurs roamed the earth and frolicked with cavemen (growing up, I learned my history watching The Flintstones), circa 10 years B.E.B (before energy bars), there were many occasions when I'd hop off my boneshaker and feast on a Snickers bar, washed down with a Coke. Times were simpler then; nobody knew anything about nutrition, due, in part, to the fact that three syllable words hadn't been invented yet. Nowadays, we know better, but, still, those Snickers bars tasted really good.

So, those are my seven cycling foods you must eat during and after a bicycle ride. What are yours? But in the final analysis, who cares? If they're not the same as my seven, you know what you are. Go write your own Editor's Letter.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

Saturday, May 11. Trailblazer 2013. Kalamazoo and South Haven. 25, 35, 45, 70, and 100 miles.

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.

Saturday, June 1. Grand Bicycle Tour. Grand Rapids. 17, 35, 65, 105, and 141 miles

Saturday, June 1. Ride for a Reason. Allegan. 10, 25, 55 miles.

Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2. The Kal-Haven Trail Tour. Kalamazoo. 35 miles per day.

Sunday, June 2. Three Rivers Bicycle Ride. Three Rivers. 46 miles. Mary Warren at (269) 273-8860 or (269) 816-0530 or Mike Mock at (269) 266-2671. See the article elsewhere in this issue of the Pedal Press for further information.

Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9. West Michigan Great Lakes Breakaway Bike MS Ride. Holland. 30, 50, 75, and 100 miles per day.

Saturday and Sunday. June 15 and 16. National 24-Hour Challenge. Middleville. Hmmm, just how many miles can I ride in 24 hours?

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.

Classified Ads

New: 2012 Jamis Nova Pro 'cross bike (54 size). Carbon fiber seat stays and fork; road bike oriented 50-34 chainset paired with awesome 11-32 climbing cassette. Tremendous all-purpose bike: road, trail, dirt/gravel, and cyclocross, but way lighter than the typical hybrid. Brake and stay clearance for even wider tires and fenders, but works great with narrow tires. Tires and rims unused except for bike shop test ride. Almost new brake pads with relatively few miles on them. Maintained by Pedal Bicycles including full tune up this winter. Includes two bottle cages and original owners manual. Selling to make room for a touring bike so putting it on Ebay or Craigslist by the end of May if I don't sell it here first. Purchased for approx. $1530. Will sell for $995. For detailed specs, see E-mail to discuss.

New: Bike trailer in good condition. Suitable for two small kids. Used for store purchases and for transporting sprinkler tools and fixtures around our condo area. Another condo owner and I were the official sprinkler fixer uppers. It served the purpose well. Price: asking $75.00 or Best Offer. Call Victor Van Fleet - 269-375-7691 or e-mail

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,
We have ALL your Kalamazoo Marathon apparel! Very nice stuff sporting an array of distance logos including 26.2, 13.1, and 5k.
And we've got training programs!
Outside Regular Conditioning, an 8-week endurance, strength and mobility training program begins May 31 at CrossFit AZO.
The Summer Safari half- and full-marathon training begins with an information night on Thursday, June 13.

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.