November 2013 President’s Letter

The State of the Bicycle Club

Annually, the President of the United States gives a State of the Union address to Congress and also to the nation. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama's schedule didn't permit him to speak to KBC about the state of our organization, so he has granted me permission to fill you in.

The state of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club is good. Wait. In fact, it's better than good. I'd call it stellar. Membership reached a new high this summer of 330. There is about $18,000 in our treasury. And thanks to the efforts of several of our more vigorous volunteers, governmental and other organizations are seeking our opinion on matters concerning bicycling in this region. We have some political clout.

But what pleases me the most to report is that our membership continues to be represented by an estimable cadre of committed volunteers who staff both elected and board-appointed positions in the club's administration.

The KBC Constitution requires that members interested in being elected to the Executive Board declare at the October monthly meeting their intentions to run. At that meeting, Vice President Doug Kirk, Treasurer John Olbrot, and Secretary Mary Gerger all said they would be willing to serve another year term. And I will be running again for President.

The following KBC members indicated that they will stay on as Board-appointees.

  • Paul Selden, Director of Road Safety
  • David Jones, Database Manager
  • Rick Whaley, Newsletter Editor
  • Renee Mitchell, Education Chair
  • Marc Irwin, Public Relations Chair
  • Cullen Stevenson, Webmaster
  • Chad Goodwill, Social Director
  • Mike Krischer, KalTour Director
  • Terry O'Connor, Insurance Coordinator
  • Jon Ballema, Race Team Captain

That, folks, amounts to a 100% retention rate. And the Awards Committee picked up two new volunteers, Bob Alwardt and Pete Post, at the October meeting, allowing Kathy Kirk, its former chair to "retire." Thank you, Kathy, for the work you put in on this important committee.

I feel a deep sense of gratitude when I look at this list of top-quality people who are willing to step up and help out bicycling in this community. When next you see one of these fine individuals, give him or her a pat on the back and thanks for a job well done. They keep the club running and humming.

Looking Ahead...

So what is next up for KBC? What does the future hold for this 40+ year old organization? How can we keep it fresh, relevant, progressive, and a club that people want to join?

To a large extent, I think we ought to keep doing the things we're doing - and doing well: Bike Camp, KalTour, evening club rides, and social events. Each year, those activities are analyzed and improved. But there is also room to expand into other areas.

One thing I've noted in the past few months is an inclination to somehow get KBC involved in cyclocross. It seems to be a growing sport and it involves all ages and genders of people. I have been in talks with several movers and shakers in that world about how we might try to sponsor or help out with some clinics next year. Stay tuned for more information on that as it develops.

Do you have any ideas about how we can move the club forward? Come to a meeting and let us know what you're thinking. You'll find a receptive audience of fellow bike lovers who want to keep cycling on the front burner in this community.

And also come to the November meeting to vote for Executive Board members!

Lastly, my friend, neighbor, and KBC member Paul Sotherland, sent me a link the other day to a thoughtful piece of writing on the "lost art" of the group ride. It spells out how the author says things used to be in bike clubs.

While a certain nostalgia factor probably plays into how the writer views his experience with past group rides, he does make some good points about mentoring and encouraging beginning riders in the protocols of the sport. To some degree, that occurs in our club, notably on the Race Team under Jon Ballema's tutelage, and, of course, during Bike Camp, as well as on our regular weekday rides.

But there is always room for improvement. And that's something I'm going to do some thinking about over the winter. Let me know if you come up with any ideas about how to improve our performance in that realm.

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Next KBC Monthly Meeting on November 12th, 2013

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

We will be electing Executive Board Members for 2014 at this meeting


KBC's Friend of Bicycling Award - Nominations due by November 12

Nominations for KBC's Friend of Bicycling Award for 2014 should be submitted by the next KBC Monthly Meeting, which will be on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. If there is someone you would like to nominate, e-mail their name and contact information with some reasons why you feel the nominee has significantly advanced the interests of bicycling to

A nomination form for submitting your nominee can be found at

The complete guidelines to nominate an entity for the award are found at

The Awards Committee will be meeting before the December Monthly Meeting to screen the nominees (just to make sure they meet the requirements for eligibility). KBC members attending the December 10, 2013 Monthly Meeting will vote for the recipient of this award.


Bicycling Items Looking for New Homes

Hello KBC Biking Friends:

Due to age and lack of balance problems, and for safety reasons, I am no longer riding a two wheel bicycle. Thanks to KBC, the American Legion, Ambucs, Am-Tryke, and the efforts of T. W. Lane and his wife Susan, I am the recipient of an Am-Tryke three wheeler courtesy of the American Legion.

For the last 15 plus years, biking has been my principal source of exercise. Thanks to all of the above, the Am-Tryke will allow me to continue pedaling. It also means that I have a number of bike related items that could be more useful to others involved in biking. The following is a list of the items available.

  • Sears woman's 18 speed bike (like new)
  • Cyclops trainer
  • Step 1 trailer, accommodates two kids
  • Clipless pedals with size 9 shoes
  • Clipless pedals no shoes

Plus there are a variety of small items:
  • Two 12 volt compressors
  • Padlocks with cables
  • Handlebar mirror
  • Eye glass mirror
  • Tube patches
  • Lights - white
  • Saddle/seats
  • Tire gauges
  • Saddle carry pack
  • Miscellaneous tires and tubes
  • Tire pump
  • Bike clothing

Victor Van Fleet


2014 Bike Week Planning Underway

Thanks to the mysteries of cyberspace, I received an invitation to attend the first planning meeting for next year's Bike Week, which, I hasten to report, will be on May 10 through 17, 2014, right here in Kalamazoo. The meeting was chaired by Dave Warwick, for it is he and his wife, Mary Jo, who ought to receive our accolades for their behind the scenes work developing what is, in my totally neutral, unbiased, and objective opinion, a fabulous idea.

Mr. Warwick began the meeting by reminding us of a few of the high points of 26 separate events from Bike Week this past May, including the Bell's to Bell's ride, the KalHaven Trailblazer, the Ride of Silence, the Mayor's City to City Ride, the Bike Film Festival, Family Bikefest, and the Alley Cat Race. As you can tell from this varied list, the purpose of Bike Week is to celebrate any and all aspects of bicycling.

The Warwicks want to communicate to as many interested folks as possible what they need to grow Bike Week, and ferret out ideas and sponsors for additional activities for 2014. Their idea is to orchestrate as many bicycling themed activities as possible under one big "Bike Week" umbrella.

The idea is to have other organizations (Bell's, bike shops, KBC, other businesses, the cities of Portage and Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Ride of Silence, or other organizations) create their own event, focusing on some aspect of bicycling, and bring it under one big Bike Week umbrella.

The best new idea I heard was a Bike Hop, similar to our current Art Hop. Although the concept needs to be fleshed out further, ideas include guarded bike parking facilities downtown with bike themed expositions of all sorts in various locations such as bike art, bike maintenance demonstrations, Stump the Chumps bike repair problems, espresso (or Mountain Dew) chugging contests, kids' helmet fitting, or YOUR IDEA HERE. (Go ahead, think about it. Obstacle course! Bike sprints! Bike vs. city bus drag races! Lots of possibilities!)

Bear in mind that the Warwicks developed Bike Week without any underlying organization. It's really just the two of them collaborating with other like-minded folks. Bike Week doesn't even have a bank account and cannot accept donations. They want your enthusiasm, not your money. (Although your event might cost something, so you might need a sponsor. You could ask KBC for a grant!)

But there's still a lot of work that has to be done to grow Bike Week, and Dave and Mary Jo are just two people who also have real jobs. They need help these areas: website maintenance, public relations and advertising, creating event ideas, identifying sponsors, and locating some entity to handle the financial side. Could you help? Let me know and I'll put you in touch. Got an idea for an event? Come to a KBC meeting and let's talk about it. If you'd like to come to the next Bike Week meeting, let me know that too. E-mail me at

Doug Kirk


Forests and Foliage Fall KBC Ride Report

True to Michigan form, the weather reports had us wondering what would happen until the last minute. The night before the ride, Accuweather said it would be clear and cool in the morning with a shower coming through around 1:00 P.M., while said it would rain all morning and clear off at noon. It was raining intermittently when I left Kalamazoo and I doubted that anybody would take the risk. None of the weather reports I saw were correct. Despite what it looked like in Kalamazoo, it was not raining in the Gun Lake area on the morning of October 19. At least not until the 17th mile. Then, the four of us (John Olbrot, Mike Krischer, David Jones and myself) got just wet enough to invoke Velominati Rule #9. We called it a day and took a shortcut back to complete 30 miles. For once, we actually needed more fast riders to keep up with John.

There's nothing one can do with the weather or the weather reports for that matter. We'll schedule it again next year and cross our fingers to the last.

Marc Irwin

KBC Quick Tips

Quick Tip #23: Winter Riding Tips

  • Studded ice tires are a must if you want to ride during periods when the roads may be icy. Their seemingly high cost will be saved in the doctor bills you avoid.
  • This time of year, excellent lighting is a must. It is easy to get caught out after dark. Use a clear lens in your "sunglasses" when riding at night.
  • Suntan lotion can reduce wind burn on exposed parts of your face; a dab of lip balm prior to the ride reduces chapped lips.
  • Layer, but be prepared to stow the extra clothing, shoe covers, and mittens, if and when you begin to heat up.
  • Fenders with ample clearance greatly reduce build-up of icy gunk on your drive train and body.
  • Store your nice bike for the winter and ride a bike you've set up for winter riding.
  • This is the time to think about buying or trying out specialized winter gear such as Barr-Mitts, mittens big enough to fit liners inside, thermal shoe covers, winter weight riding boots, and thick wool socks.
[Paul Selden]

Quick Tip #24: Knee Warmer Tip

"Okay, you've purchased those knee warmers to help ride more months in the year. You love the way you can pull them off when after you've warmed up -- but hate the way they always seem to fall down your legs as you ride. If you are currently pulling them on over your riding shorts, try stuffing them under the legs of your shorts instead. No one will notice the difference in your fashion statement, except that your knee warmers don't look so baggy anymore." [Paul Selden]

Thank you Paul for your tips this month! If you have any tips for gift ideas for cyclists, winter cross-training activities, where to ride in the winter, etc., please e-mail them to Our KBC community of enthusiastic cyclists appreciates it!

Renee Mitchell, KBC Education Chair

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The October 8th, 2013 meeting of the KBC was called to order by President Zolton Cohen at 7:04 P.M. Those in attendance were: John Olbrot, Terry O'Connor, Marc Irwin, Bob Allwardt, Kathy Kirk, Rick Whaley, Michael Krischer, David Jones, Tom Keizer, Doug Kirk, Zolton Cohen, John Shubnell, Peter Post, Paul Selden, David Bere, and Mary Gerger.

John Olbrot gave the treasurer's report:

Checking Account$7,771.53
Certificate of Deposit $11,129.12

Kathy Kirk, Chair of the KBC Awards Committee, announced that nominations for the yearly Friend of Bicycling award need to be submitted by the upcoming November 12, 2013 KBC meeting. The award is given to non-KBC members who have made significant contributions towards the advancement of bicycling in the Kalamazoo community. Nominations will be considered by Awards Committee members Paul Selden, Terry O'Connor, and Kathy Kirk. Finalists will be named by the Committee, and all KBC members present at the December 10, 2013 meeting will vote for the recipient of the 2014 KBC Friend of Bicycling Award.

Vice-President Doug Kirk reported he had met with Nikki Gates from the TriKats regarding the possibility of integrating club activities and listing KBC rides on the TriKats' Ride Calendar. They both agreed that more weekend rides were needed. A brief discussion followed Doug's report concerning our KBC insurance coverage related to integrating activities between the two clubs, and the feasibility of a change in meeting schedule and location, allowing for more interaction between the clubs.

Zolton announced the upcoming election of KBC Executive Committee. Per the KBC Constitution, the election will be held during the November meeting. The candidates are as follows:

President: Zolton Cohen

Vice-President: Doug Kirk

Treasurer: John Olbrot

Secretary: Mary Gerger

Zolton also requested declarations of intent from members holding board appointed positions. Insurance Coordinator Terry O'Connor, Newsletter Editor Rick Whaley, Database Manager David Jones, Director of Road Safety Paul Selden, KalTour Director Michael Krischer, and Publicity Director Marc Irwin all indicated their willingness to serve another year in their current positions. Education/Bike Camp Chair Renee Mitchell, Social Director Chad Goodwill, and Webmaster Cullen Stevenson were not in attendance to state their intentions.

Kathy Kirk indicated she would be stepping down as Chair of the KBC Awards Committee at the end of her term. She will however, continue on as a Committee member for 2014. Pete Post and Bob Alwardt will both be joining the Awards Committee for 2014.

Bob Alwardt raised the question of how Kalamazoo area bike shops are doing in these economic times.

Director of Road Safety Paul Selden thanked all general members and ride leaders for responding to his request for pothole identification and reporting. He stated that all requests for pothole repairs have been addressed by area jurisdictions in a timely, professional, and friendly manner.

Paul also indicated he had received a communication from David Warwick, Chair of Kalamazoo Bike Week, regarding the 2014 Kalamazoo Bike Week, to be held the week of May 10-17, 2014. The KBC is once again striving to be an integral part of Bike Week. There will be many opportunities for KBC members to become involved in Kalamazoo Bike Week 2014. At the present time, David is seeking web design help. Further information related to volunteer opportunities and general Bike Week activities will be forthcoming during future KBC meetings and in upcoming issues of the Pedal Press.

Mike Krischer asked about the status of the KBC Ride Captain position. Zolton responded that it is still being covered by a committee consisting of Rick Whaley, Joe Kucharski, Zolton, and Doug Kirk.

Marc Irwin announced the KBC Forests and Foliage Fall Ride, which (at the time these minutes are published) will have taken place on October 19, 2013, offering 34, 50, and 62 mile routes, starting at Gun Lake Park.

Zolton adjourned the meeting at 7:53 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 December edition (distributed during the first week of December), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of November.


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David Jones, KBC Database Manager

Editor's Letter - When Drinking Isn't an Option

"Hello. My name is Rick and I'm an H2Oic."

As are we all. And if I were to compile a list of 10 things that a cyclist must have, water would be close to the top of my list. (A bicycle would be at the top.) Just think of the consequences that you face as a cyclist when you don't have water.

Scenario 1: You're leading a group of riders on a muggy, hot summer day. Suddenly, potholes, tree limbs, and rabid raccoons appear in the road ahead. You attempt to warn the other riders, but because you've run out of water, the only sounds that come out of your mouth from the depth of your parched throat and through your cracked lips are unintelligible croaking noises. Chaos ensues. Riders are strewn across the road like brightly colored rag dolls, to be feasted upon by the aforementioned hungry and deranged raccoons. You can only hope that they aren't also zombie raccoons. This is not something that you want on your conscience.

Scenario 2a: You're in the middle of a long, hard ride on a sunny, crisp fall morning. You need sustenance and you know just where to get some, from the chewy granola bar that you're carrying in your cycling pocket. But then, you discover that you've run out of water. In desperation, you pop the chewy granola bar in your mouth and hope for the best. You continue to eat that granola bar for the rest of the ride. Your day is spoiled.

Scenario 2b: You're in the middle of a long, hard ride on a sunny, crisp fall morning. You need electrolytes and you know just where to get some, from the GU brew tablet that you're carrying in your cycling pocket. But then, you discover that you've run out of water. In desperation, you pop the tablet in your mouth and hope for the best. Foaming at the mouth, you are mistaken for a large rabid animal by a hunter, and he shoots you. Your day is spoiled.

Scenario 3: You're riding around the countryside on a steamy summer afternoon while fluidly challenged. Delirious with thirst, you mistake a shiny patch of pavement for a puddle of water. You jump off your bike and begin to greedily lap up the water, only to find that it isn't, and that your tongue is stuck to the gooey tar. Any thoughts of a career as a public speaker are put on hold indefinitely.

Scenario 4: You're riding in the Upper Peninsula on a gloomy November day, thinking that since the day is cold, you don't need to worry about water. You're wrong. Delirious with thirst, you ride your bicycle into Lake Superior for relief, only to be carried away by a rip current; never to be seen again. Gordon Lightfoot writes a song about you.

Not a collection of pretty pictures, now are they, or even mediocre looking ones. So, how, might you ask, can you avoid any of these not-to-be desired outcomes?

First, make sure that you remember to bring your water bottles with you. As Zolton recounted in his October President's Letter, forgetting your water bottles before a ride leads to unfortunate consequences, not the least of which is becoming forever indebted to a certain bicycle club newsletter editor. Besides, the awe inspiring majesty of the office of the Presidency of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club is not enhanced when its occupant has to beg for water from his club members.

But who am I to talk? A few days after receiving Zolton's letter, I participated in one of our club's after work rides. It was the first Wednesday in October, an unseasonably warm day, and it was also a hard and somewhat unevenly paced ride. As a result, I didn't feel very comfortable reaching for my water bottle, and I decided to just put up with gradually becoming thirstier. Finally, about 22 miles into the ride, there was a lull in the action, and I reached down for a water bottle only to find that neither one of them were in my water bottle cages. My first thought was that they had bounced out, and I began to mourn the loss of one of them, since I had only owned it for a year, in contrast to some of my other water bottles that have reached antique status. Then, I began to wonder if I had even put them in the cages, so I had some food, if not drink, for thought during the remaining 8 miles of the ride. When I got back to my car, sure enough, there were my no longer freshly filled water bottles, still in the cup holders. They didn't remain full for long. Lesson learned, until the next time I forget it.

And second, if you're running low on water and you're riding by a convenience store, it's a good idea to stop and fill up your water bottles. I learned that the hard way almost 30 years ago, when I lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was 90 degrees when I started what I thought was going to be a 60 mile adventure ride on unfamiliar roads south and east of town. Back in those days, I had only one water bottle cage on my bicycle, so I had to monitor my water consumption closely. About 30 miles into the ride, I had almost finished drinking the contents of my water bottle, so I refilled it at a convenience store, and rode on. Soon afterwards, I turned north on a road that I knew would take me close to Chapel Hill eventually, although I wasn't sure how eventually that was going to be. My water bottle was less than one-quarter full when I passed another convenience store, but I wasn't worried. This was a somewhat well traveled road, I had seen a few convenience stores since I had filled up my water bottle, and with the naivety of almost middle age, I was sure that another convenience store would show up when I needed one.

A couple miles after I passed the convenience store, I swallowed the remaining contents of my water bottle, confident that I would be able to replenish my supply of water soon. After a few miles, I began to worry. After about 10 miles, I began to worry thirstily. After almost 20 miles, I began out of desperation to start thinking about an alternative route for my ride. And so instead of continuing north on the road that I had been on for over 20 miles, I turned northeast and started riding in the direction of Parkwood, an unincorporated small town that could be more accurately be described as a large subdivision. I knew that there was a convenience store there. But first, I had to find Parkwood, and then I'd have to find the convenience store.

Fortunately, I turned off on a road that led to Parkwood and I soon found what had become the convenience store of my dreams. And it was there that I beheld the most beautiful sight that Mother Nature in all its glory had to offer; a water spigot at the side of the store.

I filled up my water bottle and had me a long drink. It was wonderful. Then I had me another. Then another. By the time I had finished off almost three water bottles worth of water, my stomach had become a small lake, and I was finally satisfied.

Now, all I had to do was ride the remaining 10 miles home. However, there were a couple problems. I had added several miles to a ride that was already longer than I had thought it would be, and I was hot and tired, if no longer incredibly thirsty. In addition, the most direct route home would include riding on state route 54 for about three miles, which could be more accurately described as the dreaded route 54, on which I never ever wanted to ride my bicycle.

This was because route 54 was not just any road. When I first moved to Chapel Hill in the 1970s, I saw bumper stickers on cars that read "Pray for me, I drive on route 54." I soon found out that in those days, which were before the advent of I-40, route 54 was the road that everyone used to travel between Chapel Hill and Research Triangle Park. It was a narrow, somewhat twisty road with absolutely no shoulder; a congested road where people drove too fast, and a road that had seen much more than its share of accidents. I really did not want to ride on this road. But I even more really did not want to ride even one tenth of a mile farther than I had to. So route 54 it was.

Surprisingly, it turned out to be not that bad, which probably had to do a lot with the fact that it was a late afternoon on Saturday, and not a work day. The remainder of the ride wasn't that bad, either, and I finally made it back to my apartment, 85 miles later, a wiser, yet humbled, man. And as a lay on the living room floor of my apartment, because I was too tired to sit on my couch, my air conditioner cranked as high as it could go, staring at the ceiling with a glass of water by my side, I reflected upon the events of the day. "Next time, I ride those roads, I'll know better," I said to myself. But, as it turned out, I never rode that particular route again. And maybe it was just as well. At least I hadn't seen any rabid raccoons and there was no sense in pushing my luck.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

Got your stationary trainer out of storage yet?

Classified Ads

NEW: Cycleops PowerTap SLC+ Power Meter (with accessories) - $2,000 (Best Offer). Accessories: Electro Pack, CycleOps matching front hub, Salsa skewers, Mavic Open Pro rims (hubs currently strung within). Cassette Type: Shimano. Electro Pack: YES.

Technical Specifications
* Wireless 2.4 GHz transmission with ANT+Sport
* Ceramic bearings
* 15mm alloy axle
* Carbon/alloy hubshell
* USB download
* Coded heart rate
* Hub weighs a mere 402 grams
* Patents issued and pending
* Displays and records:
* Peak Power
* Time in Zones
* Power (current, average, max.)
* Heart rate (current, average)
* Cadence (current, average)
* Speed (current, average, max.)
* Energy expenditure (total kjoules)
* Ride distance (miles or km)
* Ride time
* Programmable odometer

Contact Fred Hoffman at or (269) 312-2036.

NEW: Garmin Edge 705 - $250 (Best offer). Garmin Edge 705/Bundle Item is a GPS-Enabled Cycling Computer. Includes Heart Rate Monitor and Speed/Cadence Sensor. Contact Fred Hoffman at or (269) 312-2036.

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 June if I don't sell it here first. Purchased for approx. $1530 - will sell for about half what I paid: $775. For detailed specs, see E-mail to discuss.

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,
Great SAVINGS! It's time for Gazelle Sports' SOCK SALE! Buy three pairs, get a fourth pair FREE! Stock up now through November 30.

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.