September 2014 President’s Letter

Occupying one of the top spots on a list of things I never thought I would have to deal with as KBC President, had I had the forethought to compile such a document before assuming office, would be the notion of people bringing weapons to club rides. But that has now occurred.

I first became aware of this issue when a concerned club member e-mailed me after spotting a rider who had a holstered pistol strapped to one ankle. I asked around, and it quickly became clear that many others had seen it, and that many are uncomfortable about the prospect of being on a ride where one or more participants are armed.

I tracked down the rider who has been open-carrying his gun on KBC rides and had a conversation with him about his rational for doing so. He says he has the right to wear a gun. There is no arguing that point; it is legal under Michigan law. But I asked him if it was a good idea.

He said he felt "safer" when he was carrying a gun; that he knew he could protect himself in the event of a threat. I asked about all the other people I had spoken with, who felt less safe in the presence of someone carrying a gun. His reply: "That's their problem." At the time I spoke with him, this individual was not a KBC member.

KBC does not have a policy prohibiting firearms at club rides or other events. Do we need one? My opinion is that, as sad as it is to say, I think we do. I can think of many, many reasons not to bring a gun along on a bike ride - among them the possibility that during a crash it could go off and injure or kill an innocent bystander. In addition, I have been involved in several road rage incidents where I was thankful that no one in the vicinity had access to a gun, as it might have been used. As it was, words were exchanged, people got hot under the collar, and then everyone went their separate ways. Adding a gun to such a volatile mix might have altered the outcome.

We're going to talk about this issue at the September KBC meeting and we also need to look into the legalities of what our club can and cannot do in terms of possibly restricting the carrying of firearms during our activities and events. I have made my feelings about it publicly known. You undoubtedly have your take on it and the monthly meeting would be a good place to say what is on your mind. I look forward to a productive discussion regarding a topic about which I never had an inkling we would need to address.

VBCRC Revisited

And, speaking of items that require attention but that no one ever thought they would be dealing with, KBC conducted a bike tour on Saturday, September 6 that had as its midway destination Lawrence, Michigan, in the heart of Van Buren County.

Astute readers of the Pedal Press will remember that the Van Buren County Road Commission is now requiring a permit and insurance coverage in order to conduct bike tours on Van Buren County's roads. Our own KalTour was affected by this requirement this year, as was Tour de Taylor, the local Make-A-Wish fundraising organization. Tour de Taylor had to pay $500 to their insurance company on the eve of their bike tour in order to obtain the insurance coverage VBCRC demanded.

We feel VBCRC is overreaching with this requirement, and the September 6 tour was designed to assert our rights to use public roadways in the legal ways we see fit. Any proceeds over expenses from the tour went to Tour de Taylor in order to, at least in part, put money that they lost paying their insurance company back into their coffers. The ride was a big success and there will be more about this ride in the October Pedal Press.

And please. Can we get back to just riding our bikes?

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Next KBC Meeting on September 9th, 2014

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.


KBC Fall Anniversary Ride and Party

The Annual Fall Anniversary Ride and Party will take place at 10:00 A.M. on Sunday, September 21, at the Kal Haven Trailhead on 10th Street. Several different road ride routes will be offered, and maps will be available (including links for your smartphone). Some members may also wish to put together a trail ride on the Kal Haven Trail.

The plan is to begin the rides at 10:00 A.M. with the goal of returning to the trailhead by noon. A potluck will start at that time. KBC will provide pizza, drinks, plates, cups, napkins, and plastic silverware.

Please bring a side dish or dessert to pass and we should be all set to replace all of those calories burned on the ride! Please spread the word to your fellow members and prospective members; the more the merrier.

If you have any questions, please contact Kathleen Kroll at and check the KBC Facebook page for updates. (Editor's Note: Note that the ride will be on a Sunday this year.)

Kathleen Kroll, KBC Social Director


Ride to South Haven Ride Report

Some traveled by car and some rode their bikes to the KVCC parking lot on the morning of Saturday, August 2, but all were lured by the promise of good weather. Sure, there was the possibility of a stray thunderstorm or two during the afternoon, but it was obvious that these riders decided to live in the moment. And in 300 moments after 8:00 A.M., defining a moment as one second, these 14 riders set off for South Haven.

As the Ride Leader surveyed his fellow riders, he had to admit that he was relieved to find that this group included none of the usual suspects who were likely to push the pace during the ride. Suffering from a stiff calf and somewhat swollen lower left leg for a couple of days, he was hoping for a rather leisurely ride and he decided that the best way to ensure this was to lead for several miles. This strategy worked, as eventually other riders shared in the pacemaking, but none increased the pace. Terry Butcher, Flint Wiles, and Don Reeves did much of the subsequent pacemaking, but so did John Idema, who at 70, evidently wanted to give the young whippersnappers a lesson about the aging or lack of aging process. The group arrived in Lawrence after 28 miles averaging 15.9 mph.

Following some tasty snacks at the traditional Lawrence Citgo station, the group continued to South Haven minus Bob Allwardt, who had announced at the beginning of the ride that he planned to ride to Lawrence and back. Within 10 miles, two of the remaining unlucky 13 riders experienced a mechanical problem; Terry Butcher breaking his rear derailleur shifting cable and Paul Stevens breaking a nipple of a spoke on his rear wheel. Fortunately, both were able to continue to ride to South Haven, Terry in the character building highest gear of his cassette, and Paul with a somewhat wobbly wheel. The group arrived in South Haven shortly before noon in search of delicious subs and/or a reliable bike shop with a cumulative average of 15.5 mph after 54 miles, just the way the now ride-slowly-and-smell-the-turkey-bacon-sub RL wanted it to be.

After delectable subs were eaten by all, Cullen Stevenson, Kathleen Kroll, and Teri and John Olbrot went the extra gastronomical 300 feet, buying ice cream at the Dairy Queen. When the eating was finally done, much to Terry O'Connor's relief, 11 of the riders hopped on their bicycles, two on newly repaired ones, and started riding back to Kalamazoo. Kathleen and Reid opted to spend the night in South Haven and ride back the next day; Kathleen having served as her fiancee's pack mule, hauling both of their belongings on a backpack on the way to South Haven, and leaving Chivalry's beaten body lying in a ditch somewhere in Van Buren County.

With a slight tailwind from the north and an 8 mile stretch of southbound road, the pace picked on the way to Lawrence. Due to a left turn and heavy traffic onto Red Arrow Highway just east of Lawrence, a group of riders got away from the rest of the field and, in a stunning break with tradition, stopped at the Marathon station instead of the Citgo station. Somehow, the world kept on spinning. After a relatively brief break (except by Terry O's standards), the riders began the last leg of the journey, having nudged the cumulative average speed up to 15.8 mph after 80 miles.

Between Lawrence and Paw Paw, a group of riders began nudging the pace up some more, a pace that was too much for others, including the RL, to handle. Flint then left these other riders to ride back to his house in Decatur, deciding that while riding 125 miles was fine, riding 150 miles was not. In Paw Paw, the RL regrouped with Terry O. and Paul, and the three rode in together, finishing at about 4:15 P.M., averaging 15.7 mph for 102.7 miles, a few minutes behind Terry B., Don, Marty, John Idema, and Cullen. A few minutes later, Teri and John Olbrot finished in what was Teri's first 100 mile group ride. The riders dined the standard post-Ride to South Haven fare; i.e. sourdough pretzels, washed down with Gatorade.

As the riders were heading home, Teri and John looked at the RLs swollen leg and expressed the opinion that he ought to pay a visit to an emergency room. The RL had planned to wait until Monday to see a doctor, but after deciding that they were right, went home, took a shower, and drove to the immediate care facility at Woodbridge Hills. Four hours, one drive to the Borgess emergency room, and one vascular ultrasound later, it was determined that the RL had blood clots in his left leg. And as he lay on an examination table waiting to be discharged, he could be heard to exclaim "I really would rather be eating burritos."

Rick Whaley, Ride to South Haven Ride Leader


CMS Race Team Report

With Labor Day, we come to the unofficial end of summer and the official end of the road racing season. For the last 50 years, this day is marked by the Debaets-Devos Criterium in Auburn Hills. Because most team members are feeling the effects of an aggressive racing schedule, starting in March with Melting Mann and Barry Roubaix and continuing throughout the summer, most do not make the trip for this race. However, our own superstar, Colleen Myers, had a good reason to make it out to this race. Going into this race, Colleen was the Michigan Points series leader in the Women's Cat 4 field with 100 points (and it's worth noting that our other superstar Sandy Reid has 95 points and was in 2nd place). With Jen Brown from Hagerty Racing nipping at her heels in 3rd place with 91 points, it was very important for Colleen to race well. And race well she did, scooping up another victory to add to a podium filled summer. Congratulations to Colleen and all the CMS and area racers on another successful season in the books.

Colleen Myers at the Top of the Podium at the Debaets-Devos Criterium

But just when you thought it was time to call it quits for the year ..... cyclocross starts next week on Saturday with the Alma Grand Prix and Sunday at Highland Park in Grand Rapids for the first Kisscross race of the season. So, practice running over those barriers and shouldering that bike and we'll see you at the races! For information on Cyclocross racing in the area visit!cyclocross/c2j7/

Jon Ballema



Kudos to the Village of Paw Paw and its leadership. Last year, Paw Paw adopted a Complete Streets ordinance. This past August, Paw Paw revamped its downtown area with a number of bicycle friendly features, including bike lanes and innovative back-in diagonal parking. The diagonal back-in parking not only removes conflicts between bicyclists, car doors, and trunk lids, it also makes it easier for motorists to see traffic, such as bicyclists, when exiting the parking space.

Paul Selden

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The August 12, 2014 meeting of the KBC was called to order by President Zolton Cohen at 7:00 P.M. Those in attendance were: David Jones, John Olbrot, Doug Kirk, Zolton Cohen, John Idema, Terry O'Connor, Kathleen Kroll, Marc Irwin, Bob Allwardt, Tom Keizer, Paul Selden, Michael Krischer, Rick Whaley, Jon Ballema, and Mary Gerger..

John Olbrot gave the treasurer's report:

Checking Account$10,554.56
Certificate of Deposit $11,138.37

John briefly summarized the financial report from this year's KalTour. He also mentioned that half of the 2014 KalTour profits would again be given to AMBUCS for their Tryke program.

Jon Ballema summarized the 2014 BTR race. He indicated the organizing committee was very successful in controlling expenses this year. This was of great importance due to a change in funding this year. The BTR race continues to grow, with between 250 and 270 riders participating in 2014. A brief discussion followed, concerning the pros and cons of moving the race from the same weekend as the local Race for Wishes. There was general agreement that it was beneficial to all to hold the BTR race during the same weekend. Organizers are already looking ahead to the 2015 BTR race, which will be the 10th anniversary of the event.

Zolton read a letter from WMU thanking the KBC for our continued support and sponsorship of the BTR race.

Newsletter Editor Rick Whaley discussed the recently completed annual South Haven ride. Fourteen riders started the ride, 13 rode to South Haven, and 11 completed the ride.

Social Director Kathleen Kroll discussed the upcoming KBC Anniversary Ride to be held on Sunday, September 21, 2014. This annual ride begins at the Kal Haven Trailhead on 10th Street in Kalamazoo. More information will be forthcoming regarding this event. (Editor's Note: See the article about the Anniversary Ride in this issue of the Pedal Press.)

A discussion was held regarding the KATS Complete Streets Policy and a proposed KBC resolution of support. This topic will be revisited when a completed document is available for evaluation.

Questions were answered by Database Manager David Jones regarding sign-up policies to the KBC YahooGroup and accessing the club's Facebook page.

Zolton adjourned the meeting at 8:09 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 October edition (distributed during the first week of October), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of September.


Active Subscriptions:

New members:

Karen Ridley · Noelle Ridley · David Riggs · Diane Riggs · Tanya Thornber

Expiring memberships:

Robert Allwardt · Dave Bruininks · Daniel Ferrara

Renewed memberships:

John Wunderlin

David Jones, KBC Database Manager

Editor's Letter - 100,000 Miles

On September 13, 1997, my life changed. Sure, I bought a new bicycle on that day, but what really changed my life was the cyclometer I also purchased as an accessory to my bike. Seventeen years B.C. (Before Cyclometer), I had purchased my previous bicycle and back in those days, I measured my miles by approximations, using highway maps along with rough guesses based on the time I spent on the bicycle. Such a crude method of keeping track of my mileage was unworthy of documentation, so I only have a very vague idea of how many miles I've ridden during those 17 years.

But now, I had a cyclometer. And I remember the first day I used that cyclometer, the day after buying my bike. It was also the first day that I had ever ridden a bicycle using clip-in pedals (my old bicycle had toe-clips), and while there were a couple of close calls on the road, I was proud of the fact that I had managed to clip out of a pedal at each stop sign and avoid the embarrassment of falling. And so it was with this feeling of accomplishment that I started to ride up the driveway of my house at the end of that 31 mile ride, only to realize that if I didn't clip out of a pedal very soon, I was going to run into my garage door. And it was also at this point that I realized that very soon wasn't long enough to actually clip out of a pedal, and so I veered across my driveway, falling gracefully on the more forgiving surface of my front lawn, still clipped into my pedals. And if any of my neighbors witnessed this exhibition of cycling skill, they also had the grace to not bring this subject up, at least to my face.

Since I also had an odometer on my cyclometer, I could let the odometer keep track of my cumulative miles for me. And so I did. I didn't reset the odometer after the 1997 cycling season, and just let it run through 1998. I reset the cyclometer again at the start of 1999 and I found myself in an epic-in-my-eyes struggle to break the 6000 mile barrier in December. And, thanks to a couple of rides in questionable weather, avoiding the snowy and icy patches on the road, I did so And shortly thereafter, I began a yearly ritual of resetting my odometer.

In 2002, I decided that I should actually record the number of miles that I had ridden during each of the previous years. My memory was somewhat hazy concerning the number of miles that I had ridden in 1997 and 1998, not at all hazy with regard to the miles that I had ridden in 1999 (thank you, memory enhancing epic struggle), and a just a little bit hazy with regard to the miles that I had ridden in 2000 and 2001. Nevertheless, I figured that I could estimate my total mileage in 1997 and 1998 within 100 miles, and my mileage in both 2000 and 2001 within 20 miles. And so, record I did.

Over the years, my cyclometers have come and gone, but one thing that remained constant was the recording of my mileage at the end of each year. And when I bought my newest bike in 2008, I began to record my mileage on each bike at the end of each year. And so it was that I found myself towards the end of July approaching 100,000 miles since the day I played baseball with my bicycle and slid into home almost 17 years earlier.

I then started daydreaming, although I hasten to add that I didn't spend it fanaticizing, because that would be weird, about when and where I'd break the 100,000 mile barrier. Would it be during a KBC after work ride? During a bicycling commute to or from work? During a recovery ride? And where would be the exact spot at which I'd mark this achievement; where would I plant a mental historical marker to be recognized with an almost imperceptible nod of my head each time I passed this spot on subsequent rides.

I got my answers on Sunday, August 17, 2014, as I began a ride that was organized by Doug and Kathy from Vicksburg to the Corey Lake area several miles due west of Three Rivers and back with 99,971 miles under my tires. Since we were planning to ride between 50 and 60 miles, I knew that this would be the day. And at 10:28 A.M. on Corey Lake Road at the southern edge of Corey Lake by a red barn, I watched as my odometer almost imperceptibly changed from 3582 to 3583, which was the number I needed to see. I had done it, on a road that I had never ridden on before. Someday I'll have to ride there again, if only just to practice my almost imperceptible head nodding skills.

I arrived back in Vicksburg with 100,027 miles after 6182 days. That averages out to 5909.87735 miles per year or 16.18036 miles per day. Yes, I know that this is somewhat spurious accuracy; it includes the aforementioned hazy mileage approximations, the times when I've walked my bike while the odometer was running; and it also assumes that I've calibrated my cyclometer accurately. However, it also doesn't include the times I've ridden my mountain bike or my old 1980 bike, as well as those endless sessions on my stationary trainer. I think it's accurate enough.

So, assuming that 16.18036 miles works out to be an hour's worth of riding, and assuming that I've slept 8 hours a night, I've spent 6.25% of my waking life over the last almost 17 years riding my one of my two newest road bikes under the sun or stars. This is a higher percentage of time than the time I've spent commuting to and from work by car plus the time I've spent shaving, and much more rewarding.

At this rate, I'll be 79 years old by the time I break the 200,000 mile barrier, so it's possible that I'll be stuck on that "1" digit for the rest of my life. But I don't mind. More quotable people than me have said that it's the journey, not the destination, and most of the time, the journey's been nice. Besides, if need be, I can always switch to kilometers.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

Saturday, September 13, 2014. MAHAMPERD Spokes for Folks Bike Ride. Holland, MI. 4, 38, and 50 miles.

Saturday, September 20, 2014. Le Tour de Donut. Greenville, MI. 32 miles.

Saturday, September 28, 2014. Apple Cider Century Tour. Three Oaks, MI. 15, 25, 37, 50, 62, 75, And 100 miles.

Saturday, October 4, 2014. Colorburst. Lowell, MI. 17, 30, 62, and 100 miles.

Classified Ads

2009 Greenspeed GT3 Series II Trike.

Less than 100 hours on this trike. Like new condition. Stored in a heated basement. Toe clips, integrated Vetta odometer, and several other upgrades. Pictures available at Also included is a 2011 Kenetic trainer for this trike with the optional flywheel. $1500. NO SHIPPING. Contact Terry Horwath (616) 855-6211 or

Shop Notes

Alfred E Bike

320 East Michigan, Kalamazoo, (269) 349-9423

Billy's Bike Shop

63 East Battle Creek Street, Galesburg, (269) 665–5202

Breakaway Bicycles

185 Romence at Westnedge, Portage, (269) 324–5555,

Custer Cyclery

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

Gazelle Sports

214 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, (269) 342–5996,
Join Gazelle Sports this month for a 5k or 10k training program with an emphasis on trail running.
The 9-week 5k training program is designed for couch-to-5k runners, beginner trail runners, and runners returning from hiatus. Our program provides participants with educational clinics, built-in strength training, and experienced coaches who are able to assist you at an individual level. Our program is sure to get you to the finish line in a fun and supportive group atmosphere!
The 8-week 10k training program is for beginner runners who are looking to increase their distance, runners experienced in the 5k ready to challenge themselves with a 10k, and runners returning from hiatus with some fitness under their belt. Our program provides participants with educational clinics, built-in strength training, and experienced coaches who are able to assist you at an individual level. This program prepares runners for the Dirty Herd World Run Day in November 2014. Participants should be able to run 2.5 to 3 miles comfortably at the start of the program.
Visit and click on "Kalamazoo" for more information.

Johnson Cycle Works

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


611 W Michigan Avenue, Kalamazo, (269) 56–PEDAL and
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." - Mark Twain

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.