November 2014 President’s Letter

On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, the national political elections will be long over. But on that evening, at the KBC monthly meeting at 7:00 P.M. at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street, you will have the opportunity to cast your vote for the club's Executive Board officers - President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

The actual voting is likely to be somewhat anticlimactic. A slate consisting of unopposed candidates is running for those Board slots. Vice President Doug Kirk, Treasurer John Olbrot, and I have agreed to again put our names on the ballot to staff the posts we currently hold. We will elect a new secretary though. Mary Gerger, after a very fine two years of service to the club, has opted to step down. Mike Boersma, known to most of you as KBC's previous President, has agreed to get involved again in the club's doings by running for the secretarial position.

I want to take a moment to thank Mary for all the effort she put into not only making the club's meeting minutes clear, readable, and concise, but also for her reasoned opinions on issues that came to the Executive Board's attention over the past two years. Her voice, skill, and input will be missed. On a personal level, it was fun working with Mary to perfect our "system" of getting our respective monthly contributions to Newsletter Editor Rick Whaley in time to be published in the Pedal Press.

Mike Boersma, after retiring from the club's Presidency and giving me a crack at the helm, has consistently come to the monthly meetings, monitors our Facebook page, and has kept abreast of the concerns we have faced. He has contributed his opinions and expertise. With his experience with how the club works, he will undoubtedly fit seamlessly into the flow of things. I look forward to a productive year with Mike, Doug, and John on the Executive Board. We will do our best to advance the club's interests in the future.

After having been in touch with most of the holders of the board-appointed positions, I am pleased to report that nearly everyone will be back for another term as well. In next month's President's Letter, we'll list those individuals and note any changes that have taken place. If you would like to get involved in KBC, come to a monthly meeting and let your wishes be known. Many of our committees would welcome new ideas, energy and enthusiasm, and you could be just the person to supply it!

We live in a changing world, and KBC is not immune to societal challenges. We face some of those going forward: legislatively and legally. Looking at the slate of candidates for our Executive Board and our board-appointed positions, I feel we have the personnel in place to meet and deal with whatever comes our way. While our opinions about things might differ on certain topics, I think we can all see our way clear to agree to do what is best for the club.

Onward! On our bicycles...

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Next KBC Meeting on November 11th, 2014

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.


KBC's Friend of Bicycling Award

KBC's Friend of Bicycling Award - Nominations due by November 11.

Nominations for KBC's Friend of Bicycling Award should be submitted by the next KBC Monthly Meeting, which will be on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. 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 can be found here.

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). Per published Award Guidelines, only KBC members attending the December 9, 2014 Monthly Meeting are eligible to vote for the recipient of this award.

Paul Selden


Forest and Foliage in the Fall Ride Report

This year, the weather on October 11 allowed the annual Forests and Foliage in the Fall ride in the Yankee Springs area to take place in its entirety. It was a bit of a chilly morning (below 40 degrees), but cloudless and promising. There were nine of us who braved the morning, while I know a number stayed in because they were just afraid of the cold. We were toasty and comfortable within a few miles and the air had that fresh autumn briskness that comes with the cool lack of humidity. The route is initially hilly with a Category 5 climb through thousands of acres of hardwood forests turning to shed their leaves for the winter. After the halfway point, the route becomes really fast with a series of rollers that lead predominantly downhill. It's a beautiful and pleasant metric for a fall afternoon. Overall, the group stayed together past the halfway point. Mike Krischer and I cut off at the turn for the 50 mile ride, while the rest chased John and Barb Hart into the home stretch of the 62 mile ride. Next year, I may schedule it later in the morning so the warm weather riders can come out and play.

Marc Irwin


CMS Race Team Report

September and October are when things really wind down for most of us on the team. The road season is over and for many of us there are beers to be enjoyed and fewer miles logged than normal. That's not the case for all of us though...There are many cyclocross races to be enjoyed, such as the RunUpCX race on October 12 at Kindleberger Park (video at ) and the Lowell 50 gravel road race a couple weekends ago. For a lot of us, it means training starts for Iceman as we switch bikes and spend our time searching out dirt roads, singletrack and cold temperatures. For Val Litznerski, it meant something significantly more difficult and impressive, as indicated in her race report to the CMS Race Team, below.

Jon Ballema


Tejas 500 Mile Race Report

by Val Litznerski

Not sure if you heard the good news... I won!!

So excited and so worn out. Somehow I didn't think it'd be as hard as it was. I was so nervous about the hills. It was like the 6th Street hill over and over, until the second night, when I saw roads climbing miles into the sky ahead every few miles.

Even still, the first 125 or so miles were the hardest. My toes hurt, my seat hurt. I had hundreds of miles to go riding in the dark. I wanted so badly to drop out, but the encouragement I received helped me stay on and go for another lap. The cheerful women who were helping their husbands cheered me up so that I forgot to slather biofreeze everywhere and went out again without thinking.

Mile 350 through 425 were good, but the second night started to get to me. Even though I thought going into the race that seeing the sunrise a second time while riding would defeat me, I looked forward to it so much.

I am so thankful for the good advice I received. Jon's suggestion to just let the hills do their thing kept me from fighting the hills and burning out. I kept spinning, limited time off the bike (hard when you're self crewed), music, NoDoz, food.

I didn't know my place and was probably better for it. When I found out via text on the second to last lap, I wanted to go out and kill it. Not knowing kept me reasonable. I did my own race. The placement is awesome. RAAM qualification is so special. Knowing you rode enough miles to qualify and having to ride another 104 to make it count was so difficult. I fought the fact that in my mind I "achieved" what I came out to do and I wanted it to count so I could stop.

But I didn't.

Thanks for being such an awesome team. Can't wait to get some pictures from the race representing the team!

(Editor's Note: The Tejas 500 Mile Race was one of the Texas Time Trials Races held in Glen Rose, Texas on September 18-20, 2014. The course was 19 laps of 26.5 miles; a total of 503.5 miles. Val won the female division of the race in 39 hours and 22 minutes, an average of 12.79 mph. She rode 318 miles in slightly under 24 hours and kept going. She also qualified for RAAM, the Race Across America.)

Monthly Meeting Minutes

The October 14, 2014 meeting of the KBC was called to order by President Zolton Cohen at 7:00 P.M. Those in attendance were: Zolton Cohen, David Jones, Rick Whaley, Jon Ballema, Bob Allwardt, Paul Selden, Marc Irwin, Mike Krischer, Renee Mitchell, John Olbrot and Mary Gerger.

John Olbrot gave the treasurer's report:

Checking Account$9,419.16
Certificate of Deposit $11,140.26

In his Treasurer's report, John mentioned a change in PayPal's security policy that has affected how funds are transferred from PayPal into the KBC bank account. The matter will be resolved with the addition of Zolton's name to the PayPal account.

John announced the final numbers for the recent KBC Wishing for Open Roads Ride which supported the Tour de Taylor Make-a-Wish Ride. After expenses, a check for $468.40 was presented to Tour de Taylor to help defray that organization's unexpected insurance charges related to the Van Buren County Road Commission's permit policy.

Paul Selden spoke on behalf of absent Awards Committee Chairman Pete Post, announcing that it was time to submit nominations for the annual KBC Friend of Bicycling Award. Paul stated that anyone can submit a nomination, and requests that the nominees come from the Kudos Column in the monthly Pedal Press. The deadline for nominations is the night of the November 11, 2014 KBC meeting. Finalists will be selected by the Committee and will be listed in the December Pedal Press. The vote for the winner of this award will be held during the December 9, 2014 KBC meeting.

As Director of Road Safety, Paul reported the KATS Complete Streets Policy passed by an overwhelming majority on September 24, 2014. Paul stated this success was due in part to "behind the scenes" discussions and communications between KBC members and the KATS Committee. Paul also mentioned that Kalamazoo Township is creating its own non-motorized plan and they were holding a series of open meetings for citizens to attend and provide input.

Zolton asked for declarations of intent to run again for office from the current KBC Executive Board. Zolton indicated he will run again for President, Doug Kirk indicated (in absentia, through Zolton) his intent to seek reelection as Vice President, John Olbrot agreed to seek another term as Treasurer, and current Secretary Mary Gerger stated that she will be stepping down at the end of her term. Mike Boersma has tossed his bike helmet into the ring and will be running for the vacated position of KBC Secretary. The election will be held during the November 11, 2014 meeting.

KalTour Director Mike Krischer announced that KalTour 2015 will be held on Sunday, June 28, 2015. He also mentioned there will be a change in the provider for the KalTour lunch, as Great Harvest Bakery will no longer be available to provide it. Please contact Mike with ideas for an alternative lunch provider.

Zolton polled the Board-appointed position holders present at the meeting as to their intent to serve again in 2015. A brief discussion was held regarding the newly vacated position of Chair of the Awards Committee. Bob Allwardt's name was submitted to fill this position. Zolton will be contacting those not present as to their intentions to serve another year and a complete listing of these filled positions will be available after the November 11, 2014 meeting.

Education Chair Renee Mitchell announced the dates of KBC Bike Camp 2015. Orientation night will be held on Wednesday, May 13, with Bike Camp sessions beginning on Saturday, May 16, and continuing on subsequent Saturdays of May 23, May 30, and June 6, 2015. Renee led a discussion related to the necessity of finding a new venue for Bike Camp, as the number of participants has outgrown the Portage YMCA facilities. The need to determine a safer, less busy route for Bike Camp participants to ride was also discussed. Anyone with suggestions for a new venue for Bike Camp should contact Renee as soon as possible, as she has to finalize all arrangements by the LMB Ride Calendar publication deadline in January.

Zolton mentioned that approximately 35 riders participated in the annual KBC Anniversary Ride, and despite a little rain, a good time was had by all. Marc Irwin briefly wrapped up the Fall Foliage Tour, saying it was a beautiful day, however, with temperatures in the 40's in the early morning. The ride start time may be moved to a little bit later next year. (Editor's Note: See Marc's article about the ride in this issue of the Pedal Press.)

Paul indicated his interest, as Director of Road Safety, in working with Zolton with regard to the training/swearing in of KBC sanctioned ride leaders.

Zolton and Paul updated the ongoing discussion of carrying firearms on KBC rides and at KBC events. Per Zolton, there may be a need to pass a Bylaw to our KBC Constitution in order to resolve this issue.

Zolton adjourned the meeting at 8:08 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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Editor's Letter - Racing with the Sun while Bonnie Rides Shotgun

One of my more vivid childhood memories had to do with staring at the sun, which could mean that I've managed to repress any childhood memories of placing my hands on stove top burners or sticking my fingers in light sockets. This childhood memory could have included a bicycle, if I hadn't needed to walk only a couple hundred feet in order to stare, so it didn't. And, without I bicycle, I stared at a sunset over a field at the end of the street that was a block from my house in suburban Chicago. There was nothing particularly remarkable about this sunset, except that it appeared as though a giant Cookie Monster had taken a bite out of the upper right quarter of an orange cookie. And since this street wasn't Sesame Street, which could have something to do with the fact that Sesame Street didn't even exist yet, the next most likely explanation was that a partial solar eclipse was responsible for this unique sight. I watched the sun on and off for as long as I dared until it set, and with no lasting visual damage; an image burned into my brain instead of my retina.

About a month ago, when I learned about the solar eclipse that was to take place just before sunset on October 23, I thought about that image again; an image that was partially shrouded in the mystery of time, as well as by the moon. I had never been able to remember how old I was when I watched that sunset, so I finally decided to resolve this mystery, and after working my way through a chain of internet links, I was able to determine that this took place on September 20, 1960, when I was 8 years old. And 54 years later, I wondered if I could witness something like this again.

So, on the day of the eclipse, a day where I rode my bicycle to work, I came up with a plan. On a ride to work via bicycle the previous week, I was treated to a beautiful light and shadow dappled view of the turning leaves to the west while riding on Oakland Drive over I-94 a few minutes before sunrise. I admired the trees and tried not to veer into traffic, as I knew that this would not get my day off to a good start. Having avoided this temptation and survived another week, I thought that this would be a good vantage point for a glimpse of the eclipse just before sunset, and an even better vantage point would be in the Park and Ride lot just off Oakland Drive. If I left work shortly before 6:00 P.M., I could arrive at the lot about 20 minutes before the 6:48 sunset.

As the hour approached, two flaws in my plan became obvious. First, it was cloudy towards the horizon, and, second, I didn't have a back-up plan. It also didn't help matters that I left my office a few minutes late. So, I arrived at the lot later than I had planned, where it was still cloudy, and, even if the sun did peak beneath the clouds just above the horizon, my view would likely be blocked by the trees and the sound wall by the interstate. So, I decided to ride on, to not exactly where. It was 6:32.

I thought that there were some good vantage points on 12th Street south of R Avenue, but I also wasn't sure that I could get there in time. But I had to try. So, I got back on Oakland Drive, rode over the interstate and past Milham Drive, then turned west on Kalamara Street, racing through the subdivision to Angling Road. Once on Angling Road, I remembered that there was a church south of Romence Road with a potentially good view of the horizon, so I turned off Angling into the church parking lot, where a not-actually-good view awaited. It was now 6:42.

I raced out of the parking lot, heading south to the intersection with Centre Avenue where I planned to continue riding south on Angling along US-131 for my last viewing chance. However, although I should have known better, I did not take into account that in the past, I have wasted some of the best years of my life waiting for the light at that intersection to turn green. Deciding not to waste another 2 minutes, since I had already wasted another one, I turned right, crossing over US-131, and then turned left on 12th Street; my original improvised back-up plan. It was now a minute before sunset.

At this point, I knew the game was over, but I refused to give up. So I continued riding, and just to the north of R Avenue, there was a break in the trees on the horizon with a nice reddish hued view of the sunset, albeit with the sun not actually in it any more. Had I arrived a few minutes earlier, I'm not sure if there was any room between the clouds and the horizon to see the sun, but I'll never know. I finally admitted defeat and turned around. (That's right, Mr. Pedal Press Editor, turn arooooound LOO-oo-ser......) And on the way back to my house, every now and then I got a little bit angry, as I faced the reality that

Once upon a time there was light in the sky.
But now I'm pedaling home rather pissed.
Nothing could I see.
A partial eclipse that I missed.
(Turn around, loo-SERRRRR.)

Well, at least I got some additional exercise for my trouble. And an earworm.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

Alas, there are none.

Classified Ads

NEW: TWO CoMotion Nor'wester touring bikes with couplers (frames split in half for easy packing) AND matching factory "suitcase" bags (for air travel/shipping).

(1) 60 cm (brown) and (1) 56 cm (blue). Bikes are otherwise identical. We purchased these bikes new in 2002, but upgraded in 2012 to Shimano 105 10 speed drivetrains (34 x 50 chainwheels and 12 x 27 cassettes).

Bikes include King headsets, Avid cantilever brakes, and Continental 28 mm Gatorskin tires on nearly new hand built wheels with Shimano hubs, Mavic Open 4 rims, and DT spokes. These are great bikes, not a thing wrong with them. Screw on your pedals and hit the highway! Asking $2,000 each, or let's wheel and deal for the pair!

Contact either of us and come take a look:
Doug Kirk @ 269 370 9990; e-mail
Kathy Kirk @ 269 388 5045; e-mail

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,
Gazelle Sports' annual SOCK SALE is ON!!!!
Buy three pairs, get a fourth pair FREE - now through November 30.

Johnson Cycle Works

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


611 W Michigan Avenue, Kalamazo, (269) 56–PEDAL and
"I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing." - Herman Mellville - Moby Dick

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.