January 2015 President's Letter

December 24th, 3:30 in the afternoon. No snow on the ground, but rain and a mix of sleet and snow pelt down. The overcast skies make this, one of the shortest days of the year, seem even darker and drearier. Yet the holidays are upon us. Or, as Noel Coward put it, "Christmas is at our throats again." Cheery thoughts, eh?

There's not much to write about in terms of biking at this time of year, other than to mention the upcoming annual Recovery Party, scheduled for Saturday, January 31, 2015. You can read the details - location and time, and what to bring - elsewhere in this newsletter. But do plan to come. It's a wonderful party, administered by our competent and fun Social Director, Kathleen Kroll. There will be great food, beer, and wine. Plus raffle prizes, and the opportunity to catch up with the friends you ride with during the summer season.

What Makes Olga Run?

My wife handed me a book a few weeks ago and said I should read it: "What Makes Olga Run? - The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star and What it Can Teach Us About Living Longer, Happier Lives," by Bruce Grierson.

Just the title and subhead are a mouthful. Yet, it is a short book, and interesting in what is has to say about keeping not only fit, but pushing athletic boundaries as we age.

One passage stood out because it sums up what I have experienced while cycling, especially cycling in a group. Grierson says, "Comfort doesn't promote togetherness. Discomfort does. Nietzsche said it best, 'Exhaustion is the shortest way to equality and fraternity.'"

Doing something that is difficult - physically difficult - in the company of others builds bonds that are strong. And the 'equality and fraternity' Nietzsche speaks of is how I have felt at the conclusion of many a frisky club ride. Getting a big group down the road at a high rate of speed takes coordination, strength, and trust. And that feeling lingers long after the activity is over.

So what's the point? I don't really know. I'm just musing here on a cloudy and rainy afternoon. But the book is worth the read. It is inspirational and makes you think a bit about what you'll be doing when you reach certain ages.

See you at the Recovery Party!

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


No KBC Monthly Meeting in January

In keeping with KBC tradition, there will be no Monthly Meeting in January, and for those KBC members who will be suffering from Monthly Meeting withdrawal, just think of the KBC Winter Recovery Party as our Monthly Meeting. The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.


2015 KBC Winter Recovery Party

Date:January 31, 2015
Time:7:00 P.M. - 10:00 P.M.
Location:Eckert Wordell
 161 East Michigan Avenue
 Kalamazoo, MI 49007

It's time to save the date! The Recovery Party is coming up soon (Saturday, January 31st at 7:00 P.M.)! The Recovery Party is arguably the best off-the-bike event of the season. Join for food, beverages, and, most importantly, socializing with those people you usually only see in spandex.

Thanks to the continued generosity of KBC member David Jarl and his team at the architectural firm Eckert Wordell, the Recovery Party will once again be in the Haymarket Building in downtown Kalamazoo (161 East Michigan Avenue).

The Recovery Party is potluck, so please bring something to share - a salad, dessert, or side dish. We'll supply the plates, utensils, napkins, soft drinks, beer, wine, and some small sandwiches. So come hungry and thirsty!

Location Details: Eckert Wordell's offices are on the second floor of the Haymarket Building. You can enter through either the front or the back doors on the ground level. The stairway to the second floor is through a door at the rear of the lobby. There will be a sign on the door directing you where to go.

Parking: There is a public lot directly north of the Haymarket Building, which is accessed off of Water Street, and on street parking along East Michigan Avenue and some of the less busy streets to the north.

We'll have some awards to hand out, give-aways from local bike shops, and general fun. The Recovery Party has always offered up a good chance to catch up with people you know, and to meet people you haven't yet. Block off January 31st and start counting down the days. E-mail me at socialdirector@kalamazoobicycleclub.org if you have any questions!

Kathleen Kroll, KBC Social Director


Stutter Bumps on 12th Street - Response from the KCRC

Last month, we printed a copy of the letter KBC sent to the Kalamazoo County Road Commission expressing our dismay that they ground stutter bumps into the shoulder of the new asphalt on South 12th Street near Parkview Avenue. The reply we received from the Road Commission can be read here.

Sadly, it appears that our concerns fell on deaf ears. The Road Commission's reply completely fails to note the safety issue bumps like these raise for bicyclists.

Doug Kirk, KBC Vice-President



Kudos to Kalamazoo Township for adopting its first non-motorized plan this past December 9th! The plan outlines a broad vision of sidewalks, bicycling, and other facilities aimed at benefitting both motorists and non-motorists. The plan was developed with the input of an advisory group and citizen comments in response to a prior community survey that ranked development of non-motorized facilities high on the list of priorities for the Township.

Paul Selden

December Monthly Meeting Minutes

Members present: Kathleen Kroll, Steve Cox, Nikki Pavlack, Tom Keizer, Celine Keizer, Graham Barker-King, Ryan Heidenfeld, Bob Allwardt, Paul Selden, David Jones, Marc Irwin, John Olbrot, Rick Whaley, David Riggs, Valerie Litznerski, Doug Kirk, Zolton Cohen, Robert Stoner, John Idema, Terry O'Connor, Kathy Kirk, Mike Vandeveer, Joe Thomas, Jon Ballema, Mike Mock, and Ken Schneider.

  1. Welcome and Announcements.
  2. Officer Reports: Treasurer John Olbrot reported income of $45.71 and expenses of $206.21, leaving $9322.75 in the KBC checking account and $11,141.12 in the KBC Certificate of Deposit./li>
  3. Committee Reports - None
  4. Vote for Annual Friend of Bicycling Award. Jon Start of the Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study (KATS) was nominated for his advocacy for Complete Streets policy
    1. ACTION: Doug Kirk moved that Jon Start be the recipient of the award; David Jones seconded. The motion was passed unanimously.
  5. Vote on amendments to the KBC constitution and bylaws banning firearms from KBC events.
    1. ACTION: Doug Kirk moved to have separate votes on the amendment to the KBC constitution and amendments to the KBC bylaws; Rick Whaley seconded. The motion was approved.
      1. Issue 1, changes to the constitution: passed via secret ballot 21 in favor, 6 opposed.
      2. Issue 2, changes to the bylaws: passed via secret ballot 21 in favor, 6 opposed.
      3. Because both items passed with over a 2/3 majority, these amendments will be included in the KBC constitution and bylaws.
  6. Race team funding request for $500 to cover certain expenses.
    1. ACTION: Doug Kirk moved that $500 be granted to Team CMS Racing; David Jones seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
  7. Recovery Party: Kathleen Kroll announced that the annual KBC Recovery Party will be held January 31st at the offices of Eckert Wordell in downtown Kalamazoo. Kathleen requested assistance with two large coolers and with ten folding chairs. Zolton Cohen announced that he will man the KBC release station. Doug and Kathy Kirk will present awards. Doug requested assistance with award nominations. Clean up will commence around 10:15 PM. Your help is requested.
  8. Old Business
    1. The KBC received a letter from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission in response to the KBC letter regarding the location of rumble strips on 12th Street. The letter was not gracious.
  9. New Business
    1. New KBC Jerseys - Nikki Pavlack requested that the KBC formally begin the process of designing and ordering new KBC Jerseys.
    2. Moose Club Bicycle Rodeo - Mike Mock requested assistance with the Moose Club Bicycle Rodeo in Three Rivers to be held in May. More information will be forthcoming.
  10. Adjourn - Kathleen Kroll moved to adjourn. The motion was approved.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mike Boersma, 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, editor@kalamazoobicycleclub.org by the 20th of the month before its intended publication.

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


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David Jones, KBC Database Manager

Editor's Letter - 2014: In Memoriam

2014. Or as Abraham Lincoln might have put it, "Seven score and 11 years from now." And now it's over. At this time of year, I think that it is appropriate to pause in somber reflection upon those that we have lost during the previous year. "We" being I and "those" being my bicycle equipment and accessories. So allow me to reminisce about those items that were a tangible part of my cycling life at the beginning of 2014, but destined to remain only in my memory by the end of the year.


Toe Cover: The toe covers that I bought in 2013 were no match for the pavement. After being dragged on the ground a couple times while coming to a stop, the toe cover that I put on my left foot began to develop a hole that eventually became a gaping hole that eventually defeated the purpose of even wearing a toe cover. So, I bought a new pair made of sterner stuff. My toe cover was like a hothouse flower, just too delicate for this world. As for the other old toe cover; it lies forlornly near the door to my garage, bereft.


Bicycle Chain: Over the years and every few thousand miles, a chain is installed, used, worn out, and replaced. It is the circle (or ellipse) of life.


Cycling Gloves: Some cyclists search for the perfect bicycle seat. Others search for the perfect bicycle tire. I search for the perfect bicycle gloves; a search that I fear is in vain. Tired of the worn and unsatisfactory cycling gloves that I had used for a couple years, I replaced them with two new pairs of gloves. The old gloves disappointed me, while the new gloves are disappointing me. And like their predecessors, they will eventually be discarded, unloved and unmourned. And I'll ignore the apparent hopelessness of my search, a sadder and still no wiser man.

Bicycle Tires: Over the years and every few thousand miles, tires are installed, used, worn out, and replaced. It is the circle (yes, the circle) of life.

Bicycle Tube: The Bontrager rims on my newer Lemond bicycle can be rather temperamental while removing and reinstalling bicycle tires. As a result, I end up using tire levers while reinstalling the tires, putting my bicycle tubes at the risk of a puncture by the aforementioned levers. And so it came to pass that I lost a brand new bicycle tube while replacing a tire. Oh, the places you could have gone, but now we'll never know. Surprisingly, this was the only punctured tube that I experienced in 2014. So, I'm expecting flat tire and bicycle tube carnage in 2015.


Human Skull Tail Light Attachment: One of the coolest pieces of cycling equipment that I've ever owned is the human skull bicycle tail light that I received as a Christmas present in 2013. Press the button; the eyes, nose, and mouth light up. Press it again; the eyes, nose, and mouth blink. Press it again; the eyes light up. Press it again; the eyes blink. Press it again; the eyes, nose, and mouth blink in sequence. Terrifying and practical, what more could a cyclist want?

Unfortunately, this was not the most well constructed bicycle light that I have ever owned. During a ride in hot weather a few months later, I heard a "clunk," looked back, and saw my bicycle tail light lying in the middle of the road. Apparently, the part of the attachment encircling the seat post upon which the bicycle light is attached had turned brittle in the heat and snapped as I rode over some rough pavement. And until I find match for this attachment, the light is useless, except when used as a rather nice Halloween decoration.


Bicycle Tires: The circle of life moves rapidly for bicycle tires, the mayflies of bicycle equipment, as opposed to cycling jerseys, the tortoises of bicycle accessories.


Chain Lube: What is it about a paraffin based chain lube that makes me want to wax eloquent? My White Lightning chain lube had served me well over the past couple of years, coating the chain like a creamy, thin layer of vanilla frosting, but it eventually waned away. Now I'm using ProLink chain lube, a lube that when applied is "breaking the friction barrier."

Friction Barriers: No sense in letting broken friction barriers clutter up my garage.


Cyclometer: Before a Monday night KBC ride, I noticed that my cyclometer was loose and I couldn't securely place it in its holder. But I thought that I had secured it well enough and I was wrong. While riding over the speed bumps on 8th Street south of U Avenue, the cyclometer fell off, something I didn't notice until a quarter mile later. I left the rest of the Monday night riders and went back to retrieve it. I found it lying in the road, presumably unscathed, until I observed that the face of the cyclometer was a mosaic of silver and black. I suspect that a car had run over it. Useless as a speed and mileage indicator and not up to my high standards as an object of modern art, I replaced it.


Headlight Batteries: I have two Cateye Opti Cube headlights, each powered by 4 AA batteries. They put out good light for something powered by AA batteries and it lasts for 60 hours. Note, however, that 60 does not equal infinity, and while riding around various Portage neighborhoods one night, the light on the headlight that I was using rapidly dimmed. While I actually rode rather gently into that good night, I did indeed rage, rage against the dying of the light. Then, I got home and replaced the batteries.

Knee Warmers: The end came rather suddenly for my knee warmers. One day, they worked just fine, and the next day (sometime in October), the tops of the knee warmers began to droop below the pants legs of my cycling shorts. The elastic had deteriorated. This was both annoying and unstylish. So, I got a new pair of knee warmers for Christmas. As for the old ones, it's "Dead knee warmers walking," so to speak, as they are currently lying in a wastebasket in my house. I can't actually do much walking with them in there.

The Future

Attempting to gaze into the future, I see some other bicycle accessories that may not last this year. The elastic on my arm warmers is worn, as well as the fabric on a couple of my cycling shorts. Some of my water bottle aren't functioning that well and I could use the extra cupboard space by clearing out a couple of them. Then, there are the usual tire, tube, chain, and battery replacements that occur every year. There could also be some surprise equipment losses, like my cyclometer. So, when look at my collection of bicycling equipment and accessories, I find myself pondering the mystery that is the year 2015, 7.6 score based on Gettysburg Address units.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

What are you looking at?

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 www.recumbentriders.org/forums/showthread.php?t=14356. Also included is a 2011 Kenetic trainer for this trike with the optional flywheel. $1500. NO SHIPPING. Contact Terry Horwath (616) 855-6211 or terry.horwath@live.com.

Shop Notes

Alfred E. Bike

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

Billy's Bike Shop

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

Breakaway Bicycles

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

Custer Cyclery

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

Gazelle Sports

214 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, (269) 342–5996,
Don't miss Gazelle Sports' End of the Year Sale going on now 'til the stuff is gone!
Deep discounts on all your favorite brands!

Kzoo Swift

445 Forest St, Kalamazoo, (269) 929-8053.


611 W Michigan Avenue, Kalamazo, (269) 56–PEDAL
info@pedalbicycle.com and www.pedalbicycle.com
"We're on the cutting edge of reality itself, right where it turns into a dream." - Dennis Johnson, Tree of Smoke

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.