March 2015 President's Letter

Recently, I have been reminded by several KBC members that the official start of our club riding season is the Monday following the start of Daylight Saving Time. This year, that Monday is March 9th. With any luck at all, the temperature will have risen on that day to at least two digits, unlike where it has sulked for the better part of a month.

Our website states that "Attendance at early season rides is likely to be sparse, and ride leaders may or may not be available." True and true. Only the hardiest - and possibly most desperate - souls venture out for frigid early season group club rides. But rest assured that some will make it a point to be in attendance, if only to be able to boast to their friends, "I was there. Where were you?"

Over the years, I have become immune to such jibes. Call me what you will. If it's not warm enough to ride comfortably, I'm not going to be out there. Frozen toes and fingers do not hold quite the same appeal to me in my dotage as they did when I wore a younger man's cycling kit. I'll stay inside a bit longer, at least until ice melts from the roadways - and until the mini speed bumps on the roadways from water that has seeped into the cracks of the asphalt and frozen have melted and the pavement flatten out again.

I did get my road bike out this afternoon though, for its yearly cleaning and tune-up. Despite being barely able to see in my shop because of the steam clouds raised by my breath, I de-soiled the drivetrain, Scotch-brited the rims, lubed the chain and cleaned last year's bugs off the underside of the downtube. I checked the tires for cracks, adjusted the brakes, and rapid-shifted the gears up and down a few times. My bike is ready to go.

Just for kicks, I sat astride my bike for a few seconds, balancing between my table saw and jointer, and settled in, comfortable in the familiar saddle. Everything still fits, despite the long underwear, three shirts, Polartec vest and heavy denim coat. I'm ready to go, too.

So, let's take another look at that long term forecast. The sun edges up higher in the sky each day and lingers a bit longer into the evening. When the sky is clear and the sun is out, snow and ice melt despite the cold air. By March 9th, if things get even a little better each day in terms of the temperature, the roads could be clear. The air might even be warmer by then.

Well, heck. With the right clothing on, I just might make it to an early season ride after all. The lure is strong, certainly. The mind is concentrated. Is the flesh willing?

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Next KBC Monthly Meeting on March 10, 2015

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.


KBC Riding Season Begins on March 9, 2015

The KBC riding season will begin on Monday, March 9, 2015 and the rides will begin at 5:30 P.M. However, it is doubtful that there will be a huge mob of KBC cyclists showing up to the rides in March for obvious weather related reasons. These rides will be somewhat informal until April, when the season really begins. The April rides will begin at 6:00 P.M. See the KBC website ( for more details.


KalTour Advance Notice

KalTour 2015 will take place on Sunday June 28, 2015. This marks the 24th consecutive year for the KBC summer tour, which began as part of the long-gone Flowerfest. It takes a lot of people to make KalTour happen. We have to provide food, mark routes, create maps, register riders, and respond to injuries and breakdowns. Some of the tasks are done beforehand, such as shopping for supplies and marking routes. Of course, you can stock up on trail mix and Gatorade powder any time, but ice and watermelons have to be procured much closer to the time they are needed!

We have held the line on prices again in 2015, making KalTour one of the lowest cost day rides in Michigan. KalTour is the Club's major fundraiser for the year as a well as a source of a significant donation to the Kalamazoo Valley AMBUCS club which supports adaptive cycling for needy recipients ranging from infants to those in their 90s. AMBUCS members come out to serve the food at our lunch stop.

KalTour has been successful in the past because of the support of the Club and I hope that this will be the case again this year. To those who have helped out in the past, don't worry, I know who you are, and I will contact you. To those whom I don't know, but would like to help, please contact me at Remember that people are needed beforehand and at different times on the 28th from early morning set-up to late afternoon clean-up.

Mike Krischer, KalTour Director


Southwest Michigan Mountain Biking Association Bike Swap

The Southwest Michigan Mountain Biking Association (SWMMBA) Bike Swap will be held on Sunday, April 12, 2015 from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. at the Holiday Inn Kalamazoo West, located at 2747 South 11th Street.

Come join SWMMBA for a free and fun community event. Socialize with members of the large Kalamazoo area biking community and your fellow bike enthusiasts. Meet your SWMMBA officers and learn about exciting new projects SWMMBA has on the horizon.

Buy Some Gear, Sell Some Gear: Sell your bike parts, components, racks and accessories that you no longer need. Find a good deal in someone else's castoff. Tables available for $5 per table. Contact to reserve your table. Sellers are responsible for tending to their rented table and merchandise.

Bike Corral: A Bike Corral will be available to buy or sell a bike. All types of bikes will be accepted: mountain bikes, road, BMX, cyclocross, comfort, tandem, and youth bikes. Drop off your bike for a SWMMBA volunteer to sell. The Bike Corral opens at 9:00 A.M. for bike drop off. Return later between 3:00 and 5:00 P.M. to pick up your money or unsold bike. Any unsold bikes not claimed by 5:00 P.M. will be considered a donation to SWMMBA.

A fee will be charged to sell your bike and will be deducted from the purchase price. The fee schedule is on a sliding scale based on the selling price of the bike.

Selling PriceFee
Less than $50$5
$51 - $249$105
$250 - $999$25
$1000 or more$50

To test ride a bike, leave your driver's license with a bike corral attendant. Bike corral transactions are cash only, unless other arrangements are made between the buyer and seller. An ATM will be available on premises.

All proceeds to benefit the SWMMBA trail building fund. Donations are always appreciated and are tax deductible.

Volunteers Needed: Events like this simply cannot happen without volunteers. Come join fellow SWMMBA members, give back to the sport you love so much, and help make this a successful event. Sign up on the volunteer tab at

For more information about volunteer opportunities contact

Colby Novar, Treasurer, SWMMBA


2014 KBC Member Mileage Almanac

1,800Joseph Bernath
2,200 "+"Bob Brennan
2,600 "+"Sue Brennan
10,599Terry Butcher
4,600Terry Florian
2,500Daniel Goldenberger
5,954Paul Guthrie
8,804John and Barb Hart (tandem)
2,540Anne Hoover
1,972Terry Hutchins
5,200John Idema
8,850Doug Kirk
4,748Mike Krischer
3,630Dale Krueger
5,000Terry O'Connor
5,162John Olbrot
5,505Don Reeves
3,500Bob Schell
1,522Ken Schneider
4,430Paul Selden
1,500John Shubnell
7,007Tim Stewart, Sr.
2,000Doug Wales
6,904Rick Whaley

The idea behind this annual mileage almanac is to share the fun of bicycling that these numbers represent with others. Thanks to all who submitted their reports and thanks for inspiring everyone to just get out there and ride your bikes when you can!

These are based on member reports received in time for submission to March's Pedal Press. Please send any corrections or updates to the Pedal Press Editor.

Keep track of your mileage for next year's KBC Member Mileage Almanac.

Also throughout 2015, please send reports of rides you have done that may be of interest to others. Trips, adventures, long rides, race results, an experience on a trail, a pleasant outing with the family ... in short, submit just about anything you think may help our members get a feeling for the many bicycling experiences that are out there.

Paul Selden

February Monthly Meeting Minutes

Attending: Mike Vandeveer, Mike Krischer, Dale Krueger, Terry O'Connor, John Idema, Zolton Cohen, Doug Kirk, Kathy Kirk, Renee Mitchell, David Jones, John Olbrot, Rick Whaley, Steven Cox, David Riggs, Bob Allwardt, Joe Kutcharski, David Jarl, Paul Selden, Doug Wales, and Colby Novar.

Officer Reports: John Olbrot reported that the KBC savings account had on balance $8830.33 and the KBC certificate of deposit had a balance of $11,143.04. Yearly income in 2014 was $11,486.12; expenses in 2014 totaled $10,606.36.

Committee Reports: Kalamazoo Bike week is May 9-15. A Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study Survey was discussed.

Recovery Party Wrap-up: Everyone attending reported having a good time. There was a discussion of kegs versus bottles for liquid refreshments for future parties.

Bike Camp 2015: Bike Camp will start on the evening of Wednesday, May 13 with the introductory meeting and will continue on Saturday, May 16 and the following 3 Saturday mornings. Renee Mitchell reported that there may be a venue change.

Ride Leader Sanctioning: Zolton Cohen sanctioned new ride leaders for 2015, which consisted of the attendees at this meeting.

Old Business: The Friend of Bicycling Award has been completed and will be presented to Jon Start of the Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study.

New Business: The following items were discussed.

The Friday evening Tour de Gull ride starting at Galesburg-Augusta High School may be ending due to a lack of interest.

The Monday night slow (<15 mph average) ride needs a leader or leaders.

The proposed Bell's to Bell's ride was announced and discussed. This ride would be from the Bell's brewery in Comstock to the Bell's brewery in Escanaba. Several members showed interest. Contact Mike Boersma or David Jones, if you are interested in planning and organizing this ride.

The Southwest Michigan Mountain Bike Club bike swap will be held Sunday, April 12. More information will be provided in the March Pedal Press. (Editor's Note: See the article elsewhere in this issue.)

Paul Selden requested 2014 bike mileage information from KBC members to be placed in the March Pedal Press. (Editor's Note: See the article elsewhere in this issue.)

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, by the 20th of the month before its intended publication.

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


KBC and the Rules of the Road

Everyone who has taken the oath required to become a KBC-sanctioned ride leader has promised to uphold Michigan's Motor Vehicle Code.

As KBC's Director of Road Safety, I am calling on all ride leaders and experienced KBC riders to act as friendly mentors to anyone on our rides who may need a little education on this topic. Two areas for special attention are riding as close to the right of the travel portion of the roadway as "practicable" and not riding more than two abreast.

It's much easier to ask the motoring public to share the road when we do likewise.

Let's continue to be great ambassadors of bicycling, not only to fellow bicyclists, but in the eyes of the public at large.

Paul Selden, KBC Director of Road Safety


Active Subscriptions:

Expiring memberships:

Andy Aardema · Jon Ballema · Cassandra Basore · Letitia Bates Family · Kristen Berg · Brian Campbell · Chee Cheong · Dan Ebenhoeh · Sonia Eden · David Fatzinger · Larry Fitzgerald · Mary Frank · Emily & Ralph Freed · Tim Halloran · Marc Irwin · Brianna Johnson · Doug Knudsen · Sandra Komienek · Cheryl Koopman · Valerie Litznerski · Andrew Louwaert · Ed Maring · Jose Mendoza · Jessica Miller · Ryan Minier · Nan Munn · Mary Novak · Colby Novar · Kevin Oostema · Jim Pankow · Ann Weltevreden-Penix · Kate Rizor · Michael Roe · Jeremy Smith · Scott Soule · Matt Stinson · Robert Stoner · Christine Thompson · Victor Van Fleet · Brett Vanderwater · Dana White

Renewed memberships:

Tracy Reilly

David Jones, KBC Database Manager

Editor's Letter - The Ricks Have a Bad Day

Based on 15 minutes of research, I can't tell you if Edwin Arlington Robinson was a bicycle rider, although I think it is unlikely. However, I can tell you that he is no longer with us. (No, he didn't move from Kalamazoo to Florida for the warmer weather, he's dead.) But if he had been a cyclist and was still alive, I believe that his most famous poem would have gone something like this.

Whenever Richard Cory rode downtown,
We people on the trail path looked at him:
He was a cycling man from sole to crown,
Clean shaven legs, and spandex shaping slim.

And he was always garishly arrayed,
And he was superhuman when he rode;
And still he startled pulses when he said,
"On your left," and he never even slowed.

And he was fit - yes, fitter than Ted King -
And admirably schooled in shifting grace:
In short, we thought he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we walked, and waited for the light,
And went without new shoes, and cursed instead;
And Richard Cory, one calm winter night,
Went home and put a bullet through his stinkin'
stationary trainer.

Yes, I think I'm ready for spring. And I was certainly ready to look at the League of Michigan Bicyclists 2015 Michigan Ride Calendar that I had just picked up from one of the local bike shops. Leafing through the pages was like reminiscing with old friends; the Ride of Silence (I'm trying to type quietly), KalTour, the Holland Hundred, and, of course, DALMAC.

And there are new friends that I might be making, like the 200K West and the Thumbs Up 400K, as I'm thinking about blowing the dust off of my Randonneaurs USA number and doing some randonneuring rides this year. And if not the Mountain Mayhem Spring Classic, a ride that I have avoided, because I view steep downhill descents as more terrifying than exhilarating, perhaps their Beat the Heat Tour later in the year. It might be that my downhill discomfort will decrease in proportion to the increase in my power of self-deception by then.

However, I had to acknowledge that there were some old friends that I hadn't visited last year. Like my more frenemy than friend, the National 24-Hour Challenge. I broke my 4 year string of rides and stood up my old buddy, the One Day Ride Across Michigan. I then broke my 6 year string of rides and stood up my even older buddy, the Vineyard Classic. And I chose a warm home over a cold rain and avoided the Color Burst Bicycle Tour.

There are also those friends who have drifted away, like the One Helluva Ride, a ride I haven't done since 2008, as well as acquaintances, such as the Leelanau Harvest Tour, the Apple Cider Century Tour, and the Blue Water Ramble, rides that I have done only once. Maybe I'll do them again someday, although I'm also content just to live with their memories.

Saddest of all, however, are the rides that are no longer with us and, no, they didn't move to Florida, they're dead. I'm thinking, in particular, about the Turning Leaves Century.

The Turning Leaves Century was held just outside of Dowagiac on the second Sunday in October. I did this ride 4 times, in 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2002, missing the 2000 ride only because I was living in Japan that fall, and the KBC didn't volunteer to provide air fare for a trip back to Michigan. The course went as far east as the lake country west of Three Rivers, an area relatively close to Kalamazoo, but also an area where I never rode, except while doing this tour. The ride also featured delicious soup at one of the SAG stops, swarms of bees at another SAG stop, and almost 50 straight miles of riding into a headwind, if the wind was unfortunately directed. To me, it was always a bittersweet ride, as it marked the end of the touring season.

My takeaway memory of my first ride was that it was cold, but otherwise uneventful, while the 1999 ride was wet. I remember reaching the 75 mile SAG stop with KBC's turn of the century Ride Captain, Randy Putt, where he easily convinced me that a 6 mile shortcut back to Dowagiac would be preferable to 25 more miles of rainy riding. I still like to think that we did a Century Ride, albeit in base 9.

My 2001 ride was the most memorable ride of the four and mostly for the wrong reasons. Soon after the start, I discovered that I was riding with my C- legs that day. I struggled to keep up with my riding companions, yo-yoing off the back of the group several times, before being dropped for good about 25 miles into the ride. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, as I could now ride on my own without the pressure of having to keep up with a group that was riding at a shouldn't-have-been uncomfortable pace. This wasn't necessarily a good thing, as I had the privilege of riding close to 50 miles due west into an unfortunately directed headwind. But I whined my way through it and was rewarded by finally turning south, reaching the final SAG stop with about 12 miles to go.

At this point, I was surprised to see most of the people that I had been riding with 65 miles ago. I had thought that they'd be farther ahead of me, but it turned out that they were also taking longer breaks than my own "let's just get this ride over with" short breaks. They were getting ready to resume riding; I didn't feel like taking a break for the aforementioned reason, and I joined them.

We were within a large group of about 20 riders. My KBC riding companions had solemnly sworn to each other that, yes, they were all going to take it easy these last 12 miles, the better to lure me into riding with them. Of course, once we turned east, one of the non-KBC riders decided that what our group really needed was a "take advantage of the tailwind" 10 mile sprint to the finish, and almost all of the KBC riders decided to join in the fun.

Dave Newman, an ex-KBCer who moved to Colorado in 2003, was the one exception besides me. He didn't feel like riding hard, but because he also felt better than me, he offered to let me draft off him; an offer that I gladly accepted. So, I leeched off of his rear wheel all the way to the Southwestern Michigan College parking lot, where I watched Dave ride another six-tenths of a mile around the perimeter of the lot. The Touring Leaves Century was actually only 99.4 miles and Dave was a stickler about getting in his 100 miles worth. I got in my extra 0.6 miles, and then some, by driving home.

I arrived at the 2002 ride in very good shape and, in contrast to the previous year, my legs didn't let me down. Still, what I remember most about that ride was the $5 deal I got on the previous year's sweatshirt.

And at the time, I didn't know that this would be my last Turning Leaves Century. In 2003, the ride was held the day before I started work in Ann Arbor and 2 weeks before I moved to Dexter. So, I had other things to do that weekend. Then, after 32 years, that was it for Turning Leaves Century. I moved away from southwest Michigan and the ride folded. Coincidence? You be the judge.

But I still have that sweatshirt and it's a nice one. Sometimes I think about the irony of honoring a lousy ride by wearing this sweatshirt, but I like to think that I at least learned some things from the ride or, more accurately, relearned some things that I shouldn't forget. That no matter how much you'd like it to be, sometimes it just isn't your day. That sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and stick with it. That sometimes you need to stop gritting your teeth, chew, if not swallow, your pride, and rely on your cycling buddies. All of these are good things to keep in mind, as we begin another cycling season. And when I finally wear this sweatshirt out, I can use it to muffle the sound of gunshots at my stationary trainer.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

Our long winter nightmare is almost over!

Saturday, March 28, Founders Barry-Roubaix-Killer Gravel Road Race. Hastings, MI. 24, 36, and 62 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,
RUNNERS! The new spring footwear is here! Check out all the updates from your favorites - Brooks, Asics, Nike, New Balance, Adidas, Saucony, and many more at Gazelle Sports!

Kzoo Swift

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


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.