October 2015 President's Letter

The Results Are In

I want to take a moment to thank all the KBC members who filled out the club survey that was sent around last month. The response rate was off the charts in terms of the percentage of individuals who took the time to lend us their opinions. I expected nothing less from riders as passionate about the sport and interested in the club as you all are. So, thank you!

In the months ahead, we'll compile the results and let you know what we found out; where (and who) we are right now and where you said you want the club to go in the future. We've never attempted anything like this before, so, like you, we'll learn from the experience. Surveying is a good exercise in any organization. In our case it gives you more of a voice in the process of running this club, and we hope it leads us to new initiatives, new ideas, and new volunteers to carry out the will of the membership. Thanks go to Education Chair Renee Mitchell for coming up with the idea of the survey and for implementing it.

Several of the survey's questions pertained to volunteering for club activities. Bear in mind that being elected to office or in an appointed position is only one level of helping out at KBC. Your involvement can encompass just what you are willing and able to do. For instance, you could choose a one-off endeavor, like helping out on a Saturday morning at Bike Camp. Or you could spend an evening, with others of similar ilk, painting directional arrows on the roads we ride during KalTour. If your time permits, and you would like to delve into something with a regular schedule, you could lead a ride once a week in the spring, summer, or fall.

At a meeting a couple of months ago, we were discussing how to attract additional volunteers for the club's many ventures. Treasurer John Olbrot made the chilling point that clubs come and go all the time, due to initial enthusiasm and then, eventually, a lack of the same. That is a point also made in Robert Putnam's excellent book on the breakdown in community 'social capital,' "Bowling Alone." Let me assure you that KBC is in no danger of going belly up. But we do need an influx of new people to lend energy, ideas, time, and yes, enthusiasm, to insure its good health going forward. Can you spare a little of your time to help KBC?

Declarations of Intent at October Monthly Meeting

As many of you know, the club's October monthly meeting is when and where candidates for the club's elected positions on the Executive Board (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer) must declare their intent to run for those offices. If you have decided to run for any of those slots, or are just interested in the process, be sure to come to the meeting on Tuesday, October 13, at 7:00 P.M. at the YMCA on Maple Street. I'll see you there.

Zolton Cohen, KBC President


Next KBC Monthly Meeting on October 13, 2015

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.


KBC Anniversary Ride Facts

What a great day for the club's Anniversary Ride! Here are some facts about the ride.

  • There were approximately 25 riders.
  • There were approximately 32 party participants.
  • There were excellent pot-luck contributions, from desserts to salad to fresh fruit.
  • Fabulous pizza from Erbelli's.

A cool beginning, turning to sunny and beautiful weather.

Kathleen Kroll, KBC Social Director


Less Daylight Underscores Need for Extra Bicycling Safety

Less daylight makes these year-round tips presented below worth another look. Even if you know these rules for safer riding by heart, you can always pass them on to friends and family who may still need a bit of mentoring.

Buy those brighter headlights or taillights you've been meaning to get all summer and use them. A headlight strong enough to light up potholes, fallen limbs, and others in the road/path could save doctor bills later; it is a good investment.

Be sure to wear a bright jacket, shirt, or jersey, together with a good helmet, and put an extra light on backpacks that may cover your brighter jacket.

Make extra sure to ride and behave as expected. For example:

  • Ride with the flow of traffic
  • Stop at red lights and stop signs
  • Signal your intentions even more obviously (especially when turning or changing lanes)
  • Ride as far to right as it is safe and no more than two abreast (and single file in traffic and when cresting a hill)

Look back for overtaking traffic before changing your lane. A motorist or bicyclist that hasn't turned on its lights may not be visible in your mirror

Watch out for riders who aren't following these rules! Last year, I almost stepped into the path of a rider wearing dark clothing who was riding in the dark on the wrong side of the road, with no light. If I hadn't looked both ways before stepping into the road, I would have been creamed.

I'm sure you can think of other ideas, send them off to our editor for an article of your own and be sure to share them with others!

The main thing is, don't be caught in the dark unprepared. Have a safe and happy riding season as the days grow shorter!

For more information on bike safety see www.lmb.org.

Paul Selden, Director of Road Safety



Kudos to leaders and staff of Kalamazoo Township and the City of Portage for recently approving Complete Streets policies.

Kalamazoo Township adopted theirs at their June 22, 2015 board meeting and the City of Portage adopted theirs at their August 11, 2015 council meeting. In general, Complete Streets policies help jurisdictions that adopt them become even more bike friendly. Kalamazoo Township has developed a reputation for taking a proactive stance toward planning and funding so-called non-motorized (e.g., bicycling and pedestrian) improvements.

The City of Portage has been well known for its leadership in this area for many years. Adopting Complete Streets policies provide clear guidance for future staff and leadership within their administrations into the future by institutionalizing the need to consider the needs of all who use the roads and transportation systems, including bicyclists, pedestrians, and others with special needs, and not just the needs of motorized vehicles.

If I am correct in my understanding, this makes the Kalamazoo Charter Township and the City of Portage the first township and the first city in Kalamazoo County to adopt formal Complete Streets policies that go by that name.

Paul Selden

September Monthly Meeting Minutes

Present: Terry O'Connor, Michael Krischer, Rick Whaley, Scott Power, Marc Irwin, David Jones, Renee Mitchell, Kathy Kirk, Doug Kirk, Zolton Cohen, Valerie Litznerski, John Olbrot, Paul Selden, Jon Ballema, Jeff Robertson, David Riggs, and Mike Boersma

Welcome and Introductions: The meeting was called to order at 7:00 P.M.

Officer Reports: John Olbrot, KBC Treasurer, reported that the KBC had income of $188.16 and expenses of $1425.88 over the last month. The KBC checking account had a balance of $5776.65 and the KBC certificate of deposit had a balance of $11,150.46.

Committee Reports: Paul Selden reported that the KATS non-motorized plan was in the works and that the City of Kalamazoo non-motorized plan was on hold.

New KBC Jerseys: Jon Ballema reported that the KBC jersey committee was working on narrowing vendors and was also looking at making a final vendor selection in October. A jersey sizing party is to be announced.

New KBC Hats: The final style was selected. Colors will be stone/black trim, navy/ stone trim, charcoal/black trim, and black/red trim. A $10 price was also announced.

Anniversary ride: The KBC Anniversary Ride will be held Sunday, September 20, 2015. (Editor's Note: See the article about this elsewhere in this issue of the Pedal Press.)

Forests and Foliage ride: The Forests and Foliage Ride will be held on Saturday, October 3, 2015.

KBC Member Survey: The KBC member survey is underway. Preliminary results of this survey will be presented in October.

Old Business: None.

New Business: The KBC will be looking for a new KBC Awards Committee Chairman to replace Bob Allwardt. Paul noted that Kudos can be submitted to Rick Whaley, the Pedal Press Editor, by any member of the club and that nominations for the KBC's Friend of Bicycling Award usually come from these submissions.

Paul also noted that Valerie Litznerski was featured in an article in the current edition of Ultracycling Magazine.

Zolton Cohen noted that the KBC received a thank you for supporting the BTR race. He also reminded everyone that nominations for KBC officer elections are due at the October KBC meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 P.M.

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 November edition (distributed during the first week of November), have it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of October.


Active Subscriptions:

New members:


Expiring memberships:

Roger Behnke • Steven R. Cox • Jonathan Evans And Monica Tory • Barbara and John Hart • Katie Johnson • Larry Kissinger • Angela Marek • Mike Mock • Rob Schell • John Shubnell Family • Mike St. Clair

Renewed memberships:


David Jones, KBC Database Manager

Editor's Letter - Snapshots

I am looking at a photograph of three riders. It was taken in the spring of 2013 at a park in Chillicothe, Ohio during the TOSRV bicycle tour. It was a dreary day and we are dressed in the accoutrements of a cool weather cyclist; base layers and tights.

The rider to my right is wearing a black jersey. His name is Frits. The rider to my left is wearing a white jersey with black shoulder trim. His name is Cliff and he is Frits' future son-in-law. I am wearing a white jersey with no black shoulder trim. All of the jerseys have a wide orange band with black and yellow trim. Within the band is a black trimmed yellow diamond and within the diamond is the word "Domestique" written in black trimmed orange.

This does not mean that we are cycling domestiques and are sublimating our cycling ambitions at the service of another off-camera cyclist. We are actually traveling billboards and are at the service of Café Domestique, a coffee shop catering to bicyclists in Dundas, Ontario. A place for Frits and his daughter to ride from their homes in suburban Toronto for coffee and camaraderie.

Frits gave me this jersey when we rode the tour with his daughter the previous year. I would see Frits once a year when I'd ride this tour with him, sometime accompanied by several other riders, and sometimes just with one of his family members. We'd carbo-load at an Italian restaurant the night before the ride. I'd spend the next day listening to him provide riding instruction and watch him disappear up hills; and we'd tell our stories while off the bike. We'd drink beer (or Mountain Dew) together, eat spaghetti, and share sleeping quarters on a gym floor with a couple hundred other riders. I'd sleep on a sleeping bag, sometimes without an air mattress, while he'd sleep on an inflatable air mattress that must have been about 10 feet tall. We'd get up the next morning, eat pancakes, and repeat the cycling and storytelling process. Then, we'd eat pizza and drink beer (or Mountain Dew) at a restaurant two miles from the finish and take our victory warm down; another tour successfully completed. We would spend the weekend together and then spend the next 362 days living our own lives.

I'll never set foot in the Café Domestique. It closed at the end of 2014. And I'll never ride with Frits again. He suffered a massive heart attack and died on the last Sunday in August at the age of 66. I heard the news the night before I traveled to Lansing and two days before the start of this year's DALMAC tour. And so I honored him by wearing my Café Domestique jersey during the first day of the tour.

We have pictures of rides we've done and the riders with whom we've spent those riding hours. We have tangible evidence of some these rides, such as the one shown above. Others are only in our minds. Innumerable snapshots of events taken at pleasant points in time. And we hold them as long as we can, and when we can no longer do so, it is up to others to hold them in our memory.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

Saturday, October 17, Colorburst Charity Bicycle Tour. Lowell - Fallasburg Park. 17, 30, 62, and 100 miles. www.Rapidwheelmen.com/colorburst.html.

Classified Ads

Still no Classified Ads to post.

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

Custer Cyclery

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

Gazelle Sports

214 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, (269) 342–5996,
Special October weekends for the ladies at Gazelle Sports!
October 9-11 • Lolë Weekend - Enjoy 20% off Lolë, plus a free Lolë scarf with any Lolë purchase of $100 or more.
October 23-25 • Sports Bra Event - Get fit by our experts! Plus, receive an awesome gift just for trying on a Moving Comfort bra and an additional gift for purchasing a Moving Comfort bra.

Kzoo Swift

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

Pedal Downtown

- 611 W Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, (269)567-3325

Pedal South

- 185 Romence Road, Portage, (269)324-5555
info@pedalbicycle.com and www.pedalbicycle.com

Team Active

22 W Michigan, Battle Creek, 1–800–841–9494

Village Cyclery

US 131 in Schoolcraft, 679–4242
BIG end of season sale Friday, October 16 - Sunday, October 18. Deeply discounted prices on clothing, bikes, and selected parts and accessories. See the website for more details.

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.