April 2016 President's Letter

Happy Spring KBC!

Hopefully everyone has been able to get out for a ride and enjoy the warmer days of spring. Spring can be a great time of year to ride if you pause and take in all that nature has to offer... the birds singing, frogs croaking, scents of flowers and trees blooming, the peacefulness (and wetness) after it rains, and the warmth of the sun on a chilly morning, nothing like it! It amazes me what can be seen before the trees and bushes grow their leaves. There is always something new to see even on roads we've ridden many, many times. So be on the lookout and enjoy all that spring riding has to offer!

The new KBC Jerseys have arrived. If you purchased one and have not yet picked it up, they will be available for pick-up before the Monthly Meeting on April 12 from 6:30 P.M. to 6:55 P.M. at the Maple Street YMCA. If you would like to purchase a jersey, we do have a few extras available for $65.00 each (cash or check only). I'm looking forward to seeing these new jerseys on the road!

I also just want to remind everyone that in April club rides will be starting at 6:00 P.M. on weekday evenings. Looking ahead, May club rides will be starting at 6:15 P.M.

Happy riding!

While distributing jerseys, I was chatting with a member who had two of his bikes stolen out of his garage earlier this year. He fortunately registered his bikes with the City of Portage so if they are found, they will be returned to him. This is a good reminder for anyone living in the City of Portage that they offer bike registrations. More information can be found at the link below. I'm pretty sure the City of Kalamazoo also offers bike registrations but could not find anything on their website. I'll dig into it and let you next month.


In concluding, many of you know that April's Pedal Press is Rick Whaley's last newsletter after compiling them for over 8 years; that's a long time! Rick has done an outstanding job keeping the i's dotted, t's crossed, the content relevant and thought-provoking, and exhibited much patience and understanding when articles were submitted after their due date. On behalf of KBC, I would like to thank Rick for the excellence he delivered and time spent on each Pedal Press, it is appreciated more than he knows! Thank You Rick!!! :)

Be safe on the roadways!

Have a great March!

Renee Mitchell :)
President, KBC



Next KBC Monthly Meeting on April 12, 2016

The next KBC Monthly Meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at the Kalamazoo YMCA on Maple Street. All KBC members are welcome to attend.


New Pedal Press Editor Starting Next Issue

New Pedal Press Editor Starting Next Issue

Starting with the May issue of the Pedal Press, Doug Kirk will be our new Editor. For more information about this, see the Editor's Letter elsewhere in this issue.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor


KBC Awards $2500 Grant for the Markin Glen Mountain Bike Trail Project

The Southwest Michigan Mountain Biking Association (SWMMBA) has launched a project to construct a natural surface, single-track mountain biking trail at Markin Glen County Park. The trail build project is a joint venture between the SWMMBA and Kalamazoo County Parks. The trail is of professional design that places a priority on sustainability and options for all levels of rider. The group anticipates starting construction this spring with completion in 2016 or 2017, depending on weather and funding. The total cost of the project is $186,000 and includes an endowment to sustain the trail for the 25 years of the joint venture.

Through the KBC grant funding process, the SWMMBA sought the club's support. Their funding proposal says that the project "Presents an opportunity to transform underutilized park acreage into a bike-specific community resource that will yield wellness/fitness, recreational, economic development, and environmental benefits for generations to come."

The KBC grant committee found the application to be complete and well researched and the project in keeping with the club's mission. The KBC executive board approved the committee's recommendation to award the requested $2500 for the project. As part of the grant agreement, the SWMMBA will provide a project report to KBC within a year of the award. The SWMMBW acknowledges KBC support on the project's website and plans to also do so on-trail signage.

More information about the trail project can be found at www.maplehilltrail.com.

SWMMBA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit mountain bike group with a mission of building bike facilities and constructing sustainable trails to inspire people to actively explore the outdoors by bicycle. This all-volunteer organization built and maintains and manages the existing mountain bike trail system at Fort Custer State Recreation Area in Augusta, Michigan.

Celine Keizer, KBC Grant Committee


KalTour Committee Meeting

On Tuesday evening March 15, eleven people gathered for a meeting of the revived KalTour Committee in a crowded room on the lower level of a crowded Portage Library. In attendance were: Chris Barnes, Terry Butcher, Barb Hart, John Hart, Aliceanne Inskeep, Mark Jensen, Marc Irwin, Mike Krischer, John Olbrot, Scott Powers, and Doug Wales.

There was a wide ranging discussion of issues relating to KalTour. Some of the items would not be considered to be of earth-shaking importance such as whether to offer pickles at lunch or to add M & M's to the trail mix. On the other hand, other agenda items could lead to major differences in the operation and format of KalTour.

Organized ride groups at KalTour have been increasing in popularity. Informal ride groups have already been forming on Facebook before the ride. There was consensus that this trend should be recognized and encouraged by being mentioned in available print and on-line outlets.

Road safety is always a concern. It was decided that a statement of the need to follow rules of the road should be added to the flier and the website. Ride groups should be similarly reminded at the start of the ride.

A new sandwich vendor will be chosen. Various alternatives will be investigated.

Problems with route markings were discussed. Greater advance warning of turns is needed, particularly ahead of rolling turns (when the route does not require a stop). A few particularly troublesome spots were discussed and signs in addition to painted arrows could be used.

There is interest in an around-the-county century and Terry Butcher presented some possible routes. Issues regarding the lunch stops for shorter routes would have to be considered.

KalTour cannot operate without broad-based support from members of the club, but the turnout at the committee meeting is a clear indication that this support does indeed exist. I hope that even more KBC members will join in to help plan, prepare, and run KalTour.

Mike Krischer, KalTour Director


KBC's Friend of Bicycling Award - A History in Picture

The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club's Friend of Bicycling Award is voted on and awarded annually at the club's December meeting. It recognizes an individual or other entity that "significantly advanced the interests of bicycling."

This article is a pictorial gallery of all the Friend of Bicycling Award recipients to date. Photos and captions have been edited to focus on the presentation; names are listed left to right. An expanded retrospective will be posted on the KBC's website later this year.

2011: Friends of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trailway

Toni Thompson accepting, Zolton Cohen presenting
Back row: Dave Rachowicz and Kyle Lewis

2012: Department of Streets and Equipment, City of Portage

Ray Waurio and Jack Hartman accepting,
Zolton Cohen presenting (not pictured)

2013: Breakaway Bicycle and Fitness of Portage

Paul Wells accepting, Zolton Cohen presenting

2014: Open Roads Bike Program

Zolton Cohen presenting, Ethan Alexander accepting
Back row: Matt Semelbauer and Brian Morris

2015: Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study

Zolton Cohen presenting, David Anderson accepting

2016: Kalamazoo Charter Township

Ron Reid accepting, Renee Mitchell presenting

The Friend of Bicycling Award is presented in the year after the December meeting, which allows time for production, scheduling the presentation, and the holidays. A side benefit of using the year of presentation on the plaque is that the award does seem a year out of date the moment it is presented.

Throughout the year, you can e-mail your appreciation in the form of a brief kudos for organizations and individuals that have contributed to making our community even more bike friendly, to KBC's Award's Committee, at awardscommittee@kalamazoobicycleclub.org.

Kudos are published in the Pedal Press soon after they are received and are a great way to show your appreciation throughout the year. They also serve as a base of names from which future Award nominees may be submitted.

For more information about how to submit annual nominations (which are due on the second Tuesday of November each year), see kalamazoobicycleclub.org/club/community.php.

Photo Credits: Paul Selden (2011-2013, 2015), Zolton Cohen (2016), Unknown at time of publication (2014)

Paul Selden


Bike Camp 2016 on the Horizon

Do you have family or friends you'd like to ride with, but who you can't seem to convince to hop on a bike? Are they hesitant to ride on the roadway because they don't know how or feel it is unsafe? Do they need to know the basics of efficient and safe cycling?

If so, encourage those potential cyclists to sign up for KBC's Bike Camp 2016. Bike Camp is a multi-session training and informational program targeted toward bicyclists just getting into the sport, and those who desire to improve their biking skills, fitness, and knowledge of cycling in a friendly group environment. Participants will learn how to ride a bike properly, efficiently, and safely on public roads. Bike fitting, fitness goals, nutrition and maintenance are some of the topics covered. Families, adults new to road cycling, and those renewing their interest in the sport can all benefit from Bike Camp.

Bike Camp Dates

  • Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 6:30 P.M. - The first session, an orientation and informational meeting, is held at the Greater Kalamazoo Association of Realtors (GKAR) Auditorium located at 5830 Venture Park Drive, Kalamazoo. No bikes are needed at this session.
  • Saturdays, May 14 - June 4, 2016 at 8:30 A.M. - Four informational and training (riding) sessions held at the Portage YMCA, 2900 West Centre Avenue, Portage.
  • Sunday, June 26, 2016 - Bike Camp concludes with participation in KBC's KalTour, the Kalamazoo Scenic Bicycle Tour, which starts at Bronson Athletic Club on 9th Street in Oshtemo Township.


  • $50.00 for individuals signing up on or before May 1.
  • $60.00 for individuals signing up after May 1.
  • $60.00 for families signing up on or before May 1.
  • $70.00 for families singing up after May 1.

For additional information or to register, go to www.kalamazoobicycleclub.org/club/bikeCamp.php.

If you would like to volunteer at Bike Camp or have questions, please e-mail


Thank you!

KBC's Bike Camp Committee


The 16th Annual W Ride

Question: What Springtime Activity Do KBC Members Look Forward To The Most?

A. Mowing the lawn.

B. Cleaning the garage.

C. Riding the W Ride!

The answer, of course, is C!

And this year, the 16th Annual W Ride will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 9:00 A.M., starting at the east parking lot of Vicksburg High School.

Because this is an even numbered year, we'll be doing the W Ride Non-Classic Route, i.e., east-west-east. So, when we leave the parking lot, we'll turn left and ride on W Avenue until we reach the Calhoun County line. And we'll we then hitchhike back to Vicksburg? Are you kidding? We'll turn our bikes around and ride back.

Back in Vicksburg, we'll take the usual convenience store break, replenishing precious nutrients with the finest of salty and sweet treats, getting ready for W Ride, Part II, where we continue our journey on W Avenue to the Van Buren County line.

And we'll we then hitchhike back to Vicksburg? What is wrong with you? We'll turn our bikes around and ride back to Vicksburg, where we'll celebrate our accomplishment with more salty and sweet treats, courtesy of the Ride Leader.

One ride, one road, 48 miles. Maps will be provided to those who can't handle a straight line. Rick Whaley will lead the main group of riders, and the speed will be around 15 to 18 mph, depending on who else participates. Given the way that he has been riding so far this year, it will probably be towards the slower end of that range. And there will probably be other groups of riders who will be riding either slower or faster.

So, come ride the only 16th Annual W Ride in the history of the universe! You'll bitterly regret it if you don't, unless the temperature is 35 degrees and sleeting, which never happens, because the weather is always wonderful on the day of the W Ride!

Rick Whaley, W Ride Leader


Rules of the Road Reminder

With spring here, we'll soon be dusting off our bikes, greasing our chains, pumping up our tires, checking our brakes, and hitting the roads for cycling fun and adventure. It's important to prepare our bikes after the winter months, but it's also important to prepare our minds for a great riding season ahead. Listed below are the League of American Bicyclists Rules of the Road to remind us all that we are not alone on the roadways. As members of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club, it's our duty to follow these rules of the road and to set the example of proper bicycling in our communities. These rules help us to become safe and confident cyclists while sharing the roadway with others. More information can be found on LAB's website at www.bikeleague.org.

League of American Bicyclists - Rules of the Road

The League's five Rules of the Road prepare you for a safe and fun bicycling no matter where you're riding.

Follow the Law

Your safety and image of bicyclists depend on you. You have the same rights and duties as drivers. Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic; use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.

Be Predictable

Make your intentions clear to everyone on the road. Ride in a straight line and don't swerve between parked cars. Signal turns and check behind you well before turning or changing lanes.

Be Conspicuous

Ride where people can see you and wear bright clothing. Use a front white light, red rear light and reflectors when visibility is poor. Make eye contact with others and don't ride on sidewalks.

Think Ahead

Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other people on bikes will do next. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look out for debris, potholes, and other road hazards. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.

Ride Ready

Check that your tires have sufficient air, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick release levers are closed. Carry tools and supplies that are appropriate for your ride. Wear a helmet.

(Source: www.bikeleague.org/content/rules-road-0)

Renee Mitchell, KBC President


Legally Speaking with Bob Mionske: Group Ride Etiquette

(Editor's Note: The following article appeared in the VeloNews website on February 8, 2016. It was submitted by Doug Kirk, who obtained the author's permission to reprint it here.)

A new year is underway and so is a new season of bike racing. For most of us, racing is still a ways away, but group rides are already heating up.

For some of us, that can present a problem. Group rides mean different things to different riders. Seasoned racers will be getting in base miles with an eye toward fitness for the first races, which may still be a few months away. Other riders see group rides as a race, and to "win" the group ride is the goal, no matter the month. With these differing motivations, the group behavior can be a bit schizophrenic; this can be dangerous and leave a horrible impression especially with the non-cycling public.

What kind of group rider are you?

Back when I was racing, we would often start the preseason in the warmth of California, and riding with locals who were already in form and ready to race presented a few immediate challenges, which both had to do with self-control. The first was having the discipline not to go into full race mode - after all, I had to be at peak form in July, not January. The second challenge is what I write about now, the individual's contribution to an unruly group ride.

Those early season group rides in winter sun quickly turned into races that completely ignored all rules of the road, and even if you were simply following wheels near the back, you would be part of group that was behaving like an unruly mob, having taken over the road. When motorists complained, they would be ignored or worse yet, flipped off.

Now that cycling is mainstream, group rides can be found everywhere in the country, and while a commendable number of these are law-abiding and controlled in their behavior, others continue to be a problem. Within the group, seasoned riders may try to maintain some safe decorum but with so many newbies with expensive bikes, athletic backgrounds, and egos to feed, the rides can be chaotic.

It is easy to see how cyclists literally get swept up into contributing to behavior that is abhorrent and out of character. Add to the mix self-interest and egos that need to be stroked and you have a recipe for disaster.

Those who join a ride that ignores the rules of the road and violates the right-of-way of people in motor vehicles, on foot, or even also on a bike, should realize that they are contributing to a malady that can have permutations that extend well beyond short-sighted ambitions like making the front group, "beating" a higher category rider, or "winning" the group ride. These negative externalities include souring the public to our presence on the road, leading to retaliatory behavior, exposure to legal liability, and even legal assaults on our very right to the road.

This behavior creates an enormous public-relations problem for us with the general public and with their legislative representatives. We have a constitutional right to the road, as I established in my book "Bicycling & the Law." However, that doesn't stop various legislatures from passing anti-cycling laws, and the more egregious our behavior, the more legislators will hear from their constituents. And of course, being roadies, we are the most immediately identifiable of the various cycling tribes.

There is something about riding in a group that creates a dangerous dynamic. Instead of being one rider responsible for your own choices, you are but a single member of a group, and the "group" has its own identity. While you may never choose to illegally sprint through a red light on your own, when you are in a group you are following a wheel, holding your position, maintaining the gap you worked so hard to establish. Typically, the riders making the critical decisions are those at the head of the group. Therefore, the pace and style of the ride can be determined by whoever is feeling frisky, except in controlled group rides, which are becoming more common.

But what can you do as a single cyclist? If you drop off the ride will it change anything?

The combination of adrenaline and operating a bicycle at speed while at maximum effort can lead to bad decisions and this is without considering the effect of the group on the individual. Waiting until you are caught up in the mix is not the best time to consider who you are as a rider and your role in group scofflaw riding.

Instead, be like the pros who don't allow themselves to get sucked into an ego-driven pre-season "race" on a training ride, and ask yourself some questions now, as the new season begins. Do you want to go with the pack even when it is breaking the law, endangering other road users, alienating the public and giving our sport and mode of transport a bad name? And if you answer in the negative, what can and should you do? Drop off the ride? Talk to the offenders? Attempt to curb the group's behavior? These are all questions best asked when you are closer to base heart rate and not when at threshold. That's when you can best think about what kind of group rider you are, and what kind you want to be.

Remember, while you personally may be able to avoid being ticketed for your part of a group ride that violates traffic laws (this isn't always the case), individual riders on group rides that have injured pedestrians, other cyclists, or caused a motor vehicles to lose control have personally been sued. Because the injured party in these actions can rarely specify who caused their injuries they will name, in their suit, any riders they can identify from the group. Under a different theory of law, lawsuits in these cases will also seek to attach legal liability to clubs, shops and even racing teams that are, in some way, affiliated with the group ride. Not exactly the best way to attract and keep sponsorship for our sport.

To the extent you participate in out-of-control group rides you are a part of the problem and you unwittingly give ammunition to anti-cycling legislation and injure our public perception.


Safety Corner - A Safe Ride is a Happier Ride

KBC's ride season has begun! Once warmer weather kicks in for good, many of us will be dusting off and warming up our saddles again. Habits and skills set aside for the winter may take a while to become second nature again. Here are five quick reminders of a few safety basics in the meantime.

1. You must wear a helmet to participate in any Kalamazoo Bicycle Club ride.

2. Wear highly visible clothing and eye protection such as sunglasses.

3. Use lights and reflectors as required by law.

4. Riding more than two abreast is not legal on public roads and aggravates motorists (who may vote on road funding issues).

5. Bicyclists are required to ride as far to the right as "practicable" with certain exceptions.

You'll find these tips and more on KBC's website at


E- mail your tips for future Safety Corner articles to me at


Have a great (and safe) ride!

Paul Selden, KBC Director of Road Safety


Team Clark Logic Race Report

(Editor's Note: The following is a race report from Jesse Koistra about the Melting Mann Dirt Road Bike Challenge, held in Vandalia, Michigan on March 20.)

The first race of the seasons is always a mixed bag. You are excited to be back racing, but at the same time, you know that the first race is often the most painful race of the year. Cycling, like any other endurance sport, takes a fair amount of acclimation. Cold early season races can make your lungs and muscles scream!

Lining up at the start for Melting Mann, I felt a little shaken. I had been thrown off schedule by factors outside of my control and I frazzle pretty easily. My warm up had been cut short and I was left with a feeling of not being ready. As an added facet of pre-race discomfort, I was also struggling against my breakfast which would not sit still! Thankfully, once the race started, there was no time to remember my anxiousness or stomach; all I could do was pedal.

There was an unspoken agreement for the first two miles of the race. The fast riders would put in some digs at the front, and hopefully shed the slow guys as quickly as possible. This plan didn't work at all.

The course conditions were much better than normal, and as such, a large group of riders was having no trouble keeping pace. It was an easy day to hide in the wind shadows of the riders at the front. This was the story of the race, at least until we hit Mann Road.

Mann Road is an almost inconceivable combination of steep gradient and loose gravel. This was where the group exploded. I hit the turn onto Mann Road as the third wheel back from the front; I should have been more careful. I didn't realize just how loose the road surface was, and my tight inside line was terminated by the "road," that is a sandpit pointed towards the sky. I made about a half dozen pedal strokes, then decided to abort. Jumping off my bike and throwing it over my shoulder I began to run as fast as I could. The surprising part about running up a steep incline is that you can often go faster than your pedaling counterparts, but not today.

I had been dropped off the leading two riders and they had quickly escaped 50 meters up the hill. I wasn't ready to give up, and during a short respite from the hill's steep incline, I was able to jump back on my bike. With my heart rate now completely pegged, I was digging deep to make gains back onto the leaders. It wasn't working, curse those tiny little climbers!

Faltering in the despair of total exertion, I was rescued by the encouraging words of my teammate Joe T. Sometimes all you need is someone to suffer with; Joe dragged my miserable butt up that hill and back into the leaders group. This was when the tides began shifting in my favor.

Before we had popped through the hills, the strongest rider in the group had a flat tire. Having now made it through the hillier sections of the course, I was no longer at a disadvantage to the smaller riders, and was feeling much more in my element. I was in the lead group of eight, and I began to think I could snatch a win. It's funny how we often think too far in advance.

The last four miles of the race were frustrating. The tactics game of "Who's gunna make a move?" had begun, and at the same time, my breakfast had began making encore appearances. My feelings had quickly changed. My focus went from "How can I win this?" to "Calm down stomach, ya'll pipe down!"

Approaching the finish line I did have a few moments I am proud of. First, I was conscious of my wheel position, and was always on the "free side" ready to answer any last second attacks. I messed this up a lot last season, and missed many opportunities as a result. I'm glad that lesson stuck with me through the winter. Second, when the guys in front of me blew up, I didn't wait to get swarmed. Unlucky as it was, I was the last body on the front with 200 meters to go, so I did. Though this wasn't the best strategy for my personal gain, I was able to recognize an opportunity to push the sprint to the advantage of my teammate. Joe was a few wheels back, and I knew a fast finish would put him in a better spot to win.

Joe was able to claim the sprint finish with a resounding victory. Exhausted before the line, I had slipped back to fourth.

Even though I was a little disappointed to not make a podium, there was no doubt we had raced really well. I'm proud of our team. Not only did we show strength in our overall results, we also had representation in nearly every age group, bike, and mileage category. Team Clark Logic is already making some serious tracks this season.

I'm so glad that the race season is now upon us. It was good to be back in the saddle and to be reminded what all the training is for. Even if a race doesn't come together perfectly, it's still a joy to be racing. What could be better?!? Next stop Barry Roubaix!

Jesse Koistra


Upcoming KBC Events

Bike Camp 2016

Orientation Night, Wednesday, May 11, 2016

4 Saturday Sessions - May 14, 21, 28 and June 4.

KBC's Annual W Ride - Saturday, April 23, 2016.

KalTour 2016 - Sunday, June 26, 2016.

March Monthly Meeting Minutes

Present: Ala Al-fuqana ( WMU faculty), Jun Oh (WMU faculty), Kap Ro (WMU faculty), David Jones, David Riggs, Gordy Vader, John Olbrot, Jonathan Evans, Marc Irwin, Mark Lemons, Michael Krischer, Mike Boersma, Monica Tory, Pam Sotherland, Paul Sotherland, Renee Mitchell, Rick Whaley, Scott Baron, Steve Ricci, Ted Robinson, Terry Butcher, Terry O'Connor, Tim Popp and Valerie Litznerski

Welcome & Introductions

Renee Mitchell called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.

WMU Bike Research Project Presentation

The WMU Transportation Research Center for Livable Communities is looking for volunteers/participants, to test an app that they are producing, to ride and instrumental bicycle in order to study bicycle dynamics, and to ride a bicycle simulator.

The WMU faculty is developing a Bikeable Route Mobile App for cyclists to report risk factors and provide reliable information to create routes and identify safe locations to ride. The faculty would like to open the app to individuals, such as the members of the KBC, to test it. The faculty will survey participants and ask for input before and after the app is used and that survey will be available online shortly for input from the community prior to the release of the app. The app is scheduled to be available on multiple platforms, such as iOS, android, and windows phone, at the end of March. The faculty is looking for diverse group of cyclists who ride at all skill levels in urban and rural environments. They are using some Strava data and enhancing it with additional data. They will record data about riding habits and what conditions and routes are favored by cyclists.

The data instrument equipped bicycle will be ridden on a specific route and cyclists of different skill levels will ride on the route. Information about how the cyclists react to different conditions will be collected and analyzed.

The bicycle simulator will test the cyclist on a simulated ride through campus to see how the cyclists react. This is currently in development and the estimated completion will be in a few months.

Friend of Bicycling

A thank you e-mail from Ron E Reid, Supervisor, Kalamazoo Charter Township, was shared with the club. They were honored to receive the reward when simply doing what they felt was right for the community.

Kalamazoo Bicycle Club Jerseys

The Jerseys are expected to arrive in April.

Maple Hill Trail

Meg Zapalowski, Vice President of the Southwest Michigan Mountain Bike Association, sent an e-mail to the club to thank the club for their donation. A social gathering was hosted by the SWMMBA the week after the meeting, open to members of KBC among other supporters of the trail.

KBC Ride Captain

The position of KBC Ride Captain will be assumed by Terry Butcher. He will help to support and organize club rides so that they are more inviting to a greater number of cyclists.

Treasurer Report

Mike Boersma presented a financial report. There is $928.79 in our Pay Pal account (this represents online membership payments from KBC members), $4527.53 in our checking account, and $11,156.96 in our CD.

Other Topics

The new KBC website has been discussed. A new website design will be an upcoming expense and hosting needs to be reviewed, as there may be more competitively priced options. The website committee has met and is currently looking at quotes and reaching out to designers.

The KBC is also reviewing payment methods and also on-site credit card transactions for rides and also looking for an apparel manager to manage the inventory of hats and jerseys.

There was a discussion of how social media can be better utilized to expand the reach of the club, increase participation in KalTour and to recruit new members. Facebook events can be created and the board members and club members can extend personal invitations to friends and other teams and groups.

In the future, the Pedal Press may be in PDF format. The KBC is investigating the efficiency of using this as a format.

Marc Irwin surveyed the meeting attendees for a tag line to put in the KBC brochure that is currently in development. There will be a press release to let that community know that the ride season is beginning.

Mike Krischer asked for volunteers to help plan KalTour. A Facebook post will be placed online to ask for participation in the planning meeting, to be held on March 15. (Editor's Note: See the article about this meeting elsewhere in this Pedal Press.)

Bike Camp brochures for 2016 were passed out. Pam Sotherland, Paul Sotherland, and Scott Baron will be on the Bike Camp Committee to plan and organize bike camp. There have been 30-60 participants in the past at camp sessions. There are three different ride groups for campers that will need the support of volunteers.

Ride leaders were sanctioned. They are David Riggs, Gordy Vader, Jonathan Evans, Monica Tory, Terry Butcher, Terry O'Connor, and Tim Popp.

The clue has a need for a ride leader that will lead groups that are slower and are no-drop rides. Individuals who are willing to lead rides that are less than 15 mph are requested to reach out to the KBC.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:12 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Val Litznerski, KBC Secretary



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Editor's Letter - Getting from Point B to Point C and Beyond

Soon after I moved back to the Kalamazoo area in November of 2007, I was asked by Zolton Cohen, who was then the Pedal Press Editor, if I'd like to take his place. After thinking about it for a while, I thought to myself "Why not?" So, starting with the March 2008 issue, I became the editor of our newsletter and 98 issues later, here we are.

It's been fun. With perhaps a couple of late night semi-self imposed deadline exceptions, I've enjoyed editing the Pedal Press. I've enjoyed reading the contributions that others have made to the Pedal Press and I've enjoyed writing the Editor's Letter. And I think that you all have enjoyed reading the Pedal Press, as well; at least no one's registered their disapproval by firebombing my house yet.

But it's time to move on and let someone else edit our newsletter. I think that it's a good thing that U.S. Presidents can't serve for more than 8 years and by that standard, I'm been editor for two months too long. Change and new ideas can be good. Besides, I'm leaving the Pedal Press in good cycling gloves. Starting with the May issue, Doug Kirk will be our new KBC Pedal Press Editor.

I don't think Doug needs an extensive introduction. He has been one of the most influential KBC members for years, and in one of his many roles with the KBC, he served as the Pedal Press Editor around the turn of the 21st Century. Those of you who are familiar with the literary styling of Axel Kleat and have read Doug's novel "The Spin" know that he can write very well, just like Zolton, our previous Editor (and previous Club President). I'm looking forward to reading what Doug has to say and seeing what he does with the Pedal Press.

But before I stop typing, allow me to reminisce. I titled my first Editor's Letter "An Introduction, a Thank You, and How I Got from Point A to Point B." While apparently suffering under the illusion that I would be getting paid for my editor writing efforts per title word, I explained how I had arrived from Point A, a childhood cyclist, to Point B, an editor of a cycling club newsletter. While I won't rehash what I had said in that Editor's Letter (and my future autobiographer will, no doubt, be writing about that, anyway), what I will say is that in my time between Point B and the present Point C, I've ridden approximately 52,700 miles, commuted to work 439 times via bicycle, participated in 5 DALMACs and 5 24 hours races (one successful), eaten innumerable energy gels, done a few hundred KBC after work rides, gotten about 25 flat tires, run over one animal (the animal won), continued to chase my lost youth doing KBC Tuesday Night Time Trials, named my skullcap "Skully," and watched my hair turn grayer,

And why would I do that? Because sometimes there was nothing on TV. But if you're asking this question about my skullcap, aside from the fact that it just sounds better than the name "Cappy," it was done to "amuse" one of my coworkers after a cold weather commute to work, as a "Never-appearing-at-a-comedy-club-near-you" ventriloquist act with the skullcap as my dummy. So far, I've avoided giving names to any of my other cycling clothes, except for Skully's ventriloquist dummy buddy, my balaclava, a.k.a. "Clava Man." As for now, my KBC cycling caps remain nameless. And I've resisted naming any of my bicycle parts, although I've certainly called them names from time to time. This might be just as well, since giving names to objects can have consequences.

A couple Saturdays ago, I participated in a group bicycle ride. It was a cool morning, so I wore a long sleeve base layer, a cycling jersey, a cycling vest, arm warmers, cycling tights, and a skullcap. We rode south, crossing the covered bridge over the St. Joseph River, and about a half mile later, we stopped at the park along the river to take a brief break. I fished a package of Clif Shot Bloks out of one of my jersey pockets for some needed nourishment, and took off my vest and skullcap, as the temperature had risen about 10 degrees since the start of the ride. We then began heading back to Kalamazoo, and after I got home and emptied my jersey pockets, I discovered that there was no skullcap. I had left it at the park.

At this point, I had two options. Option A: Spend about 20 dollars and buy a new skullcap. Option B: Waste a little over an hour of my time driving back to the park to retrieve my skullcap and spend 50 miles worth of gas in the process. Now if this had been some sort of anonymous skullcap, this would have been a hard decision, but it wasn't just an ordinary skullcap; this was Skully. I could picture Skully at the park feeling lost and abandoned. I could also picture the crestfallen look on my coworker's face, as I explained to her the following Monday about the manner in which Skully had met his fate. So, I had to go back. Besides, it was a nice day for a drive. Seventy minutes later, Skully was back home where he belonged.

I suspect that this isn't just me; if any of us for whatever strange reason decides to name an inanimate object that we own, it becomes more important to us. Similarly, if I call myself a cyclist, it means that the activity of riding a bicycle has become a more important part of my life, and in this case I know that this isn't just me. Then we're ready for the next step; to actually become a cyclist. As I noted in my first Editor's Letter, my years in the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club taught me what it was like to be a cyclist. And the learning, no matter how trivial or profound, doesn't stop.

For example, a few days ago, I did another Saturday group ride. That ride taught me that it's not a good idea to drop back from the pack to take a drink of water if you're not sure that you can accelerate and latch back onto the back of the pack. I did, I couldn't, and I didn't. So, I rode the last 20 miles of the ride alone after learning a new way to be dropped. It wasn't one of my favorite rides, but it was a ride. And it occurred to me that even though I was miles from my house, I was still back home.

Rick Whaley, KBC Newsletter Editor

Some Upcoming Rides of Interest

Saturday, April 16, Founders Barry-Roubaix-Killer Gravel Road Race. Hastings, MI. 22 36, and 62 miles. www.barry-roubaix.com.

Saturday, May 14. Trailblazer. Kalamazoo. 25, 35, 45, 70, and 100 miles. www.kalcounty.com/parks/krvt.

Wednesday through Sunday, August 31 - September 4. 46th Annual Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw (DALMAC) Bicycle Tour. Four rides over 4 or 5 days, ranging from 290 to 411 miles. Registration has begun and all rides fill up quickly. www.DALMAC.org.

Classified Ads

New Ad: Two Bicycles for Sale

Burley Rock and Roll - $650

Rock and Roll Model: 54cm/47cm, red frame, 26 x 1.25 Fat Boys, 52/42/28 Sachs Crank, 30-12/7-speed Freewheel, Deore XT group, Sun Rhyno 48 spoke wheels, 3 bottle cages, rear rack. At home on the trail or road.

New Ad: Specialized Allez M2 Road bike - $450

1999: Blue/Red accents, 58cm frame, carbon fork, Mavic Open Pro wheels, Campagnolo Crank (53/42), 23-12/9-speed Freewheel, Veloce brakes, Chorus shifting. One owner.

For both bicycles, contact Scott Aldrich at (269) 720-6007.

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,
Calling all FEMALE runners! The Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and 5K is Sunday, April 17. Sign up now to participate in this all-female event that has raised more than $90,000 for charity over the last few years.
More info at gazellegirlhalfmarathon.com/

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

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.