Hood River gearing up for Cycling Classic

Early summer bicycle racing series will cruise into Hood River May 29 through June 1

The Mt. Hood Cycling Classic will be rolling through the Hood River Valley May 29-June 1, featuring five stages and a cash purse of more than $11,000.

The field of 200-plus riders will climb roughly 18,000 vertical feet in four days as they enjoy unparalleled vistas of the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood.

“The 2003 Mt. Hood Cycling Classic will be one of the most physically exhausting bicycle races on the West Coast this year,” said race organizer Chad Sperry.

“Racers will travel from sea level in Hood River to the heights of Cooper Spur Ski Area on Mt. Hood. The breathtaking views of the mountain, the river and the lush valley in between will rival the grueling climbs that the courses present,” he said.

Presented by Full Sail Brewing and hosted by Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, the five-stage event is sanctioned by the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA), and competitors will earn points toward the FIAC national championship.

There will be four divisions: Pro/semi-pro men, expert men, women’s open, and masters men (40 years or older). There is also a “kiddie stage” for 5-7 year-olds and 8-10 year-olds.

The event will get underway on Thursday, May 29, with the Panorama Point Prologue — a 2.5-mile time trial in which racers start individually at intervals and sprint the course.

On Friday, racers will head to the scenic Upper Valley, where they will compete on an 18.8-mile scenic loop, called the Cooper Spur Circuit Race.

Saturday morning is the 13-mile Scenic Gorge Time Trial that will showcase the Columbia River. Then, one of the most thrilling spectator-oriented events, the Downtown Hood River Criterium, will take place Saturday afternoon around Full Sail Brewing.

The Cycling Classic will conclude June 1, with the Three-Summit Road Race — a classic mountain race that will separate the climbers from the coasters with three separate climbs to Lost Lake, Vista Ridge, and ultimately, Cooper Spur Ski Area.

An awards ceremony and barbecue will follow at Cooper Spur. For more information, visit www.mthoodcyclingclassic.com.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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