Mt. Hood Cycling Classic underway in HR valley

Bike-racing enthusiasts from all over the Northwest are on a perpetual spin cycle this weekend as the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic invades the streets of Hood River County.

Three of the five stages remain, and the competition is still anyone’s to win. But two riders rode to the forefront of the Pro-Elite division at Thursday’s Panorama Point Prologue — a two-and-a-half-mile individual time trial that took riders from Pine Grove to Panorama Point.

Out of a field of 250 riders, David Fuentes of Team Clif Bar and Dylan Sebel of Team Broadmark Capital were the only two racers to complete the course in under five minutes.

Fuentes posted a scorching time of 4 minutes, 43 seconds to win the stage, while Sebel clocked in at 4:57 for second place. Rusty Beall of Team Health Net was third with an even time of 5:00.

Lisa Magness of Team ICO posted the fastest women’s division time of 5:41, and was followed by Sue Weldon of Team Ashmead at 5:43, and Christine White of Team TDS at 5:47.

In the men’s Class 3-4 division, only seven seconds separated the top 11 finishers. Derek Archibald of Team The Valley won with a time of 5:19, barely edging out Doug Palmer (5:20) and Troy Heithecker (5:21).

Oregon’s Rich Kramer of Team Bike-n-Hike pedaled to a competitive time of 5:08 to win the Masters division, while Glenn Bunselmeyer was a close second at 5:11. Brian McGuire was third with a time of 5:13.

Friday’s second stage — the Cooper Spur Circuit Race — took riders on a distance of 75 miles, with a 6,800-foot vertical climb. However, results were not available at press time.

Saturday’s racing schedule kicks off at 9 a.m. with the 13-mile Scenic Gorge Time Trial. Competitors will then test their high-speed skills in the Downtown Hood River Criterium, which will begin at 5 p.m. at Full Sail Brewing.

The Cycling Classic will culminate Sunday with the Three-Summit Road Race — a 75-mile, 7,500-vertical-feet grinder that ends at Cooper Spur. For more, check out

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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