Wednesday, November 2, 2005
The upcoming Mt. Hood Cycling Classic is climbing fast among the ranks of the US National Racing Calendar’s (NRC) 15 venues. As the smallest host city in the NRC, Hood River offers a unique race for some of the country's top road bike competitors. From the fresh air and breathtaking scenery to the city's supportive businesses and welcoming host families, the Hood River Valley is attracting more than 400 riders to the third annual event.
Professional road racers dedicate their lives to the sport. Many make very little money training and racing full time. To support financially strapped traveling competitors, cities on the NRC often arrange for riders to stay with local families to offset traveling expenses. In Hood River, 25 families are hosting more than 50 professional racers during the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic.
"I think the support Hood River is giving is outstanding," said event director Chad Sperry. "It shows how much the city is behind the event and the support reflects on Hood River as a community. Families hosting riders are volunteers and in return for their help they get a glimpse of what the uppermost level of the sport is like."
According to Sperry, host families are still being sought for 8-10 professional female racers. Anyone interested in hosting during the June 2-5 event is encouraged to contact housing coordinator Paul Blackburn at (541) 387- 4011.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge