Thursday, November 3, 2005
September 28, 2005
According to the history books, cyclo-cross racing is a sport that began in the early 1900s as a way for European road cyclists to train during winter months.
Racers, training in cold off-seasons, would hop off their bikes and carry them while running to warm up their feet and negotiate obstacles on the roadways.
A hundred-plus years later, 259 cyclo-cross racers from around the Northwest converged at Hood River Valley High School Saturday afternoon to hit the pavement, dirt, grass and trails surrounding campus in the first race of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association’s 2005 Cyclo-cross season.
From Hood River, the following racers competed:
Matt Botti, Karl Mikkelson, Michael Jones, Mike Colesar, Malcolm McCurdy, Kristen Dillon and Karen Harjo.
Highlights from the local group of racers include Harjo’s first place finish out of 21 in the Women-B division, Jones’ sixth place finish in the Men Masters division and McCurdy’s 16th place finish in the Junior division.
Cyclo-cross season is typically in the autumn and winter months. Races consist of many laps on a short (2-3 km) course that features pavement, single track, wooded trails, grass, steep hills, and obstacles requiring riders to dismount, jump over barriers and remount. Races are timed and usually run for about an hour per division.
Cyclo-cross racing has some obvious similarities with cross-country racing and many of the best cyclo-cross riders are also elite mountain bikers. Cyclo-cross bikes are similar to street bikes, with lightweight, narrow tires. Compared to other forms of racing, cyclo-cross tactics are fairly straightforward, with emphasis on rider endurance and bike-handling skills.
Races consist of many laps over a short course, ending when a set time limit (usually an hour) is reached. Generally each lap is about 90-percent rideable and 10-percent obstacles. Courses consist of a variety of terrain, ranging from roads and paved trails to grass, mud, and singletrack. Every course has sections where riders are better off dismounting and running with their bike. Obstacles can range from steep, muddy banks to man-made objects like steps and plank barriers.
To find out more about Cyclo-cross racing and the Oregon Bike Racing Association, visit www.obra.org
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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