Editorial: Lasting spin -- Travel safely and consider one man’s cycling legacy

Share the road.

This is the time of year when awareness of that concept is more important than ever. With summer’s arrival, more and more bicyclists will be recreating, commuting and competing aboard two-wheeled transport. This is magnified by the fact that school will be out on June 12, putting more kids on the road at more hours of the day.

Cyclists do need to follow the same rules of the road as cars, but as they are non-motorized, it’s important to pay attention to road widths, slopes and other site-specific conditions when cyclists are present. Safety is the most important thing, no matter the propulsion method.

As described on page A1, highway projects are about to start along two popular cycling routes: Markham Road and Dee Highway. However you get around, if you are in these areas remember to give yourself a few extra minutes, and watch for increased congestion.

Let’s take care of our flaggers and other road crew members, too: remember, “Give ‘Em A Break,” as the motto goes.

While we’re on the subject of bicycling: The popularity the sport in the Gorge grows day by day, and numerous individuals and groups deserve credit for that, perhaps none more than Chad Sperry of Breakaway Productions.

Sperry is responsible for developing the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic, among other sporting events. The classic has evolved into a premier local event, and helped define Hood River as the bicycling mecca it is. For this event and others, people come here from all over the world to enjoy the trails and roads that provide such an unbeatable combination of scenic beauty and physical challenge.

Now comes news that the classic will ride its last circuit this year, June 21-23.

For his work on the classic and his other projects, Sperry deservedly received the Business of the Year award from the Hood River Chamber of Commerce for 2012.

Sperry will be able to focus on other projects and perhaps prepare new ones that are likely to invigorate the community in the same way as the classic has done. Kudos to Sperry for his efforts with the classic and other events that give this place such a great vibe.

The classic will be missed but the essence of the event is that it raised the profile of our region in the global cycling community, something that will have a lasting benefit.

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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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