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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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