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Physical education teacher hire grant application now available

The Physical Education Expansion (PEEK-8 grant) was established by the state to support activities related to meeting the Physical Education requirements for instruction of students in kindergarten through grade 8 as described in OAR 581-020-0250 (adopted December 6, 2007). The teacher hire component of this grant will enable school districts and public charter schools to hire licensed physical education teachers. The grant application is available at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/news/announcements/announcement.aspx?=3320

Grant applications are due February 29. For more information please contact Margaret Bates at margaret.bates@state.or.us or 503-947-5156.

Wheelin’ on white

The mountain bikers churned slowly through the hard snow, their tires emitting crunching sounds as the riders made their way toward the Deschutes River Trail from Bend’s Farewell Bend Park.

They expressed their thoughts with laughter and some words of bewilderment.

Most bikers avoid snow and ice as much as they can, riding in it only when they come across unexpected white patches during a ride.

But come Feb. 9, many athletes will be mountain biking through snow on purpose during the Winter Triathlon National Championship at Mount Bachelor.

The event includes a 6-kilometer run, a 10K mountain bike ride, and an 8-kilometer cross-country ski (distances approximate), all on snow on Bachelor’s groomed nordic ski trails.

Many triathletes have run through ice or snow, and cross-country skiing is nothing unusual. But mountain biking in snow is foreign to most athletes.

Matt Lieto, a professional triathlete from Bend; Marshall Greene, an elite nordic skier from Bend who has won the last two Pole Pedal Paddle multisport races; and Ben Thompson and James Williams, two elite mountain bikers from Bend, were testing their mettle while biking through the snow on Wednesday.

Thompson pointed to the sheet of ice that covered portions of the Deschutes River Trail.

“This is death,” he pronounced. “We stay away from anything that’s doing the melt-freeze cycle. The canal roads are pretty good out at Smith Rock. Anything out east is pretty dry.”

So ice, understandably, is avoided. But do some mountain bikers ever actually seek out snow?

“No; however, we live in Bend and we ride bikes,” Thompson explained. “A ’cross (cyclocross) bike is usually what we ride in the winter — you can go off road and on road. The colder the better, if you have to ride in the snow. There’s no melt-freeze ice, and it’s lighter snow. It just blows up and moves out of your way, just like skiing.”

Unfortunately, competitors in the winter triathlon cannot choose their snow conditions. Greene said that firm, groomed snow would be optimal for bike riding — a fresh dump would cause some havoc.

“For the technical part, you just have to spend time on the snow,” Greene suggested. “Get out at least two or three times so you can have different snow conditions, because that can make a big difference. There’s a decent chance it could be really soft if we get a lot of snow leading up to (the triathlon).”

No matter what the conditions, Lieto and Greene — employees at Bend Bike ’N Sport who both plan to compete in the winter triathlon — recommend running tires at lower air pressure. Most of the top winter triathletes keep their bike tires at about 20 pounds per square inch (PSI) for races, which is considered extremely low.

“If you did that (kept tires at 20 PSI) on concrete, you’d get a flat, because you’d pinch the tire,” Greene said.
Mountain bike tires are typically set at about 40 PSI. But lower air pressure allows more of the tire to come in contact with the ground, making for better traction, according to Lieto.

Many bike shops sell studded tires, but they are typically useful only in extremely icy conditions, Greene said.
Both Lieto and Greene recommend using 29-inch wheels, larger than the standard 26-inch size. The bigger wheels create more contact with the snow, improving traction.

While riding in snow, keeping the bike in a higher (easier to pedal) gear gives the riders more control as the tires spin through the snow at a faster pace, Lieto explained. Clipless pedals are necessary to stay in control and maintain rhythm — without them, the tires could spin out.

Lieto added that “soft hands” are a key to riding in snow.

“It sounds weird, but if you’re stiff, you’ll crash,” Lieto said. “Let the front tire go a little bit — like riding in sand in the middle of summer.”

For the running stage of the triathlon, competitors usually wear track spikes or attach screws to the bottoms of their trail-running shoes.

For clothing, Greene said that an outfit similar to what a person would wear nordic skiing is best for the triathlon, such as Lycra tights with possibly a cycling chamois. A skullcap worn under a cycling helmet is also helpful in cold weather.
The sport of winter triathlon, popular in Europe, is still gaining a foothold in the United States. It has a following in Colorado, where the Winter Triathlon National Championship has been staged since 2001.

Getting athletes to bike and run in the snow may not be easy, but Central Oregon figures to have quite a few competitors who are up for the challenge, including endurance sports enthusiasts like Lieto and Greene.

“We do stupid stuff already,” Lieto said. “We’re used to it.”
WINTER TRIATHLON NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

What:
6-kilometer run, 10K mountain bike ride, and 8-kilometer cross-country ski (distances approximate). Elite race and an age-group race.

When:
Saturday, Feb. 9.

Where:
Mt. Bachelor nordic trails.

Contact: Register at usatriathlon.org or www.mtbachelor.com. Cost is $67 before Feb. 1 and $77 thereafter.

Article by Mark Morical, The Bend Bulletin, January 18, 2008

POVA unveils new name, brand

The Portland Oregon Visitors Association (POVA) has changed its name to Travel Portland. The agency has also unveiled its new logo and launched a redesigned website. These changes, which will be followed by others throughout the year, represent the most visible public elements of Travel Portland’s new brand.

Although Travel Portland is new as the moniker for the association, the wording has been in use for several years now, both as the address for Travel Portland’s website (www.travelportland.com) and as the title of the city’s official visitor magazine. The rechristening of the association now unifies all components of the Travel Portland brand under the same umbrella.

“It’s exciting to see the brand make its debut,” said Jeff Miller, Travel Portland’s president and CEO. “One of the things we wanted the brand to capture was Portland’s warm and authentic feel. The new name accomplishes that – it definitely has friendlier, more welcoming ring to it.”

Sockeye Creative, Inc., a local branding agency, has been working with Travel Portland since May 2007 to define and develop the destination’s voice. Sockeye’s work included identifying Portland’s key personality traits, gathering visitor perceptions, and then incorporating those elements into both an overall messaging strategy and a new look.

“We had always positioned Portland as environmentally conscious, outdoorsy, independent, creative, friendly and unfiltered,” explained Miller. “Our goal with the new brand is to not only continue to highlight these traits but to add a sophisticated urban element – something we hadn’t focused on heavily before.”

Travel Portland serves as the official destination marketing office for Portland, Oregon. The agency’s mission is to strengthen the region’s economy by marketing the metropolitan Portland area as a preferred destination for meetings, conventions, and leisure travel.

Click below to view Travel Portland’s new website.

Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic recap

The third annual Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic was held this weekend in perfect conditions off the Oregon Coast. Waves as high as 40 feet slammed the Oregon coast under sunny skies and windless conditions.

Behemoth LLC, the contest organizers made the call last week to run the contest on Friday January 11, based on favorable forecasts from Friday and again on Sunday. John Forse, quickly becoming known for his ability to call the contest on the perfect day, made the right call.

“When we woke up on Friday, the ocean was small and very windy, basically a worse case scenario”, said Forse. “Everyone was antsy, and we told them to hang tough it is going to get good.”

And he was right on. By 1PM, the wind had died and the ocean had come up. By the time the event started at 1:45, the waves were well over 35 feet and still getting larger.

“One set came through that was easily 50 to 60 feet on the faces”, said Shawn Alladio, the head of the K-38 safety crew. There was only enough time in the afternoon to hold the first round of heats, with the rest of the event on hold until Sunday morning. Right on cue, the ocean came alive at first light on Sunday, along with the rarely seen Oregon winter sun.

For the second day, the contest was blessed with solid 40-foot waves and no wind. Also adding to the excitement of the second day was the sighting of an unwelcome spectator, a great white shark, in the lineup. Luckily, he was just watching.
Making it to the finals this year were 2 Brazilian teams, Yuri Soledade/Rodrigo Resende, and Eraldo Gueiros/ Everaldo Pato. Also in the finals were the teams of Adam Replogle/Alistair Craft, Osh Bartlett/Tyler Fox, and Homer Henard/Matt Rockhold.

It was a close finals, especially after Yuri Soledade’s crazy barrel on a monster scored a 9.5. But it wasn’t enough to hold off the years of experience Adam Replogle and Alistair Craft have at Nelscott. The results are as follows:

First Place (44.75) $7500.00
Adam Replogle and Alistair Craft

Second Place (44.58) $5000.00
Yuri Soledade and Rodrigo Resende

Third Place (41.45) $2500.00
Eraldo Gueiros and Everaldo Pato

Fourth Place (39.77) $1500.00
Osh Bartlett and Tyler Fox

Fifth Place (38.63) $1000.00
Homer Henard and Matt Rockhold

It was a busy weekend for big wave events. Nelscott was called for Friday, Mavericks was called for Saturday, and The Eddie Aikau was on hold for Sunday, all forecasted with large swell. In the end, Forse called it right, with Oregon receiving the perfect combination of wind, weather, and the largest waves of the weekend.

Organizers would like to thank the Chinook Winds Casino, Fringe Clothing, Liquid Militia, Banquet, The Westshore Motel, The Anchor Inn, Tao Productions, Nelscott Reef Surf Shop, Roots Brewery, K38 Rescue, Oregon Sports Authority, Tanger Outlet Mall, Legacy Films, and all the others that helped out with the event.

Photos of the event will be posted shortly on the web page at www.nelscottreef.org. The Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic is the only tow in contest on the North American continent and Oregon’s only professional surf event. It is also the only tow in contest to be certified carbon free by Carbonfund.org.

PGE Park to install new playing surface for 2008

The city of Portland and Merritt Paulson, owner and president of the Portland Beavers and Portland Timbers, today announced that a new, state-of-the-art playing surface will be installed at PGE Park for the 2008 season.

Officials have chosen FieldTurf, recognized as the world leader in artificial turf, for PGE Park, a 19,566-seat stadium located in the heart of downtown Portland. Initial stages of the project began today, and the new FieldTurf at PGE Park is expected to be in place and ready for use when the 2008 season of events begins Feb. 29 as Oregon State plays host to Georgia in the Papé Grand Slam, a three-game baseball series featuring the national-champion Beavers from OSU.

The overall project will include the removal of the existing surface; the installation of FieldTurf’s state-of-the-art, two-and-a-half-inch monofilament playing field atop a porous asphalt base; and the implementation of FieldTurf’s patented infill mix of silica sand and cryogenic rubber. Workers will also repair, resurface and coat the existing warning track at PGE Park.

FieldTurf replaces the existing NeXturf surface, which was in use for seven seasons after being installed in 2001. The existing playing surface will be reused, as the city of Portland and PGE Park have donated portions of the old turf to area sports programs.

“The current playing surface served the stadium very well for seven years of heavy use, but after careful consultation with industry experts, city officials, and our coaches and players, it was universally agreed that it was in our best interest to install new, state-of-the-art turf,” said Paulson. “First and foremost, the wear and tear of the current surface is at a point where player safety is at risk of being compromised. Additionally, the FieldTurf surface will give us a great deal more versatility in the type of events we can attract to Portland, specifically serving as a significant factor in securing larger-scale national and international sporting events.”

PGE Park is home to the Triple-A Beavers of the Pacific Coast League, the United Soccer Leagues First Division Timbers and the Portland State University football program. The multipurpose stadium, originally constructed in 1926, additionally plays host to a wide variety of events and activities, including high school football and baseball games, youth sports camps, concerts, national and international soccer exhibitions, youth soccer games and practices, community gatherings and company outings.

FieldTurf is currently used at three Major League Baseball parks (Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Toronto), seven professional soccer venues – New England Revolution (MLS), New York Red Bulls (MLS), Real Salt Lake (MLS), Toronto FC (MLS), Atlanta Silverbacks (USL), Rochester Raging Rhinos (USL) and Seattle Sounders (USL), and has been selected by 21 of the 32 teams in the National Football League, including the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field. In addition, FieldTurf is featured at college sports stadiums and fields at several area schools, including Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, University of Portland and Gonzaga.

The result of years of research, FieldTurf features a patented FieldTurf infill mix of silica sand and cryogenic rubber and a patented layering process that delivers a system which emulates natural grass. Additional benefits are found in improved player safety, reduced maintenance costs and flexibility for conversion – allowing stadium managers to quickly change the field from one sport to another or to easily host a variety of sporting events, concerts and other special events directly on top of the FieldTurf surface. For more information, visit www.fieldturf.com.

Bend vies to host cyclocross championships in ’09, ’10

Bend tourism and city officials, professional cyclocross racers and the Oregon Sports Authority have signed on to support a bid to bring a national bike race to the city next year that would provide an estimated $2.5 million boost to the visitor economy during an otherwise slow time for tourism.

The Bend Visitor & Convention Bureau announced on Thursday the city’s bid for the 2009 and 2010 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Bend. The event would be held in mid-December.

If secured, fans of the emerging sport of cyclocross — which is an off-road version of a road race with a series of obstacles where riders dismount and are forced to carry their bikes — would likely flood into Bend for four to five days of races.
Portland played host to the cyclocross championships in 2003 and 2004. The races were held at the Portland International Raceway.

The spectator-friendly event pits riders against the clock on bikes that are a cross between road bikes and mountain bikes. The race could be held in forests, on dirt paths and open rolling terrain, according to USA Cycling, which holds the race annually.

The race attracts about 1,800 competitors annually and brings a total of 3,500 to 4,000 people, including support staff, families and media, according to Doug LaPlaca, the president and CEO of the Bend Visitor & Convention Bureau, part of a group trying to secure the race.

Because the championships typically occur the second weekend in December — when occupancy levels in Bend lodging properties are well below 40 percent — they would provide a welcome boost for the local tourism economy, LaPlaca said.

“We will compete very well with other bids for this event,” LaPlaca said. “Bend offers a unique mix of attributes that other destinations vying for the bid can’t offer, such as the amenities and enthusiasm in this community. Many professional athletes have chosen to live here because it is so cycling-friendly.”

About six different cities across the country are expected to submit bids for the race this year, said Tom Vinson, national events manager for Colorado Springs, Colo.-based USA Cycling.

Bend is the first city to bid for the cyclocross championships. The winning bid will be announced by the end of the year, Vinson said.

The organization will look for a city that is accessible via air travel and has enough hotels to accommodate the people expected to visit, Vinson said.

“There are several areas in the country where cyclocross is a hot commodity and the Pacific Northwest is one of them,” Vinson said. “The size of town doesn’t matter as long as there (are) enough people to support the race and getting there is relatively simple.”

The cyclocross event was hosted by Providence, R.I., in 2005 and 2006, and by Kansas City, Mo., in 2007, where it had an estimated economic impact of $2.5 million, Vinson said. The event will be held in Kansas City again this year.

World-class destination
The Bend bid is part of an ongoing effort by Portland-based Oregon Sports Authority to promote the state as a world-class sports destination. The organization launched its Central Oregon chapter in October, the first chapter outside Portland since starting 15 years ago.

Since forming in October, the organization has announced that it would bring two events to Central Oregon this year.
Mt. Bachelor ski area will host the USA. Winter Triathlon National Championships — a mix of cross-county skiing, cross-country mountain biking and running on snow — on Feb. 9. The event was previously held in the Rocky Mountains, according to Drew Mahalic, the CEO of the nonprofit organization.

Additionally, the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond will be the host site for the American Bicycle Association BMX Great Northwest Nationals, which will be held April 4-6, he said.

The organization played a supportive role in bringing the Cyclocross National Championships to Portland in 2003 and 2004, Mahalic said.

The organizing committee being assembled to pursue the event includes representatives from the Bend Visitor & Convention Bureau, Oregon Sports Authority, city of Bend, Bend City Council, Riverhouse Conference Center, Central Oregon Velo and representatives from Bend’s cycling community, according to a press release from the visitor bureau.

— Article by Jeff McDonald, The Bend Bulletin, January 11, 2008

eUpdate – Nelscott Reef Surf Contest, Winter Triathlon and Foundation Grants

With just 48 hours notice, the world’s top tow-in surfers are making their way to the Oregon coast for the awe-inspiring Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic in Lincoln City. North America’s only tow in surf contest and Oregon’s only professional surfing has been green-lighted to occur this Friday. Depending on weather conditions, the third annual contest could be pushed to Saturday or Sunday.

Click below to view the entire Oregon Sports Authority eUpdate.

Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic gets green light for Friday

Behemoth LLC changed the contest status today to green as a large swell is forecast for Friday January 11, 2008.  The third annual Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic will be held in Lincoln City, OR on this Friday.
 
It looks as if the decision to extend the holding period until March 31st was a good one.  The forecast for Friday calls for light winds out of the SSE, and a long period swell.  The swell will build throughout the day peaking at 20’ at 18 seconds.
 
“This is the first real swell of the season that is not combined with hurricane force winds.  It should be bigger than the past two years, which were held in 14’ and 16’ swells”, said contest founder John Forse.
 
The Nelscott Reef Tow in Classic operates under a three month holding period.  Forse is looking for the right combination of swell and wind – large swell and light or no winds. On the few days a year that these conditions occur, the waves at Nelscott Reef can be epic.

Usually plagued with short lived swells, The Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic is looking at 3 days of solid waves. The swell should remain in the 20’ range through Sunday afternoon, allowing a little breathing room for the contest organizers.  If conditions do not pan out on Friday, the contest will be pushed to Saturday or Sunday.  Either way, the contest will be held this weekend.
 
Nelscott Reef’s web page has all the latest information and updates, as well as a real time traffic light for contest status, which is now showing green.  Visit www.nelscottreef.org for all the latest information.

The Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic is the only tow in contest on the North American continent and Oregon’s only professional surf event.  It is also the only tow in contest to be certified carbon free by Carbonfund.org.