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Portola , California
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June 9, 2010     Portola Reporter
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June 9, 2010
 

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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, June 9, 2010 lC SPORTS. AND RECREATION Cole Adams leaps up and over the bar during the high jump competition at West Valley High School May 28. Photo by Cyndy Edwards Chase Shirley, center, made the podium in both of his hurdle events at the Northern Section track championships. Photo by Rick Bass Shirley and Adams shine Shannon Morrow Sports Editor sports@plurnasnews.com Two students from Portola High School qualified for the North Section track and field finals at West Valley High School in Cottonwood Fri- day, May 28. Chase Shirley medaled in both hurdle events. In the ll0-meter high hur- dles, Shirley took fourth place vith a time of 15.53 seconds. That set a new school record for Portola. Matt Champions held the previous record of 15.60 seconds since 1992. In the 300-meter hurdles, Shirley placed fifth with a personal-best time of 41.42. Cole Adams was among the elite at the high jump pits, as he cleared the third-best height of the night at 6 feet even. Adams and four other jumpers missed at six feet, two inches. The five-way tie was bro- ken according to previous misses, so Adams earned sixth place because he cleared the six-foot mark on his third jump. Anthony Williams of En- terprise High School won tile high jump by clearing six feet, 10 inches. Williams also won both hurdle races. Portola senior Cole Adams gets limber. Adams cleared six feet in the high jump competition. Photo by Cyndy Edwards Summer Solstice Century revamped for great potential Shannon Morrow Sports Editor sports@plumasnews.com The Summer Solstice Century is an epic bicycle ride held in Quincy each summer that features a grueling 137-mile loop and 13,400 vertical feet of climbing. While most recreational cyclists wouldn't want to attempt such a ride, for the armies of intrepid cyclists who love a big challenge, the Summer Solstice offers a delightfully painful test of endurance and willpower. A very similar ride is the Death Ride, held just south of Lake Tahoe two weeks after the Summer Solstice Century. Every year, the Death Ride attracts almost 3,000 cyclists to Markleeville and makes more than $200,000. Registrations are award- ed on a lottery basis, as more than 6,000 peo- ple attempt to participate. The Summer Solstice, by comparison, has traditionally attracted around 200 cyclists, but it's looking like that number is about to go up. Beginning this year, the Summer Solstice Century has been repackaged to better rep- resent the nature of the ride, and is now be- ing marketed to the thousands of cyclists who are turned away from the Death Ride each year. Many cyclists say the Summer Solstice is just as challenging as the Death Ride, or even more so, because of the extreme heat encountered while climbing out of the valley after crossing Lake Oroville. Last year, only 40 percent of the cyclists who attempted the full route of the Summer Solstice were successful, and several said they weren't aware how difficult the ride was. "After completing the ride last year, my- self and some other riders felt like this ride needed to reinvent itself," said Kristie Fox, who owns Sierra Health and Fitness Revolu- tion in Quincy. "The ride needed a more in- teresting, aggressive, modern image in order to remarket and try and get new riders." Fox explained the intent in remarketing the Summer Solstice was to reach a different type of rider. "The old image did not accurately convey the reality of the ride experience, therefore the ride was not reaching the correct mar- ket," said Fox. With a head full of ideas, Fox approached Sarah Metzler of the Quincy Chamber of Commerce to discuss ways to help the ride reach its full potential. The first part of the makeover was a new logo to portray the ride better. The chamber held a logo art contest, and two artists were chosen to crcate new images. Juliet Beer of Julz Graphics created a skeleton image that is being used for shirts and stick- ers, and Mike Saari did a colored- pencil draw- ing that will be dis- trib- uted as a poster in goody bags. Along with the new artwork, Fox felt that renaming each of the dis- tances would better represent the ride, so she held a naming contest. "The Crucible" was chosen as the name for the 137-mile loop, in reference to the heat encountered. "Death is the easy way out" was designated as the slogan. The century's other four routes were also given names and slogans to reflect the new overall theme of the ride. Next, Fox decided to make the ride more interesting and fun by holding a contest for the best rest stop. Volunteers are encour- aged to have a theme for their locations and dress up in costumes. One group is already planning a Scottish rest stop, complete with kilts, bagpipes and dancing. Another big addition to this year's ride is an after party with a live band and beer, a massage ther- apist and other lo- cal vendors. "By making the ride a more fun over- all event, we hope to at- tract riders who are looking for a destination ride, something they can turn into a vacation," said Fox. Another major way Fox is working to im- prove the whole experience of the ride is by helping participants simply finish. To give cyclists their best chances, Fox has revamped the nutritional options at the rest stops to include quick:energy foods and drinks, and popsicles and ice at the hottest parts of the ride. The crux of the ride where most of the drop-outs occur is the climb from Lake Oroville to Brush Creek, which includes the entire stretch of Bald Rock Road. To get participants past the most difficult part, Fox has added two unmanned aid sta- tions and enlisted the help of volunteers on bicycles. These mounted support personnel will ride up and down the course to distribute food and hydration, provide mechanical as- sistance and give encouragement. The Summer Solstice will also have more SAG support this year, with one vehicle at each rest stop. More than 100 volunteers will be on hand the day of the ride. With the new marketing and increased support, the number of riders at the Sum- mer Solstice is expected to grow consider- ably over the next few years, especially once word gets out among the cycling community. "We find that grassroots is huge," said Metzler, who has spent the past year devel- oping the Summer Solstice along with Fox. "We want to grow the ride by at least 50 percent every year." This is the seventh annual Summer Sol- stice Century. Soper-Wheeler sponsored the first four years and Forest Foundation was the organizer for the fifth year. The Quincy chamber took over the ride last year, with the help of Soper-Wheeler. This year marks the first time partnering with Fox to help invigorate the event. "Kristie's contributions have been stel- lar," said Metzler. "I don't know what I'd do without her." The pair acknowledged that significant growth could take a few years, but they feel the ground work has been laid to take the ride in a new direction. With all the positive changes, the Summer Solstice Century could eventually attract as many cyclists as the Death Ride, which is in its 30th year. Many cyclists love the loop characteristic of the Summer Solstice, whereas the Death Ride route consists of out-and-backs. "The loop aspect is huge," said Fox. "It's what differentiates our ride." Future plans include a concierge service to tie in local hospitality and businesses, in- cluding lodging in the Graeagle area. This year's Summer Solstice Century will take place Saturday, June 26. For more in- formation, visit summersolsticecentury.org. V "