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Chinook Cycling Club News

Toppenish Time Trial March 24th

At the time the newsletter was sent out, our paperwork for the TTT was sent to USA Cycling along with the permit and filing fees etc.  Also a proposal was sent to the Yakama Nation and the Superintendent of BIA Roads outlining the event for the purpose of asking permission to use Pumphouse Road for the event.  The club is proceeding as if we have permission from both government agencies and are making plans for running the event.  If you have any ideas or would like to help, contact Kelly Connally by phone at 248-1910 or email at 
  I drove out to the site of the up-coming TTT (Toppenish Time Trial, not Team Time Trial).  The Course should be a great one.  Pumphouse Road is an 11 mile long road that follows the base of the ridge that is south of Toppenish.  It winds along with gradual undulations and sweeping corners.  It will not be a long flat boring course.  None of the hills will be challenging and none of the descents white knuckle.  But I do believe the course has enough hills and corners to make the course interesting.  If you were to ride along at a leisurely pace you would notice the wetlands and farmlands to the north of the road.  I saw many birds as I drove along.  I know that during the race most of the competitors will only see the pavement in front of them, which is too bad because it is a very nice stretch of road.  I suggest that you attend at least one of the up-coming TTT warm up rides.  It will be a great way to get to know the course and also see the sights.  Oh Ya, another thing, the road has mile markers in descending order out to the end of the pavement.  They will be a great way to gauge your progress and distance to the turn around and finish line.

TTT (Toppenish Time Trial) Warm-Up Rides

Mike Pratt will be leading rides from Toppenish out to the end of the race course and  back for a total of 30 miles.  the rides will be held on Saturdays Feb. 16th and Mar. 2nd, and Sunday Mar. 17th.  We will Carpool from Sarge Hubbard @ 11:00 and leave Toppenish @ 12:00.  Contact Mike Pratt @ 792-0848 or email @
Note: There are 3 cattle guards on the course.  On race day we will have plywood across them.  During these warm up rides we will not.  I do not recommend using your lightweight racing wheels and tires for these rides and I would not cross them at race speed.

Chinook Shiver Date Set

March 16th is the new date for the Chinook Shiver.  The original date of March 30th fell on Easter weekend so it was changed.  Registration will begin @ 9:00 and the ride will leave the Yakima Athletic Club @ 10:00.
We need somebody to organize the ride.  If someone would like to do this please contact Kelly Connally  by phone at 248-1910 or email at 

Tandem Club in the Northwest
By Roland Lilley

I want all of you tandem riders to know that there is a new tandem organization in the state that seems to be very active and forward looking. It is the Evergreen Tandem Club. They have a website that is up and running at They are sponsoring a wine tour in Yakima on September 29 and 30th, and have a long-term goal of hosting the 2004 Northwest Tandem Rally. We might be able to get some good 'local' rides from them. Dues are $25/tandem/year. I think I am going to join. I'll let you know what I find out.


Submitted by Phil Hoge

Rumble strips are increasingly being installed on roads around the country, including rural roads and bicycle routes frequently used by cyclists. Rumble strips are gouges ground into the shoulders of roads, of various widths and depths, designed to rouse sleepy drivers.

While these strips may reduce the frequency of run-off-the-road accidents for motorists, they are a significant safety hazard for cyclists and deprive cyclists of roads and shoulders they need and want to ride on. A number of cyclists have already been injured, some seriously, and an increasing number of roads frequented by cyclists are becoming dangerous or unpleasant to ride on.

While we recognize that rumble strips can be an important safety device for motorists, it is also important to develop a design standard for rumble strips that do not injure or kill cyclists. In addition, rumble strips should be installed only in places where they are needed -- and not in places where there is little or no run-off-the-road crash problem.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently posted a Draft Synthesis Http://

/exec_summary.htm) and Technical Advisory ( for the installation of rumble strips. The Advisory is to serve as a guide for states to follow when planning rumble strip installation. While it is not enforceable, it is highly likely that states will defer to it when planning for rumble strips. The Advisory is open for public comment until September 7, 2001. For more information see the Web page below.

The information above is provided by the League of American Bicyclists' electronic newsletter, BikeLeague News. Questions or additional information? Contact Melé Williams, Director of Government Relations at To support or learn more about the League, visit

Chinook Cycling Club Yakima is Officially Supporting Neil McClure for City Council Position #3.

At the club meeting on Monday, August 27th 2001 a motion was made, seconded and voted on with a unanimous result to officially endorse Neil McClure for city council. I encourage everybody to help Neil in any way they can including but not limited to voting for him on September 4th. Lets get behind Neil and show him that we support him.

Our Very Own Neil McClure is Running For City Council !!!

By Kelly Connally

Former President of the Chinook Cycling Club and all around good guy Neil McClure is throwing his hat into the political arena. He has chosen to seek a city council position in order to continue serving our community. In addition to being the former President of the club, Neil is the current President of the Yakima Greenway Foundation, is currently the Chairman of the Yakima Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and a Representative on the State Bicycle Advisory Committee. In past years he has been the Chairman of the Gap to Gap Relay Race and the Director of the Washington State Championship Bicycle Race held here in Yakima. If you haven’t guessed by now, Neil has a heart to serve. I don’t know any of the other candidates running against Neil, but I know that Neil would make an excellent council member. From the list of committees and activities he is and has participated in, you can bet that Neil will serve our community well. I urge all club members to support Neil in his quest to become a city council member.

The 2001 Northwest Tandem Rally

By Roland Lilley

This year’s annual Northwest Tandem Rally was held May 25 through the 28 in Pendleton, Oregon. The Rally is a four day event typically held on Memorial Day weekend. Friday evening usually involves a short, self-guided tour of the host city followed by some form of organized entertainment. The next three days are dedicated to riding in the surrounding countryside. Leslie & Neil McClure, Nicky and I attended this year. The Friday night entertainment, which included live music, took place on Main Street, part of which had been closed off exclusively for the Tandem Rally. Saturday morning, we had a wonderful catered breakfast (Really!) at the Convention Center, and then got ready to watch the mass start. Every rally starts with a police escorted ride through the host city. This year 250 tandems rolled through town for the beginning of a 64 mile ride out to the Bar M Ranch through the rolling hills of the Blue Mountains. The weather was hot so we decided to drive to the halfway point and ride out and back from there. Once at the Bar M, we had a sack lunch, rested in the shade of tall ponderosa pines, and were entertained by a local, traditional Western singer. The ride back to the car was generally downhill and only marred by the 6 or 7 flats (I lost count) that Leslie and Neil had after a rough railroad crossing. After Sunday breakfast, we set out in rolling wheat country for a virtually traffic-free ride. We chose the 35 mile short course. Other riders opted for the 65 mile long course to the town of Weston and then back to the Convention Center. Sunday evening there is an awards banquet with prizes and entertainment. Somehow Neil wound up with a set of Campy chainrings! The Monday ride went 47 miles to Dead Man’s Pass Campground (sounds grim) with an amazing 10+ mile climb by way of countless serpentine switchbacks to the top (is grim). Since we had taken a tour of that area in Neil’s van the evening before, we opted to drive straight home rather than ride (been there, haven’t done that, don’t want to do that). Next year, the Rally will be in Boise, Idaho. The event is well organized and great fun. So, if you are a tandem rider (I guess it takes two) think about putting the 2002 Northwest Tandem Rally on your calendar.

Track Nights

Tuesday Track night was a big success. Tuesday night the 24th was the last night of the inaugural track night lineup. Up until the last couple of nights we had about 20 to 25 riders each night. It gave us a great place to hone our pace line skills. It also gave some of us non racer types a chance to taste what racing might be like. Even if you didn’t participate in the races it was still a great work out. You could go as hard and as fast as you wanted, and if you got dropped, you could just ride easy for a lap or two then jump back on the pack when it came around again. We had the whole track to ourselves and a good time was had by all. And best of all NO CARS!!!! The last few track nights even saw a couple of tandems come out.
If you were a regular on Tuesday night and are bummed that the season is over, fear not! Starting the first Tuesday after Labor day we will have the track every Tuesday night for a yet to be determined length of time. And when it starts getting dark before we are ready to quit, the lights will be turned on to continue the fun! In the mean time, we will resume the Tuesday night Fred Meyer ride at the conclusion of the time trial series. See the ride schedule for details.
If you have any questions about or suggestions for activities on the track, contact Barry Schmidt at 972-9761 or see him at Sagebrush Cycles.

Published in the Herald-Republic on Thursday, July 5, 2001

0704Bike.jpg (17366 bytes)

ROY MUSITELLI/Yakima Herald-Republic

A cluster of riders rolls by on Yakima Speedway during the Chinook Cycling Club's every-other-Tuesday-night racing series on the track. The riders are, clockwise from far right, are Rick Cuddihy, Jim Sheufelt, Erik Stenehjem, Mike Hammond, Mark Cleaver and Steve Brown.


The riding surface is smooth and fast. There's always someone going your speed, or close to it. And if you get dropped, hey, the others will be coming around again.

And, best of all, you're not sharing your road space with a 2,000-pound metal object navigated by someone who might somehow be oblivious to your presence -- despite the fact that your multi-hued, colors-to-wake-the-dead cycling attire. Such is the attraction of what is almost certainly the quietest events ever held on the banked blacktop at Yakima Speedway -- an every-other-Tuesday-night racing series put on by the Chinook Cycling Club.

"This is the first place I've ever done anything like this," said Damon Roberts, 30, of Selah, between warmup laps on a recent Tuesday. "It's nice for a night training ride, and if you get dropped (left behind) on this lap, no big deal -- you just jump back in. "And without the traffic, you can relax a little more." For many of the riders, that -- the lack of traffic of the automobile type -- is a huge attraction.

"Since I live out in Naches," says Jeremy Freisz, 27, "I ride out in the heights, and you're always getting honked at and people making obscene gestures at you. You get cars brushing you, almost putting you in the ditch. If you think about it, it's almost assault with a deadly weapon."

And that safe, car-free atmosphere -- ironically, on a track made for cars moving extremely fast -- has made the Tuesdays at the Speedway as popular a draw (25 or more riders a week) as the cycling club's regular Tuesday road time trial series, which has been going on for years. The track series -- in its first year -- simply gave riders an option on that alternate, and previously open, Tuesday. And they love it.

"We went to the Speedway folks and they were gracious enough to share their facility with us on a night when it doesn't get much use," says Barry Schmidt, manager of Sagebrush Cycles and one of the coordinators of the Tuesday racing series. "Most of the guys here use this as training for road racing rather than track racing. You go for longer distances; you can put in a lot of mileage."

For Donna Smith, though, the rides on the Speedway track made for cars are training for races in velodromes made, yes, for bikes. At 45, it's been more than two decades since she was a collegiate athlete (shot and discus in track, plus volleyball) at Yakima Valley Community College and Whitworth. But she loves the training, loves the camaraderie -- and she had the time.

"My kids started growing up. I had the empty-nest thing going, and this was a case of getting back in touch with the athlete in me. I've almost forgotten I'm 45 years old," says Smith, who plans to compete in the Masters track nationals at the Marymoor Velodrome in Redmond later this month. Smith actually started cycling about 10 years ago to keep her kids company while they were getting involved her bike racing. "When they started racing, they were really young -- 10 and 11 -- and I was uncomfortable with them out there training alone," she says. "So I started going out with them."

One son, Mike, became a national-class rider who spent time with the national team in Colorado Springs, and his success inspired Donna to get into racing. She loved it. All of it. "I decided cycling is such a fun and enriching sport and lifestyle. Now I own a bike shop," says Smith, who co-owns Sagebrush Cycles with her husband and another partner. And she loves the Tuesdays on the track.

"It's really fun to be able to just ride fast and not have to worry about traffic -- not to worry about cars, getting in their way or them passing us without giving us room." The fast laps on the track can be excellent training for riders who use the sessions to prepare themselves for cycling races around the Northwest -- and most of the regulars are competitive riders.

"Most of these people are fairly serious," says Clark Reams of Selah, who will be competing in the masters road nationals in Spokane this weekend. "They're looking to get a good workout on the bike. It's hard to push real hard when you're by yourself. Out here, you know who your competition is within the group, the people who are going to be going the pace you want to be going." There's one other aspect about the Speedway rides that Reams really appreciates.

"I like it because it's flat," he says with a grin. "The hills are what hurt me."

n Outdoors editor Scott Sandsberry can be reached by phone at (509) 577-7689, or by e-mail at

©2001 All Photos, Content and Design are Properties of the:
Yakima Herald-Republic


Group Training Motivates Cyclists to Compete
Published in the Herald-Republic on Thursday, July 5, 2001


Some of the regulars in the Chinook Cycling Club's Tuesday night series -- one week on the track at Yakima Speedway, the next week on the roads -- are training for two upcoming national masters championship events in Spokane and Seattle.

But the local cyclist who stands the best chance of competing for a national title isn't out there with the crowd on Tuesday nights. Oh, he'd like to be -- but Mark Farsdahl just doesn't have the time. "It would be nice just for the social aspect," says Farsdahl, 48. "Sometimes you kind of step up your game when you get in a group. But I can still train pretty hard alone."

He usually does that early in the mornings, before he goes to his day job as a stockbroker. And his work ethic -- usually 200 to 220 miles a week, whether on his road bike or on his high-tech Computrainer stationary bike in front of the television -- has made Farsdahl a power for years in the Washington State Bicycle Association (WSBA). He's won enough individual state championship races in various age groups -- time trials, road races and criteriums -- to make a quick, off-the-top-of-his-head count difficult. Suffice it to say that the Tuesday night crew would love to have Farsdahl out with them. "It'd be nice to train with him," says Clark Reams, 39, of Selah, "because it'd be a workout just staying close to him."

Reams plans to compete in the criterium event at the 2001 United States Cycling Federation Masters National Road Cycling Championships, set for Saturday-July 12 in and around Spokane. So does Farsdahl. Reams, though, is going for the experience "I don't expect to win anything," he says. "There's a lot of retired pros out there. I just want to stay with the pack." Farsdahl wants to be at the front of the pack. Whether it's the criterium, the road race or the time trial. He plans to compete in all three.

"I can hold my own regionally," says Farsdahl, who finished second overall in Masters B (45-and-up) in the WSBA's season points championship last year after winning the 1999 title. "But until I can get a national championship jersey, the game's not over for me. That I want ... bad."
Farsdahl says he's shooting for top-10 finishes in the 45-49 age group in each of the three races -- in race fields of probably 100 to 120 riders. The dynamics of the road race and criterium, he says, can sometimes make it difficult for a solo cyclist not on a team. "But the time trial," he says, "that's man against the clock. Mano a mano."

Janice Sheufelt, 35, a regular along with her husband, Jim, in the Tuesday racing series, is in only her "first year of serious road racing," she says, but that won't deter her from entering the time trial and the road race at the Spokane nationals. "I really don't know what to expect," she says. "I guess I'll be happy if I'm in the top half."

Donna Smith, 45, has the same kind of not-too-sure expectations about her trip to masters nationals -- not the road championships, but the track championships the following week at the Marymoor Velodrome in Redmond on July 14-18.

She knows this much: She'd like to do better than she did two years ago in her first national-race experience.

"I was way over my head," says Smith, a co-owner of Sagebrush Cycles.

"But everybody was really nice and helpful. It was more just the experience of going rather than expecting to do really well."

©2001 All Photos, Content and Design are Properties of the:
Yakima Herald-Republic