MXD markets riding as a family affair

A new motorsports shop in Hood River will reflect the changes that are happening in the track and off-road motorcycle and ATV riding world.

Two Hood River businessmen have opened MXD Motorsports, at 1406 12th St., in the space formerly used by Iron Horse Off-road. Terry McDowell and Doug Brown have refurbished the shop with new paint, counters and shelves.

"Our goal is to provide the very best selection and repair service for all motor sports enthusiasts in the Hood River Valley," McDowell said.

MXD will offer parts for all makes and models, consignment sales on used motorcycles and ATVs, and a large selection of accessories and sports clothing for off-road enthusiasts.

Riding enthusiasts range in all ages, and engine design changes now gives riders the choice of the classic two-stroke engine or the cleaner-running, yet high performance, four-stroke engine. Many more racing four-strokes are coming on the market, Brown said.

MXD plans retail sales of off-road and track motorcycles, and ATVs. They also want to establish a riding club for motorcycle and ATV use, provide riding clinics for experience riders as well as beginners, and a "peewee" program for aspiring riders six and under.

Two "regulars" at the shop are Brown's son, Torsenn, 4, and McDowell's son, Ryder, 3.

"We want to promote a family-style sport," Brown said. "At racing events it's common to have a couple of kids' tracks for young riders to learn the sport. It's a really good environment with whole families involved. I don't think people have been exposed to that."

Down the trail, they hope to establish a motorsport park for people of all ages to practice riding. A closer goal is a riding club for current and prospective riders.

McDowell has another business, McDowell and Son Heating and Air Conditioning, and Brown also works at Windsurfing Hawaii.

The partners' backgrounds complement each other: McDowell has the experience in the service end, and Brown bears up the sales and retailing, they said.

"Doug keeps me organized, and I keep him knowledged," McDowell said.

MXD Motorsports will gear up its product line and also feature a custom ordering desk to keep Hood River riders fully stocked, but McDowell and Brown said service will be the mainstay of the business. Mechanic Adam Prekurat is already hard at work in the service bay.

This month, Brown and McDowell will go to Indianapolis for the International Power Sports Expo, where they will place orders and complete arrangements to become dealers for Kawasaki and KTM motorcycles and ATVs. They said neither line are currently available in retail in Hood River County. KTM, McDowell's personal favorite, is an Austrian company that specializes in high-end motorcycles, while Kawasaki provides a wide range of products for all ages and abilities.

"We want to serve everyone from kids to grandparents," McDowell said.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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