Disco Kids storm Jackson Park

October 5, 2005

The Discover Bicycles kids’ mountain biking club now has a name. After taking suggestions and putting them to a vote, club organizers made it official; they are the Disco Kids.

Something like 70 Disco Kids gathered on the slick wet grass of Jackson Park Saturday morning for the first official club meeting and riding clinic.

The scene looked more like a circus than a meeting, with kids slipping, sliding and laughing their way in circles around temporary courses made from wooden obstacles. Parents and volunteers polka dotted around the park made for good obstacles as well, although stopping fast enough in the wet grass to avoid them seemed to be the real challenge.

Save for cold fingers, and a few slide outs and minor pile ups, the meeting went well. The Disco Kids had a blast and, as a cherry on top, everyone was treated to free Mike’s Ice Cream afterwards.

“We were overwhelmed by the community’s response to the club,” said organizer Jennifer Wilson. “The kids were troopers on Saturday. It was slick and muddy and everyone was great. Our whole goal is to get kids out there and enjoying riding their bikes. That definitely happened.”

The Disco Kids club is open to riders of all skill levels, from 5-12 years old and new members are encouraged to join at any time. The annual membership fee of $20 covers club insurance for each event.

Although some fun races will be held, the club is about coming together as a group of young riders, not about competing with each other.

“We believe that through the sport of mountain biking, young kids will have the opportunity to develop the skill, values and strategies that will guide them throughout their lives and enable them to succeed in school and in life,” Wilson commented. “Our goal is to spark the love of riding a bike outside in this wonderful community that we live in.”

Organizers of the Disco Kids would like to thank the following for their help in making the first club meeting a success:

Jim Mudry, Malcolm McCurdy, Sage Deenik, Ryan and Zoe Kimball, Meg Thompson, Chloe Hight, Mike’s Ice cream, Jan Morris, all the kids and parents and Discover Bicycles.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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