Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's

Cycle News 1980 01 23

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 39 of 39

A decade 01 desert racing New Year's Day seems to come earlier and earlier every year. Suddenly it's 1980, and we ask, "Where have all the years gone?" Our answers may differ when put into words, but the emotion of nostalgia and reflection is common to us all. A more appropriate question may be, "What has happened in a decade of desert racing?" The following is a list of some of the highlights of the 70s: Separate starts for Novices, day-glo cards, the Beginner class, the Women's and Seniors' divisions, green stickers, a home for district meetings, SOO·rider entries, four-digit number plates, SLUPs and SRUPs (land closure begins), discussions of D·!l7 secession from the AMA, letter.writing campaigns (unanswered), legal defense fund, the last Barstow-toVegas (land closure), ·Phantom Duck B-to- V Trailrides, lay-down shocks. BLM toilets (who else would want to haul it away?), Hazelwood's modesty curtain, team races, "virgin" hare and hounds, good-bye four-corners (land closure), monoshocks, reed valves, EPA noise standards, environmental impact studies (creeping bureaucracy), open Sundays (family weekends), streaking, Dirt Explosion, J.N. Roberts becomes a legend, the last Check Chase, Terry Cables and Terry Kits, gas shocks, designated roads and trails (land closure), Lightweight Division II established, CDI ignitions ... and much morel So, you see, we've enjoyed some pretty impressive progress in technology, race organization and even political action. And we've survived some very significant setbacks (some would call it harassment). Hindsight is always 20/20, of course. What about the future? Each of us may see it differently, but our future as off·road motorcycle enthusi· asts depends on our common effort to plan the course of the next decade instead of watching it happen. Here are a few things to consider. Compare them to your own New Year's ideas. Maybe there is enough agreement to get started ... I. Organize a committee within D!l7 to manage the club sponsorship of desert races. Individual clubs should retain responsibility and authority for their race, however, the committee should provide guidance in area selec· tion, course design and be the single point of contact with the BLM. This would provide a more consistent know· ledgeable and controllable approach to our relations with bureaucracy. 2. Organize a political action com· mittee within D-!l7 to initiate and manage the response (letter writing, attendnace at public meetings, voting information, etc.) of desert riders to legislation, proposed legislation, bureaucratic regulations, etc. The present response of riders to the political scene is unorganized and haphazard because there is no leadership to identify OUT common goals and a reasonable and effective method for reaching them (with the magnificent exception of the Phantom Duck). !l. Organize a D-!l7 committee to publish an official newslett~ which establishes an authoritative source of information and leadership for desert riders. It should once and for all solve the problem of getting the word out so we can begin to make some common progress. Case inpoint: Desert riders were divided between the BLM route, a legal public route and the Beatty-to· Vegas race on Thanksgiving. United, we stand; divided, we fall. 4. Organize a D-!l7 committee to plan and manage an advertising cam· paign for increasing the number of competitive desert riders. This should emphasize the advantage of joining D!l7 to unify off·roaders. Trail riders have little organized voice. Land ~Iosures aff~ everyo~e. Desert racing IS also a famIly aCtlVIty, and the trail rider can still ride his favorite non· competitive areas. Etc ... We've taken a small look at where . all those years have gone and where we might be heading. As racers, wives, buddies, mothers and others, we cannot afford to be spectators of life ... time cannot pass us by while we're at the handlebars. So, let's control the. events of the next decade by holding onto those handlebars tighter than ever. Let's ride and love and live to our own schedule. To hell with clocks and calendars ... Bill Elam 15

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