Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's

Cycle News 1980 10 01

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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o 00 0"> .-4 Wells fails fountain jump By Chuck Harper Photos by Wayne Gales LAS VEGAS, NV, SEPT, 15 Motorcycle jumper extraordinaire Gary Wells was unsuccessful in his attempt to jump the fountains in front of the posh Caesar's Palace resort hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Thirteen years passed since Evel K 'evel's bone· breaking try ended in disaster when the Harley·Davidson Knievel used failed to clear the landing ramp and sent the star·spangled leather clad daredevil cartwheeling across caesar's parking lot. It was also to be Wells' unlucky day. An eyewitness to the Knievel crash and now the world's premier jumper, Wells claimed that the jump was his "lifetime dream come true" and something "he had to do." Under sunny skies, Wells hit the ap' proach ramp perfectly at approximate· I 90 miles per hour and soared the necessary height (40 It.) to clear the fountains. He would also have broken his own world record jump of 176 feet - as his touchdown point was calcu· lated at 186 feet - however, he was not going to ride away from this jump. Wells saw his dream quickly tum to a nightmare when he missed the land· ini ramp by inches, collapsing the wheels on the Honda CR250 machine. Wells was hurled from the hurtling HOl).da and followed it into a 3 \.2 foot concrete retaining wall at 85 miles per hour resulting in injuries including a tom aortic arch (the main blood vessel that leads out of the heart), chest and head injuries, compound fractures be· low the knees in both legs and another break above the knee in the lejt that hit the ramp, a crushed pelvis, and a frac· tured vertebra in the lower back. Mi· raclulously no permanent paralysis was diagnosed. After 24 quarts of blood including 12 of his own recycled and 3 \.2 hou rs of heart surgery to repair the aortic tear by Dr. Lonnie L. Hammargren (ironically, the same doctor who saved Eve! Knievel's life) Wells was listed in critical but stable condition in the hospital's intensive care unit and is reo portedly "conscious and responding well. .. (Gary Wells' condition Jaw stabilized although he is expected to remain in Desert Springs Hospital, in traction, for approJtim4tely two months. Cards, letters and flowers m4Y be sent to 207' E. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89109... Editor.) WASlliNGnlN, DisOoSEd Guardians In light of recent Washington DisClosed columns on the Cali." fornia Wilderness bill and the Sagebrush Rebellion, both of which criticized the federal government for locking-up land from development by the states, I thought it very kind of the Department of the Interior to send me a bit ofpropaganda which defends its position. Basically, I believe a state should have the right to determine which land can be developed and used for recreation and which should be saved as wilderness. The basic premise is that a state more clearly knows the needs of its populace. and unlike the federal bureaucracy, realizes the futility in depriving the citizens of today for the preservationists of tomorrow. Sure we need wilderness areas, and protected parks and forests. But let's map all this out in a more sensible manner. When speaking about locking·up land, one talks about the Bureau of Land Management, an office of the DOl. Besides causing dirt bikers all kinds of grief by closing off their favor· ite riding areas, the BLM continues to keep many industries off land which is rich in mineral deposits that could be used to meet the country's energy needs. This in tum leaves the nation open to the political maneuverings of the OPEC countries. Not so, says Interior in a release they sent me. "We recognize the wisdom of Theodore Roosevelt's admonition that, 'Conservation means development as much as it means protection,' .. Under Secretary James Joseph said. "I assure you that Interior is endeavoring to do both, develop and protect." Saying that they are the "balanced guardian" of the nation's resources, Joseph added that "some over· zealous critics pose the public interest as one of the other (development versus protec· tion.)" In case you missed it, check out that statement again. "Balanced guardian," is what the man says. Not meaning to sound too much like a member of Ed Clark's Libertarian Party, which would turn all public land back to the public, Joseph's state· ment precisely hits upon the basic working philosophy of the federal bureaucracy guardian of the masses. When speaking of public land, shouldn't the public decide the use of that land rather than some faceless and u'naccountable agency of the federal government? We don't need guardians, we need people who will carry out the public will. Yet, Joseph says that Interior is simply doing the only thing "common sense" allows them to do. So the next time you ride up to an area for a Sunday afternoon of off· road scrambling. and find that you aren't allowed to enter, remember the "common sense" tactics of the DOl. And remember that they can quote 01' Teddy Roosevelt. Which leads me to remind motor· cyclists in California that you still have time to get your views across on the wilderness bill. Upon passing the House recently, H.R. 7702 went over to the Senate which must still take action on that legislation. It is now in the Suocommittee on Parks, Recreation and Renewable Resources and will not be voted on before hearings are held. So get in touch with the Senators on that subcommittee and tell them that as a person being affected by the bill, you would like to give them your opinion. They are: Dale Bumper (D· Ark.), (all area codes are 202) 224· 4843; John Melcher (D·Mom.), 224· 2644; Frank Church (D· Idaho), 224· 6142; Bennet Johnston (D·La.), 224· 5824; Howard Metzenbaum (D·Ohio), 224·2315; Paul Tsongas (D·Mass.), 224·2742; Mark Hatfield (R·Ore.), 224·3753; Ted Stevens (R·Alaska). 224·3004; James McClure (R·ldaho). 224·2752; and, Lowell Weicker (R· Conn.). 224·4041. Or. for that mauer, write or call your Senators so when it comes time for a full Senate vote, they'll know where you stand. They are, in case you're so burned·out as not to know: Alan Cranston, 202/224·3553, 229 Russell Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C., 20510 and Sam Hayakawa. 6217 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C., 20510. Incidentally, don't strong arm the guy or anything, but Cranston is up for re·e1ection this fall. JimZoia 3

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