Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1998 07 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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Page 98 of 99

i < - GUEST EDITORIAL BY BILL DART . . R ega rd in g th e le tter fro m Steven Schwenk (Issue #22 , June 10) decryi ng the "politicizing" of the U.S. Supercross Open through diverting a portio n o f the p roceeds to the Blue Ri bb on C oa li tio n , an organiza tion Schwenk ap parently doesn' t unders tand, I feel must correct his misunderstanding and exp lain some of the issu es he has raised. I am em p loyed by Dist rict 36 of the A MA to work fu ll tim e on la nd-use issues, and I am a member of the board of directors of the Blue Ribbon Coalit ion ' (BRC>, altho ug h I receive no compensation from the BRC. My job is necessa ry, as well as th e e xisten ce of th e BRC, b ecau se o u r s po rt ha s b ec ome v e ry politici zed. Our spo rt is 'under constant a ttack by the rad ical, extre mist leader ship of nat ional and regiona l or ganizat ion s th at s h rou d their re a l m is s io n under a veil of "enviro nmental protection ." The Blue Ribbon Coalition d oes not attack true enviro nme ntalists, onl y those wh o u se s u p p osed "e nv iron men ta l" issues as a su rroga te for social contro l. Afte r all, d on't we all wa n t cle an ai r, cle a n w at er , h ealthy wildlife p opula tio ns , a n d a h ealth y e nv i ro n ment? Everyo ne I kn ow does . But the radical ex tre mist leadershi p of most major "en viro nmental" organiza tio ns d oesn' t beli eve our spo rt is an acceptable act ivity, and they a re wor k' ing to elimi na te it by u sin g su rrogate issues . That same lead ersh ip wo uld certainly not ag ree that Mr. Schwenk's not an environmentalist, as he believes he is. In their eyes, yo u are only see king chea p thrills at th e expense of th e en v iro nmen t. After all, in thei r eyes, no enviro nm entali st would own a gas-guzzli ng fo ur-wheel-drive ve hicl e used to hau l a no the r gas-gu zz li ng a nd a ir -fou ling device, a motorcycle , out int o the back cou n try to tear up the land, foul the water, and scare all the wi ldlife to death, all in the na me of th rill-seeking. A "real environmentalist" would not own a car or truck or mo torcycle, but would rely on public transporta tion, live in minimal housing, and enjoy political activism for a sport. Mr. Schwenk a lso a tta cks the Blu e Ribbon Coalition because of its su ppor t for resource ind ustries such as mining, logging, and cattle grazin g, and implies that the BRC is a front orga niza tion for those industries. BRC d oes have a few bu sines s m embersh ip s fro m th o se ind us tries, althoug h their fina ncial support is very small, as almost all of BRC's income comes from indivi d ual member- shi ps . While it is true that excesses have occurred in the d istan t past; today these resource industries operate in an en vironmen tally res po nsibl e manner and use p ractices that a re th e best in th e world. These industries supply products tha t are d e m an d ed by th e public, inclu ding Mr. Schwenk, and he implies tha t making a profit w hile su p p lying those goods is so mehow immoral. Mr. Schwenk need s to think abo ut wha t he is saying. He, alo ng w ith the r est of the American public, wa nt to take adva n tage of ou r way of life an d th e advantages we have. Mr . Schwen k wa nts t he fr u its of those industries, but wants to deny his ro le in th eir p rod u cti on . Apparently, those goods shou ld come from so me farawa y location, u nseen and unheard of. Min ing produce s th e m a jorit y of produ cts we co ns u me. We mine th e sand and gravel for concrete and asp halt to build roads and high ways. We mine the ores to produce stee l and aluminum and copper and every other metal. Th ose metals and concre te are used to build ou r large buil d ings. We min e to produce glass. We min e for coal and gas an d oil that we d emand for our cars and fo r ou r cen t ra l h eating sys te ms. We mine to produce the fue l to run power plants so that yo u can have lights at the flick of a switch. You r com pu ter is made en ti re ly fro m m in in g prod ucts. Your fo u r-wheel-d rive a n d mo torcy cle are mad e enti rely from mined products. Logging provid es lumber to bu ild homes, furniture, musical instruments a nd pulp for p aper products. Loggin g provides u s w it h th e only ren ewabl e, susta ina ble co ns truc tion resource w e have. There are no clear cuts from skyline to skyline tod ay, and while a fresh logging site make not be visu ally pleasing, it will only look that way for a sho rt time. For every tree that is cut tod ay, five new ones are planted, and in less than 10 years, those trees will be over your head , and in 40 to 50 years it will look like it was never logged . Besides, even nature "clear cu ts" forest s from time to tim e with fire, wind and landslid es. Natu re is dyn a mic , and a n atura l landscape shou ld have a mos aic of enviro nments, with old- g ro w th, mid ag e a nd newly eme rging forest s, each with characteristics favored by different species of plants and an imals. Some would say that Mr . Schwe nk's San Francisco environmen t is the picture of "d evas ta tion from skyline to skyline." After all, the en tire Bay Area has been not only "clear cut " but is perma nently deforested by man's ong oing effo rts to keep it d eforested . The Bay 30Y EARSA O G ... JULY 18, 1968 he Laconia 100-mile N ati onal road race was th e cover s to ry. Cal Ra yborn (H -D) w on the New Hampsh ire classic, stretching his lead all the wa y to the finish. Mike Sponseller (TrD won the Amateu r 60m iler...· Speedway racing (a ka Class A s ho rt track) returned to the Southern California are a, as races wer e held in Pacoima's Whiteman Stadium. Well-kn own area hotshoes such as Edd ie Muld er, Rick Wood s, Sammy Tanner an d Stu Morley too k part in the action, and loved it... Mel Lach er (H-D ) won the Expert main event at th e Ascot Park Half Mil e for the fourth w eek in a row . Jim Rice (Bs A) came from next -t o-la st on the opening lap and pa ssed Tommy Rockwood (Tri) for the 10-lap Amateu r wi n ... Cycle News road- tes ted (?) a 350cc Bultaco "El Bandido" motocrosser... J.N. Rob ert s (Hus) won the Prospecter' s Hare Scrambles at Red Rock Canyon by more than four minutes. T Area is a biological desert compared to commercial timberlands. Mr. Schwenk has made a value jud gm en t based upon what he fe el s is visuall y appealin g . Many w o u ld lo ok at a pastoral farm scene wi th positive em otions, but that land is permanently "clear cut," while a fresh logging site is on ly temporary and will be refores ted by itself unless man . actively works to kee p it deforested, which is what we have in the Bay Area. This is a ma tter of percep tion based upon visual appeal, not true regard for the natural environment. Cattle grazing was also a target of Mr. Schwenk's . Aga in, tod ay' s grazi ng practices are conducted in a n environm entall y sou n d, sus tai na ble manner. Those livestock are produced because the public dem ands the products. Most p e o p le ea t m eat . Mo s t p eopl e w ear le a th e r p rodu ct s . M ost p eop le w e ar wool products. Mr. Schwenk ad mits he likes to dri ve h is fo ur-w heel-d r ive vehicl e a n d his mo torcycle "dee p in to und ev el oped areas." He sho uld realize that almos t all of the roa ds and trails in those a reas he enjoys were built originally by miners, loggers or ranchers. None of them were bu ilt by "environmentalists." The Sierra Club , along with m o st of th e other "environmental" groups, are working to close most of the roads and tra ils he uses . Mr. Schwenk demonizes reso urce industries because they are profit-motivated . Well, every business is p rofitmotiva ted , excep t the government. Profit is at the core of the free-enterprise system an d is the dri ving force behind this co u n try's a b u n dance . M r. Sc hwen k enjoys the lifestyle h e d oes because of profits and ab undance. . In the end, we must rem ember that the lea ders hi p of most ma jor envi ro nmental grou ps is not in tune wi th true environmentalis m. For exam ple, the Sierra Club has adopted a resolution to ban all logging on public lands - an extremist posit ion. Similarl y, the Sierra Club ha s also adopted another resolution see king to ban all mo torized recreation from pu blic lands. If they are successful, the only lands ava ilable would be tho se private lands owned by loggi ng , m ining an d ra nching interests tha t Schwenk seems to d espise so mu ch . The Sierra Cl ub ha s elected Dave For em an to their board of d irector s. Forem an was convicted of a felony for conspiracy to blow up a power line. He is the founder of Eart h First! an d the co-aut ho r of a handbook on environmen tal terrorism with a separate chapter on how to kill or mai m motorcvclists and destroy vehicles an d equip me nt, 20Y A SAGO... ER JU Y5,1978 L A cco r d in g to a " Lates t Po o p " rep ort , HarleyDa vid son announced that it wo u ld no longer produce its lightweight mot or cycles. Light w eights accounted for less than 10 percen t of H-D's wo rldwide sa les and, according to H-D chai rma n John A. Davidson, "had been unprofitabl e for so me time because of severe price competition from the Japanese im ports" ... Mike Bell (Yam) scored his first-ev er supercross victory . at the Superbowl of Motocross in the LA Coliseu m... Steve Ek lun d was ho t as he wo n back-to-hack AMA Grand Nationals, claiming victory at both the Santa Fe TT in Hinsd ale, Illinois, and the Cha rity Newsies Half Mile in Columbu s, Oh io ... We ro de Bob Hann ah ' s Yam aha OW-38-B 810 Yamaha, an d interviewed "hei r apparent" Skip Akslan d ... Bullet-fast yo ungster Freddie Spencer wa s a lso profiled ... We tested a Yamaha sRSOOE four-stroke sing le s treet bike, and Suzuki was ad vertising its DR3 70E as the play bike to ha ve. ,_~ "'~:'lI -s« .~ l.!Ji """" The radical ex tre mist leadership o f th e "e nviron me n tal" movemen t is working their long-range plan called the "Wil dla nds Project.' This plan calls for setting aside literally ha lf of the la nd mass of the United Sta tes as off-limi ts to peo ple, period ! Surround in g these "co re " a reas would be hu ge areas similar to tod ay's wild erness areas, off-limits to motorized use entirely. Their vision of mot ori zed recr eati on is that there would be non e at a ll. Their vision includes the disma ntling of society and a return to much more primitive tim es wit h a fraction of the people who now live on earth. Their v is ion is that a d eadl y ba ct erium o r vi rus has just as mu ch righ t to live as a huma n being . Th is mi ght so un d like some kind of "conspiracy nut" talk, but just check out the Wild lands Project web site. It is this type of thi nkin g that the Blue Ribbon Coalition and I ha ve a problem with, not peo ple who tru ly want to prote ct th e en vi ro n men t. Un fo rtu na tely, mos t people w ho ride mot orcycles and enjoy motorized recreation are not political en ough thems elves, so if our spo rt is to survive, we mu st have orga niza tions like the Blue Ribbon Coalition and the AMA Dis trict 36 Legislative Ac t io n O ffi ce. I a p pla ud the n at iona l AM A office fo r su p porti ng the work of th e Blue Ribbon Coalition, and I only wis h th e participan ts of ou r spo rt and th e ind us try su pplying us with our hardware an d cloth ing (all of it either mined or grown by ranchers) wou ld be mor e political every d ay so tha t the staff of the BRC and myself could do w hat we really w ant to d o - ju st rid e ! Mr. Schwenk should be grateful that people like BRC executive direct or Cla rk Coll in s a n d public-lands director Adena Cook, riders th emselves , are willin g to e nd u re th e endless meeting s a n d bureaucra tic paperw ork and cons tant a ttac ks by our opponents, mu ch les s p eople -Iike Schwenk, to protect our right to ride. Af te r all, the y , as well as myself, are doing this work beca u se we love ou r sp o rt and we wa nt our ch ild ren a nd their child re n to be a ble to en joy th e spo rt we a ll love so much . If all M r . Schwenk wants to d o is watch Supercross at a stadium or on TV, he is on the right track. If he wan ts to rid e anywhere excep t tiny "squ irrel pits," he needs to take a better look at the wo rld and figure ou t just wh o his friends are. Happy Trails... Bill Dart is AMA District 36 's legislative action officer... Editor. .~ 10 YEAR G ... SA O J~ E~1~8 • mc Glover (Yam) won the LA Supercross on a hokeylooking Los Angeles Coliseum track tha t didn't use any of the football field. Just the same, Glover was the man, topping Ron Lechien (Ka w) a nd Doug Dubach (Ya rnl.; Doug Pol en (Suz) scored his first- ever AMA Nati onal Superb ike win a t Loud on , Ne w Hampshire, while John Kocin ski (Yam) continued to have a perfect season in the 250cc GP class... Our preview of the upcoming us. GP SOOcc MX race at Hollis ter Hills, Califo rnia, was worth y of the cover. Would the Euros be able to break through and win a race that had been dominated by Americans since Marty Moates' 1980 victory ? .. Edd ie Lawson (Yam) bagged GP victory number four of the year at the Austrian 500cc GP road race... Then as now, Chris Carr (HD) won the AMA 600cc National (now the AMA Ho t Shoe National) at th e Peoria TT ... And th en as now, Sam Ermolenko (GM) won the Ame rican Speedway Final in (~ Long Beach, California (now in Auburn, California). 8 . .. ~ t;:.,: ~. 99

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