Flashback and a View of the Future
Twenty some years ago I was riding at Carnegie solo and saw some people by a bunch of hay bales at the base of some hills near Middle Track. I rode over and leaned my bike on a bale and sat and watched with about 50 people. I had never seen a hillclimb competition live before so it was a real treat to see and hear the big bikes master the hill.
Over the years I came to know the Hillclimb Family – Skip, Lynn, George and Heather Horne. From events with 50 people they now sponsor 4 California Hillclimb Rounds and one National Event every year. Because of their dedicated hard work Carnegie gets: national publicity for free, 15,000 spectators bringing in fees to the park, and goodwill from thousands of riders and their families looking forward to an event that has become a part of their life.
After the suit to close Carnegie was filed, the Park responded with a MASSIVE demarcation program to protect the dry creek bed. One area that was completely fenced was the hillclimb area. I have grave concerns about the future of the hillclimb program if this location becomes off-limits. Carnegie without the hillclimbs is like The Constitution without “We the People”. Also we are loosing our recreation rights because of opinions and feelings of a very small group of anti-OHV people.
Here are two examples:
- Clear Creek is closed because of assumptions that asbestos in some areas can be hazardous to riders’ health. Fact – there is no data of excessive health/lung problems from riders who have been there from 1945 on.
- Carnegie is under orders to close because a Judge believes data submitted by 2 environmental organizations that the creek in the park is polluted by OHV’s. Fact – The creek is dry for 10 months and any serious pollution (if any) comes from other sources.
There are no winners in this stupid game. The OHV community accepts restrictions and “punishments” based on false assumptions. The environmental community is painted as a bunch of arrogant, elite fools. The legal system is viewed as a hammer instead of a level. The State ends up looking powerless to defend our family recreation rights.
My prayer is that the attack on Carnegie is the beginning of the end of the power of so few over so many.