Diana in DirtRider

Posted by on July 27, 2010 under Press. This post currently has 8 responses.

Our own Diana Tweedy got a post published in DirtRider. Way to go!

You can read all her post on our site here.

8 Responses to “Diana in DirtRider”

  1. Diana Tweedy says:

    Guess what? If anybody lives around Fremont or Alameda and you vote, Pete Stark believes in the lead ban for kid’s motorcycles. Isn’t that sad?

  2. Diana Tweedy says:

    Has anyone seen many obese children at Carnegie? Many people today may not equate riding a dirt bike with physical activity, but in the 1980’s a study was done to determine which sports required the most strength and endurance. Motocross came in second behind soccer. I know that we are not all professional motocross racers, but riding off road requires a great amount of physical exertion just like participation in non professional soccer matches. In other words, off road riding promotes the goal of increasing physical activity, fighting obesity and maintaining strength and endurance.
    With all the debates about health care, our politicians are beginning to see the light and recognize that physical activity is good for public health. Michele Obama is joining the fight. She was recently named honorary chair of the newly formed Partnership for a Healthier America. Founded by six leading foundations and nonprofits, including Kaiser Permanente, this organization was formed to combat childhood obesity. One of the four pillars of the first ladies plan includes: increasing opportunities for kids to be physically active, both in and out of school.
    Other agencies under the Obama administration have recognized the importance of outdoor physical activity. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) encompassing various agencies, including among others, the Department of Health and Human Service, the Department of Interior, Department of the Army and the Department of Transportation have signed on to the MOU recognizing the benefits of good nutrition, physical activity and outdoor recreation. It is designed to support the Presidents Healthier US Initiative.
    One of the major goals is to create “new opportunities for children and youth to become familiar with and comfortable in natural, outdoor environments, and hence to counteract the rise of what has been termed “nature-deficit disorder.” The overall plan is to “optimize the use of recreation areas, programs, and products aimed at promoting physical activity, especially on the Nation’s public lands and waters … and to promote policies that support the design, maintenance, and conservation of recreational facilities that increase the public’s physical activity and ensure inclusive recreation”.
    Many studies have drawn a connection between physical activity and combating obesity, as well as in maintaining overall physical health. A study done at Arizona State found that they “now had evidence to support the claim that exercise is related to positive mental health as indicated by relief in symptoms of depression and anxiety”. http://www.fitness.gov/mentalhealth.htm If all this is true, why is recreational off road riding under attack?
    Over the last several years, society in general has become more concerned with “saving the planet” and environmental issues. Consequently, heightened awareness of how corporate America impacts our environment has increased. To understand how off road motorcycling has become equated with corporate America and interests such as lumber and mining which sometimes exploit public land, it is necessary to look at the history of the conservation movement. The politicians threw us to the wolves in the original Wilderness legislation. They did this by banning all mechanized vehicles from Wilderness areas, along with timber, mining and commercial development. This pattern has been repeated over and over. Now environmentalists equate off road use with environmental exploitation and twist the facts to promote that idea.
    The environmentalists are aided by laws that make it profitable to sue private parties over environmental matters in matters concerning the Federal agencies like the BLM or the USFS. Farmers and ranchers are hit especially hard. In and article entitled Taxpayers Foot the Bill for Environmental Lawsuits, dated November 5, 2009 it was reported that the federal government spends about the same amount of money funding environmental lawyers as it does to protect endangered species.
    According to Budd-Falen, environmental groups are eligible for government funds under the Equal Access to Justice Act, which provides for the award of attorney fees to “prevailing parties” in cases against the government. The firms also are accessing government funds through the Judgment Fund, which is a line-item appropriation in the federal budget used for paying claims against the government. “If you just look at the raw number and say ‘why in the world is the United States paying a million dollars bankrolling them to sue us,’ well that’s what congress set up through EAJA. They are filing these suits to make money.” http://naturalresourcereport.com/2009/11/taxpayers-foot-the-bill-for-environmental-lawsuits/ and http://bsimmons.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/taxpayer-funded-war-against-ranchers/
    According to Henry Lamb, “It is way past time that Congress put an end to this corporate welfare. Many of these environmental organizations boast assets and income in multiple millions, and pay their executives salaries greater than the CEOs of most for-profit corporations. The president of the Environmental Defense Fund, for example, takes home a total of $496,000 per year. The president of the World Wildlife Fund takes home $486,000. These organizations are getting millions of dollars in government grants as well.”
    “These organizations represent what appears to be the worst kind of corruption or collusion, but apparently, it is legal. To the people who pay the taxes, it looks a lot like legal thievery. The people who believe that environmental groups can do no wrong — are wrong; flat wrong. Environmental groups are the worst kind of corporate welfare, feeding at the government trough while doing everything possible to put brakes on economic development. These groups then have the audacity to beg for public donations, claiming to be the only salvation for the future of the planet. Hogwash!” http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/lamb/100203
    Although the groups suing Carnegie State OHV Park are suing a State Agency (not the Feds) and the attorney fee provisions noted above do not necessarily apply, they do apply in cases where environmental groups are suing the BLM to keep us from riding trails we have ridden for generations.
    CSPA and PEER in their lawsuit against Carnegie are asking for attorney fees pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1021.5 which authorizes the court to award attorney fees to the successful party in a suit that benefits the public interest. Although this provision gives the court discretion to award attorney fees and does not require the court to do so, based on Judge Roesch’s record so far, we know exactly where this judge is heading. In other words they are attempting to bankrupt our green-sticker fund. This after Governor Schwartzmegger borrowed (stole) sixty million from our green-sticker fund to benefit the general fund.
    Beyond that, these non-profit groups get large government grants and other large donations from wealthy people who set up foundations to benefit the environment. Most of the time these generous contributors do not understand that the “environmental groups” they are supporting are using laws like the endangered species act to promote their specific agenda, which often has nothing to do with the purpose of the law they are invoking. Donors are often just doing something to purge feelings of guilt, and because it is “the right thing to do”, i.e., save the environment.
    According to Moto-X magazine, “ex-professional motocross racer, Larry Wosick, the owner of Honey Lake Motocross in Milford, California, it’s been an ongoing (and expensive) battle just to stay open. ‘We were defending ourselves against allegations from one of the top-rated environmental legal firms in California who specialize in environmental cases. In simpler terms, this means they specialize in running you out of money trying to defend against their accusations, eventual¬ly leading most projects to fail before they begin,’ he continues”. Although he faces opposition because of sound issues which he is striving to mitigate, the lesson is that if you want to fight the environmental law firms you must be wealthy.
    As we fight to keep Carnegie and other riding areas from being closed we should ponder these questions: Why when family outdoor activities are being promoted by our government, are our parks under constant attack? Why are so many non-profit environmental groups involved in the attack? What can we do to preserve an activity that reduces stress in our every day lives and promotes good physical and mental health? And how do we convince other people that our sport involves extreme physical activity; and that we are not destroying the environment? We aren’t riding choppers or dumping chemicals into the earth.
    As I said we aren’t dumping toxic chemicals into the soil. Why aren’t these environmental groups concerned about golf courses? See my comment above where it was found that golf courses were a factor in the dead zone in the Gulf. Oh; that’s right, environmentalists and politicians play golf. I have nothing against golf, but we love our sport just as much as anyone. A little common sense is needed here; not just hysteria and a holier than thou attitude. Like everyone else we want to save the planet, but we want to be able to use its resources for recreation and fitness. Managed recreation at Carnegie is benefiting not hurting the environment.

  3. Diana Tweedy says:

    8-20-2010 On a different note, the recent accident in Mojave Desert has had devastating consequences. It was reported in the New York Times today that “The Federal Bureau of Land Management has suspended off road racing events run by Mojave Racing Productions the corporation responsible for the race last Saturday in which eight people were killed… Races organized by other groups will be reviewed and approved on an individual basis…”

    Although this tragic accident took eight lives, it is not the norm and the generally safe track record of off road racing is ignored in a mad rush to judgment. Comments to an original article about this accident on the web for the most part did not blame the driver or race organizers. Most said the problem was that spectators were too close to the actual racing and disobeyed the organizer’s instructions to stay one hundred feet away.

    I do not condone blaming the spectators, but banning desert races is not the answer. Generally racing in the Mojave has a safe track record. This accident was a tragic reminder of the dangers for spectators who get too close to the course where drivers can loose control without a moments notice. Anything can happen. Thankfully this was a once in a lifetime occurrence. Maybe race organizers can install more barriers near dangerous parts of the course.

    It goes without saying that California’s two U.S. senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein called on the federal BLM to explain why “proper precautions” were not in place. Our liberal senators took advantage of this freak accident to pressure the BLM to revoke racing permits. The AMA and District 36 are trying to combat the dreadful publicity caused by this horrible accident and make sure that desert racing is not banned in the future. They need your help and donations.

    This comes on top of numerous lawsuits filed by the extremists to stop off road recreation in our public lands. Money is tight in these recessionary times, but direly needed to build a war chest to fight these groups and to initiate litigation of our own.

  4. Diana Tweedy says:

    After further research it appears that Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein do not want to ban off road recreation. “While it is important that we continue to provide opportunities for off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation on our nation’s public lands, adequate precautions must be taken to ensure that these activities are conducted safely,” Boxer and Feinstein stated in the letter. http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/19/local/la-me-0819-california-200-20100819 Given their historical opposition to off road recreation (think the Desert Protection Act among other Wilderness Acts), this disclaimer can be taken for what its worth.

  5. Diana Tweedy says:

    August 21, 2010. More bad news. BLM directer Bob Abbey announced Friday that the agency will now look at its permits throughout the country, according to today’s San Francisco Chronicle. The whole country is being affected by this tragic accident in the Mojave. The bad news has spread from the California Desert District to the whole country. We have the officials at the BLM to thank for that. How long will race permits be on hold?

  6. Diana Tweedy says:


    Our young woman racers are very fast. You don’t believe it? Check out a British magazine called Enduro Extreme. It is a quarterly magazine and has a web-site http://www.enduroextreme.com. I found it while perusing the off road magazine section at Barnes and Nobles Book store.

    In the Sixth issue there is an article entitled Sprinting Ahead. It is about the British Enduro Sprint Championship. The riders are timed as they ride through specific sections (special tests), in a format similar to the ISDE. The race is all about speed through the multiple timed sections. This is a new championship series open to all levels of riders, not just the elite class.

    Poland’s Taddy Blazusiak competed in the first two rounds, but Manxman, David Knight won the overall Championship with his tremendous natural talent and blazing speed.

    David Knight’s girl friend, Tara Gieger, was stranded in Great Britain when volcanic ash canceled all fights out of the country. Just for fun she decided to ride the Expert ES1 class at the third round at Roger Hills Raceway in Dorcet. This round was much more motocross specific than usual with two motocross tracks brought together to form one comprehensive track.

    The conditions must have favored Tara, because she placed second in the Expert ES1 class displacing aspiring title champion, Robert Lynn, to third place. There was no woman’s class. Although she was riding the small displacement class on her Honda, she got a fifth overall expert that day. The expert class is a very competitive with world class racers vying for top honors.

    Way to go Tara! Remember that she is an X Game Gold Medalist and is currently running third in the US Woman’s Pro Motocross Championship behind Jessica Paterson and Ashley Fiolek. These women are flat out fast and getting faster.

  7. Diana Tweedy says:

    Predictably PEER attacks Vegas to Reno Race because of lack of safeguards. This piece comes after the Mojave tragedy and goes on to attack the BLM for “putting its head in the sand”. There is a lot of rhetoric about wreaking havoc on fragile desert landscapes and devastating sensitive species. http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2010/08/17-0
    On the topic of protecting the desert, check this out. PEER asked a court to order that a memorial in the Mojave Desert for soldiers fighting the first world be torn down because it is on federal land and uses a cross to honor fallen heroes. Isn’t that taking the establishment clause a little too literally? This was in 2009 but here is the link. http://frontpage.americandaughter.com/?tag=mojave-desert

  8. Diana Tweedy says:

    Whoops not a memorial for soldiers fighting the first world … the First World War… you probably already knew. SORRY

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