Author Archive

Time Is Running Out on Kids’ Dirtbikes

Posted by on January 22, 2011 under Legal, Updates. This post currently has 5 responses.

Many of you go riding with your families. Imagine if you could not buy
motorcycles for your children. Imagine that you could not buy parts for the
motorcycles you do own. Imagine your kids sitting inside the house playing video
games all day. In a day when too many kids don’t get enough exercise, we may
lose our favorite form of outdoor family recreation because of a law intended to
protect small children from lead tainted imports.

This scenario is the unintended consequence of a law that was passed in
response to toys exported to this country from China with a high lead content.
The legislators were appropriately concerned about small children ingesting,
inhaling or absorbing unsafe levels of lead. The Consumer Product Safety
Improvement Act (CPISA), as the law is called, bans the selling of products
to children, 12 and under, which contain more than very tiny amounts of lead.
The danger lies in small children putting lead based toys into their mouths
and sucking on them. There is only one problem; this law applies to children’s
motorcycles. Because batteries and brake calipers contain small amounts of
lead, bikes meant for children will be subject to the ban.

In May of 2009 CPSC recognized the danger of steering kids to bikes that were
too big and heavy for them by making kid-sized dirt bikes unavailable, and
delayed enforcement of CPSIA until May of 2011.

Earlier last year federal lawmakers held a hearing on the Consumer Product
Safety Improvement Act of 2010 (CPSEA) that is supposed to fix the original
CSPIA and allow the consumer Product Safety Commission to exempt certain
products from the ban. The AMA, which has been lobbying for an exemption for
children’s motorcycles, is concerned because the new law does not specifically
exclude children’s dirt bikes.

If the CPSEA is not fixed and passed before May 1, 2011 then kid’s dirt bikes will
no longer be available.

We love riding dirt bikes with our kids, and most of us grew up riding with our
parents. We treasure time spent with our families enjoying the outdoors and
teaching our kids the joys of off-road riding. Don’t forget the kids seated on the
platform at Carnegie Freedom Day speaking into the microphone and saying
what it was that they liked about riding at Carnegie. Basically they all agreed that
riding dirt bikes at Carnegie was enjoyable because it allowed them to spend
time with their families. This issue is of major importance to us and we need to
stay informed.

Kacy Martinez – Honoring One Of Our most Successful Carnegie Racers

Posted by on December 15, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has 3 responses.

There are other successful racers/hill-climbers from Carnegie, but Kacy Martinez is very high profile at the moment. She is sponsored by KTM, won the 2009 2010 WORCS Women’s pro title, women’s hill-climb championship, and is the AMA 2009 woman rider of the year.

Kacy started riding Carnegie at a very early age and still enjoys riding here with her friends. Her slim graceful figure belies her profession as a motorcycle racer. Like other successful athletes, Kacy attributes a good part of her success to her family and the backing and support she received from them.

Some time ago I ran into her when I was practicing at the motocross track. That day the track was dry and rutted and I was having trouble going fast though the some of the corners. I noticed a rider on a Honda CR 125 really attacking the track, and I got off my bike to take a look. I watched her as she charged into a dry, rutted corner and then at the last minute pitched it sideways at speed. After hitting the berm, she released the clutch and gunned the bike through the turn and down the next straight. She was attacking the track and going really fast. It wasn’t until afterwards when I saw her go back to her father’s truck and take off her helmet that I realized that she was a girl. If you ride at Carnegie you have probably seen her. She still rides there when she gets a chance.

At about 10:00a.m. on October 16th Kacy was on the starting line for the 24 Hours at Glen Helen. It all began a few months ago when KTM decided to put together a professional woman’s team for the 24 hour race held in San Bernadino County. It appears that KTM supported motocross racer, Sarah Whitmore, came up with the idea after she raced the 6 Hours of Glen Helen and loved it. Her teammates, all KTM racers,
were Kacy Martinez (2010 WORCS champion), Maria Forsberg (2010 GNCC champion) and Sherri Cruse (pro motocross racer and frequent WORC racer). It was reported that they even had their own semi at the track.

Glen Helen is tough. As part of the national motocross championship series, motocross fans from all over the country have seen it on television. It is a rough demanding track, even for professionals. The 24 Hours at Glen Helen includes twelve miles of racing on two motocross tracks (Glen Helen and the REM track), an off road truck track, miles of tight and twisty trails, and a paved road course. It is legendary. Think of
it. About six hours total racing on the track for each team member and almost half of it at night. 24 hours without sleep. This race is the definition of tough. Watching the race you can see that it takes everything out of the competitors and more.

Motorcycle racing is not a team sport. When the gate drops everyone is fighting for the lead. They are all “the competition”. Being a part of a team was probably a new experience for most of these girls. Kacy’s dad, Mark Martinez tended the grill making sure that there was enough to eat and was track side where it counted. He was there the entire 24 hours and his indomitable spirit and work ethic helped the team pull
through both on and off the track. According to Sarah Whitmore in an article in the January edition of Dirt Bike Magazine, the women racers worked really well together both as individuals and as members of a team.

Eventually Kacy lined up on the men’s professional line for a Le Mans style start and took her KTM 250 into second place going through the first turn. Perhaps it was due to her experience climbing hills at Carnegie, but she found traction and sped out of the gate beating all but one of the professional teams lined up beside her. She experienced some problems coming into the Enduro Cross section and fell out of the top
three. The girls took turns riding and when night fell their lap times only fell by one minute. Have you ever ridden through dust at night? You can’t see much.

Anyway when it was all over team KTM captured the women’s pro class victory and came in a respectful ninth overall out of forty-four competitive teams. More importantly, they made history by being the first factory supported off road team. We certainly have something to be proud about. She didn’t ride the race alone. It was a team effort, but they all pushed it through almost impossible conditions and put in an
incredible performance. We at Carnegie Forever want to give Kacy a big collective hug. She is putting us on the map. Her determination and effort have definitely paid off.

See the Racer X web-site.

Debbie Evans, SoCal, Featured in AMA Magazine

Posted by on November 24, 2010 under Uncategorized. This post currently has no responses.

Some of you will remember the guy in Bruce Brown’s On Any Sunday who did the seemingly endless wheelie. The camera panned him as he disappeared down the road and then focused on a perplexed onlooker shaking his head. That was her father doing the wheelie. Then on Any Sunday 2 she does the balancing act that made her famous. She rides her motorcycle to a stop, kills the engine and proceeds to do a head stand on the seat balancing the motorcycle the entire time. She then comes down from the headstand, starts the motorcycle and wheelies off.

I remember Debbie in the late seventies, when I first got involved in motorcycles. She and her husband, Lane Levitt, a National Trials Champion, would come up for some of our events in Northern California. They were both very friendly and not at all stuck up.

Debbie rode in the men’s expert class and had a reputation for being a fearless rider. At that time there was a woman’s class, but the sections were too easy and so I started out in the sportsman’s class. I certainly was no Debbie Evans, but being a serious rider, I wanted to challenge myself.

We both rode the same motorcycle, a Yamaha TY-175. It was light and maneuverable. That worked out well for Debbie because she finished 4th in the 175 class in the Scottish Six Day Trial, an awesome accomplishment.

Today she is a stunt rider in Hollywood. To learn more about this amazing woman go the AMA Magazine. Debbie Evans was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame in 2003.

Northern CA Native This Year’s National Trials Champion

Posted by on November 24, 2010 under Uncategorized. This post currently has no responses.

Cody Webb who grew up in Watsonville, California wrapped up his first AMA, NATC National Trials Championship with one event remaining by winning round 9 at Donner Ski Ranch in Nevada. Although this represents Cody’s first national trails championship few doubt that it will be his last.

Cody has been riding motorcycles since he was about three or four years old. With his father Kip as his coach and minder he progressed quickly. Kip Web, a top trials rider in the 80’s and 90’s, was known as “The Animal” due to his aggressive riding style (before taking up trials he was a motocross racer). Kip imparted his technique and desire to his son and Cody’s career took off at an early age. Before graduating from high school he had already gone to Europe to compete against the world’s best riders.

In 2002 at 14 years old, Cody won the AMA High School National Trials Championship. In 2003 he earned the AMA Expert National Trials Championship in his rookie year. In 2007 and 2008 he won the AMA Indoor National Trials Championship. At this point in his career Cody has represented the United States at the Trials des Nations seven times.

In addition to trials, Cody competes in EnduroCross. This year he won 4th place at an AMA EnduroCross in Guthrie Oklahoma and qualified for every main event that he raced.

During the last four seasons Cody captured second place Pro in the AMA National Trials Competition. Finally this year he ascended to top dog in the national trials scene and became the first “native” Californian to win the national title since Bernie Schreiber did so in 1987. Bernie Schreiber went on to win the World Trails Championship in 1989. Is a world championship on Cody’s to do list?

At Donner Ski Ranch, Cody swept both days, beating the three-time National Trials Champion Patrick Smage by 26 points on Saturday and 38 points on Sunday. Coming from Northern California, Cody has plenty of experience with the huge granite walls at Donner.

Cody credited switching to a new team and a new bike (GasGas USA) for this season as the catalyst for his recent success.

See Dirtrider for more info.

On a more personal note; I have known Cody’s father Kip since the early 80’s through the late 90’s, during a time when my husband and I competed in local trials events. I remember Cody riding on the tank of Kip’s motorcycle before he was barely able to walk. I also recall an incident when Cody and his friends urged my grandson to ride his tricycle down a steep and scary hill. They were a year or two older than my foolhardy grandson and were riding BMX bikes. They didn’t realize the danger of riding a fixed wheel trike at a high rate of speed. Thank god we caught my grandson in the nick of time and stopped him before he followed the others in what for him would have been a wild ride. Who did he think he was – Travis Pastrana?

At any rate, Cody has graduated from riding his BMX bike down steep, scary hills and my grandson… well that is a story for another time.

Einer’s Bicycle

Posted by on November 24, 2010 under Uncategorized. This post currently has no responses.

I am no Jessica Paterson, Debbie Evans or Kacy Martinez. I just love dirt bikes. I enjoyed sports from an early age. Before I entered junior high school I played kids’ baseball, football and ice-hockey. All my life I enjoyed competition in individual sports such as horseback riding, skiing, back-packing, mountain climbing, sailing and bicycling. I didn’t buy my first motorcycle until I was in my mid to late twenties and at that time I didn’t know anybody who rode motorcycles. In fact I had never ridden a motorcycle except as a teenager on the back of my former boyfriend’s BSA Gold Star.

I bought my first motorcycle in 1977, a Yamaha RD-125. I was going to school and I needed transportation. It all started when my friend Einer asked me to return his bicycle which I had been riding on loan. Somehow in the process of looking for a new bicycle I ended up walking into Berkeley Yamaha, a motorcycle dealer. In those days Karl was a young man and it didn’t take much persuasion before I handed over a check and Karl rolled my new motorcycle out of the shop. The only problem was that I did not know how to ride a motorcycle.

Karl instructed me as to where the throttle, clutch, shifter and brakes were located. He also warned me of the neighborhood dog who made a sport out of terrifying unsuspecting bikers. It was a small displacement 2-stoke and as I let out the clutch to merge into traffic on University Avenue I was afraid to rev the engine thinking that it would blow to kingdom come. Eventually, before I had made it halfway home, it fouled a plug and refused to start. I didn’t know anything about fouled plugs on 2-strokes and I just assumed that my new motorcycle was broken.

I was standing beside the road wondering what to do when a friendly Berkeley police officer stopped to see what was wrong. When I told him what had happened he knew right away what the problem was. He got a spark plug wrench out of the trunk of his cruiser, pulled the plug out of my bike, cleaned it off and re-inserted it. After I got it started he warned me to keep the motor revved up. That was almost thirty-five years ago and I have been riding ever since.

Less than I year later I sold the street bike and purchased a dual sport Yamaha DT 175 and a little bit later a trails bike Yamaha TY 175. After learning how to ride off road I purchased my first motocross bike. What a long strange
trip it has been and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything. I made a lot of new friends and traveled to different places. I joined PITS (Pacific International Trials Society), FIM, the AMA and District 36. For years I competed in trials, motocross and cross-country. I also joined NORBA (National Off Road Bicycle Association) and raced cross-country, dual slalom, down hill and trials on bicycles. Now I just ride for fun.

November 2nd is Fast Approaching

Posted by on October 12, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has 4 responses.

As Skip said at Carnegie Freedom day; “We have to vote those so and so’s out of office”. We live in a free society and it is more important than ever to exercise our right to vote. But which so and so’s do we need to vote out of office? This is why we need to educate ourselves about where particular candidates stand pertaining to issues that affect us. The Internet is an invaluable tool to find out about candidate voting records and which candidates are introducing legislation that diminish our riding opportunities. Beyond just doing basic Internet research there is help on the way. In Dirt Rider’s latest issue there is an article entitled “You Lose! Don’t Make Dirt Bikes Extinct” by Jimmy Lewis.

This article contains some really useful information about voting. Check out all three pages especially the section on how to obtain information about candidates and issues. According to this article there is a 2010 AMA member voter guide (you need to login). The AMA doesn’t tell you how to vote but tries to help AMA members understand where candidates stand on issues important to the future of motorcycling. Although most of the candidates did not return the AMA questionnaire, and this tool is limited, do take a look here if you are an AMA member.

Over the next couple of weeks we have to find out about the candidates and the issues. As Jimmy Lewis says: “Shortly, if things continue the way they are going, you will not have dirt bikes to ride or places to ride them.” Read the article and take action. It was never more important than it is today to exercise your right to vote. Know the candidates and the propositions before you enter the voting booth.

Getting ready for elections and making sure we understand the issues is very important. I have been voting since I was eighteen years old and take my duty as a citizen of this great country very seriously. Sometimes a particular issue is not as cut and dry as it initially seems.

I recently had a discussion about Proposition 23 with a friend. As I understood it, Proposition 23 would suspend AB-32 (a greenhouse gas reduction program) until California’s unemployment drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters (not very likely any time soon). I originally assumed that Proposition 23 was not a good thing.

After listening to his arguments I researched the issues and this is what I learned.

According to the literature AB-32 is a comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emissions reporting and fee requirements for major emittors such as power plants and oil refineries.

It sounds like AB-32 will reduce green house gases. Isn’t that a good thing? Aren’t green house emissions responsible for global warming? We all have our own answers to this question. I believe they do. There are scientists who believe that they do and others who believe that they don’t. Beyond this question, other issues germane to this proposition are more complicated than I thought.

Some newspaper articles blame out-of-state oil companies for sponsoring and funding Proposition 23. Yet according to a site called Ballotpedia, Proposition 23 supporters include Dan Logue, US Congressman Tom McClintock (see my previous post about Tom McClintock), Steve Poizner, The California Republican Party, Jim Kellog, the California Manufacturers and Technology Association and Americans for the prosperity of California.

Then there is the issue of who will be responsible for implementing and making regulations pursuant to AB-32. According to the language of the statute, The California Air Resources Board (CARB), under the California Environmental Protection Agency, is to prepare plans to achieve the objectives stated in the Act.

We all know these groups. The day before yesterday there was a newspaper article about CARB, the state agency charged with researching and adopting air quality standards. CARB grossly miscalculated pollution levels for diesel-fueled off-road vehicles used in construction and other industries. Its scientific analysis was off by 340 percent.

“The setbacks in the air board’s research – and the proposed softening of a landmark regulation raise questions about the performance of the agency as it is in the midst of implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or AB-32 as it is commonly called, one of the state’s and the nation’s most ambitious environmental policies to date.”

So the question also becomes – do we really trust the California Air Resources Board to implement this law in an unbiased manner? Among other things, my friend said that the CARB used junk science with the OHV Red Sticker/Green sticker issue and based current emissions on tests from a mid 1970s 2- stroke.

According to a comment to the Chronicle article alluded to above there are also other questions pertaining to this agency which include among other things poisoning California wells by forcing refineries to add MTBE to gasoline and forcing independent truck drivers to sell their rigs when they issued draconian standards based on phony science. The author of the comment said that its director, Mary Nichols, has arrogantly joked, “I can do anything I want–I don’t have to stand for election”.

Need I say more? Voting is not easy and I cannot tell you how to vote. As Wooster says in P.G. Wodehouse’s popular novel, “there are circles within circles”. Nothing is easy or even cut and dried. I don’t want to tell you how I will vote. Everybody has different values and beliefs, but it has never been more important than it is today to exercise our right to vote and educate ourselves about the issues.

As I said before, the Dirt Rider article has some very good ideas. It is an invaluable resource to look at before you step into the voting booth. Also talk to friends and look at websites for organizations that represent our interests like Blue Ribbon Coalition, CORVA, AMA, District 36, and others to find out what the issues are and where the candidates stand.

Congressman Presses For Public Access To U.S. Forests

Posted by on August 30, 2010 under Press. This post currently has 2 responses.

Check out this article published by The Union.com serving Western Nevada County in California entitled McClintock Blasts US Forest Service for “Abusive” “ Predatory” Fees.

Congressman Tom McClintock describes examples of cost recovery fees collected by the US Forest Service which he labels as abusive and predatory. This abuse, brought to his attention by his constituents, portrays an attitude within the service which he said requires immediate correction.

He documents examples of the U.S. Forest Service demanding excessive fees from various organizations running events in the National Forests and then pulling permits when the organizations could not afford the fees. Groups including the California
Endurance Riders Association, the Polka Dot Motorcycle Club (motorcycle clubs) and Gold Country Endurance Group (an equestrian club) were forced to cancel events that they had been holding for decades.

These along with other documented abuses caused Tom McClintock to bring concerns and complaints of arbitrary and capricious conduct to the Forest Service’s attention. “Combined, these actions evince an ideologically driven hostility to the public’s use of the public’s land – and a clear intention to deny the public the responsible and sustainable use of that land.”

He said that if the Forest Service fails to reverse these policies he will use his use his position on the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee to press for hearings into the economic damage their actions have caused.

Finally a powerful ally willing to stand up for public access…

A Threat from the Inside

Posted by on August 18, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has 2 responses.

After injuring myself I was back on my motorcycle for the first time in over a month. I noticed a lot of changes since I was my last ride. Not good changes. Let me explain what I mean.

“Viewed from a jetliner at 35,000 feet Carnegie is indistinguishable from other geographic features like farms, shopping malls, housing tracts, and the military installation across the road from us.” Dave Duffin.

The danger lies not so much that the environmental extremists will close us down outright. They will take little chunks out of our riding experience bit by bit until we finally leave of our own accord.

Back on the ground and behind the scenes the rangers are being forced to kowtow to these extreme environmental groups and take action based on their interpretation of the Recreation Code.

The rangers are putting up more fencing and constructing trails that are finely graded and almost flat. These new trails pose no challenge to long time Carnegie riders. Some say that the many blind corners, easy terrain and increased speed pose a safety hazard on the narrow two-way trails.

“The “improvements” will add a new component to many unskilled riders’ experience – SPEED!!! This will result in accidents.” Dave Duffin.

What can we do to pressure the rangers into taking the riders needs into consideration when they make changes? Will Rodney Smith still be able to say that Carnegie is the most challenging place he had ever ridden?

“They act like we are riding on their front lawn not in our off road park.” Mark Martinez.

Someone is trying to turn Carnegie into a kind of safe amusement park like the snow coaches in Yellow Stone. Long time riders did not start riding here because they didn’t like challenging terrain. What can we do? We need to take action immediately or it will be too late.

America’s Great Outdoors Idea Jam

Posted by on August 10, 2010 under Legal, Updates. This post currently has 6 responses.

What would you think if you could tell the Obama administration how you feel about outdoor recreation and conservation? It would be nice since wealthy lobbyists for conservation groups like the Sierra Club seem to have a stranglehold on influence in Washington. But now it is possible to speak to Washington about your concerns and to counter the ideas promoted by OHV opponents.

Blue Ribbon Coalition’s website informs us of a new law signed by Obama, “America’s Great Outdoors Initiative”, which directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) to coordinate with the Interior and Agriculture Departments on a program to promote conservation and outdoor recreation.” Go to the Blue Ribbon website to learn how you can join the discussion.

Don’t let the groups who are trying to stop OHV recreation hog all the ideas. We need to input our thoughts about the proper utilization of recreational resources. Off road recreation is not a crime. Go to: http://ideas.usda.gov/ago/ideas.nsf/ and let them know what you think.

Can’t We Just Get Along?

Posted by on August 2, 2010 under Legal, Updates. This post currently has 6 responses.

Karen Schambach’s organization the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation in conjunction with the Center for Biological Diversity is behind a new petition for wit of mandate to stop a Green-Sticker funded trail near her home in Georgetown.

They are suing the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation along with Eldorado National Forest and The United States Forest Service to shut down the Rock Creek Development Project. They allege that 8.9 miles of new trail is a major expansion of off road vehicle use, thereby requiring an Environmental Impact Report. The project includes three new bridges and a rest room near the Rubicon. She is asking the judge to block the construction of the new trail until an EIR is approved. Think the Alameda/Tesla property.

To read the as yet unfilled writ of mandate see here.

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