Archive for the “Uncategorized” Category

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.

Our Friends at PEER and Their Dirty Little Tricks

Posted by on June 2, 2010 under Uncategorized. This post currently has 3 responses.

I was reading the paper the other day where I saw a humorous little political cartoon about red and blue states. I did a second take when I read the caption. In blue states inhabitants are a thousand miles away from the Wilderness and think that it is a good idea to save it. In the red states they live about five miles away and are pissed because they are being shut out of their own public lands. In the first frame there was a picture of a woman at an amusement park kissing a dolphin and in the second frame there was a picture of someone riding a four-wheeler in the wilderness drinking from an open container while shooting deer with a rifle.

This common, but distorted characterization, upholds the view that amusement parks are a better family resource than recreation on public land. Let’s see… The experience at an amusement park is totally controlled by the corporate owners. The user is just a passive participant. OHV use on public land, contrary to the above characterization, teachers our children skills and responsibility while building physical strength and stamina. I am not saying that there is no place for amusement parks (As a teenager, I received my first kiss on an amusement park ride), but on the whole taking part in a legitimate sport seems preferable to the amusement park experience. You can call me a red, even though I reside in California, a blue state.

Regardless, this humorous cartoon points out a common misperception that our friends at PEER are taking advantage of in their fight against off road recreation. Check out Dom Amador’s blog (linked to this site) where he reports the following: “Once again the far left enviro community launches an unjustified attack on OHV by lumping riders in with drug dealers and vandals who break into government buildings.” What is this all about? PEER takes a legitimate sport and lumps it together with drug dealers and vandals and ultimately terrorists. (Excuse me!!!!!!!)

The new 2010 PEER Report on Violence against Federal Officers states the following; “WASHINGTON – May 27 – Attacks and threats against U.S. Forest Service employees and National Park Service rangers reached an all-time record in 2009, according to agency incident reports released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). This spike in violent incidents reflects growing danger to both staff and visitors on federal lands.”

If you look at the report closely there is absolutely no link between these attacks and recreational off road riders. Based on the fact that these attacks occur on areas open to off road recreation, PEER draws the outlandish conclusion that attacks and threats against U.S. Forest Service employees and national Park Service rangers is symptom on out of control OHV use, ignoring the fact that drug dealers, poachers and illegal timber harvesters in these areas use four wheeled vehicles to perpetuate their crimes.

At the bottom of the news release you will see a link to PEER’s 2007 “report” that OHVers posed a major threat to the peace and security of this nation.

“One BLM ranger wrote bluntly, “User attitudes are atrocious. They are the single biggest destruction on public lands these days, far worse than grazing or energy development.” Contrary to that ranger’s assertion, the biggest threat to river systems reported in the Chronicle today are to the Gauley River in West Virginia (mountain top mining) and Upper Delaware River (natural gas extraction) which are both related to energy development and, I believe, both occurring on public lands.

Don Amador, (the General) contacted a number of federal law enforcement officers who reported that none of them had ever heard of the survey, let alone filled it out. “Most, if not all of those officers reported that commercial dope growers, poachers, those who steal timber and other natural resources, and various other non-OHV crimes are where they focus most of their law enforcement efforts”.

It is typical of the enviros to go on the attack instead of accepting any blame. Earth-First members spiked trees with hidden metal stakes threatening the lives of lumberjacks who were lawfully cutting down timber. PETA members stalked and terrorized university officials over alleged mistreatment of lab animals. At Donner Ranch some years ago someone strung a taught wire across a trail used by OHVs at neck level, in effect trying to decapitate off road riders who were following legitimate trails.

Then there is the mother of all crimes: the lack of adequate government oversight pertaining to the Horizon Deepwater oil drilling rig in the Gulf (see my comment dated May 28, 2010) “Ms. Birnbaum resigned “on her own terms and on her own volition,” Mr. Salazar said…” On her own terms”… Is that code for tucking her away in another low profile Federal bureaucracy and permitting her to retain lavish government benefits like gold plated health care and pension benefits?

Ken Salazar, a friend of the Obama administration, was Ms. Birnbaum’s boss. How does he avoid blame for this unprecedented disaster when the pattern of illegal behavior at the Minerals Service was occurring under his watch? It appears that Ken Salazar is more interested in attempting to put public land off limits to the public than actually protecting those lands. He busies himself promoting National Monuments designation and promoting additional Wilderness areas rather than in protecting our lands and waters from real threats.

What are his priorities? He is in bed with big oil (BP British Petroleum is not even an American company selling extracted oil to whom) and he is fighting to keep the public out of public lands. What’s with that?

Nero fiddles while Rome burns.

A Fish(y) Story

Posted by on May 26, 2010 under Uncategorized. This post currently has 8 responses.

Note: If you are a frequent visitor here, you know how much work Diana puts into her comments. We will try to give them more exposure going forward by posting them on their own. Here’s the first comment elevated to a “post”:

A FISH STORY – A CONNECTION BETWEEN THE CARNEGIE LAWSUIT AND THE DEEPWATER HORIZON DRILLING PLATFORM IN THE GULF OF MEXICO
A New York Times article entitled Crisis Focus on Beleaguered Agencies Chief dated May 26 2010 discloses a connection between S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, director of the Mineral Management Service (MMS) ensured with ensuring the safety and environmental security of offshore rigs and Paula Dinerstein, senior counsel for the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/us/politics/26birnbaum.html

PEER, as we all remember, is a plaintiff in the lawsuit which attempted to shut down Carnegie due to off road riding which they alleged caused heavy metal contamination in a normally dry creek bed resulting in the death of nonexistent fish. The Deepwater Drilling platform explosion in the Gulf of Mexico which is spewing estimates of from between10,000 to 75,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf has caused the decimation of an entire commercial fishing industry. Do you get the irony?

The following is taken from the article.

“Agency scientists and other employees complained that since taking the post in July, Ms. Birnbaum has done almost nothing to fix problems that have plagued the minerals agency for over a decade. She rarely visited the agency’s far-flung offices, so few staff members have ever seen her. ..
In her testimony, Ms. Birnbaum expressed regrets about the loss of life and damage to the environment from the disaster. ….

Before she took the job at the minerals agency, Ms. Birnbaum, 52, had virtually no experience with the oil and gas industry, but that was seen as a plus, according to a top Interior Department official.” (At least unlike others in charge of overseeing BP operations in the Gulf she had not previously worked for BP, See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/us/politics/26energy.html )  “She worked at the Interior Department in the last year two years of the Clinton administration on natural resource issues, leaving as an associate solicitor in 2001 to become a top lawyer and advocate for American Rivers, a conservation organization.

Ms. Birnbaum had never supervised more than a few dozen people, and the problems at the agency were daunting… Investigations found that some employees at the minerals service literally got into bed with oil industry representatives, accepted lavish gifts from them and allowed companies to fill out their own inspection reports.” For more information See

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/us/25mms.html?pagewanted=1

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/m/minerals_management_service/index.html?inline=nyt-org

“Those who know Ms. Birnbaum said they were puzzled that she failed to make a public push to fix these problems.

“We sent her a couple of letters and basically got nonresponses,” said Paula Dinerstein, senior counsel for the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), who knew Ms. Birnbaum before she was appointed. “We were disappointed that she wasn’t going in and trying to right the wrongs of the past.”

Agency employees have echoed this view, saying Ms. Birnbaum has done virtually nothing to address the problems…”

Paula Dinersein, who knew Ms. Birnbuam before she was appointed to the agency in charge of ensuring the safety of the deepwater drilling operations was “disappointed” because Ms. Birnbaum did not respond to her letters. I ask you, is that any way to treat a friend?

I have another question to ponder. Why did we have three environmental impact reports prepared and we still can’t ride on land we own when deep water drilling projects such as Horizon received a waiver from the requirement to produce environmental impact reports contrary to the spirit and law of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)? In fact since the explosion of  Deepwater Horizon, federal regulators have granted at least 19 environmental waivers for Gulf drilling projects, and at least 17 drilling permits most of which were for the type of work like that of the Deepwater Horizon at the time it exploded. See

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/24/us/24moratorium.html

Obviously our mistake is failing to send lobbyists to Sacramento and not sending off road enthusiasts to work for the California Environmental Protection Agency. Anybody willing to volunteer? Come on Dave, Gunnar, Pete, Mark, Jason, Hamid, anybody?

NOHVCC and Yamaha Collaborates on Access Initiative

Posted by on January 18, 2010 under Uncategorized. This post currently has 2 responses.

National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) and Yamaha OHV Access Initiative provides free educational DVDs to help us keep our trails open.

Details HERE, via RacerX.

Can’t hurt, get yours!

Thank You and A Note About Comments

Posted by on January 17, 2010 under Uncategorized. This post currently has 3 responses.

Thanks everybody for stopping by.

It’s encouraging to see the visitor stats ramping up and even more so to see your comments. So far, things have worked out just as we hoped,  with a higher quality and more detail in the comments then you normally get on twitter and facebook. Thanks! Makes all the work worth it.

Some of you have experienced issues with comments not getting through.  Generally, after your first approved comment you should sail through without moderation. But the default anti spam rules were bit too aggressive so I’ve loosened things up a bit. Hope it works beter now. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Flashback and a View of the Future

Posted by on January 15, 2010 under Uncategorized. This post currently has 9 responses.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Dave Duffin

As Things Stand by Dave Duffin – CORE

Posted by on January 13, 2010 under Uncategorized. This post currently has one response.

For the last month various individuals, organizations and members of the business community that are affected by the possible closure of Carnegie have been going through a monumental change that will be remembered as an historic moment in motorcycling. We have all been exposed to the sad reality that a small group of misguided people can TYRANICALLY cause so much damage to our family recreation community. These people have one common link – they truly hate us and they believe our sport and style of family recreation is an abomination on nature.

With backing on the sidelines from the Mark Connolly/ Celeste Garamendi family, two environmental organizations, and one law firm, have managed to find a ploy to end our recreation here. In the process they also developed a way to manipulate the Staff of the OHV Division of the State Parks. Besides the immediate crisis, the real danger is that they have found a way to close other parks and riding areas using false science to hide their real motives. Their success here will be a template for CLOSING other parks and riding areas.

CORE (Carnegie Off Road Enthusiasts) was developed in the mid ‘90’s as park users’ stakeholder group. We began a series of monthly meetings with the park staff to help plan the uses for the proposed Alameda/Tesla addition to the present Carnegie. Sadly no results of any kind resulted from the work we did. There was always a mysterious roadblock that stopped us. We have soldiered on through the years never giving up belief that our good intentions and hard work would prevail.

The current lawsuit against the park is based on the assumption that OHV use has created a major disaster in Corral Hollow Creek. Here are some phrases in the suit:

“Turbid and polluted waters, massive erosion and scaring, deafening roars of myriad OHV’s, hillsides ripped and left exposed, ongoing degradation of CH Creek, shocking views as one drives past, soil and wildlife loss, loss of bird watching and wildlife viewing”, etc.

It sounds like we are really “bad” doesn’t it. I would put one 10 year old OHV boy or girl on a scale to represent the weight of what we do here, versus the claims of the lawsuit. That side of the scale with the kids would be touching the ground while the other side would be up in the air even though it was filled with kit foxes, whip snakes, red legged frogs and milk vetch plants. The growth of Carnegie through the years is a result of families being attracted to a place where their kids can explore, be challenged, make friends and be fulfilled as young members of a family. Malls, gangs, and drugs are realty for them and they don’t have any trouble making a choice that puts them in the park every weekend.
CORE is developing funding/donations, legal standing and functioning as the “boots on the ground” as this battle continues. We get and post updates directly from the OHV division headquarters. We will contact local city governments, Boards of Supervisors, Chambers of Commerce, law enforcement organizations, school districts and youth clubs for support. We will provide updates to print news and TV media. We will defend our home park and enlist the help from our other OHV organizations and Clubs.

CORE – WE ARE CARNEGIE – CARNEGIEFOREVER.ORG

Dave Duffin, CORE

Our Neighbors – Source of Lawsuits and Contamination

Posted by on January 11, 2010 under Uncategorized. This post currently has no responses.

Our park, Carnegie SVRA, has some interesting neighbors. On one side, there’s the Connolly Ranch who eagerly fights to shut us down. On the other side we have Superfund Site 300 that along with previous mining efforts seems a likely source of any questionable substances in the (occasional) creek.

There are many things to read, here are a few:

Welcome to our new site

Posted by on January 11, 2010 under Uncategorized. This post currently has 2 responses.

We recently launched an online petition at carnegieforever.org. With over 13,000 supporters and after tons of emails, tweets and facebook messages it was clear that we needed to replace the single page petition site with something else. Our first addition was a twitter account (follow @carnegieforever for important updates) and now we are happy to launch this site.  It’s a work in progress but we hope you find it a valuable resource and come back often. We are looking forward to work with all Carnegie off-road entusiasts and everybody else that supports our mission.

Check out all the pages and links and let us know what you think and what you’d like to see here.

Thank you for your support!

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