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Re: Motorcycle Industry Council joins forces to keep OHV use open in Nat'l Parks.

I've had some time to think about this article, and the responses that followed. As I expected, there is lots of misconception and missunderstanding all around.

First point. Off-road motorcycles are NOT ALLOWED in National Parks. They never will be. The only "OHVs" that I know of that ARE allowed in national parks are snowmobiles, and that is the whole thrust of this effort. There MIGHT be an effort to restrict dual-sport bikes from roadways, such as the BMWs and Buells that folks here seem to be into, but I haven't heard of it.

Second point. When left to their own decision-making capacity, local managers of national park and forest lands seem to have done an excellent job of balancing the competing wants and needs of the land under their custody. Unfortunately, these managers are under constantly increasing political pressure from all sides. I am glad that the people I know in this profession are as good as they are at their jobs.

Third point. What/who are the real problem here? IMNSHO, quads (4 wheelers, ATVs, 4WDs) have completely destroyed the way off-road riding is done. Now, any idiot can do it. And idiots they are. It used to be, the skill level required to master a two-wheeler kept the real nut jobs out of the dirt. Now, quads and the constantly diminishing cost (relatively speaking) of off-road vehicles are letting more and more idiots out there. Not only that, but quads do much more damage to the trail network than bikes ever did. Ask any NETRA member.

Fourth point. The dirt riders I know are not uneducated, mother earth raping Phillistines. We are just looking for that magic moment on the perfect trail, the perfect turn , the most excellent hillclimb, the challenge and accomplishment of the long trail ride, the finisher pin at the end of the enduro or desertt race. We are just like you road-only guys. Believe it.

Fifth point. Opportunities for off-road riding on public land are rapidly decreasing. That is a fact of life. 10 years ago I predicted that there would be no off-road riding on public lands at all in 10 years. I was wrong. My point is, with the increasing popularity of MX/SX, there are going to be lots of people riding illegally. What exactly do you off-road "Antis" propose doing with them? Throw them all in jail? I guess we could all surrender, and let all our kids play video games, but that's not in me. I am at a loss what to do.

Sixth point. If you made it this far, and have been following MO for a while, you know that I am an off-road enthusiast. I have ridden in the wilds of New England, and the deserts of the West and Mexico. I truly love off-road riding. I see street riding as something functional, and as a fix when I can't ride off-road, which is more and more these days. I truly don't know how long I'll be able to enjoy off-road riding. There is little sympathy for us guys in the general public. I could go on about how this reflects the increasing "video gaming" of society and our youth, but I won't go there.

Seventh point. Off-road riding, as I know and love it, will not last forever in the US (We'll end up going to Mexico, or CANADA HAHAHAHA!!!) in its current form. If you haven't tried it yet, I INSIST that you get out ther and spin a few knobs. Get tapped out in sixth in an Arizona sandwash. Bash your bars on a hundred Jersey pines. Loop out on a rocky Texas hillclimb. Ride the AMA dual-sport series. Go ahead. You won't regret it, and, 10 years from now, I predict you won't be able to do it.

Hope I'm wrong again.

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