Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Arnold Signs SB 435 - No Surprise

The Quiet Warrior was disappointed (but not surprised) yesterday when The Governator signed SB 435 into law.
PHOTO: The Quiet Warrior

Over the years, HQ and QWR have seen his administration embrace too many far-left proposals and programs. There for awhile, every time the Obama administration would propose a new EPA regulation the Governor’s Office within 5 minutes would issue a news release praising that job-killing regulation or law.

As much as I am critical of the Governor regarding his passion for environmental over-regulation, QWR is even more critical of the street-riding community for digging their own grave on the street-sound issue.

I remember doing an OHV Sound Day at Malcolm Smith’s shop back in 2003 to help educate riders about the new CA 96 dBA law.

Article on Malcolm Smith Sound Day

What is not in that story is that the loudest bike at the event was not a dirt-bike going through the SAE J-1287 sound check but a v-twin about 50 feet away in the street blowing a 105 dBA on my sound meter (remember the dBAs from dirt-bikes in the article were taken from 20 inches).

No this time, obnoxiously loud street bike owners are to blame for Arnold signing SB 435. Just as in my interview with Chris Daniels on KMJ radio who is a strong conservative and generally against government over-regulation… when it came to SB 435 he (and many others) have become desperate for ANY measure (no matter how ineffective that bill might be) that gave even the slightest hint of addressing excessively loud street bikes. Also another industry person who is a life long motorcyclist told me last week that he was in favor of the bill for many of the same reasons.

Blog with KMJ Radio Interview (a good case study of to why Arnold signed the bill)

Let’s hope Arnold’s signing of this bill sounds a clarion call for both OHV and street riders to respect the rights of others when it comes to being grossly obnoxious on either the road or trail.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ROV Online Course - Get Educated About Side by Sides

The Recreation HQ spends a lot of time alerting riders to various land-use issues as they relate to OHV recreation. Recently, HQ came across an online educational program designed to promote responsible ROV recreation.

PHOTOs: Upper Left - E-Course Test Certificate, Upper Right - ROVs/ATVs on Kipu Ranch Tour

Link to News Release with Online Course

Trail and vehicle education is important at HQ. The Quiet Warrior took this test today and feels it offers the ROV/UTV newbie some valuable "rules of the trail" to help keep users safe. Even experienced ROVers will benefit from taking the course. TG and his wife are big fans of ROVs and while on vacation on Kauai took an ROV/ATV tour of the Kipu Ranch.

Kipu Ranch ROV/ATV Tours

HQ believes ROVs are a great way for families to enjoy the great outdoors and getting boned up on the right way do use these vehicles makes a lot of sense. The Quiet Warrior suggests this course will be of benefit to the recreational users as well as agency and law enforcement staff who are new to ROV use.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Scot Harden to Zero Motorcycles, Interview, and Thoughts

The Recreation HQ and The Quiet Warrior want to congratulate off-road racing legend, Scot Harden, on his new post at Zero Motorcycles. As many of you know, The General, on behalf of BRC, attended the 24 Hours of Electricross and was the event’s official sound tester.

PHOTO: BRC's Don Amador on Zero Dirt Bike

Video of “Sound Test” at start of Race

If this issue is of interest, I suggest you read Jeff Cobb’s excellent interview with Scot Harden as it highlights the pros and challenges associated with this new technology. The article also touches on some of the environmental factors in the land-use equation.

Interview with Zero’s Scot Harden

Besides the “battery longevity” issue, HQ believes the electric motorcycle industry should work hard to promote a responsible land-use ethic that strongly discourages the creation of illegal “bandit trails” routes on public and private (private land that you don’t have permission to be on) land.

50 Year Old Guys and Illegal trails in SF Bay Area

Being at Electricross and talking with a lot of electric motorcycle enthusiasts, The Quiet Warrior was surprised by the number of riders (even riders who claimed to be “environmentalists" and were against gas-powered dirt-bikes) who thought these products were just the ticket to enable them to ride illegally in local state and county parks.

What many riders don’t know is that The General/BRC helped Zero Motorcycles with some land-use tenets in their Code of Ethics.

Zero Motorcycles’ Code of Ethics

1.) Zero Motorcycles is dedicated to engineering high performance motorcycles that do not harm the environment. Our motorcycles will be free from emissions and noise. We will be environmentally conscious in our actions to help ensure a cleaner environment through recycling, responsible waste disposal and respecting nature.

2.) Zero Motorcycles will provide transportation options, both on road and off road, that are practical, efficient and contribute to a cleaner environment.

3.) Zero Motorcycles will stand behind the quality of our products by providing excellent customer service to ensure all customers are completely satisfied.

4.) Zero Motorcycles will make a consistent effort to promote a responsible, fun, honest and safe environment for all aspects of operating a motorcycle.

5.) Zero Motorcycles will respect all others with whom we share the roads and recreation areas. We are also dedicated to respecting the members of the greater community. We will use common sense and be aware of our surroundings when sharing the trails and roads. We will ride safely and respectfully.

Again, Scot has a lot of work ahead of him at Zero. The Quiet Warrior hopes that one of the issues he will tackle is to damp down what could be a growing counter culture of illegal trail riding and building by OHVers using this new technology.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New QWR "Less dBA = More Trails" T-Shirt Up for Bid

The Quiet Warrior wants to thank all of you who have given him a warm welcome and offered support for Quiet Warrior Racing. As an earlier blog noted, QWR is a private consulting company that will be, among other things, promoting a “sound” land-use ethic on public roads and trails.
PHOTO: New QWR "Less dBA = More Trails" logo on back of T-Shirt

QWR looks forward to continuing its work as a contractor to BRC as well as branching out into other venues and issues such as SB 435. As some of you know, QWR took an early position on SB 435 and was recently featured on Fresno’s KMJ Radio in an interview and was quoted in an AP article on the bill. QWR urges you to listen to the entire show (interview and post interview phone calls from listeners) as it is very enlightening and is a good case study of the issue with all sides being presented.

Link to KMJ Radio Interview and AP Story

One way QWR supports itself is by offering official T-shirts for auction. This is an easy way for riders to help QWR’s efforts - in Sacramento and elsewhere - to champion access to public roads and trails.

Recently, QWR developed a new “Less dBA = More Trails” T-shirt and the 1st one of the batch (in Large) is being offered on eBay.

New Less dBA = More Trails T-Shirt

QWR again thanks all of you who are supporting its efforts to promote and protect responsible off-road and street motorcycle access to public roads and trails. Watch for QWR website and other new stuff coming in the near future.

Good News - RV Dump Station to Work at Stonyford for Jackhammer, WFO, and Bearfoot Enduros

The Recreation HQ has just been informed that the Mendocino National Forest will be operating the RV Dump Station at Fouts Springs for the following events. As many riders know, the Forest has secured a grant from OHMVR to drill a new well. However, due to many bureaucratic hurdles the agency was not able to complete the project in time for the 2010 Fall riding season.
PHOTO: BRC Weekend Warrior at Fouts Dump Station

FS staff from Water Tender 38 will be at the RV dump station with non-potable water at the following times and dates to allow for RVers to empty their black and gray water tanks. As before, you will be responsible to bring your own potable (drinking) water. Standard dump fees will be collected.

TIME - Noon to 4:30pm

10/17/10 – Jackhammer

11/14/10 - WFO

11/21/10 - Bearfoot

HQ appreciates the agency extending the hand of friendship to the OHV community by providing this interim service to address the RV dump needs during high use weekends.

The General wants to thank the new OHV program manager and Forest leadership for pulling this together. As some of you know, Sarah Ridenour is the new OHV program manager.

See blog with info on Sarah

Here is Sarah’s contact info should you have any questions.

Sarah Ridenour
OHV Manager
Grindstone Ranger District
Mendocino National Forest
5171 Stonyford-Elk Creek Road
Stonyford, CA 95979
Phone 530-963-1327

HQ looks fwd to seeing many of you on the trail or at events this Fall.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BBQ Diplomacy and County Coordination

Here at HQ, riders often bring up the topic of county coordination and cooperating agency status as it relates to Forest Service and BLM travel and land-use planning. HQ is acutely aware they are different but related terms but for the purpose of this discussion that is distinction without a difference.

The following article from the Cortez Journal does a pretty good job of explaining the terminology and differences but at the end of the day correctly highlights the fact that local government cannot dictate a course of action to the federal government.

Cortez Journal Article on County Coordination

Rather than being a legal or administrative club that local officials can use to beat the federal government into submission, The General believes that coordination is a valuable planning tool that allows the federal government to include and engage county commissioners and other stakeholders in what should be a genuine and sincere collaborative process.

In June, The General had the privilege to witness just such an effort on the Inyo NF where that agency was in an apparently successful planning partnership with local government, businesses, tourism, and other agencies.

Blog on the Inyo Effort and BBQ Diplomacy

HQ believes the land-use planning ball is in the agency’s court. Will FS and BLM leadership review a number of hot spots in CA (Shasta T, Clear Creek, etc.) and work to engage disenfranchised stakeholders? Or, will they continue to poke their administrative finger in the eyes of what should be their planning partners?

Can anyone smell a county/fed BBQ? Let HQ know and it will bring the chips!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cape Hatteras OHV Fight - Ck out Video of Battle

The Recreation HQ has long highlighted the onslaught of OHV closures because of anti-OHV agency agendas being driven by ideologues in government who are often aided by green lawsuits and a sympatric judiciary

The most recent example of plover-based beach closures is the fight to keep public motorized access on Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. Recently, BRC issued an alert on this issue with links to professional videos that include interviews with business owners and recreationists.

HQ has issued its first ever “General’s Award for Access Excellence” to the producers of these films. They tell a story familiar to those of us who used to recreate or fish via OHVs on West Coast beaches. We have seen Humboldt County close Clam Beach to OHVs, The Redwood National Park issued a plan to put commercial surf fishermen out of business near Orick. Oceano SVRA (Pismo Dunes) has seen its footprint reduced. The fight continues at Tolowa Dunes near Crescent City.

BRC Alert on Cape Hatteras OHV Battle

Direct Link to Piping Mad – Part One

Direct Link to Piping Mad – Part Two

As we support the fight at Cape Hatteras, let us not forget our own battles here on the West Coast including Clear Creek.

Link to the Clear Creek Song/Video

HQ thanks all of you for your continued dedication to the fight for access to public lands and beaches and for your support of those of us on the front lines.

Link to Outer Banks Preservation Association

Friday, September 17, 2010

Coastal Commission Votes for OHV Access on N. California Beach

The Recreation HQ believes that we should celebrate OHV victories no matter how small or large they are. Yesterday, the California Coastal Commission voted in favor of allowing sand-based OHV recreation to continue on the City of Eureka property as part of the BLM Samoa Dunes Recreation Area.

The General wants to thank all of you who responded to HQ’s September 9 Alert to send letters of support to the Commission.
PHOTO: BLM Sign at entrance to riding area

With legal OHV access to the Pacific Ocean at a premium, your support of this issue was critical. HQ thanks you for your effort and encourages you to celebrate this access victory.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SF Chron - Vote NO on Prop 21

For a number of months, the Recreation HQ has shared it views and concerns about Prop 21 – the California State Parks Initiative.

Aug. 24 Blog on Prop 21 and Sac Bee hit piece on OHV

PHOTO: The Great Dontradamus

If you remember the Sac Bee hit piece on the OHV program and faux crimes occurring in SVRAs, it should come as no surprise that it endorsed Prop 21 today. Even a blind person could see that “slow pitch” coming over the political plate.

Sept. 16 Sac Bee Op Ed in Support of Prop 21

Besides being a slush fund for enviro groups and a money pot for many of this state’s non-park regulatory agencies, The General believes the biggest hurdle for Prop. 21 is that it levies a tax on a large group of citizens (mostly low-income) who DO NOT use state park facilities.

What surprised HQ yesterday is when the often liberal SF Chronicle agreed with The General and came forward with an Op Ed against Prop. 21. The Chronicle made many points about what is wrong with Prop. 21 including the fact that it will be the low-income that are hurt most.

Sept 15 SF Chronicle Op Ed to Vote NO on Prop 21

March Blog with Predictions/Overview for Prop. 21

Donstradamus stated in his March blog that voters will decide if the merits of Prop. 21 warrant their support. His suggestion is that parks must become relevant and self-sustaining if they are to survive. Depending on public largess when the unemployment rate in CA in over 10 percent and in many rural areas is above 20 percent is a gamble at best.

Predicting the outcome of any political proposal is difficult, but Donstradamus will continue predicting that Prop. 21 has a long way to go in convincing a majority of Californians (many who do not visit state parks) they need to drop another check in the mail on their way to the unemployment line or next unproductive job interview.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Radio Talk Show on SB 435 with The Quiet Warrior

Many followers of this blog ride both on and off road motorcycles. As some of you know, Quiet Warrior Racing is opposing SB 435 because it really does nothing to address excessively loud street bikes but rather sets up a discriminatory fee/ticket schedule and bureaucracy designed to single out motorcyclists for unfair punishment.
PHOTO: The Quiet Warrior on his 2001 Intruder this summer

Yesterday, the Quiet Warrior was invited on the Chris Daniel’s show on the powerhouse radio station KMJ in Fresno to talk about SB 435. I think Chris is, for the most part, a conservative who supports freedom and less government, but the excessively loud bikes in his area was pushing him to possibly support SB 435 out of sheer desperation.

The Recreation HQ invites you to listen to the show and send in your comments. The SB 435 interview with The Quiet Warrior starts about 9:00 into the show and goes to about 17:00. After the interview, Chris takes calls from listeners who ride. I think the caller section is very interesting as it covers the entire spectrum on this issue from folks who champion the “loud pipes save lives” concept to riders who think that we should respect the rights of others.

Link to “Pipe Down!” Segment (click on “listen” icon)

I think the interview explains to Chris and the audience that SB 435 unfairly discriminates against the rider and really does not address or offer any substantive way for law enforcement or educators/advocates to deal with excessively loud exhaust.

HQ believes that riders should be given the choice to purchase either OEM or aftermarket mufflers and that any legislation should come as the result of a collaborative process (similar to what OHV did regarding the 96dBA sound limit for public land use) and is based on SAE J2825.

Here is a recent news article on SB 435 for your review

As the article suggests, the bill awaits a veto or approval by the Governor who is also a motorcyclist. HQ hopes that common sense will prevail and SB 435 is vetoed.

HQ encourages you to listen to the whole show and feel free to comment on the blog or send the Quiet Warrior a PM at:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

November Election and Access on Federal Lands

On this mini ‘Super Tuesday” where there are a several primaries being decided, The General is reminded of the August 25 Forest Service Management Roundtable where Congressman Tom McClintock addressed a number of access issues that are impacting his constituents.
PHOTO: A few riders on a "Remember Eddie Diaz" trail ride

See July 21 blog on “Cost Recovery” and Issues on the Eldorado

The Recreation HQ believes the agency’s fear of environmental lawsuits is driving a lot of FS and BLM decisions here in California.

ELDORADO - As HQ points out in the aforementioned blog, the reason for increased cost recovery charges to CERA and the Polka Dots has nothing to do with protecting the environment but are simply self-preservation steps to protect the agency from being forced to spend hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars defending itself against ongoing and future eco-litigation. And then paying EAJA awards to the litigants.

TMR - The FS closed thousands of miles of forest roads and trails to OHVs because of the enviro’s promise of endless litigation if those closures were not put into effect. Yet despite massive closures, the greens showed their “lust for closures” by filing a lawsuit against the Stanislaus NF’s travel plan because it did not close enough.

See blog on Lust for Closures

CCMA - Here the BLM decided to make the Central BLM District of CA an “OHV free zone” by closing the 75K acre CCMA. HQ believes this is being driven by the threat of a lawsuit against the BLM unless they close the unit to OHVs. In fact, the BLM even stated that at a public meeting.

See Tobin’s June 22 blog (scroll down to it) and read BLM’s explanation for the closure regarding fear of litigation

What does all of this have to do with today’s primary? Since “all land use decisions [and closures] are political decisions,” the statement by Congressman McClintock to use the power of his position to hold access and recreation related hearings in the next session of Congress could have a significant impact on these issues.

Currently, there is an anti-trail majority in the House of Representatives. Most of the hearings have centered on the need to exclude historic public use of federal lands in favor of highly restrictive land use designations and programs with OHV being the scapegoat for all of this country’s environmental woes. At these hearings, McClintock and other pro-access legislators worked hard to advocate for public access, but most of the time they are ignored since they are in the minority.

If pro-trail interests are voted into office on November 2, access champions like Congressman McClintock and Congressman Rob Bishop will be in a position to hold agency leadership accountable for the decisions they are making. They could also work on EAJA reform. It’s unfortunate that land use has become a political football but that is the stark reality.

2011 could be a very interesting year depending on what happens November 2.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Support Continued OHV Recreation on CA Coast

The Recreation HQ is asking riders to support an “OHV Success Story” on the North Coast of California in the Redwood Empire. The California Coastal Commission is holding a hearing in Eureka on September 16 to decide if it will reauthorize a permit that allows for OHV recreation to occur on 75 acres owned by the City of Eureka.
PHOTO: This was a family recreating in the area together but using different modes of transportation

Agenda for September 16 Meeting (scroll down to get to Sept. 16)

This land is managed by the BLM and is an important part of the agency’s Samoa Dunes Recreation Area.

BLM Samoa Dunes Recreation Area

As a native of Eureka, I have had several opportunities to tour/ride this area on dirt-bikes, dune-buggies, SUVs, and by foot. It is one of the very few ocean-side OHV riding areas in California and it is very popular with local riders and folks visiting there in the summer to escape the heat in the inland areas of the West.

On all the tours, The General has been impressed by the level of cooperation between the agency and user groups. This positive and collaborative effort is largely responsible for the unit’s success in protecting sensitive areas while allowing for responsible OHV recreation. The staff report below substantiates HQ’s impression the area’s success.

Coastal Commission Staff Report on OHV Recreation

HQ is urging riders and even those representatives from mainstream environmental groups to send in a letter of support (both FAX and snail mail) for continued OHV recreation at this site. It truly meets the definition of “multiple-use” since at any one time you can see fishermen fishing from the jetty, equestrians, surfers, OHVers, and beachcombers all enjoying the area. Let’s all support keeping this area open for managed public use and recreation.

September 9 BRC Letter in Support of OHV Riding on City Property

Thanks for your service!

PS: Letters should be received by the commission no later than Monday the 13th so that they can be included in the commission packets. FAX letters to: 707.445.7877



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Remember the Past - Prepare for the Future

* PHOTOS: Upper - Fresh Freeze, Left - Cuttenkid's 1964 Chevelle SS (if you look hard enough you might see the Cherry Bomb decals in the passenger window), Right - Cuttenkid circa 1973 with his Chevelle

As The Recreation HQ prepares for upcoming access battles (there is no shortage of those), The General believes it is important to take a pause from the action and remember important memories of the past.

Recently, HQ was reminded by his good friends at Leon’s Mufflers in Eureka that the Fresh Freeze in Henderson Center will be celebrating its 60th anniversary next year. That was a popular hangout of The Cuttenkid back in the 60s/70s. Great memories, great friends, and great food.

This weekend TG will be also remembering and celebrating the life of AMA D36’s Eddie Diaz who passed away in 2009 by taking a trail ride on some of his favorite routes.

Blog on Eddie’s Service in 2009

Some riders may ask why spend time remembering the past? Why not focus 100 percent on the future? HQ’s answer is that it is our past that makes us who we are today. TG also believes that it is important to share those memories with riders so they can have some understanding into what makes him tick.

It is those solid and richly American values from the past that forms the foundation here at HQ. A house built on sand is washed away, but a home (or HQ) built on the Rock cannot be moved.

Thanks for allowing me to share these memories and photos with you… my off-road family.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

ACTION ALERT - Send Letter Today to CA Gov. Asking for Veto of SB 435

HQ knows many of you are still in a state of shock after learning yesterday that Cycle News has closed its doors. The General still can’t believe it and hopes it is not true. Be that as it may, HQ is asking that you man (or woman) your motorcycle battle stations by sending a letter today urging Governor Schwarzenegger to veto SB 435.
COPY OF Aug. 5, 2010 QWR Letter to Gov. asking for Veto

AMA has made it easy for you to use their action alert system to send that letter to the Governor’s office.

AMA Alert on SB 435[capwiz:queue_id]

Besides calling his office and emailing a letter today, HQ is asking that you also FAX in your letter to his office in Sacramento as well as the office nearest you.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160 ( new number )

District Offices:

Fresno Office
2550 Mariposa Mall #3013
Fresno, CA 93721
Phone: 559-477-1804
Fax: 559-445-5328

Los Angeles Office
300 South Spring Street
Suite 16701
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: 213-897-0322
Fax: 213-897-0319

Riverside Office
3737 Main Street #201
Riverside, CA 92501
Phone: 951-680-6860
Fax: 951-680-6863

San Diego Office
1350 Front Street
Suite 6054
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-525-4641
Fax: 619-525-4640

San Francisco Office
455 Golden Gate Avenue
Suite 14000
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-703-2218
Fax: 415-703-2803

Washington D.C. Office
134 Hall of the States
444 North Capitol Street NW
Washington D.C. 20001
Phone: 202-624-5270
Fax: 202-624-5280

Thanks for your continued support and service!