by Michelle Worth
Noisy, bad motorcycle pests. It's not all you think.
Yes, we ride motorcycles in Star Valley, and yeah, they make noise. But I completely deny the allegations (made by letter-to-the-editor writers) Victoria Borrell S. and Roberto A. Sanchez.
Have you given us the chance to explain? It is not our glory to ruin the forest. We do not leave trash nor ride at night. We don't have lights. As far as I can see, you are looking at individual blame. Seriously, are we the only people going to that place?
Yes, (motorcycles) make noise. So do lawn mowers. They don't make a mess, individuals do.
My family and I , along with many others, ride in Star Valley and at a few other locations. When we ride, we all wear helmets, gloves, boots and protective clothing. We follow trails that have been made by repeated riding the same way hikers and horseback riders follow paths (created by repeated walking). Not one tree, bush or cactus has been damaged or removed. At one point, someone went out with a tractor after two riders hit head-on because the path crossed in areas. The intent was to make it safer for all.
While riding, we've had unattended kids come out to watch and ride, (wearing) shorts and no helmets. They got there by jetting down the asphalt street, sometimes riding double. This is not our practice. Where are your concerns for your neighbors' children?
We don't ride after dark and always honor the noise ordinance. At one time, there was a complaint from a gentleman just home from the hospital who needed to rest. We did as the sheriff asked by staying on the top level and leaving thereafter.
In regard to the trash, I have picked up two and three cases of beer cans (that were not left by) us, but, I'm assuming, by teens out to party. We do not drink alcohol, and have never witnessed other riders drinking. We have always taken out more trash than we came with. At times we've hauled truck loads of trash to the dump that were left by people after a yard cleanup.
I would like to address the individual who went to the extreme and purchased drywall screws, nails, and concrete nails, and, on four different occasions, walked the trail dropping them all over. You only were in the wrong. We spent hours picking those up so my children and others, as well as the elk, deer, horses and riders, were not injured.
How dare you condemn us for sharing a pastime with our kids. Isn't it better to have them with me than doing drugs, having sex or breaking into your home?
We have also met with (members of the Forest Service) on more than one occasion to ask for a designated area to ride. All they do is tell us our rights. They have done nothing to help. Cottonwood has a facility to accommodate hikers and all types of riders. It has ramadas with barbecues and rest rooms. Tell me why the Town of Payson and the Forest Service would deny this "fun area" to all of us taxpayers? Otherwise, it only gives them time to sell (the land) to the highest bidder to build more gated communities.
At this point, the Forest Service has stepped back and left us to argue over something we have no control over. If we join together and fight to get a place designated, we will help each other in many ways.