To the Editor,
It is not my norm in life to write letters to a newspaper. However, I feel that after reading Carol Ramsey’s letter in your March 14 issue I have a civic duty to respond.
First, lets set some things straight. Motorcyclists are not going anywhere. We live in what is often coined as the Motorcycle Capital of the East. Folks come from all over the world to experience riding here. This area is covered by media of all forms around the globe for the world-class riding that is offered here.
Second, what Mr. Cochran (whom I have personally met) means by “recreational riders” is that the folks who attend these events have jobs (money) and enjoy being a part of motorcycle culture which has a long and beautiful history in America and elsewhere. The people who will come to this event are good, honest, hard-working Americans who will choose to spend their vacation time and money here in Western North Carolina.
Sounds good so far, huh?
Next, yes, many bikes are loud, and as a biker I agree that some are downright obnoxious, but to say that has a negative impact on quality of life? Well if that is so let us also put the roadblock up for tractor trailers, airplanes, locomotives, and any other form of travel that is powered by an internal combustion engine.
Or maybe to level the playing field, Carol Ramsey and others who object to this rally would like to give up using the goods and services brought to them by these vehicles. Hmmm.
OK … I promised myself I would hold the sarcasm in this letter so let’s move on, shall we? What struck me most in this letter is the objection to this rally being “tendered in good faith.” Uhhh, excuse me?
How many things are brought into our lives that are “tendered in good faith?” Well, our founding fathers had no idea if heading to the New World would be a good idea but they went ahead and did it. No one really knew if the automobile was a good idea but they went ahead and built it.
In fact, most folks have no clue how projects, inventions and any other thing in there life will work, but it is “faith” that moves people to go ahead and try something new. Such as that new restaurant in town: I don’t know if I will like it, but I am willing to gamble the 20-some dollars it takes to find out. Just as the city of Franklin is willing to bet that the grant they “conveniently” gave to the promoters of this event will offer them and the town of Franklin a healthy return on investment.
You see, not only am I a motorcyclist, I also own a local business which caters to bikers. And though we welcome locals, transplants and tourists, I will say without the thousands who come here to ride our roads every year I do not know how our business would survive. I suspect but have no hard numbers to gather that there are many other businesses in Western North Carolina who can say the same.
Yes, we live in a tourist economy and as a result we must welcome the tourists with open arms so we can continue to live here. You know, I am really not a fisherman, a crafter, a kayaker, or mountain biker but I welcome those folks who come from all over to participate in these events here in our lovely mountains. I also know that these folks buy meals, hotels, gas, and other goods and services.
But I do not begrudge their right to do so. I welcome them. Part of the attraction here is that we have such an open and welcoming community with a wide range of interests that bring many many gifts to these mountains — money spent with the local merchants is only one of them.
David W Landes
Owner, Precision Cycle Motorsports