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The real story

Dear Editor:

As I read my local newspaper here in Glenwood, I scan the pages in order to see at least a tiny tidbit or snippet of the other road bikers that call these mountain towns home. I couldn’t help but sigh in disappointment as I noticed that for the second day there wasn’t a glimmer of hope.

There was not a word mentioned or even a picture included about the grand reopening of our valley’s only Harley Davidson store. Although not trained (obviously apparent from this letter) or employed by our fine local people of print, I would like to take this opportunity to share some of my experiences from this past Saturday.

The words that come to my mind are art, entertainment, recreation and of course, community. The sun was shining, the mood was festive, and the crowd was diverse and full of energy. There was plenty of food and drink along with the space needed to relax, enjoy the sunshine and exchange kind words with one another. Children and big kids alike lined up to have their faces, legs and arms airbrushed by local artists. Acrobats on spring-loaded stilts flipped continuously throughout the day alongside their counterparts, the entertaining jugglers and dancers.

The local group Already Gone – an eclectic offering of classic rock, country and pop music – kept people rocking for more than three hours as they shook what their mamas gave them. Oh yeah, let’s not forget the countless custom motorcycles, “hogs,” with the growl of their engines and the smoke from their rubber on the pavement (hah, that sweet smell!?).

The bottom line is that the event was a success without incident. Its organizers were on point and professional, the people were happy, and on top of it all it was a self-contained event on private property. Furthermore, the event and its patrons financially supported the local charity C.A.R.E., Colorado Animal Rescue.

I am, however, flabbergasted by all of the attention and countless lines of print about “the roadies” of the other biking world, with their funny hats, clip-on shoes, visually obnoxious, tight-fitting pants, and those cheap trophies awarded that they are sure to display to their biking friends (probably the only other people that give a damn).

Their self-entitlement attitudes were definitely on display this Sunday, especially by its organizers. I was woken early in the morning by amateur emcees, a crappy PA system belting out equally crap music, bells, whistles and screaming family members. My neighbor had informed me that his girlfriend awoke to a man standing half-naked in his lawn apparently changing for preparation of his race (or maybe it was that he was pissing in someone else’s bushes as there were no visible outside lavatories within the five square blocks of the event). I was surrounded by peddlers of a circle that went round and round most of the day, taking over our downtown streets.

When I approached those in charge, I was quickly told that notices were handed out (even though my entrance to my home is in the alley and obviously was overlooked), that my complaints should be made elsewhere (even though there was no answer to my query of where that would be) and told snidely that surely I could sacrifice a half-hour of my day (when I had already given up my morning and early afternoon).

I will conclude by saying that I am not a biker (either by the pedal or by motor). I’m merely a citizen of the community that has become aware of the lack in diversity covered by our local paper. Although it may be this writer’s purpose to report some truth and voice a legitimate complaint, it is not to be confused with bashing any of the charities that may be involved or supported by these “roadies” and their races. It’s primarily intended to evoke humor, which in my experience is a trait lacking by men with tight pants preferring to go round and round rather than in a straight line. I won’t be surprised if I receive some enthusiastic responses to my poke of the spokes, and I’m sure someone will attempt to bring awareness to a sport I have absolutely no interest in. On the other hand I recognize that everyone’s voice should be heard, and in this case I welcome it!

Matt Soltesz

Glenwood Springs


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