The article about the off-roaders at Glamis sand dunes area (Nov. 26) lacks balance in the way that it portrays the off-road enthusiast. It would have us all believe that the average off-road enthusiast is a drunk, suicidal maniac, hellbent for leather, etc. The majority of people who gather at Glamis are family and multifamily groups with people of all ages.
I have been riding and racing motorcycles in the Southern California desert for 18 years and have never been witness to the carnage described. As with all groups there are extremes, and this article shows only the bad extremes of our sport. It is the off-road enthusiasts and off-road clubs who gather at Glamis and other OHV areas for cleanup weekends to remove the debris left by others who use these areas for a dump. The article also fails to mention that the off-road areas in our state have been dramatically reduced in size since the early 1990s because of environmental concerns.
Buried in the second-to-last paragraph is the statement that 80% of the accidents are alcohol-related. The first 10 columns deal with the just the horrible accidents that occur from the use of these legal machines, leading a casual reader to conclude that it is solely “the manic motorists” dealing death and injury. Your article tarred and feathered a group of law-abiding and nature-loving individuals because of the actions of a few bad apples. The language was hysterical (" . . . a silent omen of the chaos that rules the desert floor below”) and the reporting unbalanced (a single quote from the American Motorcycle Assn.).