Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eight Killed In Mojave Desert Race

Off road activities are one of the great recreations our public lands offer to us. Land speed records have been set at the Bonneville Speedway in Utah.

The vast expanses of the Mojave Desert are no exception for the outdoor enthusiast. On Saturday, August 14, 2010 8 people were killed and others injured in an off road race called the "California 200." It is a sad occurrence in desert racing.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation, but it still is good to be aware of the human wildlife in the deserts be they off road vehicles used by individuals or small groups, dirt bikes, or large vehicle organized events such as last Saturday's tragic race.

Accidents will always be a part of the off road world. We can only hope to minimize tragedies such as this one. Overreaction never has benefited anyone. We has humans learn from our mistakes and move on.

In Utah during the 1980s there was a motorcycle competition called the "Widow Maker" just south of Salt Lake City in Draper.  Authorities stopped it in the early 1990s because it was too dangerous.  It has since been revived and the risks are taken by the riders that took place in the earlier version. We should never take the extremist point of view and say no more without real due cause.

The show must go on and most of the time nobody gets hurt when the right precautions are taken. Lets hope that the California 200 makes the necessary adjustments in regards to spectators being a safe distance from the course and track modifications and barriers done where necessary. Long live the outdoor sports of the timeless desert.

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