Left out at AOAA? It's your own fault
To the editor: I wanted to respond to Julie Nicolov's article, "Embrace locals at AOAA."
I was the one to talk to Julie about the AOAA. While I thought the direction of the AOAA was well portrayed to her, I feel as though parts were left out.
First of all, I don't know where the term local riff-raff came from. While I am a local for 50 years, born and raised here, I certainly would not consider myself riff-raff, nor do I apply that name to anyone.
People need to get involved. The county office has an open door to all. Because the AOAA is not open yet, interest-generating tours are being scheduled.
In order to provide a safe environment for people, rules and regulations must apply. I carry a cooler every time I'm out there. It's full of soda, water and Gatorade. I hope that is what Julie was referring to.
These rules and regulations were not "invented" by the county. They are normal protocol for off-road entities across the nation. Challenging your skills and abilities is what this is all about. It's not about being irresponsible to yourself, your family or other riders.
Julie mentioned that the Jeep Jamboree's charge of $450 per family was unaffordable to most people around here. I don't believe this to be true. This price was one of the lowest charged by Jeep Jamboree for an event like this. While $450 is certainly a lot of money to anyone, you are not going to find another Jeep Jamboree any cheaper. If I heard it once, I heard it several times that Jeep Jamboree charges way too much. That is an opinion, and there certainly is no lack of participation at their events across the country. If you don't like it, don't participate in that event. AOAA does not set this price; Jeep Jamboree does.
Meanwhile, the proposed fee for an AOAA rider is $80 for the year.
I would like to know who left the local gearheads out. Was it themselves? I know quite a few standing in line to help. Many showed up at the Jeep Jamboree to see what the event was like, even though they couldn't participate.
I wasn't asked to help the AOAA. I jumped in knee deep and found out it went way over my head. Peer pressure is not a concern of mine. I do what I believe is right.
Countless hours have been spent trying to make the AOAA a reality. Did anyone ask me to do it? No. I have never sat back and watched the world go by. If people are saying they feel left out, they only have themselves to blame.
People are chomping at the bit to get started; this includes locals. Don't blame the county. There is a pile of work to be done and they can certainly use your help, but I caution you - it is work.
Groups like the Valley Forge Trail Riders had an event and it was very successful. They advertised it just like any other event they hold. AOAA does not bring in folks from other areas. These folks from other areas heard about the AOAA and contacted the county. Nobody is left out.
Ask yourself if you did your part. If you don't get involved, the AOAA will become a reality and the "left out" feeling will be all yours, with only yourself to blame.