Thursday, June 7, 2007

Road Rally responses

I figured my comments about the road rally would get some attention and I welcome the comments and the education as to how the road money is spent. One of the racers, Dave Getchell, took the time to email me this information:

"First off, I want to apologize for the litter and bad behavior by some
the spectators. We had one race stage canceled because drunken
were throwing things at passing cars, creating an unacceptable security
situation. WE also encountered a gang of obviously out-of-control
locals at
a country store, so at least part of the problem came from locals as
to spectators from away who came to watch the rally. Either way, it's a
problem and I don't like it, either!

As for the rally "tearing up the roads," part of the entry fee goes to
road bond that pays for re-grading the roads used by the rally.
services are by volunteers--NOT funded by taxpayers. Virtually all the
workers and radio people are volunteers. These folks feel the rally is
beneficial enough to the community to donate their time, energy and

And finally, the rally DOES benefit the local community with direct
financial effect. Our team spent the following on our visit to

Entry fee: $1200
Hotels: $1000 (Canyon Motel, Wellsboro)
Race fuel: $450 (bought from a local vendor, 55 gals @ $8.15/gal!!)
Meals: $1000 (crew of 6 in town for 4 days)
Tow fuel: $150 (diesel bought at station in Wellsboro)
Misc parts: $200 (autozone and napa stores in Wellsboro)
Fees for practice stage: $50 (benefits local ambulance/fire co's)
Souvenirs/gifts for folks at home: $250

total: $4300

That's just one team. Multiply that by the 52 teams that actually took
start, and you've got some serous support from this event--upwards of a
quarter-million dollars. This doesn't count $$$ spent by those annoying
spectators, etc.

Our car broke down on last year's rally, and the locals we met out in
woods couldn't have been more supportive--helping us push the car out
danger, feeding us thru the long evening, and helping us get out of the
woods so our crew could come recover the car.

I understand and appreciate your viewpoint of how the rally roars to
for one weekend and raises Cain in the normally quiet woods...but then
gone, leaving a whole lot more good things behind than bad...I hope!

Dave thanks for taking time to explain your position, I realize this
race bring money to the Wellsboro area and that is the main reason most
people around here support it even if they are not race fans.

Let me explain what I see as you can tell I live in the woods all the
time and I see what happens before, during and after the race. Your
money to fix the roads is done before the race to make the roads you
race on good for you. They do not fix any roads which are not part of
the race, this includes the roads most people travel on to get to the
observation sites and starts of the race. Our roads are very fragile.
After the race is over the roads are ruined for those of us who travel
them daily. Money is not spent to fix them or pick up the litter.

Also the race cars went by my house until after Midnight Saturday night
making it difficult for me to sleep. I am not sure why they were
running so late. I still feel that racing through a natural area
disturbs balance of things. Can't these races be run in an area less

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