Let ’em roar | PostIndependent.com

Let ’em roar

Dear Editor,

I don’t know Mr. Coggins of Aspen Harley Davidson or his detractor, Steve Smith.

Mr. Coggins has, within the frame of his lifestyle, business, and sense of community, tried to bring income to this area. His efforts may offend the sensibilities of some. I suggest that this is no more onerous than dodging marathoners, or bicyclists. Nor is it worse than dealing with the influx of skiers, whitewater enthusiasts and others who spend their money to come here to vacation.

Glenwood Springs has styled itself as a tourist destination, and therefore, its citizens should be willing to tolerate the inconvenience of tourists. Mr. Smith is either oblivious or ignorant of the underpinnings of our local economy. If it weren’t for tourists, Glenwood Springs would be little changed from the sleepy town it was in the 1950s. I grew up in Glenwood Springs. It would be easy for me to launch into a tirade about how this valley has been ruined, but that would be very backward and shortsighted. I have witnessed the changes time and tourists have wrought. I have not always been happy with the changes, but I realize that change is inevitable.

As for all the so-called negative connotations involving the Harley Riders Association, Mr. Smith is exhibiting a knee-jerk reaction to a nonexistent threat. I should know. In my youth, I was one of those terrible “Hell’s Angels,” known as “Big Silver.” Until a few years ago, I still kept my “colors” in a closet. At age 54, I hope that I have mentally matured. I believe my fellow citizens consider me a “normal” member of my community. I no longer even own or ride a motorcycle. Back then, we called the group of people Mr. Coggins has invited to our valley “Grandpas,” and derided them for even daring to ride on our “turf.” These ladies and gentlemen that Mr. Smith seems to loathe so much are not the societal misfits he is trying to associate them with.

I don’t know what Mr. Smith does for a living, but I’ll bet that the ultimate source of his income is tourism. If those of us who live here cannot get on the tourism bandwagon, quit practicing NIMBYism, screaming and moaning about every change that comes along, we will all be forced to move out of this wonderful area. I certainly prefer what we have here over the norm in cities and suburbia across America.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I like it here, and intend to stay. “Roaring” motorcycles or not.

Bill Wilson

New Castle

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