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March 2011 Pit Stop

Posted in Features on March 1, 2011
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As I write this, the sounds of wide-open motorcycle engines echo through the cardboard-thin walls of my Ensenada motel room. Every 15 to 20 seconds, I hear another one pass by. Outside, the 43rd annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 has just begun. I'm finishing up the last of my writing responsibilities for the March issue, and I have a little less than one hour until I need to be headed down the peninsula towards La Paz. I am chasing the 1,060-mile, point-to-point race that many refer to as the granddaddy of all off-road motorsports events.

This is the first personal editorial column I've ever been asked to produce. Granted, I've only been at this job for eight years now. My procrastination to write this comes from my opinion about editorial columns. You see, I have always thought columns were reserved for the higher ups-a way of keeping a clear divide between the worker bees and the bossman.

However, times have changed. Like many businesses, our team is adapting to a new way of doing things. Chalk it up however you want, but today's commercial atmosphere is about as tough as the Baja landscape. The print magazine business is no exception. Today's economic circumstances require new techniques and strategies to stay competitive and ahead of the competition. We decided to add a more personal touch to Four Wheeler to give you, the reader, a better connection to the guys who produce this book each month.

We hope it works.

You see, I'm a die-hard. I'll ride this rollercoaster until the track is missing and the wheels fall off. I love my job, and couldn't picture myself doing anything else. Just like the commitment I made to the race team I'm chasing for in Baja, I'm committed to bringing you the best 4x4 industry content I can find. I live, eat, and breathe four-wheel drive, and with no family or house payment obligations tying me down, I get around more than most editors in our group. I guess you could just call me a 4x4 junkie with a major corporate sponsor helping to spread my knowledge.

And speaking of knowledge, I feel compelled to touch on a subject that I think we all need to take into consideration more often. America is struggling because we're losing our once-vibrant middle class-specifically, those hundreds of thousands of American workers who once were employed in the manufacturing segment of our economy. During my 33 years, I have witnessed the middle class steadily shrink. This is due to many factors, such as trade practices that have enabled American companies to relocate their manufacturing overseas. I'm not happy to say it, but our country's economy is broken right now. I believe that the only way we are going to fix it is by spooling up the production of American-made goods. So I leave you with one request: Do not contribute to the delinquency of America.

Put your money into goods that originate on our soil. If you buy American, Americans will work.
-ROBIN STOVER

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