Editor: I have been watching the debate for and against the reopening of the historic Langley Speedway for the better part of a month.
As a longtime resident of the South Surrey/White Rock/Langley area, I wholeheartedly support the revival of this historic venue. I do not race cars and grew up on a farm where my family was greatly involved with horses and the equestrian lifestyle.
Recently I took an extended vacation south, and took in some riding. While we were on horseback, we were greeted by speeding four-wheelers and large semi-trucks on the highways and back road areas, along with the sounds of rifles being fired.
What struck me as curious was the ability of the horses to ignore the surroundings, to a degree. It troubled me I could not take the time to write about the speedway during my time off.
On my way home, I went to Alberta, where I went to witness my first short track race in Wetaskawin. It was exciting and lively. What I saw really made me want to write to you.
The event was filled with families having a great time together. They were cheering their friends, their families and strangers. It was something I find sorely lacking in an age of video games and the breakdown of the family dynamic, which appears to be rampant.
I recall discovering the speedway track about five years back, while on one of my many walks through the park. I was filled with a sense of wonderment and excitement that this fabled track actually existed.
You see, as a kid, there were rumblings of this hidden track in the park. To us it was this mythical place. It was up there with Westwood,which was a world-class and venerable track that co-existed with nature for many years.
I almost immediately was reminded how the tracks are disappearing throughout North America due to development. This green space is prime to start a new era. I have read the pros and cons and think the statistics being touted by the opposition are greatly exaggerated. This is fear mongering at its worst.
Racing would only be one part of the equation, given the Lower Mainland’s fascination with all things automotive. Car shows, swap meets,school programs, peewee racing and many other types of events could benefit from opening the track for public use, and could generate a great deal of revenue.