Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Letter to the CBS Evening News

Erik Buell started building motorcycles in a dairy barn in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. Since 1983 he grew Buell Motorcycle Company into the only American Sportbike company, built more than one-hundred thousand Buell motorcyles, and gained a passionate following among people who ride Buells. I'm one of those fans.

In September, Danny Eslick won the 2009 American Motorcycle Association Daytona Sportbike championship riding a Buell, proving that a small American Company with only 300 employees could compete with the big motorcycle companies and win.

In October, Harley-Davidson, who bought Buell, announced it was shutting it down and discontinuing the brand.

A lesser man would have crumbled or turned bitter. Erik Buell did not. He thanked his loyal Buell riders in a video released the day of the announcement (http://www.buell.com/en_us/company/). This week, many Buell owners took a "Last Ride" to the Buell factory in East Troy, Wisonsin to bid goodbye, and Erik Buell was on hand (See the Fox news report on this ride at http://www.fox6now.com/videobeta/watch/?watch=7feec448-49b4-4fdf-9168-767c6e812f4f&src=front ).

Take a look at the loyalty his riders have for him, for the people who worked at the factory, and for the bikes themselves by reading the comments on their facebook pages - http://www.facebook.com/buell and http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1669824900&ref=nf

Erik Buell is a man who started with a dream, saw it become a reality, lose it to the current downturn, but still vows to move on in the spirit of innovation and "can do." I think this sort of determination exemplifies the American Spirit, and I hope you'll agree and feature him in an episode of The American Spirit on the CBS evening news.

Sincerely,

____________________________________________

So what do you think? If, like me, you think Erik Buell exemplifies The American Spirit, let the CBS Evening News know by writing them at theamericanspirit@cbsnews.com

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