Letter to the Editor: Bike Virginia Not Wanted?

Bike Virginia

I read the comments about Bike Virginia coming to town.  There sure were many negative comments about us coming. I was a  participant in Bike Virginia.

Thanks for having us.

I am glad I did not know of the ill will before I arrived.  I would have been scared to cycle in your area.  I know we annoyed many of you. Some cyclists are just like some car drivers, they run red lights, they roll through stop signs. Most obey the laws, you just remember the ones that do not. I was impressed with the courteous behavior of the car drivers.

I wonder if Charles Town/Ranson really did not want us there either.

Cecilia Luther


  1. sargewillis says:

    Dear Cecilia, Please don’t read the will of Clarke County and Berryville by the ravings of a few disgruntled individuals, I am a long time citizen of Clarke County and live right on Main St. in Berryville. I found that most folks were happy to have you all come out for one small weekend and enjoy what we have all year long. I can’t speak for the all the residents of Berryville or Clarke County but I for one would like to say “You are more than welcome to come back anytime you wish.”

  2. Edward, let me assure you. Clark County is very lucky to have you. As a business owner in Virginia. It is absolutely a blessing to have 1700 plus folks coming to town for 6 days. The impact on our local retail business is very much needed in these times of recession. I volunteered and helped a very little bit so to make it more fun for the participants to help in a small way keep you coming back. Please do and congrats to you and all your fellow bikers for getting out and doing it. Virginia is a beautiful place to ride and we are proud to have you! Thank you for coming and spending money in Clark County.

  3. kellcsmith says:

    This really saddens me. I’ve commented here recently on my disappointment in the tone many of the commenters take in the CDN Comments Section. I am in agreement that the Comments Section is an appropriate place for free and open debate among the citizens of our county, but I simply do not see how an unkind/uncivil tone is constructive or helpful to any discussion. I cannot understand why CDN editors allow it.

  4. River Watcher says:

    Dear Bike of VA Participants:

    This problem has nothing to do with you, your bike ride, or your participants.

    You all are welcome to this county. I live on a “scenic byway” and see bicyclist all year long. Sure some do not follow the laws but we have not banned drivers either.

    This electronic newspaper started with the best of intentions but the comments sections of all articles continue to reach a lower level by the day. I think they do it to increase the readership. Just like with most internet forums the majority of the people are not fit to breath the air. They behave worse then five year olds. I wish this paper and others would cut off the comment section. They do an outstanding job reporting and do not need any extra help from the public.

  5. Dear Cecelia, I for one am sorry you saw the comments. Keep in mind please that you saw the “disgruntled”; some people are uneducated about bike tours and refuse to become educated. We need more events like these, I was excited to see you guys and hope you come again. 🙂

  6. Sam Card says:

    I found the bikers friendly and I was thrilled that they came. I believe the bike organization gave our community some grant money. Bikers spent money in town and ate at our local restaurants and practiced mimimum impact camping at our old high school grounds. I admire that they travel under their own energy of pedal power. Back when I was 17 years old, I went on an organized AYH (American Youth Hostel) bike and camping trip in Maine. It was fun to ride a ten speed Schwinn Varsity to the top of Cadilac Mountain on Mount Deseret Island in Maine. The views of Bar Harbor, Maine and the Atlanric Ocean were astounding. We also hiked and camped in Acadia National Park. I did my own solo bike tour of Cape Cod, Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket as a teenager and enjoyed riding the ferry to the islands and staying at the youth hostel in Hyannis, Massachusetts. It was great that I could bring my bike along on the beautiful ferry ride from Provincetown in Cape Cod to Boston. Unfortunately, the raods are more crowded today, but now there are many more trails converted to trails that are great for bike riding. Last summer, I enjoyed walking from Ohiopyle, PA to Confluence, PA on a bike trail along the Youghiogheny River. Biking is great ttransportation and recreation. The mayor of Seattle sometimes commutes to work by bicycle. With extreme weather, it sures is conveneint to be in a car. Thank you bikers for coming and please come back soon.

  7. Happy to see the bikers in town. Very nice to see people on the street on a Saturday afternoon and shopping and having a good time.

    The concert in the park was a big plus as well, with an enthusiastic, cupcake intoxicated crowd.

    Think that the economic impact to the county may have been oversold; think communication between the town (or whoever acted as liaison) and the Berryville business folks could have been better. All in all, though a plus.

  8. Hey CDN – how about a poll to see how many of your readers are in favor of removing the Comments section?

    CDN Editor: The Clarke County community is filled with wonderful, caring people. If we all agreed on every topic we’d have to change the name of our beautiful homeland to something else; (the name “China” comes to mind.) CDN’s small, but very talented, staff work hard to provide a forum for free speech to all people within the Clarke County community. We believe that the “free speech” delivered through CDN’s comments section makes our community stronger. We think that the Founding Fathers of the United States would have agreed were they here today. Granted, CDN’s editorial policy may not always make everyone happy any more than everyone agrees with every comment posted here. Either way, CDN’s publishers have no interest in providing only one side of any given issue (such one sided news sources are easily available as an alternative to CDN if that is what you are hoping to find.) So given that CDN’s publishers aren’t interested in implementing your editorial vision of the world the poll that you suggest wouldn’t be very valuable. But thanks for reading the Clarke Daily News.

    • CDN Editor – You have completely misunderstood my above question. Based on the comments that I read above and a few other recent comments on different stories re: the comments suggest, I thought it would be INTERESTING for readers to have an outlet to share their opinion. No where in my question did I hint or suggest or insinuate that you should act upon the results, nor does it infer “my editorial vision of the world”.

      CDN Editor: Isn’t free speech awesome!

    • Part of the issue is that (A) neither Mike nor Ed are consistent re what gets through your personal filters, and (B) we are not privy to the crap that you all do NOT allow through. I can only imagine it is pretty negative.

    • Stonebroke says:

      If your so high on preaching about the Freedom of Speech then why have a moderator? Your moderation of this board is biased and to the liking of what you want published for view! So save your breath on the Freedom of Speech rant! See if this makes it to the board?

    • Dmaxnjackson says:

      CDN Editor :Very well put. I live in AMERICA. While everyone has the right to say what they want, not everybody will agree. For those who do not want the free speech, may I suggest moving to China,Cuba, or the many other countries out there that their citizens do not have the liberties that we have her in the good ole USA.Again FREE SPEECH is it not GREAT or what

    • river watcher says:

      I believe in Free Speech but I also believe in polite discussions. Too many of the comments in this place and others newspapers are over the top. There is no respect and too many hate filled comments.

      My litmus test is do I want my kids reading these comments. Too many are hate filled and negative.

      I appreciate the fact CDN redacts certain words but it should do more without loosing the message of the commenter.

      For a paper that claims to represent the community many of these comments and commenters are an awful way to represent this community.

      • ElinorDashwood says:

        I too appreciate the fact that CDN redacts certain words but were they to do more than that, the commentor’s view or statement might be accidentally twisted into something they didn’t mean and then you have the commentor saying,” THAT’S NOT WHAT I SAID”. I know CDN would never do this intentionally, we are lucky to have this newspaper and the individuals running it.

        I originally came to this story to say, I thought the cyclist event was pretty incredible for little old Clarke County. I appreciate the beauty here everyday so I’m happy these cyclists were able to, if only just for the weekend. I drove past the old high school and it was tent city, looked like Occupy Berryville. 😉

        • Welcome to CDN, Elinor. By coincidence, there is another poster here with a strikingly similar name, albeit spelled differently. I also enjoyed the bikers presence. They were a courteous bunch, especially the fun-loving group who called their custom bikes “Jabberwockys”.

          • ElinorDashwood says:

            Both Elinor and Eleanor Dashwood are one in the same (Elinor being the correct one). A much loved character from ‘Sense and Sensibility’ that is the voice of reason within her family.
            I had taken such a long hiatus from posting comments when I returned I was misspelling her name.
            I agree, RW, they were a nice bunch. I realize that some businesses may have felt that they saw little of the revenue brought to Clarke from this event but it doesn’t always have to be about money, does it?

    • Bill Bell says:

      I enjoy the articles and many of the thoughtful comments on CDN. I get very tired of the run-on comments and replies which always diverge from the excellent articles. Maybe allowing only two comments per poster per article could be considered. This might provoke more consideration in the posts when the poster knows he/she only has two attempts to make their point. It would also end the annoying point-counter-point that a very few posters continuously engage in.

    • Michelle Graham says:

      Maybe require REAL names. People may be less apt to post disperaging remarks if they are required to own up to them.

  9. donnajo frisbee says:


    • While folks certainly CAN express themselves, perhaps they sometimes SHOULDN’T do so. There’s a big difference between “can” and “should.” It’s called tact, maturity, and using one’s internal filter.

  10. There is a screw loose here! Every on topic comment supports events that bring revenue to the county the way I see it. This topic thread is about bikers thinking they are not welcome. And yet there are comments about leaving negative comments or none at all. Hello, no comments, no page. If you want to talk about free speech start a new thread about free speech.!! Stay on point

  11. Most of the negative comments come from people that are so disgruntled about life in general you could probably cut and past their comments and they would fit in any forum. Please do not take to heart that they represent all of Clarke County. We do have scenic roads here in our lovely country and quite proud to show them off to all visitors. Following the words other’s have said I cannot speak for all of Clark Country But I for one hope that you come back year after year.

    Freedom of speech is our right as citiznens of the USA. One cannot ban the negative remarks but one can just skip over those comments and read on..

  12. I would be less worried about some folks comments and more concerned about the town’s embrace, or lack thereof, of the event. From what I understand, it was pretty sparse in town as far as businesses participating

  13. sargewillis says:

    You can’t blame the town merchants, due to the type of people involved only the restaurants stood to make money, the bicyclist aren’t going to buy anything but food, can’t carry anything on a bike except a full belly. I believe the idea was to show off the town and countryside, hopefully interest them into coming back with family and friends.

  14. Missing Clarke County says:

    I just wanted to comment that this event was not the first time Bike Virginia came to Berryville. Their annual 1991 Bike Virginia tour was called Shenandoah Valley Odyssey. The tour began in Lexington and ended at the “New” Clarke County High School in June, 1991. I don’t remember any negative comments or any problems before, during or after the event. The Clarke County community came together volunteering to make the event a success. That was how Clarke County did things back then.

  15. n3utr0nRU says:

    I agree that comments here, at times, do not represent the community well. However, people need to consider the source and context before they take online comments personally and make a mountain out of a mole-hill. Ms Luther clearly noted that our community treated the cyclists with courtesy and regard out on the streets, so why would she then let a few online self-appointed critics set the tone for her entire experience? The type of people that come here to post opinions are, well… opinionated (myself included!) They are a subset of the community that are persistent in having conversations online, but they SURELY are not the majority of our citizens nor do they represent the entire community! They represent their personal opinions only. So please take the time and read responsibly, and consider the source before you allow yourself to be offended by everyday anomalies of free speech & community conversation. Keep the conversation going, but let’s keep it in context!

  16. Bob Brawley says:

    Free lance Star July 22 2012. The Oktoberfest is a huge draw in down town Fredricksburg
    but many business owners don’t want it. It been an ongoing shoutfest back and forth in the Star for two years.. The two authors debating the subject in today’s paper , the pro guy , a member of the Economic Development Authority, and a life long resident claims the city netted 250,000 dollars on the 2009 marine Corps Historic Half marathon. They didn’t offer a figure for the Oktoberfest. Apparently the issue is so hot neither author mention the reason for the debate.. Yea they drink beer in the streets and where you have drinking in the streets you have drunks. So get cracking Berryviille get you an Oktoberfest.
    The is a drawback. Fredricksbur’s Economic Development department cost them 971,930 dollars and 3/4 of that go to the staff.

  17. George Archibald says:

    Scroll up to read Bike Virginia participant Cecelia Luther’s initial post to see that it stated, quote, “There sure were many negative comments about us coming. I was a participant in Bike Virginia.” So it makes sense that reader comments got into both issues of the Bike Virginia tour coming through Berryville and the kind of comments that prompted participant Luther’s letter.

    Having been a CDN regular reader and fan since 2010, and a newspaperman myself since I graduated Loudoun County High School (the class of 1962’s 50th anniversary reunion in Purcellville is coming up), you have often seen me complain about “ad hominem” negative comments that destroy constructive discourse. Nasty or mean-spirited comments that do not constructively help illuminate the factual situation or well-intentioned diverse ideas and opinions that compete in the public square only hurt goodness in our community, which in our free society should be a healthy marketplace of all viewpoints presented with civility and good manners.

    Personally, I would prefer that people had to put their own given name on comments offered, but I respect that the publisher believes the pseudonym opportunity encourages more people to engage in discussion. But anonymity bugs me because then someone can call him- or herself some pen-name not to be identified and easily say unfactual, wrong, or mean-spirited things without being held accountable. This permits nasty people to say nasty things during an otherwise good and helpful stream of comments just to get their jollies at the expense other decent folk.

    On balance, with respect to CDN’s publisher/editor and staff, who do a commendable selfless job 24/7 on a small budget, my vote in a poll would be to end the anonymous pen-names and make people give their real names or real email addresses. Yes, I readily concede that would probably result in less comments at the outset because it would wipe out the regular mean-spirited group who most decent regular readers are sick of. But the quality and constructive nature of dialogue would be improved tremendously because a stream of comments would then include more thoughtful and sensible contributions like those of Sam Card and Elinor Dashwood, who routinely elevate the discussion and are fun to read.

    • Mr Mister says:

      As a real “newspaperman” you should know that sometimes you get your stories from anonymous sourses. Now you see that most people don’t agree with your opions, you want them outted.