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Woodlands Villager posts a new response to 'Dooring'(11 posts)

Woodlands Villager posts a new response to 'Dooring'WrigleyRoadie
Jun 12, 2002 6:10 AM
A new editorial from the staff at the Woodland Villager. Gee whiz, do you think we got to them at all?

Last week, The Villager ran a column by Wendy Crooks titled "No cyclist is too serious to safely use the roadways and pathways" that drew the ire of local and national cyclists.
The staff of The Villager would like to take the opportunity to state that we in no way condone violence against cyclists in any form. The article by Mrs. Crooks was intended to be a humorous, tongue-in-cheek piece, but obviously did not come across as such.
The Villager meant no disrespect towards cyclists, and certainly did not mean to make light of the very real dangers cyclists face when they take the road.

Many cyclists have complained the article insinuated they have no right to use the road alongside motor vehicles. Again, while it may have come across as such, that definitely was not the intent of the article.
Mrs. Crooks meant to vent her frustrations at cyclists who disobey the rules of the road, running stop signs and ignoring red lights whenever they see fit. After speaking with several serious, responsible cyclists, it is clear that those irresponsible cyclists are a source of a concern not only for motorists and pedestrians, but for those in the cycling community as well.
Over the years, The Villager has been a strong supporter of cyclists within The Woodlands community, and has found many of them to be the source of inspiration for an uplifting story. Late last year, The Villager ran a feature story on Paul Martin, a senior resident who competed in last year's Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. The story detailing Martin's commitment to his health, family and cycling showcased a truly outstanding man who has openly given of himself.
Likewise, The Villager has helped sponsor the Midnight Bike Cruise that helps benefit the Montgomery County Foodbank each of the last two years. In 2000, the first year of the ride, The Villager was one of the sponsors that helped to initiate the event, and will continue to sponsor and promote the event this year and into the foreseeable future.
Again, in no way did The Villager intend to offend or insult those in the cycling community. The article certainly was not meant to incite irrational behavior in motorists, nor was it meant to start an us-versus-them "revolution against cyclists," as one unidentified letter writer so eloquently put it.
The column by Mrs. Crooks was intended to be a humorous, light-hearted piece, as many of her columns have been over the last several months; it obviously did not come across as such.
The staff of The Villager will do its best to ensure that these situations do not arise in the future.
sounds decentDougSloan
Jun 12, 2002 6:40 AM
Sounds like they are attempting to be responsible, in hindsight. The editors should have caught it before, but once published, that's about all they can do.

She could have made many of the same points in decent ways. I think that was the function of the editors to ask her to do that.

They got lots of publicity out of this, though. That couldn't hurt.

re: Woodlands Villager posts a new response to 'Dooring'CJMeredith
Jun 12, 2002 6:45 AM
I think that's an appropriate response. I was inflamed as much by the editor's first response as by the article itself because he denied that the article was inappropriate and suggested that anyone who thought otherwise was not reading it in its entirety. They finally said what they should have said in the first didn't come across as they'd intended and they'll do their best to prevent such situations in the future.

I never expected them to grovel or beg for forgiveness. The fact that said this much is a pretty good indication that they felt some serious heat.
So, for each of our nasty-grams,rideslikeagirl
Jun 12, 2002 6:53 AM
I think this new stance deserves our recognition as well.

Although it's not an out-and-out apology or retraction (as it should have been) it does the trick, IMO. So I'll be thanking them for the note, just as I chastized them for the crap.

Thanks for posting it-
I imagine some advertisers must have contacted themColnagoFE
Jun 12, 2002 6:59 AM
You don't normally get this kind of "apology" unless there was major heat on them. I'm guessing some local businesses threatened to pull ads.
I'd like to know when Ms Crooks is going to write an apologybrider
Jun 12, 2002 7:00 AM
or a retraction. Seems to me the paper is just making an attempt to not lose their precious advertising dollars. Understandable, but not particularly noble.
That's what I was wondering toogreg n
Jun 12, 2002 9:53 AM
Although she's probably too high and mighty in her tiny, little bike path world.
She probably won'tloop
Jun 12, 2002 10:01 AM
but she will most likely be quick to demand an apology when some cyclist knocks her knuckle-head husband on his duff in the future.

People like her are too self-absorbed to care about others. ...Makes you wonder how much of a burden on society her children will eventually become.

...Said "tongue in cheek" of course....
i emailed this to the editorrufus
Jun 12, 2002 9:13 AM
thank you for this latest statement regarding the story on cycling. if you had posted this type of response last week, perhaps the response to you and your paper would not have been so harsh. at least you now acknowledge the difficulties we all face when we ride our bikes on the road.

as you said, we all recognize the harm that irresponsible cyclists cause to the rest of us by riding recklessly or in violation of the laws. as cyclists, we try to do our best to prevent these incidents from occurring. but just as there are motorists who will violate the laws, so too will there be cyclists.

as i said last week, what i would like to see from your paper is an article directed toward motorists, explaining the cyclists' right to be on those roads, and offering information that will help them to share the roads safely and responsibly with cyclists. advice such as slowing down and giving them a wider berth, and not being in such a hurry to pass them until the roadway is clear. hopefully, this advice may help to prevent future accidents such as the ones that have occurred in the last few days.
Is this article on line somewhere? -nmMisJG
Jun 12, 2002 12:18 PM
here it is, with the original response...rideslikeagirl
Jun 12, 2002 12:22 PM