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Some friends and I once rode our bikes out to Leesburg and spent the night there in a hotel, and ate at local restaurants. We spent money!

Are you a complete idiot, Suzanne?

The volume of people using the WO&D indicates she is wrong on two counts. During the week, those people may not be spending tourism dollars, but they are relieving pressure on the transportation infrastructure. Has Suzanne priced new transportation infrastructure lately? On the weekends, those people are indeed in Loudon Co. buying gas, buying food, staying in lodging and buying, um, bikes. If they weren't doing it in Loudon County, you can be sure they would be doing it in a jurisdiction that had cycling recreation, because that's what a lot of people like to do, at least occasionally.

She also calls it the WO&D. Washington Old & Dominion Trail?

She either just uncovered a county funds embezzlement scheme or she's making $#!T up. I'm going with the latter, especially since everything else she said was also wrong.

The campaign probably issued a "Not intended to be a factual statement" disclaimer, which is de rigeur these days. If only the target audience would get all excited when they hear "Go for a walk?"

Americans are idiots. As Bill Maher pointed out, we should be worried about the Sarah Palins, that she can indeed be elected, because, "most Americans are so fucking stupid." They can and may elect someone like this well-intentioned moron from Virginia. She doesn't even realize how stupid she is, and yet she is sincere!

American formal education has failed us at every turn.

We now have a culture of idiocy.

Bicycle advocates ought recognize this fact, so as to tailor their strategies accordingly. To meet madness with reason is itself madness.

Punkd into watching 2 minutes of Ken Cuccinelli.

Whoa! Are you saying a right-wing politician is making shit up out of whole cloth in order to flatter the prejudices of conservatives and get them to vote for them? Scandalous!

:)

As far as Satan's point: as fashionable as it is to say "a pox on both their houses", I'll point out that for all the national Democrats' flaws (and they are numerous), only one party regularly nominates (and elects) folks like this.

There is simply no equivalence between the two.

Is this the biking equivalent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?

Just to clarify: what looks like "idiocy" is really the willful suspension of disbelief. Reactionaries have unexamined prejudices which they use as their compass. Demagogues flatter those prejudices in order to gain political power. Some of those demagogues may believe in the snake oil they're selling, but it's a rare bird that does so.

Did someone say, Satan?!

http://www.marlerblog.com/uploads/image/church%20lady.jpg

What a striking resemblance to Ms. Volpe!

@oboe:

True. But this time she actually asked a question of business owners. Perhaps they'll weigh in and tell her what a dolt she is.

I dropped a lot of cash this weekend in Leesburg after biking out, having dinner (Fire Work pizza and Vintage 50) and drinks, and spending the night before moving on to Harper's Ferry via the C&O Canal Trail, then returning to Leesburg the following day for more food and beer.

Then again, my beer intake may be extremely exceptional.

Nevertheless, with all due respect, Ms. Volpe (apt name, that) needs to pull her head out of the dark chasm of her nethers and open her eyes just a bit.

I spent all of Saturday spending money in Leesburg on myself and my parents. It felt like half a million but I don't think it was that much. Admittedly, I drove, but only because my sig other is not able to ride a bicycle or drive. I would not have had interest in going there had I not alreay discovered the places on my bicycle in the first place.

You also have to consider that not only did you spend money, you didn't cost the state as much as if you were driving.

I hope someone from FABB follows up and requests clarification from Suzanne Volpe.

We have enough real issues to grapple with today. No need to make additional ones up.

Is the Northern Virginia Bicycling Association part of the Vast Cycling Conspiracy to waste tax dollars and hamper motorists? Inquiring minds want to know! ;-)

On a serious note, friends and I often ride the W&OD out to Purcellville and Leesburg spending our hard earned $$$ at restaurants, cafés, bicycle shops and other establishments. Ms. Volpe, your staff done you wrong in picking this campaign sound bite.

Can we start calling her "Foxy"?

FABB has sent a note to Ms. Volpe asking about the mysterious N.Va. Bicycle Association. We'll post info on our blog if we hear anything from her campaign. www.fabb-bikes.org.

Bruce Wright
Chairman, FABB

I sent her a comment through her website telling her how I've spent money in Loudoun County simply because of cycling. I'll bet she'd like to hear from more people about it:

http://suzannevolpe.com/Contact_Suzanne.html

I was even polite.

dayglo--

Fat chance. She can see right through a cyclo-nazi one-worlder socialist like yourself.

Oh, well, I guess I wasted the politeness on her.

Bruce, if FABB takes up enough Loudoun County issues, can the new name be Fairfax-Loudoun Advocates for Bicycling (FLAB)?

Is the Northern Virginia Bicycling Association part of the Vast Cycling Conspiracy to waste tax dollars and hamper motorists? Inquiring minds want to know! ;-)

Actually it's part of the UN conspiracy to subvert American sovereignty (see Denver bike sharing)

You mean Agenda 21? The first rule of Agenda 21 is to not talk about Agenda 21.

Just looking at Ms. Volpe it's pretty clear she doesn't spend a whole lot of time on a bike. I think one take away from her speech is that those of us in the biking world have a lot of educating to do to our friends in the sedentary world. As for me, I'll think twice before I buy anything in Loudon County again, whether I am on my bike or not.

Also, we need to find a Republican challenger for the primary who gets bikes.

Ms. Volpe should click on The Google and search for bike shops in NoVA. She might be surprised to learn there are quite a few shops operating in her jurisdiction, generating tax revenue, and selling bikes to people who ride them on the W&OD.

Volpe might also visit the trail-side BBQ joint near Leesburg, and ask its owners how they feel about socialist subsidies for ice cream-and-pulled-pork-lovin' cyclists who crowd their tables on weekends.

Just sent this via Volpe's "contact me" page:

Dear Mrs. Volpe,

I'm a Loudoun County voter, residing in Leesburg. I watched with great interest a recent video of your campaign kickoff with Atty. General Kucinelli, who had many fine things to say about your service and candidacy.

As an active and frequent cyclist, both in and outside the county, and a frequent user of the W&OD trail for both recreational and commuter cycling, I was surprised by your statement that the County gives $500K a year to the Northern Virginia Bicycle Association to promote tourism. I've lived in Northern VA for over 20 years, and been a member of a number of local cycling organizations, and I've never heard of it, neither can I find it. I'd actually support such a group, and I'd probably join up.

I assume your point is that $500K isn't chump change, and that the county's businesses derive no benefit from W&OD cyclists. As a user of the trail and a resident of Leesburg, I can tell you that any summer weekend you'll see groups of cyclists taking a break at Market Station and spending money at its restaurants. And a 2004 study done for the VA Dept. of Conservation (http://www.americantrails.org/resources/adjacent/WODstudy04.html) found that the W&OD visitors from outside NoVA bring $1.9M into the local economy every year.

That's a damn fine return on investment for $500K, and a fantastic return if, as appears, there is no such group or payment!

I'd love to know more about your positions on cycling in the county and its economic effects.

Sincerely,
Ross Patterson

This will be sent to local papers: I have viewed the YouTube video of the campaign kickoff speech by Algonkian District Supervisor candidate, Ms. Suzanne Volpe. She stated that Loudoun has provided a “half-million dollars a year” to the “Northern Virginia Bicycle Association,” a non-existent organization, to promote bicycle tourism. According to my queries, no County taxpayer money has been spent for bicycle tourism.

She went on to say, “Now I have to ask some of you business owners out there; do you think someone riding a bicycle on the W&OD Trail is going to help your business? That our county is spending half a million dollars to encourage people to bicycle into the county."

We all know and love the 45-mile W&OD Trail that attracts more than 2 million users a year. More than half of the Trail is in Loudoun County. As opposed to Volpe, I think owners of restaurants and stores in Ashburn, Leesburg, Purcellville, and other places along the W&OD Trail might say that yes, cyclists do spend money in Loudoun County and we'd like to have more of them come here. Major employers such as Orbital Sciences, AOL, Raytheon, Neustar and others would say that they encourage their employees to travel by bike for their health and to reduce congestion.

Bicycles are solely human-powered and use no fossil fuels. According to the League of American Bicyclists, bicycles currently displace over 238 million gallons of gasoline per year, by replacing car trips with bicycle trips. Bicycling is the second most preferred form of transportation after the automobile, ahead of public transportation.

Bicycling can help solve two of our nation's leading crises: skyrocketing healthcare costs, which are damaging every sector of our economy, and the obesity epidemic, which in 2000 caused 400,000 deaths.

I would urge Ms. Volpe to check the facts before she makes uninformed assertions.

Patricia Turner
Co-chair, BikeLoudoun

As of July 8, Ms. Volpe does have an opponent who gets it. I am Denise Moore Pierce, the official Democratic challenger to Ms. Volpe for the Algonkian District. My website is operational but a work in progress, www.denise4algonkian.com.

I have worked with Pat Turner, a friend for 15 years, on many quality of life issues, including biking, and asked her to look into these assertions.

Ms. Volpe appears to believe support for trails is a wasteful government expenditure. I will support efforts to maintain and improve safety and biking access as one of many quality of life issues for those living in or visiting Loudoun County.

Denise Moore Pierce
citizens4denise@gmail.com


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