Who’s disturbing the peace?


To the Editor:

In response to the letter “Dirt Bikers spoil the peace, violate the laws” (October 14, in the Times), I’d like to clarify some of the statements made by Wayne K. Greenwell, referring to the activity on Nip ‘n’ Tuck Farm as being illegal. Mr. Greenwell, I understand that you are a writer and know what damage can be done by a few written accusations, whether they are truthful or not, so perhaps you should have done a little more research before making your personal gripes public.

You seem determined to slander the group of riders that have permission to ride on a small area of Nip ‘n’ Tuck Farm, but seem oblivious to the fact that illegal riding happens much closer to your home in an area known as “the pit.” Perhaps you should focus your attention there.

But since you wish to strictly point your finger at the riding on the farm, which is, in fact, done legally and with permission, I will concentrate on my knowledge of those riders. The riding that is allowed on the farm is recreational only. No racing is conducted on the premises, though you have improperly stated otherwise. In the town of West Tisbury, using a recreational vehicle on private property is not an illegal activity as long as you have written permission from the property owner.

As someone who previously had permission to ride at the farm, I know that it is an organized area and that there are rules in place to protect the property owners, riders, and the abutting neighbors. There are specific hours in which riding is allowed (2-4:30 pm, with no riding on holidays), and those hours were set as a way to make minimal impact on the neighborhood. Any dirt bikes or ATVs you hear outside of those hours are most definitely not coming from Nip ‘n’ Tuck Farm. Your letter implies that the riders are a bunch of disrespectful adolescents with no regard for the public, when in fact most of the riders are over 35 and ride with their children in their free time.

Many of these riders were born and raised on this Island, as was I. We can remember the days when we could ride freely on paths through public woods. The only place where we can ride now is on private property, with written permission from the landowner. You seem bound and determined to take that privilege away from us as well, for your own selfish reasons.

My understanding of peace is quite different from yours. I think of peace as people getting along with others through tolerance and respect, so please, Mr. Greenwell, remind me who is disturbing the peace.

Phaedra BenDavid

Oak Bluffs