Zen and the Art of Mountain Biking with the President
August 9, 2006 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Mountain Bike One. What it's like to hit the trails with the President: a little Zen, a few Band-aids.
posted by gottabefunky (27 comments total)
I think this is the thing that finally convinced me that this man is out of touch with the American people. He's a freaking exercizaholic. Who'd vote for that kind of nutjob?
posted by Plutor at 9:15 AM on August 9, 2006

Mountain biking, [Bush] says, helps "settle the soul."

This may be the first thing I've ever agreed with him on.
posted by Zozo at 9:19 AM on August 9, 2006

LA Times, August 9:

CRAWFORD, Texas — President Bush knows how to turn up the heat on his staff.

Tugging at their pride, and perhaps straining their loyalty, the exerciser in chief presided Tuesday over the latest inductees into the 100-Degree Club — the clique of White House aides brave (or perhaps gullible) enough to run three miles in the blazing August sun of central Texas.

The run, whose participants included new White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and a dozen or so other staffers, commenced around 4 p.m. — exactly when local temperature readings hit the three-digit mark.

The prize for those who completed the exercise: a 100-Degree Club T-shirt and a photo with the president, along with a sunburn and a good story to tell friends back home.

Bush, a one-time avid jogger who was forced to stop after developing knee problems in 2003, rode circles on his bicycle around the runners, offering playful taunts and encouragement.

"You can do it! Come on!" he told one aide as the group trotted along a path through the president's 1,600-acre Prairie Chapel Ranch.
posted by blucevalo at 9:24 AM on August 9, 2006

You know who else enjoyed marching his followers around hour after hour out in the open?
posted by yhbc at 9:30 AM on August 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Yeah, who really gives a shit? NotNewsFilter?
posted by prostyle at 9:31 AM on August 9, 2006

It is way past time that any attempts to humanize this idiot and make him "one of us" are going have any impact.

He's killed thousands of people, he's destroyed the fabric of our country. If we give a shit about the fact the idiot can ride a bike, we've lost touch with reality.
posted by HuronBob at 9:37 AM on August 9, 2006

Do not confuse Zen with profound ignorance.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:39 AM on August 9, 2006

Now watch this drive bike ride.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:50 AM on August 9, 2006

Mountain biking. In Texas? The operation word being "MOUNTAIN!"

That's like downhill skiing in Minnesota.

Any moron can ride a mountain bike on gravel road in back of a Texas ranch. That doesn't make it Mountain Biking. It makes it trail riding.

Let's get the guy up here in the Cascades or Canadian Rockies.
posted by tkchrist at 9:56 AM on August 9, 2006

Hey, I'm not a fan of the guy, but remember Texas is biiiiiiiiiig, and it's not all flat.
posted by PissOnYourParade at 9:59 AM on August 9, 2006

HuronBob writes "He's killed thousands of people"

You mean "hundreds of thousands", right?
posted by signal at 10:17 AM on August 9, 2006

signal... "thousands" could also extend to "hundreds of thousands"...but, yes, you are correct...
posted by HuronBob at 10:21 AM on August 9, 2006

This is, like, the eleventh time Bush has crashed his bike since the 2000 election. He's not even competant enough to stay upright on two wheels.
posted by oncogenesis at 10:37 AM on August 9, 2006

POYP - you call THOSE mountains?

Ha Hahaha. I laugh at your pitiful mountains.
posted by tkchrist at 10:41 AM on August 9, 2006

Hah. This article really reveals Bush's general ineptitude when it comes to biking. In the second link, the crash described is caused not by equipment failure, but rather by a failure to dismount. He was going to bail mid descent, but got caught in his toe clips and endoed. Secondly, only a rank beginnier, or someone unable to afford better equipment would ride with toe clips. An XC rider would upgrade to clipless, and someone who prefers downhill or freeriding would use flats.

The breathless swooning over Bush's athleticism is ridiculous next to descriptions that paint him as a cocksure and incompetent rider who manages to injure himself on the most leisurely of terrain.

If Bush wanted to come visit the North Shore I'd be happy to take him on a tour of our local trails. A good choice would be Pink Starfish
or Crippler

I'll take my camera. Hopefully I can get some good shots of the Commander in Chief practicing his dismount.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:47 AM on August 9, 2006

Bunch of haters... I thought this story was pretty cool, but then again, I'm a mountain biker...
posted by WetherMan at 10:48 AM on August 9, 2006

I don't know why my post formatted so weird.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:51 AM on August 9, 2006

So this president, he rides bikes?
Doen't qualify him to run the country.
posted by edgeways at 11:10 AM on August 9, 2006

WetherMan, where do you live? What are the trails like there? I love how anywhere you go, the trails have a distinct and local feel.

When you live on the shore, it colours what you think mountain biking is like to the point that even our bikes are distinct.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 12:33 PM on August 9, 2006

Come on Expletive, I spent many a happy year riding with toe-clips; I didn't 'upgrade' to clipless till relatively recently. Maybe I was a 'only a rank beginnier', but it was still fun.

Personally I would rather get the most out of what's on my bike than get stuck on that upgrade treadmill. (and quietly ignore the increasing quantity of unnecessary XTR items on my own bike, ahem.)
posted by Kiwi at 1:20 PM on August 9, 2006

[expletive deleted] : I grew up in the Chicagoland area, so our riding was restricted to turf in Southern Wisconsin on the weekends. I started out on a Specialized Hardtail, which was upgraded as money allowed.

The trails there are mostly up and down, short climbs, followed by short descents. They work hard to create technically challenging groomed trails to make up for the lack of elevation.

The fun part is that the up and down terrain offers an even overall ride, rather than 3 hours of grueling pain, and 45 minutes of sheer terror I've found in Colorado and Montana.

Eventually I upgraded to a Gary Fisher Joshua, which was one of the first dual suspension bikes that featured rear shock dampening. It allowed me to do our normal cross-country rides without fear of pogo, but also gave me a capable bike for our vacation trips out to the Rockies.

These days I'm living in Atlanta, which is short on interesting trails nearby, although there are some excellent trails if you make a longer treck north out to the appalachian area.
posted by WetherMan at 1:28 PM on August 9, 2006

I'm glad Bush is having fun on his many vacations. I'm glad he's improved his singletrack skills on the public dime.

Now, can he actually do some work? Or at least fake it?
posted by FormlessOne at 1:40 PM on August 9, 2006

Eh, mountain bikes. Big fuckin' deal. When he can ride backwards, no hands, while smoking a cigar, on his fixie...then I will vote for him.
posted by fixedgear at 1:54 PM on August 9, 2006

Kiwi, I'm not criticizing your choice to keep toe clips. I rode with them for 3 years. This was in part because I didn't ride much, but also because I couldn't afford new gear. Besides, I'm more likely to criticize someome I've never seen ride if they are a willfully ignorant absentee warlord.

Once I began riding, I needed to start the upgrade train. Shore trails will literally destroy lesser bikes. As one gets better, your bike must keep pace, either by buying a new bike, or replacing components until everything is new, including the frame. Even without the inevitable bails and ghost rides, shore trails will pound and grind lesser bikes into pieces. This is what happened to all but the last two bikes I have rode. The last bike I had before my current one was stolen, but even then, its brakes (Hayes 6in rotor mech. disks) simply don't have good enough stopping power to stay under control in some places.

Bush seems to be an eager and avid mountain biker. Judging by the news, he seems to spend more time riding than being president. I'm sure he just leaves all that up to Dick, Rummy and Condi. If we are to believe that he is an avid rider, you imagine he would have the money for new gear and the skill to need it.

That said, he seems to just ride dirt roads, since there is a comment that he's just now building singletrack on his ranch. If he was serious about becoming a better rider, he would be using some of the mesquite he's been known to clear to make some nice ladders or skinnies.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 2:43 PM on August 9, 2006

'I'm more likely to criticize someome I've never seen ride if they are a willfully ignorant absentee warlord.'

Fair enough....
posted by Kiwi at 10:17 PM on August 9, 2006

Oh, and I'd rather go out MTBing with Bush than hunting with Cheney.
posted by Kiwi at 10:53 PM on August 9, 2006

I'd love to go ride with Bush. I could actually witness him maiming himself, and if I don't, well, at least I could let him eat my dust. On the other hand, with Cheney I would have the opportunity to accidentally shoot him in the face with a slug (how would I know it isn't birdshot?).
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:17 AM on August 10, 2006

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