Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tour De Bush

Yesterday’s USA Today featured a rather chummy article by sports reporter Sal Ruibal on the mountain biking exploits of President Bush who led a group of 7 reporters on a tour of his Crawford, TX ranch over the weekend. President Bush happens to be among the fittest 1% of American men aged 55-59. (Detractors insert “fit for what?” or pithy “being President is supposed to kill you” here _______________________.)

Because every story has a Pittsburgh connection, UPMC Sports Medicine and cycling team sponsor Dr. Freddie Fu is quoted with this exciting observation: “Riding a bicycle gives the benefits cardiovascular benefits of running without the impact.”

Complete with numerous references to the journalists being part of Peloton One, a chummy photo of the author and the President, and the gift of free bike socks, by golly this was a scathing piece of attack journalism by the liberal left.

The story appears to be a thinly veiled part of Karl Rove and Donald Rumsfeld’s obvious conspiracy to train aging baby boomers for military service in Iraq by picking up dangerous “extreme” sports, living a healthy lifestyle.

Extremely revealing is the President’s nervousness about switching to clipless pedals that he overcame by focusing on his desire for “15% greater efficiency,” he does not plan to shave his legs or wear tight bike shorts with unsightly bulges, he refers to himself as “Bike Guy,” and his propensity for naming geographic features on his ranch for seminal events in his Presidency, including “Balkan Hill” where “Condi Rice gave me and Laura a lecture on the Balkans.”

In the end, the President seems to bike for the same reasons that many people do, to keep fit and escape the pressures of life – in his words to “feel like I’m outside the bubble” and to “get the sense of freedom,” a brief escape from one of the most intense occupations in the world.

The President will be resting this week in anticipation of welcoming the newest member of Peloton One, Lance Armstrong, this weekend.


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