Saturday, July 09, 2005

Bush's Bicycle

The foregoing post started be about Bush's Bicycle, but by the time I got around to Geographic Locations International, I decided the preamble had gotten out of hand.

Recently, blogs have been ridiculing George W. Bush's recent cycling accident at the Gleneagles G8 conference. This one is typical, and so are these comments.

God knows Bush presents plenty of legitimate targets, so there's really no need to be suggesting he is in line to replace Gerald Ford as the Klutz-in-Chief.

The satirical supposition that "Bush's bicycle accident at the G8 was STAGED to demonstrate bicycles are dangerous and not a solution to climate change" is actually funny. The rest are cheap shots by people I suspect don't get enough vigorous exercise. It's not the fat asses who rent a bike once a year at the beach who have accidents. It's more likely the serious bikers, who ride often, fast, and in conditions (such as a light rain) that provide excuses for most people to stay indoors.

Bush's accidents over the past five years don't strike me as unusual at all. Ride a mountain bike hard across a ranch instead of some prim bike path, and you may well go down. On wet roads, brakes lose stopping power and road tires lose traction. If you have to react quickly to someone who zigs when he should zag, I predict road rash in your future.

Cycling requires more physical coordination and concentration than driving, and you are highly vulnerable because of the speed, height, being clipped into pedals, and proximity to hard surfaces, cars and clueless drivers. It's the leading cause of recreational injury in the U.S. So you must pay attention to your environment.

I see Bush's bicycle as a hopeful sign. After all, he's not racing around on a motorcycle or shooting exotic animals in a game park. He's moving under his own power, at a slower-than-motorized pace, and must absolutely be aware. He may not read all the signs or scan the faces of every pedestrian, but he's not whizzing through the countryside in his motorcade, either. He is closer to real life. He is smelling the air and enjoying simplicity. He is reflecting.

At least, I choose to hope so.


Blogger bob said...

Nonetheless...he crashed.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Charlie Quimby said...

Cliff's Notes for Bush's Bicycle:
If you cycle, you crash. If you sit in your chair and snipe, you don't.

Do the benefits of riding outweigh the risks of crashing? Yes.

Does Bush receive these benefits? More likely than not.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a bike commuter, I am completely sympathetic to President Bush and his crashes. If you bike everyday you are going to fall once or twice. It comes with the terrirory.

You can't avoid it. There is nothing "clutzy" to make fun of. I completely agree.


9:34 AM  
Blogger bob said...

Sometimes, I just can't resist a cheap shot. On the other hand, don't forget Dick Cheney is just a brain injury away from the oval office.

5:45 AM  

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