Amusing article from the Baltimore Sun- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Amusing article from the Baltimore Sun

    Maybe, we should invite Bush to come on one of our group rides

    --------------------
    Presidential hobby with a thrill
    --------------------

    Sun Journal

    February 12, 2005



    WASHINGTON - Cancel the cozy days at Camp David. Put away the underused
    running shoes. When it comes to weekend enjoyment, all George W. Bush seems
    to need is some winding trails and a helmet.

    And his mountain bike.

    Lately, Bush has been logging scores of miles on a secluded spread in
    Beltsville and the rolling hills of Quantico, Va., far from the White House
    whirl.

    "He's become a biking maniac," said Mark McKinnon, his media adviser and
    frequent cycling companion.

    What began as a way for the president to stay fit, after three decades of
    running ruined his knees, is now his passion.

    Besides burning calories at a 1,000-per-hour clip, cycling gives Bush an
    emotional rush that sometimes surpasses the one he got from running.

    "He's obsessed with it," McKinnon said. "He now likes to do nothing but work
    out on his bike, and he does it with a frenzy that is reserved for people
    like Lance Armstrong."

    Bush's face lights up at the mention of biking, a heart-thumping release
    from the stress of his job.

    "Prayer and exercise are what keeps me going," he told a Great Falls, Mont.,
    man who asked about his mountain biking.

    His penchant for the messy, sometimes dangerous sport captured media
    attention when he took a face-battering spill from his Trek bicycle -
    reportedly a $3,100 carbon-frame model - while riding it through the hills
    of his Crawford, Texas, ranch last year.


    "We got thrills, spills - you name it," Bush told an Associated Press
    reporter who accompanied him on a ride that saw the president sail over his
    handlebars, crash to the ground and then hop back on his bike.

    For Secret Service agents and others who have ridden with Bush, it can be a
    perilous experience. At least one agent has broken several bones trailing
    the president.

    It can also be demoralizing - he is famous for leaving stragglers behind -
    but seldom boring.

    "It's a rocky, blazing trip. You can't catch your breath - you're not just
    meandering along," said Vance Holmes, a cinematographer who has shot Bush
    campaign commercials and videos - and found himself listening to some
    presidential ribbing after he fell behind during a ride.

    Other presidents have also slipped workouts into demanding schedules.

    Harry S. Truman favored brisk early-morning walks. Herbert Hoover tossed a
    10-pound medicine ball with Cabinet members. Jimmy Carter and most of his
    successors were avid joggers - as was Bush, until doctors advised him last
    year to take pity on his joints and quit.

    But perhaps no president since Theodore Roosevelt, who combined harrowing
    horseback rides in Rock Creek Park with subzero skinny-dips, has relished so
    risky a hobby.

    That may be why Bush likes it.

    "There's an inherent danger in the mountain bike every time you get on it.
    It's one of those things where you have to concentrate on doing that at the
    moment - you can't be thinking about Middle East peace or the future of
    Social Security. In that sense, it's probably relaxing," said Lewis L.
    Gould, a retired University of Texas historian.

    That appears to be the case for Bush, who isn't chatty during bike rides,
    save for what McKinnon calls "hoo-hahing" and "testosterone sort of
    towel-snapping remarks."

    "He loves to do this because it gives him mental focus," McKinnon said,
    adding that "the more stressful things are ... the more he works out."

    That may not always be a good thing. An overly zealous bike excursion at his
    ranch may have hurt Bush's debate performance against Sen. John Kerry,
    earning him poor reviews and late-night TV ridicule at a critical stage of
    the presidential race.

    Bush "thinks he worked out too hard" the day before the first debate,
    according to McKinnon. "We really blew it out."

    Mountain-biking is an integral part of Bush's fitness regime, which includes
    riding a racing bike on rollers at the White House and working out on an
    elliptical trainer and treadmill.

    The combination puts his fitness level in the top 5 percent of men in his
    age group, said Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper of Dallas, one of Bush's physicians
    and a prominent fitness advocate.

    "If a person starts having musculoskeletal problems and has to stop running,
    they can transition to another type of activity and get the same
    cardiovascular benefits. I put cycling way up there. It's strongly
    recommended," said Cooper, who pioneered the aerobics movement in the 1960s.


    Washington, D.C., offers few options for a president on the prowl for a
    fast, tough ride and fewer for agents intent on maintaining a tight security
    cocoon around his roving workouts.

    So Bush has been making weekend trips to the Marine base at Quantico or to
    Beltsville, where a secure 493-acre Secret Service training facility is
    perfect for a top-secret ride.

    "It's an ideal location from our perspective because there's both privacy
    and security," said Tom Mazur, a Secret Service spokesman, who would give
    only a vague description of the James J. Rowley Training Center, to protect
    security.

    The sprawling campus has about six miles of paved roadway, training ranges -
    including one where the Secret Service mountain bike patrol drills - and
    plenty of space for off-road adventures.

    While the president may be alone with his thoughts on fast-paced rides, he's
    hardly by himself. An entourage of medics - sometimes including White House
    physician Richard Tubb - and Secret Service agents with firearms strapped
    under their biking shirts clatters along. Other agents can be spotted along
    the route, say people familiar with the rides.

    And a helicopter often buzzes overhead, keeping the airspace clear and Bush
    in sight - even if he gleefully leaves his riding companions in the dust.





    Copyright (c) 2005, The Baltimore Sun

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  2. #2
    aaarrrggghh!
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    That would be Great

    Then maybe would understand the importance of need for wide open spaces laced with perfect singletrack. Oh yeah, and the occasional set of perfect dirt jumps and technical, scarry, elevated trails. Oh wait SWIMBA doesn't know anything about that.

  3. #3
    Wandervans
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    So are you going to volenteer to help out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan the Terrible
    Oh yeah, and the occasional set of perfect dirt jumps and technical, scarry, elevated trails. Oh wait SWIMBA doesn't know anything about that.
    We can hardly get enought people out to build regular trails.

    We did build the willow lane dirt jump park, but still need more volenteers to complete it.

    If you want to help send me an email at [email protected]

    Chris
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  4. #4
    aaarrrggghh!
    Reputation: Ivan the Terrible's Avatar
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    Speaking of Willow Lane

    I helped build that place as well. And I tried to help maintain it this summer. However, what happened to municiple support for signage? Also, all the tools were stolen so now there's no way to keep it up. That project fell on its ass, it full of sh!t heads thinking its okay to let their little minions play army on the lips we spent hours sculpting. I hate to admit it but I now think that dirt jumps need to be on private lots to keep those who have no idea what to do with them away. If you have any bright ideas on how to keep willow in good condition or what swimba can do to help I'm all ears.

    As far as the other trails go, no thanks, I've done my fair share of trail maintence and it seems that while the redirection of water is great, mostly the trails are over groomed making those same trails suck. I like technical trails and Boise is severly lacking.

    I do however appreciate your efforts with SWIMBA, I just don't always agree on the methods.

  5. #5
    Wandervans
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    There shuld be signage there

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan the Terrible
    I helped build that place as well. And I tried to help maintain it this summer. However, what happened to municiple support for signage? Also, all the tools were stolen so now there's no way to keep it up. That project fell on its ass, it full of sh!t heads thinking its okay to let their little minions play army on the lips we spent hours sculpting. I hate to admit it but I now think that dirt jumps need to be on private lots to keep those who have no idea what to do with them away. If you have any bright ideas on how to keep willow in good condition or what swimba can do to help I'm all ears.

    As far as the other trails go, no thanks, I've done my fair share of trail maintence and it seems that while the redirection of water is great, mostly the trails are over groomed making those same trails suck. I like technical trails and Boise is severly lacking.

    I do however appreciate your efforts with SWIMBA, I just don't always agree on the methods.
    I was told by the city that signage now exist and a fence has been installed, I will agree that it has been a tought project.

    Chris
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  6. #6
    Barneys Unite!
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    GW burns 1000 calories per hour?

    Wow, I can only use up about 400

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