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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Coward on Wheels

I occasionally reflect on G.W. Bush's one redeeming quality -- that he gets on his mountain bike and regularly takes it out for a spin. But as I continue to digest the significance of this seemingly autonomous act, I have begun to discount his motivation. First of all, you would think that Bush would, at least on occasion, take a road bike out for a ride around the block. Like me, most serious bikers keep both kinds of bikes around. But then we read about Bush's lack of motor control, leading to such incidents as crashing into a policeman on a Scottish golf link path. Which brings us to the secondary part of his motivation -- that of health and satisfying his competitive urges.

So why no road bike for Bush? Googling "George Bush" and "road bike", I get more hits for John Kerry and his road bike than for GWB having anything to do with one. In my opinion, I think his aversion has more to do with an aversion to crowds and fear for his life. In China, for example, Bush recently had a chance to take it on the open road but diplomatically declined.
Reminiscing nostalgically on a recent TV interview about riding his bike through Beijing's alleys 30 years ago, Bush described his experience as "fantastic."

Bush, then 29, visited the Chinese capital in 1975 for the first time, when his father headed the US liaison office.

However, Bush's "fantastic experience" is hard to repeat due to the traffic conditions in Beijing, Premier Wen Jiabao told the US guest at a luncheon.
Which I take as a weak-kneed excuse for Bush declining due to chimp-like survival instincts.
Bush today defended that secrecy, saying he is "a high-value target" for some enemies and that Iraq "is a dangerous place."
Malloy thinks Bush's paranoia and delusions of grandeur has something to do with past cocaine ingestion. In the case of Bush's biking habits, I can put 2-and-2 together and have decided that klutz-like physical skills combined with an occupied environment can lead to some broken pottery. Given that, Bush probably won't want to trade in a mountain bike for a road bike at the risk of having to pay a huge sum to The Pottery Barn or accidentally mowing down huge numbers of innocent bystanders. Or himself getting run over by an out-of-control rickshaw.

Bush's biking exploits essentially boil down to an issue of convenience and chaperone-enabled "safety". Keep that helmet on George, and don't let any trees sneak up behind you. I officially disenfranchise myself from applauding Bush's riding motivation. He now has no redeeming qualities in my estimation.


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