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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)


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August 17, 2005
The President is a Biker
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics

President Bush invited some journalists along for a bike ride last weekend.

USA Today reporter Sal Ruibal went along and filed a huffing and puffing report. The president is in pretty good shape, you know.

Bush invited me and a few other reporters for a mountain bike ride on his 1,600-acre Texas ranch Saturday.

His escapades on the bike have been well documented: an over-the-handlebars crash here at the ranch and a wet-pavement wipeout in Scotland that injured a pedestrian policeman.

But the truth about the Biker-in-Chief is that the man can really ride. Over the course of a two-hour Tour de Crawford, Bush humbled every rider in Peloton One with a strong and steady pace over scorching hot paved roads, muddy creek crossings, energy-sapping tall grass and steep climbs on loose and crumbling rock.

"This is not a race," he insisted at the start of the ride. "This is a chance for me to show you a little slice of heaven, as far as I'm concerned. You know, some guys go on their ranch and ride horses — I like to ride my ranch on a mountain bike."

Now, this is some important information about Sal:

Sal Ruibal is a 51-year-old sportswriter for USA TODAY who has covered the Tour de France six times and ridden most of the Tour's mountain passes. He is an experienced mountain bike racer who finished fifth in the Masters category at the 2002 World Championships of 24-Hour Solo Mountain Biking.

This is what Sal says it is like to ride with the president:

...there is one rule: don't pass the president.

No problem. Keeping up with Bush — whose fitness level was recently rated in his annual physical exam as being in the top 1% of men 55 to 59 — was as difficult as any race I've entered.

I started out riding next to him at the beginning of the ride, but when we left the dirt trails and hit the rolling asphalt the pace accelerated to more than 20 mph, which is pretty good for road bikes but absolutely blazing for heavier, knobby-tired mountain bikes. And did I mention that the only factor mitigating the mid-80s temperatures was a very strong headwind?

Turns out the Commander-In-Chief is also the Biker-In-Chief and apparently the Commander-In-Shape as well.

But this little frolic was a warm-up for next weekend apparently:

WACO, Texas — President Bush gets to hit the trails with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Armstrong told ABC's This Week on Sunday that he'll travel to Crawford, Texas, on Saturday to ride mountain bikes with the president. "It's a dream scenario for me," Armstrong said.

It also must be a dream scenario for Bush to ride with Armstrong, a fellow Texan and cancer survivor who last month won his seventh Tour de France.

Armstrong is impressed with how seriously Bush takes the sport: "I know people who have ridden with him. I can tell you he's one very competitive guy. Very competitive, there's no talking. A few minutes of warm-up time, a little chitchat, then you go."

Wouldn't you like to be able to keep up with that ride?



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