Tuesday, July 27, 2004


The most amusing piece of email that crossed my desk today was an ongoing conversation with two friends about G.W.'s second mountain bike tumble.

AP Mountain Biking Story

First of all - who bikes 18 miles in an hour and twenty minutes on a challenging trail? I'm not saying it's not possible to maintain that speed on a mountain bike, I'm just saying it doesn't seem likely if you're really off roading it. I did a spin around Lebannon Hills the other day, about 8.5 miles, including the 4 miles involved in getting there and back, and it took about eighty minutes - when you get to the rocks, the trees near your elbows and the stumps you simply bounce off of, you're lucky to go faster than a crawl - and, I'd like to note, lying on the ground recovering from a fall counts against your average speed.

Second, 1200 calories? One hour on a bike trainer for me, dripping sweat until I'm soaking my practice carpet, at two hundred and fifty pounds, burns under a thousand calories. A one hundred and sixty pound individual burns significantly less, about 340 an hour (depends on the speed) according to calorie counters. Does he have to mark up everything? I figured the reasoning was, G.W. is carrying the weight of the nation on his shoulders, so if there are 290 million people in the U.S. at one hundred and sixty pounds,each burning 340 calories, that comes out in the 94 billion calorie range (about what we're spending on Iraq) - he can use any portion of those. He chooses to use the calories expenditure of three people losing money because of his tax change/medicare policies, etc. He had 93.9-odd billion calories to spare he could have claimed and somewhere three poor people didn't lose weight.

The article itself is hilarious if you read it carefully - $3,000 mountain bike, toe clips (not clipless), the reporter watching G.W. lying there instead of helping him, the medics who must either tail him in a car or also expend 1,200 calories each at 18 MPH, the implication that John Kerry is some sort of dilletante for riding an expensive road bike and that $3,000 mountain bikes are you run of the mill blue collar bikes - I'm reading a bit into it there, but I don't think they'd deny they were implying it.

He pants hard, emitting low "hrrr, hrrr, hrrr" grunts with each stroke of the pedals, his shoulders bobbing up and down.

Yep...good stuff.

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