BikeBiz.com has been tracking the pro-cycling credentials of John Kerry since an article in February this year. Then, in May, it transpired that President Bush has taken a shine to two wheels also.
Time, then, for an index to the Kerry/Bush bicycle articles carried on this site to date.
The index below – it lists 12 articles to date – will no doubt expand as the US election campaign gathers pace and the candidates continue to stress that possessing chiselled thighs is now a prerequisite for the job of ‘most powerful man in the world’.
The mass media is picking up on the bicycle battle being fought by Kerry and Bush.
In the Sunday, August 1st edition of the New York Times, staff writer Charles McGrath penned an article that appeared on page four of the Week in Review section.
The article – Culture Wars, on Two Wheels – compared the candidates by contrasting their riding styles using traditional MTBer versus roadie stereotypes.
"One of the many differences separating John Kerry and George W. Bush is their choice of bicycle – not an especially presidential mode of transport, one might think, except that these are not ordinary bikes," wrote McGrath.
"If Mr. Kerry’s bike is a Ferrari, Mr. Bush’s is a Land Rover. Mr. Kerry rides on the flat, more or less, and usually on paved surfaces.
"Mr. Bush likes to ride up into the hills of his Texas ranch and then come flying down. To put it another way, Mr. Kerry is more nearly like Greg LeMond, Mr. Bush more like Evel Knievel. Road riders, like Mr. Kerry, are comparative wussies when it comes to sensation seeking. Downhill riders are also more likely to drive a car too fast, and to have had a brush with the law."
Yet whilst it’s now well-known that John Kerry blows off the cobwebs with an $8000 Serotta Ottrott road bike, Tim Blumenthal, executive director of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, said Kerry is an MTBer, too.
According to Blumenthal, Kerry "pedals dirt trails near Sun Valley, Idaho."
"Suddenly, cycling is giving the campaign an interesting spin," said Blumenthal.
"Whether it is wire service stories, evening news highlights or Jay Leno jokes, our sport is gaining valuable exposure."
NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE
KERRY/BUSH BIKE ARTICLE INDEX
Monday 9th February: The next president of the United States is a…cyclist
Dubbed ‘JFK the Second’, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry has claimed victory in the latest US state caucus to choose a Democratic challenger to President George W Bush. Kerry is pro-Green and is now far ahead of the other five candidates and could sweep Bush from office in November’s presidential election. The ultra-fit Kerry takes part in lots of sports but has impressed many with his marathon bike rides in tough conditions.
Monday 19th April: Cyclists John Kerry and Lance Armstrong make Time’s influential-100 list
Time Magazine’s annual listing of the 100 most influential figures in the world today includes the would-be president, and the cycling-God-in-waiting, as well as notables as far apart as British marathon runner Paula Ratcliffe, sex-texter David Beckham and terrorist leader Osama bin Laden…
Wednesday 5th May: US president-in-waiting falls from bike
John Kerry, the Democrat challenger for the US presidency, likes his bicycle, as reported before on BikeBiz.com. So, his latest spill won’t dent his enthusiasm for cycling. Kerry has previously injured his shoulder in a fall from one of his many bicycles. His current favourite mount? It’s a Serotta Ottrott…
Friday 21st May: Nothing but the best for John Kerry
When the presumptive Democratic candidate for US president fell from his Serotta Ottrott at the beginning of the month, late-night chat-show hosts went into overdrive. Jay Leno said Kerry was fine because he fell on his wallet (Kerry’s wife is super-rich). It’s likely Kerry’s Serotta is paid for and owned by the Kerry family trust. And no doubt it’s this trust which is insisting the carbon handlebar damaged in the fall is replaced with the exact same super-expensive model: the brand graphics match Kerry’s orange-and-yellow frame and orange-and-yellow Giro helmet…
Sunday 23rd May: Bush proves he’s just as good as Kerry at bike falls
What’s this, the US president and the wanna-be president vying to see who has the best bicycle injuries? At the beginning of May, John Kerry fell from his $6000 Serotta Ottrott. Yesterday, President Bush was scuffed following a fall from his MTB. But in the mileage stakes, Kerry wins hands down: he rides long-distance charity rides, Dubya fell while on the 16th of a 17-mile ride…
Tuesday 25th May: Kerry and Bush are butt of bike jokes
On last night’s ‘Dead Ringers’ impersonisation comedy on BBC2, President Bush gave his Iraq speech from a Raleigh Chopper, from which he fell. And in the US, late-night chat-show hosts are squeezing as much mileage as possible out of the Bush-and-Kerry bicycle-borne pratfalls.
Wednesday 26th May: Kerry makes off-camera quip about Bush’s bike spill
According to the Drudge Report, Democrat presidential hopeful John Kerry made a jokey reference to the recent bicycle fall suffered by President Bush…
Friday 28th May: Lance Armstrong for US president!
Late-night chat show hosts in the US really can’t get enough jokes about Kerry and Bush falling from their bikes. Jay Leno’s latest dig is a spoof TV ad…
Wednesday 2nd June: Serotta bikes cross the political divide, argues Ben Serotta
Serotta Bikes of the US is getting used to press interest in its $3000+ machines. It helps to have a presidential candidate riding one of your bikes, perhaps even better when the candidate falls off. "We can’t make a fall-proof bike," Ben Serotta told his local newspaper, The Saratogian.
Tuesday 13th July: Kerry is TdF buff
John Kerry, the would-be president of the US, famously fell from his Serotta and was soon thereafter copied by Dubya, who skidded on a pretzel and face-planted. But will President Bush go the whole hog, and plug himself into OLN to watch his mate go for a sixth yellow jersey?
Tuesday 27th July: Running is bad for the knees, MTBing is now the US president’s exercise of choice
John Kerry may have an $8000 Serotta (sourced for him by a Boston bike shop) but a reporter from the Associated Press reveals that President Bush is a new, and genuine, convert to cycling. His May pratfall from a bicycle was no one-off, Bush rides a $3100 carbon-fibre Trek Fuel, and seems to enjoy falling off it, just like any other MTBer…
Friday 30th July: Are Kerry, Bush and Armstrong pedalling cycling into the American mainstream?
A historic sixth yellow jersey has propelled Lance Armstrong into the pantheon of all-time sporting greats. A Seabiscuit-type Hollywood blockbuster is waiting to be signed off. Celluloid sainthood for Lance, good publicity for cycling. Plus, following last week’s Associated Press exclusive on Dubya’s Trek Fuel, John Kerry has upped the ante by cycling before the most important speech of his career, a speech which featured bicycling three times…