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...

Running is bad for the knees, MTBing is now the US president’s exercise of choice

Newspapers around the world have started to syndicate an article by Scott Lindlaw, a writer for the Associated Press, headlined ‘Mountain Biking New Pastime for Bush’.

And Trek is doing well out of the publicity, coming as it does on the back of Lance Armstrong’s famous victory in the Tour de France on Sunday.

The Trek-riding president has admitted he watched the Trek-riding Armstrong during the Texan rider’s historic attempt at winning a sixth maillot jeune. And Bush quipped that just as Armstrong would eventually win the race for yellow, he would win the race for US presidency.

Bizarrely, both contenders in November’s US elections are keen cyclists. And both spend big bucks on their bicycles, and buy them from IBDs.

And this light-hearted comment, from a story in mid-July, seems more and more presidentially prescient…

"Clearly, a new force is growing in US politics. It’s not the Jewish vote or the Hispanic vote that will swing November’s election, US politicians are falling over themselves – often literally – to curry favour with cyclists…"

Anyway, back to the AP report, now appearing in 121 newspapers around the world, including The Guardian in the UK and China Daily in China.

Lindlaw wrote: "Running hurt his knees. Swimming cramped his style. So President Bush took up mountain biking, a sport that gets him outdoors, pumps up his heart rate and, every so often, sends him crashing to the ground….Crashing is a routine part of mountain biking, a sport in which riders roll over loose dirt, rocks and other obstacles. Nevertheless, the president said, it’s easier on his body than jogging, which was grinding his knees.

"This is like running except I don’t feel bad afterward," Dubya told the AP reporter, during an 18-mile ride around the president’s ranch in Texas.

"You can cover a lot more, and you can go very fast on a bike."

Lindlaw reports that Bush took up cycling in February.

"I was looking for a different way to get outside and get exercise. Swimming is outside exercise, but you don’t get the feeling of the wind rushing by you, nor can you swim your favourite piece of property," Bush told Lindlaw.…/2702785

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