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|Bush, Kerry Earn Honorary IMBA Memberships
|This year's path to the White House includes singletrack.
Cyclists from Texas and Massachusetts are in the news, and we're not talking
about the rivalry between Lance Armstrong and Tyler Hamilton.
President George Bush's new-found enthusiasm for off-road riding has been a
top story recently in the national media. And he's not the only presidential
candidate who rides. Senator John Kerry's primary outdoor exercise is
bicycling - both road riding and occasionally mountain biking - and the
press has taken notice.
"The fact that both presidential candidates are avid cyclists is great news
for our sport," said Tim Blumenthal, executive director of the International
Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). "IMBA is recognizing this by
enrolling both candidates as honorary IMBA members and by making sure both
campaigns understand our priorities."
Knee pain motivated President Bush to start mountain biking and now he's
hooked on the sport. Long rides on his Texas ranch and at Camp David in
Maryland are a highlight of his regular schedule. Senator Kerry has been
photographed riding his road bike, but he's also known to pedal dirt trails
near Sun Valley, Idaho.
Suddenly, cycling is giving the campaign an interesting spin. Whether it is
wire service stories, evening news highlights or Jay Leno jokes, our sport
is gaining valuable exposure.
Media coverage hit a peak with the Sunday, Aug. 1 edition of the New York
Times. A feature article entitled "Culture Wars, on Two Wheels" appeared on
page four of the Week in Review section. The article compared the candidates
by contrasting their riding styles using traditional mountain biker versus
road rider stereotypes. IMBA's Blumenthal is quoted throughout the story.
No matter who you are voting for in this year's election, it's good to know
that both candidates appreciate sweet singletrack!
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