By Gary Boulanger, US editor Bikeradar.com
United States President George W. Bush leaves the White House in less than two weeks, and is excited about mountain bike riding near his new home in Dallas, Texas, according to a recent UPI report.
"I'm looking forward to finding mountain bike trails and mountain bike trail riders," Bush told the Dallas Morning News. "I think they've got some good trails, which I've never ridden. So that's going to be part of my routine."
The 62-year-old former runner has been a high-profile mountain biker rider for most of his time as President. He rides a custom Trek mountain bike, and has received bikes from foreign dignitaries and leaders during international visits. His wife Laura gave him custom Shimano shoes and some cycling clothing for Christmas in 2007.
The 43rd President has already ridden with local cycling advocate Cindy Bradley, who is impressed with Bush's abilities on the bike.
"Hey, he is an incredible mountain biker!" she said to the Dallas Morning News. "You know, there were times when I was like, 'Hey I got to keep up.' He has fabulous endurance."
Bush gave up running in 2002 after developing knee problems. He shared saddle time with fellow Texan Lance Armstrong after the latter's seventh Tour de France victory in 2005, talking about cancer, the Iraq war and other topics while riding on Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch. (As an aside, Armstrong is selling his Dripping Springs, Texas ranch outside Austin for a cool US$12 million).
Trek Bicycle Corporation president John Burke is the chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. No word yet on which Dallas-area bike shop will keep the soon-to-be unemployed Bush's bike dialed and trail ready, although a shoe-in would be Richardson Bike Mart, where Armstrong got his start in 1987.