Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

20 January 2017

What Now? What Next?

Like many of you, dear readers, I have dreaded this day for the past two months.  Longer than that, actually:  Unlike those of my friends and acquaintances whose world  view was best depicted by a famous New Yorker  cover`, I didn't believe Trump's victory "couldn't" or "will never" happen.


The world view of those said it "never could" or "never would" happen.

Some pundits are counseling us to "wait and see".  I wonder whether they actually believe that "it might not be so bad" or they are simply in that kind of denial into which people often descend after accidents, disasters, abuse or other kinds of life-changing truamae.  

It may well be true that the Trump presidency (assuming, of course, he makes it through his term) might be very different from what some of us might expect.  After all, he holds--or, at least, has expressed--all sorts of contradictory views, and has been known to change them "in a New York minute" or less.

For example, probably no President-elect since Reagan has expressed more disdain for environmental issues--and has been more of a cheerleader for fossil fuel exploitation--than The Orange-ator.  (Whatever else you want to say about him, Nixon was more of an environmentalist than any of his successors besides Jimmy Carter.    Yes, Obama called attention to climate change and got China to sign onto the Paris accords, but he also pursued policies that exacerbated the environmental effects of domestic energy development and, to a large degree, exported our dirty energy sources.) Given that most cyclists--or, at least, the ones I know--tend to be more environmentally conscious than the average American, one would expect them (us) to be horrified at the prospect of a The Donald in the White House.  

Moreover, he has expressed disdain for adult cyclists, especially after John Kerry crashed.  He once sniffed that he hasn't ridden a bicycle since he was a kid.  After all, real men drive Rolls Royces, right?  Actually, no:  They hire other people to drive them.

But here's where things get interesting.  You see, Trumplethinskin once sponsored a bicycle race.  Not any old bike race, mind you:  the largest one ever held in this country, at least since the days of the six-day races.  The Tour de Trump ran for two editions before he withdrew his sponsorship (citing financial difficulties) and Du Pont took over both the financial obligation and the right to name it after themselves.





Some cursory research (i.e., a glance through Google) confirmed what I'd suspected:  since the Tour deTrump/Tour Du Pont ran for the last time, in 1996, there hasn't been another stage race of quite the same stature in the USA. Raul Alcala, who won the second and fifth editions, placed as high as eighth in the Tour de France and seventh in the Vuelta a Espana.  The fourth edition of Trump/DuPont was won by a former Tour winner: Greg Lemond.  And he who is unmentionable (at least in the cycling world) won the final two editions of Trump/DuPont.  In its heyday, the race was even envisioned, by some, as part of a "Grand Slam" that would include the three major European tours and some race or races in Asia.  

It's interesting, to say the least, that Trump actually sponsored such an event, however briefly.  My research (again on, ahem, Google) indicates that no other President has ever been associated with a bicycle race, whether as a sponsor or participant--even though every President from Eisenhower onward, with the exceptions of Reagan and, ironically, Nixon, cycled during his adult life.  Even they, however, never made a point of expressing hostility toward cyclists the way Trump has.

So...What are we to make of the fact that the Inaugural Parade proceeded along a bicycle lane?  

6 comments:

  1. People should stop propping up his ghastly ego by using a the prefix unless that "the" is followed by something very derogatory.

    I could overhear some commentary whilst helping a friend and kept hearing references to the beast and thought how honest and brave of them to call him that but it seems it is his cycle lane crushing monster truck...

    These are nasty times we have to survive...

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  2. Thanks for a small smile on an otherwise dismal day. Trumplethinskin indeed! Yes, Coline, these are very nasty times we have to survive...

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  3. He has held "contradictory views" because his campaign strategy was to promise anything and everything to the people who were standing in front of him. Yes, i will bring back heavy industry to the rust belt, yes we will go back to coal, yes the infrastructure will be fixed up (but with no taxes), yes we will get rid of these strange looking people. It was a fraudulent, con man's campaign. And all the while riding on the crest of a long smear campaign against his opponent who was the most qualified candidate in many decades. He never meant a word he said, and he will betray each and every supporter.

    The most frightening thing I have seen in a very long time was a 10 or 12 year old video of Mr. T speaking off hand in a short interview about the modern cinema, the French New Wave, their relation to Wells and Citizen Cain. He was eloquent, concise, used full sentences all with correct grammar, and a wide vocabulary. He IS intelligent and knows exactly what he is doing. He was out of character in this clip, not playing the part of the a##hole he was in the campaign. He is setting up a power structure that will cancel out any and all progress of the last several decades. It will have a populist base and work in the favor of the 1%.

    The bike tour was just another shot in the dark, like Trump Steaks. i attach no significance to it at all.

    Sorry: hard to find words of comfort these days.

    Leo

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  4. Captain Cheetoh, like the Frito-Lay snack is both cheesy AND orange. Is this how it felt in Germany in 1933?

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  5. Putting the CON in "conservative."

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  6. Coline--I was being sarcastic when I used The Article in front of his name. That doesn't come through online, so I'll stop using it.

    Jim--What's really scary is that someone with such thin skin has the nuclear codes.

    Leo--I remember reading an interview with Trump some years ago. He said--partially as an explanation, I think, and partially as a boast--that he had no inner life. If that's the case (which I don't doubt), it explains what you've said and a lot else.

    Phillip--Cheesy and orange. I love it! We can also say he's about as authentic as a Cheeto.

    Mike--You can't spell "conservative" without it, can you?

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