Zorn Discusses His Presidential Bike Ride
It took about four-and-a-half minutes of Jim Zorn talking about the improving health of Shawn Springs ("probably 90 percent out there") and Malcolm Kelly ("we're excited about it, and the proof will be in the pudding") before someone asked the first question about bike riding with the President.
"Did you do anything fun or unusual this weekend?" asked Comcast SportsNet's Larry Duvall.
"No," Zorn said to laughter, "just went bike riding and tried to work hard and got errands done."
"Can you explain how that came about at all?" I asked.
"You mean the bike riding?" Zorn replied.
"Not the errands," someone else quipped.
So the story goes that George W. Bush previously read how Zorn is a mountain biking enthusiast, and called and invited him to join his weekend group. Sunday was "the first time somebody had taken a picture," Zorn said, but he said he's joined the group "a couple times already." And Zorn--who was reluctant to talk about the experience in great detail--said there wasn't any idle football chatter of Monday Morning quarterbacking involved.
"It's a serious bike group, and they work hard," he said. "It's all about biking, and I was just a part of it....You know, he loves to ride and he's serious about biking and some of the conversations [are] about riding and gear and all the stuff that goes with it. It's pretty sport-specific, really. He's got serious riding friends and they're all out there to get a great workout in, and he heads it up. He does not mess around."
Of course, Washington has great legends of presidential football involvement, specifically the many versions of the play George Allen supposedly called at Richard Nixon's request in 1971. So, just to make sure, I asked whether the leader of the red white and blue and the leader of the maroon and black had ever talked pigskin at all during these 90-minute rides.
"There's conversation, there's pleasantries and things like that, but it's an opportunity to go and to ride," Zorn said. "And right from the start to right to the finish, it's hard."
As for how this new habit fits into Zorn's life of kayak races and ukulele lessons and all the rest, "you know, it meant a lot to me that he would ask," Zorn said. "But he was trying to judge me, whether I was capable of being out there as well, and so with him it's very competitive, and you kind of have to earn the right as well."
And who goes fastest?
"The President always wins," Zorn said.
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