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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Pres. Bush actually rides for exercise
Since February President Bush has been mountain biking for exercise. Long an avid runner, his knee problems caused too much pain to continue. So he looked for a sport that would get his heart rate up and allow him to enjoy his "favorite piece of property."
"This is like running except I don't feel bad afterward," he said Monday after burning about 1,200 calories over an 18-mile ride that lasted an hour and 20 minutes.

"You can cover a lot more, and you can go very fast on a bike," Bush said. Most important, he gets his heart rate up. "At my age, you're more concerned about the cardiovascular" benefits of a workout, the 58-year-old president said.

Bush has only been riding the knobby-tired mountain bikes since February, yet he takes on dangerous sections that would give veterans pause. He keeps a cramp-inducing pace on long uphill sections, pouring it on to reach each peak, backing off a little to recover and then attacking the next hill.
No flower-adorned ensembles or yellow-and-orange bikes here, Bush wants to get exercise, not noticed. He has fallen before, "scraping his chin, upper lip, nose, right hand and both knees." But he didn't get the worst of it, a day later one of his Secret Service agents broke his collar bone and 3 ribs in a fall.

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