Monday, February 19, 2018

Presidents Day

It's Presidents Day, and like most government employees I'm off work. That means I'm spending the day with the retro-kids, but I have a few minutes for a quick post.

In honor of the holiday, I've gathered some pictures of presidents on bikes. Not surprisingly, some presidents are easier to find on a bike than others:

There aren't many photos of Nixon on a bike. This one, taken when he was still a young congressman, is the only one I could find.
Gerald Ford, who was the only president nobody ever voted for (for either the President or Vice President), apparently wasn't much of a cyclist, either. Searching "Gerald Ford on a bike," this was the only picture that came up. Sad.
Jimmy Carter not only enjoyed riding his bike, but he had good taste in them, too. Here, he and Rosalynn are getting a nice pair of Rivendells.
And there's the former president and Nobel Prize winner out for a spin.
Ronald Reagan was famously partial to horses, but there are a couple of photos of him on bikes - all of them look old enough to have been when he was still a Democrat.
There aren't many photos of George H.W. Bush on a bike. This one, and a publicity shot from a trip to China are about it. Safe to say that this was probably not his bike.
Bill and Hillary cruising the beach at Martha's Vineyard. Nevertheless I don't think Bill was an avid rider.
On the other hand, George W. Bush was an avid cyclist. Search for pictures of him with bikes, and there are many to choose from.
President Obama enjoyed bike rides with his family. And the conservative media loved to make fun of him for it.
Obama totally embraced his "dad mode" on his bike - in this case, pulling one of the kids on a tagalong trailer.
I searched for pictures of Trump on a bike, but came up mostly empty. Considering that he once (briefly) slapped his name on a professional bike race, that's somewhat surprising. I found lots of crude photoshop mockeries with Trump's face slapped onto other pictures of riders (including one of Pee Wee Herman) but I'm starting to believe he's never actually been photographed on a bike. Interestingly, the only "real" photos that came up in my search for "Trump on a bike" were many many copies of this:
Cyclist Juli Briskman got fired when her employer found out she was the person photographed flipping the bird to the president's motorcade. Don't feel too bad for her, though. A fan of the photo started a GoFundMe account for her and raised well over $100,000 to help her through her unemployment.
Just for the record, I also searched for Lyndon Johnson (nothing came up) and JFK. The only pictures of JFK I could find appeared to have been photoshopped fakes, so I didn't bother with them. JFK Jr., however, was well known as a cycling commuter in NYC, so there were lots of pictures of him on a bike.

That's all I've got time for. Enjoy!


  1. The only Australian Prime Minister that has thrown their leg over a bike is Tony Abbott, who was well known for donning the lycra for morning rides. He donated his Hillbrick to a museum and photos suggest he now rides a Baum. Unfortunately his right wing stance didn't sit well with...well, anyone really.

  2. I've seen the Nixon, Carter, Clinton, Obama, Reagan and Bush I and II photos. But that image of Ford is a real find. Thanks for sharing!

    In one of my posts, I showed pictures of Reagan in a Schwinn catalogue from 1946, or some year just after the war. The photo you included looks as if it might have been taken around the same time.

    Trump indeed had his name on a race. I don't think he cared about the cycling part: I believe that he saw it simply as a good business or publicity opportunity.

  3. Correction on Gerald Ford never getting a vote when he ran for President. He got 39,148,634 popular votes (48.0%). Source Wikipedia. I didn't vote for him but I think he deserves the correct facts about his life.

    1. I think you misunderstood my statement on Ford. He became president without any votes. He was neither elected as president, nor vice president. Unlike other VPs who had to succeed their president (LBJ, Teddy Roosevelt, Andrew Johnson, and others) Ford was not elected as VP. He was appointed to be the VP when the elected VP, Spiro Agnew, had to resign in disgrace. Then he assumed the presidency when Nixon also had to resign in disgrace. The 48% of the vote you're referring to is when he ran for re-election in 1976 and lost to Jimmy Carter.

  4. Here’s shot of Ford on a bike when he was a child:

    1. Thanks - yes, I saw that one after I posted this - Justine at Midlife Cycling featured it in her post that same day.