Friday, July 18, 2008
President Bush on My Commute Route
Yeah, so I'm slogging up Ina (my climb) when I behold at the intersection of Ina and Oracle Rd, a mob of "protesters" with signs berating President Bush. But the signs were all tasteful, and the crowd was mostly enjoying themselves (a Starbucks is there at that corner) and they waved at me and said hello and good morning. As I was there at the light and had to stop--I must admit to rubber-necking as some of the protesters were quite attractive young women in shorts and tank tops--kind of like girls you see holding up car wash signs--but these were women not girls. How could you not smile and wave back?
I had heard the President would be in Tucson, but I didn't realize he was staying in the foothills in a place right on my morning commute route. As I began to climb a bit more I suddenly began to feel the presence of law enforcement. Motorcycle cops whizzing past in top-notch spit and polished uniforms. They looked quite impressive, and they began to criss-cross Ina and the side streets. As I approached Westward Look, which is a resort, and there's other places up there in the foothills of note, I was coming to a wall of black SUVs and types of motorcycles. And then what appeared to be storm troopers--boots, helmets, etc.
The officers were professional and quite polite. Again, I was impressed with their poise and confidence. I, on the other hand, chose to wear my most outrageous bright Mapei shorts, and Beck's "Where It's At" was blaring in the head phones of my IPod.
"On the way to work?"
Me, "Yes Officer."
A puddle of sweat was forming under my bike. Its a hot muggy morning and I've been climbing steadily for six miles. I was sure they were going to have me turn around and go back. All traffic was being averted. The streets suddenly appeared to be empty.
"You may proceed, Sir. Please do not stop."
I knew what he meant. As I continued, more police and men and Black SUVs. Motorcycle cops passing didn't give me a second look. When I reached the next barricade of motorcycles a few more miles up, I waved at the officers as I passed through and received an acknowledging nod.
There were more motorcycle police gliding about, even as I got to the High School at about Swan and Sunrise. Underneath the shade of the HS's welcome sign, two police-type crotch-rockets motorcycles were waiting. In all, I believe I saw about 100 police-type motorcycles.
After Swan and Sunrise, one last motorcycle zoomed past and pulled into the Circle K store across the street. I made my last and toughest climb to Sunrise and Craycroft, and soon I was sailing down Craycroft to the Desert San and into the Heart of Tucson.