Originally created 08/20/05

Bush, Armstrong taking their first ride together



CRAWFORD, Texas - It's not clear whether Lance Armstrong will have to abide by the standard rules for biking with President Bush when the two famously competitive Texans take their first ride together Saturday.

The first rule: Don't pass the president.

"Do not force the president too hard," Bush instructed a handful of journalists who rode with him last weekend. "Be kind."

Armstrong, the seven-time winner of the Tour de France, has been generous in his praise of Bush's biking skills - to a point. He says there's no way the president will be able to take him.

Bush has become an avid biker in the last few years since a bum knee forced him to give up his running routine. But Armstrong is the sport's undisputed master after beating the world's best year after year.

Not to mention that Armstrong is 25 years younger than Bush, with a resting heart rate of 32-34 beats per minute, compared to the president's 47.

Still, Armstrong told ABC's "This Week" last Sunday that he hears the president is "one competitive dude."

"There's no talking" on rides with Bush, Armstrong said he's heard from friends who've ridden with Bush.

If Bush and Armstrong do find time to chat, they have a lot in common to discuss since each has become increasingly more interested in the other's career. While Bush has taken up biking, Armstrong says he would like to get more involved in politics.

He recently said he might even consider running for Bush's old job as Texas governor. But, he coyly told ABC, "It's more or less a joke."

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On the Net:

The White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov

Lance Armstrong: http://www.lancearmstrong.com