As controversial as George Bush’s White House record may be, the former president shares one thing in common with all of us — he loves to ride bikes. Recently, Niner bikes co-founders Chris Sugai and Steve Domahidy caught up with Bush to introduce him to 29in wheels.
Bush had never ridden a 29er before throwing a leg over Niner’s Jet 9 last week in Kennebunkport, Maine. He took Sugai and Domahidy along with Peloton One and its compulsory complement of secret service officers on one of his regular off-road loops and said afterword that they were 3 minutes faster than he’d ever previously ridden the route.
Bush recently became interested in trying a 29er through his crew of riding buddies, dubbed ‘Peloton One’.
“Most of Peloton One, Mr. Bushʼs regular mountain bike crew, is on 29in wheels and he wanted to check them out,” said Brandon Gillard, owner of the Kennebunkport Bicycle Company and member of Peloton One. “He asked if he could try a Niner.”
Gillard contacted Niner to relay the former president’s request.
“We were stoked for the opportunity,” said Sugai “ It is really hard to believe that just a few years ago we were showing our first frame at Sea Otter and now we are riding with a former president of the United States.”
Post ride the trio ended the ride in the same manner as any other group ride, with a conversation born out of the comradery of a shared ride. The chat covered everything from the just finished ride to trail access, trail building and entrepreneurship in the U.S.
The Niner duo came away from the event with a new respect for the former president.
“I found that he was very interested in the challenges of being a small business in the current economic atmosphere,” said Sugai.