The Weekender: George W. Bush turns 70 with mountain biking trip
Every Friday in The Weekender we take a look at the videos and news from the week that was—like Kai Lenny shaking up the surfing world, again—and give you a preview of some of the most important events in the world of action and outdoor sports coming up this weekend.
George W. celebrates 70th with mountain biking
To celebrate his 70th birthday, former President George W. Bush went mountain biking with a group of wounded war veterans on his ranch in Texas. Bush, an avid cyclist, has set up trails on his Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford and regularly hosts wounded vets with his W100K, a 100 kilometer mountain biking event each spring, part of the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative that benefits veterans. “W” isn’t the only Bush president that likes to get out and push himself. His father, George H.W. Bush celebrated his 80th, 85th, and 90th birthdays by skydiving. The news of Bush riding mountain bikes with war veterans had an air of irony to it this week, however, as the Chilcot Report was released criticizing one of his main allies, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and his representation of the Iraqi conflict to the English people, forcing the Bush camp to release a statement.
Jordy Smith Putting on a Show at Home
South African Jordy Smith is making things look easy at the J Bay Open. The local is very familiar with Jeffreys Bay, having won the contest twice before. Smith, who grew up in Durban, defeated Wiggolly Dantas and Adam Melling in Round 1, then sent San Clemente, California’s Kolohe Andino packing in Round 3, scoring one of the highest waves of the contest with a 9.5.
Kail Lenny Hyrdofoils in Fiji
Waterman Kai Lenny continues to drop jaws in the surfing world. This week he released a video showing him using a hydrofoil on his surfboard. A foil is a long fin that gives the rider a feeling of lift as they ride waves. Check out how Lenny, who grew up in Maui learning from ocean athletes like Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama, paddles into a wave, kicks out at the end, then pumps out to the next one without using a paddle. Earlier this spring, Lenny set the Internet ablaze when he released a video showing him paddling a standup board outfitted with a hyrdrofoil as he paddled a downwind run near his Maui home, catching open-ocean swell. Foil surfing isn’t new but the technology has come a long ways, allowing users to propel themselves without the use of a jet ski or boat.
Speed Flying in Chamonix, France
This video deserves a look because, to be frank, it’s kind of terrifying. Starting at just under 12,000 feet on the Auguille du Midi’s North Face, Frenchman Valentin Leduc uses a speed wing and a pair of skis to plummet down some the Alps’ scariest terrain. The video of Leduc flying over an avalanche on the glacier was shot last month. “Flying above a glacier or avalanche gives some very impressive visuals and you feel so small in the middle of all these elements,” he said. Understatement of the year?
What’s On Tap
WSL Big Wave Awards
ABC | Saturday 2 p.m. EST
This weekend, ABC will re-run the WSL Big Wave Awards during its World of X Games programing.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup
Redbull.tv | Saturday-Sunday 8:30 a.m. EST
Red Bull will run the UCI World Cup stop live from Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Much like World Cup skiing, the crowd in the Swiss Alps is always into the athletes charging the course, often ringing cowbells and other noisemakers to pay homage.