I have to be honest that I wasn’t too surprised when the phone rang this morning.
“Mr. Robot, we are pleased to announce that you have won the Nobel Peace Prize in Stunt Biking – for the third time in a row”.
Sure, my award will be drowned out in the press because mister fancy pants president won the regular peace prize. No, don’t get me wrong, I am totally happy for President Obama. He’s a very nice guy, even though his stunt bike skills have a lot to be desired.
Two years ago when he was still a senator, he came down to my stunt bike school (“The Stunt Biking School of Stunt Biking, INC”) and wanted me to teach him some stunt bike tricks. He flew down late on a Friday night and the next morning we locked down the school so that he could practice without the glare of the press.
The big issue with then-senator Obama is that he’s a fairly tall and lanky guy. There have been tall stunt bikers before – like Robert Bjorn in the 1970’s or world champion Gary Turner in the 1980’s (and founder of Turner Stunt Bikes) – but they are usually exceptions. Tall guys will always have center of gravity issues. I sometimes think that we need to have a completely different school for tall stunt bikers - almost a complete re-thinking and deconstruction of the traditional stunt biking curriculum. But, as we all know, our industry is slow to adopt new techniques and training regimens when the ones I designed work so well already.
OK. I am a little off track here.
Senator Obama, on paper, should be a great stunt bike rider. He is in great shape with an almost envious ratio of muscle to body mass. He has this intense concentration – I would give him advice on a technique or show him a new trick and you got the feeling that he was completely absorbing every aspect of what I was saying. It’s almost like in the hit movie The Matrix where people could ‘download’ skills and instantly become an expert.
So, yes. On paper, he should be unstoppable as a stunt bike rider.
He’s got the brains and the fitness, but he’s just too tall and lanky for the average stunt bike. With all he had going for him, he just couldn’t control the relationship of his frame and weight to that of the bike. It was as if he could never be centered.
Honestly it was a frustrating morning (the slight drizzle didn’t help). Seeing someone with so much raw talent having so many issues on jumps and pinpoint landings and all various forms of double helix bounce maneuvers…. Tragic.
Congratulations to the President and the other winners! It is quite an honor.