One of my kids played lacrosse in high school, a sport I was not familiar with. So to make sure, as any good Dad would, I could “coach her up” I bought the “Lacrosse for Dummies” book. It didn’t help me or her.
My wife and I attended a professional bicycle race this weekend. Something that I do know a little about. To the uninitiated it might appear that there are just sixty skinny guys out on the road pedaling their bicycles in a big circle for thirty laps. But there is so much more going on.
I found a good spot to watch the race from a bridge. From this vantage point I could watch the teams go by me and under me. An older couple was standing next to me as all the chaos ensued. Teams organized as individual riders tried to break-off from the main group (called a Peloton). The older gentleman looked at me and with a smile asked, “Do you understand what is going on?” I told him that I did and would be happy to explain it to him if he would like.
Over the next hour or so I explained why seven riders were out front (called a breakaway) and why the Peloton didn’t seem to concerned for most of the race. Why, the Peloton reacted to some riders trying to bridge the gap and others they just let go. There was a team racing from my hometown so I knew who their designated leader was, the guy his teammates tried to protect and who they would move to the front when the time was right. I made sure to point him out every time he passed.
There are a lot of moving parts to a bicycle race, and a lot of cat and mouse strategies. Team members are sacrificed to ride on the front or chase a breakaway and when they run out of gas their day is done. In the end, the leader of the team from my hometown won the race. How he got from the Peloton to bridging the gap to the breakaway and crossing the finish line first looked like magic but in the end it was a well orchestrated plan that involved every team member from the cyclist to the sports director.
After the race the guy thanked me for explaining all this to him. Understanding what was happening made the race much more interesting and enjoyable. Otherwise, he said, “I was just going to watch these guys pedal around in a circle for an hour standing in the sun.”
People ask me why I spend so much time watching and reading the news. Why I continue to read Trump’s tweets and absorb every morsel of information I can about “our” President. The reason is simple, I don’t want to watch our government pedal around in a circle standing in the sun without understanding what is going on. I am unwilling to simply let this “Robin Hood” and his group of Merry Pranksters have their way with our country and economy because he thinks he knows what is best for the rest of us. I don’t buy it. He just isn’t that smart. And though he has a few sharp teammates surrounding him, but probably more knuckleheads, “our” President hasn’t demonstrated a willingness to work with his team as a leader and in the end I believe that will be his undoing.
We all know he can’t, he won’t get anything done over the coming months and possibly years with the “Fake News” Russia thing hanging over his head. Let’s just hope that the havoc and chaos he creates during his short time as President can be undone.