Thursday, September 14, 2006

"Generally" Speaking


Famous Attorney Takes a Tour of Kansas

I have been known to slip out of work early on occasion to go riding. Ok, actually, I do that quite often. (I hope my boss isn’t reading this…) And while my usual riding buddies consider themselves quite famous, in their own minds if nowhere else (“dude, did you see I got 18th in the Cat 4 race at the Tour of Widmer?!?”…”Where?”), it’s not often that I get to ride with someone truly famous.

It’s also not typical for three of the five riders to be packing heat. A lot of heat.

The Attorney General (AG) of the United States, Alberto Gonzales, roared into Kansas City on Wednesday afternoon for a day and a half of meetings and business. Several weeks ago, the AG expressed interest in going for a bike ride while in town. A good friend and Assistant U.S. Attorney contacted me for information about riding options in the KC area, and I provided a full menu of options for our esteemed guest. Then, on Tuesday, that “planning” work suddenly blossomed into something more – an invitation to be a bike tour guide for the AG!

I passed my FBI screening (barely), picked an appropriate route with the aid of local guru Mark Thomas of www.localcycling.com, and picked up two nice, new Trek bikes loaned by good friend and generous cycling sponsor Dan Hansen, co-owner of the Trek Store of Kansas City.

To be honest, it wasn't as glamorous as you might think. I wasn’t rubbing shoulders with the AG the whole time, swapping legal stories and talking UT football. Mostly, I rode with his FBI agent about 50 feet back, with two armed JoCo park police another 50 feet back – with the goal of allowing the AG a brief 45 minutes to feel like a ‘normal person’ out riding his bike by himself. But, it was an excellent experience all the same and, yes, your guessed, it all went to my head! The AG’s entire bike experience and general safety were entrusted to my ‘very capable’ hands (ha).

After he got finished ‘breaking some legs’ on the Mill Creek Streamway, the AG and I (hmm, I dig the sound of that) had an opportunity to ‘talk shop,’ take a photo, and swap stories about Texas. Then, as abruptly and efficiently as when he arrived, the AG and his 10 waiting agents slipped into armored SUVs and sped off – like something from a movie.

Despite basking in my new-found national importance and brief touch of fame – and already thinking of other potential famous clients for the fledgling Henson’s Famous Bike Tours – I was reminded of a joke told to me recently by my Canadian bike guide. What’s the difference between God and a bike tour guide? God doesn’t think He’s a bike tour guide.

1 comment:

ryan said...

The AG got back in the black suburban, turned to his handler and said, "Sa-weet! I just rode with The Great Tyler Henson! I loves this country!"