Posted 10/03/12 (Wed)
I imagine everyone is getting a wee bit tired of the political ads. I mean enough already! I’m about to the point where I agree with Uncle Hugh, “A dictatorship is the perfect form of government; as long as you are the dictator.”
But having been in and around politics my entire life, I know the importance of campaigning and voting. Which brings me to a story.
One of the first times I ran for the state senate was in the ’70s. Which is a long time and several pounds ago.
I was running against the late Sen.Garvin Jacobson. As part of the campaign, we were urged to join a bike ride from Watford to Arnegard and back. It was a fundraiser for cancer research. Being an athlete, at least in my mind, I gladly accepted. It would be a fun event. I mean, only about 15 miles on pavement!
Now, I grew up, and some would question that, in the country. On a rough gravel road at the bottom of a hill. I wasn’t too much into biking. With a saddle horse, tractor, motorcycle (Super 90!), trucks and pickups and cars, I seldom walked across the yard, and very seldom rode a bike. No big deal, the other guys were old.
The ride from Watford to Arnegard went pretty good. My legs were fresh. A little trouble on some minor hills, but I was doing pretty darn good. For a country boy.
Then we turned around and started back. My legs were getting a little weary. I didn’t have a real good bike. Wasn’t one of those with gears and stuff. And it was a little small for a big guy. And I think it had wheel weights on the tires. It was starting to get a little heavy.
As we approached Watford City, I could see that in our absence, they had moved the city to the top of a large hill. And I was getting weaker.
As I began the ascent to the top of this mountain, I was pondering how Rep. Ralph Christianson, who was probably 20 or 30 years my senior, would make it. I mean he must have been in his 60s!
As I pedaled up this steepening incline, I envisioned the throngs of people waiting to cheer me on to victory. It would be like the Tour de France.
But my legs were turning to spaghetti! I stood and pedaled hard. The bike must have had a bearing going out. It would hardly go. I pedaled harder. Sweat broke out on my brow. But the thought of those old guys behind me brought a small sense of satisfaction.
As I neared the crest of the hill, my legs were beginning to cramp up. But I could see the peak of the mountain.
Just then, old Ralph came pedaling by, giving me a small, polite nod. He looked as relaxed as could be, enjoying a nice bike ride on a nice morning.
Just like when I was a kid, I got off my bike and pushed it up the hill.
And you know, when I got to the top, I looked back. It really isn’t that big of a hill.
P.S. I lost the election.