Jumping Starts in London

We had the first qualifier for the show jumping yesterday.? It doesn’t do much except cut the field from 75 to 60 for the individual competition.? It also serves to help set the order of go for the teams, sort of like when the baseball All-Star game is used to decide which league gets to have the scheduling advantage (if I have that right, which I may not).? The big news was that Beezie Madden had two refusals which means she can’t go forward to the individual competition although sHe’s still in the team competition.? It was quite a shocker.

My big Olympic moment of the day was watching Ian Miller of Canada ride into the ring to start his 10th Olympic Games, now a record number for all athletes, not just equestrians.? He looks fabulous for any age, not just his 65 years, lean and fit.? He says He’s willing to have another go at it in 2016 in Brazil.

No news today on the dressage front.? I don’t think there will be any new names on the team podium on Tuesday although the order is still to be decided.? We had some Syrian protesters outside the gates today but no protests inside the venue.

If the camera scans the stands and you see a line of tables, you might be able to spot me in the row one down from the top row, under the green Saudi flag.? I’m usually wearing a grey ball cap.? Of course, I’m also usually covered by a sheet of plastic and hiding behind my laptop.

London is trying to deal with its traffic problems by instituting a sort of ?zip bike? program if you will.? There are bikes in racks and a pay box.? You put in your money (aka credit card), take a bike, ride it as long/far as you want and install it back into a designated bike rack.? If you get from one rack to another in under half an hour it’s free.? There are lots and lots of bikes on London streets (no helmet law though’!), but they don’t always have bike lanes.? The buses and bikes share a lane, with no shoulder on the road.? I have no desire at all to try something like this ? for me it would be like driving a horse trailer across the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan.? ?A bike rider was killed by a London Olympics media bus a couple nights ago, shutting down the main transport center.? I don’t know how they aren?t killing bike riders every day (or pedestrians for that matter ? the buses really whiz along the center city streets).

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