We didn’t come prepared to do business on this ride. We had 3 sets of riding clothes and only 2 sets of “evening” clothes. We assumed that the evening clothes could do double duty because we wouldn’t sweat in the evenings. So, we made do at the conference. I appeared a bit more informal than other attendees at the conference.
I had been invited to a conference entitled, “Democracy Matters,” held at the Eau Palm Beach hotel. We had a rain-soaked ride to get there, partially blocked by Donald J. Trump’s arrival to Mar-a-Lago. Significant? Concidence? Who knows? In any case, we could not ride south on Beach Drive or A1A. We rode twice through downtown Palm Beach—the most outrageous luxury mall in America. We crossed over the intracoastal in a pouring rain twice. Once to get to West Palm Beach on the mainland, where we could ride south of the blockage, and once more to get back on Palm Island to continue to the southern end of the island.
The conference included a dinner panel with James Carville and Jim Messina. Interesting repartee, not be repeated. The following day included a headline session with Senator John Tester of Montana plus a variety of sessions emphasizing a progressive and balanced approach to re-establishing American democracy including ways to increase voter participation and ways to minimize disinformation on social media platforms. It was a learning experience and a great way to break up the physical activity with mental activity. But, certainly not enough to qualify the trip as a tax write-off. That would be most illiberal of us!