A Classy Commute – His Excellency Mr Robert Engels

10 Aug

The leavy roof of Leesson parkOn a typical morning, the Dutch Ambassador descends from the five steps leading to his Residence. He walks onto the driveway’s red gravel and reaches for his keys. He inserts them in the lock, swings up his leg, and rides into traffic on his Dutch black bike. The leafy roof of Leesson park provides shelter for the first seconds of the Ambassador’s journey. It gives him time to adjust to the climate conditions – be it rain or sunshine. This close to home, the SUVs waiting on traffic lights honk their horns in familiar recognition, as the Ambassador cycles past.

For a brief moment, traffic becomes dense on Leesson street. The Ambassador is undaunted. He is, in fact, pleased how bus drivers have become more considerate to cyclists. He has even written a letter to the City Council, to extend his compliments on the matter. Soon, the Ambassador veers off to the left, to cycle through Raglan road. He likes Kavanagh’s ‘quiet street’, and will cycle through it even if it takes him a bit longer. Finally, turning right on Merrion road, it’s a straight stretch to the Embassy.

Having arrived there, the Ambassador stands up on one pedal, swings his other foot over the saddle, and lets it rest behind his standing leg. Without its engine, the bicycle slows down, rolls the final yards on built up speed, and then comes to a standstill, next to a long, graceful flag post. The Ambassador steps down, locks his bike against the pole, and briskly walks inside. His bike and his nation’s flag stay behind; ready to greet the day’s guests.

 

Dutch ambassador Mr Robert engels in front of Dutch embassy in Dublin

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2 Responses to “A Classy Commute – His Excellency Mr Robert Engels”

  1. John August 25, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    It looks like a Beautiful Old Bike well looked after.Is it a Fongers,I have heard that they were the De Luxe of Dutch Bikes in their Day and still being used.

    I wish his Excellency well and many Happy Years of Cycling around Dublin,hopefully the Infrastructure will improve now that more People are Cycling.

    I hate those Buses they just give me a Pain they have a Habit of just cutting you off. Whenever you try to overtake them they move off again. They also have a Habit of Traveling together sometimes in Fours. They could at least have put a Lane behind the Bus stop for you to go without the Hassle of them forcing you to stop. On some Suburban Roads like in Tallaght they have done this but it is rare.

  2. Frits B December 5, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    @John – It’s a Batavus, probably Old Dutch or Favoriet. Just click on the photo and enlarge it to see the emblem up front.

    The bike has a loop frame, yet Mr Engels mounts and dismounts as if he rides a diamond frame. Old habits die hard, apparently.

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