Danes are as proud of their bikes as children are of their self built Lego buildings. So if the Danes saw how Rune Horby – their Embassy Deputy in Dublin – filled his front garden with bikes, they would be pleased.
To the right of the garden path leading to his front door, Rune Horby has two retro Raleigh bikes locked together: a women’s bike and a men’s bike. On the rear mudguard of the men’s bike, a sticker reads: Alex Cykler. On the women’s bike, there is a children’s seat. Back in Denmark, Rune, his wife Gitte and their son Bjorn used these bikes as their primary mode of transport. Now they do the same in Dublin.
To the left of that same garden path there’s a grey hump, that looks like large stone boulder left behind by a glacier. Closer inspection shows it’s a motorcycle cover with something underneath. When Rune pulls the cover back, a Christiania trike appears. If the two Raleigh bikes did not already have the Danes back home jumping for joy, then this Christiania certainly will.
On sunny days, the Danish family will uncover the trike and go for a ride. Gitte and Bjorn will sit in front, and Rune – like a chariot driver from a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale – will take them wherever his wife and son direct him. It’s a ritual the family developed back in Denmark, where on late Sunday mornings, Gitte and Bjorn would direct Rune to a Copenhagen Cafe for smørrebrød. Now, that ritual continues in Dublin – and even though the smørrebrød are replaced by bangers and mash, the glass of Carlsberg stays exactly the same.