Updated 26.10.2023

26 September 2008

Politics and Bikes... well, just bikes

Fogh Rasmussen and George Bush

While people discussing bikes is generally a good thing, I think that there are maybe more important issues for both the American president as well as the Danish prime minister to be dealing with.

The Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and George Bush met up a few days ago. The meeting should have been all about the Iraq War but it ended up being mostly about bikes.

The formal reason for the meeting was a extremely private reception for the 'coalition' partners behind the Iraq War, hosted by George Bush and the Iraqi president Jalal Talabani.

"President Talabani thanked the countries involved for the liberation and the stabilisation of Iraq under difficult circumstances. He expressed, on behalf of the Iraqi people, gratitude for those who undertook such a project", said Fogh Rasmussen at a press conference at the Danish Consulate General in New York today.

The Iraq War was far from the most important subject during Fogh Rasmussen's short meeting with the president.

"I can tell you that Bush and I mostly talked about cycling. I filled him in about my ride up Alpe d'Huez last summer and he told me that he had recently acquired a new mountain bike", said Fogh Rasmussen.

Earlier this year the prime minister visited the president's ranch near Crawford, Texas where the two men raced against each other on their bikes. Bush praised Fogh Rasmussen for being in 'indescribably good shape'.

When the president steps down in January, there may be time for a new race in Crawford.

"If I can find the time, he will try to do the same after January", said Fogh Rasmussen in New York.


In other news involving Danish civil servants, the Danish ambassador to Australia has signed up to be an ... ambassador... for Bicycle Victoria's National Ride to Work Day on October 15, 2008.

Bicycle Victoria reports:
The Ambassador of Denmark, Mrs Susanne Shine, has announced the Danish Embassy and Consulate will take part in National Ride to Work Day this year.

Mrs Shine will be our first National Ride to Work Day Ambassador who actually will be an Ambassador. Official diplomatic participation in the event is a first.

Denmark has a powerful bicycle culture and Mrs Shine hopes to demonstrate this by committing her staff to the Ride to Work event.

Her nation sets an outstanding example for Australia to follow: everyday one in three in Copenhagen gets on their bike to go to work. This adds up to 1.2 million kilometres on bikes each day.

Australian cities are now utilising Danish expertise to "Copenhagenize" Australia's urban landscapes.