Cayo (the youngest ever visitor to the office of the Irish ”President”), Virginia, and I, met with Enda Kenny, the Leader of Ireland today (7/11/11). Here on the Emerald Isle, Enda is referred to as the Taoiseach, an Irish word which means he is this country’s final decision maker. And it is in this role that he recently officially received our president, Barrack Obama, as well as the Queen of England just a few days earlier.
A humble man who commands a lot of resources, he not only rides a bike as more and more elected officials do these days, but he is a genuine cyclist who has been rolling the big miles from decades before it was fashionable or politically green to do so. Last Sunday, for example, he powered out 120 miles for charity on a new Trek road bike he had never ridden before. The only thing he changed on the two wheeler in question before it was then raffled off for charity after he got his miles, was the pedals. He used his own clipless system. Wow!
Nor did I have to waste time selling him on how a Greenway could benefit his country when we met. We got right down to business. We talked about all the people I will need to exchange with both here and in America to make a bicycle highway network real here. Among so many other leads I had not the time to note, he said he will get me in contact, even write letters of intro if need be, with his Minister of Tourism and Sport as well as his Dept of Environment, even the leaders of several Irish/American exchanges in New York City, etc.
Enda is a man who thinks big. The beneficiary of a strong body and visionary mind because of the bicycle, he knows the pedal machine can help him set the lead in Ireland for a Greenway network that America and the rest of the world will feel compelled to follow!
There is so much excitement at hand! See our 2013 Mayor’s Ride HERE!..
THX 4 all of U!!