Herb Prooy: Cherchez la bicyclette

Herb Prooy wonders what self-respecting prime minister would ride around on a women’s bike. Real men would prefer a robust top tube between their legs as an extension of their manhood, wouldn’t they?

What can have persuaded Mark Rutte to buy a women’s bike? A step through frame is the first step on the way to a discreetly hidden little engine to help with the profusion of hills around the Hague..
Our prime minister and his liberal pal Blok like to project a sporty, dynamic image of themselves. They are men on a mission, thwarted but determined, and here they are cycling to and from the Catshuis to face another hard day of negotiations.
But why the women’s bicycle? Slightly bent over, hands gripping the handle bars, he is pedalling against the wind as if he’s sorry he didn’t get the little engine after all, and next to him the tall figure of Stefan Blok, who easily keeps up with him on his man bike.
Where did Rutte get the bike? Did he really buy it himself? He is of a thrifty persuasion and a proper bike should last at least thirty years. Maybe he thought that easy swing of the right leg wouldn’t be that easy twenty years hence.
Or maybe he doesn’t have a bicycle at all and this is a show put on by his spin doctors. Could it be that the bike is an attempt at image improvement and that the bike is his mum’s?
Unknown woman
If it’s true the spin doctors have made a mistake. It would only reinforce the idea that Rutte is a mummy’s boy, depending on his old mum for ironed shirts and the occasional lend of her bike (although it would be a good deal if she could use Mark’s chauffeur driven car to go to the shops).
But just maybe the bike belongs to the unknown woman in his life. One he spends wild nights with and whose bicycle he rides in front of the cameras to show off his masculinity.
Why has no journalist started an in-depth investigation into the provenance of the bike? It gives you all sorts of interesting clues about Rutte’s negotiating power in the Catshuis!
Herb Prooy is an entrepreneur in the field of ‘software as a service’

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