16 April 2008

The Melody of Danish Bike Culture


The text on this star-spangled bike goes "Take me with you to your dreamland". These are the first lines from 'Joanna', an immensely popular song from immensely popular Danish singer Kim Larsen. Any Dane would be able to sing these lines. Widespread music culture meets widespread bike culture. It does not necessarily get mainstream or predictable. The dreams are still around and alive. On two wheels.


Københavns Cykelbørs (Copenhagen's Bike Stock Exchange) is a bike shop that rents out bikes to tourists. The ad on their van simply quotes the first line of the Danish national anthem 'Der er et yndigt land' ("There is a fair country"). This is a fine example of how bike culture and national identity are holding hands in Denmark.


Interestingly enough, the men depicted on the back side of the van are all somewhat chubby and goofy-looking whereas the women are fit, voluptuous and smiling cutely. Not that goofy men and hot chicks can't be encountered everywhere on the Danish bicycle paths. They can. There are, however, also goofy girls and attractive guys around.

What we have here is the Danish cycling girl performing as a powerful icon of 'Danishness', bike culture and beauty. Check out earlier posts on the Danish cycling girl at our sister blog Copenhagen Cycle Chic.

[Yay! Say hello to Marie and her inaugural blogpost here on Copenhagenize.com. We're writing a book together on Danish bike culture, so it's only fitting that she blogs here and on Cycle Chic
Say Hello To Marie]